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How Not to Fix Europe

Source: Jacobin

Europe needs mass movements that threaten its ruling elite, not technocratic fixes and a PR makeover.

Within twenty-four hours of the Brexit vote, Sigmar Gabriel — Social Democratic Party (SPD) chairman, German vice chancellor, and minister of economic affairs — and EU Parliament President Martin Schulz published a strategy paper aimed at dealing with the legitimacy crisis of the European Union and the rise of the far right.

Brexit prompted new hopes and fears that the European Union’s market-liberal forces are weakening and forced many EU leaders and mainstream media figures alike to call for renewal. In this context, Gabriel and Schulz have adopted — some might say stolen — the left-wing demand for a “re-foundation of Europe” that “belongs to its citizens.” read more

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Making Sense of Brexit

Source: Democracy Now!

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Britain remains in a widening crisis days after voters chose to leave the European Union. British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced his resignation. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is facing a coup within his own party as more than a dozen members of his shadow cabinet have resigned or been sacked. Scotland has announced it will take any steps needed to stay inside the European Union, including possibly holding a second independence referendum. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is headed to Brussels and London to discuss the political and economic upheaval caused by the Brexit vote. To make sense of what’s happening, we speak to longtime British journalist Paul Mason, who has worked at the BBC and Channel 4. His new book is titled “Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future” read more

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Five Takeaways from the Spanish Election

Source: Foreign Policy in Focus

The 2016 vote may have been a disappointment to Spain’s insurgent progressives. But they’ve proven they’re here to stay.

  1. The vote was a stalemate, but the political landscape has changed.

Spain voted on June 26 with polls suggesting that the populist progressive Podemos party would overtake the traditional Socialist Party, PSOE, as the main left-wing opposition to the center-right Popular Party, or PP. Some thought the electoral math might even favor a progressive government headed by Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias. read more