Greek Leftist Leader Alexis Tsipras: “It’s a War Between People and Capitalism”

by Helena Smith

Greece’s eurozone fate may now be in the hands of the 37-year-old political firebrand and his Syriza party.

Alexis Tsipras

Alexis Tsipras in his office at the Greek parliament building on Friday. He says Greece has been used as a guinea pig for the rest of Europe. Photograph: Martin Godwin

“I don’t believe in heroes or saviours,” says Alexis Tsipras, “but I do believe in fighting for rights … no one has the right to reduce a proud people to such a state of wretchedness and indignity.”

The man who holds the fate of the euro in his hands – as the leader of the Greek party willing to tear up the country’s €130bn (£100bn) bailout agreement – says Greece is on the frontline of a war that is engulfing Europe.

A long bombardment of “neo-liberal shock” – draconian tax rises and remorseless spending cuts – has left immense collateral damage. “We have never been in such a bad place,” he says, sleeves rolled up, staring hard into the middle distance, from behind the desk that he shares in his small parliamentary office. “After two and a half years of catastrophe, Greeks are on their knees. The social state has collapsed, one in two youngsters is out of work, there are people leaving en masse, the climate psychologically is one of pessimism, depression, mass suicides.” Continue reading

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Fatuous, Dangerous, Utterly Irresponsible

by Eddie Ford

We call for the immediate legalisation of all drugs.

Few issues generate so much irrationality as the question of drugs. Rather we get tabloid-driven, moralistic sound and fury, where small things like facts and evidence are blindly ignored – indeed, themselves become objects of righteous condemnation. Naturally, the government – and, of course, the Tory government-in-waiting – is compelled to join the ‘anti-drugs’ mob, locked as it is into the unwinnable ‘war on drugs’, a prisoner of its own myths and desperate rhetoric.

Hence on becoming prime minister, Gordon Brown promptly – and stupidly – declared that cannabis was “lethal” and, following a media frenzy about the supposed dangers of ‘skunk’, insisted that cannabis be re-reclassified from its then current official governmental status as a class C drug back to the more ‘dangerous’ class B it had been prior to David Blunkett’s 2004 regrading (or downgrading). While the ‘anti-drugs’ Daily Mail was cock-a-hoop at this development, this Alice-in-Wonderland comment set the tone for the Brown administration’s thoroughly backward and reactionary approach to the whole issue – which, in just about every respect, has been more irrational than the one pursued by Blair or the previous Tory government (yes, including Margaret Thatcher). Continue reading

Stephen Harper’s Illusions

by Fidel Castro Ruz

The leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, said in his latest written reflections that the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the US President Barack Obama should be questioned about what position will they assume towards the Malvinas issue in the upcoming Americas Summit.

I think –and I do not intend to offend anyone- that this is how the Prime Minister of Canada is called. I deduced it from a statement published on “Holy Wednesday” by a spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry of that country. The United Nations Organization membership is made up by almost 200 States –allegedly independent States. They continuously change or are forced into change. Many of their representatives are honorable persons, friends of Cuba; but it is impossible to remember the specifics about each and every one of them.

During the second half of the twentieth century, I had the privilege of living through years of intensive erudition and I realized that Canadians, located in the northernmost region of this hemisphere, were always respectful towards our country. They invested in areas of their interest and traded with Cuba, but they did not interfere in the internal affairs of our State. Continue reading

Cypriot Communists on European Parliament Resolution on 2011 progress report on Turkey

Statement of the Head of the International Relations and European Affairs Department of the Central Committee of AKEL, Costas Christodoulides

Release Date: March 30, 2012

Press Office C.C. AKEL, 30/3/2012, Nicosia

Yesterday the European Parliament approved the annual assessment of Turkey’s accession course.

AKEL do not vote in favour of the Report because it contains some serious inaccuracies and errors in the paragraph on the Cyprus problem and other relevant points. We tabled amendments which although were not approved sent the message that there is significant room for improvement.

This does not negate the fact that the Report includes elements that are evaluated as positive. The Resolution regarding the Cyprus notes the following:

The reference to the need for Turkey to comply with the Law of the Sea and the inclusion of the provision in the Report on Turkey’s statements and threats against the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU are perceived as positive. Turkey’s assessment that it can behave in an unruly and aggressive manner against the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus without any cost is not accepted by the European Parliament.

In addition, we also assess as positive the call for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops, the return of Famagusta based on UN Resolution 550, as well as the inclusion of a provision regarding the colonisation.

The negative aspect of the Report includes the erroneous equation of Turkey’s role with the other interested parties regarding the call to work intensively and constructively for a comprehensive solution.

Furthermore, it mistakenly calls on the Republic of Cyprus to open the port of Famagusta under the customs aegis of the EU, given that this position is a proposal of our side, but which the Turkish side rejects.

In addition, for the second year it avoids referring to the parameters of the solution (UN, EU) in contradiction to the decisions of the EU Council.

We wish to point out the following. Those forces and institutions who want to really contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem must consistently exercise their political influence on the intransigent side which is the force keeping the people of Cyprus, Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, prisoners for 38 years.

We reiterate our position that we are in favour of Turkey’s accession course, subject to its full compliance with the negotiating framework that has been set and that it fulfils its obligations towards Cyprus.

AKEL will continue to disagree with approaches that appease Turkey, particularly as long as the latter exhibits an intransigent stand with regards its own obligations.

Finally, the Cypriot people once again had the opportunity to determine that the most consistent supporter of its rights in the European Parliament is the European United Left-Nordic Green Left, which backed all the positions of principle for the solution of the Cyprus problem and the need for Turkey’s compliance with its obligations.