By Jane West Photo: mrlerone/Toby Bradbury Far-right registers huge success in Sweden The far-right Sweden Democrats party almost doubled its share of the vote in Sweden’s election last Sunday, winning its first [Read more]
By Brian George
Photo hoyasmeg/James Emery
There has been extensive coverage of the news that Cuba is to reduce state sector employment by half a million and transfer these workers to the non-state, including the private, sectors. Some of this comment, for example in the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal, interprets this as a move towards capitalism and free markets. More accurate and sophisticated analysis has been given by Latin American specialists. (Also see previous articles on this website here and here.)
By Brian George
That the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal should wishfully, and inaccurately, hope Cuba’s recent economic policy changes represent an embrace of capitalism is not surprising. But in addition to this hostile analysis there has also been comment on these new economic policies that comes from friends of Cuba. As it comes from friends, the following comments are also meant strictly in that light of friendly discussion.
By Juliet Altan
Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey attacks Israeli President Peres over Israel’s assault on Gaza at the World Economic Forum, January 2009.
On Sunday 12 September 2010, the 30th anniversary of the bloody military coup in 1980, Turkey voted to accept constitutional amendments that have widely been viewed as moving the country away from the grip of the army.
The turnout was 73.71%, of which almost 58% approved the reform package, whilst just over 42% rejected it. There was a high abstention rate of almost 27%, mainly as a result of the call by the main Kurdish party BDP for a boycott of the referendum.
Since the election of the AKP (Justice and Development Party) government in 2002, and its re-election on a strong vote in 2007, there has been a power struggle between the army and the government in Turkey. There were several attempts, some covert and some very overt, to destabilise the government over the last few years.
By Brian George
A great deal of media publicity has been given to the news that Cuba is to reduce state sector employment by half a million and transfer these workers to the non-state, including private, sectors. The eventual aim is to transfer about one million of Cuba’s state workers to the non-state sector.
By Andrew Williams
Photo: Walt Jabsco
The direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) that began in early September will go nowhere. Presented by the US as negotiations to create a Palestinian state, in fact the objectives of the US and other participants are not this at all. For the US and Israel the current framework of talks allows them to set an agenda that reinforces the occupation – as happened in the Oslo talks (1992-3) and subsequent negotiation processes – simultaneously settlements expand, more Palestinians are displaced, and Israeli missiles are fired on Gaza, whilst Palestinians are told they must not resist. The objectives are to weaken Palestinian resolve, deepen the internal Palestinian divisions, enhance the US’s image in the region and rehabilitate Israel’s battered international reputation. For Fatah’s Mahmoud Abbas, Israel’s chosen negotiating partner, it is hoped the international stage can bolster his reduced standing. Amongst Palestinians there is widespread understanding of, and consequently little support for, this framework.