IV 493 February 2016 available to download
Everyone understands that the coming year will see Russia immersed in an economic crisis, one which will almost inevitably entail a social and political crisis. It was already over a year ago that Vladimir Putin, while taking part in his favorite genre of television, “direct association with the people,” assured viewers that the crisis was a matter of temporary difficulties which would be successfully overcome within a year or two. These assertions are not simply a propagandist’s device, but a reflection of deeply-rooted elements of the consciousness of Russia’s ruling elite, accustomed as they are to switching out strategy for tactics and reacting to challenges as they arise. This consciousness is the result of an unbroken decade of increase in oil prices during which the entire domestic economy was tightly bound to the export of natural resources.
Historically, myths have served to explain complex concepts or to put together embellished versions of reality. The European Union has been built on plenty of myths. One of them tells us that 60 years ago, Europe came up with a plan: European countries would come together to ensure that the region’s history of exclusion, xenophobia, and war is not repeated. The number of member states gradually increased, from six states to the current 28. Meanwhile, borders were opened for the exchange of goods, services, people and capital.
Since the very beginning the SAP has participated actively in the struggle for the closure of the nuclear power stations at Tihange and Doel We stand for a nuclear phase-out, both because of the immediate risk posed by some reactors, as well as the long-term threat posed by nuclear waste. We will not be fooled by the interests of the 1% of the population or by the governments which together possess almost all the shares of Electrabel.
In this brief text I reflect on the international context and the European crisis on the basis of the experience of Portugal under the Troika and the political change that has happened since then. The first part presents a map for 2016, the second deals with Europe, the struggle for the restructuring of the debt and the question of exit from the Euro.
The two-day strike on the SNCB and above all the previous capitulation of the union leaders in Flanders, sadly once more exposed the dead end that the leaderships of the ACV and the ABVV have led the trade union movement to. The decision of the leadership of ACV-Transcom and ACOD-Rail in Flanders to announce to the media that there would be no strike in Flanders under any circumstances a few days before the announced start of the strike (according to many even at least initially a purely personal decision of Secretaries Luc Piens (ACV Transcom) and Ludo Sempels (ACOD-Rail)) was not just a stab in the back of the Brussels and Wallonian colleagues, but also brought the deep divisions about the attitude within the trade union movement to the right-wing government to light again.
Bernie Sanders’ campaign is sweeping like a meteor across the political sky. After a dead heat with Hillary Clinton in the Iowa caucuses and a smashing victory in New Hampshire, his challenge to the establishment is no longer discounted as an amusing sideshow in the world of so-called “real politics.”
Open letter to the signatories of the declaration “Let us mobilise against dictatorships, imperialist aggression and Daesh. We reject the politics of ‘national security’, racism and austerity”10 February 2016
This open letter to the signatories of the declaration “Let us mobilise against dictatorships, imperialist aggression and Daesh. We reject the politics of ‘national security’, racism and austerity” is being published by International Viewpoint with some delay. We have been hoping to receive a response from the signatories (all or some) of the original declaration. As soon as we receive such a statement we will publish it.
“They hit us in the stomach. The revolution, and we as social movements, haven’t been able to deal with the problem of food.” Marisa, community activist in La Vega, a day after the election.
On 30 January demonstrations took place throughout France around these demands: • Immediate lifting of state of emergency and the permanent state of exception; • Abandonment of the introduction of the state of emergency and the possibility of removing French nationality status into the constitution; • Stop the repression and stigmatization of the demonstrators and activists social movements, migrants, Muslims or those assumed to be, the popular districts; • Respect for the freedom to demonstrate, assemble and of expression.
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