Lead story

Ukraine: anti fascists sweep forward

by our European Affairs correspondent

Novorossiyan freedom fighters are battling on all fronts in eastern Ukraine this week. Both sides have suffered heavy losses in the fighting that erupted when the Nato-backed Kiev regime launched a new offensive against the breakaway Lugansk (LPR) and Donetsk (DPR) people’s republics last week. But the Ukrainian army and the neo-nazi militias that have swarmed to the front were beaten back and now the anti-fascists have launched a counter-attack.

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NHS staff win new pay offer

NHS WORKERS throughout England who had been preparing to take industrial action this week in support of a pay claim have called off their action following talks with the Government and a new pay proposal.

Unison, Unite GMB and other health unions are now putting the new pay offer to their membership for consideration. Unison head of health and the unions’ lead negotiator, Christina McAnea said: “The two strike days staged by health workers last year have moved the Government to negotiate with the unions.

“This isn’t a great offer but it addresses some of the key concerns unions have about low pay in the NHS. In the interest of patients’ safety unions will now consult members.

“It will be up to members to decide whether to accept or reject the proposals. If they choose to reject them we will move to further industrial action.”

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Syriza — the grand illusion

MILLIONS of Greeks are rejoicing at the defeat of the old guard in last weekend’s general election. There’s been a similar chorus of approval from the ranks of the left social democrats in the rest of Europe who tell us that earth-shattering events are happening in Greece amid hopes that the Syriza victory will give added credibility to the likes of the German Linke or the so-called Communist Party of France.

The conservative New Democracy party vote largely held and Syriza’s gains have mainly been at the expense of the old Pan-Hellenic Socialist Party (PASOK) who barely managed to scrape back into parliament this time round. The Communist Party of Greece (KKE), who have long campaigned to expose Syriza’s bogus platform, actually went up and they now have 15 seats in the new parliament.

Syriza’s victory at the polls does, of course, reflect the hopes of millions of Greeks who have been reduced to penury because of the austerity regime imposed on the country by Franco-German imperialism. The old guard parties of the left and right, like PASOK and New Democracy, which were willing tools of the EU diktats that have led to mass unemployment and forced millions of others onto bread-line wages, have been punished by the electorate. But in essence nothing has changed.

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