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Spanish occupy movement faces electoral test

by Tom Gill

Spain gave the world the ‘indignados’, the movement of ‘indignant ones’ that become a global phenomena October 15 when millions from dozens of countries took to the streets.

Yet less than a month from general elections in the home of this momentous street rebellion, it is as if nothing ever happened. On November 20, one political party of bankers looks certain to be replaced by another.

No nos representan (“They do not represent us”) was one of the central slogans of indignados movement that was born on May 15 when angry and dinsenfranchised youths started their occupation of Plaza de Sol in Madrid and central squares in cities across the country.

If the mainstream politicians heard that shout of anger, today there is no sign they are heeding it.

An out-of-touch parliament continues policies of austerity, privatisations and other measures that benefit the rich and hurt the poor. For example, over the summer the Socialist Government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero pressed through reforms to labour law that extend the move away from permanent contracts. And, with the support of the opposition Popular Party, the Socialist administration passed a “balanced budget law’ enshrining austerity – hitherto imposed externally from Brussels -into the Spanish constitution. 

Austerity failing

Unemployment, a prime catalyst of the popular revolt, remains at over 20 percent and 45 per cent with those under the age of 25. And it may well rise further. The Spanish economy, the fifth largest in Europe, has been in recession, or flatlining, since 2008.

In the past 10 days all three main international credit agencies confirmed the failure of the austerity policies by downgrading the country’s sovereign debt on fears of declining growth prospects. Up until September last year, that is before the worst of the cuts had been felt, at least one of the three large agencies still rated Spain at the highest level of triple A. 

Support for the Socialists - who moved sharply right in May 2010 after international financial speculators launched an attack on the country over weakening public finances - has understandably collapsed. But opinion polls also show that the opposition Popular Party is heading for an absolute majority in the Cortes, the lower house, next month.

But this party is offering the same medicine that, rather than reviving the patient, is killing it. If anything the Popular Party is an even more reliable friend of the banks and big business than the Socialists. They have most zealous in cutting health and education budgets, which are controlled by the party in regional and local government. And they threaten to scale this up into an austerity “shock” plan, together with a major attack on employment rights much desired by the IMF, should they win power nationally.

Furthermore, betraying not-too-distant political roots close to dictator Franco, the Popular Party view the rebellious indignados almost exclusively as a security problem.  

So what has gone wrong?

The May local elections were instructive in answering that question.

This offered an opportunity to be rid of politicians seen as unresponsive and corrupt and replace them with people who more closely reflected the concerns of the movement. Instead, the simplistic message from the indignados was that the entire political class was rotten.

The result in practice was simply to replace one set of rotten politicians with another. The Popular Party swept the board as the Left vote evaporated amid disillusionment with the Socialists’ sharp right turn. This is now set to be repeated in national elections next month, unless the indignados wake up and smells the coffee.

For Cayo Lara, who is leading the radical United Left party into the elections, those who spoil or leave their ballot papers blank are simply “allowing the bankers to carry on doing what they want.” For his small radical party, which has thousands of councillors across the country but just two MPs, the extra-parliamentary rebellion has and will continue to play a crucial role for social change. But it “must be converted into power with the country’s institutions to change the reality that the rebels don’t like”, and this means “channelling their proposals” into parliament.

Over the past six months, it has already given the movement a parliamentary voice, for example, by reading out to MPs statements with its key demands. Now, Lara is calling on those involved in the May 15 movement – as well as disaffected Socialist voters – to vote for United Left.

In some respects this shouldn’t be such an ask. After all, they are the only national party promising to challenge the “system”, the casino-style financial capitalism so hated by the May 15 movement. Its policies are very similar to those advanced by the indignados, from a public and democratic control of the banks and the protection of public services from cuts and privatisation to a more pluralistic and popular democratic political system that breaks the stranglehold of the two big parties.

But the United Left doesn’t see the indignados simply as a potential electorate for next month’s poll. As an organisation with clandestine roots and long, close connections to organised labour, it recognises the movement as the most significant mass radicalisation of the Spanish people since the battles the Spanish Communist Party led to restore democracy in the 1970s: its appetite for direct action from the take-over of public spaces to home foreclosures; its hunger for radical solutions to society’s ills; above all, its capacity for organising and politicising people in very large numbers, particularly the youth.

Lara has stated that United Left members are active in the movement but the party has no ambition to lead it. However, United Left has kicked start an effort to engage United Left in a structured fashion with the new breed of activists born out of the town square occupations.

Convocatoria Social

To this end, in July United Left launched a “Convocatoria Social”, what it describes as a “participative process for a new political programme for the left,” and a “contribution to the struggle and mobilisation for a social alternative to exit the crisis and achieve real democracy”.

Tapping into an explosion of political debating since May 15, the United Left has been holding some lively meetings of its own: 500 odd local assemblies in total these past three months. Decisions were then brough to regional fora for decision and finally a national assembly on 8-9 October. The results are seven proposed “revolutions”: on the economy, democracy, public services, environment, equality, culture and peace.

Some 15,000 people have taken part in the process with the majority not United Left party members. Of the 650 delegates who agreed the programme earlier this month, a third were drawn from outside the party.

United Left’s ‘opening’ has also extended to candidates for the Spanish Congress and Senate, and a number of figures from the May 15 movement have emerged to stand.


Despite early positive results from the exercise, United Left knows the challenges are huge. At 6%, it is starting from a very low base, and it is quite clear that its bid to “break with the neoliberal hegemony” will not happen overnight.

Part of the problem is undoubtedly the domination of the mass media exercised by the two main parties: last week it was announced that there will be a Presidential style televised dual between the leading candidates, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba and Mariano Rajoy, on November 7, reinforcing the idea that this is a two-horse race.

United Left is trying to make up for this lack of visibility for the party and its policies by a clever use of social media which has been used so successfully by the indignados in Spain and worldwide.

And it still has to tackle suspicions – wide of the mark – that because it has held power locally alongside the Socialists and at different times in the past sealed national electoral pacts with the Socialists, it is somehow part of what is seen as a corrupt self-serving political elite. 

Finally, Spain’s Communists have sought to broaden their base before, leading to the creation of United Left in 1986, but this only had temporary success. However, Spain, like the rest of Europe, is living exceptional times, times that make United Left’s radical message resonate like never before.

On October 15, the continued vibrancy of the indignados was confirmed when hundreds of thousands in over 80 towns across the country mobilised once again in support of a new order. For United Left, if Spain’s new rebels, for one day on November 20, make the decision to back them, that new order will inch a bit closer.

United Left’s Economic Revolution – Key Points

  •  Cut taxes on incomes below Euros 21,000, increase taxes on profits by banks, big companies and financial transactions, reinstate tax on assets (impuesto de patrimonio) and introduce tax penalties / incentives for green business activities
  • Push back plans to cut deficit to 3% to 2016 as intermediate demand, with ultimate aim to reject the Euro Pact public deficit ceiling
  • Reject bail-out of failing private banks and nationalise failing banks as part of plan to create a public banking system that directly funds small businesses
  • Create a public banking system with social and economic development objectives. This will be banned from speculative activities or use of tax havens and will be controlled democratically
  • End the black economy by boosting resources for the tax inspectorate, banning use of tax havens backed up by prosecution for infringers, removal of Euros 500 notes and introduce controls by the tax authorities of all cash transactions above Euros 1000
  • Boost the real economy by better public administration payment terms for small and medium size businesses, upgrading dwellings, investing in reforestation and other parts of the natural environment, invest in labour intensive infrastructure projects and  job creation schemes, particularly for the young, funded by discounts on social security contributions linked to employment with permanent contracts
  •  State must increase its role in the economy, not just to save failing private enterprise, and “correct” market failures, but on a permanent basis, in order to renationalise privatised companies, boost welfare and the efficiency and capacity of public services
  • Change the model of labour relations including reversal of recent hire and fire labour reforms, reintroduce the primacy of collective bargaining, regularise all types of employment contract, cut the working week (to 35 hours) and impose limits on overtime, reduce the retirement age, boost the minimum wage and introduce a maximum wage
  • Democratise the economy, including empowering workers to participate democratically in the economic planning and management of companies
  • As part of changing the new productive model, green the construction and tourism sectors, and focus on agriculture as a strategic sector that is ‘productive, sustainable and social’
  • Boost domestic public and private consumption, reinstating the role of the public sector in the economy
  • As well as prioritising the creation of jobs, protect the unemployed, by offering free public transport and ending cuts to essential services such as heating, electricity, water   
  • Put in practice constitutional rights to a “dignified dwelling” including by stopping home repossessions/evictions

For Spanish speakers here’s more on the Convocatoria Social and the proposed Seven Revolutions: http://www.convocatoriasocial.org/

Spain’s ‘neo-liberal coup d’etat’

 Spain’s lower parliament has passed draconian legislation enforcing a “balanced budget”. The law, proposed by the governing Socialists and supported by the right-wing opposition Popular Party, is now expected to be passed without delay in the Senate.

The law calls for a balanced long-term budget to be enshrined in Spain’s constitution, allowing for the deficit limit to be breached only in times of natural disaster, recession, or extraordinary emergencies – and then only with approval of the lower house.

Once enacted governments in the future will be constrained in promoting growth and delivering quality public services upon which the majority depend.

The legislation, coming amid the continuing sovereign debt crisis in Europe, has been described by critics as a “neo-liberal coupe d’etat”, a “kidnapping of the popular will”, an attack on the country’s sovereignty.

Trade union centrals Comisiones Obreras and Union General de Trabajadores, the May 15 protest movement and other non-governmental organisations have been holding countrywide demonstrations against the measure this week. Further protest actions are planned on the coming days. Hundreds of students, unemployed, pensioners and trade unionists were protesting outside parliament in Madrid today where the debate on the constitutional amendment was taking place.

This new deficit cap comes after a call last month from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy for all euro-zone countries to implement such a measure, or risk the end of the Euro.

Premier José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero’s Socialists say they would have preferred more time to debate and consult the Spanish people on the change, but foreign investors in Spanish government debt (bonds), who have being betting against the country sending public borrowing costs rocketing, needed immediate reassurances.

“We have to take a coherent and forceful decision to strengthen our country’s solvency,” said Jose Antonio Alonso, spokesman of the ruling Socialist Party.”There is no better way to dispel uncertainties than to elevate the principle of budget stability to the level of constitutional mandate so as to consolidate in the world a clear reality – we are a reliable country in the payment of our debts and there should be no doubt about it.”

United Left, the third largest national party, has been calling for a referendum on the matter, pointing out that the Socialist Government has no popular mandate.

The constitution has been changed only once since it came into force in 1978 following the death of dictator Franco — in 1992 to incorporate the EU’s Maastrict Treaty setting up the euro single currency. United Left, which opposed the 1992 constitution change, also rejects these changes to the country’s Magna Carta. And it rejects the underlying arguments put forward by Socialists and Popular Party that public spending is excessive and must be slashed.

To be sure, Spain is not as wealthy as some of its neighbours, with a gross domestic product (GDP) at 94% of the EU average. But even so, this does not explain why welfare spending stands at just 75% of the EU average. Spending on schools, hospitals and pensions should be increased by billions of Euros, not cut, it says.

Nor is the public sector employment bloated, as it is often suggested. Only one in 10 work in the public sector, compared to 1 in 4 in Sweden, United Left points out. Creating a more balanced economy would deliver five million new jobs in the public sector – eliminating Spain’s 20%-plus unemployment at a stroke – and the massive drain the jobless represent for the Exchequer.

The problem with Spain’s public finances is not excessive spending but that successive governments of left and right have been a soft touch on corporations and the rich, argues United Left. Tax policies have long “strongly favoured” high incomes and large companies, it says. These forgone tax revenues have left the Spanish exchequer poor.

The state tax take is 34% of GDP, compared to a European Union average of 44%, and 54% in Sweden. After the unsustainable housing boom turned bust this fundamental problem came to the fore. In presenting the changes to the constitution, Spain’s political elite and their allies in Paris, Berlin and the European Central Bank, have sought to make of the public finances a technical issue best left to economists.

But it has not been good economics to empty the Spanish public purse and impose, as Zapatero recently boasted, “the biggest austerity efforts ever known to have been made by a developed economy.” Otherwise every new austerity plan in Spain, as elsewhere in Europe, wouldn’t need to be followed by another.

This is class politics – politics that United Left, Spain’s trade unions and the protest movement born in May appear determined to continue challenging.

Spanish artists and intellectuals call for “reconstruction of the Left”

Film-maker Pedro Almodóvar and a number of other leading Spanish artists and intellectuals who were once supporters of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s governing socialists have signed a manifesto calling for the “reconstruction of the Left.”.

The manifesto, also signed by radical journalist Ignacio Ramonet, says: “The discrediting of politics, the repeated complaints about corruption of democratic life cannot leave progressive consciences indifferent…The Left has a bigger problem than the advance of reactionary options in the municipal elections: the lack of a vision. We are convinced of the need to reconstruct today’s Left. And you?”

The socialists suffered major losses in local and regional elections in May at the hands of the right wing Popular Party after pursuing austerity policies designed to placate speculators in the financial markets, the IMF and Governments elsewhere in Europe concerned that Spain may follow Greece, Ireland and Portugal in a bailout. Communist-led United Left was the only parliamentary party to oppose tough spending cuts. But it has not made any political capital out of the disaffection with the socialists among their traditional supporters.

According to the poet Luis García Montero, who was among figures from the world of Spanish culture who launched the manifesto on Saturday 2 July at the Círculo de Bellas Artes de Madrid the aim was to “struggle against a culture dominated by profit-seeking, financial power and every-one-for-himself.” The manifesto was a “call for a civic mobilisation” to “build an alternative”, a “new political culture” and to “reinvent the Spanish democracy”.

The model for Garcia and colleagues is the May 15 (15-M) protest movement, the young indignados who occupied Madrid’s Puerto Del Sol and the main city plazas across the country from mid-May. Montero stated that it was essential to “renew the people, language and above all methods in order to escape the dead end.”

Despite falling off the global media’s news agenda and packing up their encampments, the 15-M movement has continued to be active. It has been organising resistance to evictions that have soared amid a catastrophic housing slump, making long marches from the regions to the capital and last week held a debate in Madrid’s central square simultaneously with  the traditional parliamentary “state of the nation” debate in the Cortes.

Recent polls show continuing support for the 15-M movement. Sixty four percent back the movement and four out of five endorse their radical demands, which include a rejection of austerity policies and regressive labour and pension reforms, and a shorter working week and a public investment bank to help cut 21% unemployment. The indignados’ single most important demand  is a shake the political system to end the domination by the socialists and the Popular Party.

Spain’s 15-M movement alive and kicking

By Tom Gill

Tomorrow Spain’s parliament will hold its traditional ‘state of the nation’ debate. But this year the monopoly of elected politicians over discussing the big questions facing the country has been broken. For less than a mile away from the Cortes, an alternative ‘state of the nation’ debate will be held by ordinary citizens in the landmark Puerta del Sol.

The ‘indignados’ are back. Six weeks after the country’s disaffected, unemployed youth exploded on the scene, occupying the capital’s main square and plazas across the country, the “15-M” movement is once again threatening the established order by refusing to play by rules set by an increasingly discredited political establishment.

On 15 May Spain was thrown into turmoil by scenes all too similar to those in the revolting Arab World. A week later local elections appeared to say that nothing had changed. The right-wing opposition Popular Party thrashed the (now) almost undistinguishable governing Socialists, in a game of political alternancia that has played out ever since the end of the dictatorship 30 odd years ago.

But since then, Spain’s two main political parties have betrayed their fears that perhaps everything may be different from now on. Initially under the radar and the more openly, they have been multiplying contacts with the indignados and making public noises that actually they are listening to the movement’s concerns. But they have budged on nothing of substance, and the debate tomorrow in the Congreso will very likely confirm that this has all just a PR stunt.

Only the Communist-led United Left appears serious about taking up the demands of the so-called 15-M movement. This is in large part because there is much common ground on the economy, political reform and social questions. So, United Left will be putting their demands to parliament on Wednesday. But with just two seats in the congress of deputies, United Left won’t get much of a hearing.

So the confines of the debate will be very narrow. It will mostly be a sparring match between the two main parties who have already commenced a campaign for the general elections due next Spring. In as much as any real policy discussion will take place it will be focussed on how much and how fast the Government’s austerity measures should be to assuage the speculators in the financial markets and their backers in European Central Bank, IMF and financial capitals of Europe – above all Germany.

But less than 10 minutes walk from El Congreso a rather more open a profound debate will taking place around radical alternatives for the economy, the reclaiming of “social rights”, politics and citizenship. It will be “an alternative, critical and constructive debate that tackles the real problems facing the whole population,” according to the organisers.  

The two days of discussions promise to be exciting. For what started as a very amorphous anti-political movement is beginning to take shape.

Initially, the key concerns were unemployment, currently at 35% for people aged 16 to 29, a housing crisis caused by the bursting of a massive speculative bubble, and reforms to the political system to tackle corruption, boost transparency and to break the stranglehold of the two parties that have dominated national politics since the Transition to Democracy in the late 1970s.

Since then, detailed work has been going on to flesh out their proposals, via debating fora – subdivided into specialised working groups – in assemblies across the country.

Among the proposals that are gaining wide consensus are: converting the million unsold homes into a public housing stock for rent; a public bank to provide credit to struggling businesses and industries; an end to the ongoing privatization process of the Cajas, the publicly owned savings banks; an end to evictions; a clampdown on the reckless mortgage lending policies of the banks; a reversal of fiscal reforms of the past 10-15 years to make income taxes more progressive and to increase taxation on companies; and a ban on Spanish companies establishing subsidiaries in tax havens.

Perhaps most significant, given how pro—European the Spaniards have been, is the emergence of a real critique of the European project and Euro currency.

Although they have already suffered drastic public spending cuts and attacks to welfare, Spaniards know Greece, default and yet more austerity is their future. The indignados are not calling for Spain to withdraw from the Euro, to be sure. But instead of the IMF-ECB-EU troika’s solution for the PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain) of more “flexible” labour markets, cuts to pensions and other unpopular measures to cut public deficits and boost “competitiveness” – they are calling for a plan for growth and jobs through an increase in public spending and a shorter working week.

More than anything else though, the 15-M movement is about action. While the encampments in Spain’s public spaces have now gone, and the headlines in the foreign press too, its visibility in Spain is undiminished. Actions are taking place locally almost daily, from efforts to prevent evictions to loud lobbies of regional parliaments during crucial votes on unpopular measures.

On June 19, 200,000 people, according to some – a million according to others – took part in protests in 50 cities across Spain. Various marches on Madrid are being planned. And a global “mobilisation” has been called for October 15. This may involve a general strike, an idea the unions say they are seriously considering.

The Spanish public are very supportive of the movement and its aims, according to polls released this week. 71 per cent say it is a ‘ peaceful movement trying to regenerate Spanish democracy’ and 79 per cent broadly back its policy proposals.

The 15-M movement still has major challenges, not least creating the democratic structures that maintain the high level of activism among Spain’s youth while producing a representative but strong leadership able to push forward its demands and help build the necessary links with political allies and other supporters like the trade unions.

What’s for sure, it is no flash in the pan.

Spaniards have seen their European dream turn into a nightmare and are in desperate need of a positive plan for the future. The indignados could play a leading role in delivering it.

“A peaceful rebellion that has identified the oppressors”

By Tom Gill

Spaniards face a deepening of anti-working class policies following the historic defeat of the ruling Socialists – unless the May 15 protests that have erupted across the country can help build a progressive majority for an alternative.

The local and regional elections results were the worse for the socialists since the return to democracy in the late 1970s. The right-wing Popular Party swept into power in town halls and regional governments across the country, setting the stage for a similar outcome in general elections next Spring.

That the Socialists were going to take a hammering in the polls was expected. But the scale of the losses was not. The socialists lost 9 points, falling to 28% share of the vote. They lost 9 of the 10 regional governments that were under their control, and all the main cities – Seville, San Sebastian and Barcelona.

The Popular Party was the main beneficiary. But the figures do not reveal any great endorsement of a party that has identical policies with regard to Spain’s economic crisis. With 37% share of the vote, the Popular Party gained just 2 percentage points, or 400,000 votes, on the 2007 elections.

Rather, voters were punishing Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s Socialists: for the Euros 15 billion austerity programme; for the cuts to civil servants wages by 5-15 %; for the rise in retirement age; and above all unemployment of 23%, rising to 44% among the under 25s.

While they were clearly hoping for better, after a decade of decline, Communist led United Left increased their share of the vote from 5.4% to 6.3%. This represents a gain of 200,000 votes. They too had its share of blows – losing power in “red” bastion of Cordoba, where they had ruled together with the Socialists since the early 1980s. Their position in Asturias and Extremadura is also under threat.

But for United left leader Cayo Lara the results confirmed the party as the third force in the country. The downward trend in IU electoral fortunes were over, he declared. This is perhaps wishful thinking.

But what the elections also delivered was the rise of progressive, regionalist parties – and the extreme right.

The Catalan nationalist movement Popular Unity Candidates increased support in the wealthy region in the north west of the country from 18,000 to 62,000 votes. With 25% of the vote, the new Basque separatist party Bildu also got a lift after a troubled start involving a ban (later lifted) by the Supreme Court due to their alleged ties to Batasuna, the alleged political wing of ETA.

The Spanish Falange and Spanish Alternative saw gains of some 11,000 votes. Spain 2000 garnered 14,000 votes, allowing it to enter the Valencia parliament. And the xenophobic Platform for Catalonia gained 65,000 votes and a presence in the “red belt” of working class neighbourhoods in Barcelona.

Despite the beating they took the Socialists are showing o signs of a policy rethink. The post-election internal debate this week is all about personalities. Well ahead of the election Zapatero made clear he would not stand again. The front-runners represent no change in their policies of kowtowing to financial markets, the IMF and European Union.

But what of the May 15 protest movement, so named after the day on 15 May it was launched? Debates continue as to the nature and significance of it, although what is clear Spain has never seen anything like it.

Organised using online social networks, young people invaded in their tens of thousands the central squares of cities across Spain in the days up to the elections.

The movement was undoubtedly sparked by anger at Spain’s massive youth unemployment. Related issues of social justice were clearly also on the minds of los indignados (the angry ones). But so was an exasperation with the political system: many have been calling for electoral reform to break the hold of the Socialists and Popular Party who are seen as corrupt and distant from ordinary people’s needs.

The movement’s attitude could be summed up by a “plague on all their houses” and there were calls for voters to cast spoiled or blank votes. These did increase –from 3..1% to 4.3%. And some have argued that if this choice were a party, it would be the fourth largest force.

The hard-core of the indignados are clearly on the left, including disaffected (and would be) socialist voters and activists in anti-globalisation groups. But the movement has attracted a real mix of people, including pensioners, and the sheer numbers of young people involved means many involved are only just now forming their political beliefs.

Where the movement is heading is unclear. Eleven days on, the occupation of Madrid’s Puerta del Sol continues, as do protests in dozens of cities around the country.

For now, there is popular support for it. One poll during the “day of reflection” ahead of the elections showed that 70 percent of people were in favour of the camp in the Spanish capital. According to one report 200,000 have now signed a petition pledging their support for the indignados.

The anti-political nature of the movement (any banner with the logo of political parties or political groups is not allowed in the Puerto del Sol) may have been a key to its genesis, but it will soon prove a weakness. So will a continued vagueness about what it wants, although there is no shortage of debates.

Until the “Spanish Revolution” of the noughties erupted onto the scene, it was the United Left and the trade unions who were leading the opposition to IMF/EU inspired austerity policies. So how these traditional bulwarks of popular resistance relate and interact with the movement will clearly be very important.

Trade union central Comisiones Obreras has welcomed the movement as a “sign of health society” that refuses to be cowed by the brutal political response to the country’s economic woes. In a statement it declared “the struggles of workers against job losses, factory closures, fair wages, better conditions and quality public services as inseparable from those fighting unemployment and a better future for the younger generations”.

United Left leader Cayo Lara has characterised the movement as a “peaceful rebellion that has identified the oppressors”. Visiting central Malaga on the eve of the elections, he told one inquisitive indignado:

“Today popular sovereignty is in the hands of the bankers, people who are not elected by the people. They have stolen democracy from us because we have had servile governments who have weakened the State.”

And he added, as he addressed the assembled youths. “You will change the course of history.”

A better future for millions of ordinary Spaniards may well depend on it.


Twitter Updates

  • The rise of the #Greek extremes. 'Three hard-left parties collectively account for 42.5% of the vote' FT http://t.co/KGQC9Yg7 3 hours ago
  • The #Greek #Left Strikes Back. Wall St Journal. http://t.co/TKsyNGzO 3 hours ago
  • Democracy postponed or abolished? Italys unelected plutocrat premier forever! RT @Reuters http://t.co/LW9ulg5l 6 hours ago
  • “The people must not allow themselves to be flayed alive" #Greek #Communist Party. #quoteoftheday (well yesterday) " http://t.co/BSp9hzbO 1 day ago
  • #Europe can learn from Japan’s #austerity endgame. FT (free initial sub ) http://t.co/T8Nx2s9h 1 day ago
  • Video. #Greece RT @euronews Athens ablaze as protesters say 'no' to more cuts http://t.co/7C3kSVM8 1 day ago
  • Today first of 5 days of #strikes this month by #pilots of #Spain's Iberia. Dispute over creation of low-cost carrier. http://t.co/e5OkbUzw 1 day ago
  • #Greece’s new #austerity measures are ‘authoritarian, illegitimate’ says #European Left Party. http://t.co/GT0xPqF1 2 days ago
  • Quote of the day: These measures of annihilation will not pass - 89-year-old Manolis Glezos from Athens' Syntagma Square & cloud of teargas 2 days ago
  • Growing acceptance by Germany that Greece may have to leave eurozone growing. German ministers pressure Athens...http://t.co/kDhOiFA9 2 days ago
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