By Roger Annis, Dec 21, 2014
Progressive politial change is gathering steam in many countries of Europe. This is outlined in a series of recent articles in the invaluable web publication, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal. Here is a summary of recent articles posted to Links and describing the situation in many European countries:
Greece is selecting a president. If Parliament fails to arrive at the necessary two-thirds majority to select a candidate, the issue goes to a general election. Parliament has failed once to reach the required number; it has two more chances or an election will be called for early in 2015. The left-wing SYRIZA party is leading the polls.
* Why we must support a SYRIZA government, by Andrew Burgin, Left Unity (UK), Dec. 10, 2014
* What a SYRIZA government will do, by Alexis Tsipras, leader and presidential candidate of SYRIZA, Dec. 20, 2014
Latest news on Dec. 29: Greece’s government has fallen. A general election to the Parliament will take place on January 29.
A general strike rocked Belgium on Dec. 15. A series of very large protests took place in the country in the weeks before the general strike. Pictured above is a large protest in Nov. 2014. Read:
* Belgium: Towards a major confrontation after successful general strike, by Daniel Tanturo, Dec 17, 2014.
A new left wing party, Podemos, was launched earlier this year in Spain. It is now the second largest party by membership in the country and it is leading in the polls. In an speech translated and published in Jacobin magazine (also available to watch on video in Spanish), Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias explains his views on the strategy needed by workers and other popular classes in the struggle for political and economic power: http://links.org.au/node/4188ing class sturggle
Three marches against austerity in the past two months have shaken Ireland. Several hundred thousand people marched in each protest. They are opposing austerity measures, including hikes to the price charged by the state water utility to each household. Story here: http://links.org.au/node/4193
A moderate, left party coalition now governs in the German state of Thuringia in eastern Germany. The lead party in the government is the center-left party Die Linke (The Left). The other two parties in the coalition are the Green Party and the Social Democratic Party. Read about it here:
Italy, too, is being rocked by anti-austerity protest. A general strike closed down the country on Dec. 12. Workers and young people oppose a “reform” to labour law that would make it easier for employers to fire workers and deny compensation to them. CBC News story here. The rate of unemployment of youth in Italy exceeds 40 per cent!