Aug 062012
 

 

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the August 3, 2012 broadcast. 

By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart

– Reports on Thursday state that the loan sharks, the big industrialists and the Troika are expressing their disappointment with Greece. There are rumblings about Germany exiting the eurozone because the currency has little chance of survival. Germans are speaking openly and loudly to the head of the ECB, which is Germany’s way of saying NO MORE MONEY FOR THE BANKRUPT STATES. According to the report, Germany needs to look at all of its options.

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– On Thursday, Alexis Tsipras made comments regarding Wednesday evening’s latest theatrical performance by the three leaders of the coalition party. Tsipras accused the puppet government of conspiring to craft the latest false impressions to force-feed the Greek people, in an effort to distract them from the new austerity measures that are about to crush what’s left of Greece.

He said the new austerity measures that the government-of-the-regime has agreed to are the cornerstone of the Greek economy. With the full approval of the puppet government, the Troika is stealing the best of the country while they kick Greece out of the eurozone. Tsipras promised that SYRIZA will do whatever they can, inside and outside the parliament, to form social coalitions with the unions and all social organizations, in order to avoid this catastrophe.

Tsipras added that SYRIZA, along with the Greek people, are taking the responsibility for the rebirth and recovery of the country. He insists that there is still time to avoid catastrophe and that SYRIZA is interested in stopping the government-of-the-regime from implementing these policies that will force Greece into bankruptcy.

He concluded his comments by promising that SYRIZA will make every effort to thwart the current government from fulfilling the terms of the Memorandum, implementing the demands of the Troika.

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– After the Greek Minister of Finance, Yiannis Stournaras, met with members of the Troika, the spokesmodels from the mainstream media catapulted the propaganda by dutifully repeating the meme … the three leaders of the coalition party wish to impose less painful austerity measures over a longer period of time, but the daily admonitions from the Troika are always the same: Austerity measures must be imposed immediately.

Stournaras said, “The Prime Minister said that it must be accepted—as a necessary condition for our country to remain in the euro zone and be able to negotiate further—to cut public spending by another €11.5 billion.”

The puppet government wants people to believe that they are fighting to make as few cuts as possible and to impose less painful austerity measures. The reality is that the decisions regarding what will be cut have already been made. The government-of-the-regime seems to completely miss the irony of their empty words as they repeatedly attempt to distance themselves from any responsibility for the terms of Memorandum.

Strournaras lies without hesitation when he says that “everything was done to serve the best interests of the Greek people.”

According to reports, the new cuts will largely come from pensions, health allowances, benefits, and state utility salaries. Of the 11.5€ billion to be cut from Greece’s budget, employees, pensioners and patients are scheduled for 5€ billion in cuts. Some of the proposed measures include:

Pensions: A 5% cut for pensions 1,000-1,400€. A 10% cut for pensions over 1,400€. The cut will be applied to the total amount for those receiving more than one pension.

Allowances, Social Benefits: More than 89 social and welfare benefits will be given according to income and social criteria. Only the unemployment allowance and EKAS (a welfare benefit for low pensioners) are “untouched’’ by the measures, even though a very low income cap was set and applied last year for EKAS.

There have been some rumors that there will be cuts to unemployment allowance for seasonal workers (agriculture, tourism), but this has not been confirmed.

Lump sum: There will be a lump-sum cut of 22.67% for civil servants, and a total of 40% in cuts for insurance funds that pay a higher lump sum than the employees’ contributions.

Healthcare: Maximum annual spending per insured patient will be 1,500€! This amount includes expenditures covered by insurance funds for prescription medicine, two check-ups per year and one hospital stay.

If this amount is exhausted before the year’s end, patients will have to pay 10€  per visit to a doctor and 15% of the daily cost for a hospital stay.

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– On 2 August, 99GetSmart reported:

Minas Hatzidakis, an unemployed father of seven, was arrested today in Iraklio, Greece for a debt of 5,000€ ‘owed’ to the government. Greek law requires small businesses to be registered with a government treasury in order to maintain a business license. A mandatory monthly payment of 450€, regardless of monthly income, is also required to cover health insurance and to provide for a small pension. Hatzidakis had closed down his small company a year ago due to the financial crisis. But the payments are considered due and he was arrested for his debt. Hatzidakis is president of a civic solidarity movement named for St. Catherine.

Man with 7 children arrested – update from Keep Talking Greece:

Handcuffs for a jobless father of 7 for owing the state €5,000

It all started a year ago, when Minas Hatzidakis decided to put “padlock” to his private security company, he had established in 2008. Due to the economic crisis Hatzidakis was unable to bear the costs and keep his company going. He closed down the company that left the family will debts.

Hatzidakis and his family managed to survive due to financial aid by his colleagues and friends from the Labour centre of Iraklio.

On Tuesday night, an unpleasant surprise: Security officers paid a visit to Hatzidakis home politely stressing” You either pay your debts to the state or you go to jail.”

Speaking to Proto Thema, Hatzidakis said, he was unable to pay his debts to the state for one simple reason: he has no money.

“I do not have the money to give to the State. I am a law abiding citizen, but I fail to pay off my debts, as I am unemployed. The company I had left only debts. My wife and I are unemployed. There is no money even to buy basic goods. Where can I find  5,000 euros for the taxes?”

Hatzidakis spoke to PrTh while he was at the court to hear the verdict.

Socratis Vardakis, chairman of the Labour Centre of Iraklio, proposed that the prosecutor integrate the debtor into community service programmes of the municipality so that Hatzidakis can earn money and pay his debts.

Municipalities in times of austerity offer part-time jobs or temporary contracts of up to 8 months for maximum 700-800 euro gross.

Where Hatzidakis’ family would find money for food and other basic needs…. that’s another story. Charity by friends.

Local media (see link above) report that Hatzidakis is also member of a civic solidarity movement and that  the locals try to find a solution his legal problems exploring all possibilities.

UPDATE: The prosecutor accepted the locals’ proposals and Hatzidakis will work 380 hours in total (4 hours/day) at the municipality. He will not receive salary but the municipality will direct the money to the state registers. He will start working at the beginning of September.

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– The ‘annual’ emergency tax bills are currently being issued at the electricity company, but with a twist. Last year, the emergency tax bill was attached to the electric bill. Unpaid bills resulted in the electric company cutting off power to your house. This year, unpaid emergency tax bills will be sent to the Receiver of Revenue.

For more information: Greece’s New Property Tax @ http://livingingreece.gr/2011/09/19/new-property-tax-greece/#more-6982\

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– Protesters turned out in the streets of Greece on Friday, in one of the largest demonstrations the country has seen in weeks. Some 1,000 employees of ATE Bank and Hellenic Post Bank shut down main roads in downtown Athens.

The protest comes during a five-day strike by over 5,000 employees of the formerly state-owned Agricultural Bank of Greece (ATEBank). Workers are protesting a government decision to sell the institution to the privately owned Pireaus Bank.

The deal, which is worth an estimated 95€ million will see the bank’s assets divided and its profitable parts sold to Pireaus Bank. Non-performing loans and other loss-making assets will be kept under state management.

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– In Heraklion, the employees of two of the area’s hospitals are on strike to protest the critical problems that the healthcare system in Greece is facing, due to the brutal austerity measures imposed by the Troika.

Greek hospitals are in dire straits. Not only is there a severe shortage of doctors, nurses and other vital personnel but medicine and disposable items are in short supply, as well. Patients must bring their own syringes and catheters to the hospital for their own personal use.

Nursing staffs have diminished so drastically that the normal functions of local hospitals cannot be maintained. The Greek Federation of Nurses reported that since 2005 the country’s nursing staff diminished by 13,703 or 31.6%.

StopCartel is calling out for people to assist Greece by organizing collection drives to help supply Greek hospitals with medicines and medical supplies. Please contact Giorgos at StopCartel for more information:  info@stopcartel.org

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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 extremely 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://99getsmart.com/?p=3667

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

 

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