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Day October 22, 2012

Has the European Green Party lost its radical edge?

In elections yesterday, the Greens were almost invisible.
In Catalonia, the result will be better, but that’s the only place in Iberia where we register our presence.
Why?

In Greece, there has been a political upheaval. Natalie Bennett, the Leader of the English & Welsh Greens called for a new Syriza here.
She couldn’t very well say the Greek Greens.

In Portugal, where are we?
In Italy?
In Ireland, the Irish Greens disastrously joined the government and did what the LibDems are doing in the UK. Lust for power = ditching principles = the people ditch you too!

In all these peripheral countries in Europe, the political situation has changed incredib;y as disillusioned people have searched for alternatives.
They have NOT looked at the Greens.

We need to ask ourselves this question and very quickly come out with an answer.
One clue to our misfortune is the disgraceful actions of the European Green co-leader, Danny Cohn Bendit.
He berated the French Greens for opposing Hollande’s austerity budget and resigned in a huff.
Good riddance.

This may be a turning point in the slow slide to mediocrity and listlessness in the face of unprecedented ecological and economic crises.
The “me-too” politics of concession, surrender and coalition at any cost proves to be electorally disastrous eventually.

But where’s the debate?

Farid Erkizia Bakht

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Basques – to the left or the right?

The Basque elections yesterday resulted in the Nationalists winning almost two-thirds of the total vote.
The unionist parties were routed.
Out of 75 seats, the right-wing nationalists (PNV) won 27 while the left-wing pro-independence coalition (EH Bildu)won 21 with 25% of the total votes.

PNV now have to make a decision.
Do they rule in a coalition with fellow nationalists, the EH Bildu?
Or do they go with the so-called Socialists of PSOE (a kind of PASOK)?

Given that PNV sees Bildu as the ultimate threat to their monopoly on nationalism (as the left wing nationalists were disenfranchised for years), realpolitik would suggest that PNV will opt for PSOE.

If they did, it would be a strategic error in the medium term.
The austerity cuts will bite even deeper the next 24 months and if PNV don’t challenge Madrid effectively, it could see support ebb away to EH Bildu.
The left nationalists are a very young grouping with only one way to go: UP.
As Paul Mason says, they are a cross between Sein Fenn and Syriza.
In the long game, they are likely to gather strength (as their name implies).
They have won legitimacy.

The two highest items on the Basque agenda will be:

a) end of the Basque conflict, starting with prisoner repatriation to the Basque country and a formal agreement for peace
b) a rejection of Austerity

The right wing nationalists of PNV will struggle and thus lose support steadily in 2013 and 2014 to the Left.