Letter from

Letter from Germany

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Christine Buchholz, socialist MP and member of die Linke, reports on the refugee "crisis" in Germany.

As new refugees have reached Germany over the past few weeks there has been a very positive response from many ordinary people. The government did not provide the support refugees needed, so people mobilised to fill the gap.

Members of die Linke have been part of this — greeting refugees, supporting the initiatives in different cities to give them a proper welcome, decent housing and a supply of food.

Letter from Sweden

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Sweden

A report on the shock caused by the electoral breakthrough of the fascist Sweden Democrats.

The results of last month’s election in Sweden have shocked many on the left. The far-right Sweden Democrats (SD) more than doubled its vote to 13 percent. The party now has 49 MPs in the 349-seat parliament.

The mainstream Social Democratic Party, Sweden’s Labour Party, secured 31 percent and 113 MPs, while the Tory Moderaterna party saw its votes haemorrhage, losing nearly a quarter of its MPs.

The Greens garnered 6.9 percent of the vote, little change from the 2010 elections.

Letter from Australia

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Protests have erupted across Australia at the new Tory government's anti-refugee policies.

On the Sunday before Easter several thousand people took to the streets in cities across Australia to protest against the Tory government's anti-refugee policies. It was the latest of a series of mass protests focused mainly, but not exclusively, on the Abbott government's harsh refugee policies. One feature of the rallies was the prominence in Sydney of 13 different trade unions participating in a "Unions for Refugees" contingent while the secretary of Unions New South Wales was a key speaker on the platform.

Letter from South Korea

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Kyung-nok Chun reports on how a strike by rail workers shook the country's rightwing president and altered the political landscape.

The 23-day strike by the South Korean railway union that ended on 31 December was by far the most serious challenge to Park Geun-hye, whose election as president a year ago sowed horror among many worker activists and the left.

The strike was the lightning rod for the anger of everyone disgusted by Park - the former dictator's daughter. It was a battle fought on behalf of the entire working class. And though the outcome fell short of a victory, it left in its wake fertile ground for future struggles to develop.

Letter From Argentina

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A strong showing for Trotskyist currents in the elections provide a golden opportunity for revolutionary forces, but they must overcome historic weaknesses, argue two Argentinian socialists, CM and ICB.

On the 30th anniversary of the return of democracy in Argentina, a coalition of Trotskyist parties won over 5 percent of the vote (1.15 million in total) in legislative elections at the end of October last year.

The coalition, Front of the Left and the Workers (FIT according to its Spanish initials), did even better than its overall 5 percent in some key areas.

Letter From... South Yemen

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It is 50 years since 14 October 1963, the day that marked the start of the armed struggle for independence from Britain. Four years later the British were kicked out and the state of South Yemen was born on 30 November 1967.

To celebrate this anniversary, and despite soaring temperatures, last month the city of Aden hosted a two-day protest and carnival. It was the biggest such event in the city's history.

It featured cultural and regional dance, displays by young artists, new revolutionary songs by youth musicians and other activities.

Argentina

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Suzie Wylie looks at the motives behind the Argentinian government's expropriation of one oil company.

The Law of Hydrocarbon Sovereignty passed through the Argentinian National Congress in May with almost complete support across the political spectrum. It formalised the expropriation of the Spanish multinational Repsol's shares in the oil company YPF. It was met with condemnation and the threat of reprisals from the Spanish government and the European Union.

Ireland

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Brian O'Boyle considers the growing militant anti-austerity movement in Ireland

The Irish economic crash has been almost without parallel in Western Europe. Having previously been held up as a poster boy for neoliberalism Irish capitalism went into freefall in late 2008, as hundreds of thousands lost their jobs and the banking system rapidly disintegrated. The Celtic Tiger "miracle" turned out to be a mirage and it was the particular rhythm of Irish neoliberalism that can best account for the boom, the bubble and the disastrous bust.

Letter from Pakistan

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Rizwan Atta looks at the growing tensions between the US and Pakistan and the outbreak of struggles from below

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton met Pakistan's foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar in London on the sidelines of the Somalia conference in late February to discuss the damaged relations between the two countries. Clinton said Pakistan was too important for her country to turn its back on. This eagerness is not without cause and has a history.

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