Europe

Left activist Ada Colau wins Barcelona mayor, traditional parties lose support across Spain

Popular left-wing activist activist Ada Colau has won Barcelona's May 24 mayoral elections. Running on the ticket of Barcelona Together, which united several left groups and grassroots activists, Colau came first with 25% of the vote.

Migration experts slam EU military plan

More than 300 migration experts and academics have condemned the European Union's plan of military intervention against the surge of smuggling boats heading to Europe across the Mediterranean Sea.

The academics’ strong condemnation of the plan comes after Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi compared the current migrant crisis to the 18th and 19th century slave trade. In a recent article for the New York Times, he wrote that “human traffickers are the slave traders of the 21st century, and they should be brought to justice”.

Britain: Gains for Greens cause for hope

Britain's May 7 general elections, in which the Conservative Party won an outright majority, produced a couple of silver linings on a very large black cloud.

One was the success of the Green Party of England and Wales. While the party did not sweep into Westminster, it made progress politically and in terms of votes.

Greece: Public hospitals shut down by strikes


Greek pensioners joined the march for a better healthcare in Athens.

Ireland votes 'Yes' to marriage equality in a landslide -- time for Australia to take the plunge

With what appears a landslide win amid a high turnout, all indications are Ireland has voted "yes" to marriage equality in a referendum on legalising same-sex marriages. This is the first time marriage equality has been put to a popular vote anywhere in the world, and makes Ireland the 21st nation to legalise same-sex marriages.

Greece: Negotiations hit crisis point, solidarity vital

Will Greece's SYRIZA-led government reach a last-minute deal with its creditors, the European Union (EU), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) - the “Troika” - to release the last €7.2 billion owed to the country under Greece's second bail-out agreement?

Ireland: All parties back 'Yes' vote in marriage equality referendum

With the support of all of the political parties in Dublin's parliament (the Dail), a May 22 referendum on same-sex marriage could bring official state recognition for Ireland’s gay community and their relationships for the first time.

Homosexuality in Ireland was decriminalised in 1993. The referendum could mark a further break from a culture which has for decades forced LGBTI members to live covertly or suppress their identity entirely.

The referendum has been opposed by most, though not all, of Ireland’s clergy. Polls have shown strong opposition among Ireland’s oldest age groups.

Ireland: Unions launch new platform for democratic and social renewal

A special May Day conference was convened on May 1 and 2 by the five trade unions affiliated to the Right2Water campaign, which is leading the huge struggle against water charges in Ireland.

The conference discussed a set of core principles that will underpin a “Platform for Renewal”, with the aim to unite left and progressive forces before the next general election.

Greece: SYRIZA insists it won't cross 'red lines'

“Greece avoided another financial crisis by paying about €500 million in wages to public sector workers, but suffered another downgrade of its credit rating,” The Guardian on May 16.

The payment came with Greece's SYRIZA-led government, that is seeking to break with austerity, locked in difficult talks with its creditors. Greece is seeking to release €7.2 billion in bailout funds to avoid a default and exit from the eurozone.

Why free education is so valuable — the experience from Denmark

I have never really thought about the impact free education has had on me. Where would my life be if I had to pay to get an education? I am from Denmark. I would certainly not be here in Australia; I might not even have gone to high school.

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