Tag Archives: neoliberalism

Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris devastated by fire

by Alex Lantier

On Monday evening, an intense fire devastated Notre-Dame cathedral, the most frequently visited monument in Paris, with 14 million annual visitors. The fire that broke out at about 6:50 p.m. (local time) in the wooden frame of the roof of the cathedral brought down the spire approximately one hour later, and then totally destroyed the roof. A tall column of thick, yellowish smoke that poured out of the cathedral, consumed by the flames, cast a pall over the city.

Zimbabwe: Cyclone Idai, Sanctions and Capitalism

by Mafa Kwanisai Mafa

About a month ago Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique were devastated by a tropical cyclone that was described by the United Nations as one of the worst disasters ever to strike the Southern Hemisphere. Approximately 2.6 million people were affected in the three countries. Cyclone Idai hit the Mozambican port city of Beira with winds up to 170km/ph. It then proceeded inland into Zimbabwe and Malawi, flattening buildings and taking more than 1,000 people, with many others unaccounted for across the three countries. Torrential rainfall washed away road networks in Zimbabwe.

The poor pays principle in Bulgaria

On January 30 there were dangerously high levels of air pollution in the capital reported, three times higher than the norm. In its latest air quality report, the European Court of Auditors points out that Bulgaria is at the forefront of the EU in shortening life length as a result of the dirty air. As the main reason for the pollution the Court points the domestic heating with solid fuel. For the current 2014-2020 programming period, Bulgaria has not only reduced its investment in tackling this phenomenon, but none of the approved projects have been directly targeting it.

The welfare state debate: who gets what and who pays for it?

by Peter Whiteford

The appropriate level and structure of public spending is high on the policy agenda. A recent Grattan Institute report Budget pressures on Australian governments argues that Australian Federal and State governments potentially face a combined annual deficit of around 4 per cent of GDP by 2023, of which around 2.5 per cent of GDP would be at the Commonwealth government level.  In a speech to the Institute of Public Affairs in early May this year, then Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey said that ‘attacking spending’ and ‘looking for structural saves’ was increasingly urgent, and he referred back to a 2012 speech given at the Institute of Economic Affairs in London where he argued that ‘all developed countries are now facing the end of the era of universal entitlement.  Addressing the ongoing fiscal crises will involve the winding back of universal access to payments and entitlements from the state.’

Zimbabwe’s Path Towards Neo-Liberalism and its Effects So Far

by Mafa Kwanisai Mafa

In mid-January Zimbabwe experienced violent protests triggered by the austerity measures that are being implemented by the government of Zimbabwe and by the recent hiking of fuel prices. The doctors downed their tools. Teachers and the rest of the civil servants stated that their paltry salaries have been eroded by inflation (by up to 400%) and they can no longer afford to go to work. The fuel price increases saw the public transport prices skyrocketing and the price of basic commodities going up beyond the reach of many.