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From expansionary austerity to expansionary precariousness: the latest doctrine is another European illusion

Interview with economist Emiliano Brancaccio / Micromega The deregulatory labour reforms of Italy’s new PM Matteo Renzi will fail because it is proven that “more casualisation does not mean more jobs”, argues economist Emiliano Brancaccio. Indeed, ‘the wager on the race to the bottom could bring the wage deflation to the whole of the EU, and deflation … Continue reading

550 days, 29 Workers, Zero Job Losses

The story of how a few determined Italian women stopped their factory closing and protected their livelihoods has become the subject a powerful film. “My name is Rose Giancola, I am a worker at Tacconi Sud and this is the second night of the occupation of the factory.” Thus begins the documentary, ‘Atlantis’* directed and … Continue reading

Fast Facts: Gender Social Inequality and Austerity in Europe

Europe’s austerity fetish and longer term neo-liberal reforms promoted by Big Business, Governments and the EU Commission hurt women disproportionately. Here’s a few facts to illustrate the point.   Europe wide  The gender pay gap is around 16% It ranges from more than a quarter (27%) in Estonia to around a fiftieth (2%) in Slovenia. … Continue reading

Spain’s labour reforms: two years on, are they working?

Esther González Santana Two years has passed since the entry into force of Spain’s labour reform. This reform had the strategic objective to “build a new model of labour relations that would curb job losses, lay the foundations for the creation of stable and quality employment and favour competitiveness,” according to the Popular Party government … Continue reading

A Gathering Storm: Eurozone in 2014

Is Europe’s single currency bloc stabilising? Behind the current picture of calm storm clouds are gathering, says French economist Jacques Sapir, in this recent interview with Greek newspaper Kefalaio (Capital) Kefalaio: What is your reaction to the image of stability in the Eurozone promoted by European leaders? What are the possible ruptures (eg in the case … Continue reading

Unions bid to reclaim Brittany from the bosses

They do not wear red caps. However, the profile of cereal farmers who marched Thursday in Paris, perched on their tractors, resembles nothing more than the leaders of the revolt against the ‘environmental tax’ in Brittany. Rich farmers, from Beauce in particular, demonstrated to defend their privileges and to continue to receive 80% of Common … Continue reading

Why precarious work deepens the crisis

By Guglielmo Forges Davanzati According to the CGIL union, workers employed with temporary contracts earn an average salary of about € 800 per month in Italy, and are predominantly based in the public administration and in the South. The OECD certifies, with respect to our country, that temporary work affects mainly young people under the … Continue reading

Free the migrants without arresting capital? Political suicide

By Emiliano Brancaccio Published in the Financial Times on September 23, the “economists’ warning” denounces the unwillingness of European leaders to break with current economic policies, and identifies this failure with “waves of irrationalism that are assailing Europe” and “gasps of ultra-nationalist and xenophobic propaganda.” The recent tragedy in Lampedusa is a terrifying example of … Continue reading

The recovery will come, but it will not redress the social imbalance

By Fondazione Condividere For a few weeks now I have seen many senior figures in Italy’s Letta government, but also European institutions, waving their arms to indicate the arrival of an imminent recovery in the horizon, with the same anxiety of Tom Hanks in “Cast Away” when waiting for the ship that will save him … Continue reading

Italy in the Summer: A Bel Paese for tourists, not so beautiful for the workers

By Roberta Manieri Employers blame the crisis and the need to cut costs. From Italy’s South to the North, workers are being blackmailed into accepting increasingly exploitative working conditions, say unions representing workers in a sector employing around a million people Quality, dignity and professionalism should go hand in hand with the job. Even more … Continue reading

Why Greece is slashing public sector jobs

Amid much protest in the streets, the Greek government last night passed a law firing thousands of public sector workers. Twenty five thousand public servants – mainly teachers and municipal police – will be placed in a layoff scheme by the end of 2013. They have eight months to find another position or get laid … Continue reading

Why women marched in Madrid this weekend

Demonstrations were held in the streets of Madrid this weekend. Woman from Asturias, Leon and Aragon marched and sang on Saturday to remind politicians and the public of the plight of their mining communities and call for action. The marchers were wives, mothers and sisters of miners whose jobs will go in two years time, … Continue reading

Why Fiat prefers newspapers to cars

Fiat prefers to invest in newspapers these days, rather than car-making. And it is apparently all the fault of the unions. Giorgio Cremaschi explains Announcing this week for the umpteenth time the investment in its Sevel plant in Abruzzo, southern Italy, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said that those investments will be the last in Italy, … Continue reading

Europe’s social and ecological transition: A view from Spain

By Florent Marcellesi Martin Luther King said that every crisis brings not only opportunities but also dangers. So far, the European and national policies of austerity cuts have shown us the particularly dangerous face of social, ecological and democratic crisis. They have led to misery and unemployment for millions of people, mainly in the southern … Continue reading

Why French anti-fascists took to the streets this weekend

Thousands marched in Paris and other cities in France this weekend to protest against  violence by far right groups which claimed the life of Clement Meric, a student union and anti-fascist activist. Below is a joint statement by the organisers and supporters of the demonstrations: Fascism kills. Together, we can fight it! On 5 June, right-wing militants … Continue reading

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