Talks between Eurozone finance ministers and Greek officials abruptly broke down on February 16 after Greece was offered a deal that it said was “unacceptable”. Both sides ended debt-restructuring negotiations in Brussels, creating pessimism that a deal will be reached before a February 28 deadline. A draft agreement offered by the eurozone proposed that Greece accept a six-month extension of its bailout under existing bailout conditions.
Following SYRIZA’s victory in the Greek election on January 25, a number of commentators have turned their attention toward Spain, where the left-wing Podemos party, which originally emerged from the Indignados protest movement, has been receiving strong polling numbers since the end of 2014.
The New York Times reported on January 26 that “a CIA drone strike in Yemen … killed three suspected al Qaeda fighters on Monday.” How did they know the identity of the dead? As usual, it was in part because “American officials said.” There was not a whiff of scepticism about this claim despite the fact that “a senior American official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, declined to confirm the names of the victims” and “a CIA spokesman declined to comment”.
A series of coordinated early morning police raids in south-west Dublin have seen at least seventeen people – including several left-wing politicians – arrested for attending a peaceful rally against water charges last November, amid claims of “political policing” and intimidation. Shortly before 7am on Monday February 9, six police arrested Anti-Austerity Alliaaul Murphy TDnce (AAA) TD and Socialist Party member Paul Murphy at his home while he was still in his pyjamas, having breakfast with his children.
Actions in solidarity with Greece’s anti-austerity government are being planned across Europe and beyond as Greece’s left-wing SYRIZA-led government confronts a European elite determined to destroy its pro-people platform. Plans for protests to support Greece came as international institutions failed to reach an agreement with the SYRIZA government, TeleSUR English said on February 11. Talks were set to resume on February 16.
The European political and financial elite reacted with horror to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's opening speech to parliament on February 5. In his speech, he ruled out an extension of the financial bailout and the accompanying harsh austerity measures that have plunged the economy into a 1930s-style depression. On February 9, European leaders lined up to warn the SYRIZA government that its proposals, which have included a partial write-off of the country's immense foreign debt, would be rejected by other European nations.
Rosewater Written & directed by Jon Stewart Starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Kim Bodnia In cinemas now Written and directed by Jon Stewart of The Daily Show fame, Rosewater is a film set in Iran about the ever-present danger of an unaccountable government. This film is based on Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari’s memoir And Then They Came For Me, detailing his jailing by the Iranian regime. While it focuses on the Iranian government, the film should also provoke reflection on the actions of Western governments, including Australia’s.
Sport is a huge feature of Australian society, and the way it is promoted helps shape our view of men and women. So it was refreshing to see a female sports commentator, Stephanie Brantz, leading the discussion on the ABC during the men’s football (soccer) Asian Cup held last month in Australia. The resources and media dedicated to this event, however, is something that women athletes and sports teams can only dream about. Many women athletes and teams have achieved great success, but only a few achieve the esteem and popularity of Dawn Fraser or Kathy Freeman.
Greece, Venezuela discuss cooperation Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has invited the newly-elected Greek prime minister to Caracas, TeleSUR English said on February 9. “I have invited Alexis Tsipras, comrade Alexis, to visit us as soon as he can, here in Venezuela,” Maduro told Venezuelan public TV. “He plans to come to Latin America. He mentioned all the pressures that he is under. Because of a savage, savage neoliberal system that has been applied in Greece.” Tsipras expressed an interest in touring Latin America, starting with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
The following statement was released on February 10 by Parti Sosialis Malaysia secretary general S. Arutchelvan after the conviction of opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leader Anwar Ibrahim on sodomy charges, in a show trial condemned by international legal observers. * * * Parti Sosialis Malaysia is appalled with the disgraceful Judgement by the highest court in the nation on Anwar’s “Sodomy II” case.