Eurozone crisis

Europe's zombie banks

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The brainchild of Mario Draghi, president of the ECB, the scheme ended up doling out 489 billion euros to over 500 banks. The so called "auction" was billed as a way of averting the entire collapse of the European banking system.

Even more shocking than the actual amount of money given out was the terms under which it was given. For the first time ever the ECB agreed to give three-year loans (in the past it has only been one-year) and did so at a knock-down interest rate of one percent, tantamount effectively to free money.

Enter the bankers

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The growing crisis in the eurozone has left many observers and politicians reaching for apocalyptic language. The Financial Times's leading economist, Martin Wolf, declared "What is at stake today is...the stability of the European - perhaps the world's - economy", while German chancellor Angela Merkel described it as the "toughest hour since the Second World War".

The growing crisis in the eurozone has left many observers and politicians reaching for apocalyptic language. The Financial Times's leading economist, Martin Wolf, declared "What is at stake today is...the stability of the European - perhaps the world's - economy", while German chancellor Angela Merkel described it as the "toughest hour since the Second World War".

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.

Eurozone on the brink of collapse?

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The global economy is entering "a dangerous new phase", said the International Monetary Fund before its annual meeting last month. The same can be said for the European Union (EU) and the eurozone.

At the centre of all the press talk of a capitalist crisis (and this is the phrase increasingly used by papers such as the Financial Times) lies a crisis of the eurozone - the EU economy is bigger than that of the US.

Greece: austerity and workers' resistance

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Mark L Thomas spoke to revolutionary socialist Nikos Loudos about the explosive resistance to austerity in Greece


Photo Jess Hurd/Report Digital

Greece is being shaken by repeated general strikes, militant strikes by sections of workers, workplace occupations, mass protests and occupations of city squares.

While the headlines have been dominated by the threat to the eurozone, the attempt to shift the burden of the biggest economic and financial crisis of post-war capitalism onto workers' shoulders has now provoked the highest level of struggle in Europe since the defeat of the Portuguese Revolution in 1975.

Medicine not working

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Portugal became the third of the Eurozone "PIGS" (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain) to apply for a bailout from the European Central Bank (ECB) last month.

For several months we've been told that the bailouts of Ireland and Greece had solved the Eurozone's problems once and for all. A Portuguese bailout was out of the question because measures had been taken to get the economy back on track. But jittery investors and credit ratings agencies have forced the decision.

Portugal's prime minister Jose Socrates failed to get parliament to accept his austerity package, amid anger and strikes from trade unions. His resignation triggered panic in the bond markets at the prospect of political limbo and social unrest.

The state of the global economy

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Bankers and bosses appeared cheerful at this year's World Economic Forum in Davos. But the state of the global economy remains precarious

Last month the global ruling class - the bankers, political leaders, the CEOs of top multinationals and their acolytes - met for the World Economic Forum at the luxurious Swiss ski resort in Davos.

Cracks and crisis in the Eurozone

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The leaders of eurozone countries are desperate to avert a full blown currency crisis, but they are divided by conflicting interests and fearful of workers fighting back.

"It was a stand-up argument. He was shouting and bawling," said one Brussels official. "It was Sarkozy on steroids," said a European diplomat. The European ruling class were in disarray as another, potentially even more damaging, episode of the world crisis unfolded in the eurozone.

Eurozone crisis: new ideas of resistance as Greek fight grows

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The revolt against the IMF-EU austerity package in Greece escalated with two general strikes in May.

The strike on 5 May turned out to be the biggest ever, with estimates of the strike rally's size reaching over half a million. There were clashes with the police as they used tear gas against demonstrators trying to go up the steps in the parliament building. Three bank employees died in a blaze when a Marfin Bank building was set on fire.

Eurozone crisis: German rifts revealed by bailout

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The bailout of Greece may have averted a eurozone meltdown, but it has opened rifts in the German ruling class who resent paying for Greek debt. At the same time the Left Party faces tough choices, writes Phil Butland.

In the wake of the Greek crisis Bild Zeitung, the German equivalent of the Sun newspaper, made a predictable attack on Greek workers. Bild promoted the idea that all Greeks are comfortably off and work a few years in public service non-jobs before taking well paid early retirement. With headlines like "Billions for Greece, and what about us?" it tried to drive a wedge between "hard-working German tax payers" and "lazy Greeks".

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