Demonstration in Paris says “NO!” to the state of emergency, January 30, 2016 | LDH
By CHRISTIAN LEGEAIS
The second and final round of France’s Presidential election takes place on Sunday, May 7. The official results published by the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic, following the first round held on April 23, determined that Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen received the most votes (24.01 per cent and 21.30 per cent, respectively) and will compete in the second round.
Far from contributing to the resolution of the social, economic, cultural and political problems which plague French society, the election results will further aggravate the crisis in which the French nation-state is mired. In the first place, it is indisputable that the two contending candidates deprive the working class of its own voice in this election. On the elections themselves, there is nothing free or fair about them. They are being held under a government of police powers, in the conditions of a state of emergency which has become permanent after two years. The stated purpose of this état d’urgence is to “reclaim lawless areas” (“zones de non-droit”) — working class cities and suburbs — and to pacify resistance to the neo-liberal agenda. The Ministry of the Interior reinforced this state of emergency for the first round of voting. More than 50,000 police officers and gendarmes (including 12,000 for Paris alone) with 7,000 Sentinel Operation soldiers were mobilized to “secure” the 67,000 polling stations. This is one quarter of the total number of law enforcement personnel in France, and the same scenario will be repeated during the second round on May 7. Continue reading
BERLIN/N’DJAMENA/BAMAKO (October 14) – Berlin is using today’s visit of Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, to enhance its rapidly growing military influence in West Africa. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s trip to Africa early this week has already revealed Germany’s growing military importance on the African continent. According to reports, a “change” can already be noted, particularly in Mali. Traditionally within France’s exclusive sphere of influence, the EU, “fundamentally under German leadership,” is now increasingly determining that country’s development. The German government is also expanding the Bundeswehr’s activities and the supply of military hardware to Niger and Chad, along with the construction of a military base in Niger’s capital Niamey. Berlin is also seeking to obtain influence in the war against Boko Haram in Nigeria. The first agreements on support measures had already been reached with Nigeria last year. Germany is enhancing its network of influence in West Africa by increasing the deployment of expeditionary troops, the establishment of military bases and by supplying military aid. This could possibly reduce France’s traditional political and military predominance in its former colonies.
THE EUROPEAN UNION OF THE MONOPOLIES
The Merchants of Death – lithograph by Mabel Dwight
German and French foreign ministers issue call for a “European Security Compact,” maintaining “employable high-readiness forces” and establishing “standing maritime forces.” Steinmeier and Ayrault write that to “plan and conduct civil and military operations more effectively,” the EU should institute a “permanent civil-military chain of command.” The creation of a “European FBI” is also on the agenda. Continue reading
german-foreign-policy.com BERLIN (June 27) – Berlin is applying intense pressure in the aftermath of the Brexit, to reorganize the EU. Under the slogan, “flexible Union,” initial steps are being taken to establish a “core Europe.” This would mean an EU, led by a small, tight-knit core of countries, with the rest of the EU member countries being subordinated to second-class status. Continue reading
Sober analysis from Workers’ Weekly*
May Day 2016
The people of England, Scotland, Wales and the north of Ireland voted on June 23 to leave the European Union rather than remain in the EU. The voting was Leave: 17,410,742 (51.9% of valid votes cast); Remain: 16,141,241(48.1% of valid votes cast), a majority of 1,269,501, with a turnout of 72.2% of the total electorate of 46,500,001. The number of rejected ballots was 25,359. Continue reading
RMT ( Rail, Maritime & Transport ) trade union joins CGT & other European rail unions in protest demonstration in 2008 Paris against EU railways privatisation.
On the eve of the Brexit referendum, german-foreign-policy.com last week interviewed John Boyd on the European Union and the so-called Social Europe, which is especially promoted by the Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Party. He also provides background information on the stands taken by the trade unions. John Boyd is Secretary of the Campaign against Euro-federalism (CAEF), an organisation oriented towards the labour movement and trade union movement, which has been calling for a withdrawal from the EU since it was founded in 1991. Continue reading
JOHN PILGER argues that the referendum result represents a deeper, more dynamic anger than the reasons rehearsed by politicians and the media and offers a glimpse of hope.
The majority vote by Britons to leave the European Union was an act of raw democracy. Millions of ordinary people refused to be bullied, intimidated and dismissed with open contempt by their presumed betters in the major parties, the leaders of the business and banking oligarchy and the media. Continue reading