Sean Kuti slams IMF austerity in new album – le mag

Seun Kuti and his band Egypt 80 have been giving fans a taste of their new album with the release of the video for the opening track ‘IMF’.

With lyrics like “My people are coming for what’s ours” and “Breakin’ the chain”, the Nigerian musician takes a stab at the International Monetary Fund.

“Twenty years ago, IMF was an African devil, only Africans understood the evil of IMF. Europeans didn’t see. Austerity was an African thing, but now austerity is a worldwide phenomenon. Everybody understan…
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Portugal: Anti-austerity protesters occupy government ministries

It was the final straw for some in Portugal.

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It was the final straw for some in Portugal.

As parliament passed the 2014 budget on Tuesday, paving the way for more cuts, austerity-weary trade unionists occupied four government ministries for several hours in protest.

Public sector workers are set to face salary cuts of up to 12 percent as well as reductions to their pensions.

“I am nearing retirement and, after 40 years of working, I don’t think I will have enough of a pension to live on. It’s really borderline,” said one elderly woman.

Some marched to parliament, denouncing what will be a third straight year of austerity. The government says cuts are “inevitable” as it struggles to reduce the deficit but many on the sharp end are not convinced.

“They drive people to despair, suicide and starvation,” said another elderly woman. “It can’t go on like this. This is not what the people wanted.”

The opposition has vowed to challenge some measures in the Constitutional Court. But the ruling centre-right coalition is determined to satisfy Portugal’s international lenders and avoid having to ask for a second bailout.

 

Thousands of Greeks mark 40th anniversary of student uprising, protest against austerity (PHOTOS)

Thousands of Greeks mark 40th anniversary of student uprising, protest against austerity (PHOTOS)

More than 16,000 Greeks marched through the streets of Athens on Sunday to protest against austerity and mark the 40th anniversary of the student uprising against the former ruling military junta.

  The annual march comes as Greece reels from its sixth year of  recession. European Union and International Monetary Fund (IMF)  lenders are set to begin a new round of talks to decide whether  to throw more money at the southern European nation. 

  The crowd gathered in front of parliament in Syntagma Square,  waving banners which read, “IMF, EU out!,” in reference to  the bailouts that Greece has received from both bodies in return  for harsh austerity measures.  

  The crowd shouted, “Don’t bow your heads” and “Never  again fascism,” in reference to the military rule which took  place between 1967 and 1974.

Strange bedfellows: Italy’s budget crisis unites jobless youth and big business

Strange bedfellows: Italy’s budget crisis unites jobless youth and big business

Public unrest in Italy, fueled by the new budget rolled out by the shaky ruling coalition, has united unemployed youth and the captains of industry in opposition, James Walston, an Italian politics expert from the American University of Rome, told RT.

  Violent clashes broke out between police and demonstrators in  Rome on Saturday as up to 70,000 took to the streets to protest  Italy’s new budget.

  Earlier this week, Prime Minister Enrico Letta – who leads the  unstable Left-Right coalition – presented the 2014 budget, which  immediately came under fire from both sides of the coalition.

  The left criticized the budget for freezing state sector pay and  pensions, while the right and big-business said it failed to  stimulate growth with insufficient cuts to Italy’s oppressive  corporate taxes.

  Walston says that attempts to balance Italy’s books are rooted  firmly in a eurozone system which many argue is being steered by  Berlin.

RT: It was a turbulent night in Rome. Can we expect to  see even more unrest?

James Walston: We are seeing more this morning. This  morning the protesters have camped outside one of the gates of  Rome – ironically, where the Italians came to conquer Rome from  the Popes in 1870. And today, of course, it’s a major traffic hub  and on a Sunday it doesn’t matter too much, but the traffic  around the center of the city is blocked, because they are  protesting and camping there, and say they want to mobilize the  city. So this is going on, and will probably go on in different  ways for a long time now.

RT: So is the government going to review this unpopular  budget that actually triggered such public discontent?

JW: Well, the budget was published on the 15th, – a few  days ago – and it will be passed (as) this was the proposal from  the government. It has to be passed by the end of the year; it’s  going to be modified anyway. And the government has not yet said  how it’s going to modify the budget. But so many people – from  the employers to the trade unions to different political parties   – and now very strong protests from young people of various sorts  who said ‘We do not like the government, we don’t like the  budget. We want a recovery budget, we want a growth budget.’ This  is what they’re complaining about. They’re complaining about the  same thing as the employers. It’s an unusual situation, but  that’s what we have.