Die Linke as a Party of Trade Union Renewal
The austerity measures dictated to Portugal by the Troika’s Memorandum are nearing completion and should be fully implemented by May 2014. The impact on Portuguese society is huge. As a consequence of these policies unemployment has risen, the phenomenon of emigration has returned, the social state has been dismantled, and all major public enterprises sold off. In what follows we will try to convey what is happening in Portugal. After laying out the context, we will discuss the austerity measures and their consequences and then outline Portugal’s political scenario and the activity of its social movements. Finally, we will discuss the European elections within Portugal and the strategy of left parties.
by Panagiotis Sotiris [caption id="attachment_2239" align="alignright" width="300"] Athen, November 2011, Foto: Ed Yourdon[/caption] In the past two years Greek society has been under constant attack. The sovereign debt crisis has led to the imposition of severe austerity packages that have already created something very close to a social disaster. Average wages are already down by more than 20%, schools and hospitals are facing difficulties to function properly, the official unemployment rate already exceeds 20%. Soup kitchens, homelessness and other manifestations of poverty are becoming integral parts of the urban landscape.
by Ulrich Brand I agree with Bifo Beradi’s assumption that we find ourselves in a condition of global war, and that the emancipatory global social movements, the world-wide anti-war demonstrations on February 15 2003 notwithstanding, are unable to do much about it. I also share the diagnosis that the movements in Western Europe have achieved little in terms of alternative forms of sociality, as can be seen by the political responses to the current crisis which have barely been able to intervene into the neoliberal relations of forces. If we look at developments in Latin America, however, this is not the case. In contrast to Beradi, I do not believe the condition of war to be dominant in all societies. An attempt to advance an emancipatory politics in Baghdad, for example, takes place in different conditions than it would in La Paz, or Vienna.