The French government’s labour reforms will scrap the 35 hour week and strip workers of protection from arbitrary dismissal. Activists have been opposing the proposed changes since the start of March, in a series of huge protests across the nation. Frédéric Lordon, author of Willing Slaves of Capital: Spinoza and Marx on Desire, addressed a rally in the Place de la République at the largest protest so far.
Members of the German Initiative “Eurexit” are individuals organized in the left party, unions, universities, social movements etc. They demand “an alternative to the Euro”, arguing that this is a precondition for overcoming authoritarian interventions by the EU and the ECB and for implementing political measures leading to “social justice, control of the financial markets and democratization.”
Here is the English Version of the Eurexit-Appeal
By Giancarlo Bergamini, June 26th 2016
A slow-moving train wreck
During the weeks leading up to the UK’s leave-or-remain referendum, the sufferings of Italy’s banks were in plain sight even to the casual observer. Arguably, the deep roots of that crisis trace back to the comatose state of the national economy (and only marginally to the misconduct of certain bankers, which, however, fills the bulk of press coverage), but it was incumbent on policymakers (not only the monetary authorities) to avert such an outcome. Discussing whether they have fulfilled their duty is the aim of this brief analysis.
Circumstantial evidence shows that the concerned institutions (Basel, European Commission, Eurogroup, European Central Bank and respective Italian lackeys), rather than securing the stability of the banking system, have notably contributed to triggering the crisis. Their policies have been implemented along two main lines of action: [Read more…]
Commenting on his EU referendum pledge in 2013 and the referendum on Scottish independence, British prime minister David Cameron claimed in 2014 that he would win the latter easily and put to bed the Scottish question for 20 years, and that the same would go for Europe. From the start, the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union was a political gamble to appease the euro sceptic Tory right and to curb the rise of the right wing populist UKIP, which reached a peak in the months prior to the 2015 UK General Election. The victory of the No campaign on Scottish independence and Cameron’s success at the General Election seemed to prove his strategy right.
The deal that Cameron finally reached with the EU on staying in offered greater guarantees of the City’s status as the euro-zone’s offshore financial centre, allowed EU migrants initially to be denied welfare benefits and put a special focus on liberalisation and ‘strengthening competitiveness’. So for Britain to remain a member of the EU would have meant even less ‘social Europe’ – a deal that content wise could hardly be supported even by the mildest social democrat. From a leftist perspective, this EU-deal versus Brexit as propagated by the Tory right and UKIP offered only a cynical choice between a rock and a hard place. [Read more…]
The conflict on the labour law reforms in France is currently one of the most burning issues in the Eurozone. We are witnessing a very sharp confrontation in one of the most powerful Eurozone countries: On the one side, the establishment tries to impose far-reaching ‘liberalization’ measures directed among other goals, at undermining collective bargaining –even if pushing them through requires a bypassing of current parliamentary rules. On the other hand, the French unions, movements and Civil Society have taken the streets in an impressive mobilization that has repeatedly brought the country to a standstill.
Despite the appearances, this is not just a domestic issue: Kenneth Haar, from Corporate Europe Observatory, has just published a very important analysis on the role of the EU- and the Eurozone-framework in bringing about these reforms. Haar’s report shows how the economic governance framework pushed through on the wake of the Eurozone crisis since 2010 creates very concrete pressure on France to implement exactly these reforms. [Read more…]