By Nicky Dempsey
The campaign to cancel government debt is gathering some momentum in European Union countries.
In Greece, Alexis Tsipras, leader of SYRIZA consistently calls for a cancellation of at least some part of the Greek debt.
Unions in a number of European countries have called a mass one-day strike for November 14. It is the first time since the crisis began that co-ordinated industrial action has been organised in a number of different countries. It represents an important step forward in the growing collaboration between the workers’ organisations in a number of countries and poses the question of a European-wide action programme to deal with the crisis.
By Jane West
After the elections in Western Europe in the first half of this year it is a good moment to take stock of the overall state of the class struggle in the region.
By Nicky Dempsey
The latest European Union summit highlighted the divisions among the national political leaders. But they are unified on one point – the working class and the oppressed of Europe will pay for the crisis.
By Tom O’Donnell
The Europe Against Austerity conference in London on 1st October will provide an important opportunity to discuss the current austerity offensive and raise the issues of macro-economic policy required for an alternative way forward to be advanced.
July’s terrorist atrocity directed against the Norwegian Labour Party has been a lethal reminder of the role violence plays in Europe’s far-right. The twin attacks in Oslo and at the Utoya island youth camp resulted in 77 deaths, primarily of young people.
By Bryan ConnorDuring the international financial crisis US imperialism has succeeded in striking further blows against its European and Japanese capitalist competitors. Data on the US economy to be published later this week will probably show US GDP has regained its pre-crisis level. That means an average zero percent US growth for three years – a terrible performance. But Japanese and European production are even worse, remaining below their previous levels four years into the crisis. The US, however, has been pursuing policies that worsen the economic position of its European and Japanese competitors – pushing Japan to engage in confrontational policies with its largest trading partner, China, and in Europe both cheering on every step of belt tightening in countries such as Greece and Ireland and trying to break up the Euro.
By Jack JohnstonThe global financial crisis has not only disturbed the previous course of capitalist economic development but also stalled many of its political projects. An example of this is the process of European Union expansion into the former non-capitalist states in Eastern Europe. While prior to the crisis these economies were enjoying high growth and falling unemployment, many have now been plunged into a severe downturn. This not only threatens their own internal political stability but also shakes the foundations upon which EU enlargement has been built.The eastern enlargement of the EU, in 2004 and 2007, should be understood within the context of the restoration of capitalism that occurred throughout Eastern Europe from 1989. The economic collapse and social impoverishment, caused by the re-introduction of capitalism, were most severe and prolonged in the countries of the ex-Soviet Union. Yet the Central-Eastern European (CEE) states still suffered huge socio-economic declines. Ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, only Poland had crossed its pre-transition level of GDP; the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia were just returning to this level, whilst the Baltic States still had a GDP level 20–40% below that achieved at the end of ‘communism’. Consequently poverty, unemployment and social inequalities all sharply increased, leaving millions of people with a standard of living worse than they had before capitalism was reintroduced.
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