All posts tagged: Greece

America’s Runaway Bacteria

How Yet Another US Bio-weapon is Getting Rampant in Europe Jean Perier via NEO In my previous articles I’ve touched upon the deadly weapons of tomorrow, those that reek of death and destruction for the mankind, developed in top-secret US laboratories. Previously, I’ve examined the mutated bacteria codenamed Cynthia, that was originally designed to consume hydrocarbon wastes but instead it started to consume human flesh. Even though there’s been a number of lethal cases along the Gulf of Mexico, American authorities chose to keep this whole deal a secret. However, their secret experiments haven’t stopped there, but now they are being conducted away from American shores, namely in Europe, as Donald Trump himself listed this continent as one of the principal rivals of the United States in the world-wide war for global domination. A rather disturbing number of reports has recently been presented by independent media sources, all talking about the Xylella fastidiosa bacteria that threatens to completely wipe both Italy and a number of other Mediterranean countries clean off centuries-old olive trees. This microbe, which would typically appear …

Globalization the EU and the Road to Serfdom

It might be a good idea to start with some theoretical clarifications. Firstly, nationalism should not be confused with national sovereignty. Nations which are effectively ruled by outside agents – from Greece to Honduras – are not sovereign; they are colonies or vassals of some larger agency. And since they are not sovereign, the cannot be democratic, since decision making, and policies have been abrogated to an external ruling power. Secondly, nationalism: the term which in general is generally regarded as the all-weather bête noire by the orthodox left, can be and often is aggressive, racist, imperialistic, and so forth.

Euro-visions

Lexit’s Digest No. 14 Juncker’s recent ‘State of the Union’ address was widely applauded by Europeanist media outlets. For example, Politico was very impressed by the Commission President’s ‘bold vision for Europe’: One speed. One currency. One president. No to a multi-speed Europe, all 27 Member States shall join the euro-zone and the Schengen agreement rather quickly after Brexit. EU enlargement shall continue, in particular with the Balkan states. How the governments of these entities ‘adapt’ to the Greek style ‘labour market reforms’ expected by the EU from such poor peripheral countries – see an interesting interview on LeftEast on this with Aleksandar Matković (a researcher at the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory at the University of Belgrade)  here. In that general context it is interesting to see that Andrew Watt – formerly a senior researcher at the European Trade Union Institute in Brussels and now working at the Hans Böckler Foundation of the German trade unions – was very positive about Juncker’s proposals. Equally interesting, his colleague Daniel Seikel, also of the Böckler …

Number of European working poor doubles in a decade

by Elisabeth Zimmermann , 12 July 2017, WSWS More and more people in work in Europe are being forced into poverty. This is demonstrated by a new study by the Hans Böckler Foundation which was made public last Thursday.  The study, titled “Activation policies and poverty,” notes that a growing proportion of the population of Europe live in poverty, although they are working. The researchers from the Economic and Social Sciences Institute (WSI) of the Böckler Foundation examined the effects of labor market and social policy measures in 18 EU countries from 2004 to 2014. All of the measures were aimed at forcing unemployed people into low-wage labor. According to their research, an average of about 10 percent of the workforce aged between 18 and 64 in the countries studied were “working poor.” This means they earn less than 60 percent of the average income in their country. The proportion of working poor was highest in Romania at 18.6 percent, followed by Greece, 13.4 percent, and Spain, 13.2 percent. In Germany, the number of working …

People wake up!

Neoliberal-fascist atrocities become rapidly ever bolder and are carried out with impunity. They should wake up the 99.99% from our brainwashed dreams and make us SCREAM! – Scream for change, not at the margin, but fundamental. This apparatus has to stop, not just be ‘reformed’ as the caviar ‘left intellectuals’ suggest.

What is the European Union For?

by Frank After all the initial eu(ro)phoria and hopes placed upon the original concept of a non-aligned, social-democratic Euro-bloc, the reality has turned out somewhat differently. In a pamphlet written in 2011 – Europe: The Unfinished Project – I wrote: At the present time the EU project seems to be stuck in no-man’s land, unable to press ahead with full political integration, or retreat back into a northern European protectionist Deutschmark zone, and leaving the peripheral member states to the tender mercies of unfettered, globalized capitalism. However there seems to be a sufficient residue of the original EU idealism in the present stage of development to persevere further with the political struggle taking place.” Ibid, page 19 I believe that this view, which seemed justifiable and plausible enough at the time of writing, has now become difficult to sustain. And the reason for this came in the next sentence, viz. One only has to consider the Anglo-American alternatives (to the Euro model) and globalization more generally to make this choice.” This statement was, however, based …

The Collapse of Western Democracy

by Paul Craig Roberts Democracy no longer exists in the West. In the US powerful private interest groups, such as the military-security complex, Wall Street, the Israel Lobby, agribusiness and the extractive industries of energy, timber and mining, have long exercised more control over government than the people. But now even the semblance of democracy has been abandoned. In the US Donald Trump has won the Republican presidential nomination. However, Republican convention delegates are plotting to deny Trump the nomination that the people have voted him. The Republican political establishment is showing an unwillingness to accept democratic outcomes. The people chose, but their choice is unacceptable to the establishment which intends to substitute its choice for the people’s choice. Do you remember Dominic Strauss-Kahn? Strauss-Kahn is the Frenchman who was head of the IMF and, according to polls, the likely next president of France. He said something that sounded too favorable toward the Greek people. This concerned powerful banking interests who worried that he might get in the way of their plunder of Greece, Portugal, …

Brexit and the Diseased Liberal Mind

by Jonathan Cook The enraged liberal reaction to the Brexit vote is in full flood. The anger is pathological – and helps to shed light on why a majority of Britons voted for leaving the European Union, just as earlier a majority of Labour party members voted for Jeremy Corbyn as leader. A few years ago the American writer Chris Hedges wrote a book he titled the Death of the Liberal Class. His argument was not so much that liberals had disappeared, but that they had become so coopted by the right wing and its goals – from the subversion of progressive economic and social ideals by neoliberalism, to the ethusiastic embrace of neonservative doctrine in prosecuting aggressive and expansionist wars overseas in the guise of “humanitarian intervention” – that liberalism had been hollowed out of all substance. Liberal pundits sensitively agonise over, but invariably end up backing, policies designed to benefit the bankers and arms manufacturers, and ones that wreak havoc domestically and abroad. They are the “useful idiots” of modern western societies. Reading this piece …

Buy Buy Europe, Part 3: Tax Haven Europe

by Stuart Jeanne Bramhall, Film Review Buy, Buy Europe by Peter De Vos (2013) is a five-part miniseries describing how European banks have hijacked the euro monetary union to vastly increase their wealth. Part 3:  Tax Haven Europe This segment begins by profiling the Greek shipping magnates who run the largest merchant fleet in the world and pay virtually no tax. Corporations and the super rich pay far less tax than working people in all the EU countries. This massive tax avoidance forces all European governments to acquire major debt to keep from collapsing. The documentary offers the example of Belgium, where the average tax rate is 12.5% and the most profitable corporations pay only 5% of their earnings in tax. The filmmakers maintain that workers create wealth, though I doubt most neoliberals would see it that way. In 1981 Europe, 74% of the wealth workers created was returned to them as wages and government benefits. By 2012 only 49% of this wealth was returned to them and the super rich claimed the rest. Dr. …

Iceland proves the nation state is alive and well

by Bill Mitchell, May 31, 2016 On May 27, 2016, Statistics Iceland (the national statistical agency) released the news – Iceland economy to grow by 4.3% in 2016.  The nation is enjoying strong household consumption and investment growth and tourism is driving export growth.  Inflation is low and the exchange rate, which depreciated sharply during the crisis, is stable, if not steadily appreciating again.  Compare that to the Eurozone Member States, which are in varying states of moribund.  We also learned this week that the Icelandic government has increased the intensity of its capital controls and is forcing speculative capital to behave itself.  For those who think the state is dead, particularly those on the Left who promote grand (delusional) schemes of a Pan Europe Democracy as the only way of taking on the powers of corporations, Iceland proves that neo-liberalism has to work through the legislative capacities of sovereign states. Corporations do not have armies (usually).  They have to manipulate the legislative process in their favour.  The currency-issuing state is still supreme – globalisation …

The Idea You Can Skip The Nation-State Is Dangerous

Interview with Thomas Fazi, Social Europe Regarding Varoufakis’ movement, I don’t deny that totally rewriting the international system in a radical way would be great, and I think that is what we should aim for in the long run.  But this idea that some people in the European Left have, that you can somehow skip the nation-state and change things directly at the regional or even global level, without, for example, being bothered with winning elections at home – not only do I think this is wrong, I think it is dangerous.  It could be the last nail in the Left’s coffin.  We have already lost terrain to the extreme Right all over Europe.  The reasons for this are of course various, but it is partly because these movements and parties are the only ones who are willing to use the ‘n-word’: to speak of the ‘nation’.  So unless we develop a progressive, well, a progressive nationalism sounds quite bad, so we definitely need to find a better word, but we have to develop a …

Documentary: #ThisIsACoup – How The EU Destroyed the First Radical Left Gov in Modern History

Director Theopi Skarlatos and producer Paul Mason present #ThisIsACoup, a four part documentary series telling the story of how the European Union destroyed the first radical left government in modern history. Directed by Theopi Skarlatos. Produced by Paul Mason.

Agency to Enslave Greeks Is Established

by Eric Zuesse Late on Thursday, July 16th, German Economic News headlined “Greece: Debt Restructuring Through the Back Door” and reported that: The majority of Greece’s national debt is to be moved in the next three years gradually to the euro bailout fund ESM [European Stability Mechanism], so that the IMF will continue to remain as a lender. The euro zone countries will thereby provide Athens a longer grace period [a temporary postponement of payments, while the 18% annual interest-rate soars Greece’s debt even higher], and longer repayment periods. The super-secretive European Stability Mechanism was set up in 2012, in order to handle Greece’s anticipated virtual receivership, which it now will do. As I reported on July 16th, the treaty that in 2012 established the ESM, as being the ultimate lending-fund, for what the EU now officially considers to be a permanent economic crisis in Europe — of Greece and other member-nations that are experiencing “severe financing problems” — establishes the ESM as being so secretive, that a precondition of employment there is “Professional secrecy,” …

Thousands of Refugees Flee Northward from Greece

Translated by Eric Zuesse, from German Economic News The precarious situation in Greece means that thousands of refugees are making their way to northern Europe. There, the reaction is increasingly panicked: The Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer has announced plans to fend off refugees with “rigorous measures.” In Germany, there have been several attacks on asylum facilities. In Italy and the Czech Republic, there were demonstrations and riots. Dramatic scenes at the station of Gevgelija in Macedonia: Refugees from Greece fight for a place in a train to the north. (Photos: AP) On Friday, tumult came to the station from Gevgelija in Macedonia (as shown in the AP photos above). Thousands of refugees flooded there heading northward due to the unclear situation and the rapidly deteriorating conditions in Greece. They try to get into the EU via Serbia from Macedonia. On Greek Islands the humanitarian conditions are unbearable. However, on the Greek mainland, refugees at the moment also have little prospect of improvement: The Greek Orthodox Church considers itself unable to cope with them in …

Political Betrayals and Agit-prop Farces in Southern Europe

As progressives in Europe and the rest of the world watch in dismay the odious spectacle of a German-led EU spitefully destroying the “fiscal sovereignty” of the country synonymous with both democracy and the European civilization itself, the popular will in Serbia continues to reflect a realistic assessment of the country’s chances inside an EU whose main interest in incorporating it as part of the old Anglo-American-German hostility towards Russia.  

Greece’s Lesson For Russia

by Paul Craig Roberts Greece’s debt can now only be made sustainable through debt relief measures that go far beyond what Europe has been willing to consider so far.” International Monetary Fund Greece’s lesson for Russia, and for China and Iran, is to avoid all financial relationships with the West. The West simply cannot be trusted. Washington is committed to economic and political hegemony over every other country and uses the Western financial system for asset freezes, confiscations, and sanctions. Countries that have independent foreign policies and also have assets in the West cannot expect Washington to respect their property rights or their ownership. Washington freezes or steals countries’ assets, or in the case of France imposes multi-billion dollar fines, in order to force compliance with Washington’s policies. Iran, for example, lost the use of $100 billion, approximately one-fourth of the Iranian GDP, for years simply because Iran insisted on its rights under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Russian journalists are asking me if Obama’s willingness to reach a deal with Iran means there is hope a …

Tsipras’ Bailout Reform Package: An Act of Treason against the Greek People

After having launched a Referendum to refute and refuse the debt bailout agreement put together by the Troika, Prime Minister Tsipras comes up four days later with an austerity package broadly similar to the one which was turned down by the Greek government in June. This about-turn had been carefully engineered. The Greek people were misled and deceived. The Referendum was an outright ”ritual of democracy”.

‘the Greek “debt crisis” was an orchestration from the beginning’

by Paul Craig Roberts The Greek referendum, in which the Greek government’s position easily prevailed, tells the troika (EU Commission, European Central Bank, IMF, with of course Washington as the puppet master) that the Greek people support their government’s position that the years of austerity to which Greece has been subjected have seriously worsened the debt problem. The Greek government has been trying to turn the austerity approach into reforms that would lessen the debt burden via a rise in employment, GDP, and tax revenues. The first response of most EU politicians to the Greek referendum outcome was to bluster about Greece exiting Europe. Washington is not prepared for this to happen and has told its vassals to give the Greeks a deal that they can accept that will keep them within the EU. Washington has a higher interest than the interests of the US financial interests who purchased discounted sovereign debt with a view toward profiting from a deal that pays 100 cents on the dollar. Washington also has higher interest than the interests …

Operation Nemesis: Greece must be saved from the enemy in Moscow

by Systematic Victoria Nuland meets Alexis Tsipras in Athens on March 17. John Helmer, “the longest continuously serving foreign correspondent in Russia“, writes: A putsch in Athens to save allied Greece from enemy Russia is in preparation by the US and Germany, with backing from the non-taxpayers of Greece – the Greek oligarchs, Anglo-Greek shipowners, and the Greek Church. At the highest and lowest level of Greek government, and from Thessaloniki to Milvorni, all Greeks understand what is happening. Yesterday [July 5] they voted overwhelmingly to resist. According to a high political figure in Athens, a 40-year veteran, “what is actually happening is a slow process of regime change.” Until Sunday afternoon it was a close-run thing. The Yes and No votes were equally balanced, and the margin between them razor thin. At the start of the morning, Rupert Murdoch’s London Times claimed “Greek security forces have drawn up a secret plan to deploy the army alongside special riot police to contain possible civil unrest after today’s referendum on the country’s future in Europe. Codenamed Nemesis, it makes …

The simplistic lie of the mainstream narrative on the Greek crisis

from Truth & Satire Every single mainstream media has the following narrative for the economic crisis in Greece: the government spent too much money and went broke; the generous banks gave them money, but Greece still can’t pay the bills because it mismanaged the money that was given. It sounds quite reasonable, right? Except that it is a big fat lie … not only about Greece, but about other European countries such as Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland who are all experiencing various degrees of austerity. It was also the same big, fat lie that was used by banks and corporations to exploit many Latin American, Asian and African countries for many decades. Greece did not fail on its own. It was made to fail. In summary, the banks wrecked the Greek economy, and then deliberately pushed it into unsustainable debt … while revenue-generating public assets were sold off to oligarchs and international corporations. The rest of the article is about how and why. If you are a fan of mafia movies, you know how …