The world economy is currently characterized by paradoxes and misunderstandings. Rather than dealing with the conjuncture as such, this article will attempt to throw light on the contradictions of an increasingly unstable configuration.
The seventh conference of the European Anti-Capitalist Left (EACL), held in Paris during the European Social Forum on November 10-11, 2003, took place against the background of a world situation that unceasingly confirms the will to resist of peoples, workers, women and youth. Clashes and crises succeed each other at overwhelming speed - stock market crashes, bankruptcies of financial and industrial giants, collapses of entire sectors of the economy in some countries (Argentina), US invasions, complete political disarray following occupation, the crisis of the European Union’s stability pact and so on.
The breakdown in December 2003 of the intergovernmental conference (IGC) that was supposed to approve the European Union (EU) draft constitutional treaty has brought out into the open the crisis of the project of neoliberal construction of the EU. This crisis has been in gestation since the Maastricht agreement of 1992.
The national congress of the Revolutionary Communist League (LCR, French section of the Fourth International) took place at the beginning of November 2003. Coverage of the congress figured largely in the press and television, even making the front page of the “left” daily Liberation.
The following appeal was adopted by an overwhelming majority at the 15th national congress of the LCR, held in Saint-Denis from 30th October to 2nd November, 2003.
In it early 2003 German trade union leaderships withdrew from the “alliance for jobs” (Bündnis für Arbeit) because was clear that the Federation of German Industry (Bund Deutscher Industrie, BDI) was determined on massive reductions in social contributions and the renegotiation of collective agreements to introduce greater flexibility. Federal chancellor Schröder told the Bundestag on March 13, 2003 that “We must reduce state benefits, favour individual responsibility and demand more effort from everyone”.
Raffaello Renzacci, an Italian trade union militant and supporter of the Fourth International, died of a cerebral aneurism on November 18, 2003 at the age of 47. Raffaello was a member of the national leadership of the CGIL trade union federation, a founder of the co-ordination of the ‘cassintegrati’ at Fiat, and a member of the Fourth International, Democrazia Proletaria (DP) and Rifondazione Comunista (PRC).
The following interview was conducted at the end of November 2003 during the VII National Conference of Socialist Democracy (DS), the tendency in the Brazilian Workers Party (PT) that organizes supporters of the Fourth International.
The British socialist paper Socialist Resistance published a petition calling on the PT to halt its threat to expel Senator Heloisa Helena and three other PT members of parliament. The PT leadership made this response.
In the light of the expulsion of Heloisa Helena from the PT, British socialist paper Socialist Resistance responds to Paulo Delgado, PT Secretary for International Relations.
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