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Europe

Poland between social nationalism and the new left

 

 

Interview with Marcelina Zawisza and Maciej Konieczny by Lorenzo Marsili for MicroMega

 

July 30, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal translation by Revolting Europe— In ultra conservative Poland something is happening on the Left, with the birth of Razëm – which means Together – a new party that with over 4 percent of the vote has gained full rights of participation in the political and national media debate. Born from the social movements, inspired by the Spanish Podemos and, at least for now, has decided to break with the traditional parties of the twentieth century. Here’s their story.

 

Migration, fundamentalism & terrorism in Asia

 

 

By Farooq Tariq

 

July 9, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières -- Religious terrorism has become one of the major challenges for most of the countries in Asia, particularly in South and West Asia. It has resulted in a seemingly nonstop bombings, suicidal attacks and other means of terrorism.

 

Britain: what was behind the 'Brexit' vote?

 

 

June 29 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In the aftermath of the recent UK referendum vote to leave the European Union, the British left continues to debate the meaning and significance of the vote. As part of Links' ongoing coverage of the debate we are republishing articles by Charlie Hore, from Revolutionary Socialism in the 21st Century, and Andrew Flood, from Workers Solidarity Movement.

 

Scottish Socialist Party, Sinn Féin, Momentum and Left Unity on Brexit referendum result

 

 

June 26, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — In the aftermath of the Brexit referendum which ended with a vote in favor of the UK leaving the European Union, Links has republished a variety of statements reflecting the views of key left forces in England, Scotland and Ireland.

 

Political fundamentals and the UK Brexit referendum

 

 

By Tony Norfield

 

June 26, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal originally posted on Economics of Imperialism blog on June 16 — What explains the desperation of British capitalism and Conservative Party in the lead up to the Brexit referendum on 23 June?

Spain: Can the Left’s economic plan turn back austerity?

 

 

The left-wing coalition Unidos Podemos (United We Can), is currently polling over 25% and looks set to surpass the vote of the social-democratic Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE).

 


By Dick Nichols

 

June 14, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal a much shorter version of this article was first published at Green Left Weekly — United We Can — the joint ticket made up of Podemos, the United Left (IU), the green party Equo and three broader alliances in Catalonia (Together We Can), Galicia (In Tide) and the Valencian Country (A la Valenciana) — is campaigning in the June 26 Spanish general election on a plan to reverse economic austerity.

 

Sinn Fein on Brexit – A threat to Irish national interests and a social Europe

 

 

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney (right) speaking on Question Time.

 

By Declan Kearney

 

June 9, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Anphoblacht -- On BBC’s Question Time with David Dimbleby, I asked British Secretary of State Theresa Villiers directly whether she believed a Brexit was in the interests of people in the North – she didn't answer the question.

 

I then asked her whether the British Government, in the event of a Brexit, would replace the European funding which would be lost to the North of Ireland as a consequence of withdrawal from the EU – she didn't answer that question either.

 

The fact is that a Brexit is opposite to the interests of people in the Six Counties.

Should we stay or should we go? The English left debates the European Union referendum

 

 

June 9, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- With the referendum on whether Britain should stay or leave the EU fast approaching, the debate over what position the left should take continues. Links is reposting a vidoe debate between Marina Prentoulis (Syriza UK) and Luke Cooper (Another Europe is Possible) (for in), and Hannah Sell (deputy general secretary, Socialist Party) and Michael Calderbank (Red Pepper) (for out), in a special episode of The Wedge, produced in collaboration with and published on Red Pepper.

 

Below we also have an article by Terry Conway from Socialist Resistance outlining the different positions on the left, and an editorial from Morning Star on what the EU represents.

 

Local politics enters the global contest against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

 

 

European municipalities are joining the battle against TTIP to protect sovereignty and public services, as well as demonstrating how to take political initiative and build an alternative economy

 

By Sol Trumbo Vila

 

May 27, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Transnational Institute -- Opponents of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) see their chances of victory increasing. Local authorities are now also increasingly taking a strong position against supranational structures that negotiate opaque trade deals.

 

What is to be done with the banks? Radical proposals for radical changes

 

 

By John Weeks, Eric Toussaint, Stavros Tombazos, Pritam Singh, Benjamin Selwyn, Alfredo Saad Filho, Patrick Saurin, Sabri Öncü, Susan Pashkoff, Ozlem Onaran, Thomas Marois, Philippe Marlière, Francisco Louça, Stathis Kouvelakis, Andy Kilmister, Michel Husson, Michael Hudson, David Harvey, Pete Green, Giorgos Galanis, Alan Freeman, Gilbert Achar, Costas Lapavitsas

 

A left-wing refugee policy for the European Union

 

Gabi Zimmer, chair of European United Left - Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL)
 
April 16, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Transform! -- The following is a speech given by Gabi Zimmer, chair of GUE/NGL, in Athens at the International Conference “Alliance For Democracy – Against Austerity in Europe”, 18-20 March 2016

 

Jean-Luc Mélenchon on the politics of a Plan B for Europe

 

March 10, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Intervention by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, candidate for the Left Front in the 2012 French presidential elections, in the Internationalist Summit for a Plan B, held in Paris on January 23-24. Mélenchon has recently formed the “France in Revolt” (France Insoumise) movement, for which he aims to be candidate in the 2017 presidential elections.

 

Declaration of the Conference of European Left Parties Solidarity Conference With Kurdish People

The European Left Parties Solidarity Conference With Kurdish People was held in the main Kurdish city of Amed on February 20.

February 20, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from ANF News — The final declaration of the European Left Parties Solidarity Conference With Kurdish People in Amed has been released.

The conference in the main Kurdish city Amed on 20 February was organised by HDP (Peoples' Democratic Party), DTK (Democratic Society Congress), DBP (Party of Democratic Regions) and KJA (Free Women's Congress).

The declaration of the European Left Parties Solidarity Conference With Kurdish People reads;

* We as Kurdish, Turkish and European left and democratic forces stand together in our fight for democracy, peace, diversity and social justice.

* We are gathered here today to call on the Turkish Government to stop the massacres and killings of civilians in the besieged Kurdish cities. Civilian woman and children are the ones suffering the most from this brutal policy. We call on the Turkish government to stop the curfew and allow for access to the besieged cities. The grave violations of basic human rights must be stopped and an international commission must be set up in order to secure that the responsible for war crimes will be prosecuted.

Workers' Party of Belgium leader: "We have to struggle to bring down this European Union and build another form of cooperation"

 

Workers' Party of Belgium supporters rally in solidarity with the people of Greece

 

On October 15, Liam Flenady interviewed David Pestieau, Vice-President of the Workers' Party of Belgium (PTB) at their headquarters in Brussels. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstance, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewalis only publishing this interview now but we believe it will be of great interest to our readers.

 

Since the interview was conducted, a number of significant events have taken place in France and Belgium, including the Paris attacks on November 13 and the ensuing lock-down of the city of Brussels, as well as the banning of the Paris Climate March planned for November 29. These events have had a significant impact on the political situation in Belgium and Europe, and the Worker's Party has playing an important role in responding to them.

 

While not covering this new situation, this interview still represents an important introduction to the politics of the PTB and their orientation towards significant issues in Belgian and European politics.

 

* * *

 

Over 100,000 people demonstrated as part of the union-led national day of action on October 7 in opposition to the austerity measures of the government of Prime Minister Charles Michel. What are the key issues facing the people of Belgium, and what’s next for the struggle?

 

Yanis Varoufakis: a manifesto for democratising Europe

 

‪European trade unionists protest outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels‬

 

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, who last September stepped down from his post in the radical-left Syriza government, has launched his Democracy in Europe movement, DiEM25. Its ambitious aim is a radical overhaul of Europe’s institutions and the introduction of absolute transparency in decision-making, to be completed by 2025. Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is republishing here from Mediapart the manifesto Varoufakis presented in Berlin on February 9th, a plan to “regain control over our Europe from unaccountable ‘technocrats’ and shadowy institutions”.

 

For all their concerns with global competitiveness, migration and terrorism, only one prospect truly terrifies the Powers of Europe: Democracy! They speak in democracy’s name but only to deny, exorcise and suppress it in practice. They seek to co-opt, evade, corrupt, mystify, usurp and manipulate democracy in order to break its energy and arrest its possibilities.

 

For rule by Europe’s peoples, government by the demos, is the shared nightmare of:

 

• The Brussels bureaucracy (and its more than 10,000 lobbyists)

 

On Greece, Syriza, Podemos and the Democracy in Europe Movement – Yanis Varoufakis interview in El Mundo

Ex-finance minister of Greece Yanis Varoufakis

January 23, 2016 -- thoughts for the post-2008 world -- Why did you resign the very next day after the ‘no’ victory in the Greek referendum?

Yanis Varoufakis - Because the Prime Minister told me, on the night of that magnificent result, that it was time to surrender to the troika. Not what I had entered politics for and certainly not what the mandate that the 62% NO vote we had just received stipulated.

Did the European leaders press Tsipras to get rid from you? Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the president of the Eurogroup of finances ministers, has admitted that he did so…

They knew that I would never sign up to a new non-viable, toxic loan agreement. That was clear from the beginning. I was elected to negotiate a viable agreement. And since it is the finance minister who signs these agreements on behalf of the state, it was essential to the troika that I should be removed.

Why do you think you are so uncomfortable (and considered even dangerous) for the EU leaders?

Because I was an obstacle to the maintenance of their permanent denial regarding their failed fiscal reform programs.

What has been your major mistake during the time you were Greece Finance Minister?

Rekindling Hope: SYRIZA's Challenges and Prospects

 

Greek farmers protesting against planned pension system reforms.

 

By Michalis Spourdalakis

 

January 27, 2016 -- Socialist Project -- Before turning to the main theme of this article it would be very useful to come to terms with at least the following preliminary observations:

 

The left in government and especially the radical left in government has never been the subject of easy discussion among leftists. As the project of social transformation was never a peaceful stroll in the park, the debates on the question of in and/or out of government, let alone those about political power, have been very heated. In fact, it is hardly an exaggeration to say that these debates are as old as the left itself. Before, during, and after coming into office, leftist theorists and practitioners have been involved in fierce discussions and heated arguments, often leading to organizational splits and fragmentation. The intense polemical nature of these debates has very rarely led to useful, positive, and practical conclusions for the left.

 

Danish refugee policy and the position of the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten)

 

January 28th, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) -- On Tuesday, January 26th, 2016, a broad majority in the Folketing (Danish parliament) passed bill L 87 which introduces a long series of restrictive measures aimed at making it less attractive to seek asylum in Denmark.

 

Internationally the focus has been directed mainly at the part of the bill that authorizes the police to take jewellery, cash and other valuables from asylum seekers in order to finance the cost of their stay in Denmark during asylum procedures.

 

The Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten), which holds 14 of the 179 seats in the Folketing, is against this part of the bill but does not consider it the most problematic part. In practice it will hardly have any affect, as most asylum seekers arrive without significant valuables. Furthermore the new law excludes jewellery with an emotional value to the asylum seeker. And each asylum seeker (including children) gets to keep the equivalent of DKK 10.000 (EUR 1.340) in cash in those rare cases when asylum seekers arrive with appreciable amounts of money.

 

Plan B for Europe - Appeal to build a European area of work in order to end austerity and build a true democracy.

 

By Susan George, Yanis Varoufakis, Ada Colau, Zoe Konstantopoulou, Ken Loach, Noam Chomsky, et. al

 

January 19, 2016 - Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Plan B Europa - In July 2015, we witnessed a financial coup d’état carried out by the European Union and its institutions against the Greek Government, condemning the Greek population to continue suffering the austerity policies that had been rejected on two occasions in the polls. This coup has intensified the debate over the power of the EU, and by extension it’s institutions, its incompatibility with democracy, and its role as guarantor of the basic human rights demanded by European citizens.

 

We know that there are alternatives to austerity. Manifestos such as “For a Plan B in Europe“, “Austerexit” or DiEM25 (Democracy in Europe Movement 2025) denounce the blackmail of the third memorandum of understanding imposed against Greece, the catastrophe that it would cause and the antidemocratic nature of the EU. The President of the European Commission no less, Jean -Claude Juncker, said : ” There can be no democratic decision against European treaties “.

 

Oskar Lafontaine: Let’s develop a Plan B for Europe!

 Oskar Lafontaine

By Oskar Lafontaine (pictured)

Many in Europe had put great hopes in the election of Alexis Tsipras as Greek Prime Minister. When, after long and exhausting negotiations, the Syriza leader signed the European diktat, the disappointment was great.

It would be unjust and presumptuous to want to give moral lessons to Alexis Tsipras and Syriza. After these experiences for the European left, it would be better to reflect on the conditions in which a democratic and social politics (and thus a left politics) is possible in Europe. We have learned one thing: while the European Central Bank, which claims to be independent and apolitical, can turn off the financial tap to a left government, a politics that is oriented towards democratic and social principles is impossible.

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