Aug 312012
 

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the 30 August 2012 broadcast.

By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart

Clashes erupted in central Athens around lunchtime on Wednesday after rioting police tried to prevent a march that was organized by the personnel of the local municipalities of Attica. Municipal employees participating in the protest used their vehicles to block the police from obstructing the march.

Several demonstrators verbally attacked the rioting police and the conflict escalated when the rioting police retaliated by lobbing chemical weapons at the protesters. This made the situation even more explosive. A group of demonstrators tried to overturn a police vehicle during the melee that ensued.

Traffic in the center of Athens was paralyzed and the situation became chaotic. The rioting police arrested the municipal truck drivers and escorted them to the police station.

One demonstrator reminded reporters the reason for the protests. “Workers are unpaid and the municipalities cannot function anymore. We cannot provide the necessary services – services of social interest. The regime is firing people from jobs and cutting wages, making it impossible for us to support ourselves and our families.”

The municipalities remain closed today.

——————

PM meets with local administration representatives

On Wednesday, in a meeting with representatives of the Central Union of Municipalities (KEDE), Greek PM Antonis Samaras was briefed on the “dramatic” economic situation of Greece’s municipalities. KEDE representatives called for immediate assistance from the state to address the economic shortfall municipalities face.

Athens News Agency reports:

In a meeting which lasted more than two hours and held in the presence of Interior Minister Evripidis Stylianidis, KEDE president and Kallithea Mayor Costas Askounis underlined that the country’s mayors are up against an impasse, stressing that at least 40 municipalities will be unable to pay salaries in September.

Askounis said the mayors received no definitive answers from the government but expressed a hope that the interior minister will bring specific proposals to a KEDE conference that opens on Thursday.

Referring to a protest by sanitation workers in downtown Athens at the same time, Askounis said KEDE is against any extreme mobilization, stressing, however, that the situation in many municipalities is critical.

On his part, the Interior Minister said that the Prime Minister acknowledges the efforts made by the representatives of local administration and outlined three moves that could improve the situation.

Stylianidis said municipalities will receive 204 million euros from tax revenues by the end of the year and an additional 299 million euros from the state budget. He also announced a settlement for over-indebted municipalities, adding that 90 million euros in annual financial assistance will be shared by all municipalities.

——————

– At a meeting of the Political Committee of the Southwest, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras declared that many of the cuts included in the package of 11.7€ billion are ‘difficult’ and ‘painful,’ but inevitable. Without them, he said, the country would return to square one and be forced to exit the euro. Samaras added that the new austerity package would be the last. The Greek people have heard this meme repeatedly and know better than to believe Samaras, a notorious liar and traitor.

——————

Neoliberalism in Practice: The details of the Troika’s conspiracy against Greek sovereignty were devised long ago. To disguise the fact that decisions regarding Greece have already been finalized by the Troika, the Greek government-of-the-regime delivers a daily performance in a pathetic effort to hide their demoted status.

A three-page list containing 11.7€ billion in new austerity measures is being circulated to members of the media-of-the-regime. An obedient TV ‘reporter’ tells viewers that the contents on the list are being ‘negotiated’ by the coalition of the three ruling parties.

The so-called ‘ruling coalition’ does not make decisions for Greece. They forfeited that power when they betrayed their country. They are the Troika’s clerks and are tasked with enforcing the edicts from the Troika.

Here is a partial list of cuts in the new austerity package:

The public sector is on the chopping block with ‘proposed’ cuts of 1.2€ billion. This will result in a further massive loss of jobs, cuts in wages and pensions, and a 25% cut in the functional cost of public services across the board.

– Greek people can expect even more dramatic cuts to hospitals, medical services and pharmacies,

– Cuts of 135€ million euros for the military are expected.

– There will be a 25% increase on all public transportation tickets.

– In the education sector:

– Mergers are planned for universities and technical institutes.

– Educational fees will be imposed on students who do not complete their studies within four years.

– Universities and technical institutes will be subjected to additional cuts in personnel. For those who keep their jobs, working hours will be increased and wages decreased.

——————

– According to data published by the Greek Department of Labor on Thursday, uninsured work climbed to 35.4% from 29.1% in 2011 during the period of January through July. The percentage of uninsured workers exceeds 50% in seven prefectures, a trend that is rapidly expanding throughout Greece.

——————

– The General Confederation of Greek Workers, GSEE, is calling for a general strike as the details of dramatic new cuts are revealed. Here is their statement:

“Despite campaign pledges, the present government has evolved into a nerveless system, handing down the most egregious anti-labor measures. These neoliberal policies are causing intense agony and nightmarish conditions for workers. Workers now brace for a new austerity package of 11.7€  billion – an action that has all of the markings of ‘class war’ against workers.”

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Information is the backbone of the effort to liberate ourselves, not just in Greece or Europebut the whole world. Independent media is an important conduit of unfiltered information. We must build and support a network of information in order to succeed.

Please consider contributing:

ONGOING FUNDRAISER FOR StopCartel Livestream from Athens: http://stopcartel.chipin.com/stopcartel-tv-gr

——————

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece on weeknights at 6pm Athens time @ http://www.livestream.com/stopcarteltvgr

 

Aug 302012
 

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the 28 August 2012 broadcast.

By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart

Samaras says Greece won first round in bid to remain in euro: After Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras briefed Karolos Papoulias, the President of the Republic, on his recent meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande, he spoke briefly to the press:

“We are in a struggle to avoid the danger of our country’s exit from the euro. We are in a struggle to bolster the country’s negotiating position and get us closer to the goal that all three coalition party leaders have promised: Recovery. More jobs, especially for young people. And finally to have growth in this country. The drachma lobby has lost a decisive round. But we have much work ahead of us. We have our last but very tough decisions to make. Thank you very much.”

——————

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras made several comments regarding Samaras’s press briefing:

Greek society is facing the reality of a humanitarian catastrophe and the local government is responding by strangling the people with ever shrinking social services, wage cuts, pension cuts, job cuts, new emergency taxes and the privatization of public assets.”

“How can the three ruling parties so easily promise the Troika, Merkel and other European leaders that they are going to realize the terms of the Memorandum? And how can they have promised that they will find new austerity measures totaling over 15€ billion?”

“We are stating the obvious. We are sounding the alarm because the current government in Greece is going to disappear. If we don’t change directions, then within a short time we will experience unbelievable social tension. Let’s hope that through future battles, we will manage to claim the obvious.”

——————

– Communist Party (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga also weighed in on Samaras’s statements.

The austerity measures must be confronted by the Greek people with a general strike and escalating battles with the government.”

“Every sector of the Greek society is going to fight for issues that concern them. But at the same time they will participate and support the general movements. It’s not possible to watch the new package of austerity measures that will be tragic, by just simply staying inside our homes and mourning. And confronting the situation with disappointment and absolute paralysis.”

——————

– Max Keiser explains the manufactured global economic crisis:

“With the introduction of derivatives in the 70s and 80s what was made available to financial engineers was the ability to impose a financial irrigation system where this river of cash that was being generated by the economy is directed into one group of folks at the expense of everyone else. It’s clear that the gorillas in the equation keep getting fatter and fatter and the vast majority of the people are starving to death. This isn’t by accident. This is called financial engineering, derivatives enabled by using the new wave of computer-aided technologies to architect the global financial system. The people in Greece right now are facing utter collapse, but hey! the islands are for sale.”

“Now is that a coincidence that all of their income-producing assets are for sale? The infrastructure, the lottery, toll booths shipping, and the islands are for sale that are worth three or four times the debt that is being said they must pay off. Of course if they had control of their own destiny, they could pay back the debt quickly and retain their sovereignty. But no, the Troika comes in and says ‘you no longer have your sovereignty, and by the way, we are going to sell your assets for many times more than the debt that we say you owe us.’ That is nothing more than a grand heist perpetrated by the IMF on these people. And of course they have resisted. They have been in the street. They’ve protested; but they get no solidarity. People from all over the world should be in Athens right now protesting against this confiscation of wealth.”

——————

– A trader in Greece gives Business Insider a grim assessment of the mood in the country right now:

“Right now, I am afraid there is very little visibility regarding the political developments in the next few months. You might as well toss a coin.”

“At some point, however, I believe we shall reach some kind of ‘social tipping point’ regarding the ability of the Greek households and society to absorb more austerity measures, the resulting continuing steep decline in economic activity, and ever-rising unemployment. The result may well be social rebellion, maybe even civic mutiny and the associated political and parliamentary instability. This is the game plan that the neo-communists of Syriza have been preparing for over the past year or so and the one that they have actually reinforced whenever and wherever that was possible. Unfortunately, I cannot see a ‘good ending’ scenario, under the present circumstances. Now, when this tipping point may be reached is anybody’s guess. It could very well be as close as only a few months away. I do not believe that you can find anybody, within or outside Greece, that still sincerely and truly believes that the Troika process of ‘internal devaluation’ shall lead to a positive socioeconomic outcome, since no effective counter-balancing economic development measures and incentives were ever implemented, or even seriously considered.”

“Sorry I could not offer a more optimistic or positive picture and I hope that developments soon prove me wrong.”

——————

– Citizens in Crete are fighting back against the sell-off of Greek ports. A resolution published by the citizens and institutions against the sellout of the ports of Crete stated:

“We, the ordinary citizens, are representatives of social and political institutions and citizens’ groups. We oppose the exploitations / concessions of the ports of Crete, as well as any other public property under the conditions described in the Memorandum. We consider the sale of public assets an act of treason and we will use all of our power to prevent it.”

——————

– Dairy farmers / breeders of Epirus react to the sale of DODONI

On Tuesday morning, in a gathering held in the courtyard of the public dairy company, DODONI, dairy farmers and breeders expressed their strong opposition to the privatization of DODONI. Representatives of farmers from all prefectures of Epirus said that livestock throughout the country and especially in Epirus are in a very difficult position. As the cost of feed has multiplied, the state has not subsidized incremental measures to enhance primary production.

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Information is the backbone of the effort to liberate ourselves, not just in Greece or Europebut the whole world. Independent media is an important conduit of unfiltered information. We must build and support a network of information in order to succeed.

Please consider contributing:

ONGOING FUNDRAISER FOR StopCartel Livestream from Athens: http://stopcartel.chipin.com/stopcartel-tv-gr

——————

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece on weeknights at 6pm Athens time @ http://www.livestream.com/stopcarteltvgr

 

Aug 282012
 

 

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the 27 August 2012 broadcast.

By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart

– The Agricultural Dairy Industry of Epirus, DODONI, was established in 1963 by the Agricultural Bank of Greece and six Unions of Agricultural Cooperatives in the Epirus region. DODONI is the leading Greek producer and exporter of cheese products. In 2007, net profits reached 5.4€ million.

As instructed by the Troika, the government-of-the-regime is selling the public companies silently, one by one. The sale of DODONI will lead to increased unemployment and further doom in the farming sector. KKE, the communist party of Greece, stated in July:

“There will be a chain reaction of repercussions, increasing unemployment and affecting agricultural production and the entire food chain and processing chain. There will be dismissals and new, worse, labor conditions for those left in order for the private concerns to reduce their salary costs and ensure their profitability.”

——————

– On the occasion of his less-than-triumphant return from last week’s meetings in Germany and France, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras speechified about how the meetings he attended were well prepared and that no last-minute decisions were made. This is no surprise in the current climate, where politicians are administrative clerks rather than decision makers and meetings like this are just for show.

The Troika is asking for proof that the government-of-the-regime is following the terms of the Memorandum. Isn’t the current Troika-inspired humanitarian catastrophe in Greece proof enough?

Samaras concluded his remarks with a mantra that is deliberately and repeatedly used to terrorize and brainwash the Greek people: It’s very important that Greece remain in the Euro zone and on the euro.

And in an apparent attempt to make starvation sound noble, Samaras asserted that “this battle transcends political parties and the voices” (of the Greek people?) “that are heard next to us. We will continue to fight this battle because this is what our country demands! We are obliged to do this!”

——————

– On Monday, Angela Merkel was interviewed about her meetings with Samaras. Responding to a question about Samaras’s trustworthiness, Merkel responded that in the past the Prime Minister has appeared as the savior of his country. She said, “I have spoken to Samaras and I get the impression that he is making serious efforts. Obviously, we have lost a lot of confidence over the last two years. Because of these circumstances, every action to enforce the efforts underway counts. Greece’s commitments need to become real actions.”

——————

Costas Lapavitsas is a professor of economics at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies. He teaches the political economy of finance and is a regular columnist for The Guardian.

In an interview conducted by Paul Jay of the Real News Network, Lapavitsas made the following statements:

Well, the situation is definitely getting worse in real terms. What is happening is that the country is now forced to engage in a new bout of cuts – basically a new bout of austerity. Basically, the country will have to reduce public spending by perhaps €13.5 billion up to 2014. This is a very large sum for the Greek economy, a large proportion of its GDP. So the country’s being forced to do that. And to achieve this target, the government will now have to cut wages, pensions of public servants, and it will have to effectively fire a large number of civil servantsup to 150,000 people, to 2014.

Now, this is what the government has to do, it’s being forced to do, by the European Union. And I want to stress the complete absurdity of this in economic terms. This is a country that’s in its fifth year of recession. This recession is probably the most severe recession in the history of Greece, and it’s definitely—it’s basically a depression. Income from the—national income from the beginning of the crisis has contracted by about 20 percent. The Greeks have seen their livelihood devastated. Everything is on a downward path, with the possible exception of exports, which are not doing terribly well, but they’re not falling, at any rate.

Now, in the midst of this depression, the European Union is forcing the Greek government to implement vast cuts, additional cuts, in order to achieve a primary surplus by 2014. This is nonsense economics. It’s absurd. It’s absolutely absurd. […]

VIDEO /  FULL TRANSCRIPTS @ http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=8731

——————

– The results of a new survey refute the stereotype of  the ‘lazy Greeks.’

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the average Greek works 2,017 hours a year – more than their counterparts from any other European country. Greece is second only to South Korea.

The Dutch, on the other hand, work an average of 1,377 hours per year, the least in Europe. Germany is in second place with fewer employees, working 1,408 hours a year!

The data mentioned above, however, should not be interpreted unilaterally, as working more hours does not always equate with more productivity. So even though the Greeks work longer hours than the Germans, the OECD notes that the Netherlands and Germany are among the most productive countries in Europe, which is explained by strong expertise, financial capacity, and a smaller percentage of corruption.

——————

DER SPIEGEL: The destiny of Greece will be judged in October

The fate of Greece will be decided at the European Summit in October. Europe’s leaders are not convinced that the austerity policy pursued by the Greek government will produce results fast enough for their sadistic tastes. European partners will be invited to choose from a series of solutions and equally bad alternatives.

According to the magazine, the Greek Prime Minister’s meeting with the President of the Eurogroup, Jean-Claude Juncker, was “warm,” but only in front of television cameras. Behind closed doors, Juncker raked Samaras over the coals, warning the Greek PM that he has no options. Juncker added that the Greek government could not expect further ‘special treatment’ and that to constantly seek more time for reform is not helping anyone.

During his visit to Berlin on Friday, Samaras asked for more time to implement reforms and told Der Spiegel that he has two or three weeks to come up with a package of 14 billion in cuts over the next two years. He also promised, among other things, that he will proceed with the immediate privatization of public assets, cut more public-sector jobs and improve the tax collection system.

——————

– SYRIZA, the main opposition party in Greece, commented on Greek PM Antonis Samaras’s recent trip to Germany and France, on Monday.

“Arguments concerning the salvation of Greece and its presence in the Euro zone cannot hide the fact that the Euro zone is imploding from extreme austerity and ‘fiscal discipline’.”

“Whereas the government reports ‘successful meetings’ with European leaders, those meetings have only reaffirmed their common commitment to enforce destructive policies. The Greek people have been invited to the new looting of their incomes and rights.”

“The communication game between the government-of-the-regime and the Troika’s clerks cannot conceal that the new package will lead Greece to further economic derailment, social degradation, and a new spiral of recession and unemployment.’’

‘‘The purpose of the Memorandum is not to address the problem of debt sustainability and remaining in the Euro zone, but to implement barbaric and inhumane policies which should be overturned by workers throughout Europe.’’

——————

A father of three attempted suicide due to severe financial problems. Crushed by the weight of personal economic problems that gave him no breathing room, the 45-year-old man attempted to end his life by jumping into a river near Simi, near the border. For more than a year, he was unable to find work. The family has been living off a small income from his wife, who works only in the summer. For a family with three children, it was not nearly enough money to survive.

——————

– Ever since the ultra-nationalist Golden Dawn party gained parliamentary immunity, television time, and 50% of the vote of the Greek rioting police, they have increased their efforts to unleash hell against immigrants daring to reside within Greece’s borders.

On Saturday at 2 a.m. a group of three neo-Nazis used an incendiary explosive device in an attempt to burn Pakistani immigrants alive in their home while they slept.

In the flat, located near Saint Anargyrous, Navit Navaz was awakened by an explosion from a flaming bottle of gasoline that landed on the edge of the bed where he slept.

Mr. Navaz was brought to Thriasio Hospital and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit with severe burns on his back and hands.

——————

– For the first time into a five-year economic depression, the Greek media have published a ‘shocking spread’ depicting a Greek family foraging through the garbage for food in Thessaloniki.

While almost all the inhabitants of the city swam at a nearby beach, three figures suddenly made their appearance in the deserted streets of the square and rummaged through the garbage bins looking for sustenance.

What is more shocking? The story of a young family ‘dumpster diving’ to survive? Or the fact that the pathetic Greek media are just getting around to reporting an event which has become an everyday fact of life for the ordinary Greek after five years of imposed austerity measures?

——————

– SYRIZA is making an inquiry as to how the government-of-the-regime plans to tackle the financing and operational needs of schools this fall.

Members of SYRIZA-MCM Michalis Kritsotakis, Maria Diakaki, and Tasos Kourakis submitted those questions to the Ministers of Education, Religion, Culture and Sport, and Economy.

Schools are set to open this September, but are unable to meet even their most basic operational needs due to sharp budget cuts. The cracks in the system are visibly widening.

——————

Information is the backbone of the effort to liberate ourselves, not just in Greece or Europebut the whole world. Independent media is an important conduit of unfiltered information. We must build and support a network of information in order to succeed.

Please consider contributing:

ONGOING FUNDRAISER FOR StopCartel Livestream from Athens: http://stopcartel.chipin.com/stopcartel-tv-gr

——————

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece on weeknights at 6pm Athens time @ http://www.livestream.com/stopcarteltvgr

Aug 272012
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

Dr. Giorgos Kosmopoulos from StopCartel TV speaks about the social and political situation and the current humanitarian crisis in Greece.

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights at 6pm Athens time @ http://www.livestream.com/stopcarteltvgr 

VIDEOhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbz4GPtmbok&feature=plcp

Aug 262012
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

The world is running out of its most precious resource. True Vision’s timely film tells of the personal tragedies behind the mounting privatisation of water supplies.

More than a billion people across the globe don’t have access to safe water. Every day 3900 children die as a result of insufficient or unclean water supplies. The situation can only get worse as water gets evermore scarce.

VIDEOhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egtKx24dat8&feature=player_embedded

Aug 252012
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

* ICELAND REVOLUTION PROJECT – INTERVIEW WITH BIRGITTA JONSDOTTIR

Source: youtube

Birgitta Jónsdóttir is a member of parliament of Althing, the Icelandic parliament, formerly representing the Citizens’ Movement, but now representing The Movement. She was elected to the Icelandic parliament in April 2009 on behalf of a movement aiming for democratic reform beyond party politics of left and right. Birgitta has been an activist and a spokesperson for various groups, such as Wikileaks, Saving Iceland and Friends of Tibet in Iceland. She acts as a spokeswoman for the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative.

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PadzhH5VAns

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* AMERICA’S DESCENT INTO POVERTY

By Paul Craig Roberts, OpEdNews

The United States has collapsed economically, socially, politically, legally, constitutionally, and environmentally. The country that exists today is not even a shell of the country into which I was born. In this article I will deal with America’s economic collapse. In subsequent articles, I will deal with other aspects of American collapse.

Economically, America has descended into poverty. As Peter Edelman says, “Low-wage work is pandemic.” Today in “freedom and democracy” America, “the world’s only superpower,” one fourth of the work force is employed in jobs that pay less than $22,000, the poverty line for a family of four. Some of these lowly-paid persons are young college graduates, burdened by education loans, who share housing with three or four others in the same desperate situation. Other of these persons are single parents only one medical problem or lost job away from homelessness.

Others might be Ph.D.s teaching at universities as adjunct professors for $10,000 per year or less. Education is still touted as the way out of poverty, but increasingly is a path into poverty or into enlistments into the military services. […]

READ @ http://www.opednews.com/populum/printer_friendly.php?content=a&id=154858 

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* EGYPT TOWN BLAMES STATE FOR BLIGHTED WATER

Government neglect cited after hundreds hospitalised from drinking contaminated water in Menoufia.

 Source: Aljazeera

Hundreds of people in the Egyptian town of Menoufia have fallen ill after drinking contaminated water.

As patients with similar symptoms – including severe vomiting and diarrhoea – fill hospitals, many locals say the government is not doing enough to provide proper treatment for those affected.

Experts are seeking the cause of the contamination, but the problem reflects years of neglect for basic infrastructure across the country. […]

READ / VIDEO @ http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/08/201282491436189354.html

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* THE MARIKANA MASSACRE: SOUTH AFRICA’S UNFINISHED REVOLUTION

The massacre of 34 miners at Marikana lays bare the central contradiction of the South African “arrangement.” Back in 1994, “the ‘revolution’ was put on indefinite hold, so that a new Black capitalist class could be created, largely from the ranks of well-connected members of the ruling party and even union leaders.” The regime now represses Black workers on behalf of capital.

By Glen Ford, Voltaire

When thousands of miners went on strike at South Africa’s largest platinum mine, in Marikana, they were confronting not only the London-based owners, but the South African state, which since 1994 has been dominated by the African National Congress (ANC); COSATU, the Congress of South African Trade Unions; and the South African Communist Party. This week, the full weight of the state was brought down on the Black miners, 34 of whom were massacred by police gunfire. Many of the survivors face charges of murder in the earlier deaths of two policemen and eight other miners.

The National Union of Mineworkers, whose representation the strikers rejected, and the Communist Party head in the region claim the strikers are at fault, that they have committed the sin of choosing an alternative union to argue their case for higher wages and, therefore, deserve severe punishment. They are “anarchists,” say these two allies of the South African state, and guilty of fomenting “dual unionism” – which is now, apparently, a capital crime. With a straight face, the Communist Party had the gall to call on all South African workers to “remain united in the fight against exploitation under capitalism.” […]

READ @ http://www.voltairenet.org/The-Marikana-massacre-South-Africa

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* A SPIRAL OF DESPAIR

By Eirene, A Place Called Space

Scenes of violence errupted on Thursday in Corinth between the fascist party, local residents and municipal forces (including local MP Efstathios Boukouras) on the one hand, and the riot police and anti-racist campaigners on the other, after police tried to use an old army barracks as a detention centre for 400 immigrants who had been transported there as part of the Xenios Zeus operation. Members of the fascist group blocked the entrance to the army barracks which resulted in the immigrants having to be kept in prison buses, the so-called klouves, for hours with temperatures reaching 40oC. […]

READ / PHOTOShttp://a-place-called-space.blogspot.gr/2012/08/a-spiral-of-despair.html

Aug 242012
 

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the 23 August 2012 broadcast.

By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart

– Samaras meets Juncker – Greek PM Antonis Samaras and Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the Eurogroup and of Luxembourg, gave a press conference on Thursday after their meeting. Samaras proudly welcomed Juncker, whom he called his ‘personal friend’ and a ‘true friend of Greece’.

Samaras, who is personally untouched by the economic crisis, urged the Greek people to take courage and stoically accept more painful austerity measures. He wore his best ‘sympathetic’ face for the occasion as he ruled out the possibility of a two-year extension and a new ‘‘haircut’’ on Greek debt.

Juncker, referring to rumors of a Greek exit from the euros stated firmly that he was opposed to such a scenario. He said it would not only be bad for Greece, but for the Eurozone as a whole. “It’s your last chance,” Juncker warned. He concluded his statements by saying, “The ball is in Greece’s court.” As if the Troika were not calling all the shots.

——————

– On Thursday, the Corinth Anti-Racist Initiative held a rally to denounce the ‘literally overnight’ conversion of Camp Corinth into a concentration camp where 400 immigrants are currently imprisoned.

Riot police from the Peloponnese and Attica have formed a line at the gate of the camp. Demonstrators have assembled at the site, protesting against the immigrant detention settlement.

The Anti-Racist Initiative made the following statement:

We denounce the racist “Xenios Zeus” program that began today in our city and we want to make ourselves clear:

NO PRISON CAMP ANYWHERE. EVER. We refuse to relive the horrors of fascism. It is convenient for the racists to eat each other and blame each. We say NO! to social cannibalism. FIGHT POVERTY, NOT THE DESTITUTE!” 

——————

– In Greece, the school year will begin with a nationwide teachers’ strike. On September 12 all Greek teachers are called to action.

Komninos Mantas, president of the country’s primary teachers’ union (DOE) described the reason for the strike:

“Schools should have what is necessary to enable them to operate. There is a serious problem at the moment with the costs of schools which cannot be covered, as schools owe huge amounts. Several schools will even start the school year without electricity.”

Somehow, the Troika remains willfully blind to the catastrophe they are orchestrating in Greece.

A June TES UK article entitled Teaching in a climate of despair paints a bleak picture of the devastating effects the economic crisis has had on Greek schools, children, and their teachers. From nurseries to universities, no one is spared:

How would you feel if your salary had already been halved in the past two years and was continuing to drop every time you opened your pay packet?

Could you work in a country where protesting primary teachers are chased and beaten by the police and many pupils no longer see any point in studying?

A place where some teachers struggle to afford to feed their own children, and all have endured massive cuts in their pensions and free health care. Somewhere where pupils have fainted in class from hunger and schools have shut for days at a time because no one can afford the heating.

Could you teach in a school where textbooks arrive months late, if at all, and you have to bring in your own paper? How would you react if the national education budget had been slashed, more than 1,000 schools closed and teacher numbers were being deliberately run down – with 30,000, or nearly one in five, posts being cut? Could you handle teaching in a country where youth unemployment was nearly 50 per cent and hope was rapidly running out?

This is not some fictional nightmare, a disaster in the developing world, nor a grim vision from history. This is Greece in 2012. […]

——————

– Piraeus pharmacists held a 24-hour strike on Thursday to protest the failure of the National Health Service to allocate an operational budget. Pharmacists’ wages have been dramatically cut and supplies are dwindling, with no money to keep necessary medicines in stock.

On Saturday, a general meeting of the Panhellenic Pharmaceutical Association (PFS) will convene to assess the emerging catastrophe. Many are bracing for a nationwide suspension of credit to EOPYY, the National Organization for Healthcare Provision, beginning on Saturday, September 1, due to the fund’s debts.

edathimerini.com reports:

Pharmacies in 14 prefectures of Greece are refusing to provide medicines on credit to customers insured with the National Organization for Healthcare Provision (EOPYY) due to the fund’s debts.

EOPYY owes 117 million euros for prescriptions in May and another 145 million for drugs provided in June.

Pharmacists from Thessaloniki, Imathia, Pieria, Halkidiki and Kilkis joined the boycott on Thursday, saying that they will be forced to close if EOPYY fails to settle its bills.

Customers in these areas will have to pay for the drugs themselves until the matter is settled.

The Panhellenic Pharmaceutical Association is due to meet on August 25 to decide whether to take nationwide action.

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Greek PM Antonis Samaras was interviewed by the French daily Le Monde in an article entitled, “Greece is ready to sell its uninhabited islands.”

In the interview, “real estate broker” Samaras specifically says:

 “On condition that it doesn’t pose a national security problem, some of the isles could be used commercially,” Samaras was quoted by the newspaper. “It would not be a case of getting rid of the isles, but of transforming unused terrain into capital that can generate revenue, for a fair price.”

Contradictions from government sources have emerged. They claim the reference to the islets in Samaras’s interview are uninhabited islands and will NOT be sold.

Who to believe? The liar or the cheat?

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The wildfires on the island of Chios are raging for a sixth consecutive day, mainly in the center of the island. The fire, which erupted at dawn on Saturday, has caused a huge ecological disaster, having already burned thousands of acres of pine and mastic forests.

RELATED POST:The Future is Presentby Yiannis Makridakis: http://99getsmart.com/?p=4600

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