The European Anti-capitalist Left, at its Athens conference, took the decision to constitute ourselves as a specific current (by history, tradition, political sympathies), according to the terminology used by the EU to designate organizations, "a European Party of the Anti-capitalist Left".
Resistance to the war in Iraq has inspired unprecedented mass mobilisations on a world scale. The ongoing instability of world capitalism, the international economic recession, the process of European Union state formation, and a new wave of social attacks on the working classes, youth, women, immigrants and others will lead to new mass struggles.
After 16 years of the liberal-conservative government of Helmut Kohl - which were, particularly at the end, ’years of lead’ - the electoral victory of the Social Democratic and Green coalition (SPD, Grünen) in autumn 1998, had engendered a certain climate of optimism, above all in trade union circles.
The strike movement of May-June 2003 marks a significant stage in French social struggles. The Raffarin government, which came to power a year ago, set as its objective the realization of numerous neoliberal reforms, remodelling the role of the state and attacking the living conditions of wage earners.
The social framework of the relations between the classes and fractions within them in Italy today is characterized by deep contradictions. On the one hand there are significant mobilizations around demands and on the other there is an extreme difficulty in resisting the steamroller of an employers’ and governmental offensive which challenges the popular conquests of wage earners won in the second half of the 20th century.
On June 15 and 16, 2003 Italian electors voted on two referendums originating from popular initiatives. The first proposed that article 18 of a statute protecting workers from dismissal without just cause should be enlarged to cover companies employing less than 16 workers. More than three million workers were directly affected. The second referendum concerned the uncontrolled construction of electricity networks.
For the first time in 50 years Austrian trades unions have organized strikes, blockades of highways and borders, mass demonstrations and radical actions. It is the beginning of a change of political culture, whose consequences are not yet visible.
It has become a commonplace to say that Brazil entered a new political and historical stage with the victory of the leader of the Workers’ Party, Luiz Inacio da Silva ’Lula’, at the presidential elections of 2002.
The PT’s National Leadership (DN) held its only meeting since Lula’s accession, in Sao Paulo March 15-16. It was the occasion for a questioning of the government’s itinerary, and in particular its economic policy.
When Hugo Chavez became president of Venezuela in 1998, he took over the reins of a deeply depoliticized country, seriously infected with corruption and clientelism. Chavez was elected more on the basis of rejection of this old system than on a solid political project based on organised social forces on whose support he could rely.
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