ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Onze mois de gestation: There is no associate French text for this compendium)
by The volunteer staff of Humanité in English
Translated Sunday 22 April 2012, by
We publish a compendium of the main articles published in l’Humanité in English
and/or in Truthout on
(1) The Economic crisis in Europe, imposed austerity, and popular resistance
(2) The rôle of the Troika and of the European Constitution
(3) The presidential and legislative campaigns of the Front de gauche
starting with the candidacy of Jean-Luc Mélenchon (June 2011), up to the present time of the presidential election (April 2012),
listed in inverse chronological order (most recent first), thus covering the last eleven months of gestation of the left-wing movement of the Front de gauche.
Article 2036, 9 May, 2012.
The formation of a coalition government following the legislative elections seems impossible. Despite the resounding success of the anti-free trade capitalism left, the KKE (Greek Communist Party) does not want to negotiate with the other progressive parties, whereas Syriza has just been asked to form a government.
Greece: Possible Scenarios And Hope On The Left
Article 2035, 9 May, 2012.
Athens, by our special correspondent. Syriza, with 16.78% of the vote and 52 seats, is the second-strongest force in the Vouli, the Hellenic Parliament.
Greece: Syriza, History of a Left Coalition With the Wind in Its Sails
Article 2034, 9 May, 2012.
Rejection of Sarkozysm, failure of the swerve to the right by the UMP , its sanction by voters of all social categories, the mobilization of the "people of the left", the strength of the urban vote, and a little story from Marseille: what we learn from the second round of the presidential election.
The 6 Lessons of the 6th of May
Article 2033, 9 May, 2012.
The intense atmosphere of the presidential campaign and the victory of the socialist party’s candidate with 51.62% of the votes against Nicholas Sarkozy’s 48.38% leaves the way clear for the handover of power, which was arranged on Monday morning.
After being sworn in, François Hollande has plenty to attend to
Article 2031, 9 May, 2012.
Athens, from our special correspondent. The Central Committee of the KKE, the Greek Communist Party, has refused to meet with the leader of the Syriza coalition, made up of different left formations including Synaspismos.
Exclusive! KKE Refuses to Meet With Syriza
Article 2030, 8 May, 2012. Interview with the deputy for Athens, who is a member of the Syriza party.
Vassilis Moulopoulos: “An Alliance on the Left is Needed.”
Article 2029, 6 May, 2012. The International Monetary Fund believes that the increase in life expectancy has been under-estimated, pretends to be unaware of mass unemployment, and invites the world’s governments to up the retirement age.
Retirement: The IMF’s Remedy to “Longevity Risk”
Article 2028, 5 May, 2012. Nearly one Spaniard in four is unemployed. Jobs are being lost faster and faster. At this rate, the country should have over 6 million unemployed by summer.
Record Unemployment in Spain
Article 2027, 5 May, 2012. According to a document published on the mediapart.fr website, attributed to a former Libyan government dignitary, the regime of Muammar Gaddafi agreed in 2006 to donate up to "50 million Euros" to Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidential campaign in 2007.
A document appears to confirm Gaddafi’s financing of Sarkozy’s 2007 campaign
Article 2026, 30 April, 2012. David Cameron is increasingly laying claim to the legacy of Mrs Thatcher having proposed a third austerity budget, essentially a gift to cheer up the wealthy.
London picks the pockets of employees and pensioners
Article 2025, 30 April, 2012.
The former Prime Minister, Dominique de Villepin has said he is "startled" by the campaign of President-candidate Nicolas Sarkozy and his "pledge to extremism", in an article published on Friday in Lemonde.fr. He finds that “the first round campaign was poor. The second round campaign is becoming despicable."
Dominique de Villepin "startled" by the Sarkozy campaign
3 May, 2012. The incumbent President resented when l’Humanité showed that his speech on May 1 against unions and intermediate bodies resembled, word for word, the pronouncements of Pétain in 1940.
On Thursday, on France Inter, he lashed out at the "stupidity of those (and I am thinking in particular of the newspaper, L’Humanité) who accuse me of fascism," before launching into a violent anti-Communist tirade and accusations against Jean-Luc Melenchon.
A candidate’s screams and fury
28 April, 2012. Two days before the first round of presidential elections, 25 bosses of major corporations have published, under the aegis of the Institut de l’entreprise, a “manifesto.” The twelve proposals put forward by the leaders among the top 40 companies are so violent and unfair that every worker should take them as a plea to vote for the Front de Gauche.
What the bosses of the top 40 French companies want.
24 April, 2012. Statement by the candidate of the Front de gauche, from the Place de Stalingrad on the eve of the first ballot of the presidential election.
Translation from the sound track of the video by DailyMotion. and from the blog of Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
From the Place de Stalingrad
21 April 2012. With only a few hours remaining before the voting places open, the candidate of the Left Front evokes the sense of his campaign and the perspectives it opens. He stresses the importance of coming in ahead of Marine Le Pen and of beating Nicolas Sarkozy:
Jean-Luc Mélenchon: "A New Force"
21 April 2012. Mark Weisbrot, of the Center for Economic Policy and Research, analyzes the French presidential election: Sarkozy’s record, and bright prospects for the Front de gauche.:
Mélenchon Could Change French Politics With Strong Showing
17 April 2012. Christian Salmon, founder of the Writers’ Parliament, analyzes the ’novel’ of the campaign and calls for support for the presidential candidate of the Front de gauche, Jean-Luc Mélenchon:
This Vote "Reinvents Politics"
11 April 2012. The atmosphere was festive, and combativity was in full force. 70,000 persons came to the Place du Capitole, in Toulouse, to hear Jean-Luc Mélenchon, candidate of the Front de gauche:
Politics and Happiness, in Perfect Mutual Attraction
6 April 2012. "The river has broken its banks and, no matter what happens, the flood will not recede any time soon":
"The River has become a Torrent"
6 April 2012. The Left Front and the Socialist Party, the "two great forces on the Left", should "discuss" their respective "proposals" and work towards a "dynamic unity," said Pierre Laurent, national secretary of the PCF and Director of Jean-Luc Melenchon’s campaign:
The Left Front and the Socialist Party should hold "discussions"
13 April 2012. Five analyses of the essential characteristics of the Sixth Republic, the creation of which is the central plank in the electoral platform of the Front de gauche in the current French presidential and legislative elections:
What Face Should the Sixth Republic Have?
2 April 2012. Jean-Luc Mélenchon explains the meaning of the citizens’ revolution, specifies the first measures that the government of the Front de gauche will place on the workbench once in power, and describes the steps to be taken in order to impose these measures on the French and European oligarchy:
"There is Nothing More Anti-capitalist Than ’The People First’ "
30 March 2012. Polling companies now concur and put the Left Front candidate at 13 to 14% of the vote. This breakthrough has ruffled the feathers of the Parti Socialiste, which maintains that the results of the first round of voting will not influence their candidate’s programme:
Pollsters confirm the Left Front surge
29 March 2012. After the retaking of the Bastille on 18 March by a mass of 120,000 people, the Left Front struck another blow on Tuesday evening. Some 23,000 people attended presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s meeting in Lille:
In Lille the Left Front "has broken its banks"
28 March 2012. A poll carried out by BVA credited candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon with 14% of voting intentions, thus overtaking the FN and the Modem:
Mélenchon in third position, ahead of Le Pen and Bayrou
28 March 2012. On Wednesday, 21 March, Jean-Luc Mélenchon made a statement on the murders committed earlier in the week in Toulouse and Montauban. We provide a translation of his remarks, transcribed from a video made on that day:
Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s Statement on the Murders in Montauban and Toulouse
22 March 2012. Jean-Luc Mélenchon addresses the crowd assembled in the Place de la Bastille, on a Sunday afternoon, March 18, on the anniversary of the declaration of the Paris Commune. We provide an English translation of the entire address:
"Where Have We Been All This Time?"
21 March 2012. Before a vast crowd, impossible to count, Jean-Luc Mélenchon called for a citizens’ insurrection to usher in "Le temps des cerises":
"We Must Turn the Page of This Ancien Régime"
26 March 2012. Democracy, labor, ecology ... Some reasons for voting Mélenchon, for people whose paths we crossed in the procession Sunday between Nation and Bastille:
Faces of This Popular Front
20 March 2012. 120,000 persons launched an assault on the Place de la Bastille in Paris, Sunday 18 March, at the call of the Front de gauche. Never before seen in a presidential campaign. A bet won by Jean-Luc Mélenchon:
Citizens’ Insurrection by the People of the Left at the Bastille
15 March 2012. Jean-Luc Melenchon, the Left Front candidate in the presidential election, received us at his headquarters in les Lilas, to share with us his political project. As his campaign is taking off, he sends to the youth a message of optimism:
Jean-Luc Mélenchon: "There is a Good Common To All Humanity"
14 March 2012. "We are going to create a material force from our ideas." Quoting none other than Karl Marx, Jean-Luc Melenchon summed up the ambition of the Front de gauche in the upcoming march from the Place de la Nation to the Place de la Bastille. A march and an event far from ordinary, a citizens’ uprising that is making plenty of noise:
Storming the Bastille
7 March 2012. The Belgian academic Geoffrey Geuens dissects the intricate logic of political discourse based on facile but factitious "opposing positions" that actually hide the structural links between finance and the State:
Geoffrey Geuens: « Financial Markets Are Not Faceless.
Their Face Is That of the Oligarchy »
19 February 2012, The Left Front’s platform proposes a pre-emptive right for workers, anti-relocation taxes, a ban on lay-offs for companies whose share-holders have received dividends:
The Left Front’s Package of Measures against De-industrialization
15 February 2012, “The Left Front’s leader, the man who fills large halls without being able to pay for them and has his audiences strike up the International then the Marseillaise, is probably the revelation of this campaign,” so states the right-wing daily Figaro. This proves us right: “something is taking place” in the course of this Left Front’s campaign:
Chronicle from the Front: Three or Four Years Ago...
15 February 2012. The Greek people is acting in self-defence against attempts at imposing insufferable austerity policies upon it:
Solidarity with the Greek Resistance!
15 February 2012. Historians will be dumbfounded: the reports made by the great dailies’ correspondents, in l’Humanité, in Libération and even the pro-Sarkozy Figaro have brought home to their readers the deep abyss into which the Greek people is being hurled:
Shame on Them!
14 February 2012. The two big Greek trade union confederations and the communist trade union called for a general strike against the new austerity measures demanded by the European Union and the IMF in exchange for a new loan:
Greece: 48-Hour General Strike Against New Austerity Measures
28 January 2012. So goes the refrain of the famous song of Hugo’s famous heroic street urchin Gavroche in Les Misérables, the first part of which runs like this : « Je suis tombé par terre,/ c’est la faute à Voltaire/ le nez dans le ruisseau,/ c’est la faute à Rousseau » :
All Rousseau’s Fault !
28 January 2012. The meeting in Besançon was attended by 4,500 people, twice the number expected by local organizers. The Left Front’s campaign raises expectations among the salaried workers of Franche-Comté, a region especially rich in industrial flag-companies:
French Presidential Campaign:The Left Front
Meets with Increasingly Massive and Enthusiastic support
20 January 2012, The progress that Jean-Luc Mélenchon is making in the opinion polls, which bodes well for the advancement of the Left, is disturbing to the bipartisan scenarios prepared in advance:
Front de Gauche: a Dynamic that Disturbs
20 January 2012. The vote of workers and employees is not the property of Marine Le Pen. This is the message that Jean-Luc Mélenchon delivered on Wednesday night to 2500 people present at a meeting of the Front de gauche in Metz.
The message was taken seriously by the National Front candidate, who for once attacked this subject head-on:
Jean-Luc Mélenchon Steps Up Front Against Marine Le Pen
5 December 2011. Roger Martelli, co-editor in chief of the monthly Regards:
Will Europe be allowed to sink hopelessly deeper into the crisis and into recession?
For over thirty years, growth has been pinned on financial markets that speculate on debts instead of investing. The share of wages in the national income has been held down. The world of finance is getting nervous; the threat of bankruptcy is hovering over the States:
The Only Truly Realistic Solution Now Is
To Break With the Existing System
12 December 2012. Axel Troost, Linke deputy in the Bundesrat declares: "Social inequality in Germany strikes deeper than at any time since 1949”. A majority of Germans are dissatisfied with the much vaunted « German model »:
A Novel Situation in Germany And a Joint Initiative of
United European Left Parties Before Their National Parliaments
1 December 2011. British public sector workers went on strike Wednesday in order to protest against the attempts of David Cameron’s government to enforce draconian austerity measures:
Historic anti-austerity strikes in the UK
10 November 2011. The austerity plan presented yesterday by François Fillon, the French prime minister, constitutes a further stage in the enterprise of social destruction that has been wrought since the beginning of president Sarkozy’s term of office in 2007. Familiar as those deceptive ploys have become, as has the dramatic staging of their delusive announcements, the enormity of the manoeuvre to which the completely discredited government just now resorts leaves one flabbergasted:
5 November 2011, The world’s most powerful countries who met in Cannes last week-end were utterly nonplussed by the Greek decision to propose a referendum that might invalidate the EU’s austerity super-plan:
G20 Summit Haunted by Fear of Democracy
14 November 2011. How can the Left Front give pride of place to the people? “Let’s set the debate ablaze.” So reads a Front de gauche (Left Front) handbill:
Protest Movements Are Entitled to Full Partnership
14 November 2011. Like his predecessor Jean-Claude Trichet, Mario Draghi, the new head of the ECB promises to spit fire. He has shown what he is capable of in his previous position with Goldman Sachs, the US bank who once “helped” Athens fiddle the Greek books in order to gain access to the euro zone:
The Markets Place New Dragons at the ECB
29 October 2011. Unimpressed by the intense barrage fire on the notion of de-globalization, Michel Rogalski , economics researcher (EHESS-CNRS) and editor of the review Recherches internationales, explains why we should not fight shy of a debate on this issue. A debate on this issue, he argues, brings up key questions that would otherwise be swept under the carpet:
A Debate on De-globalization Would Be Highly Profitable
24 October 2011. Jean-Claude Sandrier denounces the arguments proposed by a government that bows to the demands of the financial markets:
“Public expenditure is not responsible for state debt"
21 October 2011. Moody’s has announced it is going to keep France under special surveillance over the next three months and might well lower its rating. Moody’s thus gatecrashes the presidential campaign like a Scud on behalf of financial markets:
Moody’s And Sarkozy
13 October 2011. The German finance minister wants the Lisbon Treaty to be revised in order to give even more power to the European Commission:
Germany wants a new Lisbon Treaty!
16 October 2011. Nearly 130,000 demonstrators were out on the streets in Lisbon, protesting against the austerity plan imposed by the European Union and the IMF in exchange for their 78 billion euro "financial assistance":
Portuguese March Against the IMF Aggression
22 September 2011. Our emancipatory struggles must themselves have a national, a regional, a European, and a world dimension:
Exit Globalization, the Euro, or Exit Capitalism?
20 September 2011. The vivid contrast between politics in the Socialist Party primary and at the Fête de l’Humanité:
Along the Fault Lines of the Economic Crisis
20 September 2011. Claus Matecki, the leader of the DGB, the German trade union confederation, discusses the urgent need to create a European public bank to lend to governments at very low rates:
Claus Matecki: “Free Ourselves From Markets’ Vice-like Grip”
15 September 2011. For sociologist Monique Pinçon-Charlot, the campaign against public deficits is an ideological weapon being used by neoliberals to do away with social rights all over the world:
"the rich have a money addiction that must be treated"
17 September 2011. The Dutch finance minister all but openly envisages the expulsion of Athens from the euro zone, -whereas in Paris, Jean-Pierre Jouyet, president of the Financial Markets Authority, proposes placing Athens under tutelage:
Maximum Pressure on the Greek Authorities: Tutelage Or Out!
12 September 2011. Euro-bonds fans persist in presenting them as the solution to the euro crisis. But in fact euro-bonds would merely result in aggravating the pressure of the markets:
Euro-Bonds Are the Trojan Horse of European Federalism
5 September 2011. Yves Dimicoli, a French Communist Party economist, analyzes public debt and calls for credit reform and the creation of a new world reserve currency:
Yves Dimicoli: “Use Euro Differently For New Economic Growth”
3 September 2011. Dino Greco, the director of Liberazione, the daily paper of Communist Refoundation, and long-time figure in the Italian General Confederation of Labor (CGIL), the country’s main trade union, analyzes the maneuvers of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Italy:
“The Central Bank Is Behaving In An Absolutely New Manner”
3 September 2011. Nicolas Sarkozy wants the question of reducing sovereign debt and public expenses to become a major theme in the 2012 electoral debate. It is in the interest of the Left to avoid this trap and to treat the problem differently:
How to Avoid the Debt Trap
31 August 2011. The present crisis is the crisis of capitalism, and it will only be solved by a superior organization of society, at last made for human beings and no longer first and foremost for the profitability of capital:
Pushing Back the Dictatorship of Finance
29 August 2011. Economist Jean-Christophe Le Duigou points to the underlying causes of sovereign debt and calls for a policy to confront the financial markets:
Jean-Christophe Le Duigou: “For the past twenty-five years,
governments have been putting their heads into the noose of finance”
27 August 2011. Socialist prime minister José Luis Zapatero announced a revision of the Spanish Constitution on August 22, with a view to guaranteeing Spain’s budgetary stability:
The Golden Rule: Limping, Madrid Bows Down In Turn
27 August 2011: The right wing takes steps to implement a policy of perpetual austerity.
The French Government’s “Golden Rule”:
Will the Socialist Party Fall into the Trap?
23 August 2011. The right wing’s "Golden Rule" is acceptable to the Socialist Party, but denounced by the Front de gauche:
22 August 2011. At the end of the Franco-German summit, four key measures were proposed, to fight the sovereign debt crisis. Not at all convincing:
The Franco-German Summit Hasn’t Convinced Anyone,
Not Even the Markets!
22 August 2011. German second-quarter economic growth is far below forecasts. The announcement comes as the German chancellor is getting ready to meet Nicolas Sarkozy to discuss the debt crisis in Europe.:
Sarkozy, Merkel: A Summit for Austerity
16 August 2011. A fall in world economic growth and exacerbated indebtedness explain the current instability of the financial markets:
Analysis: Towards a New Phase in the Economic Crisis?
8 August 2011. China gives its views on the US economy:
7 August 2011. Financial collapse in the USA, piling debt upon debt in Europe:
Reasons for the Current Storm Battering the Markets
30 June 2011. Analysis of austerity policies in Europe:
Editorial: A Europe of Solidarity is yet to be built
29 June 2011. The prospect of financial asphyxiation in Europe:
Dire Prospects for the Euro Zone
30 June 2011. The European Union and the International Monetary Fund begin to impose austerity in Greece:
What If the Greeks Refused To Be Fleeced by Brussels?
30 June 2011. With tongue in cheek, Maurice Ulrich inspects the presidential candidates at the starting gate:
What for? Suspense in the French Presidential Primaries
28 August 2011. The politics of austerity dominate at the summit meeting of the European Union:
Into the Wall
22 June 2011.The French Communist Party chooses Jean-Luc Mélenchon, of the Parti de gauche as their candidate for president of France, in the election to be held in April-May 2012:
Jean-Luc Melenchon is designated candidate