Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category


The 3eme Voie Movement is organizing a large demonstration in Paris on February 2nd for the people’s struggle  against imperialism.  Militant activists from France, Quebec, Russia, Serbia,  Switzerland, Syria, Belgium and more will be attending.

New Resistance calls on all comrades capable of attending to do their part.

More info here.


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Genocidal action of the Croatian army “Storm” began on the 4 August 1995, at 4 am with the attack of the U.S. Air Force on the guards of the Krajina Serbs. Then the Croats, with the support of NATO, attacked Serbian positions and populated areas of northern Dalmatia, Kordun, Bania and Lika, at the front 700 kilometers long. During four days of ethnic cleansing of unprecedented scale, about 250 000

Serbs have been expelled from their centuries old homes, around 2000 were killed, of which 1196 civilians, and a huge material damage has been made to Serbian property. The wave of Serbian refugees who fled to Bosnia and Yugoslavia, was the biggest in Europe since the World War II. The “Storm” is still a crime without punishment.
Yet this is what happens at the Hague:
from BBC

A war crimes court in The Hague has overturned the convictions of two Croatian generals charged with atrocities against Serbs in the 1990s.

Appeals judges ordered the release of Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac.

In 2011 they were sentenced to 24 years and 18 years respectively over the killing of ethnic Serbs in an offensive to retake Croatia’s Krajina region.

The men arrived in Zagreb later on Friday to a hero’s welcome. But their release was condemned in Serbia.

‘Final judgement’On Friday morning, the presiding judge at the tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Theodor Meron, said the court had entered “a verdict of acquittal” for Gen Gotovina and Gen Markac, both aged 57.

Continue reading the main story


 Tim Judah Balkans analyst

The acquittal has been universally welcomed in Croatia and, equally, almost universally condemned in Serbia.

It means that no Croats from Croatia (as opposed to Croats from Bosnia-Hercegovina) have been convicted by the UN’s war crimes tribunal.

For Croats, this vindicates their belief that their generals are heroes and not war criminals; and for Serbs it consolidates a deeply held belief that the tribunal is a kangaroo court, whose main aim was to vilify and convict Serbs.

The core of the case was that the generals were part of a conspiracy, a “joint criminal enterprise” along with late Croatian President Franjo Tudjman to “permanently remove” the Serbs from what was then their self-proclaimed breakaway state in Croatia.

In simple language, they were accused of a plot to ethnically cleanse the region and up to 200,000 did indeed flee or were ethnically cleansed.

The appeal reverses that finding and hence says that there was no joint criminal enterprise.

The fact that crimes were committed during the Croatian retaking of Krajina is not contested and there have been convictions in the Croatian courts for this.

But the core of the matter today is that the tribunal in The Hague is saying that there was no over-arching plan to, in effect, commit war crimes.

Last year the two men were convicted of murder, persecution and plunder.

Judges at the time ruled that they were part of a criminal conspiracy led by late Croatian President Franjo Tudjman to “permanently and forcibly remove” the Serb civilian population from Krajina.

But on Friday, Judge Meron said there had been no such conspiracy.

The appeals judges also said the 2011 trial chamber had “erred in finding that artillery attacks” ordered by Gen Gotovina and Gen Markac on Krajina towns “were unlawful”.

The two former generals have always argued that they did not deliberately attack civilians.

Court officials also said prosecutors would not appeal against the ruling, describing it as “the final judgement”.

Neither defendant showed emotion in court, but their supporters in the gallery hugged each other and clapped after the verdict.

In Zagreb’s main square, thousands of people – who watched the proceedings live on giant TV – burst into applause.


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Swiss environmentalists force referendum on immigration after collecting 100,000 signatures for new law.

The Ecopop group gathered 120,700 certified signatures which is well over the 100,000 required to bring about the nationwide poll.

They are concerned that natural resources are under pressure from overpopulation, in a country of eight million people of whom over a quarter are foreign.

Ecopop claim they are opposed to xenophobia and racism but say they need to limit the intake of new people to avoid urbanisation and help preserve agricultural land. The Swiss People’s Party, a right-wing group, have also collected enough signatures to force a referendum on toughening immigration quotas.

They believe immigration is to blame for rising rent costs and busy public transport systems.

The environmental group demand that annual population growth through immigration to be capped at 0.2% and a tenth of foreign aid money to be spent on birth control measures abroad.

Switzerland’s population has risen over 15 per cent since 1990. It was shown to be an attractive place to work in March with a low unemployment rate and comparatively high salaries.

Former director of the Swiss environment department and current Ecopop member Philippe Roch told the BBC: ‘The pressure on land, nature and the countryside is considerable, and quality of life is continuously deteriorating due to a lack of living space.’


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Clashes, protests and strikes have once again hit eurozone countries over harsh economic conditions and tough austerity measures in the bloc, Press TV reports.

Hundreds of protesting shipyard workers in Greece have broken into the grounds of the country’s Defense Ministry in Athens. The protestors pushed through the ministry gates attempting to enter the ministerial offices.

The shipyard workers say they have not been paid for several months, some remain unpaid for three years. The police forces have clashed with the protestors and have arrested and injured several workers.

Protests are becoming an everyday scene in Greece as the country battles with its economic crisis.

Greece has been at the epicenter of the eurozone debt crisis and is experiencing its fifth year of recession, while harsh austerity measures have left about half a million people without jobs.

One in every five Greek workers is currently out of work, banks are in a shaky position, and pensions and salaries have been slashed by up to 40 percent.

Meanwhile, in Italy the police that broke up protests days ago have gone on a protest themselves. Tens of Italian police officers and heads of labor unions rallied in front of the Ministry of Labor.

The move is in protest to Prime Minister Mario Monti’s austerity measures. The Italian government has cut the police budget and has increased the retirement age to 62.

This comes as Italy’s main cities were yesterday paralyzed due to a 24-hour strike staged by public transporters in protest to poor working conditions and the government’s failure to renew their contracts.

Over the past decade, Italy has been the slowest growing economy in the eurozone.

A transport strike, organized by several worker unions, is also in place in Portugal. The striking workers are angry about the government’s decision to increase taxes and introduce more cuts to public spending.

Various EU member states have been struggling with deep economic stagnancy since the bloc’s financial crisis began roughly five years ago. The debt crisis began in Greece and later spread to Ireland, Portugal and even the much bigger economy of Spain.

As a result, the member states started implementing tough austerity measures in a bid to prevent facing double-dip recessions.

The austerity measures have only resulted in growing anger among the most affected people, sacked or low-income workers and students.


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ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Europe’s fragile financial calm was shattered Wednesday as investors worried that violent anti-austerity protests in Greece and Spain’s debt troubles showed that the continent still cannot contain its financial crisis.

Police fired tear gas Wednesday at rioters hurling gasoline bombs and chunks of marble during Greece’s largest anti-austerity demonstration in six months. The protests were part of a 24-hour general strike, the latest test for Greece’s nearly four-month-old coalition government and the new spending cuts it plans to push through.

The brief but intense clashes by several hundred rioters among the 60,000 people protesting in Athens came a day after anti-austerity protests rocked the Spanish capital.

In Madrid, thousands of angry protesters again swarmed as close as they could get Wednesday night to Parliament, watched by a heavy contingent of riot police. There was no fresh violence, but the demonstrators cut off traffic on one of the city’s major thoroughfares at the height of the evening commute.

The protesters chanted for the release of 34 people detained Tuesday night in clashes that injured 64 others. They also demanded new elections to oust Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and his conservative government, which has imposed cutbacks and tax hikes, deepening the gloom in a country struggling with recession and unemployment of nearly 25 percent, the highest among the 17 nations using the common euro currency.

Spain’s central bank warned Wednesday the country’s economy continues to shrink “significantly,” sending the Spanish stock index tumbling and its borrowing costs rising.

Across Europe, stock markets fell as well. Germany’s DAX dropped 2 percent while the CAC-40 in France fell 2.4 percent and Britain’s FTSE 100 slid 1.4 percent. The euro was also hit, down a further 0.3 percent at $1.2840.

The turmoil Wednesday ended weeks of relative calm and optimism among investors that Europe and eurozone might have turned a corner. Markets have been breathing easier since the European Central Bank said earlier this month it would buy unlimited amounts of government bonds to help countries with their debts.

The move by the ECB helped lower borrowing costs for indebted governments from levels that only two months ago threatened to bankrupt Spain and Italy. Stocks also rose. Media speculation about the timing and cost of a eurozone breakup or a departure by troubled Greece faded.

However, the economic reality in Europe remained dire. Several countries have had to impose harsh new spending cuts, tax rises and economic reforms to meet European deficit targets and, in Greece’s case, to continue getting vital aid. The austerity has hit citizens with wage cuts and fewer services, and left their economies struggling through recessions as reduced government spending has undermined growth.

“Yesterday’s anti-austerity protests in Madrid, together with today’s 24-hour strike in Greece, are both reminders that rampant unemployment and a general collapse in living standards make people desperate and angry,” said David Morrison, senior market strategist at GFT Markets.

“There are growing concerns that the situation across the eurozone is set to take a turn for the worse,” he said.


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by Juan Antonion Llopart, MSR

The “mermaiden songs” of the secessionists, heralding that independence would guarantee a great economic improvement for the Catalonians, has produced a new type of independence supporters, who that promote the “economical independentism”, an indenpendentism totally selfish and unsupportive, that has penetrated in a lot of Catalonians. This independentism arises from an argument that uses a part of reason, for being Catalonia one of the autonomic communities more disadvantaged in the resource sharing by the State, to be manipulated as a missile by the Catalonian nationalism, that magnifies and decorates it on its behalf.

It is lamentable, for no using another word, that a lot of Catalonians have raised the “estelada” (stared flag) for an economic issue. This gives, without any doubt, the valour that the individual confers to the national sentiment: “you let me to live well, I hoist your flag”. But we cannot think this is an isolated case, a Catalonian case, no, in the rest of Spain occurs the same thing. That dispassion for politics, for what occurs around us meanwhile it does not affect us, that selfishness fed by the subsidized society, has produced that a lot of Spaniards look with indifference the possibility of an independent Catalonia.

Spain is a common project that joins some peoples, twinned for centuries. To deny it, is to deny the reality. This common project must be understood as supportive and inclusive; any fissure in this mean, sponsored by nationalist selfishness or irrational centralisms produces fissures. Any politic party spirit seeking votes in areas of Spain ruled by the same party, produces unsolidarity and inequality. With the money of all Spaniards cannot favour more ones than others by political interests, so it cannot be pretended that the money produced by one be only for it, sponsoring the unsolidarity between those who share the same common project.

The treatment that Catalonia receipts by some that think ridiculous its self identity, and try to remove it, denying the fact of be official the bilingualism, despising its language, its traditions, equating these to something residual in the name of an absorbent Spanish nationalism, centralist and castrator of any identitary sentiment, only produces and gives reasons to that selfish Catalonian nationalism, that acts as it does that centralizer Spanish nationalism that does not understand nor thinks in that will of common project.

The best alley that have the Catalonians that are against (and we are against) to the independence of Catalonia is not in the rest of the most of Spaniards nor that amputated army, serving the Yankee designs, more worried in serving its master in Afghanistan or in everywhere in the world that in defending the national unity; yet let in the Spanish monarchy, what if had something of dignity, it would have “cogido las de Villadiego” (they would have gone away) and gone to the exile, all of them, in Botswana, joining to the elephants. The best ally is in Europe. In fact, France would feel in its self nation the Catalonian conflict, the Basque one and they would have to add the conflicts of Corsica and Bretagne. Belgium it would be divided, Italia would watch how it would raise the secessionist will in the North,…The Europe of the one hundred flags would start, but not in a Europe Nation nor in a Europe of the Homelands recognizig the identities, it would be in a Europe formed by selfish microstates, that would compete between them for share the staff of servants of countries as China or the USA.

After the independence demonstration, a lot of people have looked to another place. It has been heard anywhere a firm answer, overwhelming and bold (except the insults of ever) of those who think that the diversity of Spain is our nature and who are not willing to give an inch in that common project. We last. We last in convoking an unitary demonstration of Catalonians, that without symbols nor party spirits, gather in the St. James Plaza of Barcelona, bearing only Spanish flags, without coats of arms and “senyeras” (Catalonian flags), proclaiming in an unitary manifest the assertion of the Spanish Catalonia, solidary and inclusive with the rest of peoples of spain. And inthat demonstration everyone is welcome, except the secessioners and the secessionists, the anti-Catalonians and the neolerrouxists of the PxC of Anglada. It is time that the Catalonians, without absurd complexes, move , themselves, and in an outright manner shout in a perfect Catalonian: HERE IS SPAIN, UP WITH CATALONIA, UP WITH SPAIN.

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Trading on growing anger having to back bail-outs abroad alongside cuts at home, the Socialists are poised to double their parliamentary share in elections in ten days’ time. And their decidedly lukewarm stance towards the EU is threatening to end Holland’s reputation as a dependable, Brussels-friendly members of the beleaguered Eurozone club.

The rise of the Socialists to frontline politics is all the more remarkable given their origins as a 1970s Maoist group with their own “little red book”. Indeed, they appear unlikely critics of the EU – the antithesis of the far-Right reactionaries who sometimes dominate the eurosceptic tribe.

Their slogan – a red star inside a tomato – harks back to their origins as a fruit-pelting protest group, while their leader, Emile Roemer, is a former teacher, untested on the national political stage. Yet now their candidates dominate the national airwaves – causing alarm for political leaders across the border in both Belgium and Germany […]

Mr Roemer, the charismatic leader of the Socialist Party, [said] he “wouldn’t be intimidated by a bunch of people in Brussels.” The 50-year-old, dubbed “Fozzie Bear” by a popular Dutch news blog, is relishing his moment in the spotlight, dominating the coverage of the election with his straight talking and populist rhetoric […]

The only party calling for a complete withdrawal from the euro and the EU is Geert Wilders’ far-Right Freedom Party – the party which withdrew its support for the government coalition earlier this year, caused it to collapse and sparking the forthcoming election. Like the Socialists, the Freedom Party is popular in the southern areas around Maastricht, where the collapse of the mining industry in the 1970s left a legacy of higher than average unemployment – around eight per cent in Limburg.

Ideologically the parties appear poles apart. Practically, however, a lot of their economic policies are very similar, and much of the Socialists’ new support is coming from former Freedom Party voters.


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