StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the 21 August 2012 broadcast.
By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart
– Greece’s main opposition party, SYRIZA, released an official statement on Tuesday:
“The voracious Memorandum monster is constantly asking for more. The Troika demands 11.5€ billion now. Tomorrow they will demand 3.5€ billion, and after they will demand 15.5€ billion. The demands will continue until there is nothing left in the country for the lenders to steal. To complete this policy, incomes and workers’ rights have been slaughtered. Liquidating the public wealth has nothing to do with tackling the debt or with Greece’s staying in the euro. The goal of the domestic and foreign Troika is to eliminate any sense of democracy or the welfare state, in the name of neoliberalism and in the interests of capital. Workers and youth will put an end to the impasse of brutal, unpopular measures by reversing the policy and by designing a strategy for revitalizing the economy and protecting society.”
– According to ADEDY, the Greek Civil Servants’ Confederation, the 2013-2014 austerity measures of €11.5 billion in cuts for Greece will be the ‘coup de grâce’ dealt to Greek society. Despite strong opposition from the unions, the ‘barbaric aggression’ against employees and society by the Troika and the government-of-the-regime continues.
– Germany’s position on the Greek issue was expressed by Guido Westerwelle, the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, during his official visit to Athens on Tuesday after a meeting in Berlin with his Greek counterpart, Dimitris Avramopoulos (aka ‘Mr. Nothing’).
euronews TV reported that Germany is maintaining a hard line with Greece as Athens lobbies for two more years in which to reduce its deficit to promised levels. After Westerwelle and Greece’s Dimitris Avramopoulos met in Berlin, Westerwelle said that Greece must press on with the reforms and austerity measures in return for bailout money. He added that a substantial softening of the agreed reforms is not an option for the German government.
The Greek Foreign Minister put his case forward, saying austerity measures without stimulus for growth and liquidity of the market would not lead to an economic boom, but to less productivity and more people out of work.
‘Mr. Nothing’ said that his government will present additional spending cuts in several weeks, enough to satisfy the Troika, worth 11.5€ billion and will include further cuts to pensions, public sector wages, welfare benefits and healthcare expenses. Allegedly, the problem is that Greece has previously promised more than it has delivered.
– The Troika has made familiar demands on the ‘new government’ in Greece – to continue to force-feed the same unsustainable policies of the previous governments, against the will of the majority of the Greek people. The Troika’s policies have created unemployment rates in Greece that stand at an unprecedented historical record. For young people between the ages of 18-25 the unemployment rate is over 50%.
The new package of measures put forward by the ND-PASOK-Democratic Left coalition will lead to even greater decline and decay of the economy for years to come. The high unemployment among the population in general and youth in particular is plunging Greece into even greater economic and social devastation. The current humanitarian catastrophe in Greece is forcing more and more young men and women to migrate.
SYRIZA stated that its first priority is to tackle unemployment and to support the unemployed. SYRIZA urges workers, young people, and the unemployed to join the struggle to overthrow the policies and claim another political development of reconstruction.
– In an exclusive interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle warned of the danger of the euro project and expressed concern over the ‘wrong tone’ that officials from both countries have publicly taken. He said that it only serves to aggravate relations between the two countries.
Westerwelle said that the German government wants to maintain the unity of the Eurozone. He added that Berlin will not accept anything less than the agreed reforms and highlighted the need for fiscal consolidation to be combined with strengthening competitiveness and a commitment to solidarity between the partners.
– On Tuesday, the Flemish newspaper De Standaard weighed in on the manufactured economic crisis in Greece in a recent comprehensive analysis entitled, “The Euro Crisis Returns, Again.”
According to the newspaper, Greece remains center stage and is expected to remain in the spotlight next week. De Standaard notes that the future looks bleak for Greece, to the extent that Greece has failed to disengage from the deadly spiral of draconian cuts, which is plunging the country into an ever deeper recession and unsustainable debt accumulation.
– Greece received a vote of confidence from Wolfgang Bernsen, a member of the Culture Committee of the German Parliament, who was in Athens and met with the Prefect of the South Aegean, Ioannis Machairidis.
Mr. Bernsen attributes his visit to his personal interest and in the interests of his committee. He expressed concerns over the impact of the economic crisis on culture, the function of archaeological services, and the maintenance of monuments around the country.
Bernsen said that he belongs to the large group of German parliamentarians who support Greece. He concluded his remarks by saying that “without Greece, Europe would lose half of its value.”
– On Tuesday, the Public Power Corporation cut off the electricity to Aristotle University of Thessaloniki without any prior notice. Due to the economic crisis, the University is behind on its payments.
Administrators at the institution complained that the move severely damaged laboratory equipment.
The Director of the Laboratory of Agriculture at Aristotle University, Professor Andreas Thrasyvoulou, stated: “The laboratory is equipped with sensitive equipment. Cutting the power without warning has caused an estimated 500,000€ in damage. Where will the money to repair the damage come from?”
– The combination of the economic crisis and diminished incomes is driving Greek families to find alternative methods of heating their homes this winter to help stem the costs of high-priced fuel. Thousands of Greek families are stocking up on wood for the winter. Fireplaces that were once mostly used as a decorative feature will now be used to heat Greek homes. Families that live in homes without fireplaces are purchasing wood-burning stoves.
This is but one example of how the quality of life in Greek society has been dramatically diminished.
– The Troika is demanding even more drastic cuts from Greece pensioners. Those receiving between 800€ and 900€ a month will experience a further cut of 2% to 20%. An estimated 4,000 pensioners will be affected by these new cuts.
Further cuts of 35% will be applied for people receiving more than one pension and a ceiling of 1,000€ will be imposed on pensions at this level. This comes on top of past cuts and repeal of the so-called 13th and 14th salaries.
For example, pensioners who receive150€ a month will see a reduction of 240€ per year, while pensioners receiving 1,200€ a month will see a decrease in income of 432€ per year. The addition of the current austerity measures on top of past cuts dramatically reduces a pensioner’s ability to survive.
– ECUADOR: The Ecuadorian President, Rafael Correa, said that if Britain storms the Ecuadorian Embassy in order to arrest and extradite Julian Assange, as they are threatening, Britain will be committing ‘diplomatic suicide.’
Speaking on state television, President Correa added that illegally storming the Ecuadorian Embassy would pave the way for the invasion of British embassies around the world.
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