Europe’s aggressive external market
access agenda, combined with its push internally for market reforms in the
interest of competitiveness, poses new threats to workers in the North and South and will need a transnational trade union response.
2011 witnessed the implementation of some of the most comprehensive undemocratic structural changes in the EU since the Lisbon Treaty. Alternative proposals for a progressive exit from the euro crisis are laid out here.
Marica Frangakis, Nicos Poulantzas Institute, Athens
07 October 2011
Every story needs a narrative, an explanation of why things happened the way they did. In such a narrative lie the answers of how to avoid/correct similar developments in the future and how to propagate positive ones.
The fiscal treaty was voted on in a referendum in Ireland on 31st May and was approved by a margin of 60% to 40% (with a turnout of barely 50% of eligible voters). To understand the significance of the treaty and the referendum result, it is necessary to understand the origins of the Irish and European debt crises.
Behind the deaths, military repression and violence that has flared up on the streets of Bangkok lies another story of a country following the dictates of the IMF and the markets, which increased inequalities and unemployment for many Thais and created the resentment that will continue to fuel conflict in Thailand.
The Celtic Tiger might just find its strength and appetite for action in the growth of left leaning electorates and local citizens initiatives. The tailspin of economy caused by austerity policies should be countered by a transparent debt audit.
As images of Pakistan coping with the crisis and of its destitute people were being shown on European television, a French air force helicopter was transporting the richest man in Pakistan to his most extravagant European property, a 16th century chateau.
In a recent editorial comment, The Economist issued a solemn call to all believers in global capitalism not to despair, not to panick, and to do nothing that could endanger the capitalist system (October 18-24, 2008). The magazine invoked the words and spirit of its founder, the Scottish businessman, James Wilson, who, about 165 years ago, gave the paper the philosophy of "economic liberty".
Alternatives to neo-liberal globalisation are needed that not only change people-to-people and South-South relations and situations, but also South-North relations and inter-actions to the benefit of all of humanity and our common planetary home.