Liam Flenady

France: Amid debates, left gives solidarity to Greece

In the aftermath of the harsh deal for brutal austerity and mass privatisation imposed on Greece in the early hours of July 13, both Berlin and Paris are floating alternative “solutions” to the euro problem.

Germany, on the one hand, wants greater fiscal integration, whereas France is calling for the creation of a eurozone government as well as a dedicated finance minister.

The mainstream press is talking up the divisions between the two nations as fundamentally different perspectives on the euro — or even differences in political “culture”.

Europe divided over Greece: Popular voices demand democracy, elite push austerity

The message from the mainstream media and parties across Europe is Greece is to blame for its own predicament. But a growing grass-roots movement across the continent is pushing for an alternative approach that demands democracy, not austerity.

In a speech to the Belgian parliament on June 10, conservative Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel declared that “the end of the Greek holiday has sounded.”

Europeans take to streets to back Greece


More than 5000 people rallied in Brussels on June 21.

France: Right makes gains in local votes, left considers regroupment

French politics further confirmed its rightward trajectory after the second round of departmental elections on March 29.

There are 101 departments and 4108 councillor positions across the country. Departments are in charge of local roads, school buildings and buses, welfare allowances and various other local issues. But the elections also represent a barometer of the political situation in the country.

The governing nominally centre-left Socialist Party (PS) suffered a humiliating defeat against a right-wing united front headed by the centre-right Union for a Popular Movement (UMP).

After Paris attacks: Less freedom, more war?

More than 3.5 million people took to the streets of France on January 11 to support free speech and honour the victims of terrorist attacks on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hedbo and other targets that left 17 people dead, as well as three suspects.

France: Government support plummets, left demands alternative

A coalition of French left groups held nation-wide demonstrations on November 15 against the new austerity budget of the unpopular Socialist Party (PS) government.

The protests called for a redistribution of wealth from finance and big business to workers and the poor, creating jobs, increasing social security and cohesion, and beginning an ecological transition of society.

Called by the anti-austerity group Collective 3A, organisers said the protests drew 30,000 people in Paris. More than 30 other cities across France staged rallies, including several thousand in Toulouse.

Belgium: Huge march marks start of social resistance

Images of rioting protesters and burning cars in Brussels were published in mainstream media across the globe on November 7.

The previous day’s protest in Brussels did end in violent clashes, with 50 injured and 30 arrested, but it was the spirited but peaceful demonstration of 120,000 Belgians that was the key aspect of the day.

France: Protests erupt after green activist killed in anti-dam struggle

The controversial Sivens dam project in south-west France has been temporarily suspended after the death of 21-year-old activist Remi Fraisse while protesting at the site on October 25.

An autopsy found that Fraisse had likely died from a police stun grenade that hit him in the back.

Protests erupted across France in the immediate aftermath of the incident.

France: Left Front debates ‘uniting the people’ vs ‘uniting the left’

About 200 activists from France’s Left Front gathered in Paris on Saturday 6 to discuss the group’s future. The Left Front has been in limbo for the past few months after disagreements about strategy led to a weak performance in the European and local council elections in May.

The meeting took place at a time of controversy in French politics. Socialist Party (PS) President Francois Hollande had sacked the cabinet and appointed a new one — for the second time since the start of the year — and the far-right National Front (FN) topped the presidential polls for the first time.

Denmark: Fresh openings for Red-Green Alliance as it marks 25 years

The Danish Red-Green Alliance (RGA) marked 25 years since its founding at a national conference on May 16 to 18.

A radical left unity project marking 25 years in existence is itself a cause for celebration, but this conference was able to celebrate much more. After about 20 years as a fringe party in Danish politics, the RGA has recently emerged as a significant force.

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