austerity

The Italian government is facing a very delicate situation, with its two major measures in the process of being ratified by the parliament, writes Daniele Fulvi.

Both the far-right League and the populist 5 Star Movement (M5S) that make up the coalition government know their credibility depends on the approval of economic measures that will provide for the citizenship income (the key point of M5S’s agenda) and the security decree (strongly advocated by the League’s leader Matteo Salvini).

French police attacked demonstrators with tear gas and water cannons on November 24 as hundreds of thousands demanded President Emmanuel Macron resign over the rising cost of living.

The “yellow jacket” protests, named for the yellow high-vis jackets French motorists are obliged to have in their cars in case of breakdown, were sparked by rises in fuel duty that the government says is aimed at encouraging people to switch to electric cars.

Demonstrators built barricades in the streets and some ripped up paving stones and starting fires.

In 2019, European and legislative elections will take place in Portugal in a national political context different from anywhere else in the European Union (EU), where austerity policies still reign and the racist and xenophobic right is rising, writes Dick Nichols from Lisbon.

Over the past three years in Portugal, the minority Socialist Party (PS) government has been supported from outside by the Left Bloc, the Communist Party of Portugal (PCP) and the Ecologist Party-The Greens (PEV).

On July 6, Haiti exploded. By the tens of thousands, Haitians poured into the streets of Port-au-Prince to demand the resignation of President Jovenel Moise. Robert Roth looks at the roots of the rising that ousted the prime minister and forced a government back down.

The protests were sparked by the government’s announcement that it would cut or remove subsidies on fuel. This led to a 38% rise in petrol prices, with the price of kerosene jumping 50% to US$4 a gallon.

It had been planned to be a lavish celebration on the Pnyx hill next to the Acropolis in Athens where the citizenry would hold popular assemblies in the ancient democratic period.

The angry aftermath of the forest fires last month put paid to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras hosting European Union and other luminaries in such a way. The event was to mark the formal end of the country’s subordination to the austerity memorandums enforced on it by the “troika” of the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund.

New South African President Cyril Ramaphosa made headlines when the ANC leader backed legal changes that could allow land reform to redistribute land from traditionally powerful white owners to the Black majority.

But this populist posture aside, the new administration is seeking to deepen pro-corporate neoliberalism and austerity.

In the middle of the harshest winter for more than a decade, Britain finds itself still gripped by the icy fingers of neoliberal austerity.

Protesters gathered in New Delhi, India, to protest against the 2018 national budget released by the right-wing Bhartiya Janta Party government, labelling it “anti-people” and “anti-labour”.

A wave of street demonstrations have spread across major cities in Sudan in protest against new austerity measures pushed by the North African country’s government.

Gilbert Achcar, a socialist writer who has long followed the Arab world, says the current Tunisian revolt, with protests against spending cuts and austerity breaking out across the country this month, was a “foreseeable” continuation of the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011.

Archar spoke to Calian Mace and Hala Kodmani in a January 14 interview first published in French daily Liberation. The version below is reprinted from International Viewpoint.

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