Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Age of austerity Category

Greek fascist behaves like a fascist

  • June 08, 2012
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Yesterday’s attack on two Greek female MPs by Ilias Kasidiaris, the spokesman for the neo-Nazi Chrysi Avgi, (Golden Dawn) party,  on a national talk show, has presented the Greek public with a moment that will be difficult to ignore.

The clip of the encounter has now gone viral and it makes astonishing viewing.   In the middle of an extremely heated debate,  Rena Dourou of the leftwing Syriza coalition,  suggested that there was ‘ a  crisis of democracy when people who will take the country back 500 years have got into...

Italy Turns Left

  • May 23, 2012
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Interesting developments in Italy, in the second round of muncipal elections on Monday. Before the elections, the centre-right controlled 98 cities and the centre-left 56.  Now the ratio has been reversed and the centre-left has 95 and the centre-right’s share has been reduced to 34.

Berlusconi’s People of Liberty party has taken a hammering, and...

Spain’s Year of Miracles

  • May 20, 2012
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For the last ten days I’ve been leading walking groups around the fabulously beautiful mountains of northern Majorca.  This is only my second visit to the island  since I came here in 1992, when I was still living in Barcelona.

For Spain -and Europe, 1992 was a year in which the “end of history” narratives that...

Spain’s surplus people

  • May 11, 2012
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In our era of no-choice austerity, we are often told that politicians are obliged to make tough decisions, but some governments are setting new standards in callousness and inhumanity in their attempts to put their country’s finances in order.

Take the decision by the Spanish government to deny medical treatment  to “illegal” immigrants.

Under the new law,...

Greece says no

  • May 09, 2012
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The markets aren’t happy with the Greek election results, and who can blame them?   For the last four years it has been taken for granted that the Greeks would put up without whatever was done to them in order to bring them into line with an extremist and ideologically-driven concept of “austerity” that...

Au Revoir Sarko

  • May 07, 2012
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Even by the dismal standards set by so many European rightwing governments in the last decade or so, Nicolas Sarkozy was a uniquely repellent politician.  Brash, vulgar, ostentatious, ruthless and arrogant, his appetite for power was untempered by any moral scruples.

This was a man who, according to the investigative journalism website  Mediapart,  received 50 million...

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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