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Latvia – Unprecedented economic collapse

IMF and EU blackmail means misery for workers

 

Per Olsson, Rattvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI in Sweden)

 

Latvia’s Gross National Product (GNP) fell by 18 % in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the same quarter the previous year. Industrial production declined by 22 % and retail sales by 25 % in the same period. These are catastrophic figures. “Latvia has become a capitalist inferno,” wrote the Swedish economic journal, Veckan Affärer, earlier this year. The Latvian economy is collapsing at a rate and to an extent that are unprecedented. For the first three months of this year, the annualised contraction of GNP was 30%. With the economy collapsing, the International Monetary Fund and European Union officials have demanded that the Latvian government cut its budget by 40% - a drastic measure that can only strangle a country already on the edge.

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Kazakhstan oil strike

One thousand eight hundred workers at the Burgylai oil wells at Zhanaozen, Kazakhstan are on strike demanding the nationalisation of their plant and that the government take emergency measures to stabilise the economic situation in the country, stop mass sackings ...

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Economic Crisis in Ireland

“THIS BUDGET was tough," wrote the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Brian Cowen, in an article for the Irish Times. Savage would be a more apt description for the emergency budget announced on April 8th in terms of the impact it will have on the lives of working class people in Ireland. 

by Sinéad Daly 

In real terms this will mean a family with a single income of €50,000 will be down €4,400.  And if you are a public sector worker you can throw an extra €2,500 on top of that because of the impact of the increase on the pension contributions in the last budget.  

What the attacks mean

  • A doubling of income levies (taxes).
  • A doubling of health levies.
  • A halving of early childhood supplement (help for nursery costs) from €1,000 to €500 and it’s scrapping next year.
  • Jobseekers’ allowance halved from €200 to €100 for people under 20.
  • 5% increase in pension contributions for all public sector workers.
  • 5c on a litre of diesel.

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Stop the Slaughter in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka humanitarian crisis

There is ferment among Tamil-speaking people worldwide over the slaughter taking place in the north of Sri Lanka. Over 2,000 people have died in recent weeks. All critics of the government are silenced. Nearly 200,000 Tamil people are still trapped in the war zone. The Rajapakse government of Sri Lanka refuses to cooperate in a ceasefire to evacuate them.  Protesters in New Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai joined hundreds of others around the world on 8 April demanding an immediate ceasefire and end to the slaughter of Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka. (In London, thousands of Tamils have been occupying Parliament Square for days.) 

by Jagadish Chandra, Delhi 

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Socialism or Capitalism

Only 53% of American adults believe capitalism is better than socialism according to a new survey.  Although the survey did not seek to define what socialism is the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 20% disagree and say ...

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