Tag Archives: austerity

The Balkans: the missing link the the international solidarity on the Greek referendum

The negotiations of the Greek government with the Troika have shown that our ‘shared European home’ was built over financial quicksands. Yet, by 2015 it should come as no surprise that ECB, Eurogroup, and IMF readily risk a humanitarian crisis, a rise of disease, violence, hunger, and death of thousands in Greece and Europe. Syriza’s government has made unique, colossal effort to cut a deal that saves not the banks, but poor citizens. Sadly, growing concessions and emphasis on the negotiations have happened amidst a shortage of publicly stated nationally or regionally viable economic alternatives. The manda ..

Podemos: between populism and social movements. Interview with Jaime Pastor

The ballots which Spanish voters will cast in the municipal and regional elections on the 24th of May, will be the litmus paper for the potential of the party to get to the highest positions in Government, as SYRIZA did. Meanwhile, Web-sites and social networks pages are filled with slogans such as “Podemos gañar Madrid”, “Podemos gañar Andalucia” (“We can Madrid”, “We can gain Andalucia”). With 30% of support, and the thousands of people, which Podemos gathers for its demonstrations, this is far from unlikely. There are several factors, which make Podemos a successful platform. Firstly, it uses ..

A government of the Left in Greece: the coalition of SYRIZA with ANEL and what lies ahead

After January 25th, with the landslide victory of the radical-left SYRIZA over the right-wing New Democracy, we have in Greece the first (and only) left-wing government ever elected in a European Union member state. This alone is already a major development, not only for Greece and its crisis-ridden society, but also for a Europe struggling with numerous problems and impasses and for its peoples anxiously searching for alternatives to the dominant neoliberal model. But many have found it difficult to celebrate SYRIZA’s victory as a ‘victory of the left’, since SYRIZA immediately formed a coalition governmen ..

Greece: Promising the meta-austerity era: Directions and dilemmas

by Theodora Vetta & Anastasios Grigorakis, original source FocaalBlog Thessaloniki, 21 January 2015. Since the announcement of the Greek elections, Greece has once again become the center of global attention. We know that just by watching the news on Greek TV channels. We learn bits and bytes about the discussion that has opened around possible scenarios for debt restructuring, possible domino effects of a Grexit, or analyses of the failed rescue plans. Yet, we learn substantially more about public statements coming from Wolfgang Schäuble and company, statements that address various audiences and that are m ..

In support of SYRIZA

Note from the LeftEast editors: with this text Left-wing activists working in/on East-Central Europe support the struggle of SYRIZA in Greece in the coming election on the 25th of January 2015. If you would like your name or that of your organization to be added to the list, please write to lefteasteditors [at] gmail . com The focus of international public opinion is on Greece as it holds general elections on 25  January. The predicted victory of SYRIZA, the party of the radical left, is a threat to the austerity regime imposed on the  country by the  ‘Troika’: the European Union, the European Central Ban ..

“Bulgaria has still not reached the bottom”. An interview with Mariya Ivancheva.

This interview was taken by Ioanna Drosou from the Greek newspaper Epohi and the original version in Greek is available here. How would you comment on the result of the elections? The results of the election are no big surprise for anyone. As some political commentators, myself included, predicted already in February 2013, when Boyko Borissov and GERB’s cabinet resigned, he was resigning in order to secure his return. His resignation occurred after days of violent protests caused by an increase of electricity prices, which resulted in the self-immolation of seven Bulgarians in the winter of 2013 (almost double ..

How a Bulgarian teacher made the news… for all the wrong reasons

This article is published in collaboration with the Serbo-Croatian online web portal Bilten.Org  On the 15th of September 2014, the first day of school in Bulgaria, a photograph of a third grade Bulgarian teacher, Silviya Zubeva, taken by a parent, was leaked through 9gag[i], with versions appearing later in Bulgarian, English, and German. The picture, first spread with a descriptive comment “A school teacher in Bulgaria”, has since received hundreds of thousands likes and shares from all around the world. The comments varied from the moralizing “Why didn’t she put the cardigan”, “She’s dressed lik ..

How healthcare kills: lessons from neoliberal Bulgaria

Nоte from the LeftEast editors: Тhis article has been published in collaboration with the new Balkan web-portal Bilten.org. The publication in Serbo-Croatian is to be found here.  In the last days of March 2014, a Bulgarian woman, Dobrinka Krumova, aged 26, died because neither private, nor public hospitals in Dupnitsa in South Bulgaria accepted her for treatment. A few years ago the woman was stabbed by her partner and father of her two under-aged children. After she parted from her partner and moved in to live with her retired mother, Krumova underwent a colostomy operation to survive the severe intesti ..

A people divided: violent conflict emerging in Bulgaria

Over the last few days Bulgaria has witnessed opposing waves of mobilization that divide the country across ethnic and class lines. Since the 23rd of October, a student strike and sustained occupation has spread across six universities in the capital and other cities. The strike is the latest in a series of protests in the capital city in response to the saga of media mogul Delyan Peevski, whose unconstitutional reappointment as MP struck a painful cord with protesters, now out in the streets for months. Starting with expressions of moral indignation and demands for the resignation of the “Left-wing” governme ..