Unending global crisis reinforces divisions over Europe

In a document prepared for the 20-21 September 2014 meeting of the G20 group of finance ministers and central bank governors in Cairns, Australia, the IMF warned that global economic recovery from the 2008 crisis is precarious. Rising ‘geopolitical tensions’, excessive risk taking and the prospects of tighter monetary policy in the US pose new threats to what is already an unbalanced and weaker than expected recovery. The IMF pointed to lower growth rates in the developed capitalist and emerging economies, continuing high public and private debt and growing risks associated with low inflation despite the stimulative monetary policies in place for over five years. Escalating conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East will further undermine prospects for the global economy. This is the context in which the growing economic crisis is reinforcing divisions within Europe. David Yaffe reports.

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Luxembourg: tax avoidance with friends in high places

Luxembourg VilleLuxembourg Ville

The craving for money yields fantastic devices invented by the best minds capitalism can hire. What is one to make of this: if you earn Britain’s average annual income of £26,500 you will pay the basic rate of 20% income tax, but if your income is £6bn you can get away with less than 1% tax, and it’s all perfectly legal? Tax avoidance, money laundering, rigging money markets – these are the chosen means of enhancing profits used by many of Britain’s biggest companies. Receive child tax credits that are later ruled to have been mistakenly paid and you are relentlessly pursued for every penny, even into the courts, by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs; make the most minor infraction of the Job Centre’s commands and you are sanctioned and denied benefits; head a company with a household name, shift fortunes abroad, out of the government’s reach, and you are knighted for services to the country. Trevor Rayne reports.

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Red warning lights for global economy - Class war to intensify in Britain

Full of self-importance after his jaunt to the G20 meeting of world leaders in Brisbane Australia, the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, declared in an article in The Guardian (17 November 2014) that ‘red warning lights are once again flashing on the dashboard of the global economy’. He pointed to the eurozone on the brink of a third recession, the slowing of growth in the emerging market economies, the stalling of global trade talks, the Ebola epidemic and the escalating conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East as ‘all adding a dangerous backdrop of instability and uncertainty’. He contrasted this to the British economy which, he said, is the fastest growing in the G7 major capitalist countries, with record numbers of new businesses and the largest ever annual fall in unemployment. But Cameron, preparing his excuses well in advance of the coming General Election, warned that ‘in our interconnected world’ these wider problems in the global economy ‘pose a real risk to our recovery at home’. David Yaffe reports.

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  7. When corporations rule the world
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  9. Global economic recovery falters / FRFI 236 Dec 2013/Jan 2014
  10. China Enter the dragon / FRFI 236 Dec 2013/Jan 2014
  11. Remembering Susan May
  12. British capitalism: a recovery built on sand/FRFI 235 Oct/Nov 2013
  13. Repartitioning Africa / FRFI 236 Dec 2013/Jan 2014
  14. European Union and Britain: Tories self-destructing over Europe/ FRFI 233 Jun/Jul 2013
  15. The two faces of class struggle: the motor force for historical regression or advance
  16. The British economy - Spinning a recovery/FRFI 234 Aug/Sep 2013
  17. Crisis of British capitalism - Ruling class in denial /FRFI 232 Apr/May 2013
  18. UK Budget: Osborne spins as economy sinks /FRFI 232 Apr/May 2013
  19. Housing crisis deepens / FRFI 231 Feb/Mar 2013
  20. Cameron fuels ruling class divisions on Europe / FRFI 231 Feb/Mar 2013
  21. Chemical weapons: truth and lies/FRFI 235 Oct/Nov 2013
  22. Divisions and conflicts resurface as immediate threat to the eurozone recedes/ FRFI 230 Dec 2012/Jan 2013
  23. Offshore tax havens - wonders of the modern world – October 2012
  24. Relentless austerity: the price of a European imperialist bloc / FRFI 229 Oct/Nov 2012
  25. Imperialism turns the screw on Eastern Europe / FRFI 228 Aug/Sep 2012