Archive for 'European Union'
The abandonment of the proposed floor price from the Australian ETS scheduled to start in 2015 is a political, not an environmental, decision. It means the Gillard government can say we are on track to be part of a global market in permits, although that market will do little or nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if the price remains low. The neoliberal Greens have sold us yet another market dud.
If two years ago the European ruling class had “no unified strategy or coherent response”, it is clearer now. Smash, grab, hold on and try to weather both the economic storm and the wave of popular resistance that is being provoked. What remains unclear is how exactly they will be able to do so.
The anti-capitalist left in Greece argues for a “default from below” or a “people’s default”. Cancelling the debt on the initiative of workers would mean pain for the banks and gains for working people. The cost of interest payments to banks has escalated from around 10 billion euros a year back in 2007, when the crisis started, to 18 billion euros now. If Greece stopped paying these vast sums, there would be no need to close schools and hospitals or to cut wages and pensions. The entire wage bill for the civil service is 16 billion euros—smaller than the interest payments.
As the euro crisis comes to a head, it will only add to the economic and politically instability of a world still reeling from the Great Recession and its aftermath. Those who want to organize for an alternative need to prepare now to meet that challenge.
European Finance Ministers have put together a $1 trillion rescue package for Greece and the next possible dominoes in European capitalism’s fall – Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland. Italy’s public debt, at 115% of GDP, for example, is the same level as Greece’s. This rescue package is for German and French banks to whom these countries are heavily [...]
Class struggle is just so old hat, isn’t it? Well, as 2 million striking Greek workers show, maybe not. The stakes are high. The Socialist Party Pasok won the Greek elections last year on a program of defending working class living standards and social services against attacks from the Conservative government. Socialist Prime Minister Papandreou [...]
The situation in Greece, both economic and industrial, is on a knife edge. It has the potential to spread. The crisis of capitalism is far from over.