Europe

Confronting Catalonia: a day in Spanish parliament

The Spanish congress met in Madrid on April 8 to hear a petition from the parliament of Catalonia: that the power to hold a non-binding referendum on its political future be granted to Catalonia under Section 150 of the Spanish constitution.

Italy: New gov't gives fresh face to austerity

Italy’s new centre-left Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has proclaimed his intention to end corruption and economic woe. But there are doubts as to whether his government's actions will benefit the country's working people.

At 39, Renzi, a member of Italy’s Democratic Party, is the youngest PM in Italy's history. His youth and optimistic rhetoric have earned him the title of “Italy’s Obama”.

Greece: Open war against the majority in favour of the rich

In yet another parliamentary coup, new austerity measures were passed through parliament, albeit by a narrow majority, on March 30.

The bill contained three articles, which seem to give the final blow to the remaining worker and pension rights, the country’s economy and public ownership of land and services.

As the bill was passed, protesters outside parliament were beaten, tear-gassed and detained by special police squads.

Bosnia-Herzegovina: Tuzla — the unknown workers' capital of Europe

Why does Bosnia-Herzegovina inspire so little interest and curiosity in the media and political class when, on the contrary, Ukraine is front-page news?

Is it because its name evokes the war that, 20 years ago, claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of men and women more than 200,000 dead and 600,000 exiles in the face of virtual indifference in the West as to what was happening one and a half hours by plane from Paris? Or because it often wakes up to the call of the muezzin?

Britain: First Left Unity conference builds anti-austerity alternative

“In a few short months,” principle speaker for Left Unity Salman Shaheen said in a March 31 New Statesman article, the new party “has attracted more than 1,800 members. With a new member joining every 10 minutes over the weekend, the party is going from strength to strength.”

France: Poll a tale of missed left gains

Mainstream media coverage of the first round of France's March 23 local elections stressed the rise in support for the far-right, racist National Front (FN).

The only other stories found worthy of comment were the sharp decline in support for the ruling Socialist Party (PS) of president Francois Hollande and the rise in abstention to a record 36.5%.

Ukraine: Hypocrisy abounds as outside powers interfere

The United Nations general assembly voted on March 27 ― with 100 votes for, 11 against and 58 abstentions ― to not recognise the results of the March 16 referendum in Crimea. In the poll, most voted for the territory to leave Ukraine and join Russia.

The resolution was put by Ukraine and sponsored by the United States, the European Union and other Western powers, including Australia.

Millions-strong March for Dignity shakes Spain

All political forces in Spain are now straining to adjust to the huge 1 million to 2 million-strong March for Dignity demonstration in Madrid. On March 22, the march greeted the protest columns that had converged on Spain's capital from 12 outlying cities and towns over the previous week.

The enormous success of this initiative is still sinking in. How come an initiative that began outside the mainstream union confederations, the Workers Commissions (CCOO) and the General Workers Union (UGT), could mobilise so many people and eventually force them to declare their support?

Spain: Huge 'Marches for Dignity' converge in Madrid to demand end to austerity

The six columns of the “Marches for Dignity”, protest marches against austerity, corruption and the repression of social and civil rights in the Spanish state, reached Madrid on March 22. Hundreds of thousands of people took over the streets of Madrid that day. It was the crowning moment for a movement that began in early March with marches leaving from cities across the Spanish state.

Britain: Thousands demand 'people's budget', protest fresh austerity

Thousands of people protested against British Conservative Chancellor George Osborne's budget on March 19, the Morning Star said the next day. The protests were part of a national day of action called by the People's Assembly.

Across Britain, there were marches, rallies and festivals demanding a people's budget for Britain.

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