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What's happening in Greece right now
#71
Excellent blog The Slog strikes again.

Q: Who are the fascists - Greece's Golden Dawn or the EU Troika?

A: Both.

Quote: June 17, 2013 · 7:23 pm


GREECE & THE ERT SHUTDOWN: Explosive new evidence of EU dirty tricks.

Despite vehement denials from both the Troika ad the EU in Brussels about any involvement in the loopy Samaras decision to close down Greek State broadcaster ERT, evidence is coming to light that calls such claims into question.

According to the website publicserviceeurope.com, officials from the European Commission threatened to take "action" against the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation or ERT for failing to broadcast pro-European news just days before it was taken off the air by a dubious emergency Greek decree.

The Troika' claimed last week that it had "not sought the closure of ERT" despite Greece being under constant pressure to lay off government employees. But the EC is now admitting to a dispute with ERT over the pro-EU Pravdaesque Euronews, which ERT management forced off air in December 2012.

It seems that ERT staff were well aware of the slavishly pro-Brussels line consistently adopted by Euronews, but the Greek Broadcasting Council ruled in February that Euronews had the right to broadcast, and ordered that the signal be restored. The decision was never implemented, and so there are allegations that EU officials used their position within the Troika to punish ERT for being off-message.

The European Commission has handed out millions of euros in grants aid to expand its pet news station. Such funding, opponents claim, ensures that coverage remains pro-EU. Observing what the station puts out, it is hard to avoid that conclusion.

As a whole, however, what this story tends to suggest is that the ferocity of EU denial about something is almost 100% correlated to the truth. Plus ca change, as we say here in France. Winston Smith, eat your heart out.
"It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
"Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
"They are in Love. Fuck the War."

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

"Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war
Reply
#72
Magda Hassan Wrote:BUSTED - Tsipras' Side By Side With T.Miller & D. Speckhard - What The Greek Media Purposely Ignored





The following article is based on an article that was published in the Parapolitika newspaper, but we have added quite a bit to it so that you can have a better understanding of what is going on. THIS IS A MUST READ.

"Public banks are not here to rescue friends and the former ambassador to the US from politicians who organize meals at Zappeion." It has been a while since we heard SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras rant and rave with statements such as the above against figures such as Evangelos Venizelos, (who heard this when he was the Finance Minister under the George Papandreou government in regards to the Proton Bank scandal). At the time, Tsipras pointed to Lavrentis Lavrentiadis (who today is at the Korydallos prison on charges of the creation and management of an organized criminal organization, money-laundering, fraud and embezzlement) as well as to the former Ambassador and Chairman of the bank Daniel Speckhard (yes the same man who was once the US Ambassador to Athens and who sent a multitude of controversial letters to Washington as indicated by various Wikileaks cables).

Apparently, the 38 year old leader of SYRIZA came to the realization after his trip to the US that all of the above scandalous controversy is passe and far too boring. Today Tsipras is too busy with other more serious matters and rather ignores things that deal with corruption, money-laundering and embezzlement. In fact his main focus today is simply to cultivate his international profile!

Don't kid yourselves, this is a tough job!

One of the highlights of Tsipras tour in the US is his visit on January 22 to the famous American-Hellenic Institute. It was an event that journalists strangely avoided and only subtly mentioned.

Now why is that?

The event should not have been of any interest, but oh boy was the press wrong! It was more than interesting since two former (and very controversial) US Ambassadors to Greece were also present, or specifically, Mr. Daniel Speckhard and Mr. Thomas Miller and they even took the time to take their picture taken with Tsipras who was really loving the moment (as seen in the photo).


Who are these two controversial ambassadors, and why all the fuss about the photo?

The best thing to do is to start from the beginning.

On August 3, 2001, Thomas Miller was appointed by former US President George W. Bush to be Ambassador to Greece. He took up the position on October 8, 2001, and held it until he left the post on December 23, 2004. On the other hand, Daniel Speckhard was sworn in as US Ambassador to Greece on November 7, 2007 and arrived in Athens on November 15, 2007, where he served until 2010.


Thomas Miller

Thomas Miller served on the same Board of Directors at Lampsa SA -which owns the Grande Bretagne Hotel in Athens- with none other than Nikos Papandreou, or the brother of the former President of PASOK, George Papandreou. The Lampsa company is owned by the Laskaridis family.

According to Antinews, Niko joined the Board in July 2003 but he suddenly (and mysteriously) decided to quit in October 2009 when his brother George Papandreou came to power.

A little while later Miller left as well but the friendship has always remained. Miller currently serves as Director of the Washington, DC office of Independent Diplomat which is a non-profit organization founded in 2004 by former British diplomat Carne Ross to give advice and assistance in diplomatic strategy and technique to governments and political groups - such as providing 'freelance' diplomats to unrecognized governments (i.e. governments of seceded or proto-states that do not (yet) have international recognition, and usually have little experience in dealing with international bureaucracy). Its projects have included: helping Kosovo achieve recognition as a new state, the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma, etc., and the Turkish occupied section of Northern Cyprus. - Wikipedia

Over the years, Miller often visited the Balkans, especially Albania and his activities there, according to Parapolitika, are a complete mystery. Nonetheless, rumors claim that he was very interested in the casino industry (something that Mr. Laskaridis is also active in).

According to kourdistoportocali, Thomas Miller climbed the ladder of success in Washington when his immediate boss, Richard Holbrooke, when, acting as charge d'affaires at the Embassy in Athens (in September 1995 due to the absence of the then Ambassador Thomas Niles), was active in the consultations that led to the signing of the Interim Agreement between Greece and FYROM (13.09.1995).

During the US invasion of Iraq and as ambassador to Athens Miller intervened by asking Greek American community members, to make representations to Athens, to stop the anti-war and anti-Americanism movements (and/or protests). But after the war, and the dismantling of the notorious November 17 terrorist organization -as well as the successful Athens 2004 Olympic Games - he was quoted in interviews as saying that anti-war movements, or protests, were not a manifestation of Antiamericanism.

When Mr. Miller's diplomatic run ended, he undertook projects on behalf of the Turkish occupied area of Cyprus, and was apparently involved in handling the sinful C4i case.

According to reports, when he was US Ambassador to Athens, Mr. Miller -who opened the doors to ministerial offices with ease- promoted American companies such as Lockheed Martin, as well as Motorola (allied friends with Socrates Kokkalis' Intracom company). He also became involved with a security system which was not only costly to the Greek state, but wasn't ever completed nor delivered on time to serve as the center of security for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. But idiotic Greek tax payers paid for it anyway.

Finally a fresh article from kourdistoportocali claims that Thomas Miller is also the man who is up to his neck in the wiretapping scandal (against Costas Karamanlis) which cost the life of former Network Planning Manager for Vodafone Costas Tsalikidis.

Who is Tsakalidis? Keep on reading...
"On March 9, Kostas Tsalikidis, was found dead in an apparent suicide. According to several experts questioned by the Greek press, Tsalikidis was a key witness in the investigation of responsibility of the wiretaps. Family and friends believe there are strong indications he was the person who first discovered that highly sophisticated software had been secretly inserted into the Vodafone network. Tsalikidis had been planning for a while to quit his Vodafone job but told his fiancée not long before he died that it had become "a matter of life or death" that he leave, says the family's lawyer, Themis Sofos. There is speculation that either he committed suicide because of his involvement in the tapping of the phones, or he was murdered because he had discovered, or was about to discover, who the perpetrators were. After a four-month investigation of his death, a Supreme Court prosecutor Dimitris Linos said that the death of Tsalikidis was directly linked to the scandal. "If there had not been the phone tapping, there would not have been a suicide," he said." Reference (Greek Watergate Scandal- US Embassy behind phone-tapping of Karamanlis)
Daniel Speckhard

According to Parapolitika, following his run as Ambassador to Athens, Daniel Speckhard became the non-executive chairman of the Greek Proton Bank - between the period February 1, 2011 until August 19, 2011. He assumed this position at a time when Lavrentis Lavrentiadis was having trouble with his second largest shareholder Mr. Ant. Athanasoglou.

Apart from being a managing partner at WEM Global Investment Inc, Speckhard is also a non-resident Senior Fellow, for the US and Europe at the famous Brookings Institute. Yes... The same institute where Tsipras gave his speech. During the speech, which was broadcasted live on C-SPAN, the official channel of Capitol Hill, and according to reports many prominent businessmen apparently attended. The same corporate community also (mysteriously) attended his speech at Columbia University a few days later as well.

The report on Parapolitika also notes that some rumors even claim that Speckhard played a major role in unlocking the doors for Tsipras, especially at the CSIS (Center for Strategic and International Studies), which is considered to be one of the top think tanks in the US.

The aforementioned institution is well known in Greece, since Mr. Lavrentiadis, who apparently funded one of its divisions (or the unit of Southeast European Studies), had organized an event at the Astir Palace in Vouligmenni where characters such as Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski were also present.

Who is Brzezinski? Here is where it gets really interesting. Although the article in "Parapolitka" did not go into details about this man (assuming that the reader already knows what and why) we here at HellasFrappe decided to google his name and we discovered that Brzezinski is a Polish American political scientist, geostrategist, and statesman who served as United States National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981.

Sounds harmless enough, but googling his name a little bit more, we also discovered an article on opednews which more or less presents him as being the equivalent of Henry Kissinger. Here is a small portion of the article which should be read by all:
Only three appointed high government officials have run sixty years of war on small vulnerable nations, that were previously plundered under military occupation by colonial powers for centuries?
Three spooks, John Foster Dulles (aided by his equally corrupt brother Allen, head of the CIA), Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski, chosen by David Rockefeller to oversee the deaths of tens of millions of men, women and children, murdered in their own small beloved countries, as often as not in their own towns, villages and homes - millions more dying in violent aftermaths of US crimes against Congo, Guatemala, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Indonesia, Libya and many other places. (Congo alone accounts for from between six and fifteen million dead since the US led Belgians and other Europeans in destroying it as a nation.
In every single case of US mayhem (that's if totaled up reaches many multi-holocaust proportions), civil war, fomented by the US itself, has been used as a pretext for unlawful barbaric criminal intervention by US Armed Forces, most often prepared by a corporate business dutiful CIA using its far flung network of banks, media, double agents and cooperating NGOs.
Civil wars! Capitalist empires of Europe had been stimulating them under the axiom "Divide and Conquer' since the first Portuguese armed merchant ships set sail, funded by enterprising investors in the fifteenth century.
From the earliest days of investor managed crimes of savage European forces (and later those of the US) falling upon ancient civilizations and cultures, there have been many famous devilishly clever lead investors cleverly creating wars of assured investment profitability. The most infamous in modern history were David's grandfather John Rockefeller and J. P. Morgan. Check the article at OpedNews -
Read on, the article only gets better.


The Unknown Trip to San Fransisco

During his trip to the US, Alexis Tsipras did not formally meet with representatives of the Greek Diaspora, since he chose not to adhere to protocol which calls for a prior meeting with the Archbishop of America. Instead the leader of SYRIZA preferred to come into contact with other influential characters who he knew could open other doors for him.

On his first day in the US he chose to make a quick (and hush hush) ten-hour trip to San Francisco, where he met known businessman Angelo Tsakopoulos (Phil Angelides, who has served as chairman of the Democratic Party of California and responsible for public property of the state was also present at this meeting). Angelo Tsakopoulos (born 1936) is a prominent real estate developer in Sacramento, California and the founder and owner of AKT Development.

Mr. Tsakopoulis is one of the main backers of the Democratic party and a proud supporter of Barack Obama. He is also a personal friend of Bill Clinton and Constantine Mitsotakis, and the current Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras. His family donated millions of dollars to charity the most notable of which was his donation to the University of Stanford to create the office of Greek Studies titled "Constantine Mitsotakis."

The inauguration took place in the presence of the Mitsotakis family in 2007. The ART Group, is now operated by his children, Helen and Kyriakos, and his son, Marko Kounalakis.

It should be reminded that Mr. Kounalakis was also a member of the same Institute with Andreas Papandreou, or the other brother of George Papandreou. In fact Andreas had organized a conference on Climate Change and Energy Security (i4cense) in late October 2010. The event was co-organized by the Kyriakos Grivas' C&C company, which specializes in public relations. Grivas is a businessman known for his connections to the New Democracy party, the "Financial Times", and the European Investment Bank. Note that the i4cence institute was noted by the president of the Independent Greek party, Mr. Panos Kammenos, for being involved in the case of controversial CDS.


The Discreet Support of Gianna Angelopoulou-Daskalaki

During Tsipras' visit, Gianna Angelopoulou-Daskalakis' circle of friends also made their presence. Besides, Angelopoulou was apparently discreetly opening the doors for Tsipras' on the other side of the Atlantic. Thus, it can not be considered a coincidence that the president of the Greek-American Institute (AHI), Nick Larigakis also played a significant role in Tsipras's trip to the US. Also, another central figure who was also present at the AHI event was to honor Tsipras was none other than Mr. George Mermelas, the alleged owner of the well known lobbying and public relations institution/company "Greek Dream".

Mr. Mermelas was a close friend to PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos, when he was Minister of Culture (under the Simitis government). During the '90s the present leader of PASOK had handsomely funded Mr. Mermelas through the Ministry of Culture to promote Greece at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Mrs. Gianna Angelopoulou-Daskalaki did the same thing during the Athens games. In fact she continues to fund Mermelas' institution. The institution has even held a special event in the US in her honor.


The Bottom Line

The bottom line is, that once upon a time Tsipras was accusing these elites in the Greek Parliament and today he is being photographed next to them.

This little tet-a-tet, claims the news site "Parapolitika" apparently was not received with the same enthusiasm from his fellow party members, in fact it manifested a "mini" mutiny, since both the "Avgi" newspaper (which is SYRIZA's newspaper) as well as the radio station which political backs SYRIZA chose not to cover this encounter at all. In fact it totally ignored the subject altogether and even disputed the photos. And all this for good reason, because the presence of these two particular former senior US diplomats at the event is connected with a series of obviously "shady" and "controversial" scenarios that occurred in Greece over the years and which either cost the lives of several people or destroyed the lives of millions.


"POWER" is just around the corner

Indeed Tsipras' trip to the US stirred up problems within the SYRIZA party and the wider political fora, but abroad, Tsipras showed that he was ready to take a step back on all the allegations he once made against Greece's corrupt elite. Today it is more than obvious that if he ever was to seize power, he would certainly be faced with handling extremely difficult situations, and certainly that is why he made such a dramatic shift in his political strategy. Because let us face it, the US doesn't do anyone favors and not expect a back rub in return.

Of course for all this to happen he has to make some radical changes in his party, but this cannot occur without repercussions, especially from the so-called powerful and radical left. Many will disagree, and some others may even detach themselves from SYRIZA, but to Tsipras this is a small price to pay since he now wants to conquer the country's leadership.

Of course mum is the word -as far as the photo is concerned- from Greece's mainstream media, only "Parapolitika" and "Kourdistoportocali" reported the news, as well as a series of other news sites and blogs.

Folks... Greece is definitely heading down a dark and shady road. It is obvious that the Americans are promoting Tsipras and will probably help him in any way they can. They did the same for George Papandreou and there were rumors in Athens before he assumed office in 2009 that a team was here working closely with him on how to improve his image. Just the thought of Tsipras assuming Greece's leadership has been a frightening thought by itself because we know what his stance is on our national issues and what type of foreign policy he plans to follow. What is even more shocking is that Panos Kammenos (the leader of the Independent Greeks Party) actually wants to side with Tsipras and overthrow the government. How can Kammenos do that knowing that Tsipras is 100 percent against everything he has been preaching about?

Yup. Greece is headed for a storm cloud.

Stay tuned frappers.

References
http://hellasfrappe.blogspot.com.au/2013...-with.html

Jan Klimkowski Wrote:Tsipras.

turncoat  [turn-koht]

Definition: traitor

Synonyms: Benedict Arnold, Judas, apostate, back-stabber, betrayer, conspirator, deceiver, defector, deserter, double-crosser, fink, informer, quisling, rat, rebel, renegade, snake*, sneak*, snitch, spy, squealer, stool pigeon, tattletale, tergiversator, treasonist, two-timer,

Magda Hassan Wrote:
Jan Klimkowski Wrote:Tsipras.

turncoat  [turn-koht]

Definition: traitor

Synonyms: Benedict Arnold, Judas, apostate, back-stabber, betrayer, conspirator, deceiver, defector, deserter, double-crosser, fink, informer, quisling, rat, rebel, renegade, snake*, sneak*, snitch, spy, squealer, stool pigeon, tattletale, tergiversator, treasonist, two-timer,
Looks that way. Or maybe he has had an offer he can't refuse....


While I have strong reservation about Tsipras and Syriza because of the above it does look like they will be winning the coming Greek election and there is much panic in the corridors of power there. I have no reservations about Samaras. He is workig for the banksters. How this will work for the EU will be interesting to watch. I hope Greece doesn't have Diebold machines.
Quote:

Greek PM Samaras forced into U-turn as Syriza closes in on election victory

With two weeks until Greece votes, Antonis Samaras needs a miracle to defeat Alexis Tsipras's radical left party, say pollsters




[URL="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/10/greece-election-u-turn-antonis-samaras-syriza#img-1"]

[/URL] Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras, left, has a poll lead of up to 4% with a fortnight to go until the election. Photograph: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters Helena Smith in Athens
Sunday 11 January 2015 09.33 AEST





With elections barely two weeks away and every poll against him, Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras began to sing from a different hymn sheet this weekend, focusing on his government's handling of the economy in a desperate bid to win round voters.
Unveiling a plan of national growth and reform in Athens on Saturday and dropping claims that a vote for the leftwing Syriza party would lead Greece into chaos, the premier sought to convince Greeks that only his conservative New Democracy party could guide the crisis-plagued country to economic recovery.
"The strategy of fear that the conservatives have campaigned on clearly hasn't worked," said Paschos Mandravelis, a prominent political commentator. "Greeks are not buying the theory that the opposition poses a danger, so now Samaras is altering course."
The change of tactics for the snap elections forced on the government by parliament's failure to elect a president, comes at a critical juncture. In every opinion survey, Syriza is in the lead. Last week, for the first time, pollsters began to speak of the impossibility of the lead being overturned. Less than three years after he took office at the helm of a coalition and at the height of Greece's economic crisis, it was going to take a miracle for Samaras, 63, to keep power.
"The difference is between a rough three and four percentage points and I don't see it closing," said professor Dimitris Keridis, who teaches political science at Athens's Panteion University. "Samaras is facing the inevitability of defeat," he told the Observer.
A Metron Analysis poll released late on Friday showed Syriza leading, with 27.1% against 23.8% for Samaras's New Democracy. Between 9 and 16% of voters are undecided.
But even if the conservatives drum up support among the undecided, few believe the radical leftists once on the fringe of Greek political life but now centre stage and determined to change economic debate in Europe will not emerge on top on 25 January. On the back of pledges to repudiate the onerous conditions of the EU- and IMF-sponsored bailout accords that have shored up the debt-stricken Greek economy but have brought ordinary Greeks to their knees, Syriza has seen its popularity soar. Its belief that Athens's unsustainable debt load should also be written off has won applause from other hard-left groups in Europe.
"The question is not if they win, but by how much," said Mandravelis.
Pinterest
Prime minister Antonis Samaras at an election rally in Halkida. He has crisscrossed the country, sometimes visiting several cities a day. Photograph: Angelos Christofilopoulos/Demotix/Corbis In stark contrast to Syriza's Alexis Tsipras, who at 40 is the country's youngest political leader and has waged a relaxed campaign, Samaras has frantically crisscrossed Greece, often visiting several cities on a single day. Until now, his rhetoric has been based solely on sounding the alarm. If Greeks vote for Tsipras and his "drachma lobby" party, Athens will face the danger of almost certain ejection from the eurozone and by extension the EU. "It will mean the loss of all the sacrifices Greeks have made since the crisis began and be a catastrophe for the economy," Samaras has maintained.
Senior figures in the EU have backed up that view, saying in no uncertain terms that a vote for Tsipras is a vote for danger, replete with uncertainty and risk.
But with more than 25% of Greeks out of work and close to three million facing poverty, the EU interventions have led increasingly to accusations of interference. Five years into their worst crisis in living memory, the vast majority no longer care about creditors' demands but rather their ability to survive.
"I am seriously thinking of voting for Syriza because I am sick of all the scaremongering from people who brought us to this place," said Elena Christodoulaki, a hairdresser in Athens, adding that at 64 she had never supported the alliance of Marxists, Maoists, Trotskyists and Greens. "It's not just that I want to see a change. With all this talk of leaving the euro it has been very difficult for them [the radical leftists] to have a say or [expound on their beliefs] which makes me mad."
On Friday, parties unveiled their campaign lists, with the conservatives announcing that a former talkshow host, a model and an actor would be running as candidates. Syriza's ticket includes academics based abroad including Costas Lapavitsas, an economics professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, who has become a prominent advocate of resolving Greece's woes within the eurozone.
"Europe has failed to have a constant voice in its approach to Syriza," said Keridis. "There have been a lot of contradictory statements regarding the threat the leftists represent for the eurozone," he added. "That has helped Tsipras dilute any fear that he is anti-European and allowed him to win support."

]
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#73
from Naked Capitalism:

Quote:Yves here. While the path for the ruling Greek government to make a deal with its creditors is fraught, it is pressing forward to try to come to an agreement by the next Eurogroup meeting, May 11. Greece has an IMF payment due May 12 that it will find difficult to meet. With the new urgency and the, um, realignment of the negotiating team, the odds now look to favor Greece capitulating even in the event of a default even if the ruling coalition tries holding ground on some of its red lines like pensions. If a default were to occur, it's not hard to imagine that the IMF and the ECB would make Greece an offer it can't refuse: the IMF would reverse itself on giving Greece a grace period for its payment if it relented on the disputed issues, otherwise the ECB would have no choice in light of the default to remove or limit its support under the ELA That would force Greece to impose capital controls, nationalize its banks, and issue drachma to recapitlaize them. Both the Greek public and most Syriza members are opposed to a Grexit.

Tsipras continues to send mixed signals on its intentions. He has veered time and time again from making cooperative noises when he encounters resistance from the creditors to making defiant statements to appeal to voters. Consider this section from the Financial Times yesterday that we flagged in Links:
The moves come as senior Greek ministers have publicly acknowledged in recent days that they may be forced to accept economic measures they have been attempting to avoid, a sign they are preparing Greek voters for concessions.
Today, the Financial Times has Tsipras again taking up a defiant posture and saying he might be forced to call a referendum. We've said that the likely lead time makes that impossible (as in Greece will almost certainly default before a referendum can take place) and the Eurogroup chief Jeroen Djisselbloem cleared his throat and said pretty much the same thing (which may amount to calling the Tsipras idea a bluff). From today's Financial Times:
Greece's leftwing prime minister has warned that he would hold a referendum if international creditors insisted on a "vicious circle of austerity" as the key to unlocking urgently needed bailout money.
Hours after making a conciliatory gesture to Greece's eurozone partners with a reshuffle of his negotiating team on Monday, Alexis Tsipras struck a more defiant note….
A referendum could lead to weeks of continued uncertainty about Greece's solvency. A plan by Athens to hold a plebiscite in 2011 was effectively scuppered by eurozone leaders. But some officials also believe it could be a way for Mr Tsipras to win public support for an eventual reform programme.
Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister who leads the Greek negotiations as head of the eurogroup, said he did not think a referendum was a feasible option for Mr Tsipras given the urgent need for a deal so that bailout cash can be disbursed soon.
"It would cost money, it would create great political uncertainty, and I don't think we have the time," Mr Dijsselbloem told Dutch radio. "And I don't think the Greeks have the time for it."
Moreover, as Ned Ludd pointed out in comments today, Greece has retreated from another one of its defiant gestures, that of cultivating ties with Russia:
An offer from Gazprom was "ready for signatures", and Greece walked away.
[T]he Greek government in the end balked at the Gazprom offer (which was ready for signature on 23rd April 2015) following warnings from the EU Commission that its terms were contrary to European law i.e., to the Third Energy Package.
I was told by my source that the Greek government could not in the end bring itself to defy the EU Commission on this issue because of its fears that this would jeopardise its negotiations with the EU finance ministers at the Eurogroup meeting on the following day.
Alexander Mercouris's "source in Athens" may be a Russian diplomat or official at their embassy in Athens, who is aggravated by Greece's incomprehensible negotiating strategy.
There was no point in making overtures to Moscow if Greece was not prepared to follow them through. It was totally predictable that the EU authorities would object to whatever deal Greece made with Russia or with Gazprom. If Greece was not prepared to defy the EU authorities on this question, it should not have proceeded at all. As it is the Russians must be annoyed at being led up the garden path, while the European leaders have been antagonised and persuaded that Greece's anti-austerity posture is ultimately a bluff.
And as Ludd noted later:
I think the majority of Syriza was always amendable to being the new PASOK. The path to power, of course, required pretending that a Syriza-led government would be fundamentally different (and to the left of) PASOK.
Since the end goal was always a deal with the Troika, though, PASOK would have gotten a better deal than Varoufakis ever could. "If you can't bite, better not show your teeth." ~ Yiddish Proverb.
According to the Financial Times article, it looks like Syriza is now prostrating itself before its Eurozone masters, hoping for a more amicable path to cutting a deal with the Troika.
A well-connected DC reader had submitted this post at the end of March. We'd held off publishing it because we'd wanted him to amplify his central charge, that Syriza does not want to govern. In context, you can infer what that means but we had wanted him to unpack that idea more.
Notice that this critique, which I can separately say with confidence would have gotten blistering attacks from the NC commentariat had I run it then, has proven to be prescient and accurate. The big part I quibble with is calling the Syriza negotiating position "Keynesian". While Yanis Varoufakis' Modest Proposal was indeed Keynesian, the Greek government retreated from that in the face of creditor opposition, leaving themselves only with an "austerity lite" plan of volunteering to maintain a primary surplus (which in the absence of fiscal transfers like European Investment Bank infrastructure spending, assures a continued worsening of the contraction). Thus from an economic perspective, what Syriza is fighting over is the right to decide who in Greek society will bear the pain of continued austerity, and the government is working to shift that burden more to the wealthy. A thin gruel indeed.
From a Washington DC insider
Syriza Has Created a Beg-ocracy Based on Fear
It's been two months since Syiza took power, which is enough time to do some sort of evaluation of their governing philosophy. Here's what we know. When Alexis Tsipras was elected to head the new Greek state, his government promised two mutually exclusive objectives. The first was to stay in the Euro. The second was to repudiate the policies of austerity and the colonial arrangement of the institutions that manage the Euro. Both policies represented different wings of the Syriza coalition, and Tsipras believes both must be placated.
Tsipras's strategy was not to pick one of these objectives and stick with it to the exclusion of the other, but to attempt to mesh the two of them in an audacious attempt to transform the entire Eurozone.
Tsipras decided to make Greece a demonstration project. When he was elected, he spoke early on of a "European New Deal", in a nod to Franklin Delano Roosevelt's new governing arrangements. And indeed, his early legislative attempts included things like food stamps' and electricity for the poor. His finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, talked of European-wide investment in infrastructure to boost overall European aggregate demand.
By governing Greece reasonably well and reducing corruption, along with taking money from those who didn't need it and giving it to those who do need it, they were hoping to show European elites and voters that another way was possible. With the added boost from more European economic activity, Greece could prosper. Certainly it would grow since its base state is so depressed.
In other words, Tsipras and Varoufakis sought to save Europe from itself' by demonstrating that the austerity policies peddled by European banking elites were tearing Europe apart. They believe that Merkel gets this, they believe that certain key individuals within the IMF get this, and they think that they can organize enough support within the institutions to muddle through the first few months so they can actually govern. That's the plan.
And one should have sympathy for this viewpoint. The European project is one of the great achievements of humanity. From the fall of the Roman empire until 1945, European has basically been one giant warzone, with varying degrees of violence. The EU was essentially an American-brokered marriage between France and Germany. This union was then expanded outwards, with a strong social welfare state undergirding peace and prosperity. This is the EU that they want to save, though Varoufakis has basically said that American has no role in the current Euro and that Germany is the hegemon. This misses the critical ingredient that made the EU work, which was a balance of power.
Obviously the specter of Communism provided additional critical context, and it's no accident that the end of the USSR as a competitive system removed the pressure that tamped down on both nationalism and banker greed. Nothing is inevitable, though, and that turn towards oligarch rule in Europe wasn't either.
Nevertheless, the EU has been inverted. It is now a set of actors going through a set of austerity policies that in geopolitical terms reflect the Saw horror films, sadistic conditions imposed by bankers and Eurocrats who just enjoy the torture. America is absent. Germany is dominant and malevolent, both corrupt and self-pitying. Nationalism and greed are increasingly rampant, with fewer and fewer institutional controls. It is in this environment that Syriza leaders are trying to negotiate what are essentially fiscal transfers in a structurally deficient currency union that has been organized to suck wealth from the periphery and transfer it to German banks.
The reason there's so much acrimony in these negotiations is because Tsipras and Varoufakis are operating in good faith and asking for basic Keynesian policies under a technocratic (not democratic) framework. Most of the European institutional actors think that Tsipras and Varoufakis are trying to outsmart and outmaneuver them with leftist cunning, along with their leftist populist allies across Europe. This isn't really true. Tsipras and Varoufakis have no plan B, they will rely on the sadistic European institutions because they believe the choice is between being part of the Euro with a colonized economy and a thousand years of darkness. They are, in other words, deeply afraid. The irony, of course, is that when Tsipras called for a European New Deal, he missed what made FDR successful. And that was repudiating Fear Itself' and eventually taking on the bankers directly.
What this means is that Tsipras and Varoufakis are now effectively working for bankers. They do not want to govern with an independent power base, they do not believe in governing along the lines of what they promised unless it is easy to do so, and they are organizing their governing apparatus as a beg-ocracy. They simply do not believe in Greek self-government. It's been two months straight of negotiations, which looks more and more like begging, and they have had no time to take control of the bureaucracies or to pay attention to what is going on in any area except the immediate political situation. The Greek economy is not improving, because the uncertainty has impeded what little commerce there was.
Governing is not easy, and it's especially difficult in these situations. And Syriza leaders don't have experience at it. They are not bad people, and in ordinary situations, they might even be good leaders. But the strategy being pursued is bad and their attitude based on being afraid of the Europeans is worse. This is a fight over power, and Greek leaders simply aren't willing to advocate for their own people in any serious way. They are deluding themselves about who they are up against. The Greeks will feel dignified for a time with this new government, but that won't last forever. And then the results will start to matter.
Syriza leadership is now more problematic than the earlier political Greek parties that cut the bailout deals over the past five years, because those parties never promised anything different than catastrophe. Syriza however promised democracy, solidarity, dignity, and the Euro. Now Syriza is in the process of proving that democracy doesn't work, that the brand of standing up in solidarity against bankers is a fraud. Tsipras's role is similar in effect to Barack Obama's role of tamping down populist energy against the national security state and Wall Street in 2008. As Obama did before him, Tsipras is now standing between the people with pitchforks and the banks. The likely fallout of course is worse for the Greeks than it was for Americans, because Greece has so little leverage and it does not have its own currency. But on a very basic level, Tsipras and Varoufakis, just like Obama, are simply unwilling to govern. And that makes them opponents of any real left-wing populist movement.
Greece may still yet exit the Euro, or they may be pushed out of the Eurozone. But by refusing to pick between the two objectives of remaining in the Euro and repudiating austerity, they have lost critical time, bank deposits, much of their primary surplus and even more essential credibility. From the perspective of populists, the behavior of Syriza has been catastrophic. And it's time to disavow what they have done and let them slink into the long neoliberal twilight from which they draw their inspiration. They had their fifteen minutes. Time's about up.
"We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false." --William J. Casey, D.C.I

"We will lead every revolution against us." --Theodore Herzl
Reply
#74
Very interesting. I would love to know the qualifications of the "Washington insider" just to be able to assess his/her analysis...
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
Reply
#75
David Guyatt Wrote:Very interesting. I would love to know the qualifications of the "Washington insider" just to be able to assess his/her analysis...

I can only suggest that you go to the comments or even personally contact Yves privately. Maybe she can work something out.
"We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false." --William J. Casey, D.C.I

"We will lead every revolution against us." --Theodore Herzl
Reply
#76
Syriza: Plunder, Pillage and Prostration: How the Hard Left' Embraces the Policies of the Hard Right

By Prof. James Petras
Global Research, June 15, 2015

http://www.globalresearch.ca/syriza-plun...ht/5455695

Greece has been in the headlines of the world's financial press for the past five months, as a newly elected leftist party, Syriza', which ostensibly opposes so-called austerity measures',faces off against the "Troika" (International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and European Central Bank).

Quote:Early on, the Syriza leadership, headed by Alexis Tsipras, adopted several strategic positions with fatal consequences - in terms of implementing their electoral promises to raise living standards, end vassalage to the Troika' and pursue an independent foreign policy.

We will proceed by outlining the initial systemic failures ofSyriza and the subsequent concessions further eroding Greek living standards and deepening Greece's role as an active collaborator of US and Israeli imperialism.

Winning Elections and Surrendering Power

The North American and European Left celebrated Syriza'selection victory as a break with neo-liberal austerity programs and the launch of a radical alternative, which would implement popular initiatives for basic social changes, including measures generating employment, restoring pensions, reversing privatizations, reordering government priorities and favoring payments to employees over foreign banks. The "evidence" for the radical reform agenda was contained in the Thessaloniki Manifesto'which Syriza promised to be the program guiding their newly elected officials.

However, prior to, and immediately after being elected, Syriza leaders adopted three basic decisions precluding any basic changes: Indeed, these decisions set it on a reactionary course.

First and foremost, Syriza accepted as legitimate theforeign debt of over $350 billion dollars, although most had been signed by previous government Kleptocrats, corrupt banks, business, real estate and financial interests. Virtually none of this debt was used to finance productive activity or vital services which would strengthen the economy and Greece's future ability to payback the loans.

Hundreds of billions of Euros were stashed away in foreign bank accounts and foreign real estate or invested in overseas stocks and bonds. After affirming the legitimacy' of the illicit debt, Syriza followed up by declaring its willingness' to pay the debt. The Troika' immediately understood that the new Syriza government would be a willing hostage to further coercion, blackmail and debt payments.

Secondly, and related to the above, Syriza declared its determination to remain in the European Union and Eurozone and thus accepted the surrender of its sovereignty and ability to fashion an independent policy. It declared its willingness to submit to the dictates of the Troika. Once under the thumb of the Troika, Syriza's only policy would be to negotiate', renegotiate' and make further concessions to the EU overseas banks in a totally one-sided process. Syriza's rapid submission to the Troika was their second strategic, but not their last, betrayal of its electoral program.

Once Syriza demonstrated to the Troika, its willingness to betray its popular program, the Troika escalated its demands and hardened its intransigence. Brussels discounted Syriza's leftist rhetoric and radical theatrical gestures as blowing smoke in the eyes of the Greek electorate. The EU bankers knew that when it came time to negotiate new loan agreements, the Syriza leadership would capitulate. Meanwhile, the Euro-American Left swallowed Syriza's entire radical rhetoric without looking at its actual practice.

Thirdly, on taking office, Syriza negotiated a coalition with the far-right, pro-NATO, xenophobic, anti-immigrant Independent Greeks Party, guaranteeing that Greece would continue to support NATO's military policies in the Middle East, the Ukraine and Israel's brutal campaign against Palestine.

Fourthly, the bulk of Prime Minister Tsipras cabinet appointees had no experience of class struggle .Worse still, most were academics and former PASOK advisers without any capacity or willingness to break with the dictates of the Troika. Their academic practice' consisted largely of theoretical combat', ill-suited for real-world confrontation with aggressive imperial powers.

From a Scratch to Gangrene

By capitulating to the EU from the outset, including accepting to pay the illegitimate debt, hooking up with the Far Right and submitting to the dictates of the Troika, the stage was set for SYRIZA to betray all its promises and to worsen the economic burden for its supporters. The worst betrayals include: (1) not restoring pension payments; (2) not restoring the minimum wage; (3) not reversing privatizations; (4) not ending austerity programs; and (5) not increasing funds for education, health, housing and local development.

The Troika and its publicists in the financial press are demanding that Syriza cut the Greek pension system even further, impoverishing over 1.5 million retired workers. Contrary to the media's planted examples' of fat pensions enjoyed by less then 5% of pensioners, the Greeks have suffered the deepest pension reductions in Europe over the past century. In just the last past 4 years the Troika cut Greek pensions eight times. The vast majority of pensions have been slashed by nearly 50% since 2010.The average pension is 700 Euros a month but 45%of Greek pensioners receive less than 665 Euros a month - below the poverty line. Yet the Troika demands even greater reductions.

These include an end of budget subsidies for pensioners living in extreme poverty, an increase in the retirement age to 67, an abolition of pension provisions tied to hazardous occupations and for working mothers. The earlier regressive measures, imposed by the Troika and implemented by the previous right-wing coalition regime, severely depleted the Greek pension fund. In 2012, the Troika's debt restructuring' program led to the loss of 25 billion Euros of reserves held by the Greek government in government bonds.

Troika austerity policies ensured that the pension reserves would not be replenished. Contributions plummeted as unemployment soared to nearly 30% (Financial Times 6/5/15 p4). Despite the Troika's frontal assault on the Greek pension system, Syriza's "economic team" expressed its willingness to raise the retirement age, cut pensions by 5% and negotiate further betrayals of pensioners facing destitution. Syriza has not only failed to fulfill its campaign promise to reverse the previous regressive policies, but is engaged in its own pragmatic' sellouts with the Troika.

Worse still, Syriza has deepened and extended the policies of its reactionary predecessors. (1)Syriza promised to freeze privatizations: Now it vows to extend them by 3.2 billion Eurosand privatize new public sectors. (2) Syriza has agreed to shift scarce public resources to the military, including an investment of $500 million Euros to upgrade the Greek Air Force. (3) Syriza plundered the national pension fund and municipal treasuries of over a billion Euros to meet debt payments to the Troika. (4) Syriza is cutting public investments in job creating infrastructure projects to meet Troika deadlines. ( 5) Syriza has agreed to a budget surplus of 0.6% at a time when Greece is running a 0.7% deficit this year meaning more cuts later this year. (6) Syriza promised to reduce the VAT on essentials like food; now it accepts a 23% rate.

Syriza's foreign policy mimics its predecessors. Syriza's far right Defense Minister, Panos Kammenos, has been a vocal supporter of the US and EU sanctions against Russia- despite the usual flurry of Syriza's faked "dissent" to NATO policies, followed by total capitulation to remain in good standing with NATO. The Syriza regime has allowed each and every well-known kleptocrat and tax evader to retain their illicit wealth and to add to their overseas holdings with massive transfers of their current savings'out of the country. By the end of May 2015, Prime Minister Tsipras and Finance Minister Varofakis have emptied the Treasury to meet debt payments, increasing the prospects that pensioners and public sector workers will not receive their benefits. Having emptied the Greek Treasury, Syriza will now impose the "Troika solution" on the backs of the impoverished Greek masses: eithersign-off on a new "austerity" plan, lowering pensions, increasing retirement age, eliminating labor laws protecting workers' job security and negotiating rights or face an empty treasury, no pensions, rising unemployment and deepening economic depression. Syriza has deliberately emptied the Treasury, plundered pension funds and local municipal holdings in order to blackmail the population to accept as a fait accompli' theregressive policies of hardline EU bankers the so-called "austerity programs".

From the very beginning, Syriza gave into the Troika's dictates, even as they play-acted their principled resistance'. First they lied to the Greek public, calling the Troika international partners'. Then they lied again calling the Troika memorandum for greater austerity a negotiating document'. Syriza's deceptions were meant to hide their continuation of the highly unpopular framework' imposed by the previous discredited hard rightwing regime.

As Syriza plundered the country of resources to pay the bankers, it escalated its international groveling. Its Defense Minister offered new military bases for NATO, including an air-maritime base on the Greek island of Karpathos. Syriza escalated Greece's political and military support for EU and US military intervention and support of "moderate" terrorists in the Middle East, ludicrously in the name of "protecting Christians". Syriza, currying favor with European and US Zionists, strengthened its ties with Israel, evoking a strategic alliance' with the terrorist-apartheid state. From his first days in office, the hard right Defense Minister Kammenos proposed the creation of a "common defense space" including Cyprus and Israel thus supporting Israel's air and sea blockade of Gaza.

Conclusion

Syriza's political decision to embed' in the EU and the Eurozone, at all costs, signals that Greece will continue to be vassal state, betraying its program and adopting deeply reactionary policies, even while trumpeting its phony leftist rhetoric, and feigning resistance' to the Troika. Despite the fact that Syriza plundered domestic pensions and local treasuries, many deluded Leftists in Europe and the US continue to accept and rationalize what they choose to dub its "realistic and pragmatic compromises".

Syriza could have confiscated and used the $32 billion of real estate properties owned by the Greek Armed Forces to implement an alternative investment and development plan leasing these properties for commercial maritime ports, airports and tourist facilities.

Syriza buried Greece even deeper into the hierarchy dominated by German finance,by surrendering its sovereign power to impose a debt moratorium, leave the Eurozone, husband its financial resources, reinstate a national currency, impose capital controls, confiscate billions of Euros in illicit overseas accounts, mobilize local funds to finance economic recovery and reactivate the public and private sector. The fake "Left sector" within Syriza repeatedly mouthed impotent "objections", while the Tsipras -Varofakis sell-out charade proceeded to the ultimate capitulation.

In the end, Syriza has deepened poverty and unemployment, increased foreign control over the economy, further eroded the public sector, facilitated the firing of workers and slashed severance pay- while increasing the role of the Greek military by deepening its ties to NATO and Israel.

Equally important, Syriza has totally emptied leftist phraseology of any cognitive meaning: for them national sovereignty is translated into international vassalage and anti-austerity becomes pragmatic capitulations to new austerity. When the Tsipras Troika agreement is finally signed and the terrible toll of austerity for the next decades finally sinks into the consciousness of the Greek public, the betrayals will hopefully evoke mass revulsion. Perhaps Syriza will split, and the "left" will finally abandon their cushy Cabinet posts and join the disaffected millions in forming an alternative Party.
"There are three sorts of conspiracy: by the people who complain, by the people who write, by the people who take action. There is nothing to fear from the first group, the two others are more dangerous; but the police have to be part of all three,"

Joseph Fouche
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#77
What Stinks about Varoufakis and the Whole Greek Mess?

03.07.2015 Author: F. William Engdahl

http://journal-neo.org/2015/07/03/what-s...reek-mess/

Quote:Something stinks very bad about Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and the entire Greek mess that has been playing out since the election victory of the nominally pro-Greek Syriza Party in January. I am coming to the reluctant conclusion that far from being the champion of the hapless Greek people, Varoufakis is part of a far larger and very dirty game.

The brilliant psychologist Eric Berne, author of the seminal book Games People Play, would likely call the game of Varoufakis and the Troika, "Rapo," as in the rape of the Greek people and, ultimately of all the EU, Germany included. How do I come to this surprising conclusion?

When the left-right coalition was elected by a Greek population desperate for change from the several years of austerity, pension cuts, health and education cuts demanded by the IMF in order to insure that Greek creditors be repaid their pound of flesh in terms of state debt, I was among many who held out hope that finally a government that stood for the interests of her people was in office in Athens.

What we have witnessed since is what can only be called a clown show, one in which the laugh is on the Greek people and EU citizens as a whole. The ones laughing, as often is so, are the mega banks and TroikaECB, IMF and EU. Behind the Troika, almost invisible, are the Greek oligarchs who have robbed the state coffers of hundreds of billions over the years, tucking it away in numbered Swiss and Lichtenstein secret bank accounts, avoiding paying a single penny tax to support their nation. And it is looking more and more as though the "leftist" economist, Varoufakis's role is that of a Trojan Horse for the destruction of the entire Eurozone by the bankers and those Greek oligarchs. Next after Greece Italy looks poised to become victim, and that will put the entire Euro in a crisis that is today unimaginable.

Suspicious friends

A man is known by the company he keeps, so goes the adage. By this measure Yanis Varoufakis keeps very bad company for a finance minister who claims to be defending the living standards of his people. Before becoming Greek Finance Minister in the January coalition government of Alexis Tsipras, Varoufakis spent time in the United States working for the Bellevue Washington video game company, Valve Corporation, whose founders came from Bill Gates' Microsoft. In the late 1980's he studied economics and game theory in the UK at University of Essex and East Anglia and taught at Cambridge. Then he spent the next eleven years in Australia teaching and even taking Australian citizenship.

As an Australian citizen Varoufakis returned in 2000 to teach at the University of Athens. Then from January 2013 until his appointment as Finance Minister of Greece, Varoufakis taught at the University of Texas where he became close with James K. Galbraith, son of deceased Harvard economist, John Kenneth Galbraith, also with the Washington establishment think-tank, Brookings Institution. In short Varoufakis is an Australian citizen who has spent most of the past three decades in Britain, USA and Australia and little of that in his native Greece.

That of course per se does not disqualify him at all from being an honest and effective finance minister of his native Greece. But to date he has done more to increase the misery of the Greek people in six short months than almost anyone else, even Wolfgang Schäuble or the IMF's Christine Lagarde.

He pretends to be against austerity but his record shows the opposite. Varoufakis was the adviser to Prime Minister George Papandreou and PASOK when Papandreou made the disastrous draconian austerity deal with the EU on behalf of Greece so that French and German banks could be bailed out. Varoufakis also has at various times heaped praise on Mario Draghi and the ECB, suggesting solutions for how to keep Greece in the EU, a track that pre-programs Greece for self-destruction under the current Troika regime of austerity.

In Varoufakis' book on the EU financial crisis titled "A Modest Proposal," he invited former French Prime Minister Michael Rocard to write the forward. Rocard has called for the EU to appoint a European "strongman"read dictatorand Rocard's choice is European Parliament president Martin Schulz, the very same man who warned the new SYRIZA government to abide by the austerity agreements concluded by the past PASOK and conservative governments. Varoufakis has repeatedly argued that Greece must "grin and bear" the measures imposed on it by the bankers and the German government as a member of the Eurozone. He has insisted that a Greek Euro exit is not going to take place.

With official Greek unemployment over 30% of the workforce and economic losses because of Troika-imposed budget austerity the government's tax-revenue shortfall in January alone was 23% below its €4.5bn target for the month. The government in Athens has levied crippling taxes on the middle class and made sharp cuts to government salaries, pensions, and health-care coverage. While ordinary citizens suffer under the weight of austerity, now Banks are closed at least until the July 5 referendum on more austerity. Greece is a human catastrophe.

Strange acts

Were Varoufakis the man he pretends to be before his Greek countrymen, he would have set forth a strategy of Greek exit from the Euro and a strategy akin to that of Iceland to declare a debt moratorium, freeze all debt repayments to the TroikaIMF, ECB and EU. Then he would put Greece on a national currency, impose capital controls and seek strong economic ties with Russia, China and the BRICS countries.

Indeed, when Greek Prime Minister Tsipras was in St. Petersburg in mid-June to meet with Russian President Putin, Putin extended a very generous offer of prepayment of $5 billion towards the Greek participation in the Turkish Stream Gazprom pipeline.

That would have given Greece breathing room to service debt repayments to the IMF. Brussels and Washington of course were not at all happy with that. Putin then offered Greece membership in the new BRICS development bank which would allow Greece to borrow to get out of the worst of the crisis without more savage austerity. That of course would bring Greece closer to Russia and also to China, something Washington and Brussels oppose with all their might. But rather than accept, Greece and Varoufakis walked away from a solution that would have avoided catastrophe as it is now unfolding.

At this point it indeed looks as if Varoufakis' role has been to act as the Western bankers' Trojan Horse inside the Greek government, to prepare Greece and the Greek people for the slaughter, all the while posing as the tire-less fighter for Greek interests, all without a neck tie, of course.

As the former US Assistant Treasury and critic of the US foreign economic policies of recent years, Paul Craig Roberts recently described it, "Greece's creditors, the EU and the European Central Bank…are determined to establish the principle that they can over-lend to a country and force the country to pay by selling public assets and cutting pensions and social services of citizens. The creditor banks then profit by financing the privatization of public assets to favored customers.The agenda of the EU and the central bank is to terminate the fiscal independence of EU member states by turning tax and budget policy over to the EU itself."

Roberts goes on to state that the Greek "sovereign debt crisis" is being used to create a precedent that will apply to every EU member government. The member states will cease to exist as sovereign states. Sovereignty will rest in the EU. The measures that Germany and France are supporting will in the end terminate their own sovereignty. "

How did Greece and the European Union's Eurozone countries get in such a crisis? The energy that vibrates through all of Europe right now is not of love for fellow human beings, but of hate. There is hate from the Germans against what they are convinced are lazy and tax-cheating ordinary Greeks. They have been fed that image by controlled mainstream media itself in turn controlled by the American oligarchs and their think-tanks. There is hate from the EU Commission and the EU leadership against Greece for creating what they see as the existential crisis of the EU. There is hate from German Chancellor Merkel for ruining her legacy, perhaps.

Above all, there is hate towards the Greek people from their own Greek oligarchs. The Greek oligarchyshipping magnates, oil refinery owners, telecoms owners, media magnates, billionaires many times oversince the early 1990s, has dominated Greek politics. Greeks call them "diaplekomenoi"the entangled ones. These elites have preserved their positions through control of the media and through old-fashioned favoritism, buying politicians like Yanis Varoufakis.

The Greek oligarchs, with their untaxed billions hidden in foreign bank accounts, are willing to see their own nation destroyed to hold on to their billions. That's real hate. Those oligarchs are deeply ashamed of being Greek. That shame likely goes way way back, perhaps some 700 years, to the defeat and subjugation of Greece by the Ottoman Empire beginning in the 1360s. Maybe it's time to move on from such childish feelings of hate.
"There are three sorts of conspiracy: by the people who complain, by the people who write, by the people who take action. There is nothing to fear from the first group, the two others are more dangerous; but the police have to be part of all three,"

Joseph Fouche
Reply
#78
Quote:At this point it indeed looks as if Varoufakis' role has been to act as the Western bankers' Trojan Horse inside the Greek government, to prepare Greece and the Greek people for the slaughter, all the while posing as the tire-less fighter for Greek interests, all without a neck tie, of course.

Lot of this going around.
"We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false." --William J. Casey, D.C.I

"We will lead every revolution against us." --Theodore Herzl
Reply
#79
Paul Rigby Wrote:Suspicious friends

A man is known by the company he keeps, so goes the adage. By this measure Yanis Varoufakis keeps very bad company for a finance minister who claims to be defending the living standards of his people. ....Then he spent the next eleven years in Australia teaching and even taking Australian citizenship.

FWIW For some time since Syriza was elected I've been asking my Greek friends here, all politically active on the left, all educated and many academics, what they know about Yanis. No one has ever heard of him or had any dealings with him here. A complete mystery. None of them support Syriza. See it as a capitalist party. So not surprising.


Paul Rigby Wrote:Strange acts

Were Varoufakis the man he pretends to be before his Greek countrymen, he would have set forth a strategy of Greek exit from the Euro and a strategy akin to that of Iceland to declare a debt moratorium, freeze all debt repayments to the TroikaIMF, ECB and EU. Then he would put Greece on a national currency, impose capital controls and seek strong economic ties with Russia, China and the BRICS countries.....
...Indeed, when Greek Prime Minister Tsipras was in St. Petersburg in mid-June to meet with Russian President Putin, Putin extended a very generous offer of prepayment of $5 billion towards the Greek participation in the Turkish Stream Gazprom pipeline.

That would have given Greece breathing room to service debt repayments to the IMF.....

Well, yes, quite so. Another mystery.
Yani has said he is totally opposed to capital controls.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#80
Lauren Johnson Wrote:
Quote:At this point it indeed looks as if Varoufakis' role has been to act as the Western bankers' Trojan Horse inside the Greek government, to prepare Greece and the Greek people for the slaughter, all the while posing as the tire-less fighter for Greek interests, all without a neck tie, of course.

Lot of this going around.

Today's vote and the next few weeks will show if this is an accurate analysis.
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
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