Archivi categoria: International

The other virus killing Europe 

There are two viruses circulating in Europe right now, and both are deadly in their own way. The first is an actual disease, the novel coronavirus. It is killing Europe in that it is killing its citizens – over 65,000 deaths from COVID have been counted on the continent, overwhelming its healthcare systems, destroying jobs and livelihoods, shutting down social life. The second virus is a complication that has arisen from the first, and it is killing the idea of Europe: it is the lack of solidarity which continues to characterize the continent’s response to this pandemic. Of course, calling it a second virus is rhetoric – but the situation is serious. Angela Merkel has called the current crisis the worst challenge we have faced since World War 2 – and this on a continent that has, in the last decade alone faced economic recession, austerity, a migration crisis and political polarization and radicalization.

There is no more Schengen zone these days. A political project must survive with one of its vital organs disabled: open borders and the free circulation of goods, services, capital, and people represented the heart of Europe. This is not to say temporary border closures and restrictions on who can enter the EU are unwarranted or disproportionate: as measures taken to contain a deadly pandemic, they may be well-justified as such. But they also symbolize something: the manner in which many member-states of the EU pulled up the drawbridge first is the most visible manifestation of an instinct to return to national thinking at precisely the moment cooperation was most needed.

Of course, a government’s first and foremost duty is to protect its own citizens, the electorate from which it derives its democratic legitimacy and political authority. And of course, healthcare policy is determined by national governments, not the EU. But when it comes to the economic fallout – the companies likely to go bankrupt over the next few months, the people who will lose their jobs and livelihoods – solidarity is needed. For selfish reasons, too: the German economy will not recover if none of its neighbours do. Yet the last few weeks have seen the re-emergence of a north-south divide within the EU, rather than a recognition that in such hard times, all must be on the same page. Some southern nations, including Spain and Italy, pulled out an old proposal which had been rotting in the drawers for years: Eurobonds. The Netherlands, Germany and other northern European nations strongly opposed the idea of such an instrument which would see the EU countries share or pool their sovereign debts. Instead, they proposed reactivating some of the mechanisms created in the time of the Eurozone crisis – evoking bad memories in Europe’s south of bailouts paid for with painful austerity measures.

While there are real arguments for and against the pooling of debt within the Eurozone, impressions matter, too. And the impression created by this protracted back-and-forth, as well as the EU Commission’s delay in putting together a response to the dramatic situation in Spain and Italy, was that this Union was missing in action, and, worse, that some countries were unwilling to come to the help of their struggling neighbours.  Last week saw an initial breakthrough, with the EU finance ministers agreeing to an aid package worth 500bn Euros, including funds from the crisis-era bailout fund ESM and the European Investment Bank. A majority supported Spain and Italy in keeping any conditions attached to loans to a minimum. The debate over Eurobonds was simply postponed. It is a very small step forward – more must follow, much more. And the EU institutions must be more present, more visible, in a crisis thus far dominated by the reactions of national governments.

The European idea has also suffered shipwreck in another respect these days: in its treatment of refugees (though perhaps this is a moot point – what can you expect of a Union that cannot even help its own?) On the Greek islands closest to Turkey, which for many migrants represent their first station in EU, 40,000 people are stuck in camps built to shelter less than 7,000. The conditions they live in are unsanitary, undignified – and unworthy of a union of nations supposedly bound together by their common commitment to human rights. After the chaotic and unmanaged influx of hundreds of thousands of migrants in 2015, the Union had half a decade to get its house in order, and accept that this issue requires a united response, a clear policy, and the sharing of burdens between member states. Instead, after signing a questionable deal that saw Turkey’s autocratic government become Europe’s gatekeeper, the EU leaders happily moved on rather than confronting this divisive but inevitable issue.

The Greek camps have been overcrowded for years – and yet attention was only drawn to this situation by Turkish President Erdogan’s recent stunt, sending thousands of refugees to the Greek border to pressure the EU to listen to his demands. Thousands of people, including families and children, have been languishing in horrific conditions for years, yet only now, with a global pandemic going on, do we talk about the health consequences of living in a camp where 1,300 people share a water point, 200 people a shower and 167 people a toilet. 

Last month, eight member states and Switzerland promised to take in 1,600 unaccompanied minors from the islands. This was never enough – there are an estimated 5,200 unaccompanied minors on the islands, and many others will need to be moved as well if living conditions there are to be actually improved. But, amidst the coronavirus pandemic (very conveniently, cynics might note), even the repatriation of this small number of children has come to a grinding halt. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, that global superpower, has now managed to get things moving again with a promise to resettle eleven children in the next week. Germany committed to flying in up to five hundred children, 50 of them “as a matter of urgency”. Yes, Germany, as all its neighbours, is dealing with a public health emergency which understandably takes priority. But the federal government has managed to repatriate over 187,000 German citizens stuck abroad in the past few weeks, on over 170 specially chartered flights. Some 80,000 Eastern Europeans will be allowed to come to Germany in the next few weeks to work on Germany’s farms. So what, exactly, stands in the way of getting an additional few hundred unaccompanied minors out of a living hell?

Meanwhile, the number of rescue ships operating in the Mediterranean has been drastically reduced as some NGOs transferred their staff to help with the coronavirus outbreak on land. The ship “Alan Kurdi” had to wait at sea for days with 150 rescued migrants while the Italian, Maltese and German governments argued over who should take responsibility for them (they have now been transferred to an Italian ‘quarantine ship’, rather than being allowed to disembark, as the Mediterranean country declared its own ports ‘unsafe’ over the virus outbreak.) With an expected uptick in departures from Libya with better weather, an increasing death toll in the Mediterranean is likely as not enough resources are available to respond to migrant boats in distress.

These are European failures, they cannot be blamed on coronavirus. The situation on the Greek islands has been catastrophic for years. The only reason so many charities had their ships patrolling the Mediterranean before this crisis hit is because they were filling the gaps left by the utterly insufficient EU sea missions. The supposed choice between helping the most vulnerable people – be they on unseaworthy fishing boats off the Libyan coasts or living in the mud of Lesvos – and addressing coronavirus is false. EU states will inject their economies with hundreds of billions of euros in the coming months and years to soften the impact of this crisis. Neither saving lives in the Mediterranean nor airlifting a few thousand families out of Greece would cost anything near that amount. It is not a question of money or resources – it is a question of political will.

If the European Union wants to survive, solidarity must mean action, not just talk. The richer members must help the poorer, and all together must help the most vulnerable.  United Europe stands, lives, rebuilds, gets through the crisis and eventually flourishes again. Divided, it crumbles, its values a hollow joke, its citizens easy prey for the nationalists and isolationists.

 David Zuther

Contemporary Statehood and International Pollution

The role of States has changed within the international framework. The evolution of international law led to envisage sovereignty under equality, effectiveness, and freedom amongst States. Some scholars claim that these three elements can be summarized under the laissez-faire approach. Consequently, classical international law recognizes States to be equally free provided they submit to “certain rules of the game.”(1) Hence, States are still relevant in implementing legislation, but more importantly, they are fundamental as legislators and enforcement agency for international environmental law. However, there has been a shift in the role they play. States have become much more operational. They are considered as an instrument for the implementation and development of international environmental law. Some scholars argue that the concept of statehood has shifted from a status-oriented approach to an action-oriented model. (2) This concept implies that there is a common ground for the development of common interests and institutions thereof. Although States have the final say in ratifying an agreement within law-making processes, they have lost the influence they used to have in the process of law-making.

States are, in fact, authors, addresses and guardians of international environmental law. Although States have been decentralized within the system of international law, they still play a crucial role, being the authors thereof. A significant number of multilateral environmental agreements have been drafted more frequently under the auspices of international organizations. Moreover, there has also been the presence of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that have had a material impact on the substance of the law. (3)

However, it is necessary to consider States not only as authors of international law but also as addresses. Subsequently, States have to follow three types of obligations: obligations to refrain, obligations to prevent, and obligations to preserve. International environmental law considers the obligations to refrain as a duty to avoid unsafe and hazardous behaviour that might endanger others. (4) Therefore, dumping dangerous waste on land or sea, destroying ecosystems, or releasing toxic substances in the atmosphere are all examples of actions that States ought to avoid. Moreover, the State, as an addressee, must prevent harmful conduct from non-state actors. Finally, the State must preserve from further degradation of the ecosystem. (5) States are also guardians of international environmental laws.

They do so with law enforcement. Ultimately, contemporary statehood is evolving. (6) Hence, the international (environmental) system is transforming depending on the position each State assumes with effect on the global system as a whole. International environmental policies depend on these interdependencies.

Hence, contemporary statehood has to coexist with a growing plurality of actors and regimes. As mentioned earlier, international institutions and organizations played a pivotal role in shaping international environmental law. The gradual rise in the value of international institutions has brought new actors to the scene. Although one of the first institutions within the environmental framework was the International Whaling Commission (IWC), the major development in the system was the creation of UNEP and the other institutions that followed. Additionally, NGOs have also actively advocated for environmental rights. International environmental law has granted NGOs varying degrees of legal status. Finally, it is also necessary to consider individuals in actors. Environmental rights have been under the attention of policymakers through international treaties. For instance, States must consider the impacts of some of their policies to both its national citizens and the world citizens as well. (7)

Moreover, the plurality of regimes has increasingly shaped the concept of sovereignty. Not only did States move from bilateralism to multilateralism, but they increasingly engaged in a significant number of conventions. Environmental regimes have three main characteristics: they focus on a particular environmental issue or source of pollution; they increase administrative duty, they act subsidiarity capacities for States. (8)

In conclusion, the continuing evolution of contemporary statehood has brought new actors in the making of international environmental norms. (9) A meaningful milestone was the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (in Stockholm in 1972) that established the United Nations Programme (UNEP) along with a significant number of other international environmental institutions. These international institutions helped in developing a coherent and stable regime. (10) Moreover, NGOs have also taken part in the creation of this system. Their prominent role supported environmental initiatives and projects that eventually influenced the governments positively.

Gennaro Stefanelli

 


1 Cassese, A. (2005). International Law. Oxford University Press. p. 46-47

2 Marauhn, T. (2007). Changing Role of the State. Oxford University Press. p. 728-732

Ibid. p. 733

See Wolfrum, R (1999). Means of Ensuring Compliance with and Enforcement of International Environmental Law.

272 Recueil des cours. p. 9

5 Marauhn, T. (2007). Changing Role of the State. Oxford University Press. p. 732-735

6 Schrijver, N. (2000). The Changing Nature of State Sovereignty. 70 Br. Y.B. Int’l L. p. 65.

7 Marauhn, T. (2007). Changing Role of the State. Oxford University Press. p. 736-738

8 Ibid. 739

9 Cassese, A. (2005). International Law. Oxford University Press. p. 124-150

10 See Loibl, G. (2001). The Role of International Organizations in International Law-Making International Environmental Negotiations. 1 Non-State and International Law 41.

Why doctors must fight against climate change (and what they can do to do so)

“As a member of the Medical Profession
I solemnly pledge to dedicate my life to the service of humanity;
the health and well-being of my patient will be my first consideration. “

– Declaration of Genève –

Every medical doctor’s career begins with the Oath.
That Oath represents a commitment to Society.
Every medical doctor swears to pursue the protection of physical and mental health.

Every doctor swears to promote the elimination of all forms of inequality in health. This means many things, well known to most. But this Oak also stands for a matter less considered by many medical doctors, but significant: climate change is their problem, and fighting it their duty.

Why is that? What does climate change have to do with the medical profession?

It is simple: climate change is also a medical problem. Climate change is also a matter of health.

The consequences of climate change on health are now witnessed and no longer only hypothesized or predicted. There are now several scientific studies available in the literature supporting this.

The increase in temperatures is associated with a higher frequency of extreme events, specifically floods and droughts, both at the base of a compromise of the agricultural sector, particularly sensitive to climate change. This impacts on the availability of food for the population and, consequently, on their health status.

The number of injuries and deaths caused by extreme weather events is (and will be) always higher. The Nargis cyclone in Myanmar with over one hundred thousand deaths is just one example.

Water is essential for hygiene and extreme phenomena, such as drought, may reduce their availability. On the other hand, extreme events in the opposite direction, such a flood, may impact health due to a rise in diarrheal disorders. This group of diseases is today responsible for one million eight hundred thousand deaths each year and represents the second cause of mortality due to infectious causes during childhood.

Heatwaves increase morbidity and mortality in the elderly suffering from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. In Europe, it was estimated that in 2003, 70,000 deaths were associated with excessive heat.

Changes in temperature and precipitation patterns could lead to changes in the distribution and frequency of infectious diseases. The spread of vector insects would lead to an increase in infectious diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. Similar phenomena were already observed, such as the spread of Plasmodium falciparum (responsible for malaria) in East Africa, schistosomiasis in China and tick-borne encephalitis in Europe.

Rising temperatures will increase the mobility of pollen, other airborne allergens, and pollutants in the air we breathe every day.

Moreover, recently, some researchers have also brought evidence on a potential direct relationship between climate change and an increase in mental disorders.

A side effect of climate change will also be mass migrations and conflicts. Hunger, floods and the collapse of infrastructures will contribute to a further increase in the migration phenomenon, with the consequent spread of infections, mental disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and post-partum depression, and overload of the health system of the countries of ‘arrival. Precarious social and health conditions accompany the migration phenomenon. Furthermore, the growth of the migration phenomenon will also lead to an increase in protectionism on the part of affluent countries concerning their resources, with political and health consequences already evident today.

Within this framework, there is so much that doctors can do every day to combat climate change.

In 2008, the British National Health System created a Unit for Sustainable Development intending to reduce the impact of the NHS itself.

Also from the United Kingdom, there are six indications for medical doctors, a re-adaptation of the Council’s recommendations on Climate and Health.

  1. Encourage patients to walk and use bicycles whenever possible, both to improve their cardiovascular health and to improve the quality of the air they breathe.
  2. Suggest dietary changes, advising to reduce the amount of meat taken drastically. A great contribution to global warming is due to breeding and meat production. If the entire population of the United Kingdom did not eat meat for a day a week, it would be like removing 5 million cars from the road. This would also have a double impact, given that the consumption of meat is associated with an increase in cardiovascular and cancer risk.
  3. Raising awareness and offering a model of a sustainable lifestyle is another weapon doctors can use. This can be done for what concerns mobility and energy, but also in terms of living arrangements, trying to adapt your home to reduce energy consumption.
  4. To prescribe participation in voluntary activities can have beneficial effects both on the well-being of the most socially isolated individuals, and on those struggling with mental disorders and self-esteem. Taking part in voluntary associations committed on the environmental front would be another way of bringing benefits to the patient and at the same time to the entire Society.
  5. Make yourself a spokesman in the Commissions and in the meetings in which you take part, in an attempt to reduce the environmental impact of the Health System where possible.
  6. Set an example by trying to drink tap water, consume local and less processed foods, use bicycles and public transport for travel.

Perhaps among the images in the head when studying to become doctors, there was not that of the activist on the front line against climate change.

It does not matter.
It does not matter if
they like it or not,
every doctor,
when he swore,
he has sworn to do so.

Fabio Porru

REFERENCES

  • Declaration of Geneve (https://www.wma.net/policies-post/wma-declaration-of-geneva/)
  • Death toll exceeded 70,000 in Europe during the summer of 2003 (Robine et al.)
  • Effect of 1997-98 El Niño on highland malaria in Tanzania (Lindsay SW et al.)
  • Potential impact of climate change on schistosomiasis transmission in China (Zhou XN et al. )
  • Climate change: present and future risks to health, and necessary responses (McMichael, Lindgren)
  • Empirical evidence of mental health risks posed by climate change (Nick Obradovich et al.)
  • Climate change: what can doctors do? (Micklewright)

We need to talk about suicide (but in the right way)

A friend of mine typed to me. She asked me if I had some material about suicide among students. Wished I could tell you that was due to curiosity, but it wasn’t. One of those things you never believe it’s going to happen to someone around you happened.

The 10th of September was the International Day for Suicide Prevention 2019. Talking about it is the best way to take part in it.

It’s been two years since I started to work on mental health and to use social media to talk about that. One of the things I experienced is that when you say you work on mental health, most of the time people wonder about it. Another thing I experienced is that when you talk about mental health, especially with young people, often you end up talking about suicide. One thing I realized, is that much more people we can guess truly feel like talking about it. Much more people want to talk about it. Much more people need to talk about it.

Let’s talk about it, then. Let’s start to get an overview of suicide.

According to the World Health Organization, every year about one million people commits suicide. The limitation of big numbers is that we don’t really feel them. We aren’t able to perceive them.

According to the World Health Organization, every day about three thousand people commit suicide. It’s probably more than the number of people you would be able to list as relatives, friends and acquaintances. Every day.

Worldwide, every 40 seconds, one person commits suicide. Since you started to read this article, a couple of people did. Before you will finish reading this article, a few more will be gone.

Suicide is the 10th cause of death in the USA, and it is the second or third cause of death among young people from most Western Countries. Moreover, for every completed suicide, we have about 20 attempts.

In the last 45 years, the suicide rate rose by 60%. The fact in the past suicide was often hidden due to cultural and religious reasons doesn’t explain this all.

Despite all this data, we can’t talk about suicide. We don’t talk about suicide.

In scientific literature, there are plenty of studies about what is called “Werther Effect”. The phenomenon took its name from the famous Goethe’s characters because, after the publication of his book, a rose in suicide was registered due to emulation.

Nevertheless, talking about suicide is not a problem. The real problem is talking about it like something spectacular. It is not a matter of contents, but it is definitely a matter of approach. Often people talk about suicide as a way to get rid of problems. After Robin Williams committed suicide, those from the Academy posted these words on Twitter:

“Now you are free.”

This is the problem.

Robin Williams is not free. He is dead.

He did not get free. He killed himself. And the difference is quite big.

“So, why if talking about it is fine, there is so much going on about Thirteen reasons why?”

Because it is exactly the same: make suicide spectacular is not the right way. It does not matter if the suicide is real or fictional. Celebrities like artists and fictional characters like those from movies and books are both taken as models by entire generations. It does not matter if the person exists or comes out from a script: words and behaviours from that person can deeply impact people, especially young people. Thirteen reasons why is about the suicide of a young high school teenager, and its impact on her acquaintances. A recently published study detected a rose by 28.9% in suicide among young Americans aged between 10 and 17 after the TV series was out. According to experts, the explanation can be found in the spectacular idea of suicide given by the TV series. In the last year, many Italian university students committed suicide. Many journals published articles about those facts well-describing all available details about the dynamic those students used to kill themselves. The World Health Organization published the guidelines to report news about this complicated topic.

1 – While giving info about suicide, always give info about suicide prevention (contacts, numbers, etc);

2 – Never spread around prejudice and myths about suicide;

3 – Never describe a place as “commonly use for suicide” and never give details about the place a person commit suicide, especially if the person was famous.

4 – Always write about how to handle suicidal thought and suicidal ideation, giving info about services for help-seeking;

5 – Never give excessive space and importance about news concerning suicide;

6 – Never use click-bait titles and never use the word suicide in the title;

6 – Never present suicide as an alternative to a problem, avoiding in any way to describe suicide as something spectacular;

7 – Never report explicitly the way used to commit suicide;

8 – Never share photos of the body, neither social media profiles of the person who suicided.

9 – Always use particular attention while talking about the suicide of a famous person;

10 – Always use particular attention while interviewing someone who knew or was somehow related to the person who suicided, because they are at higher risk to self-injure and suicide as well.

Talking about suicide in the wrong way may increase the risk of emulation. But we also know that talking correctly about it may have the opposite effect. A well-done report may become a tool to inform and raise awareness about suicide.

Informing about coping strategies to adverse life-events may protect from suicide. On the opposite side of the Werther’s Effect, we find the so-called “Papageno’s Effect”. The name finds its root in the Magic Flute of Mozart. After the loss of his beloved one, Papageno, close to killing himself, remembers alternatives and takes another path: he chooses life.

In a study published by King’s College in 2014, talking about suicide decreases suicidal ideation both among young people and adults. Asking people if they ever thought about suicide was associated with an improvement in mental health in the long term. These are the facts.

Admitting an experience with suicidal thoughts may be help-seeking. It may be a chance for dialogue, a chance for intervention.

Talking about it may be an effective strategy to free the person experiencing this from such a heavy burden. The problem is not when someone talks about suicide. The problem is when a person should but does not talk about it.

Talking about suicide may be the best thing we can do to avoid suicide to happen.

Fabio Porru

——————————————–

Painting: De-pre-ssion, Eva Charkiewicz (from The Perspective Project)

——————————————–

WHERE YOU CAN FIND HELP:

If you are in an emergency situation, call 118. If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts

In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or emailjo@samaritans.org. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found at http://www.befrienders.org.

In Italy, you can call “Telefono Amico” at 199 284 284 every day from 10:00 to 24:00, or Samaritans at 800 86 00 22, or 06 77208977 (from mobile phone) every day, from 13:00 to 22:00.

 


BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Upoznajte Hrvatsku Ljevicu

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  • Ukratko se predstavi čitačima

Zlatko Nikolić, 28 godina, iz Zagreba, student povijesti na Filozofskom fakultetu u Puli. Povremeno zaposlen na različitim manualnim poslovima i trenutno obnašam dužnost rotacijskog zastupnika u Skupštini Grada Zagreba ispred radikalno lijeve partije Radničke fronte (RF).

  • Prije nego što krenemo o Zagrebu, hrvatskoj ljevici itd… možeš malo opisati koji su glavni stavovi Radničke Fronte?

Radnička fronta nastala je tijekom 2014. godine, a službeno registrirana kao politička partija u 2015. godini kao široko lijeva fronta i to od strane dijela istaknutih pojedinaca na ljevici koji su do tada djelovali izvan parlamentarno, od pojedinih malih lijevih grupacija i nekih borbenih sindikalaca. Radnička fronta stoji prvenstveno na pozicijama antikapitalizma odnosno na poziciji društvene transformacije u socijalizam. Neke druge politike koje se kod nas ističu je svakako direktnodemokratski unutarnji ustroj, beskompromisni stav oko antifašizma te suprotstavljanje i odmak od dosadašnje mainstream neoliberalne i liberalne politike ‘građanskih’ opcija koja čuvaju status quo u društvu i donose sve veću društvenu nejednakost.

  • Kakva je situacija u Zagrebu i koji su ukratko glavni problemi u Gradu?

Grad Zagreb je glavni i najveći grad s najvećim ljudskim i gospodarskim potencijalom pa se u teritorijalnoj podijeli zemlje uzima kao poseban entitet. Gradom upravlja gradonačelnik grada sa svojim gradskim uredima koja se ponašaju kao mala ministarstva za upravljanje uz posredstvo Gradske Skupštine kao predstavničkog tijela koje kontrolira ono što se u Zagrebu događa. Problemi su krupni i o njima bi se dala ispisati posebna crtica no trenutno goreći problem je sam gradonačelnik koji radi dogovora s desnom partijom u Gradskoj Skupštini ima većinu pa stoga upravlja gradom potpuno netransparentno uz masovna podilaženja lokalnim tajkunima, moćnicima i poduzetnicima. Ogroman javni novac se slijeva u privatne džepove. Drugi problem je i potpuna nemogućnost opozicije bilo kako stane na kraj da se nedemokratskim praksama jednoga čovjeka koje su u više slučajeva evidentno štetne i štetočinske po grad, proračun i stanovništvo grada. Ako je gradonačelnik nešto odlučio, a obično je nešto odlučeno iza zatvorenih vrata i u dogovoru s nekime kome će bilo kakva odluka donesti određen novac, moć ili utjecaj, onda ne postoji institucionalna mogućnost da se to spriječi osim u Gradskoj Skupštini, u kojoj isti kontrolira većinu radi različitih dogovora s desnicom, pretrčavanjem liberalnih zastupnika u njegovu većinu pod sumnjivim okolnostima itd. Gradonačelnik je to s cijelim nizom kaznenih optužnica, no partija na vlasti koja vrlo slično upravlja i državom vrši političke pritiske na pravosuđe te onemogućava sudstvu da mu stane na kraj. Radi se o HDZ-u s kojim je gradonačelnik sa svojom strankom u koaliciji i u državnom parlamentu, a odlično surađuju i u lokalnoj koaliciji u Gradskoj Skupštini. Ako ćemo generalizirati, grad Zagreb je država u državi s obzirom na veličinu, broj stanovnika i proračun Grada, a gradonačelnik se ponaša kao njen šerif na vlasti.

  • Vezano uz to koji su trenutno ciljevi Radničke Fronte u zagrebačkom kontekstu?

Prvenstveno, Radnička fronta ne ulazi u parlamentarnu borbu iz nekih velikih snova da će se preko parlamenta dogoditi neka krupna promjena, jer sustav predstavničke parlamentarne demokracije smatramo za samo imitaciju demokracije. To je nešto što sam već natuknuo, odluke se donose negdje drugdje, a u parlamentima se samo izglasavaju. U Gradskoj Skupštini o pojedinim odlukama nema niti rasprave jer pozicija odbija raspravljati i odgovarati na pitanja opozicije. Sve odluke koje se odnose na stotine tisuća stanovnika grada Zagreba nisu niti u jednom trenutku došle kao istinski odraz volje tih istih ljudi već se bira netko tko odlučuje za njih. A taj isti, u ovom slučaju gradonačelnik, gotovo redovito odlučuje ne u korist stanovništva, već u korist male interesne skupine koja mu njegovo dobročinstvo vraća u trenutku kada se treba napuniti kasa pred izbore. Mi smatramo da se kompletni politički sustav zemlje treba redefinirati i spustiti što više odluka i upravljanja na male razine i niža politička tijela koja su po svojoj definiciji bliža populusu samom.

Radnička fronta u političkim tijelima sudjeluje radi javne govornice kroz koju pokušavamo u političku sferu gurati socijalističke ideje koje su do sada bile potpuno izbrisane iz političkog i medijskog prostora. Isto tako ulaskom u politička tijela dobijemo i proračunskog novca kojime se financiramo i taj novac onda upotrebljavamo u druge svrhe. Svi naši vijećnici koji nisu u teškom financijskom stanju svoju naknadnu od sudjelovanja u vijećima doniraju partiji.

  • Jedna od vijesti što je došla do talijanskih medija je ona o promjeni imena Trga Maršala Tita u Zagrebu, možeš li nam malo opisati što se točno dogodilo?

Kako je lokalna koalicija između HDZ-a i gradonačelnikove stranke bila manjkava za napomenutu većinu u Gradskoj Skupštini, gradonačelnik je morao pristati na koaliciju s još jednom ekstremno desnom grupacijom čiji je jedini zahtjev bio micanje imena Trga Maršala Tita. Taj omjer se sada izmijenio jer je gradonačelnik tu grupaciju izbacio iz većine, no paralelno je uspio ‘nagovoriti’ nekoliko liberalnih političara da uđe u njegovu većinu te time ima omjer od 26 naspram 25 ruku u ovom lokalnom parlamentu.

Mjenjenje imena ulica i trgova, kao i devastacija antifašističkih i socijalističkih simbola i spomenika iz javnog prostora je proces koji traje još od secesije zemlje iz Jugoslavije. U Hrvatskoj je oštećeno ili uništeno više tisuća spomenika borcima protiv fašizma ili pak žrtvama fašističkog terora tijekom drugog svjetskog rata, od kojih su neki bili i s visokom kulturnom vrijednošću te priznati spomenici kulture i kulturna baština. Ekstremni desničari, koji su uvijek djelovali pod patronatom već navedenog ‘umjereno’ desnog HDZ-a, godinama rade na reviziji povijesti te uništavanju bilo kakvog pozitivnog naslijeđa socijalizma iz Jugoslavije, i to po stavu RF-a zato što se trenutačna polit-ekonomska elita nema čime u ovome društvu pohvaliti već samo destrukcijom već postignutog upravo u tom istom socijalizmu. Na udaru su i posljednji stupovi socijalne države, te nas čeka uništavanje socijaliziranog zdravstva, školstva i kulture. Industrija, banke i poljoprivreda su odavna prodani i uništeni, a i javna infrastruktura već polako prelazi u ruke krupnom kapitalu.

  • A sada malo o ljevici, kakva je situacija u Zagrebu, a kakva na nacionalnom nivou?

Ljevica u Hrvatskoj je na jako niskim granama, ako oduzmemo liberalnu ‘Socijal’demokratsku partiju (SDP) koja se u pojedinim trenutcima ponaša više ekonomski desno od same desnice. Upravo je SDP zaslužan za takvo stanje. SDP nasljednik je Saveza komunista Hrvatske, slično kao što je to PD u Italiji. Ista stranka provela je ogroman zaokret devedesetih godina kao i mnoge slične partije koje su pripadale bloku socijalističkih i komunističkih partija u Europi. To je prvenstveno dovelo do zaokreta domaće svjetonazorske politike i ekonomije udesno, a u čemu je i sam SDP sa svoja dva mandata (2000.-2003., 2011.-2016.) na vlasti i sudjelovao. Oba mandata SDP-a obilježile su privatizacije i udar na radnička prava stanovništva, čime su samo nastavili ono što su prethodne vlade iz HDZ-a činile. U takvoj situaciji ljevica nema neku stranku oko koje bi se okupila nego mora graditi nove stranke i nove platforme iz kojih će djelovati. Upravo tako je nastala i Radnička fronta, kao platforma radnika i radnica, nezaposlenih, umirovljenika te studenata i učenika, kako bi artikulirali socijalističke, antisistemske i antikapitalističke politike.

Postoji nekoliko takvih stranaka i inicijativa, no sve su još uvijek relativno male. Upravo smo koalicijom svih takvih na lokalnoj razini u Zagrebu 2017., po prvi puta za ljevicu ostvarili bolji rezultat, te naša koalicija Lijevog bloka u Gradskoj Skupštini Grada Zagreba ima četiri zastupnika koji beskompromisno stoje na pozicijama ljevice. Isto stoji i za niže razine u Zagrebu gdje imamo mnoštvo vijećnika u mjesnim odborima i gradskim četvrtima, a tada se za glavni grad po prvi puta od secesije Hrvatske iz Jugoslavije dogodilo da imamo gradskog zastupnika/icu koji dolazi iz redova otvorene antikapitalističke partije. RF rotira svoga zastupnika u Skupštini svakih nekoliko mjeseci, a ja sam došao iza druga Mate Kapovića, te drugarica Miljenke Ćurković i Katarine Peović. Krajem ove godine u rotacijski mandat umjesto mene dolazi netko drugi.

  • Što se tiče nacionalnog konteksta, znamo da su sljedeći izbori predsjednički i znamo da RF ima svoju kandidatkinju koliko su ti izbori važni?

Radnička fronta odlučila je Skupštinskom odlukom partije istaknuti svoju kandidatkinju prof.dr.sc. Katarinu Peović za predsjedničku kandidatkinju na idućim predsjedničkim izborima koji nam dolaze na kraju ove godine. To smo učinili prvenstveno svjesni u naše male šanse za zapaženiji rezultat, ali upravo iz razloga da se socijalističke politike napokon pojave i u mainstream krugu među buržoaskim političarima koji dolaze iz krugova moćnih stranaka ili pak krugova bliskim tajkunima koji su se obogatili u privatizaciji. Isto tako po prvi puta, od secesije Hrvatske iz Jugoslavije, stanovnici Hrvatske će imati mogućnosti glasati za socijalističku kandidatkinju, koja će svoju kampanju potrošiti pričajući o obespravljenima, iseljenima, nezaposlenima i blokiranima. Sama kandidatura dolazi kao najveći projekt RF-a od osnutka i angažirat ćemo znatne snage i sredstva u što bolji rezultat. Smatramo da sama kandidatura Katarine može doći kao jako dobar uvod u novo ujedinjavanje ljevice, ovaj puta za parlamentarne izbore koji nam dolaze po kalendaru iduće godine.

 

Andrea Zamboni Radić