StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the 19 September 2012 broadcast.
By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart
- Documentary filmmaker Stelios Kouloglou spoke to Piazza Web TV about his film, Apology of an Economic Hitman and its historical relationship with the current reality in Greece.
The project, which largely explains the economic crisis and recent events in Greece, stars John Perkins, who from 1971 to 1981 worked for a multinational consultancy firm, Chas. T. Main Inc., as an economist. In reality, however, Perkins was a ‘financial executor’ who was recruited by the CIA. When he enlisted, he was required to take an oath of silence. He kept his mouth shut until September 11, 2001 when he decided to publicly expose the dark side of American capitalism by writing The Confessions of an Economic Hitman.
Stelios Kouloglou: My film concerns the history of an ‘economic killer.’ John Perkins was an economist working for a private company who was cooperating with the Pentagon, the World Bank, and the IMF. The target for economic killers is to go into a country in order to enslave that country economically and politically. The basic tool used for this procedure is the country’s foreign debt. The typical tactic was for target countries, particularly Third World countries, to be given huge loans with the foreknowledge that those countries would never be able to pay back those loans.
WebTV: Do you believe that something like that is happening today in Greece?
Stelios Kouloglou: To a certain extent, yes. They have adapted their methods to a country that is not exactly a Third World country. Greece is not in Latin America, but belongs to the European Union. It’s in the so-called new era. Goldman Sachs has played the role of the economic killer in the last several months.
WebTV: Do you believe a domino effect will take place in the EU? Do you believe the target could be the euro?
Stelios Kouloglou: Certainly it is one of the targets. The euro is not the only target, but one of the targets. The other target is the European Union itself, in an effort to impose neo-liberal policies in order to take away workers’ rights throughout Europe. This is what we are experiencing at this time.
WebTV: Can we resist?
Stelios Kouloglou: Of course we can resist! But resistance in one isolated country is not enough. There must be cooperation between all the countries of Europe, in order to form a united front in solidarity. This is especially true for the ones under direct attack now. Greece is on the forefront of the battle, but I feel resistance will be formed throughout Europe. Although we are in a very difficult position, I am deeply optimistic.
Full Documentary @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ui0NL3bb21o
- People are pouring into the city of Piraeus from the greater Athens area and from all over the region in order to fill their prescriptions. The Union of Pharmacists in the city of Piraeus have suspended their strike in order to give people the opportunity to go to the pharmacies and get the medicines they need. Access to prescription medicines has deteriorated so severely that people must drive for hours to get to Piraeus and once there, they must queue up for hours waiting and hoping for a chance to get their medicines.
- SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras’s remarks in Parliament on Wednesday:
“Within this very bad atmosphere and as a member of SYRIZA and like all democratic citizens, we feel pain for our country. We have made the choice to be on the front lines of resistance in the social battles ahead. We will be on the front lines to protect democracy and social unity both inside Parliament and inside society.
Inside the Parliament, everyone knows the quality and quantity of the job of a Parliamentarian group. SYRIZA has the least Parliamentarian experience, yet our party has presented the most solutions. Every day, SYRIZA is fighting for the Greek people, by giving a voice to the agony of the people. Now we are on the front lines against the barbaric attempt of the government to impose even more austerity measures. We must be and we will be on the front lines of this battle in order to avoid total catastrophe for our country – to avoid the looting of public property. The government has forgotten about the parliamentarian technicalities. Parliamentarian democracy still exists in Greece and we are prepared to protect it.
The voting procedure is a blackmailing procedure, but that does not indemnify members of Parliament from their personal responsibilities. Every MP is responsible for their choices. We also have a responsibility to the nation, to history and to society. This is our constitutional duty. SYRIZA will be the front lines inside Parliament and outside in society.
We are inspired by the political activism of the youth, who have faith that we can stop this. This nation resists and refuses to be the experimental animal for neo-liberal Europe. Already the resistance from the people has success. Greek citizens have already overturned two Troika governments. Now it’s time to overthrow the third government in order to avoid the social catastrophe looming ahead.”
- In central Athens, Ministry of Finance workers including customs officers, tax officials and clerks, have occupied the entrance of the Ministry of Finance, blocking the building’s entrance from the Troika’s clerks, who are scheduled to meet with finance ministers on Wednesday.
- Greek Minister of Finance Yiannis Stournaras claims that Greece has turned a corner. “I am more optimistic … we have turned the corner. There is more trust between us and our partners, but we still have a long way to go. We have to have clear up everything in the next two weeks so that everything can be put on the table at the [next] HYPERLINK “http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/euro” euro group meeting on October 8. If we can’t clear everything there can be no agreement.”
Asked if relations between Germany and Greece have improved, Stournaras replied, “There is a better chemistry in relations between Greece and Germany. That is what I feel, but they [the Germans] have to be asked as well.”
From the Guardian:
In an interview published in Sunday’s edition of Oesterreich , the Austrian finance minister, Maria Fekter, said Greece would be given more time to meet deficit reduction targets although she made clear the payment extension would not mean more money being injected into the €240 bn EU-IMF-sponsored bailout already agreed with Athens.
“We are still awaiting the Troika report,” Fekter said, referring to the assessment of Greece’s fiscal progress debt auditors are expected to deliver in October. “And Greece still has to get some things on track but we will achieve a cost-neutral extension.”
However, in a separate interview with Dutch newspaper Der Standard, Fekter suggested Greece might only be given “a few more weeks’ time.”
After years of putting austerity policies before the rights and needs of its citizens, Greece’s economy has contracted by nearly 20% over the last three years amid soaring unemployment and poverty rates.
- NATIONWIDE GENERAL STRIKE
The General Confederation of Greek Labor and the Presidency of the Federations and Labor Centers of Attica have decided to take action and are calling for the greatest possible participation in a nationwide general strike that will take place on Wednesday 26 September beginning 11 a.m. at Mars Field. Solidarity!
- The Labor Department announced on Tuesday, that it will close the Krosfild kindergartens in Keratsini. Parents of the students who attend the school asserted that the public needs free preschools with modern infrastructure and adequate teaching staff increases. Closing public kindergartens is a ‘gift’ to private kindergartens in Athens.
- Economic insecurity of the Greeks
The results of research done by BCG are revealing for Greece. The study shows that for most consumers, the world has already changed dramatically, while Greeks believe that the situation will deteriorate even more, leading them to make drastic changes in their consumer habits.
Nine out of ten Greeks polled said they feel anxious about the future and are suffering the highest stress levels ever seen by any country surveyed, at any time.
Almost all Greeks feel they have been personally affected by the economic crisis. Low self-esteem has led to a significant reduction in purchases compared to previous years:
68% say they will reduce all purchases
28% will remain the same
4% plan to increase their purchases.
70% of respondents said that Greece feels economically insecure
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