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Lies, damn lies and French bankers…

French bankers were second only to their German counterparts in the Eurozone as beneficiaries of public handouts to save them in the wake of the banking crisis, a crisis they caused. Now, 10 years on from receiving the mega government cheque, they are pedalling the myth the whole saga was costless; that the French people … Continue reading


  • 'A disturbing business bias' in the translatantic free trade deal has been revealed by Corporate Europe Observatory. An access to documents request to the secretive Commission showed that 93% of the meetings between Brussels bureaucrats and 'stakeholders' during the preparations of the negotiations were with big business - a 'parallel world of a very large number of  intimate meetings with big business lobbyists behind closed doors'.  Read European Commission preparing for EU-US trade talks: 119 meetings with industry lobbyists 
  • Spreading the debt burden and borrowing costs away from the eurozone’s worst-hit economies towards the stronger ones - sounds like a good and fair idea. Think again. Corporate Europe Observatory on why debt mutualisation is not progressive solution for the European debt crisis
  • It is not just Hungary that the EU needs to tackle on democracy breaches.  My piece on Left Foot Forward blog
  • As the Troika prepares to ok the next tranche of its 'bailout' to Greece, here's a reminder about who's actually being bailed out. Check out this recent research by Attac
  • Merkel and Hollande have given key positioning to the European Roundtable of Industrialists and their corporate wish-list. They are set to influence a future Competitiveness Pact – a next step towards authoritarian neoliberalism. Corporate Europe Observatory
  • Italy's Grand Coalition is paying dividends for the centre-left Democratic Party. But will it last? Analysis of last weekend's local elections by Tom Gill in the Morning Star 
  • It wasn't too difficult picking out the Fat Bastard in the crowd of Russian models, craven moochers and media mavens. Besides, he and I were both desperate for coffee and heading for the same empty urn. By Greg Palast Read on in the Morning Star
  • Reform, reform! Yes, now it's France, back in recession for the third time in four years, which is being lectured on the need to submit to the rigours of neo-liberal change. Read in the Morning Star newspaper
  • Over 900,000 Madrileños have rejected plans to privatise state hospitals. In a popular consultation 99%  of those who voted ((or 929,903) said No to proposals by the regional Popular Party government to hand over six hospitals and 27 health centres to privateers. The organizers of the petition, which closed Friday, are members of the 'White Tide' of health workers who have launched a number of strikes in recent months against the plans, as well the 15-M, or indignados movement, and other civil society groups. They will present it to the regional assembly of Madrid, the Spanish Parliament, where the Popular Party has a majority, and the European Parliament. Nueva Tribuna
  • Corporations operating in the UK, France, Ireland and Sweden have been accused of 'blacklisting' so it is time for the EU to legislate to outlaw the practice - says MEP Public Service Europe
  • What's behind the headlines about poor Germans subidizing rich southern Europeans? A con-trick seeking to mask large wealth inequalities within Germany. And to shield the rich and corporations in Europe's super power from parting from some of their euro-zillions. Social Europe Journal
  • The Photographic Archive of Barcelona has opened the exhibition 'Postwar Barcelona, 1939-1945', that shows photographs of one of the darkest periods of the Catalan capital. The exhibition shows a series of photographs from the official Francoist view of daily life of postwar Barcelona, including official visits from Nazi Germany and fascist Italy.The show runs until September 28. El Publico
  • Poverty, unemployment, wages, the economy, public services, tax dodging, wealth and gender inequality - check out the latest facts and figures in the Europe of the bankers and austerity. http://wp.me/P1bMfw-oA
  • Deficit reduction programmes imposed on many EU countries by Brussels and Berlin with an iron hand is leading to a severe deterioration of poverty and social exclusion. Is the EU's official statistics agency trying to hide these uncomfortable facts?  The European Sting
  • 'In Greece, the ruling class and the government are destroying democracy,” says debt campaigner Eric Toussaint, who urges SYRIZA to stick to its radical agenda. Translation of an Interview in the Greek press.  CADTM website
  • Interview with the late resistance fighter, deportee, diplomat and co-author of the Declaration of Human Rights Stéphane Hessel, published in l’Humanité on 31 December 2010 on the publication of his famous work, Indignez-vous! Here 
  • A coalition of communists, greens and radical magistrates have combined to propose a Civil Revolution to the Italian people in parliamentary elections on Feb 24-25. Here's the manifesto
  • New evidence on the extent to which far EU trade policy is run by a small group of unelected bureaucrats and corporate lobbyists. Corporate Europe Observatory
  • A recent opinion poll  revealed that most Germans think top managers in the country’s big companies are paid too much. Three out of four Germans say pay packets were too large... Read on at Left Foot Forward 
  • Five reasons why the billionaire media magnate is back in the running for national elections in Italy later this month. Read the article in Counterpunch
  • Iceland has suffered much like other nations during the global financial crisis, but the Icelanders’ struggle to overcome the disaster has taken on historic dimensions that are relevant to all countries, says Andrew Sullivan. Read on at Counterpunch
  • How French bosses want sacrifices from pensioners, but more for themselves. My piece in Liberal Conspiracy Blog http://liberalconspiracy.org/2013/01/19/how-french-bosses-want-sacrifices-from-pensioners-but-more-for-themselves/
  • In France and in Europe, Poverty and Inequality Grow As Unemployment Rises. More in Humanite
  • Debt, a Trojan horse for an unprecedented social war against the peoples of Europe, is not neutral from the point of view of gender. The austerity measures imposed in its name are gender-determined, both in their characteristics and their effects, explains Christine Vanden Daelen. Read the article on the Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt website
  • Europe was meant to offer the prospect of completing the modernisation of Italy, consolidating an advanced economy, expanding welfare and democracy. Instead, there's been economic decline and a degradation of democracy while Europe is becoming increasingly unpopular, argues Mario Pianta Read 
  • Check out this review of a book that counters unrelenting efforts to exonerate the French bourgeoisie of its central political and moral responsibility for collaborating with the Nazis following the country’s defeat in 1940. Humanite 
  • Protests against biting spending cuts continue throughout Europe, as people vent their anger over bailout sponsored austerity. Mass demonstrations in Madrid turned to violence earlier this week, as police were forced to fire rubber bullets to calm the fury of the public. There've been dozens of injuries and arrests.
  • This is a weekly round-up of news, comment and analysis from the Revolting Europe blog, plus our selection of the best stories, photos and videos on the web.Read
  • How French Socialist President Hollande is wading into choppy waters over Europe. Left Foot Forward 
  • Who is funding a campaign by climate sceptics to sabotage EU targets for CO2 cuts? Well that's a difficult question to answer... Find out more at Corporate Europe Observatory
  • Fast-Tracking Evictions in Spain: The Spanish government's bill on the rental market has come under attack by consumer groups. Check out why at Counterpunch  
  • The rich don’t pay taxes. Everybody knows that. Especially in Italy, where governments have stayed firmly on the side of the 1%.  In the Republic of Yachts (Counterpunch)
  •   €20.3 billion within the EU's upcoming research programme are about to be captured by industry: the “Industrial Leadership” component of Horizon 2020 explicitly states that this money will support activities whose agenda is industry-driven. Is transforming research funding into subsidies to big business the best possible use of scarce public funds? More at Corporate Europe Observatory
  • Despite the promises of the European Commission to tackle unemployment and the social consequences of the crisis, poverty has increased by 2 million since 2010 as the focus on austerity undermines benefits and public services, according to a new study by the European Anti-Poverty Network. More 
  • Industry experts and corporate lobbyists have effectively captured key areas of policy advice within the European Commission, according to new research  More at Corporate Europe Observatory  
  • The EU Summit means neo-liberal policies will deepen and the sovereignty of citizens over their national budgets has been 'reduced to nothing', says left radical Jean-Luc Melenchon. And yet French President Hollande is pretending this is a new beginning for Europe. More
  • To get out of its economic crisis Europe needs to learn from China. By John Ross. Socialist Economic Bulletin
  • The affair began last December. It started with a violation of the rules. A prisoner, held while awaiting trial in the Versailles jail since 2010, took advantage of her status as a call center employee to make some personal calls. When the MKT Sociétal company learned of this, it decided to declass her – in prison, you don’t hire and fire, you “class” and “declass.” More in Humanite in English
  • The establishment of the European Monetary Union in the ’90s and the introduction of the euro a decade ago massively strengthened 'finance capitalism', or financialisation' in Europe. Antonio Tricarico argues for a radical response that reverses this process, reintroduces national and regional capital controls and gives priority to public interest policies in favour of labour and the environment Corporate Europe Observatory 
  • The proposal for a financial transaction tax (FTT) is the first sign that speculation won’t go unpunished European Left MEPs told the European Parliament Wednesday ahead of debate on Common system for taxing financial transactions ended with a majority (of 487) voting to back the FTT.  More  
  • Victor Grossman on the whipping of Angela Merkel's right wing Christian Democratic Union in the recent elections in North Rhine-Westphalia, from People's World
  • The French and Greek elections have already shifted Europe's politics. But it needs real change to hold the right at bay, argues Seumas Milne in the Guardian.
  • ETUC remembers International Workers’ Memorial Day and calls for 'systematic and substantive improvements in health and safety' in EU where 170,000 lives claimed by  work-related accidents and diseases a year. Read
  • Not breaking but...ECB chief's vision of Europe amounts to strategic negligence, says European Left Read the statement
  • 75 years since the Nazi bombing of Guernica during Spanish Civil War remembered in a video / photo memorial here
  • On austerity and a brewing health 'catastrophy' in Toulouse. Read this article in Humanite
  • EU is 'victimising' the Hungarian people and making an 'example' of them, says European Left. More
  • There's no crisis for big business in France, says l'Humanite, as the top 40 companies on the Paris stock exchange post €73 Billion profits  More   
  • The workers at Eleftherotypia have taken over one of the biggest and most prestigious Greek daily newspapers. In the words of one of the journalists More
  • Commission work-until-you-drop pensions White Paper 'doesn't meet need of pensioners', says ETUC, which argues for stronger public pensions More
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