+++ 24. Oktober 2012 +++
EU: the Fight against Life Threatening Austerity Escalates
Once again, more than 80,000 trade unionists and others took to the streets in Greece on Oct. 18 to protesting the crushing of their livelihood by the European Union and the IMF. In Spain and Portugal, general strikes are organized for Nov. 14, and to demonstrate their solidarity, the Greek private and public sector union federations have announced yet another general strike for the same day.
The real issue under protest is one of life and death. Even more brutal then the slashing of peoples' real earnings by 50%, through reduction of salaries and pensions and increased taxes, is the destruction of national health systems. After the dramatic case of Greece, which we have presented, the cuts scheduled for Portugal are deadly, and the debate is out in the open.
The largest trade union federation, CGTP-IN, has issued a blistering response to a recent shocking “opinion” of Portugal's National Ethics Council for the Life Sciences, asserting that the government "can and should ration" access to such expensive medications as HIV retrovirals, cancer medications, and biological agents for rheumatoid illness, on the grounds of the "world financial crisis" and of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Troika.
For the CGTP-IN, this opinion is “unacceptable and totally inhuman”. Any "cost/benefit analysis of human life which disregards the human being itself" is unacceptable, and must be rejected as an attack on the inalienable right to life itself," the union's statement says. "How can a decision be considered ethical which basically says to a person: I am not going to give you this treatment, because you are going to die and it is not worth spending money on you? Or that you cannot have access to this medication because it is very expensive and you are old and no longer worth it?"
Protests are spreading quickly. On Oct. 17, Portuguese military leaders announced a demonstration for Nov. 10 in Lisbon, to protest the unconstitutionality of the Troika-imposed austerity budget adopted by the government, and police unions are considering joining. The resolution of the military associations blasts the "violent attack on the living conditions of the Portuguese," and vows to take the measures necessary to "defend the Fatherland and the Constitution."
On another front, the Council of Europe 's Committee on Social rights recently declared that two of the labor reforms Greece implemented on the demand of the Troika violate the European social charter. The ruling concerns two measures adopted in 2010, that extended the “trial period” during which workers can be dismissed without notice to one year and cut the minimum salary for workers under 25 to two-thirds of the national minimum wage, putting them below the poverty line.
While lacking the power to enforce its findings, the Committee on Social Rights could refer the matter to the Council of Ministers of the 47-nation Council of Europe, which could then call on a member state to take corrective action.
~ deutsch + english ~
+++ 7. Mai 2013 +++
AfD: National Monetarism in “Anti-Euro” Clothing
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+++ 7. Mai 2013 +++
South-West Asia on the Verge of All-out War?
Twice within 48 hours, on May 3 and 5, Israel launched missile attacks against targets inside Syria, prompting Syrian President Bashar Assad to accuse Israel of declaring war on his country, in allian...
+++ 7. Mai 2013 +++
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