Europe

On Sunday 2 August, former King Juan Carlos I left Spain for a sumptuous retirement in the Dominican Republic. This drastic move was avowedly motivated by an avalanche of revelations about the outrageous corruption and criminality in which he had been involved for decades. Juan Carlos’ flight was concocted with the current King Felipe VI and the government, led by the PSOE Social Democrats.

The leaders of the EU have come to an agreement on a new rescue package for the ailing trading bloc. But this is a show of mutual weakness, not solidarity; and the working class will be asked to foot the bill. Crisis and chaos continue to loom on the horizon.

With a presidential decree signed on 10 July, Erdogan’s regime decided to convert Hagia Sophia, a historical Byzantine church built in 534 AD, from a museum into a place of Muslim worship. The Byzantine monument was turned into a museum in 1934 with a decree from the founder of the modern bourgeois state, Kemal Ataturk, and marked the secular character of the Turkish state. The conversion is a symbolic act that seeks to emphasise the neo-Ottoman imperialist plans of the “Sultan” Erdogan and the reactionary Turkish bourgeoisie.

The Black Lives Matter movement has helped to shine a light on Britain’s own racist, colonial history. Fiona Lali looks at the origins of British capitalism, which came into being – in the words of Marx – with “blood dripping from every pore”.

Weeks after declaring a landslide electoral victory, the regime of Serbia’s president Aleksandar Vučić and his Serbian Progressive Party is facing growing dissatisfaction and civil unrest. There are many legitimate reasons for the unrest. Most people are angry over the criminal mismanagement of the COVID-19 crisis, and deeply concerned about the looming economic disaster. Up to 300,000 workers are expected to lose their jobs this autumn. However, the protests erupting all over the country are mostly amorphous, relatively small in size and without clear demands. This makes them easy pickings for right wing provocateurs and an unprecedented campaign of police brutality and state

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On 9 July began the first day of strike action by couriers in Moscow. Most of the strikers are employees of the Delivery Club franchise owned by major Russian IT corporation, the Mail.ru group. Comrades of the IMT have been actively supporting the strike.

On July 1, elections for Momentum’s leading body produced a victory for the grassroots slate, winning on a promise of democratic change and socialist policies. This should empower activists to get organised and fight the right.

As the lockdown lifts, fears are mounting of a second wave. Despite the government’s announcement of economic stimulus, the working class faces a tsunami of austerity and attacks. The labour movement must fight back.

This year has been an extraordinary one in Irish politics. The dominant political parties – Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael – were dealt a terrible blow in February’s election, so much so that the parties which could once command 80 percent in the polls have been reduced to a combined first-preference vote of 43 percent. The prevailing mood of the election was a demand for change and an end to their duopoly on power. Among the many parties calling for “change” in the election were the Green Party. However, in a craven move, the leadership of the Greens

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For the past few days, the Caribbean island of Curaçao has been shaking. There have been reports of riots, looting and fights with the police. The Dutch state is now helping the island government to “maintain order” by deploying the Dutch marine corps. What is happening?

Rinat Akhmetchin, the Mayor of Norilsk, an industrial city in Russia, has been charged with negligence following a catastrophic oil spill from a local power plant. The spill has been ongoing since 29 May, with over 20,000 tonnes of diesel seeping into the surrounding soil and waterways. On 4 June, the Kremlin issued a state of emergency in Norilsk. The city is situated in Siberia, inside the Arctic Circle, where the local ecology is already severely disturbed due to some extremely worrying symptoms of climate change: a product of the irrational, rotten capitalist system, which is placing the planet in peril.

Last week, Keir Starmer abruptly sacked former leadership rival Rebecca Long-Bailey from her position as Shadow Education Secretary, on the ludicrous charge of “sharing antisemitic conspiracy theories”. This incendiary move rightly provoked outrage amongst grassroots members.

As society begins to reopen, the ruling class is hoping for a return to ‘normality’. But the future will look nothing like the past. A deep depression looms, threatening to throw us back to the 1930s. We must fight for revolution.

Britain’s care homes have become a killing field for coronavirus. Cuts to the NHS have pushed patients into social care, causing further contagion and fatalities. To fight the pandemic, the whole sector needs to be nationalised.

It has been 34 years since the assassination of Sweden’s prime minister, the social democratic leader Olof Palme, one of the most noteworthy political figures in the history of the country. Gunned down after a visit to a movie theatre without his body-guards, the circumstances around his murder have been mysterious and the investigation mired by scandals. Many had therefore hoped for a solid conclusion to this long-overdue investigation. But all we got was the closing down of the investigation, in a transparent attempt to bury this embarrassing affair once and for all. Thus, this national tragedy yet again ended in farce.