Severe Cuts Prove Romanian Government’s Weakness

May 28, 2010

by Claudia Ciobanu first published on Socialist worker


The Romanian government plans to cut 25 percent of salaries of state employees and 15 percent of pensions and state assistance (including unemployment benefits and mothers’ allowances). Romanian President Traian Basescu announced the cuts in early May, after negotiations with the IMF delegation. In a final assault against common sense and decency, the government is invoking “national security” concerns to legally justify the pension cuts.

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Authoritarianism consolidates in Bulgaria

May 4, 2010

The authoritarian tendencies of the populist Borissov government in Bulgaria are becoming blatantly obvious after the recent developments:

– A spate of spectacular arrests against former government ministers, officials and magistrates were carried out by the police. Footage of the Hollywood-style nighttime raids was made available on the Ministry of Interior website and relayed by mass media. On one memorable occasion, Chief Prosecutor for the District of Sofia, Roman Vassilev, ordered the former defence minister on the floor and called him a “criminal”. He was later reprimanded by his superiors but such behaviour is more and more appreciated by the public at large. Online forums are bristling with calls for retribution and calls for summary justice (though my sample is very limited and, admittedly, there are those who are outraged by the brutal display of force by the police and government)

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Why Nick Clegg? The Dilemma of the British Left

April 24, 2010

For Romanian speakers only, http://www.paralele-paralele.com/2010/04/guest-post-de-ce-clegg-dilema.html
It’s a guest post about the Clegg/Brown choice among the British left, published in a blog that supports Cameron. Full text below.

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Glamour Gulag (about a book by Vasile Ernu)

April 21, 2010

Claudia Ciobanu

“The Last Heretics of the Empire” is a good criticism of totalitarian systems, from our communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, to capitalism; drawing parallels between these two is still uncomfortable for an Eastern European audience, yet the rising popularity of the writer, Vasile Ernu (born in the Soviet Union but having studied and working in Romania), is a sign that perhaps we are ready to become more analytical.

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The State of Climate Change Talks (Bolivian Perspective)

April 10, 2010



Η «Αριστερά», πέρα από την αριστερά.

March 23, 2010

Αυτή η απελευθερωτική στιγμή για την κοινωνία που κρύβεται ως υπόσχεση μέσα στις αιωνόβιες πολικό-ιδεολογικές αναλύσεις του συστήματος ή ως βίωμα στο σάστισμα που σε πλημμυρίζει τις λίγες στιγμές που οι μάζες στο δρόμο περνούν στο προσκήνιο συγκροτημένα είναι σήμερα έντονα απούσα. Είναι πια κοινός τόπος ότι ο καιρός που ο προορισμός προς τον «καλύτερο κόσμο» ήταν συγκεκριμένη έννοια υπό την ευθύνη μιας πεφωτισμένης καθοδήγησης έχει παρέλθει οριστικά. Αυτό όμως δεν εξηγεί από μόνο του γιατί όποτε σήμερα η Αριστερά επιχειρεί να δείξει με βεβαιότητα προς τα κάπου δεν αποφεύγει τις σουρεαλιστικές ακροβασίες, που γίνονται αναγκαίες ώστε να χωρέσει μέσα στον στενό κώδικα της έννοιες πιο σύγχρονες και από αυτή την ίδια.

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The Robin Hood Tax

February 18, 2010

a tiny tiny tax on some financial transactions with money going to boosting national budgets, for international aid and action against climate change.

a fun promo video for a simple idea here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzZIRMXcxRc

and the petition to support it here https://secure.avaaz.org/en/robin_hood/?rc=fbp&pv=1