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Surviving Austerity

This second edition aims to provoke debate on how Europe and the Greens can emerge stronger and more united from this difficult economic time. It includes interviews with MEPs Jean Lambert and Daniel Cohn-Bendit; reports from Ireland, Spain and the United Kingdom; and articles on what the Green response to this crisis should be.

Articles in this edition

01.05.2012
Surviving austerity, preparing a new green project!

In 2012, the urgency seems to have once again reduced the political possibilities for investment into a green conversion of the economy. Therefore, if the Greens want to reinforce their social base for an “ecological re-industrialisation”, they must re-evaluate their definition of what is socially just and share this vision with as many people as possible, starting with social movements, both new and old. This could be their best way for surviving austerity.

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01.05.2012
Inequality as cause and consequence of the crisis

Inequalities lie at both ends of the equation of the crisis. Inequality is unsustainable in many ways: it puts in danger the cohesion of our societies and it is a driving force of our unsustainable consumption model. An interview with Jean Lambert MEP and Romual Jagodzinski from the ETUI.

EN
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01.05.2012
The social consequences of imposed austerity: the case of education

Austerity is being promoted across Europe as a means of restoring competitiveness and growth. However, its implementation has disproportionately impacted the education sector, and is being used as a cloak to implement an ideological drive to privatise education systems. What are the long-term implications of such a strategy?

EN
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01.05.2012
Ireland and the EU – a relationship transformed by austerity

Ireland will vote on the European Union’s ‘Stability Treaty’ on May 31st, the only EU Member State to have a public vote on the treaty. The campaign will reignite a debate in Ireland about its relationship with the EU. For most of its time as a member of the EU, Ireland has perceived ‘Brussels’ as a positive player in Irish economic and social development. However, the economic implosion has raised awkward questions, and led to a re-evaluation of this relationship.

EN
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01.05.2012
Austerity in Spain – a failed ideology

This article aims to analyse the consequences of the structural reforms and expenditure cuts in Spain. It starts from a theoretical debate of why are these measures taken, continues with the details on the reforms and discussing whether Spain is going to achieve the EU deficit objectives, and finishes proposing a change in the approach at Spanish and EU level.

EN
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01.05.2012
Poland: the dark side of growth

With one of the highest growth rates in the European Union, the Polish economy seems to escape the crisis. But there is another side of the coin. The Polish are working more and more but earning less. This is the result of a practical obligation to systematically work overtime during weekends and the impossibility of taking annual leave. But what is the social impact of this inequality?

EN
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01.05.2012
Britain’s Gendered Austerity

Austerity in Britain has a face. That face is female. That face is a mother of a dependent child. A mother with a job – although a job she may well lose in the next couple of years through no fault of her own. A very poor paying, part-time job, renting at high cost in the private sector, in a home that’s poorly insulated and expensive to heat.

EN
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01.05.2012
Re-defining Capitalism? A Role for Social Enterprise

As the economic crisis continues, many forces are beginning to question whether capitalism can survive in its current form. In this piece, Finnish Green activist Anne Bland asks whether there is a means of changing how capitalism works, in order to make it more inclusive and supportive of green thinking.

EN
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01.05.2012
Austerity and the old dilemma of French political ecology

As with every presidential election, France is addressing national issues and shrugging off those promoted by the Greens.

EN
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01.05.2012
“Solidarity and Strength”: for an open debate on the cause of the crisis

In October 2011, the Heinrich Boell foundation presented the results of a long collaborative project on the future of Europe. This project was an invitation to debate the project that we wish to see implemented for Europe in the 21st century. This reaction calls for a debate to be developed on two levels: firstly, to debate the causes and solutions to bring to the crisis and, secondly, the transitional dialogue to undertake in order to widen the social base of a renewed concept of European solidarity.

EN
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01.05.2012
Delivering hope – is there a green answer to the challenges raised by the rise of the Front National?

The success of the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in the first round of the French Presidential election, and the success of similar nationalistic parties in other European countries, has left many wondering how the greens and progressive forces should respond to this perceived threat to European values. Edouard Gaudot suggests that the answer lies in offering hope to those who feel rejected by the political and economic system.

EN
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01.05.2012
Ecological transformation will not happen in just one country

The Greens must remain faithful to their European commitment by continuing to promote a European alternative to the austerity policy of the ‘Merkozy’ duo. But passing on an unsustainable debt to the future generation is just as ecologically unsound as leaving a planet in ruins. Whatever their differences, the Greens must present their alternative to the neoliberal’s prioritising of market forces and the “statism” of the old left. This alternative must begin with a recovery package funded by a tax on financial transactions.

EN
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