Dick Nichols

Dick Nichols, former trade union coordinator and national coordinator for the Socialist Alliance, covers European economy and politics from Barcelona. He has been active in socialist, union and environment movements since the 1970s.

Spain: Million-strong rally brings Catalan self-determination showdown closer

By some estimates, more than 1 million people came out across Catalonia on September 11 for Catalonia’s national day (the Diada) to show their support for Catalan sovereignty and — for most present — for Catalan independence from the Spanish state.

Spain and Portugal avoid EU sanctions — for now


Protest against austerity. Lisbon, 2013.

A month ago, on August 8, it became official — the high school governors agreed that the headmaster had acted correctly in not caning the two miscreant schoolboys.

Portugal's Left Bloc: 'We are competing for left hegemony'

It is hard to imagine a sharper contrast than that between the 10th National Convention of Portugal's Left Bloc, held in Lisbon from June 24 to 26, and its predecessor, held in the same city 18 months ago.

In 2014, the 9th National Convention of the radical left force — formed in 1999 to unite several left currents — had brought the organisation to the brink of a 50–50 split.

Spain: Left falls short in poll amid new deadlock

Spain: Left knocking at the door

The Spanish and European establishments have just days to stop the advance of the progressive electoral alliance United We Can in the June 26 general elections in the Spanish state. How are they doing? As matters stand, not well.

United We Can, formed in early May, brings together new anti-austerity party Podemos and the longer-standing United Left (IU), as well as broader coalitions in Catalonia (Together We Can), Galicia (In Tide) and Valencia (A La Valenciana).

Spain: Can left's economic plan reverse austerity?


United We Can.

United We Can — the united ticket made up of Podemos, the United Left, the green party Equo and three broader alliances in Catalonia, Galicia and the Valencian Country — is campaigning in the June 26 Spanish general elections on a plan to reverse economic austerity.

Spain: With Podemos and United Left joining forces, is a left government in sight?


United Left's Alberto Garzon and Podemos' Pablo Iglesias.

Five months after the December 20 election in Spain failed to produce a government, the country is returning to the polls in the most polarised contest since the end of the Franco dictatorship in 1977.

Greece: Creditors out to crush any trace of Syriza disobedience

It has taken only nine months for the third memorandum between the near-bankrupt Greek state and its creditors — the “Quartet” of the European Union (EU), European Central Bank (ECB), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Stability Mechanism (ESM) — to lurch to the brink of crisis.

That deal, which the Syriza-led government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras felt forced to swallow despite the Greek people rejecting an earlier version by over 60% in a referendum last July, will provide the country with €86 billion. About 90% of this will go to paying off debt.

Spain: Left denounces EU-Turkey refugee deal

The Spanish parliament was the scene of a sharp clash on April 6 over the March 18 European Union-Turkey “pact of shame” that will return up to 50,000 asylum seekers from Greece to Turkey. The asylum seekers — most fleeing from the Syrian civil war — will then be placed in an archipelago of detention centres.

Acting Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy, of the conservative People's Party (PP), defended the agreement, saying “things are getting better, we have a procedure”.

EU-Turkey refugee 'pact of shame' stirs outrage, solidarity

It is very hard to find words that can even begin to describe how progressive people all over Europe are viewing the “pact of shame” over refugees reached between the European Union and Turkey on March 18.

For €6 billion, the promise of accelerated EU access and a conditional end to Turkish citizens requiring visas to enter the EU, the agreement makes the repressive Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan the main cop controlling the flow of refugees towards Europe.

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