Category Archives: Democracy

Nuclear energy and democracy | Al Jazeera English

On March 19, 6,000 armed policemen descended on Koodankulam, a small village near the southern tip of India, to suppress a local protest that, although peaceful, had threatened to derail the establishment of a nuclear plant there. The policemen rapidly arrested hundreds of people, blockaded roads, shut out the media and laid siege to the area where the protesters were based, even stopping the supply of water for a few days. Continue reading…

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Filed under Civil disobedience, Democracy, Nuclear weapons and energy

Lobbyists Pose Conflicts of Interest At European Food Agency | CorpWatch

Should lobbyists for biotech and food companies be allowed to make the rules on scientifically questionable products sold in the supermarket and – by default – your kitchen? The companies like the idea because they stand to make a huge profit. Yet the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) appears to have failed to properly regulate such conflicts of interest. Continue reading…

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Filed under Corporations, Corporatism, Corruption, Democracy, Food and agriculture

Europe Inc. in crisis – the EU’s alliance with big business is a dead-end | Corporate Europe Observatory

It is now 15 years since four friends in Amsterdam set up Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) and published the report Europe, Inc.: Dangerous Liaisons between EU Institutions and Industry.1 Launched at the civil society “Summit from Below” which happened alongside the EU Summit in Amsterdam in June 1997, the report exposed the influence of industry lobbying on the new EU treaty being signed at the summit. This first CEO report uncovered the powerful role of lobby groups such as the European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT), in promoting and shaping an EU-wide free trade area (the single market), a single currency (the euro), and numerous other major EU projects and policies at the time. The report warned that the far-reaching influence of corporate lobbies over EU decision-making came at the expense of democracy and of social and environmental concerns.

Fifteen years later, those very same problems have not gone away. In fact, the situation is worse than ever before. The corporate capture of EU policies has played a central role in sparking the deepest economic crisis for generations and contributed to the EU’s flawed response to the crisis, based on harsh austerity policies that are currently causing social havoc across Europe. Continue reading…

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Filed under Corporatism, Corruption, Democracy, Economism and neoliberalism

The rise of Dutch neo-liberal nationalism | openDemocracy

Europe is in crisis and has been for the last couple of years. It is however not only Greece, Portugal and Spain which find themselves in volatile political and economic times. Events in the troubled regions to the south have overshadowed the silent corrosion of democratic values and human rights of countries historically considered to be at the political heart of the European project. The Netherlands is a painful reminder that it is not only Greece which increasingly lacks democratic legitimacy but that the problem is structural and widespread. Continue reading…

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Filed under Democracy, Economism and neoliberalism, Financial crisis

Treaty to produce ‘shocking austerity’ | The Irish Times

Acceptance of the fiscal treaty will mean “permanent” and “shocking austerity” for Ireland, academic and political activist Kieran Allen said.

Speaking at the launch of his booklet The Fiscal Treaty and the Euro Crisis, Dr Allen, senior lecturer at the UCD school of sociology, said the treaty would “lock down” public spending and ensure the people of Europe are squeezed for years to come in order to pay back bonds to the banks. Continue reading…

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Filed under Democracy, Economism and neoliberalism, Financial crisis

Greenpeace staff blocked from entering South Korea as Government cracks down on nuclear opposition | Greenpeace International

Three Greenpeace senior staff members accompanying the organisation’s International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo were today denied entry and deported from South Korea, highlighting the Government’s growing willingness to suppress voices speaking out against its nuclear energy expansion ambitions. Continue reading…

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Filed under Civil rights, Democracy, Environment, Nuclear weapons and energy

Why do bankers get to decide who pays for the mess Europe is in? | Comment is free | The Guardian

There were times when the whole of 2011 seemed to be one long European summit, when you heard more about Papandreou and Merkozy than was strictly necessary. Yet you probably didn’t catch many references to Charles Dallara and Josef Ackermann.

They’re two of the most senior bankers in the world – among the top 1% of the 1%. Dallara served in the Treasury under Ronald Reagan, before moving on to Wall Street, while Ackermann is chief executive of Deutsche Bank. But their role in the euro negotiations, and so in deciding Greece’s future, was as representatives of the International Institute for Finance. Continue reading…

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Filed under Corporations, Corporatism, Corruption, Democracy, Economism and neoliberalism, Financial crisis