StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the 20 August 2012 broadcast.
By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart
– On the island of Hydra, 40 miles from Athens, residents revolted against the ‘financial police’ on Friday. The problem started during a routine inspection at a local seafood restaurant, when a financial police inspector found that several tables at the restaurant had not been issued a VAT receipt, as the law requires.
When the 55-year-old owner of the restaurant was asked to accompany the inspector to the police station, she fainted. When she came to, she asked to be taken to the hospital, citing health problems. She was transferred to a local hospital where she was guarded to prevent escape.
Meanwhile, the police prepared a case against the woman and arrested her 25-year-old son, who works at the restaurant. Seeing the young man in handcuffs angered several residents who began to protest outside the police station, demanding the young man’s release.
By nightfall, 200 people had gathered and surrounded the police station. Some residents cut off the water and electricity to the building, effectively holding the police hostage. Protesters also blocked access to the port because they believed the police would try to transport the young man to Athens.
At 9 pm, when a Flying Dolphin docked at the port, protesters boarded the boat, looking for the young man, which resulted in a heated exchange with the crew. The Port Authorities intervened and escorted the protesters off the boat.
Meanwhile, 200 people continued to stand guard around the police station until the early morning when the Athens riot police arrived, in full gear, to rescue their captive colleagues. It was the first time rioting police have been dispatched to Hydra. The unarmed residents did not intervene with the rioting police. The police station was liberated.
The issue has been resolved by dispatching a second squad of rioting police to the island. The rioting police will now accompany the financial police inspectors on their rounds.
Riot police on Hydra:
– In a recent statement, SYRIZA MP Manolis Glezos denounced the continued cover-up and fraud of the Greek government-of-the-regime.
Specifically, Mr. Glezos said, “For one year I complained publicly that the Municipal Council of Paros built 1,300 luxury homes owned by foreigners, which hired 750 workers online per day. The Greek Financial Crime Unit (SDOE) did not intervene. This is tax evasion in its most extreme form. Is it because the government glosses over issues like this, and then afterwards, decides to use Hydra-type campaigns?”
– On Monday, the Greek Foreign Minister, Dimitris Avramopoulos, reiterated that he is not expecting any substantial change to Germany’s position regarding the terms of the Memorandum. At a meeting in Berlin, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle remained adamantly against the issue of renegotiating the Faustian Pact. Avramopoulos noted that in the coming weeks, Greece will present a package of pre-cuts, in compliance with its commitments.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is scheduled to visit Berlin this week. Samaras stated that a third aid package is unlikely. Samaras is expected to request a two-year extension to the deadline when he meets with French and German leaders this week.
– Allianz: If you break down the euro and the Eurozone, Europe will become 50% poorer.
The Eurozone is moving headlong towards closer fiscal and political union, despite the difficult road that is ahead. The main reason for this perspective is the effect on both the periphery and the core. Splitting the cost is so high that it does not compare to the rescue and more convergence.
According to the latest report by the chief economist of the German insurance group Allianz, Stefan Hofrichter, if Greece left the euro, then the impact on the periphery of the Eurozone would be 25-50% and for each subsequent year, the contraction would exceed 5%. For the core countries, the cost would be 3-5% for the first year and 1% in subsequent years.
– A major wildfire at the Karyes site on the island of Chios erupted early on Saturday and continues to rage for a fourth consecutive day. The fire abated on Sunday, but strong winds continue to threaten the area. There are no reports of damage to homes, but the fire has destroyed thousands of hectares of forest, including 40% of mastic trees. Soldiers and volunteers helped 120 firefighters continue to fight the blaze, backed by 50 fire trucks and 11 water tankers.
Fires were also reported in the prefecture of Irakleio on Crete, Mani in the southern Peloponnese, and Kechries in Corinthia.
– Despite the economic crisis, there is a 30% increase in Greek students opting for university studies abroad, mostly in Italy, the UK, and neighboring Balkan countries. While Greek universities are free, they rate poorly on world university listings.
In Thessaloniki, it is reported that due to the economic crisis, migrations to Germany have increased as well. On average, there are 20 new migrations per week, mostly women.
– A country-wide program persecuting and deporting immigrants is a high priority throughout Greece. In the city of Volos in northern Greece, the Police Department of Magnesia, Municipal Police, and the Volos Urban Area Office of Sanitation had orders for the direct removal of Bulgarians and other immigrants living in miserable conditions and allegedly posing a serious risk to public health. Tons of garbage and other materials have been removed from these areas and various suspected stolen objects are being investigated by the police and will be returned to their rightful owners. Around 40 people were arrested.
– Employees of the Serres Hospital occupied the office of the Governor of the hospital at 11:30 Monday morning to protest the delay in payment of compensation for overtime, night work and holidays. In a previously held General Assembly of the Association of Hospital Workers – Serres, the decision was made to gain entry and occupy the Governor’s office.
The government-of-the-regime’s policy to withhold payment to state employees will lead to more actions of this nature and to the closing of hospitals, which will effectively hurl Greece towards third-world status.
– SYRIZA MP Rena Dourou requested that members of SYRIZA withhold making public statements regarding their personal views about the economy. This came after statements were made by SYRIZA MP Panagiotis Lafazani, who said, “The bankruptcy is not necessarily destructive. It is a weapon of the weak. When they reach the point they cannot pay their debts, we must not appear as bogeyman.”
Dimitris Stratoula, SYRIZA MP, intervened in the ‘discussion,’ calling Lafazanis’s statement ‘obvious.’ If SYRIZA were elected, he said, they would have terminated the Memorandum. And if lenders continued to blackmail the Greek government, “then we would stop paying the debt.”
In an interview on NET radio, Ms. Dourou stated that MPs have many struggles behind them and should not antagonize citizens with too much debt. These kinds of statements serve to aggravate the situation and appear as self-promotion, rather than as an attempt to collectively formulate an alternative.”
– In a letter to the “social partners” on July 31, Labor Minister J. Vroutsis wrote, “Assuming hypothetically that all employers’ organizations agree to an increase in the minimum wage from 586 to 701 million – an increase of 19.62% – then you could alternatively, instead of increasing the minimum wage, hire one worker for every five employed today. At this juncture, it would be much more effective.”
Vroutis’s statement comes in response to the proposal of employer-capitalist organizations to increase the minimum wage and lower other wages somewhere between the level they were before the Troika’s ‘intervention’ – an overall reduction of 22% and 32% for youth under the age of 25.
This, of course, is theater. The capitalists are playing the role of the generous benefactors while the Minister of Labor happily plays the role of villain. The capitalists pretend they are willing to increase basic wages, but the Minister of Labor is opposed. Clearly, Vroutsis is acting as an agent of the capitalists, doing their dirty work for them.
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