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PORTSIDE  May 2012, Week 3

PORTSIDE May 2012, Week 3

Subject:

France and Greece Continue to Shock and Inspire Europe

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Date:

Thu, 17 May 2012 22:36:38 -0400

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France and Greece Continue to Shock and Inspire Europe 

   * France Will Not Ratify Current EU Fiscal Pact
   * Open letter to Alexis Tsipras from Spanish leftists

===

France Will Not Ratify Current EU Fiscal Pact

    New finance minister Pierre Moscovici says eurozone pact
    must be renegotiated to promote growth rather than
    austerity.

al jazeera May 17, 2012

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2012/05/20125179618810580.html

France will not ratify the European Union's pact on fiscal
discipline unless it is amended to include ambitious
commitments to promote economic growth, the country's new
finance minister, Pierre Moscovici, has said.

"What we've said is the treaty will not be ratified as it
stands," Moscovici told France's BFM TV on Thursday. "We're
firm on this."

Moscovici, part of a new left-leaning government formed
after the swearing-in of Francois Hollande as president this
week, took over from his conservative predecessor Francois
Baroin on Thursday.

The new French team was committed to serious management of
public finances but also wanted a strong pro-growth strategy
in Europe, he said.

Hollande, France's first Socialist president for 17 years,
had long made his position clear on a pact that his
predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, signed with other European
leaders in March.

'Ambitious growth strategy'

Hollande discussed the issue with German Chancellor Angela
Merkel in person within hours of his swearing-in this week,
Moscovici said.

"It [the pact] must be fleshed out with a part on economic
growth, and when I say that, we're talking about an
ambitious growth strategy," Moscovici said.

"What we are saying - and we are all very pro-European,
Francois Hollande is very European, [prime minister] Jean-
Marc Ayrault is very European and I am very European - is
that we must take the construction of Europe in a new
direction, not to shrug off budgetary responsibility ... for
us budgetary responsibility and economic growth are not
opposites."

Moscovici, who was a junior European affairs minister in the
last left government of 1997-2002, said Merkel and Hollande
had looked at a number of growth-promoting options.

Strategies included greater use of European structural
development funds and funding by the European Investment
Bank, but also so-called project bonds, pooled European debt
finance for growth-promoting projects.

The new minister, comfortable speaking in English, said he
was ready if asked to travel to the US with Hollande, who
leaves after a first cabinet meeting on Thursday to attend
G8 and NATO summits on the other side of the Atlantic.

"With the United States we have the same desire to rekindle
global economic growth, because everything else becomes more
difficult without growth," he said, noting that Hollande
would be meeting one-on-one with US President Barack Obama
during the trip.

==========

Open letter to Alexis Tsipras 

http://cartatsipras.blogspot.com.es/p/open-letter-to-alexis-tsipras.html

Dear Comrade Alexis Tsipras,

We are writing to you as citizens of European countries
which, like Greece, have faced the "debtocratic" offensive
of the financial and oligarchical powers in Europe.

We turn to you and through you to the thousands of Greek
citizens who cast their votes for your political
organization to express our gratitude, our solidarity and
our support for your determined resistance against the
neoliberal devastation of the material conditions of daily
life and of the very possibility of a life in common in
Greece. We support you in your struggle for another way, a
way which will mean justice, dignity and democracy for the
Greek people, and for all peoples throughout the European
Union.

We enthusiastically welcome your success in the latest Greek
elections, and we also applaud your insistence on the
incontrovertible meaning of these results; we encourage you
to persevere in this course of action which has already
furnished an example and a cause for hope for millions of
men and women from all over Europe.

We want you, the members of your organization and the Greek
citizens who, as political activists, trade unionists or
participants in broad social movements, share the project of
creating a common life truly based on freedom and
solidarity, to know the hope with which we throughout Europe
anticipate the possibility that, soon, a new Greek
government of popular unity will confront the dictatorship
of the financiers and bureaucrats who have hijacked Europe.

We see the current conjuncture in Greece as a turning point
which could lead to a radical transformation of the European
political and economic order. We need a new Europe, a Europe
of and for its citizens and all its inhabitants, free of the
brutal austerity policies that prioritize the payment of an
odious, illegal and illegitimate debt, which prevents the
human development of our communities. This is the call heard
today throughout the squares of Europe, from Puerta del Sol
in Madrid to Syntagma Square in Athens, squares scattered
all over the European geography, liberated places that are
the seeds and the constituent basis of the real democracy
that women and men in Europe want to build together.

The struggle against neoliberal authoritarianism which signs
away the present and the future of our peoples can only be
successful at the European level. It is essential, also at
the European level, that we create for ourselves truly
democratic institutions which contribute to freedom and
solidarity of the various peoples of Europe against the
neoliberal directorate and its permanent economic and
political state of exception.

"And after having waited for so long / finally the time to
weigh anchor has come," said the poet Alexandros Panagoulis,
who was your co-citizen - and ours. Women and men in Europe
have already waited too long and endured too much. Once
again, it has been left to the Greek people, so intimately
acquainted with the sea, as well as with freedom, to take
the responsibility of setting the course towards the new
Europe we glimpse in our rebellious streets and voices. We
stand shoulder to shoulder with you to set out together, a
fraternal assembly of peoples, on what will undoubtedly be a
difficult voyage, but one full of hope.

Please receive our gratitude and fraternal salutation

==========

___________________________________________

Portside aims to provide material of interest to people
on the left that will help them to interpret the world
and to change it.

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