Romania’s main political battles for this year, or at least its most violent and its most consequential, will unfold in what will apparently be dry technical discussion about interbank rates, just as seemingly neutral actors like the Central Bank will play an essential role in this year’s elections. Continue reading →
Dark times have fallen upon the media in Bulgaria. Meaningful journalism has been squashed. Public access to reliable progressive information is barely possible. In just a decade since its 2007 EU accession, Bulgaria has fallen on the media freedom scale from the 36th to the 111th place. There is no diversity in media ownership. Almost all newspapers, websites and TV channels are owned by the oligarchy. The national TV and radio have been crippled by budget cuts and practically become extensions of the ruling party. The means of subsistence of any sort of media are limited. Especially if the media is a progressiv ..
Note from the LeftEast editors: We reprint here with the producers’ permission the first episode of a new CEU podcast series on Attacks on Academic Freedom in Turkey and around the World. It is dedicated to Academics for Peace in Turkey, who have been facing trials for saying “We will not be a party to this crime”. In this episode, we will first give context to the movement. Then we will read sections of defense speeches from the academics who have stood trial. By translating them to English, we hope to make the powerful content of their speeches that calls for peace, freedom of expression and academic ..
What would happen if Russia’s healthcare system went on strike? Read this OpenDemocracy-Russia interview with healthcare union leader Andrey Konoval to find out. Russia’s public healthcare system is facing significant problems, and staff are coming out as a result. Ambulance teams in Penza region, central Russia, recently called a work-to-rule action, bringing out more than 100 people in support of better wages and conditions, on the heels of asimilar action by Novgorod region ambulance teams. This wave of mobilisation is connected to serious overwork, staff cutbacks and shortages – which have arisen as ..
Note from the LeftEast editors: Repression against our comrades in Serbia fighting for the right to housing is growing. Planned modifications to the Law on Enforcement and Security would expand the powers of private bayliffs and criminalize solidarity with those evicted. Also, direct violence against housing activists by the far right has intensified. On June 6th, housing activists from Roof Over One’s Head in Serbia were beaten up. A large crowd gathered on June 11th in Novi Sad to protest the attacks. Also, On June 14th activists protested in front of the European Delegation building in Belgrade, asking for ..
“They want to entrust Istanbul to a very mixed-up marginal group. They want to hand the city over to a group including FETÖ, Kandil, the PKK, the LGBT’s, Gezi and the whole confused mess of the CHP…and this group will reduce Istanbul to ruins.” Thus spoke Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu to his interviewer on the news channel Habertürk this past Wednesday evening. Invoking the entire panoply of “marginal groups” which somehow inexplicably amounted to an electoral plurality and 49% of the total vote in the March 31 election for Mayor of Istanbul. Not that Soylu or his ..
Note from the LeftEast editors: The article has first appeared on the Green European Journal Website, from which we reprint it with the kind permission of the author. It is based on the working paper “Solidarity economy and the commons: implications for Central and Eastern Europe” by Gergő Birtalan, Ágnes Gagyi and Zsuzsanna Pósfai, supported by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. The global economic crisis of 2008 and the international movement wave that formed in its wake have crystallised new political initiatives in North America and Western and Southern Europe. In the years following 2011, the movements th ..
This is a revised version of a talk given by the author at the Workshop ‘Dialoguing Between the Posts 2.0: (im)possible dialogue between the progressive forces of the ‘posts’’, Belgrade, Serbia 15 June 2019. He expresses his gratitude to workshop participants for their comments, and to Čarna Brković, Konstantin Kilibarda and Christian Axboe Neilsen for their helpful feedback on an earlier draft. INTRODUCTION Two moments from the archive serve to illustrate some of the points I want to make here, focusing on socialist Yugoslavia’s role in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) between 1961 and 1979. In the fir ..
LeftEast shares this podcast with the permission of its producers from Contrasens. What is precarity? And how does it adapt to the Eastern European context? In the 11th episode of Contrasens’ podcast, we take a closer look at work and workers. Together with our guest, Volodya Artyukh, who is a Ph.D researcher at C.E.U., we talk about labor aspects in the Eastern European space, specifically in Belarus. Our focus is on workers’ solidarity and protests in the context of ideological change in an ex-soviet country. By thinking through the historical context we show you a glimpse of the economical and politica ..