A breaking story from the United States is a divided Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s health-care law ruling that its key provision – an “individual mandate” to buy health insurance – is constitutional under Congress’s taxing authority. In a vict …

Andrew

A breaking story from the United States is a divided Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s health-care law ruling that its key provision – an “individual mandate” to buy health insurance – is constitutional under Congress’s taxing authority. In a victory for President Obama the Republicans in Congress and presidential challenger Mitt Romney have vowed to try and repeal the measure after the November elections.

The ITUC today called on the international community to refuse to recognise the ‘illegitimate’ government of Federico Franco, who was installed as President following the ousting of the legitimately elected President of Paraguay Fernando Lugo Méndez on 22 June.  Several governments in neighbouring countries have already indicated their refusal to recognise Franco as President.

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow “We are deeply concerned at this abuse of authority, which severely weakens democracy and undermines stability, social justice and peace in Paraguay.  Trade unions around the world are pressing their governments to refuse to recognise the regime, and making their views known the Paraguayan embassies”.

Late yesterday the Italian Parliament gave its approval to a package of labour laws, which will make it easier to hire and fire workers. The unelected technocrat Prime Minister Mario Monti has pushed the reforms, which have led to widespread industrial protests. The package changes Article 18 of Italy’s 1970 labour statute, making it possible for businesses to fire workers without just cause. If you haven’t listen to our podcast with Professor Riccardo Bellofiore on this matter it’s really worth doing so.

As European leader assemble for another summit in Brussels the right-wing Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, said that Spain’s borrowing costs were becoming a pressing threat to the country which is suffering from a horrifying 24 per cent unemployment level and 51 per cent youth unemployment. The bond markets next victim has Spanish 10-year government bonds trading at yields above 6.9% on Thursday morning, coming close to the 7% considered ‘unaffordable’ by the markets.

The BBC reports that the Spanish and Italian leaders are worried that their countries could soon – in effect – be shut out of international markets and forced to seek assistance. Is that not the strategy being pursued by the austerity mongers to launch yet another attack on organised labour?

In an article well worth a read in the New York Times the shambolic state of Europe’s financial institutions is discussed. The ‘banking crisis’ is referred to and how Europe’s banks have scrambled to recapitalise and firewall themselves at the expense of working people but nothing about how we the people are paying for this through austerity! Banks across the Eurozone are estimated to be stashing £599 billion €747 billion, or $931 billion – so much for there being no money to invest.


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