Europe

"Widerstand! Widerstand!" - "Resistance! Resistance!" - that is the main slogan of the protest wave which has been shaking Austria for more than three weeks. When it became clear that the conservative Peoples Party (ÖVP) was to form a coalition with the extreme right-wing Freedom Party of Jörg Haider, this sharp political turn sparked a spontaneous movement never seen before in Austria.

Railworkers took the initiative in launching demonstrations against the entry of the extreme right wing Freedom Party of Haider in the new government on the third of February. Since that day, students and other young people have not stopped hitting the streets of Vienna and other towns in Austria. This country has definitely broken with its smooth and consensual past. Today class struggle in its different forms is again on the order of the day. We spoke with Herbert Bartik, activist of the Vienna Socialist Youth and of the Marxist paper Der Funke about...

During the NATO bombings in Serbia and Kosovo the propaganda machine of the media in the West, with a few noble exceptions, obediently put forward the line that it was necessary to concentrate the armed might of the nineteen most powerful nations of the world, in order to stop the "ethnic cleansing" of the Kosovar Albanians. All the news was aimed at justifying everything NATO was doing.

During the NATO bombings in Serbia and Kosovo the propaganda machine of the media in the West was in full swing in order to justify everything NATO was doing. On 16th January ITV broadcast a documentary by Jonathan Dimbleby which confirms most of what was reported at the time were lies and propaganda. Fred Weston reviews.

Since 1945 Austrian politics were characterised by coalition governments with the participation of the Socialist Party. But on Friday January 21st the pressure from the trade unions forced the break-down of coalition talks between the SP and the conservative PP. Gernot Trausmuth, Editorial board of the Austrian Marxist magazine 'Der Funke' , looks at the implications of this for the future of the class struggle in Austria. January 2000.

Ted Grant and Phil Mitchinson look at the reasons behind Yeltsin's sudden resignation and the implications of the new Putin regime for the future of Russia and international relations.

This document was written by Ted Grant together with Roger Silverman in 1967 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Russian revolution. The article explains how Stalinism arose and clearly shows how even at that time the Stalinist bureaucracy was facing a serious crisis and confidently predicted its inevitable downfall at some stage.

The new war in Chechnya is a further evidence of a shift of power in Russia in the direction of the military. The generals are now clearly in the saddle. Not only are they deciding the war agenda in Chechnya, but they are doing so without regard to the opinions of the Kremlin clique. Boris Yeltsin is now an irrelevance.

Things are changing fast in Germany. In September 1998, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) scored a big victory in the Bundestag elections, ousting the bourgeois coalition under Kohl which had held power for 16 years. The new "red-green" coalition government under chancellor Schröder was greeted with great hope by millions of workers, unemployed, old age pensioners and youth. Now the SPD as well as the Greens are stumbling from defeat to catastrophe to disaster.

We hear a lot about the Third Way these days. But does this represent anything new or is it just the socialdemocrats recognising that there is no longer any room for manouvre? Barbara Humphries looks at where these ideas come from and what do they really mean.

On October 3rd Austria was shaken by a political earthquake. After decades of "social partnership", after 13 years of a 'Grand Coalition' between the Social Democrat Party (SP) and the conservative Peoples Party (VP) characterised by enormous stability these parliamentary elections mark a turning point in Austria's post-war history. Especially the big success of the extreme right-wing party of Jörg Haider, the FP÷, was not only a shock to a lot of people in Austria, but also internationally.

The press in the West have been highlighting the opposition movement that has been developing in Serbia. They have been announcing the imminent fall of Milosevic ever since the ending of NATO's bombing campaign. Thus on 4th August The Guardian published an article under the headline 'Campaign to oust Milosevic gathers pace'. The television reporting has been particularly insisting on this angle. But when one looks at the real situation on the ground one gets a completely different picture.

Last month, Northern Ireland exploded into violence again. Petrol bombs, blazing buildings, and RUC brutality against protesters were all in evidence in the wake of the Apprentice Boys parade in Derry.

The press in the West have been highlighting the opposition movement that has been developing in Serbia. They have been announcing the imminent fall of Milosevic ever since the ending of NATO's bombing campaign.Ted Grant and Fred Weston analyse this "opposition" and outline the position of Marxists.

This article looks at the effects of the war in Kosovo on international relations, the perspectives for the opposition movement in Serbia, the situation in Kosovo and the relations between the KLA and NATO, and stresses the need for an independent working class internationalist policy.

An eyewitness report by Alan Woods which explains the effects of the Kosovo crisis in Russia and outlines the utter collapse of the"market reforms" in this country.

This short article by Alan Woods, was originally written for the Galician language magazine "Onte e Hoxe" and it deals with the general position of Marxism in relation to the national question and also explains the situation in relation to Kosovo.

In this interview, conducted on June 6, 1999, Dragan argues that: "a socialist and internationalist policy is the only way to successfully fight imperialism and domestic Stalinists"

Burn This House", published in 1997 is worth reading as the Balkans have been yet again plunged into war. It is written by critical non-nationalist Muslim, Croatian and Serbian historians and journalists who challenge the ethnic-nationalism of the politicians currently running former Yugoslavia and the views and strategies of the so-called "international community". Reviewed by Barbara Humphries.

NATO has not achieved a "victory" in Kosovo. It has not achieved its war aims. The TV and the press are attempting to convince public opinion that the bombing campaign has achieved its objectives. But as in all wars the first casualty is the truth itself. Anyone who wants to understand what is really happening must be careful not to be blown off track by the propaganda machine of the bourgeoisie.

History repeats itself, wrote Karl Marx. First as tragedy, then as farce. After the most inept military campaign since the Crimean War, we are now treated to the spectacle of the most ridiculous diplomatic bungling in history.

The situation in the Balkans is changing from day to day, even from hour to hour. From the beginning of the conflict Socialist Appeal has followed all the twists and turns in the war and the diplomatic and propaganda manoeuvres that accompany it. We here publish an analysis of the recent developments.

With every passing day the beat of the war drums gets louder. The pages of the newspapers, the television screens and radio broadcasts pour out a flood of propaganda aimed at whipping up a mood of bellicose hysteria. What intention lies behind this barrage? Only to blunt the minds and sensibilities of the populations of the countries of the North Atlantic alliance to that critical point where civilised men and women are prepared to accept ground war. Ted Grant and Alan Woods analyse...

"The entire history of the international workers' movement in the twentieth century has furnished us with a wealth of material to show the way in which the working class and its organisations develop. From the study of the workers' movement over several decades, I drew the following inescapable conclusion: that when the mass of the workers enter the arena of struggle to change society, they inevitably gravitate, in the first instance, to the traditional mass organisations. The mass of the workers--and even the greater part of the advanced elements of the class--do not learn from books, but only from experience, and particularly the experience of great events. Where a strong and educated

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As the failure of NATO's bombing campaign in Yugoslavia becomes increasingly clear, the number of civilian casualties of this so-called "precision bombing" increase. Yesterday, (Monday April 12) at least ten people were killed and 16 injured after a Nato missile hit a passenger train as it crossed a bridge in south-east Serbia. According to a Press Association wire "reporters taken to the scene by Yugoslav authorities described scattered human limbs, smashed rail carriages and the stench of burning flesh." Western military officials said that the target was a rail bridge above a river that the train "happened to be on at the time" (!!).

"Something must be done" is the understandable feeling of workers watching the harrowing scenes on our TV screens every evening. The sight of thousands of people herded into giant camps, the pictures of the displaced, the dispossessed and the dead, the screaming children, the helpless pensioners, the hungry and the diseased cannot but stir our emotions.

NATO's bombing campaign enters into its third week having achieved none of its alleged "humanitarian aims" but on the contrary having worsened the situation. Thousands of Kosovo Albanians have been forced to flee, Milosevic is stronger than ever and innocent civilians are being bombed all over Yugoslavia while a massive propaganda campaign is launched by imperialism to try and justify its actions. Ted Grant gives a Socialist perspective.

A detailed analysis of the causes and perspectives for the conflict in the Balkans from a socialist internationalist point of view. This article deals with the real reasons for imperialist intervention, the role of imperialism in the berak-up of Yugoslavia, the danger of an all-out war in the Balkans and it advances the slogan of the Socialist Federation of the Balkans as the only solution.

For more than 100 years, the democratic and progressive forces on the Balkans have striven to overcome national divisions and hatreds, and to unite the peoples of the Balkans on the basis of a federation, based on genuine equality and fraternal relations. However, on a capitalist basis, the idea of a Balkan Federation remained a hopeless utopia. An outstanding analysis of the break-up of Yugoslavia written at the beginning of the conflict.

NATO war planes have rained down bombs on Yugoslavia killing men women and children. It is a bloody act of naked aggression by the big imperialist powers, who are using a "humanitarian" cover for their ruthless pursuits. Rather than bringing peace, the bombing has brought a trail of suffering, bloodshed and death and threatens to plunge the whole region into open war. Read an internationalist analysis.

On January 1999 the Romanian miners marched again on the capital Bucarest in opposition to plans to close the mines. As a result miners' leader Miron Cozma was sentenced to 18 years of jail and arrested during violent clashes between miners and riot police. The miners from the Jiu Valley have a long and proud history of struggle. Alan Woods examines the implications for the process of capitalist restoration in Romania.

The decision of NATO to send troops to Kosovo marks a decisive turning-point. British Defence Secretary George Robertson has announced in parliament that the 4th Armoured Brigade will be sent from Germany to the war-torn province of Yugoslavia. Officially, NATO has not yet approved the intervention. But NATO ministers have already agreed to dispatch up to 30,000 if a peace deal is brokered between the Yugoslav government and the rebels of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). As usual, the imperialists present their actions as a "humanitarian peacekeeping operation". In fact, they are pursuing a dirty game of power politics in which the lives and rights of the peoples are just so much small

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Your marxist site has inspired me to write to You, in order to show appreciation of Your efforts and to appeal for action. I'm glad to see some understanding of situation in the Balkans in "outter world" in theese hard days for people of Yugoslavia. Seeing that marxism is still fighting its battle on the west gives me a bit of hope and comfort. Here it looks like marxism lost the battle; abused to create a totalitarian regime and then cursed as a bad religion and thrown away. But, the final word hasn't been said yet - the cruel process of initial capital accumulation that is taking place in last few years under the mask of transition from socialism to "democracy", and

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The high turn out rate of 70.7% in the election in Euskadi (Basque name for the Basque country), 11 points higher than the last regional elections of 1994, and only 0.8% less than the general election of 1996, reflects the enormous interest of the Basque population in finding a solution to their problems, starting with an end to the long nightmare of repression and terrorism with the change in the political situation since the ETA ceasefire.

As the crisis in Russia deepens, all sorts of workers' committees are emerging: strike committees, salvation committees, etc. Some of them are soviets in all but in name. Renfrey Clarke interviews the Anzhero-Sudzhensk Workers' committee and finds out how workers democracy functions in practice.

A historic defeat for chancellor Kohl and a clear victory for the left are the most outstanding features of the German election on September 27. After exactly 16 years of Kohl in office, German workers and youth said: enough is enough. German is now likely to be governed by a coalition of Social Democrats and Greens. Hans Gerd Ofinger analyses the implications from Germany.

Russia stands at the parting of the ways. The strategists of capital are facing a completely different situation from that which they had expected when the old Stalinist regime collapsed. They thought there would be a smooth transition to capitalism. That is not what they are getting. Ted Grant and Alan Woods provide a socialist analysis of why and what is the way forward.

The roar of hundreds of coal miners drumming their helmets on the pavement rolls like thunder up the glass and granite face of Russia's White House, the seat of government. Even more ominous is the repeated mass chant: "Resign! Resign!". Fred Weir reports from Moscow on the latest wave of militancy of Russian miners.

Konstatin Simitis--the Greek Tony Blair--is a worried man. Elected after the death of Andreas Papandreu less than two years ago as leader of the Greek socialist party (PASOK) under the banner of "modernisation" he had 70% of public opinion behind him. Now it has dropped to 18%. The streets of Athens (congested at the best of times) are regularly blocked with demonstrations of angry bankworkers, airline employees and teachers. The premises of the Ionian bank, which the government wants to privatise, are occupied by the workers and covered with black flags. Alan Woods reports from Greece.

This is supposed to be, as the media are forever telling us, the people's game, our World Cup, etc., etc. But we have little or no say in it. We generate the passion but all the officials see are the buckets of cash. The governing bodies of football, both national and international, are remote, out of touch and above all travesties of democracy. So long as big business and the multi-nationals control the game and shape it in their interests, this will continue to be the reality of things. The fightback should start now, starting with the grassroots supporters groups, to ensure that fans have a say in the...

In August 1931 the Labour prime minister, Ramsay MacDonald, crossed the floor of the Commons with a handful of supporters to join with the Tories and Liberals in forming a National Government. This event was considered one of the greatest betrayals in the history of the Labour Party. More than sixty-five years later, voices have once again been raised about the need for a radical realignment of British politics and the formation of some kind of coalition. "If Blair is the Ramsay MacDonald of the Nineties," warns the Observer, "he could be getting his National Government in early as...

On Monday, April 27th nearly 500,000 Danish private sector workers went on an all-out strike. The strike, which lasted for nearly eleven days was the biggest movement since 1985 when 1 million workers paralysed Denmark for ten days.

Events in Greece are especially relevant to the British Labour Movement because right wing PASOK (Socialist Party) leader Simitis is pursuing similar policies to those of Tony Blair and so-called "New Labour." This has led to an explosion of anger, not only on the streets, but in the trade unions and in PASOK itself. The PASOK union leaders were pro-Simitis one year ago, but now they have been forced into semi-opposition. Under pressure from below, they called a one-day general strike on April the 8th. Alan Woods reports.

"No-one, it seems, has learned anything on the Balkans since 1991." (Financial Times, editorial, 9/3/98.) The scenes of massacre of men, women and children in Kosovo have disturbed the conscience of civilised people everywhere. What is the meaning of this? What is the solution? And how should the labour movement react? Alan Woods analyses the situation and puts forward, as the only solution, the Socialist Federation of the Balkans with full autonomy for all people's.

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