There are currently more than 2 billion of the world’s poorest people who have no access to clean water or sanitation.

When Mikhail Gorbachev was selected as the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s general secretary 20 years ago, in March 1985, it marked the beginning of the end of Stalinist rule in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

One measure of the surge in speculative activity is the sharp rise in foreign exchange (FX) dealing. In September 2004 the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) published its sixth triennial survey of foreign exchange and derivatives trading activity.

Seventy-three percent of those who were asked in a national opinion poll were in favour of increasing the top rate of income tax on incomes of greater than £100,000 from 40p in the pound to 50p.

In the run-up to the G8 Summit, to be held in July in Gleneagles, it is as important as ever to raise the question: how can the world’s problems be alleviated?

The G8 (Group of Eight) is comprised of the leaders of eight of the richest nations in the world: USA, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and, from 1998, Russia.

Committee for a workers' International publications

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