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Transform newsletter 05_2012_i

  1. 1. newsletter 052012 Since December 2009 the transform! europe newsletter has been published regularly once a month. It contains information about the activities of our network, its members and observing members and about important initiatives of social movements we are taking part in. Contents Articles and Reports A Spectre is Haunting Europe .................................................................. 2 Greece: Climate of Extreme Political Polarization .................................... 2 Steps towards a Movement for a Social Europe ..................................... 3 The Prague Spring 2012 .......................................................................... 4 Labour Markets and Employment: Crisis in the European Union ............. 5 Occupy Patriarchy! Participate!”............................................................... 6 transform! europe AKADEMIA Network ................................................... 7 Left-wing Organizations of Russia call for Solidarity and Support ............ 8 Announcements Seminar on EU and the Left in Times of Crisis, Greece .......................... 9 7th Summer University of the European Left and transform! europe, Greece................................................................................................... 10 New Release: Journal transform! Issue vol. 10 ...................................... 11 Book on the Debt Crisis ......................................................................... 12
  2. 2. A Spectre is Haunting EuropeBy Walter Baier and Elisabeth Gauthier, transform! europe A spectre is haunting Europe. This of Greece. This fatal logic was what the elites in the states and in the EU. Decid-time it is the spectre of a political change election results of 6 May were directed ing for that option is the sovereign rightof the European Union, which was put against which made SYRIZA the second of each people and of all the peoples ofon the agenda by the election victory of most powerful political force in the Europe together.SYRIZA and the outcome of the French country. This truth is what Merkel, Bar- Twenty mass and general strikes in allpresidential elections. And again, all the roso and Co refuse to believe. parts of Europe, numerous mass demon-powers of old Europe have joined forces The message they have for Greece and strations, the occupation of big squaresfor a holy chivvy against this spectre: the peoples of Europe is: Either you in the capitals as well as BlockupyEU-President Barroso, the International accept the austerity programmes, the Frankfurt show that millions of Europe-Monetary Fund, the European Central reduction of your living standard, the ans want this change of the politicalBank, the German Minister of Finances, carving up of the labour and social laws, orientation.and the conservative mainstream-media, the destruction of the public health andwhich are siding with the strong where This requires mobilisation in each education systems, that is, the furtherthey have assumedly detected a weaker country as well as European solidarity. deepening of social inequality or we willone. Steps to bring together the social, trade exclude you from the international mar- unionist and political forces on the Yet, there is one result from this fact: kets. Submission or expulsion. That is European level have been made in re-the claim that SYRIZA is putting for- what their democracy looks like. cent months. In a public appeal re-ward on behalf of the Greek people to Since 6 May, Europe has been stand- spected speakers of German trade un-put an end to the barbaric policy of aus- ing on a crossroads. The elections indi- ions have together with well-knownterity and to cancel the illegitimate part cate a shift in the balance of power in intellectuals demanded a new policy. Aof the Greek national debt is questioning France, Greece and on the European process towards a new summit for alter-the European Union’s entire policy auf scale. Two roads, two logics. One of natives of European populations is to setausterity. What SYRIZA demands is not them includes sacrificing entire national a highly visible signal for such a politi-Greece leaving the European Union, but economies and states on the altar of the cal alternative. The Party of the Euro-– and that is what the challenge consists financial markets. It brings deprivation pean Left and the transform!-networkof – a change of the politics of the Euro- and suffering for the populations, but no are part of this process of bringing peo-pean institutions – not only vis-à-vis way out of the crisis. On the contrary, it ple together.Greece, but vis-à-vis all the populations threatens to devour European integrationof Europe. What is it that the European Today the Greek Left is standing on and with it democracy. The other logicCommission, the European Central the most highly exposed point of this requires a cancellation of the illegitimateBank and the International Monetary European struggle for a political alterna- debts, the socialisation of the bankingFund can boast of that justifies a per- tive. SYRIZA’s concern is not only to and financial sector, the top-down redis-petuation of the current policy? In spite resist to but to change the rule of tribution of incomes, the fight againstof the three “austerity packages” im- Europe. Thwarting attempts by the corruption and a reconstruction of Euro-posed by the “Troika” and all the dra- “powers of old Europe” to intimidate the pean real economies according to eco-matic social consequences, the public Greek population means to work for the logical standards. Europe has to chooseindebtedness of the country has more democratic and social renewal of between austerity or growth and em-than doubled since 2010. To continue Europe. ployment. It requires a breach with thethat way means to deliberately bring dictatorship of the financial markets andabout the economic and social collapse the replacement of the current powerGreek ElectionsClimate of Extreme Political PolarizationBy Nassos Eliopoulos, Secretary of the Youth of Synaspismos transform! newsletter 052012 page 2
  3. 3. It is evident that we are finding our- One thing is for certain: The coming coming from pensions, welfare benefitsselves amidst a transitional period out of elections will take place in a climate of and shutdowns of schools and hospitals.which a new point of equilibrium is to extreme social and political polarization. To this we should add 15% cuts inemerge following the intense political The Coalition of the Radical Left has wages and increases in the prices ofand social conflicts. been, and still is, the target of a fero- electricity and public transportation. At cious assault launched by nearly all the the same time the banking system is What is at stake in the new elections is political forces as well as the media, reinforced with an additional 50 billionthe political regulation of the crisis. The which are organically related with large Euros (so far the banking system hasimplementation, in other words, of the conglomerates involving mainly con- received 150 billion Euros, while itsvery same austerity programme that has struction and shipping capital. One of private equity value is estimated to bebeen promoting, for over two years now, the main goals of this assault was to rig about 4 billion), without any provisioninternal devaluation both in Greece and the electoral result. The majority of the for public control of the banks thatin Europe. The potential overthrow of political forces attempted to implicate would provide the conditions for thethis programme in one single country the Coalition of the Radical Left in for- implementation of social policy. Lastwill bring about a new impetus for the mulating a coalition government with a but not least, there is an ongoing attacklabour movement and the left political mandate to renegotiate certain aspects of on labour relations, through the abolitionorganizations throughout Europe. the Memorandum and the prospect to of sectoral wage pacts. According to the Such an overthrow could well give an disentangle from it in two years’ time. data provided by the research institute ofexample of how a TINA political logic However, this would clearly represent a the Greek General Confederation ofendorsing that the exit of the crisis can manipulation of the electoral result, Workers, until the end of this year eightonly take place at the expense of the since the Coalition of the Radical Left out of ten private employees will berights of working people can be beaten. was elected on the premise of immedi- employed on private labour contractsFor two years now, the radical Left in ately cancelling the Memorandum and which will result in further decreases ofGreece has been supporting the convic- its concomitant loan agreements as well wages ranging from 20% to 48%.tion that an alternative way exists. This as the austerity measures accompanying The electoral battle ahead of us has ais a way that places priority to the needs them and not on the premise of continu- historic significance not only for theof society instead of the speculation of ing the same policies with minor Greek Left, but for the working peoplecapital and the concomitant privileges changes. of Europe in their entirety. The Coali-that the latter is accustomed to. We can A token of how dedicated PASOK tion of the Radical Left holds firm itsno longer live in a country where an and ND are to implementing the Memo- ground in the battle against neoliberalemployee with two children pays an randum’s austerity programme, is their barbarism and continues to fight, despiteincome tax of 37.8% while an S.A. en- direct refusal to freeze the austerity all difficulties, for a comprehensive andterprise pays a 20% tax, scheduled to be measures scheduled to be sanctioned in united Left ready to take power andfurther reduced to 15%. mid-June. The latter include new spend- bring to a halt the catastrophic course ing cuts amounting to 11.5 billion Euros taken in Greece and Europe.After the “EU in Crisis” Conference in BrusselsSteps towards a Movement for a Social EuropeBy Kenneth Haar, Corporate Europe Observatory For several years now, the EU’s re- need for a European movement to Analysis, Resistance and Alternatives tosponse to the crisis has been austerity, emerge to challenge this and make alter- Corporate Europe”, see:attacks on social rights, and a plethora of natives a reality. laws that empower unelected crisis-analysis-resistance-and- The urgent need to change directionCommission officials to influence eco- alternatives-corporate-europe was expressed vocally at a packed con-nomic policies through technocratic and ference in Brussels, organised by Cor- About 250 activists from across thedeeply undemocratic procedures. It’s not porate Europe Observatory (CEO) in EU member states, including trade un-just the Greeks that are in trouble, it’s all cooperation with Transnational Institute ionists, environmentalists, economistsof us. There are faint small glimpses of (TNI) to discuss the “EU in Crisis: and angry citizens, condemned the Aus-hope here and there, but there is a dire terity Treaty as an attack on social rights transform! newsletter 052012 page 3
  4. 4. and democracy, backing a statement counter the widespread myth that there opposition against the EU’s response tourging a radical change of course. is no alternative, was voiced repeatedly the economic crisis. The conference at the conference. showed that there are promising at- And to support the call, a new pan- tempts to build European convergence atEuropean network was formed to op- Secondly, it will be part of a wider ef- the moment – most (if not all) of whichpose the Treaty and to campaign against fort to strengthen social movements’ are complementary. Not least the Alter-other measures in the authoritarian neo- pan-European resistance to the EU’s summit organised by different actorsliberal model being imposed from Brus- emerging authoritarian neoliberal eco- together with the Joint Social Confer-sels at the moment. nomic governance regime that has been ence, and the Florence + 10 event in under construction since the outbreak ofThe network is to do two things, basi- Italy. the Euro-crisis.cally. Hopefully, by the end of this year, we At the moment, EU decision makers First, it will continue and improve the won’t just have thousands of initiatives, pay little attention to social movements.debate on strategy and alternatives, and hundreds of protests, dozens of coali- However strong the opposition of socialto share analysis. The conference re- tions, but even a genuine European movements might be at the nationalvealed that there is actually a solid basis movement for a social Europe that can level, their demands are easily ignoredfor common ground among social make a difference in the years to come. in Brussels.movements at the moment. With a littlemore work, if handled skilfully. The The CEO conference is but one en-need for a clearer political response to couraging sign of growing EU-wideMass Demonstrations and Spontaneous Civic GatheringsThe Prague Spring 2012By Jiří Málek, SPED, Prague Prague’s Wenceslas Square has been trated the actual power of individual ernment talks about certain correctivethe site of mass demonstrations and political players. Trade unionists had measures, this primarily involves a re-spontaneous civic gatherings. It is also a good reason to be satisfied. They sponse to partial changes to the concep-symbol of patriotic and national identity. showed that they are able to prepare a tual ideas being pushed through by con-Consequently, any civic, political, or large demonstration in terms of sub- temporary European leaders rather thancultural event that occurs at this place stance and publicity as well as in terms submitting to the demands of demon-has major implications. of organisation and logistics. The role strators. After all, even rightwing played by civil initiatives was a lot Czechs admit that cutting one’s way to At the end of April this year, more smaller albeit still significant. The oppo- growth is the same as squaring the eco-than 100,000 people thronged the square sition political parties (the social democ- nomic take part in one of the biggest demon- rats and the communists) deliberatelystrations since 1989. One common idea The demonstration was an assembly remained on the sidelines. At the samecaused them to congregate for this gath- of those who are not satisfied. Socio- time, they had also been forced there byering: the Czech Republic should not logical surveys suggest that more than the “anti-party” attitude of a large por-continue to be governed in the way it is three quarters of the population of the tion of the critical public. The course ofnow. The demonstration was the culmi- Czech Republic are dissatisfied with the the demonstration and the way in whichnation of the civilian population’s dis- government as well as with its “pro- it was covered in the media as well asagreement with the direction society has gramme of fiscal responsibility” and the the way it was handled in technical andtaken under the leadership of a right- practical implementation of this pro- organisational terms was undoubtedly awing neoliberal coalition. The unifying gramme, in particular. This is what citi- major success for the organisers. It iselement comprised three demands: “in- zens agree upon. Nonetheless, it is not at also evident, however, that it did notsidious and asocial reforms should be all clear how they should proceed, be- result in any actual change or even thestopped; the government should resign; cause there is no realistic, generally fulfilment of at least some of the demon-and early elections should be called.” accepted concept for the development of strators’ demands. And there is not evenThis civic manifestation was organised society that is palatable to the majority the slightest indication that the govern-by trade unions, civil initiatives, and of citizens. The opinion prevails among ing elites are going to change theirinterest groups. The demonstration illus- citizens that this discontent is not a re- minds any time soon. When the gov- transform! newsletter 052012 page 4
  5. 5. jection of capitalism per se. The major- discussions among civic initiatives and rather than others. Surveys of publicity want capitalism to be “rectified.” trade unionists, there was no mention of opinion show that the Left is gainingUndoubtedly, what appeals to the the fact that we are part of an all- strength, regardless of whether it con-masses is the concept of the welfare European social conflict. We frequently cerns social democrats or communists.state, as it is remembered using the see declarations of a so-called patriotic On the other hand, the neoliberal Rightsomewhat idealised view of the West attitude and calls to fight under a na- is also mobilising and raising the spectrethat prevailed behind the Iron Curtain in tional banner. Of course, this does not of the communists making a comebackthe final decades of the last century. The mean a surge in nationalism, but is an and having at least a share in power. Aconcept of radical change, regardless of expression of a narrow perspective on torrid autumn is ahead of us. Besideswhether it is based on the ideas of social “domestic” problems whilst overlooking regional elections, which will undoubt-forums and critical civic initiatives or their European dimensions. It is as edly also offer a commentary on theradical, leftwing, communist endeavours though people thought – aided and abet- performance of the rightwing govern-or other anti-capitalist projects, is ac- ted by some of their political leaders – ment up to now, as well as elections forcepted by around one sixth of the popu- that we live on an isolated island. On the one third of the senate, where there is alation. contrary, our goal should be to partici- realistic chance of the social democrats pate as actively as possible in the formu- increasing their majority, early parlia- What is the European dimension of lation of a European leftwing strategy, to mentary elections could also be on theour Czech circumstances? It is amazing putting up for discussion a Central schedule. The new coalition governmenthow there is so little acknowledgment in European perspective along with our that has been cobbled together still hasthis country of the European aspects of experience of the socialist era and our to negotiate several political minefields,the current social and political conflicts. specific experiences of the remorseless which could bring it down. EgregiousAt the same time, even a cursory glance destruction of the principles of the wel- church restitutions, the definitive ap-at the economic and geopolitical con- fare state. The internationalism of work- proval of pension, health, and tax re-texts clearly shows that the Czech situa- ing people is not dead. On the contrary, form, and several corruption cases couldtion is fundamentally linked to the situa- it is a prerequisite for the future. not only “shoot down” some politicians,tion that prevails throughout the Central but also an entire governing party. ButEuropean region with the obvious domi- We are in the middle of a conflict that that is another story.nance of Germany and some important has an increasingly profound impact onglobal players and the exponents of Czech society with rising tensions in In conclusion, it is possible to say thatgroups representing powerful interna- many directions. The lack of construc- the Czech spring brought the first visibletional capital. Even during the prepara- tive starting points and civic debate success, but so far this does not presagetion of anti-government speeches or in could turn out to benefit some solutions the certainty of outright victory.Report of a Seminar, organized by transform! Brussels Working GroupLabour Markets and Employment: Crisis in theEuropean UnionBrussels, 25 April 2012By Francine Mestrum, Facilitator of the Seminar Global Social Justice and transform! Brussels Today’s situation shows many para- organizations are now promoting – once These neoliberal policies, with theirdoxes. Whereas neoliberal “Washington again – universal social protection and privatizations, deregulations and theConsensus” policies which were im- even transformative social protection. destruction of labour law constantlyposed on indebted third world countries The ILO will probably adopt in June create poverty, whereas a serious fightthirty years ago have all failed, these 2012 a recommendation on a “social against poverty should start with a brakesame policies are now introduced in protection floor” coupled to its cam- on processes of impoverishment, par-Western Europe. The “poverty reduction paign for universal social security cov- ticularly with the best possible preven-policies” which have accompanied them erage. Yet again, in the European Union, tion against poverty which is socialsince the 1990s have equally failed and welfare states are being dismantled, as if protection.inequalities have been growing every- there were nothing to learn from the Unemployment in the European Un-where. This explains why many UN negative experiences in the third world. ion today is over 10%, with peaks of transform! newsletter 052012 page 5
  6. 6. almost 25% in Spain, more than 20% in sioners of which one was a social- old people are obliged to work longer,Greece and 15% in Portugal. Youth democrat. This balance has gone and whereas young people do not get accessunemployment is 21% in the European since most governments are now right- to the labour market. Youth unemploy-Union and rising, with peaks of almost wing, the idea of European integration ment is a structural problem today;50% in Spain, 45% in Greece and 35% itself is more and more threatened. young people should have better possi-in Portugal. Even in the wealthy city of bilities than just apprenticeships; more The European crisis has to be seenBrussels, it is around 45%. jobs should be created. against the background of changing Young people also suffer from low international relations and changing As for Greece, Panayota Maniouwages and they make up a dispropor- capitalist modes of production and ac- (European Parliament) points out howtionate number of the world’s working cumulation, stresses Walter Baier (co- tragic the situation is. It is not a coinci-poor. Everywhere, they are the last in ordinator transform! europe). The pro- dence, of course, that Southern countriesand the first out. ductivist model of civilization is also in were attacked first, since their welfare crisis. These are deep structural causes states are weakest. Minimum wages Nevertheless, as was pointed out by which, if not settled soon, will have very have gone down by 22% and these forPhilippe Pochet (Director European serious consequences in the near future. young people by 32%. Many people areTrade Union Institute), social discourses now leaving the country which leads toin the EU continue to focus on poverty What is at stake is the welfare state it- a serious brain drain. The most urgentand child poverty and totally ignore self as well as European integration. The need is to make clear this requires ainequalities. Today, we have to look at social and economic changes neoliberals collective fight, for education, for healthOECD studies to find more data on want can never be implemented with care, for jobs, for social rights.inequalities. And the OECD even admits strong trade unions and with the existingit has been making some mistakes in the social model. It is a well-planned project In the discussion, one of the mainpast. The EU apparently does not hear and is less irrational than it seems. questions concerned the belief in possi-these messages. ble alternatives and the question of Against that logic, which also leads to whether it is a conscious strategy which ETUI just published a study on the more nationalism, we have to put an- is now being implemented. Many peopledismantlement of labour law in the other logic. We need a broad alliance of have indeed accepted the dominant dis-European Union. It reveals this has noth- leftwing forces, trade unions and social course of having to reduce budgeting to do with debt problems. It is a movements, people from the cultural spending in order to save the future ofmassive attack against collective rights sector, experts and political representa- the welfare states. In Germany, there is aand the institutions which were able in tives. We have to invent another narra- divergence of opinion amongst the elitesthe past to promote more equality. Very tive, since we cannot go back to the past. on whether or not to save the Euro andprobably, this is due to the “window of But our positions should be very clear. European integration. But the point isopportunity” governments are seeing Céline Moreau (Youth-FGTB) em- that the neoliberal focus of policies to-and the social devaluation they are prac- phasises the specific problems of young day is not specific for the Europeanticing in the framework of the EMU. people. The big problem is not the Union and its institutions, but is shared Today, the political situation has be- “skills mismatch” but the lack of a suf- by all governments. In other words, it iscome much more difficult because of the ficient number of good jobs. Moreover, not the shifting of scales which is re-neoliberal Commission which can be employers in Belgium do not respect sponsible, but ideology itself.accused of a kind of “autism”. In the their obligation to organize trainings. Itpast, large countries had two commis- is very paradoxical that on the one handOccupy Patriarchy! Participate!2nd Big Mobilisation of Platform 20000 Women in ViennaBy Heidemarie Ambrosch, transform! europe Under this motto and with more than worldwide which are fighting for a de- cial and political crisis”, it said in the60 tents the Vienna Ring Boulevard was mocratic and just world and are not call to the ‘tent-city’.on 12 May occupied by women for 10 prepared to simply accept the conse- This was already the second big mobi-hours. “With this action in public space quences of the current economic, finan- lisation of the Platform 20000 Women /we refer to the social movements Plattform 20000 Frauen which had two transform! newsletter 052012 page 6
  7. 7. years ago come together as a broad migrant women. These facts are taken heterogeneous alliance had been able tomovement of civil society and has into account in the visionary text of the reach entirely new groups of women,meanwhile established itself as a factor platform which can be understood as among them not a few who had for theof women’s politics, one not only mak- expressing the interests of all women very first time in their lives taken to theing visible in public space the deficien- involved. This text has been translated streets for their concerns and had beencies of women’s politics with small into 7 languages and can be downloaded able to experience that they were notinterventions throughout the entire year from: alone. Thus the platform is a space forbut also promoting substantial debates women and their debates to link up andby organising symposia in cooperation english/ refer to each other.with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs – The differences among us can be iden- Knowing that if there is no sufficientbecause recognizing common interests tified where there are demands, strate- pressure from the Left, the centre willmust not cover up the differences also gies for change or also the objective find itself caught in a maelstrom to theexisting. possibilities to carry them into the public right, I think that by the cooperation of As members of a rich industrialised or the respective institutions and to trig- very heterogeneous groups Platformnation we are privileged and thus can in ger discussions and shifts in discourse. 20000 Women has succeeded in boost-our struggles for our share of the cake Underlying all that, there is, of course, ing feminist and – thanks to the radical-not ignore that this cake is baked under the basic difference in the assessments ism of feminist theory – also left issues.conditions of exploiting the resources of of the current political situation between The mixed-gender Left of the countryother countries and their populations. the poles of a critique immanent to the could well take that as an example andOur struggle for adequate employment system and one transgressing it. learn from these current feminist prac-and salaries must keep in mind that this tices. Already the demonstration on 19is often achieved by shifting the burdens March 2011 had shown that this veryof reproductive work to the shoulders oftransform! europeAKADEMIA NetworkWho are we? What is our “AKADEMIA Net- When? work”? transform! europe is a European net- We plan to have this virtual platformwork for alternative thinking and politi- It is a project launched in March 2012 fully operational by September dialogue formed by 23 organizations to create a comprehensive (geographi-from 17 countries, active in the field of cally and thematically) European net- Contact for more information:political education and critical scientific work of left-wing academics in order to AKADEMIA Network Projectanalysis. contribute to counter hegemonic think- transform! europe ing against neo-liberalism. 4 rue Rouppe, 1000 Brussels In the context of the dramatic crisis +32 (0) are new potentialities of coopera- For this purpose we are creating a vir- academia@transform-network.nettion between left scholars and the Euro- tual platform (an intranet with limited http://www.transform-network.netpean Left, as well as an urgency to build access) where the academics will be ablepolitical and intellectual dynamics in to interact, share information/ publica-favour of a breach with the neoliberal tions and develop common projects.logic. The struggle for a new cultural Likewise, in the mid-term we want tohegemony becomes essential in the make this rich database accessible tointellectual and political field. trans- social and political activists, politiciansform! wishes to mobilize its resources in of the European Left, GUE/NGL MEPs,order to favour new and fruitful coop- left parliamentarians and local council-eration for that purpose. lors. transform! newsletter 052012 page 7
  8. 8. Call for solidarityComrades!Today, we activists of left-wing organizations of Russia turn to you for solidarity andsupport! In Russia, an open strife between a they are administrative detainees ac- it is about to either dishearten or kill ourbroad democratic movement and the cused of the fabricated case of “organiz- comrade. At the same time they plan tocorrupted authoritarian oligarchical ing mass riots”. And there is the real risk falsely accuse him and initiate severalregime is broken out. The authorities of criminal cases being fabricated criminal cases against him.rigged the results of parliament and against them with long-term prison sen- Comrades! We need your solidaritypresidential elections in December 2011 tences to follow. and support! We address left partiesand March 2012 correspondingly. And Repressions against Sergey Udaltsov and organizations, social and civil activ-overpressure during the electoral cam- could have the most serious effect on the ists, and everybody concerned with thepaign allowed only a few, loyal politi- left movement of Russia since Sergey is struggle for social and civil rights incians to take part in the election race. one of the leaders of the Left Front Russia. Organize street actions in front Demonstrative abuse of civil liberties movement, probably one of the largeest of Russian diplomatic missions in yourand democratic rights resulted in mass and most well-known socialist organiza- country demanding to stop the arbitrarystreet protest which was energized by tions of Russia today. Literally, Udalt- actions and repressions against Sergeyboth indignation from outrageous elec- sov became the central figure of the civil Udaltsov and other civil activists in ourtoral rigging and growing disaffection protest, and his personal influence is country! We ask the deputies of the leftwith the neoliberal regime of Putin. The extremely high. For the authorities he and democratic parties to make solemnprotest boiled into a multi-thousand- symbolizes the threat of mass and organ- declarations in support of Sergey Udalt-strong demonstration. Police and Special ized rebellion against the dictatorship of sov. We ask human rights organizationsPolice Force broke up the demonstration big capital, and for many of us his name to recognize him as a prisoner of con-held in Moscow on the day before presi- is a symbol of struggle for the democ- science.dential inauguration. ratic and social future of Russia. Contact: After breaking up the peaceful dem- Sergey Udaltsov has been on dry hun- Carine Clémentonstration the regime turned to the civil ger strike for over a week. His health is carine_clement@hotmail.commovement leaders. Two of them – Ser- put at risk, and Russian Political Policegey Udaltsov and Alexey Navalny – are put pressure upon the doctors, forcingat the most risk at the moment. Today, them to deny him hospital care. In fact, transform! newsletter 052012 page 8
  9. 9. AnnouncementsThe EU and the Left in Times of CrisisLeft Strategy between the Symplegades of National andInternational Political ArenasSeminar in Portaria/Greece, 16-18 JulyBy Vagia Lysikatou, researcher, Nicos Poulantzas Institute A three-day international seminar de- the crisis of political representation 11.45-12.45 Country reportssigned by the NPI and organized by the along with the crisis of party systems 12.45-13.45 Discussiontransform!europe network in collabora- and how this creates the potential for a 15.30-16.30 Session IItion with the Rosa Luxemburg Founda- left transformation at the national and Saving Democracy in Europe: Lefttion will take place from 16-18 July European level. The seminar will be Parties and Movements against Auster- ity and Repressionprior to the European Left Summer concluded on the third day with a dis- 16.30-17.30 DiscussionUniversity to be held in Portaria (Pilion), cussion on the perspectives of a com- 17.45-18.45 Country reportsGreece, this summer. The seminar is mon programme of the European radical 18.45-19.45 Discussionorganized in the context of the “Strate- left forces.gic Perspectives of the Radical Left  Tuesday, 17 July Along with the central theoretical talksParties in Europe” programme activities. given on each separate issue, all sessions 09.30-10.30: Session III The seminar’s goal, under the title will include case studies based on a Classes and Class Struggle during the“EU and the Left in Times of Crisis: common questionnaire. Crisis: New Challenges for the Euro-Left Strategy between the Symplegades pean Left Apart from members and researchersof National and International Political 10.30-11.30 Discussion of the transform! network, participantsArenas”, is to conclude the studies con- 11.45-12.45 Country reports of the seminar will include, academics 12.45-13.45 Discussionducted in the first phase of the research whose research interests fit in with its 15.30-16.30 Session IVproject “Strategic Perspectives of the problematique. Participants are to be Searching for a Left Response to theRadical Left Parties in Europe”. announced shortly along with the final Crisis: the Dialectic Tension between According to the seminar’s tentative programme of the seminar. National and European Levelprogramme, the first day will tackle the 16-30-17.30 Discussionissues of: EU integration and the chal- 17.45-18.45 Country reports The tentative programme runs aslenges that this process poses to the 18.45-19.45 Discussion follows:strategies of the left parties in view ofthe current crisis; the relation between  Wednesday, 18 July  Monday, 16 Julydemocracy and capitalism in light of the Round table: Left Strategy and thenew tasks faced by the Left in view of 09.00-09.30 Opening Challenge of Anti-Systemic Politics:the power concentration at the European 09.30-10.30 Session I Struggling for Hegemony in the Euro-level which forms a novel post- EU: Dissolution or Authoritarian Inte- pean Political Scenedemocratic environment. The second gration? Old and New Strategies of the European Leftday will include sessions dealing with: 10.30-11.30 Discussion transform! newsletter 052012 page 9
  10. 10. “Peoples of Europe, Unite!” th7 Summer University of the European Left andtransform! europePortaria/Greece, 17-22 July 2012 This year’s Summer University of the 17.00-18.00  Friday, 20 JulyEuropean Left Party and transform! Opening and Welcome messages 3rd thematic axis: The Future ofeurope will take place in Portaria, near 18.00-20.30 Europe - Europe and the Worldthe city of Volos, in the region of Thes- 1st thematic axis: Building Solidarity 10.30-13.30 Plenary: The Crisis insaly in Greece, from 17 to 22 July. The during the Crisis-Towards a New Europe as a Part of the Global Crisisfirst day will be organized by the EL Society 4 presentations, DiscussionFeminist Network (EL-FEM). Plenary: 2 theoretical presentations by 13.30-15.30 Lunch key-note speakers, 6 presentations by In the epicentre of the crisis, this 16.00-18.00 Seminars: solidarity networks (testimonies, prac-Summer University will have the crisis 1. North Vs South/ West Vs East: tices, alliances, achievements andas its transversal theme. The effects of Deconstructing stereotypes problems), discussionthe austerity measures all over Europe, 2. European Crisis and Evolution of 20.30 Dinnerthe pauperisation of society, but also the the Political Landscapebig popular resistance and important 3. Is the Euro-zone sustainable?  Thursday, 19 Julymobilisations in several countries, out- 4. Beyond capitalism (I): Changingline what is in the page the European 2nd thematic axis: Against Authori- our countries, Europe and the worldpeople are turning at this new moment tarian Capitalism. For a Democratic, 18.00-18.30 Coffee Breakin history. Social, Ecological and Feminist 18.30-21.00 Seminars: In cooperation with the Greek EL Europe 1. The geopolitical effects of the crisis 09:00-11.00: LGBT + Seminar 2. Integration or disintegration?member parties of Synaspismos and 11.00-14.00 Plenary: Crisis, Neoliberal 3. Beyond capitalism (II): ChangingAKOA, the Summer University aims to Domination and Post-Democracy; 5 our countries, Europe and the worldgather young activists and members of presentations, discussion 21.00 Dinnerparties and social movements from all 14.00-15.45 Lunchover Europe, for debates on current 16.00-18.00 Seminars:  Saturday, 21 Julypolitical and social issues. During the 1. Is feminism out of fashion or do weworkshops and the plenaries, partici- 4th thematic axis: “United We still need it?pants will share experiences and discuss Stand”: Cooperation Among Parties, 2. Making Democracy Realpolicies and initiatives for the construc- Trade Unions and Social Movementstion of an alternative Europe. 3. Ecology (“Overcoming Ecological on a National and European Level Crisis”: Radical Proposals for an 10.30-13.30 Plenary: 8 presentations, The final programme including the Alternative Development)speakers will be published soon at: discussion 4. The ideological struggle about his- 13.30-15.00 and tory. Opposing historical 15.30-18.30 revisionism. 1. Theoretical Seminar 18.00-18.30 Coffee Break 2. European Trade-Unions: Are TheyDRAFT PROGRAMME 18.30-21.00 Seminars: Up to the Challenge? 1. Young people during the crisis: 3. “We are 99%”: Emerging social Tuesday, 17 July Precarity and collective action actors during the crisis 2. Immigrants: Solidarity, CollectiveFeminist-Gender Day (Organized by 19.00-20.00 Closure of the EL SU 2012 Action and Common Class StruggleEL FEM) 20.30 Dinner and popular celebration 3. Culture and crisisAfternoon: Care-work and care- in the square of Portaria 4. The rise of the nationalist, authori-economy as the heart of our struggles tarian and racist Right in Europe.for a human society  Sunday, 22 July Which Challenges for the Left? Morning: Bus departures to Aghialos, Wednesday, 18 July 21.00 Dinner Athens and Thessaloniki International10.00-13.00 Airports.Continuation of debate from Tuesday transform! newsletter 052012 page 10
  11. 11. SUMMER UNIVERSITY LOGISTICS REGISTRATIONThe participation fees (4 nights, 3 meals Additional nights: For registration until latest 11 June 2012per day included) are: refer to For participants who might choose to take part in the seminar organized by Cost per person in a single room: the EL-FEM network for 17 July or 250 Euro those who choose to arrive earlier or depart later, each extra day of accom- If you have any further questions, Cost per person in a double room: please contact us under the following e- modation (including 3 meals per day) 150 Euro mail address: costs: Cost per person in a triple room:  Double and triple room 40 Euro 120 Euro per person  Single room 65 Euro per personNew ReleaseJournal transform! Issue vol. 10 The English edition of the transform!  Christian Pilichowski: Trade Unions:  Manuela Kropp / Anna Striethorst:magazine vol. 10 has been published International Solidarity in Action The Migrations of Roma in the Euro-recently. Soon also a French, German  Interview with Rena Dourou: The pean Union – An Ethnic Minority asand Greek edition will be available. The Left, the Youth and the Political Pro- the Sport of European Politicsfocus of the issue is on democracy. ject  Ulrike Kruh: Immigration Is Good, Immigration Is Bad, Migration Is (a Europe: Crisis and AlternativesContents (English edition) Fact)  Walter Baier / Elisabeth Gauthier:  Cornelia Ernst / Lorenz Krämer: Lutz Holzinger: Editorial Working Towards the Social and European Migration Policy – Too Democratic Refoundation of EuropeAbout the Left Much of the Same  Christiane Marty: Women Facing Bob Jessop: Left Strategy  Dario Stefano Dell’Aquila: Immigra- Crisis and Austerity Francisco Louçã: The Crisis of tion Policies in Italy – Rights, Move-  Peter Fleissner: Growing Income Europe: Elements of a Political ments and Imprisonment Inequality and Increasing Concentra- Strategy tion of Property Elections Dieter Klein: Thoughts on a Timely  Jacques Rigaudiat: Can We Design a  Horst Kahrs: Pirates in Berlin – On Narrative for the Left European New Deal for the 21st Cen- the Success of the Piratenpartei in CMS Stockholm: The Impossibilities tury? Berlin of Reformism  Trevor Evans: A Progressive Euro-  Tiina Fahrni: Russia: Colored With-Democracy at Stake pean Response to the Crisis in the out Revolution Hervé Kempf: From Oligarchy to the Euro Area Country Reports New Challenge of Global Politics  Stephen Bouquin: Plea for a Euro-  Tamás Morva: Austerity Policy in Constantinos Tsoukalas: Democracy pean Minimum Wage Hungary in Crisis  Steffen Lehndorff: The Triumph of  Gabriele Habashi: What Democracy? Walter Baier: Peril from the Right Failed Ideas The New Egypt Gets Back Into the Rut Franco Russo: The EU – The Flight  Resisting Financial Dictatorship –  Dominique Bari: China: New Per- from Democracy Reclaiming Democracy and Social spectives After the Great Strikes of Joachim Bischoff / Richard Detje: Rights! 2010 Economic Democracy – An Alterna-  Political Declaration & Coordinated  Erhard Crome: The West’s War tive for Europe? Actions – JSC 2012 against Libya and its Outcome Janine Guespin-Michel: What Science Migration for What Democracy? transform! newsletter 052012 page 11
  12. 12. Ordering the journal published twice a year. A single issue c/o VSA-Verlag can be ordered at the price of EUR 8 or St. Georgs Kirchhof 6transform! european journal for alter- a subscription at EUR 15 (incl. postage) D-20099 Hamburg, Germanynative thinking and political dialogue is for two issues p.a. e-mail: info@vsa-verlag.deTo be released soonBook on the Debt Crisis The publication is the result of an in-  George Stathakis: The Global Public  Elisabeth Gauthier: The Rule of theternational conference entitled “Public Debt Crisis Markets: Democracy in ShamblesDebt and Austerity Policies in Europe.  Brigitte Unger: Causes of the Debt Section 4 – The PIGS as (Scape)GoatsThe Response of the European Left”. Crisis – Greek Problem or Systemic  Portugal – Marianna MortaguaThe conference which took place in Problem?  Ireland – Daniel FinnAthens in March 2011 was a coopera-  Euclid Tsakalotos: Crisis, Inequality  Greece – Eric Toussainttion of transform! europe, Nicos Pou- and Capitalist Legitimacy  Spain – Javier Navascuéslantzas Institute, European Left Party  Dimitris Sotiropoulos: Thoughts on  Hungary – Tamás Morvaand Synaspismos. the On-going European Debt Crisis: A New Theoretical and Political Per- Section 5 – Overcoming the Crisis: It was a really successful mega-event. spective The Imperative of Alternative Pro-The opening event attracted around 800 posalspeople, while the closing event was a Section 2 – The Management of the  Yiannis Dragasakis: A Radical Solu-full house, attended by more than 1,000 Debt Crisis by the EU and the tion only through a Common Leftpeople. For two days and three evenings, European Elites European Strategy60 speakers from 12 EU-countries and  Marica Frangakis: From Banking  Kunibert Raffer: Insolvency Protec-Ecuador examined various issues related Crisis to Austerity in the EU – The tion and Fairness for Greece: Imple-to the debt crisis: causes, EU and gov- Need for Solidarity menting the Raffer Proposalernments’ policies, resistances and radi-  Jan Toporowski: Government Bonds  Pedro Páez Pérez: A Latin-Americancal proposals for a European exit from and European Debt Markets Perspective on Austerity Policies,the crisis. Participants included academ-  Riccardo Bellofiore: The Postman Debt and the New Financial Archi-ics, economists, sociologists, experts on Always Rings Twice: The Euro Crisis tecturedebt, trade-unionists, MPs, MEPs, lead- inside the Global Crisis  Nicos Chountis: The Debt Crisis anders and cadres of Radical Left, Commu- Section 3 – Facets of the Social and the Alternative Strategies of the Leftnist, Left Socialist and Green political Political Consequences of the Crisisparties. Section 6 – The Crucial Role of the in Europe European Left – Political Interven-  Maria Karamessini: Global EconomicContents tions Crisis and the European Union – Im-  Alexis Tsipras: A European Solution Elena Papadopoulou, Gabriel Sakel- plications, Policies and Challenges for a European Problem: The Debt laridis: Introduction  Giovanna Vertova: Women on the Crisis as a Social Crisis Verge of a Nervous Breakdown: TheSection 1 – Understanding the Euro-  Pierre Laurent: People Should Not Gender Impact of the Crisis pean Debt Crisis in a Global Per- Pay for the Crisis of Capitalism spective The transform! newsletter is published monthly and is a free e-mail service of our network, delivered directly to your inbox. In case you want to unsubscribe the newsletter please send an e-mail to: transform! newsletter 052012 page 12