European Union

EU targets migrants at sea

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The European Union’s (EU) response to the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War is more detention camps, fast track repatriation and jail for migrants and refugees.

Alongside this EU ministers have sanctioned a naval task force with the missions to destroy boats at sea and halt migrant ships as they set off on their journey.

The EU has drawn up a plan to open “structured border zones and facilities”, that is quarantine centres, in the so-called frontline states of Malta, Italy and Greece.

Greece: It didn't have to be this way

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The Troika has succeeded in imposing its will on the Syriza government for now, but other options were. And still are, available.

One of the most scathing responses to the deal struck between Greece’s radical left Syriza government and European finance ministers in February came from 92 year old Manolis Glezos. The former resistance fighter — famous for tearing the Swastika from the Acropolis in 1941 and now a Syriza MEP — compared the agreement to “renaming fish as meat”.

Solidarity against racism

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The electoral success of far-right parties presents a challenge for the left. Brian Richardson reports from a key anti-fascist conference in Greece that is beginning to coordinate a continent-wide strategy to halt them.

The headline story in this May’s European Parliament elections was the success of the fascist Front National (FN) in France. Marine Le Pen’s party topped the poll with 24.85 percent which translated into 24 seats.

It is now the fourth biggest party in the parliament. That success was subsequently consolidated with the capture of two seats in the French Senate elections in September. The outright fascist Jobbik party took second place in the Hungarian elections with 14.6 percent of the vote, winning three seats.

How can the left topple the bosses' Europe?

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Syriza demo

The rise of left formations such as Syriza and Podemos presents new challenges

Over the past two months a string of remarkable opinion polls have appeared across Europe that point to big opportunities — and big challenges — for the left. In Greece the radical left party Syriza, which came close to winning the 2012 general elections, has moved to being 5 to 10 percent ahead of the ruling conservative New Democracy party. Some polls in the Irish Republic have seen Sinn Fein nose ahead of both the ruling Fine Gael party and the once dominant party of Irish capitalism, Fianna Fail.

European bosses' club

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Montage of EU suits

The EU was never about peace or defending workers' conditions, but a means of expanding the bosses' power. Sally Campbell argues for unity with Europe's workers but hostility to its rulers

In January 2013 Prime Minister David Cameron made a speech on Britain’s membership of the European Union (EU) in which he promised to renegotiate the “terms of the relationship” and put the result to a referendum in 2017.

Cameron was seeking to stem the growing support for Ukip, undercut the Eurosceptic wing of his own Tory party, defer the EU question until after the May 2015 general election, and simultaneously blame Britain’s economic troubles on the Eurozone debt crisis.

Ukraine: Torn apart by Imperialism

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Russia's annexation of Crimea, and the rising tensions between east and west, marks an era of heightened competition between rival imperial powers, argues Rob Ferguson.

Russia, the US and the European powers are facing their greatest clash since the Cold War. Following the overthrow of Ukrainian president Yanukovich, the new pro-Western government in Kiev turned to seal a partnership with the EU and Russia annexed Crimea, home to the Russian Black Sea fleet and its route to the Mediterranean.

Tensions are spreading to other "buffer" states on Russia's southern borders. Barack Obama has called on EU leaders to increase their military spending.

Revolt in Bosnia

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Twenty years ago Bosnia was at the bloody heart of the Yugoslav civil wars. The war ended when the country was divided along "ethnic" lines by the Dayton Accord, leaving two eparate entities and one mixed "district".

Bosnia has since become a plaything of the West, with the US and the EU acting with the IMF and World Bank to impose austerity in return for increased and unsustainable levels of debt repayments.

Ukraine: divisions among the oligarchs

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The recent protests in Ukraine began on 21 November in the run up to the European Union (EU) summit in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, at the end of November. They followed a government announcement that it was ending preparations for signing an association agreement with the EU.

The first protests in the capital Kiev's Independence Square, organised by the three main opposition parties in parliament (apart from the pro-Russian Communist Party), were only hundreds strong.

UKIP: A breeding ground for racism

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Ukip's success in last month's council elections underlined its move from the margins to a more significant force. Tash Shifrin looks at the roots of its emergence and how we should respond

We have had an ugly month of May, drenched by a double wave of racism. On 3 May the racist Ukip sailed in on a high spring tide, its 25 percent share of the vote in the county council elections making it the new third party in British politics. The party's triumph followed a campaign based on anti-immigrant scaremongering.

What's the solution for Greece?

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In arguing against a Greek departure from the eurozone some on the left are mistakenly conflating the EU and workers' internationalism

The vilification of Greek resistance to austerity has been a recurrent feature of media coverage of the eurozone crisis. Sadly most of the leading left wing parties across Europe have also been unable to provide a convincing answer to these attacks. The general response of much of the European left has been to replace the right wing paradigm of the "lazy Greek versus the disciplined German" with another simplification: that of right wing nationalism against the eurozone versus left wing, pro-EU internationalism. They fear leaving the eurozone would be a concession to nationalism.

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