|Economics & Politics|
|ON March 24 the Portuguese
prime minister, Jose Socrates,
resigned after all the opposition
parties rejected his austerity
plan, which included slashing
pensions by more than €1,500 a
month and more cuts in tax benefits.
His government´s collapse triggered an
election, which could not take place for
another two months. During the interim
Socrates stayed on as acting prime
minister and reached an agreement
with the European Union and the
International Monetary Fund for a
€78bn bailout. The terms? Almost
exactly the same as those proposed by
him and rejected by the Portuguese
parliament six weeks earlier.
When the elections finally took place
the political class could sense a certain
degree of cynicism. The Portuguese
president, Anibal Cavaco Silva, warned
voters they could not complain about
|CASH CON BY
|WATCHING the evolution
of economic discussion
Washington over the
past couple of years
has been a disheartening experience.
Month by month, the discourse
has gotten more primitive;
with stunning speed, the lessons
of the 2008 financial crisis have
been forgotten, and the very ideas
that got us into the crisis - regulation
is always bad, what´s good
for the bankers is good for
America, tax cuts are the universal
elixir - have regained their
And now trickle-down economics
- specifically, the idea that
anything that increases corporate
profits is good for the economy -
is making a comeback.
On the face of it, this seems
bizarre. Over the past two years
profits have soared while employment
has remained disastrously
high. Why should anyone believe
that handing even more money to
corporations, no strings...
Rahul campaigns against Maya for forced land acquisition
IANS NANGLA BHATTAUNA ON a day the Supreme Court slammed the state as the biggest land grabber, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi took his campaign against forced land acquisition in Uttar Pradesh to the farmer’s doorstep part of his party’s attempts to nail the Mayawati regime ahead of next year’s assembly polls.
Gandhi surprised the Mayawati government with his unannounced march (padyatra) through western parts of the state by reaching Bhatta-Parsaul village in Greater Noida at 6 am on Tuesday and embarking on a visit to neighbouring villages.
Walking from village to village, Gandhi, attired in white kurta-pyjama without any prominent Congress leader accompanying him, told farmers at each stop that he was with them in their fight.
“I am listening to you, I am with you,” the Congress general secretary told a gathering in this village in the lucrative Greater Noida belt, about 60 km from the Indian capital, on the first day of his proposed foot march that is expected to culminate in Aligarh July 9 with a “kisan mahapanchayat (farmers’ rally)”.
The venue of the rally was shifted to Aligarh after the party was denied permission to hold it in Bhatta-Parsaul.
Gandhi walked 12 km from the twin villages of Bhatta- Parsaul - the epicentre of a farmers’ agitation against land acquisition and inadequate compensation for acquired land - and reached Nangla Bhattauna.
“I have come to you.
I am listening to you.
I am with you... I went to Bhatta- Parsaul to know the truth.
Sitting in Delhi, I cannot know the truth... land acquisition is taking place from here to Agra,” Gandhi, 41, said.
Four people, including two policemen, were killed in violence in Bhatta-Parsaul in May.
Gandhi’s visit to rural areas of Greater Noida coincided with the Supreme Court making critical observation in a case relating to land acquisition by the Mayawati government in Greater Noida.
The court said that the state was the biggest land grabber, depriving farmers of their livelihood for generations.
The apex court bench of Justice G S Singhvi and Justice A K Ganguly on Tuesday said that farmers’ lands were being acquired in the name of public interest and being given to builders to construct luxury houses, which had nothing to do with the requirement of the common man.
Gandhi’s visit to the area comes about two months after he was detained during a visit to Bhatta-Parsaul immediately after the police violence in May.
The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) termed Gandhi’s march as a “political drama.
“ Congress spokesman Shakeel Ahmed said Gandhi was visiting areas where atrocities had been committed against farmers.
However, he did not reply to a query if Congressmen had been asked to keep away from Gandhi’s march.
“I have no information,” Ahmed said.
Party general secretary Digvijay Singh, who is in charge of party affairs in Uttar Pradesh, earlier said that party workers need not show up during Gandhi’s march to mark their presence before him and should come for the rally in Aligarh.