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March 6, 2015

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Kotzias: If Greece collapses financially, Europe will fill up with thousands of jihadists - BREAKING

While peaking to reporters after an informal meeting of foreign minister in Latvia on Friday night, Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias warned Greece's creditors that millions of immigrants and thousands of jihadists will flood into Europe if they allow the Greek economy to collapse. The statement, which is bold, (to say the least), immediately began making headlines across Europe said a report on SKAI tv.

The Minister added that the Western Balkan region is already destabilized and left it to be understood that countries such as Ukraine, Syria, Iraq and North Africa have created a haven for jihadists.
     "The Western Balkans are destabilized, and then we have Ukraine, Syria, Iraq and northern Africa. This is a sickle," Kotzias said.
Kotzias also said that "what the Europeans are doping to us is cultural racism... It is a necessity to find aniother way of behasving toward Greece. It is also a geostrategic necessity. Instead, they chose to crush the Syriza government in its early days... What will this bring? Right-wing extremism and chaos."

Kotzias is participating in the two-day Informal Meeting of EU member-state Foreign Ministers (Gymnich Meeting), which began on Friday.

On the first day, the Gymnich proceedings focused on the situation in Libya and the negotiations under way to form a national unity government; the crisis in Ukraine and in EU-Russia relations; and the preparations for the Eastern Neighbourhood Summit, which will take place this coming May, in Riga.

On Saturday the Meeting is set to begin with a meeting of EU member states with the candidate countries for EU membership. The Foreign Ministers are then expected to look at the process for the revision of the European Neighbourhood Policy and the revision of the EU Security Strategy.

References in Greek: defencenet, Kathimerini, News247, ANA-MPA


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Conspiracy or Truth - Russia Issues Warning: “Most Dangerous Time In History Now At Hand”

CLICK ON BOLD LINKS TO CROSS REFERENCE ARTICLE WITH THE MAINSTREAM NEWS

A truly grim report circulating in the Kremlin on Thursday prepared by the Security Council of the Russian Federation (SCRF) warns that the Rodina (motherland) entered into its “most dangerous time in history” as it prepares to defend itself against a rapidly collapsing American empire whose vassal European Union confederation is, likewise, on the brink of outright collapse too.

Not just to this SCRF warning is the world trembling either as Lord Jacob Rothschild, of the historically prominent, and global, Rothschild banking family, on Thursday issued a similar warning by stating that the world is now mired in the most dangerous geopolitical situation since World War II.

SCRF Secretary-Director Nikolai Patrushev notes in this report that the Obama regime is now funding Russian political groups under the guise of promoting civil society, just as in the “colour revolutions” in the former Soviet Union and the Arab world that have plunged our present world into chaos, while at the same time they are using the sanctions imposed over the conflict in Ukraine as a “pretext” to inflict economic pain and stoke discontent among the populace.

Secretary-Director Patrushev further states:
     “It's clear that the White House has been counting on a sharp deterioration in Russians' standard of living and mass protests, but Russia can withstand the pressure, though, thanks to its resilience and decades of experience in combating color revolutions.”
Russian deputy defense minister Anatoly Antonov also notes in this report that NATO's activities are now many times greater than Russia's and states:
     “We've noticed that NATO member states are using the situation in southeastern Ukraine as a pretext to discard all diplomatic conventions, tricks and slogans and push forward, closer to the Russian border.”
To how strong the Obama regime is pushing the Federation towards war, this report says, is evidenced by this past week’s deployment to Ukraine by the Obama regime of US military troops and their sending into the Black Sea a fleet of NATO warships.

In response to these Obama regime war moves, this report notes, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich gravely warned the Americans and NATO that their actions now threaten Russia’s security.

Even more astounding, this report continues, the Obama regime stated its “eventual intention” to send their ground troops into Syria and actually warned that an offensive by forces of the Syrian president against ISIS rebels and their supporters (called nonsensically by the Americans as “moderate rebels”) would open the door for an American strike on Syrian government troops.

In response to the Obama regimes warning to Syria that it US forces would begin attacks, this report says, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lukashevich stated:
     “Against this background, statements from Washington that a possible offensive of Assad forces against the moderate Syrian opposition would open the door for a US attack against government forces are a matter of concern.”
This report, as context, notes that the Obama regime is “enraged” at President Putin’s upcoming visit to Iran where the “final plans” for the Iraq-Iranian-Syrian military defeat of ISIS are scheduled to be discussed.

Equally enraging the Obama regime, this report continues, was this past weeks joint Iraq-Iran military assault and encirclement on the ISIS held city of Tikrit that “took the US by surprise”, and who by the defeat of these terrorists would leave the Americans without an enemy to continue to frighten their own people with.

In response to these Obama regime aggressions, SCRF experts in this report say, President Putin has ordered an immediate deployment exercise of rocket and artillery troops and has authorized Russia's newest Su-30 multi role fighter jets, together with Su-24 attack bombers, to conduct simulated strikes against NATO’s fleet in the Black Sea.

As to how the Obama regime plans to destroy Russia, this report gravely says, they were recently revealed when secret documents were leaked detailing how the CIA-linked American company FTI Consulting, and their US intelligence operative Frank Holder, are preparing to destroy the Venezuelan government…plans so shocking they actually tell the US opposition: “violence should also be encouraged and whenever possible lead to deaths and injuries.

These “sadistic practices” by the US against any nation that challenges them, this report says, have been long known since the 1980’s when a CIA “psychological operations” manual prepared by a CIA contractor for the Nicaraguan Contra rebels noted the value of assassinating someone on your own side to create a “martyr” for the cause, and which the Obama regime “used to perfection” in Ukraine.

And for the “true cause” of the Obama regime attacking Russia, this report concludes, is the impending economic collapse of both the US and EU as China is now promoting its currency as the new global standard, which when this happens will cease allowing the West to print their way out of the economic quagmire they’ve created for themselves.

With the American people having been lulled to sleep by their mainstream media (which is their government’s main weapon against its own people) as to how dire the global situation has become, it is no wonder that none of them know of the catastrophic fall in the Baltic Dry Index (BDI), and which exactly mirrors the market crash of 2008. After all, the BDI always shows the grim future that is to come, stock markets only reflect human greed and madness.

Note: Other Conspiracy or Truth articles analyzing the crisis In Ukraine, Russian-EU relations, the revival of the Cold War, the mystery surrounding the Malaysian plane disappearance, the geopolitical events that are unfolding in the East Med and Europe as well as all the threats that were made from the Saudis to the Russians, etc -and how all these stories more or less tie into one another-  include:

  1. Russian Forces Kill 8 CIA Agents In Massive Grozny Gun Battle
  2. Putin Orders Troops To Wartime Bunker; Warns “Global War Is Near”
  3. Ukraine Blitzkrieg - Putin Vows He Won’t Let Nazis Win
  4. Russian Navy Rushes To Australia Over Putin Assassination Fears 
  5. Putin Issues Feared “Dead Hand” Order As Global War Nears
  6. Bloodstained CIA Hands All Over Malaysian Plane Destruction Reports Russia 
  7. Germany Races To Stop US-Backed July Terror Attack 
  8. Power Plays by Rothschilds, Rockellers leave Putin on the defensive 
  9. Obama Order To Execute 175 Saudi Arabian Homosexuals 
  10. Putin Responds After Obama Orders Atomic Bombs To Europe 
  11. Moscow Astounded As Top Mob Boss Becomes Ukraine Leader 
  12. Putin Orders Feared Alpha Troops To Ukraine, Declares “Red War” 
  13. US Refuses To Take Back 13 Dead CIA Spies Killed In Ukraine 
  14. Armageddon Warned Near As Russia Orders “All-Out War” On Petrodollar 
  15. Ukraine “Rape-Murder” Squads Approved By Obama Horrifies Russia  
  16. US Spy Drone Shot Down Over Northern Fleet Base Alarms Russia 
  17. Furious Putin Orders “Project Double Eagle” To Destroy US, EU Economies 
  18. Malaysia Flight 370 Pilot Confirmed As CIA “Asset” As Plane Exploded Over Indian Ocean
  19. Russia “Puzzled” Over Malaysia Airlines “Capture” By US Navy
  20. Obama In Shock After US Oil Giant Sides With Putin; Declares “No Ukraine War
  21. Was Ukraine’s Gold Reserves Secretely Confiscated by the New York Federal Reserve?
  22. Putin In “Fury” After Saudis Brand Obama Regime Terrorist Organization
  23. Putin Orders Massive War Moves To Protect Iraq After Saudi Threats
  24. Putin Orders Largest Air Defense Drill In History As War Fears Accelerate
  25. Putin Orders Russian Troops And Ministries To Atomic Shelters Over NATO Threat Of War
  26. 800,000 Ukrainian Refugees Flood Into Russia As Nazi Forces Continue Eastern March
  27. Putin Sends Feared Shock Troops, Division Into Ukraine, Warns Obama Is “Unstable”
  28. Putin Orders Military Alert To Defend Ukraine Against Western-Backed Fascists
  29. Ukrainian Mob Call To “Kill All Jews” Horrifies Russia
  30. Russian Threat Of War Over Ukraine Stuns Obama
  31. US In “Shock And Turmoil” After Snowden Info Lets Russia Tap Top Obama Officials
WhatDoesItMean

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OPINION: Is this SYRIZA's game plan?

By John Ward (The Slog) - Most people who’ve read George Orwell’s 1984 will remember the word ‘newspeak’ he gave to the habit Big Brother had of using one word to describe its antonym. Those suffering in southern and south-eastern Europe will be well aware by now that a consistent trick employed by neoliberals is to use the word reform to mean “go back 150 years”.

In this latest week of surreal mayhem, I’ve seen the term used by the FT, the Wall St Journal, the EC, Bloomberg, the Telegraph and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. They all mean the same thing – light regulation, lower taxes and greater wealth inequities; but applying them to Greece is, to say the least of it, surreal: taxed to hell by a Berlin driven Troika from the north – and sat upon by a crooked, wealthy oligarchy above who’ve never been regulated about anything – it’s hard to think of a more inequitable distribution of wealth than in that unfortunate country, given that half the population is skint, and half the young are jobless. In maths, filthy rich divided by zero = infinity. Infinity is it: there’s nothing bigger.

They surely cannot mean ‘reforming’ the oligarchy (although Syriza plan to obliterate it) because they’ve been the group favoured by the Troika from Day One. The Troika can’t have failed to notice that Veryzealous is also very fat with little piggy eyes, and little Antonikis an idiot; but that’s who they wanted on the team.

By ‘reform’, what they mean is selling State assets bought by and owned on behalf of The People to bankers and multinationals they represent in order to continue the greatest shift in social structure ever seen in modern times: the complete transfer of power from the citizen to banks and globalists. In a nutshell, the wealth of labour being given to capital. But not capital invested in an economy dedicated to the greatest contentment of the greatest number: no, to interbank trading, inventing money through the fractional reserve system, and making 1.5% of people unfeasibly rich.

The one gangster acting as top Capo for The Mob in this instance is Mario Draghi. The crooked guy in City Hall is Wolfgang Schauble, who doesn’t entirely trust the Capo.

These two singularly unpleasant people led the austerity attack on Greece, and the Varoufakis ambush last Friday fortnight. Draghi is encouraging HNWIs in Athens to get their money out, while Schauble’s spooks spread rumours (alongside the CIA) throughout Greece – all of them suggesting that the Syriza government is just days away from default. They insist that Greece is staring down the barrel of Grexit, but it isn’t because nobody can do that… and the gun isn’t loaded.

So I ask again, why oh why didn’t this alleged master of Game Theory Yanis Varoufakis – who may be a narcissist, but is far from stupid – simply walk out of the ambush on that perfidious Friday?

None of the excuses I’ve heard for Varoufakis’s behaviour make any sense at all to me. I’m told that, not being Greek, I don’t understand. I’m told he wanted to buy time. Before that I was told Yanis was shrewdly flying steerage all over the EU to get new adherents to the cause. But it isn’t working, is it?

So I’ve been ringing and asking and digging and hypothesising, and oddly enough it wasn’t long – eight days isn’t much time at all – before I arrived at what to me is the only explanation left that doesn’t brand Varoufakis a coward, and Alexis Tsipras the latest Tony Blair on the block. So herewith five points I think significant, from which some informed speculation and dot-joining can emerge.

1. Four months is a ridiculously short period of time to do anything on this scale: the pressure, rumours, financial tightening and orchestrated press speculation are merely there to keep Syriza’s head spinning. Ditto the ‘reforms’ which the Athens government clearly isn’t going to carry out, because they’re antithetical to the Party’s philosophy.

2. Syriza’s leaders know they can’t keep their faded rainbow of leftists in order for four months, during which nothing gets done. The whole thing nearly came off the rails Sunday fortnight when the Party grasped the extent of the Varoufakis climbdown.

3. Earlier this week, Syriza raised 1.3 billion euros in restructuring bonds without any EU or ECB involvement. It’s a drop in the ocean, but it’s something New Democracy never managed. It’s a start, and it suggests to me that the Greek government is dipping a toe in the water while demonstrating that maybe credit is not a closed shop for them after all. (It gives the lie, for instance, to a rather silly piece in The Economist today suggesting that Syriza’s ‘readiness to go so close to the edge has hurt the economy and brought the state close to bankruptcy’. Oh per-leeeez).

4. On Thursday – as the euro began to sink further into the quicksand – Draghi proved how weak his hand really is by raising the ELA limit for Greek banks: the week before last, if you recall, he was threatening to turn off the tap. Varoufakis cannot fail to have spotted this.

5. A senior and reliable London City contact (who would only talk off the record) told me last Tuesday, “The [Greek] crisis has raised doubts about the long-term survival of the euro hugely. Maybe it’s not the same in Berlin or New York, but on this floor the majority of us are absolutely certain that the Troika has far more to lose than the Greeks. Whether the Greeks realise that is another matter”. So in short, we have the neoliberal press insisting that Greece is in trouble, but the sharp end in the City telling the truth. Makes you think.

This is my imaginary (fake) piece, dated 7th September 2015, which might (could) perhaps move somewhere nearer to an explanation of WTF is going on:
    ‘What the Troika – and especially the ECB – underestimated last February was Varoufakis’s willingness to challenge the accepted shibboleths. Initially taken by surprise on Fatal Friday – and puzzled by the frequency with which his Party Leader Alex Tsipras was ringing Merkel in Berlin – on his return to Athens, both men quickly agreed that, while the EU was bluffing, as and when the euro got into trouble they would need a money supply from elsewhere… and they didn’t have that.
     ‘The ‘deal’ they brought back was a hard one to sell to Syriza, and this was only achieved by taking the most influential members into their confidence about the new Game Plan. This Varoufakis defined as “seeking and then demonstrating independence” – first of all to the markets, then to the media, and finally to the Greek people. Each Syriza minister was in turn briefed to start the sort of reforms the Government (not the Troika) wanted to enact, but muddy the waters with Brussels and Berlin about what shape the reform would actually take. “We must make hay while the sun shines,” he told one intimate, “we have four months of bailout – let’s spend within budget, but in the People’s favour”.
      ‘The two leaders were also gambling on some situations in the eurozone beyond Greece becoming unmanageable during the four-month interregnum. Austria was a surprise candidate, but by the end of March it was clear that France had no intention of meeting its budget targets or ‘reforming’ to get the deficit ‘down’. Even the suggestion of a Troika coming in ‘to help’ was greeted by howls from the Socialist hard Left and Marine LePen’s Far Right Front Nationale. The gigantic Franco-German split at the heart of the EU was becoming increasingly apparent: the markets were nervous, and the euro continued to tumble. France’s debt bonds spiked, forcing the ECB to surreptitiously buy lots of it. At this point, both the Bundesbank in Frankfurt and the Schauble tendency in Berlin came out of the closet, launching barely veiled attacks on Draghi – who was by now chucking QE at the situation in order to do for European stock markets and banks what three bouts of QE had achieved in the US.
     ‘As this story unfolded, Varoufakis continued to distance himself from eurozone insanity when talking to lenders. Astonishingly – by stressing that Greece would not get any QE – he made a compelling case for investment in Greece being almost a safe haven. “We will be accountable,” he told them, “the ECB won’t. Our real economic position won’t be hidden behind Draghi’s tricks. Remember how he subordinated you illegally in Cyprus?”
     ‘It was Italy, however, that changed every game. Already courting Russian support, Italian PM Renzi was also keen to be seen standing on his own two feet: eurosceptic support had been growing, and privately the Italian leader saw the ‘austerity programme’ as insane. But all plans were blown out of the water when (as in Austria) the ‘bad bank’ fantasy became a real live nightmare. Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan tried frantically throughout February to accelerate the planned hidey-hole for toxic loans, but the amount was massive even by eurozone standards: Italian banks were sitting on 330 billion euros of loans, the vast majority of which stood no chance of being repaid. The colossal sum was equivalent to a fifth of Italy’s gdp — and had trebled in seven years. This (added to an economy showing no sign of recovery) had by late April switched the lenders’ focus away from Greece towards both France and Italy. Bond yields began to spike….but less so in Greece.
     ‘When the next major Eurogroupe summit took place in mid-June, Greece remained illiquid – and in default on its IMF loans. But Christine Lagarde had been able – with help from Wall Street and Washington – to fudge the issue. Varoufakis, meanwhile, enjoyed not only irritating Dijessilbloem and Schauble on the Italian and French problems, but also to casually point out that the German electorate was up in arms – and switching in droves to the anti-euro Alternativ fur Deutschland. In turn, the acrimonious atmosphere between the ECB, Berlin and Paris was obvious. And finally, the UK election’s huge popular vote for the europhobic Ukip Party promised a Brexit from the EU within two years
     ‘The net result of this was hugely increased negotiating power for Athens. In secret session, Yanis Varoufakis cut an amazing deal whereby – in return for some secret ECB-funded debt relief – Greece would pay off 30% of the IMF loan with money raised on the markets….and come off the Bailout Programme within two months. Effectively, the Greek finance minister was offering Lagarde the chance to keep a clean sheet, and not to be a further problem for the already beleaguered EC-ECB axis. Varoufakis returned to Athens a national hero. Wolfgang Schauble, meanwhile, returned to Berlin…and suggested to both Jens Weidmann and Angela Merkel that it was time to go back to the Mark.
      ‘Two months on, nobody quite knows what either Greece or Germany will do next. But the fate of the euro seems to have been sealed’.
Personally, I find this (fake) analysis sound, but unlikely. It can easily be dismissed as naively optimistic. But on the other hand, if this isn’t the Syriza game plan, then what the Hell are they up to?


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Kassidiaris on trial for assaulting Kanelli

Golden Dawn spokesman Elias Kassidiaris would be taken to court on Friday, where he is expected to address the abuse charges that were brought against him on his assault several years ago against Greek Communist party (KKE) MP Liana Kanelli.

Kassidiaris assaulted Kanelli during a televised news program in June 2012 after being heavily provoked by several other panelists. During a live political discussion, he tossed a glass of water at current District Governor of Attica Rena Dourou after she insulted him by saying that his political party would take Greece 500 years backwards. After doing so, Kanelli reacted and stood up and whipped Kassidiaris with a newspaper. This is when Kassidiaris reacted and assaulted her.

After the incident, he disappeared and later reemerged from hiding by pressing charges against his two victims.

The Golden Dawn MP was also in court on Thursday for the Takis Baltakos video scandal, where the previous government’s General Secretary was videotaped making disparaging and controversial comments about the government and justice system.

The courts allowed Kassidiaris bail, but he was promptly taken back to Korydallos prison since he faces other serious charges that concern the Golden Dawn party as a whole.

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Dragasakis: Greece will honour the agreement, but our partners must do the same

Speaking on ANT1 Tv late on Thursday night, Government Vice President Yiannis Dragasakis said that the SYRIZA government clinched an agreement with Brussels, which is not fully reflected in the reactions of the European Central Bank. In his opinion, the message that ECB had been sending lately is that it was asking for an agreement, which was reached on February 20th. Dragasakis thus believes that the Eurogroup agreement was not incorporated in the decision.

The Gov't Vice PResident acknowledged there have also been positive messages from the ECB head Mario Draghi, such as his statement that there is no problem with the Greek banks.
     "We honour the agreement and we expect our partners to do the same," he said.
He said that the government is in a stage of specifying the details of the agreement and he then pointed to the recent statements by Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who left the open the possibility for the disbursal of part of the tranche under certain preconditions, which he described were positive.

During the Eurogroup meeting on Monday, Greece is expected to propose the six first reforms, which the government wants and the country needs, Dragasakis revealed, such as tackling tax evasion, redistribution of the tax burden, restructuring of the public administration so as to become fairer and more effective and rendering fiscal administration more stable.

As far as the problem of liquidity is concerned, he admitted there is one but stressed it was not as acute as it is reported.

He reiterated there is no issue of the institutions or the troika coming to the country. The way of governance has changed and nothing can take place unless there is a decision by the Greek government. Whatever is being said on this issue, on the troika or the institutions' arrival, serves specific purposes. "The era of the memorandum has ended and this is not a figure of speech," he said.

He said the success of a SYRIZA-led government will equal the failure of the governments that were trapped in the memorandum and wondered why the "institutions" treat Athens differently compared to the past.

He was also explicit on the possibility of a third support package to Greece. "Thank you for the solidarity but there has never been such a discussion," he said commenting on recent reports on the issue.

References: Ant1 tv, ANA-MPA

Konstantopoulou questions validity of votings, plans salary cuts for absent MPs

Tabling bills under emergency procedures - a practice abused in the last parliamentary period - will not be repeated in this Parliament, nor can the practice of attaching amendments to entirely unrelated bills, Parliament president Zoi Konstantopoulou told the press.

In her first meeting with parliamentary correspondents since assuming her duties, Konstantopoulou also raised the issue of whether some bills were valid, as they had not collected a majority (151) and as jailed deputies of the extreme-right Golden Dawn were not given permission to be present during the voting.
     "There will obviously be initiatives you will be informed about," Konstantopoulou said on the issue.
Among other things, she said that a special would set up and upgrade the parliamentary committee on German World War II reparations, adding that "it is a historical obligation of this Parliament to bring this mission to its conclusion."

At the same time, all parameters that contributed to the swelling of the debt will be examined, as will contracts like those related to Siemens and to armaments procurements.

She said she would request of three former prime ministers - Constantine Mitsotakis, Costas Simitis and George Papandreou - to give up their offices in the Parliament's central building so they may be used for deputies, and she also announced strict measures for unjustified absence by deputies: past five days in total will mean one-fifth of their monthly salary would be garnered, she said.

Changes she announced also included: a proposal asking for the cancellation of bonuses to deputies for committee participation, as that is part of their duties; an upgraded "objective information-providing" of all citizens about proceedings in Parliament through its channel ("Vouli") and the ERT Open channel (yet to be established); direct broadcasting of all plenum and committee sessions; opening the doors of Parliament to social groups that want to intervene - the younger generation, average citizens and researchers.

The Golden Dawn party itself found itself agreeing with Konstantopoulou, calling it a viewpoint that agrees with the Greek Constitution. In a written statement, the party said:
     "The Constitution of Greeks foresees the Parliament's operation with 300 deputies, therefore any memorandum laws and other anti-national legislation were voted without the GD deputies, who are being detained illegally, are invalid and go against the Constitution." 
ANA-MPA

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Head of DEH resigns following court indictment

The President and CEO of Greece's state-run power utility company DEH (or PPC), Arthouros Zervos, submitted his resignation to the Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis earlier this week who in return accepted it.

In his resignation, Zervos says the decision of the Appeals Council to indict him for breach of faith against the company is an insult to his person. The court said he approved wage hikes for 19 DEH executives in the period 2010-2012, during which a law limiting the salaries of the state company was in place.

According to the law, the monthly wage of an executive could not exceed 5,900 euros.

The Council ruled the accused violated the legislation in question for wage rises causing a reduction of the business' assets for the benefit of third parties.

Also read: SPECIAL REPORT - SYRIZA should stop tending to its DEH unionist friends & consider the needs of the masses


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GEOPOLITICS: The US, Iran, ISIS and Alexis Tsipras

The following opinion piece was written by Antonis Karakousis and featured in the To Vima newspaper. According to the author, there are many who question the American interest (and many favorable comments) towards the new left-wing SYRIZA government in Greece by the Americans. Exactly what was the purpose behind the trips of American financial officers to Athens and the constant Presidential interventions in Europe for the Greek case? The author reveals the interest (and support) of the Americans towards Alexis Tsipras, is simply attributed to the safeguarding of the Eurozone (because the effect a potential crack or fragmentation may have dire consequences on the global and American economy).

The author also maintains that some even believe that the constant conflict with Germany over the last few years, regarding the observed economic policy in Europe, is also something that is motivating the Americans to embrace Tsipras.

According to the article, Tsipras himself has attributed the US' interest in Greece's geopolitical position, as well as noted the dangerous that could result from a potential financial and political destabilization of our country in this region. Adding to this, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias describes Greece as an oasis of stability and Democracy in a greater area of instability, (or from Ukraine to Northern Africa and the Middle East).

Antonis Karakousis underlines that this last version is closer to reality rather than any other.

He says that diplomatic circles point out that at present the biggest problem for American foreign policy is how to handle the issue of ISIS. According to him, the Americans face the Islamic State and its offspring in Sinai, Libya, Nigeria and elsewhere, as a very serious threat and are seeking efficient means and capable allies to combat the threat. With this in mind, stresses the author, and knowing that there will not be a direct involvement of American forces on the ground, everything depends on the alliances that are formed in the greater region where ISIS operates.

Karakousis reveals that the only force capable of facing the jihadists in Raqqa and Mosul is none other than the modernized mullahs of Iran. According to the journalist, their army is systematically preparing to take back Tikrit, the birthplace of Saddam Hussein, and Mosul. In other words, Tehran’s generals and fighting forces are going to fight the hordes of al-Baghdadi and the blood-thirsty Jihadi John on the ground.

Essentially, says the author, the Americans concluded that only the Iranians could assume such an operation and agree (obviously with some sort of exchange), to give them the ability to attempt the aforementioned counter-attack against the jihadists.

The question is whether the US' move provoked (or provokes) other important allies in the greater Middle East. For instance, the Israelis directly oppose the new role of Tehran in the region. For one, they regard them as enemies, fearing that in exchange for fighting ISIS, Iran will be allowed to continue with its nuclear program. This in turn will strengthen Hezbollah, which is based in Lebanon and as such, the Israelis feel that they will be surrounded by powerful, enemy forces.

These fears explain the profound stance of Netanyahu, who traveled to the US to meet with representatives from the Republican party and literally snubbed President Barak Obama and his staff officers Joe Bidden and Mr.Kerry. American officials reacted to Netanyahu’s provocation by showing that they are not going to alter their stance on Iran being the prime choice to fight the Islamic State.

Meanwhile, reveals the author, T.Erdogan’s Turkey was similarly frustrated, but for different reasons. Historic reasons, as well as issues related to Turkey’s pursuits in the greater region, do not allow the government of Ankara to support ground operations against the Islamic State, but it cannot also directly accept Iran’s involvement in the fight (against the jihadist group) either.

Turkey is not alone. Saudi Arabia is also opposed to Tehran’s involvement, because it believes that Iran’s financial gains might increase if it defeats the Islamic State. Should that occur, restrictions on Iranian oil exports will be lifted and this may further strengthen Tehran’s position in the international oil market, which is currently dominated by the sheiks of Riyadh.

As it would seem, the diplomatic puzzle in the region is becoming increasingly complicated and the Americans are in jeopardy of losing powerful allies in the area in their effort to tackle the revival of the harshest and most primitive version of Islam.

They are, however, aware that they do not have many options. They do not have the capabilities they once had. Washington admits that the CIA does not have operators in the area and the US Army is not willing to undertake ground operations against the Islamic State because the political cost is too high, the whole attack would be too costly for Americans and it may also cause a large percentage of casualties (meaning dead US soldiers). As such, it is looking everywhere for alliances.

Greece, which is trying to stay afloat economically, politically and socially is also caught in this geopolitical mess. The author claims that the Americans regard Greece, despite the aforementioned problems, as an oasis of stability in an obviously problematic region. It is a democratic country, with western institutions and functions, consistently pro-West, nationally homogeneous, with a cohesive society and powerful armed forces.

Based on all this and due to Greece’s proximity to the fire zone, the super powers do not (in any way) want to see Greece become destabilized. Moreover, they believe that Greece may play a balancing role in the region and offer its good diplomatic services between rivals or opponents.

As such one could conclude that the Americans appreciate the geopolitical value of Greece. The author believes that if Athens handles Greece's financial problems appropriately, then the geopolitical role of Greece could develop further and its value will increase.

All that is needed therefore is for the Tsipras administration to proceed with the country’s financial affairs in a rudimentary way until June and then establish the conditions to seek a more permanent solution to our country's financial crisis.

Samaras: Those who want me to resign should say it now

The leader of the main opposition, New Democracy (ND), said on Thursday he’s not planning to resign from his post, but called on party members who want to question his leadership to do it now.
     "I’m not 'married' to my post. But I won’t give up the battle at such a difficult time. I also considered an extraordinary conference, but they [government] would present it as a symptom of a major introversion for our party," Antonis Samaras said at ND’s parliamentary group meeting.
     "If someone believes it is better for the party or the country, one should raise the issue of party president now, and assume the responsibility of activating the statutory procedures you all know," he added.
Samaras claimed any comment by a party official would be used by the government to show ND is fragmented at a crucial time. He went on to announce he will hold a national conference to discuss party policy.

Nonetheless, ND MP Dora Bakoyiannis openly questioned the leadership.

Real.gr, enikos




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Gov't will not tolerate violence in sports venues

In an interview with the state run ANA-MPA news agency, Deputy Minister for Sports Stavros Kontonis said that the SYRIZA government will not tolerate violence, bullying and any kind of anti-social behavior in sports venues. Kontonis reiterated that the Sunday's soccer matches are going to be held behind closed doors and added:
     "We will consider whether this measure will be applied to the next week games too ... I believe that things will have been settled by then. I expect today the Hellenic Football Federation's (EPO) directive to the referees that will provide for stricter regulations. There are other issues on which there is no agreement and that is why we will have further deliberations, as life progresses through dialogue."
The Minister said that there will soon be a new sports law.
     "We will soon take steps with a draft law that we will shortly submit to the Parliament, because the sports law, as it has been announced, needs time, solves persistent problems of all sports and all federations. We will intervene to remedy shortcomings and gaps in the existing legislation, to render the state responsible in terms of maintaining the order and imposing fines on those who behave inappropriately in sports venues," he noted.
Kontonis called on fans to trust the government, which is trying to establish a framework based on fairness, transparency and meritocracy.

MEanwhile reports are claiming that the government decided to allow Greece's Super League matches to go ahead this weekend after last week's postponement due to crowd violence. But the games will all be played behind closed doors, Kontonis announced. The decision was taken after the government received assurances that steps would be taken in future to combat public disorder at matches.

It should be reminded that the government suspended all of last week's Super League matches for the third time this season following violence between supporters of rival Athens teams Olympiakos and Panathinaikos the previous weekend.

ANA-MPA, Reuters


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Western Macedonia landfill takes tonnes of garbage from Tripoli

The Western Macedonia regional landfill agreed to accept some 5,000 tonnes of rubbish from the city of Tripoli in the Peloponnese. The Western Macedonia Waste Management company DIADYMA SA said in an announcement that it agreed to the municipality's request "displaying social responsibility" and "solidarity" with Tripoli, which has been forced to declare a state of emergency over its waste mountain. DIADYMA SA said it would charge 25 euros per tonne for accepting the city's refuse, including VAT.

Meanwhile, a group of residents from Levidi (a small town in Arkadia) held a protest outside the old dump at Magoula to protest against the rubbish dumping in their area by Tripoli city authorities, picketing the entrance and guarding the site. Parallel to this, they filed a law suit against the Tripoli municipality including its mayor, Dimitris Pavlis, after an unsuccessful attempt to transfer and deposit the city's rubbish in the old Levidi dump last Friday, on the grounds that the area is now part of the Natura 2000 network.

According to local reports, a protest is planned in Tripoli on March 6th to demand the removal of rubbish from the city by 17 organisations and associations in the region, including the Labour Centre, the bar and medical associations, the Parents and School Children Association, etc.

March 4, 2015

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Gov't recalls controversial order to release all illegal migrants, asks for resignations

Note: HellasFrappe will following this story all day because it is still developing, please log in later on for the latest updates

Update 1:

Three former Ministers for the Protection of the Citizen literally slammed Panousis later on Wednesday by revealing that an officer cannot issue an order unless he receives a green light from the commanding Minister (in this case Panousis).

Speaking on Skai Tv Nikos Dendias said: Noone can issue an order (or circular) without the consent of the minister, "even verbally."

Kikilias: The order was issued from Panousis' office, why is he complaining?


Voulgarakis: "It is impossible to issue an executive order, on his own," leaving it to be understood that Panousis was well aware of the order.

Original Story

Alternate Civil Protection minister Yiannis Panousis vehemently denied he had any involvement in a controversial document issued by his ministry on Tuesday night which ordered authorities to resit from arresting immigrants who enter Greece illegally but rather simply record them, claiming that he is going to ask for the resignations of those who were involved in its release.

The issue, which became widely known by SKAI Tv on Tuesday night, concerns an alleged order by Panoussis not to arrest undocumented migrants crossing into Greece but rather provide them with temporary residence papers for up to six months. The issue came to light after the Border Guards union blasted the decision and spoke of "hordes of migrants" entering Greece unchecked and contributing to criminality. The same order would also allow the release of all detainees in detention centres on Wednesday, unless they were charged with crimes and misdemeanors.

The document, which was signed by the Brigadier General Georgios Nitsas, provoked immediate condemnation by opposition parties who swiftly accused SYRIZA of being excessively soft on immigration and generated criticism throughout the social networks. The ND leader and former PM, Antonis Samaras accused the government of turning Greece into a ‘magnet for illegal immigrants’ saying that the new policy would have catastrophic consequences for tourism, public safety and Greece’s relationship with Europe. Samaras said it is "unbelievable, unthinkable and provocative".

After denying that he issued the order, and pointing out the document only bears the signature of a brigadier, Panousis said that he would recall the order.
     "I have recalled the order. I had absolutely no knowledge [of the order] and neither did any political figures," Panousis told journalists at an extraordinary press conference on Wednesday morning.
He said when he heard the report in the media he was also left in awe.
     "A brigadier cannot take such decisions," he added, saying the fact that the story was presented by the media without double-checking with his ministry for validity created a "jungle of misinformation".
The Minister said he spoke with the head of the Hellenic police who said he “was also angry” about the order and has asked for the resignations of all the officers involved.

After being pressured by reporters, he finally admitted that the document was made up of an amalgam of scattered directives already in affect but clarified that they were gathered out of context.
     “This does not create a policy,” he said. “The various reference to scattered articles already in effect. This on its own doesn’t create a policy because policies concern priorities, hierarchies and the way in which laws are put into affect.” In his opinion, it has a political base it is not a government policy.
According to him, the controversial document was never brought before him to be formalized and slammed the media for trying to pass it off as a new policy unknown to himself.

While speaking to SKAI Tv on Wednesday morning, government spokesman Gavriil Sakellaridis also defended Panousis statements claiming that the document was released by the initiative of a department official without the knowledge of the minister.
     "The country’s immigration policy can only be decided by the competent ministers," Sakellaridis said.
The order was also denied by Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis who was quoted as saying that responsibility for this issue lies with the person who signed the order and not with the relevant ministry.


Refernece: Skai Tv, enikos


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SPECIAL REPORT - SYRIZA should stop tending to its DEH unionist friends & consider the needs of the masses

Worker unions have a right to claim better wages and working conditions for their members but when this happens in a period when Greece is desperately trying to gather funds to pay back its creditors it is just not feasible , but rather scandalous. The recent agreement signed between employee union GENOP and the management of DEH once again only proves that Greece's public-sector continues to reign, while the real economy -or private sector- is heading towards complete destruction. Instead of taking the opportunity to finally crack down on this country's tax evaders SYRIZA last week proved that it is only concerned about massaging the ears of its voters (just like all other governments before them). Shame...

It should be reminded that last Friday the unions of Greece’s Public Power Company (DEH) signed the scandalous collective bargain agreement with the management and thus granted themselves an additional wage per year in form of benefits. It has a duration of three years and was signed by 13 of the 24 DEH-unions. It is the first collective bargain agreement signed under the new SYRIZA government.

Here are the main points of the collective bargain:

  • 1) Six euros per day for food “with the purpose to serve the operational needs of the company, the work conditions improvement and the productivity increase,” as stated in the bargain. (This translates to roughly an additional 150 per month in pay or an 8%-10% salary hike).
  • 2) Ensure that no salary cuts will take place.
  • 3) The DEH Management is now obligated not to proceed with any dismissals for any economic-technical reasons.
  • 4) The management of DEH is obligated to pay a benefit to these workers for “successful subsistence,” and “subsistence”. The first refers to employees who have reached the top of the wage scale but are unable to file for retirement benefits because of the recent changes in legislation so they are going to now receive an allowance equal to "half step on salary scale." The second benefit refers to employees who have been unable to climb into the wage scale on account of their  “incompetence” and even their “lack of skills” (totally preposterous).
  • 5) Employees at the DEH's customer service centers (or offices) are going to be given four additional (paid) days of vacation every year.
  • 6) Unionists are going to receive a “shift allowance”, and at the same time benefit from a “unionists’ leave” even if they are not "physically present at work.” (In other words, unionists will be paid whether they work or not.)

Without a doubt all the above is scandalous.

Greek Public Power Company (DEH) is a state-run enterprise with  some 15,000 employees. In all fairness, some of DEH unions reacted strongly to the collective bargain agreements especially the “shift allowance for unionists” (and for good reason).

GENOP-DEH Chairman Mr. Fotopoulos, a former hardliner of the PASOK party, shifted over to the SYRIZA party several years ago and was even planning on running with the radical left party at the recent national elections but did not do so because of strong reactions from other SYRIZA members as well as voters.

On Tuesday he had the audacity to advise Greeks to drink vinegar in order to soak up their bitterness (or jealousy) over the wage hikes.

It should also be reminded that Fotopoulos and his 14 union "comrades" were charged several years ago for allegedly organizing a sit-in/occupation of the main public power offices in Athens on November 24-28, 2011, for cutting off power supply to Greek households. Prior to this, a number of senior officials at GENOP-DEH were also charged for receiving millions of euros in repayments for luxury trips and/or visits abroad which they never actually made. These cunning workers also apparently received expenses for trips by colleagues from other countries who never even travelled to Greece, and funds for consultancy entrusted to friends and relatives who never provided assistance. In fact in the 2008-2010 period, these unionists spent more than 800,000 euros (885,497) and presented bills for 1,194,497 euros. The report, which had been featured in the To Ethnos newspaper, had said at the time had revealed that between 2005-2006, some five million euros were spent on social tourism programs without the appropriate receipts being attached and without a reason being given for the journeys or the activities carried out during the trips.

(The above scandal was exposed in April 2011, when the inspector for Greece’s Public Administration body, Leandros Rakintzis, asked SDOE to intervene in the case after discovering that certain companies had issued excessively high bills for services provided to both GENOP-DEH and OKDE. Reports at the time quoted Rakintzis as saying that the SDOE report showed “great squandering of public money with a system of over-calculation of bills,” which was totally and without a doubt illegal, since Greek legislation forbids entrepreneurs from subsidising union organizations. On its part, GENOP-DEH rejected the accusations and instead spoke of a plot by entrepreneurs who wanted to sling mud at them, while Fotopoulos demanded the opening of the bank accounts of all of the company’s union figures, noting that he would be prepared not to resign, but to kill himself if so much as one euro could not be accounted for.)

HellasFrappe agrees that many DEH employees work under difficult conditions, but despite the wage and benefit cuts (since the beginning of the Memorandums) they are still in a much better situation than the majority of other citizens who for example are employed in the private sector.

Let us not forget that thousands of people who were employed in the private sector lost their jobs and their businesses because they could not bare rising energy costs.

Why are their wage hikes scandalous?

Simple, because the unionists and the DEH management did not carefully weigh the social cost of their agreement before they went ahead and signed it. These funds, which will now provide these already privileged workers with yet another yearly salary, could have been used to relieve thousands of unemployed persons from the private sector, who agonize over their daily survival.

If SYRIZA is fixed on proving that social solidarity prevails over any claims, then it will take back this decision. It has to stop thinking beyond its narrow interests and consider the needs of the masses rather than its unionists friends. If not, then SYRIZA will lose a huge chunk of support.

Also, the  move only once again proves that Greece operates a truly unfair social system. Those on the "inside" benefit unduly, (meaning those who are supporting the government and belong to the public sector), at the expense of others and it is always "clientelism" as usual.

Some could argue that in the context of Greece's fiscal situation, the new benefits to DEH employees are peanuts, but they are a slap in the face of everyone who dreamed that this new government would introduce fairness as a social principle. Greece's unemployed and all those who have months to be paid must now be very angry when they see that a portion of the population who has been protected for years is now once again being rewarded with benefits.

I know this writer is.

It is scandalous and infuriating to learn that public workers are once again going to enjoy ridiculous benefits and/or allowances while those who work in the private sector have to be content with temporary and part-time jobs, decreased wages that range from 520–700 per month and uncertainty.

Signed
HellasFrappe

Refernences:

  • http://www.ethnos.gr/article.asp?catid=22770&subid=2&pubid=64149184
  • http://www.zougla.gr/greece/article/proklitiki-anakinosi-tou-proin-sindikalisti-n-fotopoulou-gia-ti-genop-dei
  • http://www.capital.gr/Articles.asp?id=2245455
  • http://www.imerisia.gr/article.asp?catid=26523&subid=2&pubid=113470752
  • http://www.protothema.gr/greece/article/456124/adiproedros-genop-dei-kaname-mia-epektasi-sto-trofeio-na-pairnei-o-allos-ena-sadouits-ki-ena-kafe/
  • http://www.ethnos.gr/article.asp?catid=22770&subid=2&pubid=64149184



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PASOK calls on SYRIZA MPs to return their savings back to Greece

PASOK MP Odysseas Konstandinopoulos urged SYRIZA MPs to return their deposits from foreign banks back to Greece in a letter to Parliament President Zoi Konstantopoulou.

In his letter, Konstandinopoulos maintains that apart from the European Central Bank, it is necessary that all citizens contribute to the stability of Greece's banking system by returning all the money that was taken out of Greece over the last few years beginning with MPs.

He especially called on many SYRIZA MPs who have openly admitted in transferring their money to foreign accounts instead of keeping it in Greek banks.

According to him, this is a "sublime patriotic duty" of all Greek MPs, and would set a positive example for the Greek citizens.

According to some reports, there are more than 700,000 Greek citizens that transferred their savings (said to be more than 300 billion Euros) in foreign accounts over the past few years -or since George Papandreou's PASOK government seized power-.


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NEW SCANDAL - Defence Ministry to probe purchase Of NH90 helicopters & submarines

Following a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Defense Minister Panos Kammenos said on Tuesday that the armed forces’ internal affairs department discovered evidence of wrongdoing in two military procurement cases and is now planning to send this evidence to the judiciary.
     “We agreed with the prime minister that even though these cases are in the first stages of investigation... they should go immediately to the Greek justice system so they can be added to the case files already under examination,” Kammenos told reporters.
He revealed that the cases involve the purchase of NH90 helicopters in 2003 and the deal to purchase four Type 214 diesel-electric submarines, which date back to 1998.

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Prosecutors propose conditions for release of Golden Dawn MPs

Public prosecutors on Tuesday announced the conditional release of Golden Dawn chief Nikos Michaloliakos and the party’s second-in-command, Christos Pappas, since their 18-month maxim detention period ends on March 29. Both officials are facing charges of organizing and leading a criminal organization.

Greek prosecutors proposed that Michaloliakos also post 125,000 euros in bail and be placed under house arrest following his release.

On the other, prosecutors proposed (among other conditions) that Pappas be banned from leaving the region of Attica and report to his local police station three times a month.


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Russia Cannot Exempt Greece From Food Embargo

Greece is not going to be excluded from the embargo imposed by Russia on its farm production, but other forms of cooperation could be discussed, including the supply with Greek raw materials of food-sector joint ventures on Russian soil, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said. His comments come after the Greek government asked Russia to lift sanctions on supplies of “key agricultural production” such as peaches, strawberries and oranges that are being left to rot due to a lack of a market.
     "There are quite straightforward rues of the World Trade Organization, and Russia, as a WTO member, cannot choose. We cannot impose sanctions against EU member states and selectively lift sanctions on one of the countries," he told newspaper Izvestia.
However, in this case direct deliveries of agricultural products can be substituted by "imports of raw materials with an investment in Russia-based food processing facilities," Peskov said.

Earlier in February President Putin said Moscow would be able to cooperate with Hungarian agriculture despite sanctions and added that the establishment of joint ventures will help avoid the difficulties caused by Russian countermeasures against Western sanctions.

References: RT, enikos


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ANALYSIS - The bankruptcy of Syriza and of the globalist 'Left'

By Takis Fotopoulos (Pravda) - A month ago, just before the Greek elections, I stressed the following about the SYRIZA party in Greece, (whose victory was widely predicted at the time) and Podemos, its 'brother party' in Spain: Given the commitment (of SYRIZA in Greece and Podemos in Spain to the EU and the Euro there is no possibility whatsoever that they will take any of the radical steps required to really alleviate the appalling economic condition of the majority of the population in both countries, and particularly in Greece, within the constraints imposed by the EU and the constitutional Treaties that institutionalized neoliberal globalization at the European level.[i]

Clearly, this conclusion was contrary to the prevailing view among the 'globalist' Left and its numerous publications all over the world.[ii] This is the Left which explicitly or implicitly takes globalization and its institutions (e.g. the EU) for granted and only aims for their improvement 'from within' (we used to call this kind of "Left" reformist in the past to distinguish it from the antisystemic or anticapitalist Left). However, the strong anti-globalization movement that developed in the late 1990s, on both sides of the Atlantic, was largely an antisystemic movement, which was crushed by the combination of state violence (Seattle, Genova etc.) and the systematic effort of the globalist Left that developed at the time, with indirect support of the mass media controlled by the Transnational Elite (i.e. the elites mainly based in the G7 countries). In fact, the role of globalist Left was crucial in eventually managing to emasculate the anti-globalization movement, from an antisystemic movement into a reformist one.[iii] The inevitable result was the demise of the entire antisystemic movement against globalization, to the great delight of Transnational Corporations, which were obviously behind this huge campaign.

The main difference between the globalist Left and the antiglobalization movement, which was not explicit at the time but became evident later on, concerns the very object of social struggle.

Thus, for the antisystemic movement against globalization, the cause of the growing concentration of economic power in a few hands is globalization itself that has led to the present unprecedented inequality, which, on current trends, means that by next year, 1% of the population will own more wealth than the other 99%.[iv] Furthermore, globalization, as I tried to show elsewhere,[v] in a capitalist market economy can only be neoliberal. That means that neoliberalism, contrary to the mythology of the globalist Left, is neither a "doctrine",[vi] nor the 'bad' policy of some baddies controlling transnational institutions like the EU, as Syriza and Podemos assert, in an obvious attempt to disorient working people.

No wonder Tsipras and other Syriza cadres have actually participated in the globalist Left, in the form of the World Social Forum, which was the main organ used to emasculate the antisystemic movement against globalization! No wonder also that Thomas Piketty, the great new star of economics, who is massively promoted by the TE media, like the Financial Times as a kind of 'new Marx' fighting against inequality, is a prominent member of the same globalist Left explicitly stating "if we don't find a way to convince people that everybody can gain from globalization the risk is that a growing faction of the population will turn away from it, against globalization."[vii]  However, at least Piketty, as far as I know, did not have the effrontery to call himself a "Marxist", unlike the new 'pop star' of economics, again massively promoted by the same TE-controlled media, who is also (both in theory and in practice) a prominent member of the globalist Left.

I refer of course to Yanis Varoufakis, the finance minister of Syriza, who calls himself a 'libertarian marxist', but, as I shall show below, had no qualms about playing a leading role in breaking the pre-election commitments!

In fact, Varoufakis theory and practice has nothing to do with either Marxist or left libertarian theory and practice, as one could easily conclude from his self-presentation, massively promoted by The Guardian (the well known flagship of the globalist Left which supported all the wars of the TE in the globalization era). In effect, he is a 'liberal pseudo-Keynesian (i.e. the theoretical version of social-liberalism which is of course utterly incompatible with Keynes' work!)) and a fervent globalist, as statements like the following show:

What good will it do today to call for a dismantling of the eurozone, of the European Union itself, when European capitalism is doing its utmost to undermine the eurozone, the European Union, indeed itself?[viii]

Yet, all this did not prevent Counterpunch, a leading organ of the globalist Left to publish an article under the eloquent title "Ironman Varoufakis's Revolutionary Plan for Europe", clearly showing the utter bankruptcy of this sort of "Left", which did not have any qualms about concluding that Varoufakis plan is "Revolution from within. Just don't tell anyone in Berlin"! [ix]

Therefore, for the globalist Left, the cause of the economic catastrophe in countries like Greece is the austerity policies applied by neoliberal and social liberal governments, with whom this sort of "Left" has no objection to compromise, as Syriza has just shown in practice, even on the implementation of neoliberal policies! The usual devious argument they use to justify the obvious u-turns that this implies is that this is a matter of some genius strategy, so that a new 'good' Europe of the peoples develops which would abolish neoliberals and the relevant policies. This is why they never raise the issue of exiting from the EU and creating instead a new real Europe of the peoples, and not of capital as at present. This is also why what they fight against now is the austerity policies imposed by those neoliberal 'baddies', despite the fact that such policies are of course the inevitable policies that have to be applied by a government which does not control its open and liberalized markets (as a result of the integration into the New World Order of neoliberal globalization) and bases all of its growth strategy on foreign investment and on improving competitiveness, so that foreign imports do not crowd out domestic production, while at the same time it struggles to  expand exports.

However, although such policies may indeed lead to a kind of growth resulting in huge inequalities and poverty for most, it surely cannot lead to restructuring of production so that the economy could become competitive. Thus, domestic workers in EU peripheral countries would in effect have to compete with either foreign workers abroad working under almost slavery conditions (e.g. India, Pakistan, China and so on) as well as immigrants from similar countries, or with workers in highly advanced countries in terms of research and development, associated with much higher productivities (e.g. Germany). No wonder in an economic union consisting of countries at unequal levels of development the peripheral countries have no chance to compete with the advanced countries at the centre, where the elites controlling the economic policies of the entire union are based.

It is therefore a disorienting myth that a union like the Eurozone could ever be democratic, as Varoufakis shamelessly declared that he is the co-author of the policies imposed on Greece by the EU! A democratic union presupposes members of equal economic power, i.e. sovereign nations, and Greece has neither any economic nor national sovereignty within the Eurozone and under the neo-colonial rules imposed by the troika (read the TE). On top of this, only a liberal cretin (or a crook) could assert that a democratic relationship could ever exist between the lender and the borrower, or, alternatively, between those controlling the European Central Bank's purse and the rest. Systemic writers fully understand this, as when Dominic Lawson wrote that:

"as about a quarter of ECB funds are backed by German taxpayers, Schäuble's opinions count much more than those of Varoufakis... So it is hardly surprising that Varoufakis has been humiliated. The terms agreed late on Friday involve acceptance that the bailout package continues to be set and monitored by the International Monetary Fund, the ECB and EU finance ministers; and that if this troika is not satisfied with Greek commitment to economic reform, the money will be frozen - exactly what Syriza swore it would never accept."[x]

On the basis of such considerations, I concluded in a post election article[xi] that:

Τhe two main options available to the new Government were: a) the road of submission to the demands of the Transnational Elite (TE) and the EU, with some concessions granted by the elites in exchange, and b) the road of resistance, which involves the immediate unilateral exit from both the EU and the Eurozone that will allow the introduction of strict capital controls and the re-introduction of the national currency, the nationalization of all banks including the Bank of Greece, the socialization of all key industries covering basic needs, as well as those involving the social wealth (oil, lignite, gold, etc.).[xii]

Even at that time, just a week after the elections, on the basis of the first signs then available , I was able to write "it is safe for one to conclude that (a) above is the option chosen by the disorienting reformist Left that took over in Greece! The inevitable result is that none of Syriza's promises before the election is on the way to be met by the government". I mentioned then the four major commitments, which were on the way to be "forgotten" at the time and have been transformed as follows in the 'list' of structural reforms just agreed with the institutions. Here I will add some more crucial commitments 'forgotten' now:

  • a)    The commitment to throw out the Troika, (consisting of representatives of the Transnational Elite, (i.e. IMF, EU, ECB), which was checking the implementation of the memorandum conditions in the past and actually were involved even in designing the appropriate legislation and then in checking its execution. In fact, far from the Troika being thrown out, it was simply renamed as "the institutions" consisting again by the same institutions (perhaps represented by different personnel. The only (fake) change was that formally decisions will have to be taken in the future by the "institutions" and Greece, as co-authors, according to democratic procedure. Clearly, the  Greek Finance Minister wanted us to believe that there could ever be a real democracy (which implies an equal distribution of political power) even without a corresponding equal distribution of economic power, particularly in a capitalist system![xiii]


  • b)    the commitment to tear down the 'memorandum' (as the bailout agreement is known in Greece). Today, the Syriza government implements in fact the existing memorandum (now called a list of structural reforms), which was expanded with some painless to the institutions additions, so that the false impression could be created that this is a new program that was in fact co-authored by Syriza and these institutions, as Varoufakis disorientedly stressed. This is why Syriza took care to change its name by deceptively distinguishing between the main loan contract and its appendix in the memorandum, when everybody knows that the latter was simply describing the conditions under which the loan was granted (as it is also mentioned in the main loan contract). So, what Syriza did was to pretend that the list of structural reforms which was agreed yesterday was not in fact the old memorandum reforms plus some painless (to the institutions) reforms but a new program co-authored by Greece. This, despite the fact that Varoufakis himself admitted that 70 percent of the old memorandum reforms are adopted by Syriza. Furthermore, Greece's 'partners' demanded that it will not get any more financial help from the EU or the IMF unless and until the present list is completed with some further  reforms to be agreed  by the end of April and only after an assessment by the institutions, will any further funds will be released!  Then, once the present program ends in June it could be replaced by a new program (i.e. a new memorandum) provided the government has implemented the present list of reforms to the satisfaction of Greece's partners. 


  • c)    The commitment to have the debt (or most of it) cancelled. This commitment has disappeared completely from the present 'bridge program' and was replaced by a vague promise that some sort of debt relief will be introduced in the July memorandum. However whereas the lenders and the institutions refer, at most, to possibly extending the period of the loan and/or lowering interest rates, Varoufakis throws various ideas in his 'smart debt engineering' in order to achieve even some sort of virtual reduction of the debt (e.g.. bond swaps with perpetuity bonds, (i.e. bonds of no fixed maturity date yielding only interest), or bonds whose repayment will be linked to GDP growth beyond a certain threshold, etc.--ideas mostly ignored by the "institutions".


  • d)    The commitment (the most important, for them, aspect of their 'radical' program) to replace austerity with growth, as they consider austerity mainly responsible for the present economic and social catastrophe in Greece. Yet, the entire list of structural reforms just agreed between the 'institutions' and the Syriza government is just the usual neoliberal list of measures suggested by OECD, IMF, the Wold Bank etc. That is reconsideration of public spending (including even spending on social services like Health), with the aim to cut the cost of provided services, i.e. to further cut the size of government spending, on top of the massive cuts imposed in the last four years! This is of course an austerity measure under a different name.


  • e)    The commitment to use fiscal policy for growth rather than as a means of austerity as at present. For a country 'under a bailout program' like Greece this requires the creation of significant primary budget surpluses of 4 percent per year or so. Here, all that the hard renegotiation by Syriza achieved was some promise to reduce the size of the surplus required. Yet, the lower the primary surplus the less money will be available to cover public spending including interest payments, which in practice usually means a further cut in public spending. That is, more austerity! But, the TE has no alternative. A drastic cut in the budget surplus requires a significant haircut on the debt,[xiv] which is anathema to the lenders.


  • f)      The commitment to reverse privatizations agreed by the previous crisis governments, which were considered to be a sell out of social wealth by Syriza itself (e.g. energy industries). This commitment has effectively been shelved. The government is now committed not to touch any completed privatizations or even those "in the process" as long as the procedure has begun. No wonder that when the energy minister who belongs to the left wing of Syriza stated that the government would not go ahead with the sale of the main electricity utility PPC (DEHr.AT) or power grid operator ADIME, that drew an angry response from Berlin, where a finance ministry spokesman said Athens could not decide to delay or stop privatisations on its own,[xv] implicitly referring to a clause in the agreement signed that no unilateral actions from Greece would be tolerated, implying that any such actions will be met by a cut off in liquidity.


  • g)    The commitment to protect labor and abolish flexible labor relations. This commitment has been abandoned altogether now and replaced by a new commitment to adopt "the best EU practices", i.e. the best neoliberal practices on the field given that flexible labor conditions have already been introduced almost everywhere in the Eurozone. Even the related commitment to increase immediately after election the minimum wage level to over 700 Euros had now been replaced by a commitment to do so sometime in the future and always in consultation with the "institutions"! This, on top of the usual commitment to further open and liberalize markets "as part of a broader strategy to face established interests' (by which it is usually meant syndicalist interests).


  • h)    The commitment to take care of the humanitarian crisis as a result of the massive impoverishment of the last few years is also emasculated. Thus, the measures to be taken have to be mainly non-monetary (e.g. food vouchers) and, anyway, all this battle against the humanitarian crisis should not have any negative fiscal impact!

It is therefore clear that SYRIZA has negated all its main commitments which would differentiate it from the previous governments, essentially appointed through the "institutions (i.e. the TE). This complete about turn by the Greek globalist Left (in Greek, kolotouba) was very simply achieved by the EU through the European Central Bank which used the highly successful "Irish" model for this, which has since been applied in Cyprus as well. Thus, when Ireland was in the brink in 2010 and the TE were pushing the Irish government to seek a bailout which naturally was resisting, it was threatened by a cut in 'Emergency Liquidity Assistance' (ELA) to Irish financial institutions, i.e. to cut Ireland off. Last week ECB first made Greek banks entirely dependent on ELA and then it did not approve a request for a 10b Euros allowing instead an increase of only 3.8 bn in full knowledge that with a mini liquidity panic that was developing at the moment the existing cash reserves were going to run out by the mid of this week.[xvi] With depositors fleeing and markets refusing to do business with them, Greek banks have nowhere else to turn. If the ELA is turned off, they will be unable to meet customer demands and default.

A shrewd BBC liberal economic analyst aptly summarized the the bankruptcy of Syriza in an article entitled "Syriza dumps Marx for Blair" describing what he called "the world's fastest reinvention of what is to be socialist":

In the reforms proposed by the Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis to secure a four-month extension of its life-or-death bailout, vanished are the party's seeming implacable hostility to privatisation, determination to re-hire sacked public-sector workers, and desire for rapid rises in minimum wages. Or to put it another way, the platform on which Syriza won the recent general election has been significantly reconstructed. In its place are what we might see as "New Syriza" measures: commitments to improve the efficiency of the public sector and eliminate waste, to promote competition with a strengthened competition commission, to reform labour markets, to streamline pension schemes, not to reverse privatisations and take a pragmatic approach to future sales of government assets.[xvii]

However, Peston, sees only the changes in the political 'superstructure' and ignores the seismic changes in the economic structure which were the ultimate causes of the changes in the political structure. That is, the emergence of the NWO of neoliberal globalization which makes not only Syriza but also Podemos and any other parts of the globalist Left irrelevant today. But, some may find  surprising the fact that even most of the Marxist antisystemic Left make the same mistake , as shown by the following extract from the World Socialist Web Site:

The abject capitulation of the Syriza government exposes the utter political bankruptcy of the myriad petty-bourgeois pseudo-left organizations throughout the world who just a few weeks ago hailed the electoral victory of Tsipras as an earth-shaking event. Far from denouncing Syriza's betrayal, these groups will work overtime conjuring up excuses and justifications. But broad sections of the Greek working class will see the agreement for what it is: a cynical and cowardly act of political treachery.[xviii]

Clearly, in view of the above analysis, Syriza's stand is not a matter of treachery. Any left party not determined to break not only with the EU and the Eurozone but also with the NWO and its institutions (WTO, IMF, NATO etc.) eventually will be forced to follow the same policies that Syriza adopts presently. Similar arguments apply to the Paleolithic anti-imperialist Left which sees the conflict as one between the 'bad' neoliberal Empire and the peoples. Thus, as James Petras stresses,

The election of Syriza on a platform of recovering sovereignty, discarding austerity and redefining its relations with creditors to favor national development has set the stage for a possible continent-wide confrontation[xix]

Of course this is another myth usually promoted by the globalist Left. There was never such a choice between, on the one hand, recovering sovereignty and national development and, on the other, capitulation, unless the people are determined to break with this order-- something that this sort of Left cannot understand, as it thinks we still live in the era of nation-states!

On similar grounds one may criticize the "left' minority within the Syriza party (Lafazanis, Lapavitsas et.al[xx]), whose panacea for all problems related with the present Greek catastrophe is Grexit, i.e. the exit from the Eurozone but not also from  the EU, let alone a break with the NWO and its economic and political  institutions. However, although such a "solution" may in the short term benefit the Greek people, as a result of the associated devaluation of the new currency (the drachma) that will be introduced following Grexit, in the medium to long term Greece will be in a similar crisis to the present one, even if it combines Grexit with a cancellation of part or the whole of the Greek debt. This is because this approach is also globalist, i.e. it takes the NWO of neoliberal globalization for granted and therefore can never lead to the restructuring of production and consumption in Greece that only a policy of self-reliance could secure. But such a policy is ruled out when markets are opened and liberalized, which supporters for Grexit also take for granted.

The conclusion is therefore: unless the antisystemic Left which, mostly, lacks of any theory and strategy on globalization, urgently tries to fill the gap left by the globalist Left and the Paleolithic antisystemic Left, it is just the nationalist Right that will succeed in doing so, which lately shows very worrying signs of turning from the old anti-Semitism to Islamophobia, supported on this even by Zionists![xxi]

The author, Takis Fotopoulos, is a political philosopher, editor of Society & Nature/ Democracy and Nature/The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy. He has also been a columnist for the Athens Daily Eleftherotypia since 1990. Between 1969 and 1989 he was Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of North London (formerly Polytechnic of North London). He is the author of over 25 books and over 1,000 articles.

Notes

  • [i] "Left mythology and neoliberal globalization: Syriza and Podemos", The International Journal of INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY, Vol. 11, Nos. 1/2 (Winter-Summer 2015) 19.01.15
  • [ii] see e.g. Serge Halimi "A modest and crazy dream:, Le Monde Diplomatique, Febr. 2015; "The Greek deal is fair and democratic", Observer editorial, 22/2/2015; Tom Walker, "No, Syriza has not surrendered", Red Pepper/Znet, 24/2/2015
  • [iii] see Takis Fotopoulos, "Globalisation, the reformist Left and the Anti-Globalisation 'Movement'", Democracy & Nature, vol.7, no.2 (July 2001), pp.233-280
  • [iv] Larry Elliott, "Half global wealth held by the 1%", The Guardian, 19/1/2015)
  • [v] Takis Fotopoulos, The New World Order in Action (published shortly by Progressive Press), ch 5
  • [vi] see e.g. Naomi Klein's best seller, The Shock Doctrine, Penguin, 2007
  • [vii] see Martin Wolf, 'Capital in the Twenty-First Century', by Thomas Piketty', Financial Times, 19/4/2014; see, also, Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Harvard University Press, 2014
  • [viii] "How I became Marxist", The Guardian, 18/2/2015
  • [ix] Mike Whitney, "Ironman Varoufakis's Revolutionary Plan for Europe", Counterpunch, 19/2/2015
  • [x] Dominic Lawson, "Four weeks of Greek hubris, then repulsive humble moussaka", Sunday Times, 22/2/2015
  • [xi] "Syriza's climbdown or the end of the Left's dream", The International Journal of INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY, Vol. 11, Nos. 1/2 (Winter-Summer 2015) , 04.02.2015
  • [xii] see for details of the short and medium term measures required in case of the resistance option being selected "The imperative need for popular fronts of national and social liberation in the globalization era", The International Journal of INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY, Vol. 10, Nos. 1/2 (Winter-Summer 2014)
  • [xiii] Takis Fotopoulos, Towards An Inclusive Democracy (London: Cassell 1997) ch 5
  • [xiv] Wolfgang Münchau, "The skirmish is over - let the Greek debt battle begin, Financial Times, 22/2/2015
  • [xv] L. Papadimas and S. Brown, "Greece sees problems repaying IMF, ECB; Germans air mistrust", Reuters, 25/2/2015http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/25/us-eurozone-greece-idUSKBN0LR0ZX20150225
  • [xvi] Philip Aldrick, "it's not the Germans frogmarching Greece into a deal-it's the ECB", The Times, 21/2/2015
  • [xvii] Robert Peston, "Syriza dumps Marx for Blair", BBC News , 24/2/2015
  • [xviii] Robert Stevens, "Syriza Capitulates to the EU", Global Research, 21/2/2015
  • [xix] James Petras, "The Assassination of Greece", Global Research, 22/2/2015
  • [xx] Anthee Carassava, "Greek government split on bailout deal", The Times, 26/2/2015
  • [xxi] Adam Sage, "French Jews turn to Le Pen after Muslim attacks", The Times, 24/2/2015


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