By March 2015, the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will be passed by both houses of the Philippine Congress and signed into law by the President of Republic. This will be the legal basis for the establishment of the new Bangsamoro Political Entity and it will also effectively repeal Republic Act 9054 which legally created the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The current Aquino administration and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) consider ARMM as failed political experiment.
After Greece’s agreement with the European Union – with the aid programme being extended in exchange for the continuation of structural reforms – the new government has arrived at an impasse. The hopes of those seeking an end to austerity have not even lasted a month. Stathis Kouvelakis, member of the Syriza central committee and reader in political theory at King’s College London comments on these developments in the interview below.
Since October 2014, Germany has seen demonstrations against “Islamification”. The first sizeable one to make the headlines was organised by the “Hooligans gegen Salafisten” (HoGeSa, “Hooligans against Salafists”) with 5,000 participants in the streets of Cologne, while counter-demonstrators were only a few hundred.
Instead of simply rejoicing at the processes of decomposition in the ranks of the organisers of Pegida (and above all of Degida in Dresden, which at its last Monday demonstration could only mobilise 2,000 people) we should rather analyse the social and ideological bases of this right wing populist movement. Because if it is true that the mobilisations against Pegida were much more impressive than the Pegida mobilisations (except in Dresden) and that this most recent attempt to create a racist and Islamophobic mass movement seems to have foundered, there is on the other hand in Germany a broad latent base for this kind of radicalisation which could at any time manifest itself if there are new initiatives of the Pegida type.
The Hungarian ruling party’s anti-woman campaign is part and parcel of their larger agenda.
The latest from Europe is not good. Syriza appears to have backtracked in negotiations, and Germany is seeking total surrender.
Experience proves that left-wing movements can come to be in government, but nevertheless do not hold power. Democracy, in other words the exercise of power by the People and for the People, requires much more. The problem is currently being faced in Greece with SYRIZA, and will have to be faced in Spain with Podemos (if that party wins the general elections in late 2015), as it was faced in the past, in Venezuela with the election of Hugo Chávez as president in December 1998, in Bolivia with Evo Morales in 2005, in Ecuador with Rafael Correa in December 2006, or several decades earlier with Salvador Allende in Chile in 1970.
On Thursday, January 15, at 10.30 pm, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) decided to abandon the ceiling exchange rate of 1.20 Swiss francs for €1 that it had defended since 6 September 2011 at a cost of 300 billion francs (of which around 100 billion, it seems, were spent in the last two weeks). This thunderclap preceded by six days the expected decision of the European Central Bank (ECB) to buy in particular the public debts of member states to the amount of €60 billion per month over 19 months, and by ten days the widely announced victory of Syriza in the Greek elections on 25 January.
No amount of mockery would have been more pronounced than the holding of the Tea and Tribal Festival at Banarhat, in the Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal, under the “auspices” of the Backward Classes Welfare Department, Government of West Bengal. The programme held between February 15-17, 2015 intends to “provide a platform to display tribal talents” said the official invitation. This charade is emblematic of the larger spoof that continues with around two million tea-plantation workers of India.