poverty

The many faces of Greece's Yanis Varoufakis

He is an economist, academic, poet, blogger, video game consultant, libertarian Marxist, motorbike rider and accidental fashion icon. Now he’s the holder of possibly the most difficult job in the world: Greece’s finance minister.

Meet Yanis Varoufakis, SYRIZA Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s right hand man and the key negotiator between Greece and its creditors.

In downtown Athens, Varoufakis is well liked among the public. He is the definitive cosmopolitan, self-made man who sees himself as a citizen of Europe as much as Greece.

SYRIZA's support grows, laws targetting social crisis drafted

Support for the Greek government headed by radical left party SYRIZA is growing, new polls show. The polls also found high support for SYRIZA's negotiations with its creditors, which secured a deal to extend its loans package by four months.

The deal came with significant concessions to the institutions that have imposed austerity on Greece, which led to strong criticisms from SYRIZA's Left Platform.

Venezuela: US, elite launch new attacks on democracy

Venezuela has faced new attempts to subvert its democracy and roll-back the pro-poor process of social change known as the Bolivarian revolution, which aims to build a “socialism of the 21st century”.

The attacks have taken the form of new US-imposed sanctions, an economic war by private business owners to cause shortages and what Venezuelan officials say is a thwarted coup plot to overthrow the government.

On February 25, Venezuelan National Assembly president Diosdado Cabello presented evidence relating the the coup plot thwarted earlier in the month.

Greece wins deal, breathing space, but made to pay high cost

Greece’s new SYRIZA government submitted its list of proposed economic reforms to the Eurogroup (the finance ministers of eurozone nations) on February 23 as a precondition for its international creditors to approve a four-month loan extension. The deal was signed on February 20.

With Greece’s existing loan arrangement expiring on February 28 and bankruptcy looming, a last-minute deal was finally agreed after three weeks of intense negotiations. The talks had been characterised by daily — sometimes hourly — twists and turns, claims and counterclaims, leaks and threats.

European Left: Greece bridging agreement first step to ending austerity

The SYRIZA government's list of reforms, drawn up as part of its temporary four-month loan extension deal, was accepted by the Eurogroup on February 24.

In a February 25 statement, the Party of the European Left (EL) said: "The fight for democracy and against austerity in Europe is far from being finished, but this bridging agreement is a very important first step.

Despite vote, Europe's elites seek to make Greece bleed

After days of fraught negotiations, a temporary agreement was finally reached on February 20 between the Greek government and its Eurozone creditors to extend Greece's loan agreement.

It came a day after the German government scuttled a Greece proposal for a six-month extension to its loans program, which was set to run out at the end of the month.

John Pilger: 'The US hates Venezuela's independence'

Independent journalist and filmmaker John Pilger was interviewed Michael Albert on the determination of the US and its allies to overthrow Venezuela's elected government and destroy the Bolivarian revolution begun by late president Hugo Chavez.

Greece eyewitness speaking tour with Green Left correspondent

Radical leftist party SYRIZA has swept to power in Greece promising to end austerity and threatening to spark an anti-austerity fightback across Europe.

Green Left Weekly's European correspondent and Socialist Alliance member Dick Nichols, usually based in Barcelona, was in Athens for the historic win. He is speaking across the country about SYRIZA's challenge to austerity and elite rule.

Greece rejects 'absurd' Europe debt deal

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.

Podemos threatens Spanish establishment

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.

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