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The imperial rivalry between the US and China means the left must choose the EU it wants

The US has declared China a “currency manipulator” — which, on the face of it, is like a bear declaring that another bear defecated in the woods. But the formal act of designation is a big deal.

Under a law passed in 1988, when the US first discovered that its global dominance might be under threat from trade competitors, the president is empowered to “initiate negotiations … on an expedited basis” to force China to raise the value of the renminbi against the dollar.

The act includes sanctions such as banning Chinese firms from US contracts, and was described at the time by critics as “the economic equivalent of civilian bombing”. But in truth the economic war between China and the US is already under way, and is wholly framed by Trump’s skewed vision of American geopolitics.

https://www.newstatesman.com/world/north-america/2019/08/imperial-rivalry-between-us-and-china-means-left-must-choose-eu-it-wants

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Posted by on August 7, 2019 in Asia, Economy, European Union, North America

 

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L’accordo sui migranti di Macron è una sfida ai porti chiusi di Salvini

Quattordici paesi europei hanno trovato un accordo per attivare “un meccanismo di solidarietà” che serva a ricollocare i migranti soccorsi nel Mediterraneo. Lo ha annunciato il 22 luglio il presidente francese Emmanuel Macron in una conferenza stampa a Parigi, dopo aver ricevuto l’Alto commissario dell’Onu per i rifugiati Filippo Grandi e il direttore generale dell’Organizzazione mondiale delle migrazioni (Oim) Manuel de Carvalho Ferreira Vitorino e al termine di una riunione informale tra i ministri dell’interno e degli esteri dei paesi europei.

Tra i quattordici che si sono detti disponibili all’accordo voluto da Parigi e Berlino ce ne sono otto che saranno particolarmente attivi nel progetto: si tratta della Francia, della Germania, del Portogallo, del Lussemburgo, della Finlandia, della Lituania, della Croazia e dell’Irlanda. Il ministro dell’interno italiano Matteo Salvini non ha partecipato al vertice convocato da Parigi e ha fatto sapere che non intende sottoscrivere la proposta francese.

https://www.internazionale.it/bloc-notes/annalisa-camilli/2019/07/23/macron-salvini-migranti-accordo

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2019 in European Union, Uncategorized

 

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L’arte di viaggiare lentamente

Soprattutto d’estate – che sia in una remota stazione in Lapponia, in una rivestita di azulejos in Portogallo o in quella di una grande città d’arte europea – è facile incontrare viaggiatori con lo zaino in spalla e la faccia stanca. Molto probabilmente hanno in tasca un biglietto Interrail, il celebre pass che permette ai cittadini europei di tutte le età di viaggiare in treno in Europa.

Era il 1972 quando i primi 87mila biglietti Interrail furono emessi dalle ferrovie di vari paesi europei. Oggi, a quarantasette anni dalla sua fondazione, più di dieci milioni di persone hanno scelto di fare un viaggio in Interrail. Fanno parte della comunità degli interrailer, ovvero viaggiatori che hanno deciso di esplorare una parte del continente europeo nel segno della libertà e della lentezza, della sostenibilità ambientale e del risparmio.

https://www.internazionale.it/notizie/jacopo-ottaviani/2019/07/23/l-arte-di-viaggiare-lentamente

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2019 in European Union

 

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Yanis Varoufakis: “Never before have we had so much money, yet so little investment in what humanity needs”

Laura Siegler: With the economic rift seemingly still expanding between Southern Europe, on the one hand, and the ‘core’ European countries (Germany, Benelux, France, Scandinavia) on the other, what is the scope for a common environmental agenda of the European left?

Yanis Varoufakis: This question is not just global but also within Europe, because the fragmentation of oligarchy — of capitalism and financialised capitalism — is detrimental to any attack against the climate extinction we are facing. We have a remarkable disconnect, an imbalance, between the amount of liquidity, of money which is available, and the amount of investments — the things the humanity needs. Never before have we had so little investment in what humanity needs, in relation, as a percentage, to the available money. We have the highest amount of savings in the history of capitalism, and the lowest levels of investments, in comparison, especially in the technology of the future that will prevent the climate catastrophe.

https://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/yanis-varoufakis-never-money-investment-humanity-needs/

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2019 in Economy, European Union

 

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Carola Rackete and Europe’s Troubling Refugee Policies

It’s been four days since Isaac, Fréderic and their friends arrived in the port of Lampedusa on board the Sea-Watch 3, captained by Carola Rackete. They can hardly believe they’re really here. The sun is setting and the temperature has become a bit more bearable as they sit on the steps of the San Gerlando church.

It is shortly after 9 p.m. on this Tuesday and they have just received a message on their smartphones: “Carola libera.” Carola is free.

The reference is to Carola Rackete, the 31-year-old German captain of the Sea-Watch 3 who has become a rival to Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini — and a figurehead for a less restrictive migration policy.

But the migrants standing in front of the church merely see her as the woman without whom none of them would have made it to Europe. They cheer when they read the news that she has been released.

“Carola Rackete saved our lives. Without her, we would all be dead,” says Fréderic Samassi, a 24-year-old from Ivory Coast. He says he spent three years in Libya, most of it behind bars, an ordeal during which he says he saw many terrible things. Now, he has reached the goal that he had imagined when he left his home in 2016: Europe.

https://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/carola-rackete-and-europe-s-troubling-refugee-policies-a-1276268.html

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2019 in European Union

 

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Horrific pictures of drowned migrants should not distract us from the fact that far more people die on EU borders

Four years ago, I was standing by the grave of Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old child who drowned when the rubber boat carrying him and his Syrian Kurdish family from Turkey to Greece was flipped over by high waves. The picture of his small body in a red shirt and black shorts lying face down on a Turkish beach with his head in the surf was supposed to have focused public attention on the hideous plight of refugees in the Mediterranean.

Alan’s grave was an ugly stone rectangle in a cemetery beside the ruins of the Kurdish city of Kobani in northern Syria which Isis had ferociously assaulted and nearly captured in a prolonged siege in 2014-15. I found the scene all the more moving because there were no flowers and Alan’s little grave was surrounded by fresh earth gouged out by a bulldozer preparing the ground for more graves.

I thought of Alan again this week when a photo was published of a father and daughter, also refugees, lying face down in muddy brown water close to the bank of the Rio Grande which they had been trying to swim to reach the United States. Like Alan and his family, Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez drowned together with his 23-month-old daughter Valeria on what they hoped would be the last lap of their journey to a better life.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/drowned-migrants-border-photo-eu-deaths-mediterranean-boats-a8979731.html

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2019 in Reportages

 

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Il nazionalismo che viene dall’Europa dell’est

La risposta alla domanda se in Europa centrale i concetti di nazione e nazionalismo hanno un significato diverso che nell’Europa occidentale o negli Stati Uniti è senza dubbio affermativa. Sì, l’idea di nazione nella mente dei polacchi, dei cechi, degli slovacchi, degli ungheresi, dei lituani, dei lettoni, degli estoni, e anche degli ucraini, dei bielorussi, dei romeni, dei moldavi, dei bulgari, degli sloveni, dei croati, dei serbi, dei macedoni, dei musulmani bosniaci, degli albanesi è in molti casi estremamente diversa da quella a cui sono abituati i britannici, i francesi, gli spagnoli, gli italiani e perfino i cittadini della Mitteleuropa, come i tedeschi o gli austriaci. Questa specificità è al tempo stesso motivo di orgoglio e ragione di complessi profondamente nascosti.

Questa riflessione del politologo polacco Radosław Zenderowski, pubblicata nella preziosa raccolta di saggi Understanding Central Europe, è una premessa necessaria se si decide di affrontare la questione del ritorno del nazionalismo in uno spazio geografico particolare – l’Europa centrorientale – proprio mentre il cosiddetto sovranismo, le politiche identitarie e le tendenze autoritarie si diffondono in mezza Europa e in molte altre aree del pianeta.

https://www.internazionale.it/bloc-notes/andrea-pipino/2019/06/14/nazionalismo-europa-orientale

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2019 in European Union

 

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L’Europe, une moribonde qui se porte bien

Il y a désormais une idée neuve en Europe : l’Europe. Plus exactement : l’Union européenne. S’il y a en effet une idée gagnante dans ce scrutin, c’est bien l’idée européenne. Contrairement à tant de pronostics sinistres, à tant de prophéties bidon débitées par les nationalistes, elle a résisté victorieusement à toutes les crises et son assise électorale reste solide. Sa légitimité s’est même renforcée grâce à une participation repartie à la hausse. Alors que la mobilisation des électeurs ne cessait de se dégrader de scrutin en scrutin, elle vient de se redresser nettement, pour repasser au-dessus de la barre des 50 %, meilleur score depuis des lustres. Les affaires de l’UE, de toute évidence, intéressent de nouveau les électeurs, qui savent bien que certains problèmes essentiels – l’écologie, l’immigration, l’agriculture, la pêche, la stratégie industrielle, la monnaie, le dérèglement financier – ne pourront se résoudre sans une coopération renforcée entre les nations de l’Union.

https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2019/05/27/l-europe-une-moribonde-qui-se-porte-bien_1730037

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2019 in European Union

 

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Reasons for Hope and Concern in Europe’s Elections

Last week’s elections to the European Parliament, like many other elections these days, were more of an ideological battleground than a process of choosing representatives to a legislature. The populist nationalists on the rise across much of the world had been expected to score big, and to the degree that they fell short there was relief. But there was little else to pop Champagne corks about.

The European Parliament itself is not an institution many Europeans feel strongly about, and past elections have reflected that disinterest. But the rise of populism and a broad dissatisfaction with traditional parties turned this year’s elections into something of a referendum on populist nationalism, on the European Union itself and on the mainstream parties.

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2019 in European Union

 

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A true European democracy begins with equal rights for all

For the current round of European elections, it has been European citizens who have taken the lead: they are out on the streets of Europe, organising demonstrations (such as European May, or #oneEuropeforAll), running roadshows (“European Alternatives”), offering free interrail journeys to young people, writing one manifesto after the other (VoxEurop, EuropaNow!, Civico Europa’s call for a new European renaissance, and many others), creating transnational parties (Volt, DiEM25, European Spring) and making their presence felt at markets across Europe each and every Sunday at 2pm, like PulseofEurope.

Virtual European passports are being distributed online by Austrian rock band Bilderbuch, along with German comedian Jan Böhmermann. There has been an unprecedented popular mobilisation during these European elections, and it seems to be working: 59 percent of Polish citizens intend to go to the ballot box, which would be twice as many who voted in 2014; similarly, 69 percent of Germans say they will vote, which would represent a 20 percent increase in turnout. Never has the European Commission spent so much time and money on communication and events to discuss the benefits that the EU brings, and challenges it faces.

https://voxeurop.eu/en/2019/27-voices-europe-5123263

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2019 in European Union, Uncategorized

 

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