A “white tide” swept through central Madrid on December 9, in protest at health sector budget cuts and hospital privatisation plans announced by the right-wing Popular Party (PP) regional government.
Austerity & Privatisation
Issue 41 - February-March 2013
Issue 40 - November-December 2012
More than 10,000 public sector workers’ jobs have been cut across NSW. Those workers remaining are having their wages and conditions further attacked.
Issue 39 - May-July 2012
The ALP government’s fifth budget, handed down by treasurer Wayne Swan with much fanfare, is a continuation of neoliberal polices, relying much more on stick than on carrot. It headlined in many newspapers as a Labor budget with Labor values, but there was little to differentiate it from any of the budgets of the Coalition when it was in power.
For a second time, Greek working people on June 17 voted against the austerity measures imposed on them by the Greek bankers, the International Monetary Fund and the European capitalist establishment.While the corporate media presented the election result as a “victory for the euro”, that is, for the pro-austerity parties, a clear majority of voters, 53%, voted for candidates oppos
Since the outbreak of the international financial and economic crisis, “austerity” has become the proclaimed goal of governments over most of the developed capitalist world. Governments have been sticking to this goal even when it leads to their own demise, as in Greece and France.
Increasing unemployment, soaring living costs and the environmental and social impacts of unexpected severe rains and flooding in parts of NSW are impacting on more poor and working-class people and extending into sections of the middle class.
Issue 38 - February-April 2012
The December 8-9 European Union summit meeting did little to end the continuing eurozone debt crisis.
Issue 37 - December-January 2012
After 11 hours of talks in Brussels throughout the night of October 27, the 17 leaders of the states that share the euro as their currency announced a package of measures they hoped would be regarded by international financial markets as a “comprehensive” solution to the eurozone debt crisis.
On November 20, the governing Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), led by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of voters angered by the harsh austerity measures imposed upon them.
Issue 36 - October-November 2011
On September 20, the State Electricity Company Trade Union of Indonesia issued a call for support for a campaign against the privatisation of the state-owned company, and against the liberalisation of the electricity market in general.
At least 35,000 NSW public sector workers rallied in the Sydney Domain and then marched past the NSW parliament in Macquarie Street on September 8 to protest against the attacks on public sector jobs, wages and conditions announced by state Coalition government of Premier Barry O’Farrell, which includes a decision to axe at least 5000 public sector jobs.
From the very beginning, students and educators were an important target for the Pinochet dictatorship. Thousands were killed and disappeared. Education was considered or at least treated as an enemy of neoliberalism. Why not? After all capitalism has always had an uncomfortable relationship with universal quality education.
Issue 35 - September 2011
The Gillard government announced details of its latest attack on welfare rights on July 30. This will put restrictions on new applicants for the disability support pension (DSP).
San Francisco – In last month’s article, I wrote about how the Congressional stand-off about raising the US government’s debt ceiling obscured the drive by both Democrats and Republicans to cut drastically the social wage, especially Social Security and Medicare, as well as education and other social programs.
Issue 34 - August 2011
San Francisco – The US mass media are awash with the Congressional wrangle over the “debt crisis”. The Republican Party in the House of Representatives is threatening to refuse to raise the ceiling on how much the government can borrow. The deadline for raising the ceiling is August 2.
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell’s Liberal-National Coalition government has launched a major attack on public sector workers. The government’s planned $2 billion in savings over the next four years is to come from cutbacks in public sector workers’ wages and conditions.
Issue 33 - June-July 2011
The Queensland state budget delivered on June 14 has confirmed again the state Labor government’s willingness to pander to the needs of big business, while workers pick up the tab for the sell-off of large chunks of the state’s infrastructure. In a post-budget media event, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh beamed as she announced: “The sun has come back to the sunshine state”.
Angered by rising unemployment and a deepening social crisis, and inspired by the popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, tens of thousands of Spanish youth have taken to the streets, occupying city squares throughout Spain. Solidarity protests have taken place throughout Europe.
Issue 30 - March 2011
San Francisco – Contagion has spread not only in the Arab world. It has even been seen in the United States, specifically in Wisconsin. The background is the assault by the federal and state governments against public worker unions, part of the ruling class’s drive against the social wage, including cuts in education and other social services.
Issue 29 - February 2011
On January 27, the lower house of the Irish Parliament approved by a vote of 81 to 76 legislation imposing savage austerity measures on working people.
Sydney: More than 400 residents crowded the four corners surrounding the Glebe Post Office on January 20 to demand that Australia Post abandon its plan to close the facility.
If anyone is not convinced of the utter rottenness of ALP politics in Australia, they need to look no further than the NSW state electricity privatisation. Premier Kristina Keneally’s moribund state government is set virtually to give away prime public assets to the private sector and in the process even further alienate its working-class constituency.
Issue 28 - November-December 2010
On November 10, French President Nicolas Sarkozy signed into law his conservative government’s pension reform plan, under which the minimum age of retirement will be increased from 60 to 62 years, but those retired workers who wish to claim full pension benefits will be forced to wait until they reach the age of 67 instead of the present age of 65.
Issue 27 - October 2010
French trade unions estimated that 2.9 million people participated in strikes and protest marches across France on September 23 in opposition to a push by centre-right President Nicholas Sarkozy to impose cuts to the country’s pension system. The government claimed that just under 1 million participated in the protests.
Madrid – Ten million workers – more than half of Spain’s workforce – joined a general strike on September 29, and around 1.5 million participated in street demonstrations, according to the Union Confederation of Workers’ Commissions (CCOO) and General Union of Workers (UGT), Spain’s two major trade union federations.