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Posts tagged ‘George Papandreou’

Did the greek government prevent a military take over???

 

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

Athens, Greece (CNN) — Greece’s cabinet voted Wednesday to
support Prime Minister George Papandreou‘s call for a referendum on the latest
bailout plan as soon as possible.

The vote was unanimous, though some of the ministers expressed criticism
prior to casting their votes, CNN affiliate Mega Channel reported.

It came hours before German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy and senior figures from the International Monetary Fund and
European Union were to meet with Papandreou and his finance minister at an
emergency meeting in Cannes, France, ahead of the upcoming G-20 summit.

German and French markets rallied Wednesday after tumbling Tuesday on the
news of the referendum call, and London’s FTSE also closed slightly higher. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average index closed up 178 points (1.53%).

Papandreou is seeking public backing from the Greek people for last week’s
bailout deal, an accord that took months to craft.

But the move has created turmoil in domestic politics and angered his
European counterparts.

A “no” vote could force Greece to abandon the euro and send shock waves
through the global financial system

full article at source: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/11/02/world/europe/greece-debt/

Did the greek government prevent a military  take over???

Meanwhile, several senior military leaders in Greece have been replaced.

The Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defense, which Papandreou
chairs, decided Tuesday on “sweeping changes in the armed forces’ leadership,”
the Athens News Agency reported.

The council replaced the general staff chiefs for the Greek Army, Navy and
Air Force, the news agency said.

Though the government said it was a long-planned, routine move

source http://edition.cnn.com/2011/11/02/world/europe/greece-debt/

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Greece has no more money to pay its civil servants !

The fact that Merkel is now saying something about a “orderly default” one can surmised that this method will be used to eject the other Pigs.

We are heading for default and no amount of pats on the head for been the trachers pet will not get you a pass in the comming exams !

Where Greece goes we are heading there too !

The Great Global Debt Depression: It’s All Greek To Me

by Andrew Gavin Marshall

In late June of 2011, the Greek government passed another round of austerity measures,
ostensibly aimed at getting Greece “back on track” to economic progress, but in
reality, implementing a systematic program of ‘social genocide’ in the name of
servicing an endless and illegitimate debt to foreign banks. Right on cue,
protests and riots broke out in Athens against the draconian measures, and the
state moved in to do what states do best: oppress the people with riot police,
tear gas and bashing batons, leaving roughly 300 people injured.

Is Greece simply a case of a country full of lazy people who spent beyond their means and are now paying for their own decadence? Or, is there something much larger at stake
– and at play – here? Greece is, in fact, a microcosm of the global economy:
mired in excessive debt, economically ruined, increasingly politically
repressive and socially explosive. This report takes a look at the case of the
Greek debt crisis specifically, and places it within a wider global context.
The conclusion is clear: what happens in Greece will happen here.

This report examines the Greek crisis, as well as the larger global economic crisis,
including the origins of the housing bubble, the bailouts, the banks, and the
major actors and institutions which will come to dominate the stage over the
next decade in what will play out as ‘The Great Global Debt Depression.’

An Olympian Debt

With the global economic crisis rampaging throughout the world in 2008, Greece experienced major protests and riots at government reactions to the crisis. The
unpopularity of the government led to an election in which a Socialist
government came to power in October of 2009 under the premise of promising an
injection of 3 billion euros in order to revive the Greek economy.[1] When the
government came to power, they inherited a debt that was double that which the
previous government had disclosed. This prompted Greece’s entry into a major
debt crisis, as the debt was roughly 127% of Greece’s GDP in 2009, and thus,
the costs of borrowing rose exponentially. In April of 2010, Greece had to seek a bailout by the EU and the IMF in order to pay the interest on its debt. However, by taking such a bailout from the EU and IMF, Greece ultimately incurred a larger long-term debt, as the money from these institutions simply added to the overall debt, and thus, actually increased eventual interest payments on that debt. Thus, we see the true nature of debt:
a financial form of slavery. Debt is designed in such a way that, like a fly
caught in a spider’s web, the more it struggles, the more entangled it gets;
the more it struggles to break free, the more it arouses the attention of the
spider, which quickly moves in to strike its prey – paralyzed – with its venom,
so that it may wrap the fly in its silk and eat it alive. Debt is the silk, the
people are the fly, and the spider is the large financial institutions – from
the banks to the IMF. The nature of debt is that one is never meant to be able
to escape it. Hence, the “solution” for Greece’s debt problem – according to
those who decide policy – is for Greece to acquire more debt. Of course, this
new debt is used to pay the interest on the old debt (note: it is not used to
pay OFF the old debt, just the interest on it). However, the effect this has is
that it increases the over-all debt of the nation, which leads to higher
interest payments and thus a greater cost of borrowing. This, ultimately, leads
to a need to continue borrowing in order to pay off the higher interest
payments, and thus, the cycle continues. For all the “bail outs” and aims at
addressing Greece’s debt, this prescription inevitably results in greater debt
levels than those which induced the debt crisis in the first place.

So why is this
the prescription?

Not only does this prescription incur more debt to pay interest on old debt, but the process of borrowing and “consolidating” debt has devastating social and political
consequences. For example, in the case of Greece, in order to receive loans
from the IMF and EU, Greece was forced to impose “fiscal austerity measures.”
This blatantly ambiguous economic nomenclature of “fiscal austerity” is in fact
more accurately described in real human terms as “social genocide.” Why is this
so?‘

FiscalAusterity’ means that the state – in this case, Greece – must engage in “fiscal
consolidation.” In economic parlance, this implies that the state must cut
spending and increase taxes in order to “service” its debt by reducing its
annual deficit. Thus, the ‘conditions’ for receiving a loan demand “fiscal
austerity” measures being implemented by the debtor nation. This is supposedly
a way for the lender to ensure that their loans are met with appropriate
measures to deal with the debt. The objective, purportedly, is to reduce
expenditure (spending) and increase revenue (income), allowing for more money
to pay off the debt. However, as with most economic concepts, the reality is
far different than the theoretical implications of “fiscal austerity.”

In fact,‘fiscal austerity’ is a state-implemented program of social destruction, or
‘social genocide’. Such austerity measures include cutting social spending,
which means no more health care, education, social services, welfare, pensions,
etc. This directly implies a massive wave of layoffs from the public sector, as
those who worked in health care, education, social services, etc., have their
jobs eliminated. This, naturally, creates a massive growth in poverty rates,
with the jobless and homeless rates climbing dramatically. Simultaneously, of
course, taxes are raised drastically, so that in a social situation in which
the middle and lower classes are increasingly impoverished, they are then
over-taxed. This creates a further drain of wealth, and consumption levels go
down, further driving production levels downward, and (local) private
businesses cannot compete with foreign multinational conglomerates, and so
businesses close and more lay-offs take place. After all, without a market for
consumption, there is no demand for production. In a country such as Greece,
where the percentage of people in the employ of the state is roughly 25%, these
measures are particularly devastating.Naturally, in such situations, the masses of people – those who are doomed to suffer most – are left greatly impoverished and the middle classes essentially vanish, and are absorbed into the lower class. As social services vanish when they are needed most, life expectancy rates decrease. With few jobs and massive
unemployment, many are left to choose between buying food or medicine, if those
are even options. Crime rates naturally increase in such situations, as
desperate conditions breed desperate actions. This creates, especially among
the educated youth who graduate into a jobless market, a ‘poverty of expectations,’
having grown up with particular expectations of what they would have in terms
of opportunities, which then vanish quite suddenly. This results in enormous
social stress, and often, social unrest: protests, riots, rebellion, and even
revolution in extreme circumstances. These are exactly the conditions that led
to the uprising in Egypt.

The reflexive action of states, therefore, is to move in to repress – most often quite
violently – protests and demonstrations. The aim here is to break the will of
the people. Thus, the more violent and brutal the repression, the more likely
it is that the people may succumb to the state and consent – even if passively
– to their social conditions. However, as the state becomes more repressive,
this often breeds a more reactive and radical resistance. When the state
oppresses 500 people one day, 5,000 may show up the next. This requires, from
the view of the state, an exponentially increased rate of oppression. The risk
in this strategy is that the state may overstep itself and the people may
become massively mobilized and intensely radicalized and overthrow – or at
least overcome – the power of the state. In such situations, the political
leadership is often either urged by a foreign power to leave (such as in the
case of Egypt’s Mubarak), or flees of their own will (such as in Argentina), in
order to prevent a true revolution from taking place. So, while the strategy
holds enormous risk, it is often employed because it also contains possible
reward: that the state may succeed in destroying the will of the people to
resist, and they may subside to the will of the state and thereby consent to
their new conditions of social genocide.

Social genocide is a slow, drawn-out and incremental process. Its effects are felt by poor
children first, as they are those who need health care and social services more
than any other, and are left hungry and unable to go to school or work. They
are the ‘forgotten’ of society, and they suffer deeply as such. The
reverberations, however, echo throughout the whole of society. The rich get
richer and the poor get poorer, while the middle class is absorbed into
poverty.The rich get richer because through economic crises, they consolidate their businesses and receive tax breaks and incentives from the state (as well as often direct
infusions of cash investments – bailouts – from the state), purportedly to
increase private capital and production. This aspect of “fiscal austerity” is
undertaken in the wider context of what is referred to as “Structural
Adjustment.”

This term refers to the loans from the World Bank and IMF that began in the late 1970s
and early 1980s in their lending to ‘Third World’ nations in the midst of the
1980s debt crisis. Referred to as “Structural Adjustment Programs,” (SAPs) any
nation wanting a loan from the World Bank or IMF needed to sign a SAP, which
set out a long list of ‘conditionalities’ for the loan. These conditions
included, principally, “fiscal austerity measures” – cutting social spending
and raising taxes – but also a variety of other measures: liberalization of
markets (eliminating any trade barriers, subsidies, tariffs, etc.), supposedly
to encourage foreign investment which it was theorized would increase revenue
to pay off the debt and revive the economy; privatization (privatizing all
state-owned industries), in order to cut state spending and encourage foreign
direct investment (FDI), which again – in theory – would create revenue and
reduce debt; currency devaluation (which would make foreign dollars buy more
for less), again, under the aegis of encouraging investment by making it
cheaper for foreign companies to buy assets within the country.However, the
effects that these ‘structural adjustment programs’ had were devastating.
Liberalizing markets would eliminate subsidies and protections which were
desperately needed in order for these ‘developing’ nations to compete with the
industrialized powers of America and Europe (who, in a twisted irony, heavily
subsidize their agriculture in order to make it cheaper to foreign markets).
For example, a small country in Africa which was dependent upon a particular
agricultural export had heavily subsidized this commodity, (which keeps the
price low and thus increases its demand as an exported commodity), then was
ordered by the IMF and World Bank to eliminate the subsidy. The effect was that
foreign agricultural imports, say from the United States or Europe, were
cheaper not only in the international market, but also in the nation’s domestic
market. Thus, grains imported from America would be cheaper than those grown in
neighbouring fields. The effect this had in an increasingly-impoverished nation
was that they would become dependent upon foreign imports for food and
agriculture (as well as other commodities), while the domestic industries would
suffer and be bought out by foreign multinational corporations, thus increasing
poverty, as many of these nations were heavily dependent upon their
agricultural sectors as they were often still largely rural societies in some
respects. This would accelerate urbanization and urban poverty, as people leave
the countryside and head to the cities looking for work, where there was none.

Please read full article here at source: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25648

***Andrew Gavin Marshall is an independent researcher and writer based
in Montreal, Canada, writing on a number of social, political, economic, and
historical issues. He is co-editor of the book, “The Global Economic Crisis:
The Great Depression of the XXI Century.” His website is http://www.andrewgavinmarshall.com

Government is supposed to be for the people and not unelected moneymen that hide behind the shadows

With a heavy heart I am forced to concede that our democracy
is no more our gutless politicians who got their slimy hands on the levers of
power have turned out to be the instruments of our enemies and those who would
make slaves of our entire nation .Foisting so called austerity measures on the
people to bail out gangsters while living lavishly on the proceeds of penal taxes designed to appease their real masters hiding in the shadows. Hatching plots to steal our nations
resources while these traitors applause and wallow in their own sense of importance and arrogance.These are the kind of people Cicero warned about!

EU Threatens Greek Default If Austerity Plan Rejected

By Matthew Dalton

Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

BRUSSELS (Dow Jones)–European Union officials Tuesday increased pressure on
the Greek parliament to approve a EUR28 billion package of spending cuts and tax
hikes, saying the country would face a default if legislators don’t approve the
austerity plan in a series of votes this week.

Greece will face a cash shortfall in the middle of July unless it receives a
EUR12 billion rescue loan payment from the euro-zone governments and the
International Monetary Fund, the fifth slice of EUR110 billion in rescue loans
agreed upon last year. Euro-zone governments and the IMF have said they won’t
approve the payment unless the Greek parliament passes the legislation, proposed
by Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, in votes scheduled for Wednesday and
Thursday.

Greek labor unions Tuesday started a 48-hour strike ahead of the votes to
pressure Greek lawmakers to vote against the legislation, which would slash
social welfare spending and impose a special crisis levy on all taxpayers.

Some press reports, citing unnamed officials, have said that the EU has a
back-up plan to prevent a default if the parliament doesn’t approve the new
legislation. EU authorities in the past have pledged to prevent Greece from
defaulting.

But EU economics commissioner Olli Rehn denied that a back-up plan is ready
and threatened Greece with default if parliament doesn’t approve the austerity
plan.

“The only way to avoid immediate default is for parliament to endorse the
revised economic program,” Rehn said in a statement Tuesday. “To those who
speculate about other options, let me say this clearly: there is no Plan B to
avoid default.”

Joaquin Almunia, the EU’s antitrust chief and its former economics
commissioner, Tuesday warned of an “acute crisis” in the euro zone because of
Greece’s dire budget problems.

“The fiscal crisis in Greece is threatening to destabilize other euro-area
economies and even the proper functioning of the European monetary union, with
serious implications for the growth outlook in large parts of Europe and
beyond,” Almunia said in a speech in London.

Greece has billions of euros of debt maturing in the coming months: EUR4.4
billion in short-term treasury bills in July, another EUR2.48 billion in August
and a EUR5.9 billion bond repayment on August 20.

The government should be able to roll over the Treasury bills, but it must
also fund its budget deficit during that time. The deficit is expected to be
EUR17.1 billion for all of 2011, according to the government’s latest budget
projections.

Rehn in his statement also urged a reform of the Greek tax system that would
fight tax evasion, reduce rates and widen the tax base.

-By Matthew Dalton, Dow Jones Newswires; +32 (0)2 741 1487;
matthew.dalton@dowjones.com

Comment:

Looks like the boys in Brussels are getting tired of been
nice to Greece and the gloves are coming off. Threats are now emerging and the real
nasties are coming out, the same nasties by the way, our own gutless
politicians are grovelling up to on all fours !

I hope the Greeks will tell them where to go just like the
Icelanders did.

There country is been stolen right under their noses from
them and at least they are fighting back!

A cautionary tale for Ireland, Portugal, the whole of Europe

By Yanis Varoufakis

Professor of Economics

If 1929 has taught us anything, it is that a major (capital ‘c’) Crisis poses a lethal threat to (a) currency unions (e.g. the Gold Standard then, the euro today) and (b) political liberalism. The latter threat has, so far, featured only as a projection (see here for a relevant argument), rather than an observed reality. In a recent post I argued that the EU’s recent demand that Greece’s assets be privatised by a junta of foreign officials was the first step toward the dismantling of the EU’s basic democratic principles.

Today, in this post, I  warn about an even more radical threat, this time to basic liberal tenets about the rights of private citizens. My warning will take the form of a true story, to which I am an eyewitness. It should, I submit, send shivers down the spine of all European (small ‘l’) liberals. Precisely because this is a seriously worrying tale, I shall include no commentary: just a blow by blow account of facts.

My tale begins about nine weeks ago. From April 2010 till nine weeks ago, I was a regular invitee on public TV and radio (ERT, the Greek public broadcaster). Ever since my criticism of the government’s policies intensified, about a year ago, every time I went to the ERT’s TV studios technicians would approach me in disbelief that I was still being invited. I paid no attention, even though their incredulity was becoming louder and more intense. It was around March when the CEO of ERT called me to his office to announce that he wanted me not only to appear regularly on their TV current affairs programs but also to present my own program after the main news bulletin, offering a running commentary on the unfolding crisis. His kind offer made me think that the technicians’ musings were verging on the paranoid. Though accepting his offer would entail a huge workload, I promised to send him some ideas on the matter; which I promptly did.

Please read full article at source here :http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2011/06/12/the-greek-crisis-and-the-threat-to-political-liberalism-a-cautionary-tale-for-ireland-portugal-the-whole-of-europe/

Greece Struck Down by General Strike

Hellenic Parliament

Image by borkur.net via Flickr

ATHENS—Clashes have broken out at a protest in the Greek capital over
government austerity measures as dozens of self-styled anarchist youths sparred
with police in the city’s main square just outside the country’s finance
ministry.

The anarchists hurled petrol bombs, set fire to garbage bins and smashed
paving stones which they used as projectiles to attack police. They uprooted and
set fire to several umbrellas at a nearby cafe, and attacked the shop front
window of a McDonald’s restaurant on the square. Police responded with repeated
volleys of tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the anarchists. There were
reports of at least one injury.

Agence France-Presse/Getty ImagesUnionists rallied toward the Greek Parliament on Tuesday
in Athens.

The clashes come as several thousand workers, students and ordinary citizens
staged an otherwise peaceful demonstration in the center of the city that was
called to protest the government plans for a five year austerity plan the
country has promised its international creditors.

The walkout is the second general strike to hit the country this month and
has been called by Greece’s two major umbrella unions to oppose the measures,
which are seen as critical to the financial stability of Europe’s 17-member
currency bloc.

At issue is a five-year, €28 billion ($40 billion) austerity plan and related
privatization program that Greece must approve in exchange for fresh aid from
its European partners and the International Monetary Fund.

In a late night address to lawmakers Monday, embattled Socialist Prime
Minister George Papandreou appealed to the country’s European partners to give
Greece time and money to fix its public finances, as he tried to rally wavering
support among his party’s rank-and-file.

“Now is the hour of responsibility for all of us. I know that the Socialist
parliamentary group will do its duty,” Mr. Papandreou said. “We call on Europe
to do the same—to give Greece the time, but also the terms, that will enable it
to truly repay its debt without drowning.”

His remarks came at the start of a two-day debate over the government’s
austerity plan which is due to culminate in a vote midday Wednesday. The
Socialists control a majority of 155 deputies in Greece’s 300-member parliament,
but at least four Socialists lawmakers have expressed reservations about the
package.

Across the country, public services were shut Tuesday by the strike, with
central and local government offices closed, while public hospitals were
operating on skeleton staff and postal operations were suspended.

Schools and universities were also closed as tens of thousands of teachers
and professors walked off the job. They were joined by workers at state-owned
companies—many slated for privatization—with select bank employees, journalists
and pharmacists also staging their own walkouts.

Transportation services around Greece were severely disrupted with rail and
ferry operations suspended and air traffic controllers planning a series of work
stoppages that led to the cancelation of dozens of flights. Public transport
around the capital, Athens, ground to a halt, with only the city’s subway system
continuing to operate to allow workers to join in mass rallies scheduled for
later in the day.

In a statement, public-sector umbrella union ADEDY said that the strike would
be a “catalyst” for overturning the government’s austerity plan. It would also
mark a turning point for Greece to escape “the bonds of its creditors, the loan
sharks and the government’s policies who are endeavoring to sell out the
country.”

In May last year, Greece narrowly avoided default with the help of a €110
billion bailout from its euro-zone partners and the IMF in exchange for fiscal
and economic reforms. But facing still prohibitively high borrowing costs on
international markets, Greece is now seeking about €100 billion in fresh aid to
cover its borrowing needs for the next three years.

The European Union and IMF, however, have demanded that the country pass the
austerity plan, implementing legislation and a related €50 billion privatization
program before they disburse any fresh aid to the cash-strapped country.

Greece faces a cash crunch in mid-July and is counting on euro-zone finance
ministers to release the next tranche of its existing loan before then. A
special meeting of those ministers has been called for July 3 to decide whether
to release that disbursement.

Jitters over whether Greece will pass the austerity measures have rocked
European financial markets, stoking fresh fears of contagion should parliament
fail to implement the austerity package.

On Monday, bond prices of high-debt governments such as Portugal and Ireland
fell further amid fears those countries could follow Greece into a default. Such
contagion fears are also putting pressure on Italian debt, which returned to
market focus after Moody’s ratings agency last week threatened to downgrade
Italy’s sovereign credit rating. Italy now has to pay the highest premium over
equivalent German government bonds since the launch of the euro.

—Terence Roth in London contributed to this article.

source:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304447804576413014161600714.html?mod=mktw

Comment:

We in Ireland should watch as this is our final faith, Greece is been sold off piece by piece ,but at least the Greeks have the balls to get up and fight !

We in Ireland are  going to have to leave the euro or get booted out. The powers in Europe are ignoring us because the politicians that we have elected are nothing more than mouthpiece for them .They are bought and paid for with lucrative jobs in Europe and lottery pensions. There is no opposition here in Ireland as the unions are also part of the status quo.

The last time Jack o Connor called a demonstration he was himself booed off the stage as the demonstrators realized they were been used by the unions to enforce the coke park deal that would only save the jobs of the chosen few and keep themselves in their plush jobs with enormous salaries ,that are many times the average wage. No my friends we the ordinary people must take action ourselves and we must become vocal and present on the streets.

That’s right we must stay on the streets to keep the crooked politicians in cheque as they are already selling off our country to their buddies .will we wait until we have to pay to bring our children to the local forest, Yesterday a call went out to the local authorities to privatize local services .the health board got the same instructions. I bet that every government department got the same instructions sell off anything you can, cut services and introduce new charges .So much for no new taxes.

For god sake wake up Ireland!  

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