What is truth?

Archive for January, 2016

Housing Market in Ireland getting ready for lift off again??

Ireland: Here we go again ! Waiting for the bus to get back to Wicklow last week in Bray town centre I took the time to look at the various real estate windows that seem to decorate the main street in the town! Shock shock shock ……… I just could not believe the prices of housing ! We seem to be getting back up to the over hyped home prices of 2007:

The average wage packet in Ireland has shrunk to an average 25,000 Euro and not to mention the average household is now paying 4,500 euro more in New Austerity taxes! Most jobs are on fixed contract bases and there is no security of work for anybody:

The corrupt government has claimed to have created 89,000 jobs in the last 4,5 years but these are all low paying service industry non contract jobs and I can guarantee not one of these jobs were for anybody over the age of 50!  So I cannot understand who exactly is then able to buy the “homes” on offer at over 600,000 euro??? Except the well placed “Insiders” who are benefiting from exorbitant salaries ( top public servants, Bank employees and advisers to the various Government Quangos (800 or so ) in this BA-NAMA-Republic : Everybody else is just struggling from Pay day to pay day!

Still we do have these prices and somebody is able to pay these prices!Meanwhile back at the Ranch( USA) we have this situation (see article link http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2016/01/25/3-downpayment-fha-loans-surge-as-low-credit-buyers-enticed-back-into-the-housing-market/  so it wont be long before we have a full blown housing boom again here in Ireland as one of the main established political parties(FF) is pressing the central Bank to relax its deposit requirements on home purchases: Not again!


Capitalism vs Democracy vs Capitalism: My TED Global Talk

Keiser report 866

THE SATURDAY ESSAY: the way is open for Britain to destroy EU fascism. Read why we won’t.

An EXCELLENT diagnostics of the ECB Dictatorship :

The Slog

More teeth in the Brexit threat by the British Establishment would force a European Union already awash with problems and crises to dramatically reform its institutions and structure in favour of more direct liberal democracy. In particular, aligning the UK with the rebellions in ClubMed and Eastern Europe would give us a position with enormous potential leverage. David Cameron and the other main British élites have no intention of doing any of those things: the June Referendum is a facade behind which a much bigger revolution can be effected. The Slog explains.

The ‘deal’ already agreed in outline between David Cameron, Angela Merkel, Jean-Claude Juncker, Donald Tusk and others to “keep” Britain in the European Union is rapidly turning, on the EU Commission circuit, into one of the worst-kept secrets of all time. For me, it is one of the great scandals of the moment that not one of the…

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Main Point: Did Greec Have A Plan “B” After The ECB Closed The Banks In The EURO Crisis?

“One very simple, but radical, idea: to democratise Europe.” An interview with Yanis Varoufakis


As he prepares to launch a new, pan-European movement for change, Yanis Varoufakis sits down with Can Europe make it? to discuss democracy in Europe, Brexit, and the other part of Plan X.

Former Greek Minister of Finance, Yanis Varoufakis. Demotix/Heather Blockey. All rights reserved.

Alex Sakalis: I’m very interested in this transnational, pan-European movement you are preparing to launch, the details of which you’ve been teasing us with…

Yanis Varoufakis: I’m not teasing you. It’s just that it takes time to establish.

AS: What forces are you hoping to bring together with this pan-European movement?

YV: It began as an idea after the crushing of what I call the Athens spring, which happened in the summer. It became abundantly clear that at the level of the nation-state you can’t even table proposals regarding your own country, let alone proposals for the eurozone as a whole. I experienced the Eurogroup at very close quarters and it was obvious that it was not a forum in which to discuss how to stabilise the European social economy, or how to democratise it. That is just impossible – it can’t be done.

So you know when our government effectively overthrew itself – for this is what we did – we overthrew ourselves, our programme…

AS: A self-coup?

YV: Yes, but that of course was precisely the intention of the troika. That is what they really enjoy doing. Making us not only renege on everything we said, but also forcing us to be the ones who must implement the very programme we loathed and which we were elected to challenge.

So once this happened, the only question was: was it worth starting something afresh in Greece? To have another go? Another bite of the cherry? And my conclusion was that the answer to that is no. What would be the point of starting another campaign for two years – that is how long it would take – just to return to where we were, where I was, one up against eighteen?

If my diagnosis is correct, what is going on in Greece is simply a reflection – an echo – of a far deeper crisis throughout the eurozone, which cannot be solved at any national or member-state level. The obvious conclusion one must draw from this is that either you argue for a dissolution of the monetary union, and then you can talk about national politics again quite sensibly. Or you should be talking about a pan-European movement for change throughout the eurozone. It is one or the other.

Now the former appeals to many. And this is a debate which is happening in Britain as well, outside the monetary union but within the European Union. It doesn’t appeal to me. Not because I have any illusions about Brussels, Frankfurt and the European Union. I have written extensively and spoken out extensively against the very DNA of the European Union. However it is one thing to criticise a set of institutions like the European Union, criticise the way it was put together and the way it functions. It is quite another thing to argue that it should be dismantled. This is what we call in mathematics, hysteresis. The path that you take to somewhere, once you get to that somewhere, doesn’t exist any more. We can’t just turn around upon the original path and find ourselves outside where we used to be. So we have walked this path towards a particular union, however toxic it might be, and if we try to step back from it, we are going to fall off a cliff.

That is my view. It is exactly what happened in the 1920s. There was a union at that time. It wasn’t formalised but it was very strong. It was the gold standard. Its fragmentation brought about apocalyptic human losses and I very much fear that we would have the same thing now.

Therefore, I followed my own thinking through to the extent that I can, logically, and reached the conclusion that a pan-European movement is the only solution. It sounds utopian, but this idea cemented in my mind in August when I started travelling across Europe, and realised that there was a great deal of hunger and thirst everywhere I went for such an idea.

People would come to listen to me in their thousands, not because they so much wanted to lend solidarity to Greece, or to me, but just because the experience of this negotiation between Greece and the troika hit a nerve everywhere. And the people who come to listen and to discuss with me and my colleagues are worried about themselves, their own countries, Europe. So I put two and two together and end up with the conclusion, at least for me personally, that the only thing that is worth fighting for is this coalescence at the European level with one very simple, but radical, idea: to democratise Europe.

People might say, “pah, Europe is democratic.” No it is not. Not democratic at all. So to democratise it is actually a very radical idea that goes against every fibre in the body and soul of those people in Brussels.

AS: Tell us more about who you have been speaking to so far in your travels who you hope to bring onto this pan-European platform?

YV: This is one reason, in my view, why this should be a movement, and not a party and not an elite. This is not about giving you a list, a roll call of significant politicians. If it’s a movement it has to be a grassroots movement. So I have just come back from Coimbra in Portugal. Before that I was in Barcelona with the magnificent new mayor, Ada Colau, who is working together with me on this. In France there are lots of people, a very wide range of people who are interested: academics, activists, unionists, politicians. Arnaud Montebourg is one person who is definitely on board. We have people from Die Linke, from the Social Democratic Party in Germany, and very good, genuinely good people from the Kreisky Forum in Austria. So as I said before, I’m not teasing: it takes some time before we can launch this.

AS: Would any of these people be in favour of leaving the EU? Would you include people who have arrived at that different judgment in your movement?

YV: Well, I don’t believe in a Leninist kind of party where you create the parameters in advance and then people are allowed in in order to serve them. I don’t think that people who want to leave the EU would be drawn to this, because this would be a movement about democratising Europe. There may be, and there will be a lot of discussion about currency, about what happens when we have a repetition of the experience that I had, being told that either you accept the established order of things or it’s the highway for you. So there will be no preset position on currencies except that there will be no preset position either in favour of getting out of the eurozone.

My view personally, and I keep repeating this, is that it is politically a mistake and financially an error to start planning for the dissolution of the eurozone as something which you want to achieve. We shouldn’t be scared of threats that we will be thrown out of the eurozone. But that’s a different story.

AS: So would Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party be welcome to join your movement?

YV: Absolutely. But you see it is important to make this point. This is not going to be a coalition of parties. It should be a coalition of citizens. They can belong to any party they want. This will not admit parties into it. It is not a party and it is not an alliance of parties. The idea is to create a grassroots movement across Europe of European citizens interested in democratising Europe. They can belong to any party. Of course they will be involved in other campaigns in their local communities, in their member states, in their nations. Maybe you will have people from different parties from the same country. I can easily imagine that, and actually I would like that. Because if the idea is not to replicate national politics, why can’t you have that? But personally, I count a lot on the Corbynites.The idea is to create a grassroots movement … interested in democratising Europe. Maybe you will have people from different parties from the same country. I can easily imagine that, and actually I would like that.

AS: Are you drawing up a manifesto?

YV: Yes. This is what we’re working on.

AS: Who’s writing it?

YV: I’m not going to give you names, and we will not sign it when we launch it. It will be a free floating text.

AS: Can you give us an estimated release date?

YV: It will be before Christmas.

AS: In the UK we are facing this referendum on whether we should leave or whether we should stay. openDemocracy has been discussing how this will be framed in the media and we think it may come down to something like this: “do we love business more than we hate immigrants, or do we hate immigrants more than we love business?”

YV: That’s an interesting way of putting it.

AS: But this is not the debate we should be having about Europe. This is quite an incredible, epochal choice the UK is faced with. How would you like to see the debate framed regarding our relationship with Europe and what we should demand of Europe?

YV: “Do we want a democratic Europe or not?” This is going back to what I was saying before. Europe and the European Union are not the same thing. The problem with the EU is that it has all the regalia of a supranational state, without being one. It is not only that it is not formally a state. Its DNA, its history, the way in which it has been put together is completely different from the way a state emerges. A state emerges as a result of the political need for a mechanism, a collective action mechanism, that ameliorates class conflict and group conflict.

So take the US or the UK. The English state began with the need to find some kind of balance between different lords and barons. The Magna Carta was a clash between the king’s central authority and the barons, and later on you had the clash between the landed gentry on one hand and the merchants. The industrialists come in and the working class comes in. Different groups clashing mercilessly for control. And the state emerges through this clash of these tectonic plates smashing one another and the state becomes the set of institutions that have legitimacy or try to base their legitimacy on a mandate from the population as a whole, in order to create some kind of balance of power – to equilibrate these conflicts, to stabilise them.

So this is how a state forms. By definition, the state, even if it is not democratic, as in China for instance, nevertheless is a purely political process for the purpose of stabilising social conflicts. Now Europe, Brussels, did not emerge like that. Europe emerged as a cartel of heavy industry. It began with steel and coal, and then they co-opted the farmers, then they co-opted the bankers, and then the car industry and then eventually the service industries, and so on and so forth. It was an attempt to create stable prices, to limit competition, the opposite of the raison d’etre of the British state and of course the American state. So the idea was to stabilise prices and to stop the clash between German industry, French industry, northern Italian industry, Dutch industry – that kind of thing.

There is a huge difference between a state that emerges as a political means for stabilising class conflict and the administrative personnel of a cartel. British industry was never part of that cartel and that is why Britain came so late to the European Common Market. Britain came in effectively to replace a lost empire by having access to these markets. But the markets were already cornered by the central European cartel. So the reason why the British establishment has never been enamoured of the European Union is because it never was part of the cartelising process which gave rise to Brussels. That is not a bad thing. But I’m trying to explain why in Germany, Holland, Belgium, the establishment, the elites, do not ever question the European Union, whereas in Britain it is questioned.

So here in the UK you end up with a situation where nobody likes it. The working class doesn’t like it, because the EU doesn’t have the interests of the working class of Britain in mind. But at the same time British industry does not have the same stake in it. The City has a stake in it, and some businesses, some small pockets of businesses also do have. Everything follows from this. The European Union had to develop a common currency because if you are going to build a cartel you need to have stable prices. For the first twenty years the stability of prices was guaranteed by Bretton Woods. After 1971, Europe tries to create its own gold standard Bretton Woods system, which then became the euro. So Britain is in a precarious situation vis a vis the EU. Britain keeps saying to the world that they want the single market but they don’t want Brussels. But they can’t have that.Britain keeps saying to the world that they want the single market but they don’t want Brussels. But they can’t have that.

AS: Well, they usually use the example of Norway or Switzerland.

YV: Well Norway and Switzerland have effectively deferred to Brussels. So do you want that?

AS: The debate doesn’t usually get that far…

YV: Yes, well that’s where it should go. So the question is, even if you get out of the Union, the labour standards, the environmental standards will in the end be dictated at the level of Europe.

AS: Because our economies are just too globalised and too interconnected?

YV: Look at TPP, TTIP and all that. This is not about tariffs and quotas any more, it is about standards. It is about industrial standards, environmental standards, labour standards and about patents. So who writes these rules? It won’t be a negotiation between Britain and the EU that writes those rules. It will be in Brussels that these rules will be written. And Britain will have a choice of take it or leave, outside the EU.

So my view is that the problems with the EU have to do with the way in which it was constructed in the first place as a democracy-free-zone. It is completely democracy-free by design. Britain is not – due to the difference between Brussels as opposed to London in terms of DNA. From my perspective, progressive Brits have no alternative other than to stay in the EU and join us in trying to democratise it. If we fail to democratise the EU, it really doesn’t make much of a difference whether we’re in or out. Unless of course Britain finds a way of replacing the 60% of its trade with the EU, with someone else. This it won’t be able to do.If we fail to democratise the EU, it really doesn’t make much of a difference whether we’re in or out.

AS: Owen Jones is calling for what he calls Lexit – a left-wing exit from the EU. What would you say to someone like him who would support everything you say about Europe and democracy, but still wants to leave the EU?

YV: Well, I’m facing this kind of argument in my country with former comrades of mine in the government who left and formed the Popular Unity Party, who are saying exactly the same thing. We can’t have a genuine conversation with the Eurogroup, so exit is the only solution.

My argument is that there are no easy solutions. I wish that we could create an alternative universe in which it would be possible to have a degree of autonomy, autarky, that allows you to clean out the Augean stables. You can’t. The idea that we will go back to an agricultural pastoral life is absurd. Today, even combine harvesters are governed by electronics that our countries do not necessarily produce.

You cannot step back from the globalised market and especially from the Europeanised market. So if you exit without having any capacity to participate in the democratisation of that market, then you will always be subject to a market that is run by technocrats and you will have even less degrees of freedom than you have now.

I think it’s very important not to fall into the nationalist trap of thinking that you can recoil back into the nation-state cocoon. That doesn’t mean that we should go along with Brussels. I’m not in favour of staying within the EU and playing ball. I think I have proven this beyond any reasonable doubt. I believe in staying in to subvert the rules. Even to go into a campaign of civil disobedience within. That for me is the left wing strategy. Not “Lexit”.I’m not in favour of staying within the EU and playing ball. I think I have proven this beyond any reasonable doubt.

AS: How much power do national governments have over economic policy? When you were finance minister did you really feel in charge of your country’s destiny?

YV: No. Well it depends. Britain is very different from Greece. Not only because it is a more sizeable and significant economy, but also because it is not in the eurozone. If you are not in the eurozone you have a degree more freedom, there is no doubt about that. And I wish we had never entered the eurozone, which is not the same thing as my saying I think we should get out. Big difference.

So when you are inside the eurozone, your degree of freedom is minimal, if not zero. The only thing we could do was to renegotiate the whole package, to give us a degree of freedom. So one of the things this movement is going to be proposing is ways in which we can combine greater Europeanisation of particular realms like debt management, like the banking sector, aggregated investment, fighting poverty – to find European solutions for these in order to create more decentralisation, to give more degrees of freedom for social and economic policies at the level of the regions, the cities and of course, the nation. I believe that this is possible. It sounds like a contradiction, but I believe it is possible to gain these degrees of freedom if we Europeanise certain big problems.

Yanis Varoufakis debates with a citizen in central Athens. Demotix/Georgios Zachos. All rights reserved.

AS: This leftwing economic opposition to ordoliberalism would have to go beyond Keynes then…?

YV: Textbook Keynes to be sure. But this would be a new variety of Keynes which is adapted to the circumstances of Europe. For years now with my friends James Galbraith and Stuart Holland, former Labour MP for Vauxhall, we have been putting together what we call ‘a modest proposal’, nicking the title from Jonathan Swift, which is a Keynesian idea of what to do with the eurozone that applies at the level of the eurozone and not at the level of nation-states.

So in it we explain how the existing institutions – the central bank, the European stability mechanism, the European investment bank – can be utilised in order to create a European new deal. An investment-led green new deal for Europe, with the investment bank playing the role that under the New Deal of Roosevelt, the federal treasury played by issuing treasury bills for the purposes of mopping up excess savings in order to channel it towards investment. I think we can do this with the European investment bank, being supported by the European central bank – instead of through quantitative easing purchasing government debt. It could purchase bonds from the investment bank, therefore ensuring that whatever new quantitative easing occurs is directed straight into investments, especially in green technologies. There are ways you can imagine intervening immediately in the European crisis today to stabilise European capitalism in order to be able to begin discussing political projects for democratising it. It is either that or barbarism.

AS: Or the status quo?

YV: The status quo is no longer an option, because it is fragmenting. I don’t believe that the status quo is sustainable, and I think everybody knows this. Take Italy. Italy is a country that has a current account surplus. It owes most of its public debt to itself, which is good. But it is unsustainable. They had a primary surplus of between 2 and 2.3% over the last few years and yet their debt to GDP ratio is growing precipitously. Now that tells you that something is profoundly wrong, when you have a country like Italy, sophisticated, that produces everything from Armani to Ferrari to Fiats, and they have a current account surplus. They have two surpluses – a trade surplus and a service surplus and then they have a surplus in the primary accounts of the Government. And yet they’re sinking into debt. This tells you something.

Renzi the other day came out and said something quite remarkable. He said that if Brussels rejects his budget, he is going to submit the same one to them. That is open defiance of the European Union fiscal pact. Why is he doing it? Is he a revolutionary? No. Because he knows that if he behaves according to the rules, his country is going to fall into a black hole or reject him. We find the same in France, Spain which is being heralded as a great success story of austerity as we speak – these are unsustainable. And Schauble too knows this. He knows that the eurozone is not capable of taking and absorbing another shockwave in the international economy – the kind of shockwave which is shaping up now. So I don’t think that the status quo is an option.

AS: Can you explain in laymans’ terms what your Plan B entailed?

YV: Actually I called it Plan X – just to be accurate – and there were two parts to it. There were actually two separate plans. One concerned how to deal with the situation if we are forced out of the euro. Because there were these threats and even though I believed them to be not credible and that they would never do it, even if they wanted to, and I believed it to be illegal for them to do it and that they would have serious problems if they did. Nevertheless, as the minister of finance, I had an obligation to draw up contingency plans in case they managed to get us out.

And so this mainly, was Plan X. When you started trying to wrap your mind around how this redenomination of everything in a different currency could occur, the more you thought about it the more complicated it seemed to be. Every time you thought you had solved a problem, you created another ten. So the team that I had working on this was working night and day trying to imagine all the scenarios. And of course the difficulty with that was that it had to be a small team, otherwise it would be a self-fulfilling prophecy. So that was Plan X.

But then there was another, not a contingency plan, but a set of responses that I had been preparing for a while, for at least a year, for staying in the euro after they shut down the banks. I knew they would threaten us with the banks and I knew that a long time before we were elected. And the three steps that I recommended as retaliation were, firstly, to announce the creation of a parallel payment system, a euro-denominated electronic system; secondly a haircut or postpone by 30 years the repayment of the Greek Government bonds owned by the ECB, to the tune of 27 billion. That would be a major weapon to use, because the ECB’s whole QE program would have serious legal difficulties if we did that. And thirdly, changing the law governing the functioning of the central bank of Greece. So that was in order to stay in the euro with closed banks, after an aggressive move by the ECB.

That was the plan that I thought was crucial, not Plan X. Plan X was there in case we were pushed out of the euro. I didn’t believe it was credible, but I had to have it, just like the Minister of Defence has to have the contingency plans in case Turkey invades, even if he doesn’t believe Turkey will invade.

But those three policies with which to respond to the closure of the banks, that was the real game for me. It was a plan for staying in the euro and managing to survive within it, with banks closed, while the negotiations yielded the proper outcome. I always knew that until and unless we demonstrated capacity not to surrender after the banks had been closed for a week or two, we would be taken to the cleaners.

AS: And you think a small, bankrupt country with no allies in the eurozone could have done that?

YV: Yes absolutely. Look at Mario Draghi just keeping the euro together. Without QE there would be no euro. QE is very precariously balanced legally because Draghi faces major challenges from the Bundesbank, and the main challenge is that he is purchasing assets that may be subject to a haircut, and the usual response by the Central Bank is that they will not tolerate a haircut. But the bank already owned 27 billion of Greek legacy debt from 2010 which it had purchased. If I announce a haircut in response to the very aggressive move of shutting down our banks, then suddenly the whole quantitative easing (QE) programme would be jeopardised. Weidmann and the Bundesbank would say, “see, you are purchasing assets that now are being subjected to a haircut.” So we had a weapon, but I was prevented from using it.

AS: At openDemocracy we’re obsessed with TTIP. A Syriza minister I spoke to recently said that it was his belief that a Syriza Government would never pass TTIP. Were there ever any discussions about TTIP while you were in the government?

YV: No, never. I’m sure that this is a genuine sentiment. But then again let me remind you Alex that we kept saying for years and during the months of the negotiation, every day, that we would not sign a third memorandum.

AS: So…you think the pressure would be too strong if it got to that point?

YV: I’ve already answered you.

AS: My last question is about the media, and how they are going to react. How will you deal with the media in relation to your new movement? It may not be pretty…

YV: Oh don’t worry I‘ve had plenty of training.

AS: So you’ve learned lessons…

YV: The single most important lesson that I have learned is that it doesn’t matter. Because if the message is strong, given the need for a movement that expresses this craving for a modicum of democratic control over the sources of power in Europe, I think the groundswell of people will, as it did in Greece, carry us through. We won 61.3% of the vote in the referendum against every single television, radio station and every newspaper. They were all campaigning for the yes. We could do it in Greece, we could do it in Europe.

And in the final analysis, it is as Homer has taught us: it is the journey that matters, not so much the destination. It is a good fight and we have to fight it.

Ireland: “Mothers instinct”

Keiser Report: Class, Financial Warfare (E863)

Italy Races To Defuse €200 Billion Bad Loan Time Bomb With “Bad Bank”

When Portugal “surprised” senior Novo Banco bondholders with a €2 billion bail-in late last month, the market got an unwelcome reminder that euro periphery banks are far from “solid.”

Novo was supposed to house the “good” assets salvaged from the wreckage of failed lender Banco Espirito Santo, but as it turned out, a lot of those “good” assets were actually bad, and Novo ended up needing to plug a €1.4 billion hole. Initially, the plan was to sell assets but seizing €2 billion from bondholders ended up being a whole lot easier and far more efficient.

News of the bail-in came just a week after Lisbon announced that a second bank – Banif –would need state aid after running out of cash to repay a previous cash injection from the government.

As we head into the weekend, periphery banks are back in the spotlight, only this time in Italy where PM Matteo Renzi is scrambling to put the finishing touches on a plan to guarantee hundreds of billions of NPLs sitting on the books of Italian banks.

Talks with the EU Commission “have already dragged on for two years,” FT notes and need to be concluded over the next few days lest “the whole initiative should collapse.”

Of course Renzi missed what amounted to a deadline on “fixing” the problem under the old rules governing bank resolutions.

One reason the Novo Banco and Banif bail-in and bailout (respectively) were pushed through in what appeared to be a kind of haphazard, ad hoc fashion was because new rules came into effect on January 1 that would have put uninsured depositors on the hook for losses. The same rules require 8% “of a bank’s liabilities to be wiped out before public money can be used,” FT adds.

In short, creditors at Italy’s banks would need to take a hit before Renzi’s government would be allowed to extend state aid. That is unless Italy can devise some kind of end-around, which is precisely what Renzi is attempting to do now.

“Even if approved, the scheme will not be a panacea for the problems afflicting the banks because Italy will have had to limit the impact of the scheme significantly to comply with EU state aid rules,” FT goes on to note. “While previous discussions had focused on the setting up of a sector-wide bad bank, Italy has now shifted to proposing a lighter-touch guarantee system in an attempt to avoid it being designated by the commission as state aid.”

So “state aid” that isn’t “state aid.” Got it.

“Even if we reach a deal over the weekend it would not be decisive… (the bad bank) should have been done before the new rules came into force,” Renzi said on Thursday, acknowledging that Italy may have missed its window.

Shares in Italian banks have been in a veritable death spiral of late but got a bit of respite on Thursday as news of the potential deal crossed the wires. “The situation is much less serious than the market thinks,” Renzi said, in what is perhaps the surest sign yet that things are indeed very serious. He added that his economy minister is “working miracles” to solve the banking sector’s €200 billion euro bad loan problem.

“The recent turbulence around some Italian banks shows that our credit system – solid and strong thanks to Italians’ extraordinarily high household savings – still needs consolidation in order for there to be fewer but stronger banks,” the PM wrote in an op-ed for The Guardian. “When the market speaks, as it has done in recent days, it is right that bank executives and shareholders comprehend the need for serious and swift intervention.”

full article at source:http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-01-22/italy-races-defuse-%E2%82%AC200-billion-bad-loan-time-bomb-bad-bank

USA and Turkey begins ground invasion in Syria

Almost in total western media blackout, NATO countries Turkey and USA have started military invasion in Syrian territory. On Wednesday evening, the Turkish army reportedly entered Syrian territory near Jarablus. Same time US troops have taken control of Rmeilan airfield in Syria’s northern province of Hasakah. It’s unclear what are real objectives for western military operations on Syrian soil and according to the latest news, major Turkish intervention is expected.

‘US troops have taken control of Rmeilan airfield in Syria’s northern province of Hasakah to support Kurdish fighters against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)’, a spokesperson for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) told Al Jazeera on Tuesday. The airfield is close to Syria’s borders with Iraq and Turkey.

Syrian Local Coordination Committees say that the US has been preparing and expanding Rmeilan airport for a while now. When asked by Al Jazeera, a US CENTCOM media operations officer did not confirm or deny the reports.

According to information received by Sputnik on Wednesday, Turkey has been amassing military units along the Syrian border. The number of troops is estimated to be around 1,000. The troops have reportedly crossed into Aleppo province, according to Hawar News, along with military vehicles, heavy equipment, and mine detection gear. Turkey has denied reports from invasion, but reports from the ground proves differently.

Russia Insider writes, that Turkey has seized the ISIS-controlled town of Jarabulus, but faced no resistance, according to reports: “Eyewitnesses to the incursion reported that the Turkish forces have not encountered any resistance from ISIS fighters in the area. These reports once again raise the question of possible collaboration between Turkey and ISIS aimed at halting the advance of the Kurdish militias in north Syria.”

The Turkish operation is ostensibly aimed at combatting Daesh (ISIS), who have fortified Jarablus. But sources tell Sputnik that Ankara may be more interested in preventing the YPG from gaining a foothold in a region of strategic importance. Various reports indicate that Ankara could soon (if it has not already) launch a ground operation in neighboring Syria, confirms Sputnik on Thursday.


“Turkey has already begun to ramp up its artillery strikes along its border with Syria to help its rebel allies and to destroy Islamic State targets. This could indicate an effort to soften enemy defenses ahead of a Turkish ground incursion once minesweeping operations have been completed,” the Stratfor explained.

“Ankara’s ground operation – if launched – could deal a blow to Daesh. But many experts and politicians have pointed out that Turkey views dealing with the Kurds, not the terrorist group, as its key priority. The offensive than “would also strengthen the [Turkey-backed] rebels in northern Syria, in turn preventing the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from expanding their reach westward,” Stratfor noted.

Turkey’s ground offensive will likely add additional stress to the already strained relations between Ankara and Moscow. “Still, that does not mean that Ankara, with Washington’s help, is not trying to reach an understanding with Moscow, at least in terms of setting up deconfliction procedures to avoid clashing with each other in the Syrian Warzone, which is rapidly becoming crowded,” the think-tank Stratfor assumed.


RT reports that ISIS terrorists have increased their activities ahead of the next week’s inter-Syrian talks, with insurgents in the Syrian province of Aleppo receiving reinforcements from Turkey, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday. The much-anticipated talks between the Syrian government and different opposition groups are scheduled to take place in the Swiss city of Geneva on January 25.

“Unfortunately, in recent days, it’s especially noticeable that ahead of the planned start of the inter-Syrian negotiations in Geneva the activities of terrorist groups have intensified. Obviously, they’re trying to turn the tide in their favor on the battlefield,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during a briefing in Moscow.

Zakharova said that Russia is concerned over Ankara’s increased military incursions into Syria, adding that “it cannot be ruled out that… fortifications [built by Turkey] along the Syrian-Turkish border may be used by militant groups as strongholds.

“While all parties involved pin their hopes on the start of a meaningful and… inclusive dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition, external forces continue to help militants in Syria, including terrorist groups, providing them with arms and ammunition,” she stressed.

source: https://dninews.com/article/usa-and-turkey-begins-ground-invasion-syria

David Bowie – Live at BBC Radio Theatre

Wonderful………………….. …………Inspiring………………..Moving………….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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