Geography Archives: Portugal

  • No Deutschland Über Alles — and No Bris

    Germany suffered two losses last week and underwent one very intimate decision.  Whether the latter was a win or a loss depends on your (point of) view — about male circumcision. Most important to most Germans was probably their hope to win the European soccer championship, held this year in Poland and the Ukraine.  Germany […]

  • “SYRIZA Is Acting Responsibly”: Interview with Yanis Varoufakis

    The German taxpayers should be happy to have SYRIZA in Greece, says economist Yanis Varoufakis in an interview.  Greece is not unwilling to reform.

    ZEIT ONLINE: Mr. Varoufakis, the Greeks say they want to keep the euro but vote for SYRIZA and its leader Alexis Tsipras, whose plan could lead to an exit from the monetary union. How does that work?

    Yanis Varoufakis: SYRIZA also wants Greece to remain in the eurozone. But, at the same time, it wants to renegotiate the austerity program, because it doesn’t work. Just about everyone who knows anything about economics knows that by now.

  • Greece at a Crossroads: Crisis and Radicalization in the Southern European Semi-periphery

    Introduction The Greek crisis represents the deepening of a long systemic contradiction whose origins lie in the 1960s, in the stagnation of monopoly capitalism and the emergence of the South.  The industrial centers of the world economy were struck by a crisis of profitability, which was displaced outward in space and forward in time by […]

  • Can Germany’s Left Party Be Saved?

    What is the matter with Germany’s Left Party?  Or, more bluntly, can it be saved?  What is the truth about the charismatic leader Oskar Lafontaine, from West German Saarland, who suddenly, surprisingly withdrew from the fight for party leadership?  Is he really out of the running?  And is that good or bad?  What are the […]

  • Impoverishing Europe

      The crisis is not relinquishing its grip on Europe.  From autumn 2008 to early 2009 the world market experienced the deepest slump in economic output since the Second World War.  This is a global crisis.  Even in emerging economies like China, Brazil, or India economic growth declined and could not compensate for the recession […]

  • Argentina and the Magic Soybean: The Commodity Export Boom That Wasn’t

    One of the great myths about the Argentine economy that is repeated nearly every day is that the rapid growth of the Argentine economy during the past decade has been a “commodity export boom.”  For example, the New York Times reported last week: Riding an export boom for commodities like soybeans, Argentina’s economy grew at […]

  • Social Democracy’s Great Error: Similarities Between the Schröder and Zapatero Administrations

    In circles close to the former Zapatero administration, attempts have been made to represent former Prime Minister Zapatero as the politician who “sacrificed himself to save Spain,” comparing him to former German Chancellor Schröder who, though aware that he would antagonize his electoral base with his clearly neoliberal policies, went ahead with them, for he […]

  • Tough on Euros, Weak on Nazis

    Hurray!  Merkel won the day!  It took a long night of backroom bargaining, but except for that Tory, David Cameron, all European Union members agreed to save the euro, save the economy, save the world!  It had been on the brink of disaster, Sarkozy warned on the eve of the meeting: unless we reach agreement […]

  • The General Strike

      General strikes were common in Europe and in the U.S. towards the end of the nineteenth century and in the first decades of the twentieth century.  They provoked great debates within the labor movement and within the revolutionary parties and movements (anarchist, communist, socialist). Much discussed were the importance of the general strike in […]

  • The Scream

    Rajoy Won Victor Nieto is a cartoonist in Venezuela.  Cf. “Polls say that seven out of ten voters for the victorious People’s Party do not have much confidence in . . . PP” (Ancelmo Gois, “Direita, volver,” 21 November 2011); “Right away, the risk premium of the Spanish debt rises and the stock market tumbles, […]

  • Debunking the Greek (and European) Crisis Narrative

    In a recent debate the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination treated cutting the deficit as the panacea that would address the European crisis and prevent the United States from having a similar fate.  This diagnosis is wrong but it is unfortunately not unique to the Republicans in this country.  In fact, it is this […]

  • Germany’s Euro Trilemma: Interview with Yanis Varoufakis

    Yanis Varoufakis is a prestigious economist who heads the Department of Economic Policy at the University of Athens.  From 2004 to 2007 Varoufakis served as economic adviser to George Papandreou.  Author of several books on Game Theory, Varoufakis is also a recognized speaker and often appears as guest analyst for news media such as the […]

  • Can BRICS Help Europe?

    Last week Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega proposed that the BRICS countries offer help to Europe, either through the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or by buying up European bonds.  I can understand the sentiment: The European authorities have created a financial crisis that is already slowing the world economy and could potentially have even worse […]

  • WFTU: ‘Support People, Oppose Imperialist Interference in Arab Countries’

      The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) organised on September 13-14 a two-day international trade union meet in the European Parliament complex in Strasbourg, France, to express solidarity with the fighting people of Arab countries and voice strong protest against the hegemonic interference of US imperialism and its European allies in the internal affairs […]

  • Austerity Politics Descends on US States

    Last week, Democratic Governors in New York and Connecticut repeated the austerity politics of Greece’s Prime Minister Papandreou and Portugal’s Socrates.  In doing so, they likewise imitated the austerity politics of their Republican and Democratic counterparts across virtually all 50 states.  Austerity for labor and the public is everywhere capitalism’s Plan B.  After all, even […]

  • The “Debt Crisis” Myth

    The prevailing understanding of economic troubles in the U.S. and Europe, the world’s two largest economies, is mistaken in a number of ways.  First: Imagine that you are driving a car down a road packed with snow and ice and you are worried about an accident.  At the same time you are ignoring the fact […]

  • “Living within Our Means” and Standard and Poor’s Downgrade

    The President, Senators, Congresspersons, media representatives, and many ordinary people speak often, these days, about Washington “learning to live within our means.”  Last Friday, the private rating company, Standard and Poor’s (S&P), said the riskiness of lending to the US had risen because the US was not living within its means (i.e. borrowing too much).  […]

  • The Struggle against Stupidity: European and U.S. Governments Continue Wrecking Their Economies

    All money managers’ eyes were on the U.S. jobs report this morning after the U.S. stock market yesterday suffered its biggest drop since 2009 and panic surged through financial markets worldwide.  The headline numbers were not as bad as many had feared: the U.S. economy added 117,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate edged […]

  • Sense and Nonsense in the Balanced Budget Debate: A Socialist Response

      The Republicans have successfully changed the main emphasis of the economic debate from job creation to deficit control.  Why the urgency for balanced budgets?  After all, this anemic “recovery” has set itself apart from all previous post-war turnarounds precisely by its manifest failure to generate jobs.  Economic growth needs to considerably exceed 3% per […]

  • Shashe Declaration: 1st Encounter of Agroecology Trainers in Africa Region 1

      We are 47 people from 22 organizations in 18 countries (Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Angola, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, South Africa, Central African Republic, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Portugal, USA, France, and Germany).  We are farmers and staff representing member organizations of La Via Campesina, along with allies from other farmer […]