Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Secretary of the KPRF Central Committee M V Drobot Took Part in the First Congress of the Renewed Italian Communist Party

Secretary of the KPRF Central Committee M V Drobot… she sure doesn’t look like a pensioner to me!

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More than 300 delegates attended the first congress of the renewed Italian Communist Party on 6-8 July 2018 in Orvieto. Secretary of the KPRF Central Committee Mariya Vladimirovna Drobot took part in the meeting. Delegations of communist parties from around the world took part in the proceedings. Representatives of the embassies of China, the DPRK, and Venezuela, and leaders from the communist parties of Syria, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Cote d’Ivoire, and several other countries addressed the delegates and invited guests. M V Drobot addressed the congress on behalf of Chairman of the KPRF Central Committee G A Zyuganov, drawing attention to the further development of friendly relations between the KPRF and the Italian Communist Party. Italian Communist Party General Secretary Mauro Alborese delivered a report. There was a comradely workmanlike atmosphere, with unity amongst the delegates on a number of current issues. All speakers recognised the potential for the revival and strengthening of the communist movement in Italy. Following the scheduled events of the congress, the delegates elected Mauro Alborezi General Secretary of the Italian Communist Party.

17 July 2018

KPRF.ru

KPRF Official Website

https://kprf.ru/international/capitalist/177461.html

Editor:

The Drobot family is one of the most prominent members of the “Jordanville Mafia”. They’re all loud rightwingers; all-around reactionaries and Luddites (both in the social and religious sense of the terms). It looks like part of the family has seen the light and opposes such nonsense. It’s a chuckle for all of us in diaspora Russian Orthodoxy… some of the loudest and feral righties amongst us have commie relatives (Drobot isn’t a common surname)! Pass the pizza and pivo… the show’s only begun…

BMD

Monday, 28 May 2018

Interfering in Italy’s Democracy… and It’s Not Russia

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Italy’s political turmoil tends to prove the wry old saying that “if voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal”. The country is facing a mounting constitutional crisis amidst calls for impeaching the president after he blocked the formation of a new government. According to to the Financial Times, the crisis seems to be mainly about a clash over financial policy and a populist challenge to EU economic austerity. However, lurking too is a concern among the EU establishment in Brussels that a new populist Italian government is proposing to restore friendly relations with Russia. No doubt, Washington and NATO share that concern.

After the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) and League parties topped the polls in a general election in March, they formed a would-be coalition to govern. It took nearly three months of negotiations to hammer out a governance plan. Nevertheless, there are core policies on which the coalition partners are in strong agreement. Those policies include an end to the EU’s orthodoxy of neoliberal economic austerity; and, perhaps just as significant, to end EU sanctions on Russia in a step towards normalising relations. Both M5S and League praised Russia’s military intervention in Syria to end the seven-year war there. Both parties also blamed the USA and the EU for meddling in the Ukraine’s internal affairs as the cause of the continuing conflict in that country. The latter viewpoint turns upside-down the conventional USA-NATO-EU notion of accusing Russia of interfering in the Ukraine.

For these reasons, that’s why the Italian government-in-waiting wants to abandon the EU position of imposing economic sanctions on Russia for the past four years since the Ukrainian conflict erupted in 2014. The EU’s sanctions require unanimity among its 28 member states for implementation. If Italy were to vote against the sanctions… as M5S and the League firmly propose to do… then, the USA-EU policy of trying to isolate Russia would collapse. After the populist parties won the Italian election in March, a Guardian headline captured the apprehension felt among the Washington and Brussels NATO axis:

Electoral gains or M5S and League may threaten Italy’s strong support for NATO and US.

In fact, this may be the decisive factor in the latest twist of Italy’s political crisis. Over the weekend, long-time President Sergio Mattarella sparked fury after he blocked the key appointment of a finance minister. The nominee for the position, Paolo Savona, is a prominent critic of the EU economic policy of austerity and tight fiscal control. The would-be coalition government nominated Savona because his Eurosceptic views dovetail with the populists’ demands for more public investment and a basic income for poor families. The populists believe that, in this way, Italy can stimulate its economy and grow its way out of high indebtedness, rather than through the orthodox neoliberal position prevailing in Brussels of reducing debt through cutting public spending and imposing austerity.

Italy’s largely figurehead President Mattarella said he refused to mandate the appointment of the populist finance minister out of “fears about Italian and foreign investors” pulling out of the country’s economy. Italy’s economy is the third biggest in the Eurozone, but it remained mired in sluggish growth for years, with a massive debt-to-GDP ratio of over 130 percent and soaring unemployment. The blocking of the new finance minister’s appointment rebounded in a constitutional crisis. Prime Minister-designate Giuseppe Conte resigned in protest. The coalition can’t form a new government, and there are furious calls from M5S and League for President Mattarella to be impeached for impeding the “will of the people”. Luigi Di Maio, the leader of M5S said:

Why don’t we just say that in this country it’s pointless that we vote, as the ratings agencies and financial lobbies decide the governments?

The League’s Matteo Salvini was equally vehement:

In a democracy, if we’re still in a democracy, there’s only one thing to do, let the Italians have their say. Italy isn’t a colony. We aren’t slaves of the Germans or the French or finance.

Incumbent President Mattarella faces accusations of being “pro-Brussels” and compliant with the dominant economic policy of austerity and strict public finances. Italy’s 132 percent debt-to-GDP ratio is more than double what EU rules allow, and second-highest to Greece, as cited by the BBC. Therefore, if a populist government in Rome were to relax debt rules and grow its way out of economic stagnation, the result would be a head-on challenge to Brussels, the EU administration, and the German government in particular, which is a fiscal hawk. However, the point is that a radical challenge to EU economic policy is what the Italian people voted for. Large numbers of them are fed up with “slave-like” obedience to fiscal policies that accommodate the priorities of financial institutions and foreign capital.

A sense that their votes are being overturned propels the fury felt in Italy over the latest crisis. That is, “if your vote changed anything, they’d make it illegal”. This perceived blatant interference in democratic rights on behalf of neoliberal economic interests and financial investors is bound to further rile up the populist backlash against the EU establishment… not just in Italy, but also increasingly across the bloc, from Britain to the Netherlands, from France to Germany, Austria, Denmark, Hungary, and elsewhere. However, another factor may be equally important, if not quite as openly stated. That is Russia and the geopolitics of the US-led NATO axis.

Perhaps, it’s significant that President Mattarella, like many of the traditional EU ruling elite, is very pro-USA and pro-NATO. For instance, when he was previously Italy’s defence minister, Mattarella strongly supported the USA-led NATO bombing of former Yugoslavia in the late 1990s. Already, as noted above, the incoming M5S/League government coalition proposes to end the EU policy of economic sanctions on Russia. Both parties said that we shouldn’t treat Moscow as a military threat, but rather as a partner and ally. As Italy is a founding member of the EU, its position on the matter of relations with Russia would be crucial. If the new government overturned the EU’s sanctions policy and restored friendly ties with Moscow that’d scuttle the pro-Atlanticist axis between Washington and Brussels. Arguably, for Europeans, that’d be a beneficial release from Washington’s irrational hostility towards Russia in recent years, a move that EU leaders lamentably followed.

In other words, huge geopolitical interests are at stake if the Italians exercise their democratic freedom to form a populist government. No doubt, Washington and its allies in Brussels stepped in to “brief” the Italian president on what’s deemed acceptable limits of democracy. Yet, laughably, the USA-NATO-EU Atlanticist axis has the brass to berate Russia continually for “interfering in Western democracies”.

28 May 2018

Finian Cunningham

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201805281064884502-italy-democracy-political-turmoil/

Sunday, 23 April 2017

23 April 2017. Benny Ratz Still Suckin’ Down the Sudz at Age 90

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Here’s proof that Benedict XVI Ratzinger isn’t only hale n’ hearty, he still enjoys a good litre of brewski. Here, he greets a delegation from his native Bavaria on his birthday. Ninety-years-old and still goin’ strong… will he reach 100? Will he outlive Franky Bag o’ Donuts? Who knows? Maybe, Fr Guido Sarducci has the inside intel (“Finda the Pope in the Pizza”)…

BMD

Sunday, 20 December 2015

20 December 2015. A Point to Ponder From Leonardo da Vinci

Filed under: inspirational — 01varvara @ 00.00
Tags: , , ,

00 leonardo da vinci 201215

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Do you see? Do you see if someone points it up for you? Do you refuse to see? Yes… where do you fall?

BMD

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