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European Social Forum special issue
From 1980 to 2004 joining the European Union was quite popular among large sections of the populations in concerned countries. Portuguese, Greek and Spanish citizens regarded their countries’ participation in the European integration both as a guarantee of democratic stability (indeed all three of them were emerging from a period of dictatorship) and as a real opportunity to improve living conditions (there were significant transfers from richer countries in the EU towards the new members from the Mediterranean region during the first years of their adhesion.-> read article...
A reply to Costas Lapavitsas
The crisis laid bare the historical divergences within Europe, and led to a European crisis and a new stage in the global crisis. The existing policies in Europe has three fundamental flaws: First, they assume that the problem is a lack of fiscal discipline and repeats the old faith in strengthening the surveillance of budget deficits; it does not question the reasons behind the deficits; it ignores all the structural problems regarding divergence in productivity, and imbalances in current accounts due to the “beggar my neighbour” policies of Germany. Second, they are based on the argument that Europe has a sovereign debt crisis, which ignores the fact that public debt would not have increased at the current rates if it were not for the financial crisis, which was prevented by unprecedented bank rescue packages; which in turn increased the budget deficits along with loss in tax revenues and increased social spending because of the crisis. Third, they deny the underlying reason behind the current crisis, which was increased inequality in the distribution of income and wealth –a fundamental feature of neoliberal capitalism.-> read article...
Six years after its launch as an online magazine at the time of the Indian Ocean Tsunami in January 2005, International Viewpoint has once again shown its value in being able to bring to its readers timely coverage of major world events, from the point of view of those whose voices are not heard in the mass media. Thanks to a strengthened IVP team we have been able to do so more in pace with the rhythm of events. At the same time we have kept up strong coverage of the economic crisis, particularly on the question of is impact and our responses in Europe.-> read article...