Germany

European financial system: next crash just around the corner?

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

November 1, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The trials of major European banks, starting with “venerable institutions” like the Monte dei Paschi di Siena (the world’s oldest bank) and Deutsche Bank (Germany’s largest), have raised the spectre of another 2008 — a “Lehman Brothers times five” in the words of one finance market analyst.

 

Northern nastiness: Far right becomes second party in German chancellor Merkel's home state

 

 

By Victor Grossman

 

September 15, 2016
 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from The Left Berlin — Old German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck once said – or so goes the legend: “If the world ever perishes I’d want to be in Mecklenburg where everything happens fifty years late.” The alarm bells are now loudly ringing, warning that this once feudally most backward part of Germany between Berlin and the Baltic Sea may prove something like the opposite!

 

The elections on Sunday (Sept. 4) were an unmitigated disaster! The Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), running for the first time, rang up an amazing 21.9 % of the vote, putting it in second place behind the Social Democrats and beating out Angela Merkel in her own home state!

After OXI and Brexit: the crisis of the European Union and the Left

 

 

By Angela Klein

 

September 1, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Viewpoint — Within a year two populations of Europe – one in the south, the other in the north – have voted against the EU and its policy. They did this out of entirely different motives and with different aims. Whereas on 5 July 2015 the Greek OXI was directed against the austerity dictates of the Troika and the degradation of Greece to the state of a semi-colonial country, the British Brexit above all was characterized by the fear of “foreigners” and the desire to escape from the freedom of movement in the EU. But at the same time the Brexit expressed the desire to settle accounts with the ruling political elites. Whereas the left was the driving force of the Greek NO, the British NO was captured by the right.

 

Victor Serge: On the borders of victory and defeat

 

 Victor Serge (left), Benjamin Péret, Remedios Varo, and André Breton

By Doug Enaa Greene

 

January 18, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, reposted from Red Wedge with the author's permission — In 1941, reflecting on his own life, which spanned several revolutions, exile, and prison, Victor Serge commented:

 

The only meaning of life lies in conscious participation in the making of history. The more I think of that, the more deeply true it seems to be. It follows that one must range oneself actively against everything that diminishes man, and involve oneself in all struggles which tend to liberate and enlarge him. This categorical imperative is in no way lessened by the fact that such an involvement is inevitably soiled by error: it is a worse error to live for oneself, caught within traditions which are soiled by inhumanity. [1]

 

Stephen F. Cohen on Ukraine: Meeting shows 'Kiev, not Moscow, blocking peace deal'

Click for more on the political situation in Ukraine.

August 26, 2015 -- New Cold War.org, posted by Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Stephen F. Cohen, contributing editor to The Nation, was interviewed on the the John Batchelor Show, WABC radio in New York City. They discuss the news of a ceasefire agreement in eastern Ukraine for a cessation of hostilities beginning September 1, 2015, and the recent meeting in Berlin on August 24 of Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, France's President François Hollande and Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko.

John Green: ‘Stasiland’ offers ‘cheap caricature’ of the GDR

Click HERE for more on 'East Germany'.

Review by John Green

August 26, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Anna Funder’s book Stasiland seems to have become the touchstone for anyone who wishes to find out about life in the German Democratic Republic (GDR, or East Germany). It was given enormous publicity, has been translated into several languages and is one of the most quoted books of reference on the GDR. Its aim is to show how horrendous life in the GDR really was.

Funder visited the GDR once as a tourist in 1987 and then returned again in 1996 (six years after unification with the Federal Republic of Germany, or West Germany) and wrote her book. It is made up almost entirely of interviews with only three women who suffered under the GDR authorities, plus a former GDR rock star, a television presenter who was loyal to the state, as well as several shorter ones with former officers of the state security services.

Triumph, disarray, defeat – German workers 1918-1933

Berlin November 1918: Workers and sailors join in revolutionary uprising.

Berlin November 1918: Workers and sailors join in revolutionary uprising.

The German Left and the Weimar Republic
By Ben Fowkes
Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2015
399 pages, US$28.

Click for more on the Communist Party of Germany; click for more by or about John Riddell

Review by John Riddell

Knife at its throat, Greece yields to Troika brutality

By Dick Nichols, Barcelona

July 22, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In a summing-up speech to the Greek parliament in the earlier hours of July 16, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said of the punitive July 12 funding deal accepted by Greece after negotiations with Eurozone leaders:

I would like to put this question very honestly to each and every one of you who is going to vote today: "The blackmail [of the Eurozone institutions] that you mentioned—was it real or fictional?"

If you think it was fictional, then I am open to hearing different alternatives, and together we can work on them.

Thermopylae or Versailles? Greece deal threatens to destroy European project

By Duroyan Fertl

July 17, 2015 -- Hintadupfing, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- The promise of a peaceful integration of capitalist equals lies tattered on the floor of a negotiation room in Brussels. There, the SYRIZA-led Greek government finally succumbed to the blackmail, economic carpet-bombing and “mental water-boarding” of the institutions of European capitalism.

The final weeks of the debt negotiations culminating in a cynical political coup against Greece have laid bare the undemocratic, technocratic nature of the European Union (EU), which operates as a thieves’ kitchen to protect vested financial interests at an incalculable human cost.

Zoe Konstantopoulou: NO a los ultimátum, NO al memorando de la servidumbre

El discurso pronunciado la mañana del 11 de julio de 2015

[English at http://links.org.au/node/4510.]

Por Zoe Konstantopoulou, presidente del Parlamento griego

CADTM

* * *

Señoras y señores, estimados colegas,

En momentos como estos, debemos actuar y hablar con sinceridad institucional y coraje político. Debemos asumir la responsabilidad que recae en todos y cada uno de nosotros.

Debemos defender, de acuerdo a los dictados de nuestra conciencia, las causas justas y los derechos sagrados, inviolables y no negociables de nuestro pueblo y de nuestra sociedad. Debemos proteger el legado de aquellos que dieron sus vidas y su libertad para que hoy podamos vivir como personas libres. Debemos preservar la herencia de las nuevas generaciones y de las futuras, así como la de la civilización humana. También debemos preservar esos valores irrenunciables que definen y alientan nuestra existencia personal y colectiva.

Cómo elige y decide actuar cada persona puede variar y nadie tiene el derecho de trivializar las decisiones que se toman a partir de un juicio personal y existencial, para denigrarlas o explotarlas políticamente.

Greek parliament's president: 'Nο to ultimatums, Nο to the Memoranda of servitude'

President of the parliament of Greece, Zoe Konstantopoulou.

For more analysis and discussion on Greece's struggle against austerity, click HERE

The following speech was delivered early in the morning of July 11, 2015, by Zoe Konstantopoulou, president of the Greek parliament, on the question of the government’s proposal to the creditor institutions. She voted "present", in effect an abstention. Translated by Nicholas Evangelos Levis for Analyze Greece. First published in Greek on left.gr, July 12, 2015. Posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal.

* * *

Ladies and gentlemen,

At times like these we must act and speak with binding sincerity and political boldness. We must assume the responsibility that falls to each and every one of us.

Greece: Panagiotis Lafazanis -- SYRIZA 'will not bow down, neither will it surrender'

lafazaneiro

Panagiotis Lafazanis.

For more analysis and discussion on SYRIZA's struggle against austerity, click HERE

By Panagiotis Lafazanis, minister of reconstruction of production, environment and energy.

April 29, 2015 -- CRASH magazine, translated by The Greek Analyst, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Panagiotis has been involved in negotiating with Russia for a gas pipeline to Greece. He is a member of SYRIZA's Left Platform grouping. The Greek version can be found on the website of the ministry, here.

Ian Birchall on John Riddell's 'To the masses': Essential resource on communism's early years

To The Masses: Proceedings of the Third Congress of the Communist International, 1921
edited and translated by John Riddell
Brill, Leiden & Boston, 2015
1299 pages, €399.00

April 12, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The following review by British socialist historian Ian Birchall introduces a major addition to our knowledge of the revolutionary movement of Lenin's time: John Riddell's To the Masses: Proceedings of the Third Congress of the Communist International, 1921. Birchall's review is scheduled for publication in Revolutionary History, a journal with 43 published volumes.

The review is published here with kind permission of Revolutionary History and Ian Birchall. Riddell's latest volume, available only in Brill's library format at the moment, will be published in a popular, more inexpensive edition by Haymarket Books in February 2016.

For more on the Communist International, click HERE. Click for more by or about John Riddell.

* * *

Review by Ian Birchall

Interview with SYRIZA leader: 'The aim is a truly united Europe'

Greece's parliament.

For more discussion on SYRIZA's struggle against austerity, click HERE

Antonis Markopoulos interviewed by Chris Spannos

March 21, 2015 -- TeleSUR English, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Since the Greek political party SYRIZA, the Coalition of the Radical Left, formed a government with the rightist Independent Greeks party on January 25, 2015, it has faced many challenges.

Eyewitness Greece: The SYRIZA factor in European politics

Click for more on SYRIZA

By Dick Nichols

The following talk -- “The Greek elections -- what next? SYRIZA and the fight against austerity” – was presented to the Department of Political Economy and the Australia-Greece Solidarity Campaign, March 10, 2015, at the University of Sydney’s New Law School. Dick Nichols is Green Left Weekly’s and Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal’s European correspondent, based in Barcelona, and a member of the Australian Socialist Alliance. Nichols is currently touring Australia presenting an eyewitness account of the SYRIZA election victory.

* * *

March 12, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- What does SYRIZA’s victory means for politics in Europe, at both all-European and national levels? Both are closely intertwined, and since SYRIZA’s January 25, 2015, electoral victory there have been having increasingly rapid feedback effects.

David Renton: On SYRIZA and the Independent Greeks; and compromises and alliances

"The migration minister is Tasia Christodoulopoulou, doyenne of Greek migrants’ lawyers – the equivalent in England of giving our unreconstructed CLR James-ite Ian Macdonald the job."

Click for more on SYRIZA

By David Renton

March 7, 2015 -- Lives; Running, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Six weeks ago, when SYRIZA formed a coalition with the Independent Greeks (ANEL) the most common view among my friends was that this was SYRIZA’s first betrayal and that others would inevitably follow.

Germany, 1918-1923: the fire and the spirit of revolution

The German Revolution of 1918-1923 not only saw the collapse of the monarchy, but the real possibility of communism spreading into the heart of Europe. Communist historian Doug Enaa Greene lectures on the course of the revolution and the reasons why it didn't succeed. Presented at the Center of Marxist Education.

Click for more on the Communist Party of Germany; and more by Doug Enaa Greene

By Doug Enaa Greene

Greece wins breathing space, but made to pay high cost; SYRIZA's support grows

Germany's finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble looks on as Greece's finance minister Yanis Varoufakis speaks.

For more discussion on SYRIZA's struggle against austerity, click HERE

By Duroyan Fertl

February 28, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Greece’s new SYRIZA government submitted its list of proposed economic reforms to the Eurogroup (the finance ministers of eurozone nations) on February 23 as a precondition for its international creditors to approve a four-month loan extension. The deal was signed on February 20.

With Greece’s existing loan arrangement expiring on February 28 and bankruptcy looming, a last-minute deal was finally agreed after three weeks of intense negotiations. The talks had been characterised by daily — sometimes hourly — twists and turns, claims and counterclaims, leaks and threats.

Greece: ‘Another energy is possible’ -- SYRIZA committed to ‘ecological transformation’

For more on SYRIZA, click HERE

By Sean Sweeney

February 18, 2015 -- Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (USA), posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- During its first days in office, SYRIZA has taken actions that suggest it is willing to confront the European Union’s neoliberal approach to energy and to embark on a new course. New Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has also stated his government will restore collective bargaining agreements and stop 300,000 planned layoffs.

The SYRIZA government has said it will stop the proposed sell-off of the Public Power Corporation (PPC), which is 51% publicly owned but had been targeted for full-on privatisation in 2016. “We will halt immediately any privatisation of PPC”, energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis told Greek television a few hours before officially taking over his portfolio. “There will be a new PPC which will help considerably the restoration of the country’s productive activities”, he said.

Greek drama: A preliminary review of the first four weeks of the SYRIZA government

 Isidoros Diakides.

For more on SYRIZA, click HERE

By Isidoros Diakides, Greek Solidarity Campaign (Britain) co-chair

February 24, 2015 -- Greek Solidarity Campaign, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Greek epic has already acquired all the features of an exciting action thriller, with all the appropriate drama (and hubbub), with constant surprises, twists and turns. And we still are at the opening scenes.

The exhilarating SYRIZA win, with thousands of activists across Europe gathering in Athens on election day to be part of "history in the making”, the cliff hanger on the night as to whether SYRIZA would secure an absolute majority, the breathtaking speed with which the new government was formed and hit the ground running, all helped to set the scene and the pace of the thriller.

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