Syriza party will ‘never ratify’ TTIP

February 6, 2015

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It has been few weeks since the Syriza party won elections and formed the government in Greece. They’ve not wasted any time to confirm their decision on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

As reported by this story in CommonDreams, the party has said that it will ‘never ratify’ the deal. This will be their ‘gift to all European people’. Georgios Katrougkalos, the new deputy minister for administrative reforms, has confirmed that the party stands by the anti-TTIP stance it had even before it came to power.

Syriza’s coalition partner seems to share the party’s views on TTIP. Greece can veto the deal, hence threatening to block it.

This is great news for organisations and individuals across Europe who have been protesting against the TTIP deal. The deal is currently in its eight round of negotiations in Brussels.

Most critics of the deal, including the Syriza party are opposed to the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism proposed in the deal. ISDS will allow corporations to sue the government for any alleged loss caused by the government’s action. If they are sued, the compensation to be paid by the governments to the companies will come from the tax payers money. The ISDS will supersede national laws and force the government to act in the interest of the corporations alone.

Deals like TTIP are extensions of the neo-liberal ideology. An ideology that dominates our world today. This was elaborated in One Party Planet, a pamphlet published by the /The Rules in 2014.

This one party serves the ideology of neoliberalism, which places success of the profit driven corporations above the welfare of its people. The dominance of this ideology has brought us to a point where 1% of the world has become wealthier than the rest of 99% combined.

Rise of parties like Syriza, who seem to tread a different path from neoliberal creed, is a sign of hope. Will succeed in establishing a much needed alternative economic model? We’ll have to wait for sometime to get an answer to that question.

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Trump: Join us in connecting the dots

The election of Donald Trump has left millions, maybe even billions of us in shock. Although we may be looking with bewilderment at the US today, we should remember that he is not an isolated phenomenon. He is a symptom of a sickness that is raging all around the world. People are hurting, disillusioned with mainstream politics and increasingly angry at a neoliberal economic system that is destroying lives and the planet with increasing ferocity. And in their desperation they are willing to consider extreme measures to make themselves heard.

Demagogues thrive amid fear and insecurity, which is why they paint the world in such dark terms. It’s a strategy that has put right-wing populist leaders in power in an Axis of Egos: from Brazil to Turkey, the Philippines to Russia, authoritarian strongmen like Trump are on the rise. Meanwhile, many centrist liberals, like the Democratic Party in the US, have been so intent on rejecting left-wing populist solutions, and so sure of their ability to beat anyone running on a white supremacy platform with its misogyny and homophobia, that they opened the door for Mr. Trump to walk straight through. Their preference is always to maintain the status quo that has served them so well.

As dangerous as the election of Trump is for the world, we can also see in this moment the truth that we simply cannot rely on the electoral political system to save us, because it is designed to prevent the fundamental change we need. Its own survival is at stake and it will marshal all its champions and resources to defend itself and stop the emergence of a new system. But when we work, or continue working for change from the ground up; when we build or keep on building new ways of living and being with each other where we live; when we construct or keep constructing the future we know is possible with our own hands, rather than hoping distant leaders will build it for us, we find our true power. Finally, when we combine that with the unbending hope that has powered change through the ages, we know our power has meaning.

A 400-year-old economic system is dying and another is struggling to be born. Change on this scale is not going to be smooth or easy. We should not be surprised, then, that moments like this — where the establishment is dealt a body blow — become more and more common. We can despair when that blow comes in the form of right-wing extremists, or we can step-up. We are the ones we are looking for, who can and must grasp the opportunities in these crises that are undoubtedly there.

So it’s time to come together, taking time to remember the earth. Remember all the successful struggles for justice that came before us, and imagine all those to come. Remember that social movements are growing all over the world and realising the common struggle. Remember life. Then, organise. Find each other and help midwife the inevitable transition that brings forth from the ashes of neoliberal capitalism a system that works for the good of all life on Mother Earth. This is not just activism; this is our responsibility as human beings alive as this all unfolds.

This is why we are here.