Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart
* CAYMAN ISLANDS TO DISCLOSE HIDDEN COMPANIES AND DIRECTORS
By icarus, ClassWarfareExists
The Cayman Islands has been just one of a handful of countries which are primarily used for tax evasion by exploiting the tax code and the protections of foreign governments. As a British territory – their laws are very much under the influence of what Britain does and doesn’t want. Which makes it all the more interesting that the Cayman Islands monetary authority is now going to be disclosing a laundry list of previously hidden corporations and hedge funds using the Caymans for cover from transparency. In addition – the names of those involved will be visible for the first time as well which will make it that much easier for Western governments to identify tax schemes. This is an assault on tax cheats – mainly corporations and wealthy individuals.
The Caymans Islands is just the latest country to submit to banking transparency in a very long recent list. […]
* PRISON LABOR BOOMS IN US AS LOW-COST INMATES BRING BILLIONS
* GREEK ANARCHISTS ON THE ANARCHIST MOVEMENT IN GREECE
By Sean Matthews, anarkismo
Last weekend in the largest show of strength in over a decade thousands of anarchists marched to protest against the violent eviction of the squats of Villa Amalias and Skaramagka and Patision Streets in Athens and also the very repressive climate that police and the State have created in the last months in Greece.
Below is an interview with one of the largest anarchist groups in Greece – the Anti-Authoritarian Movement (AK) in relation to the present political and social climate in Greece, the threat posed by the far-right and of course the work of the anarchist movement. […]
* GREECE: OUR HOMES
This video was made in response to the recent wave of evictions of squats and of repression of the anarchist movement by the greek State.
* GREEK FINANCE MINISTER RULES OUT HEATING OIL SUBSIDY AS HE SITS IN OFFICE HEATED BY TAXPAYERS
I didn’t know Greek Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras had such a bitting sense of arrogance. On Monday, January 7th 2013, he called on Greeks to be patient for another year.” At the same time he dismissed suggestions by coalition government and opposition parties that heating oil subsidy might be extended to more social groups.
Stournaras rules out wider heating oil subsidy, focuses on next tranche
“I wish there was fiscal capacity do to so but there isn’t,” Stournaras told Vima FM in a response to a question about assistance for poor families to buy heating oil.
MPs from a number of parties, including coalition partners New Democracy and PASOK, have called over the last few days for there to be more help for less well-off families.
Last year, the government raised the tax on heating oil to match unleaded fuel, leading to the price rising by 40 percent. Demand for heating oil has since dropped by a reported 80 percent.
However, Stournaras added that many of those who qualified for a heating oil subsidy this year have failed to apply for one.
The finance minister stressed that it was important for Greece to continue its tight control over public finances as it looks to convince the troika to release three more loan tranches over the next three months.
“We won’t get the next instalment if we let up,” said Stournaras. “If the pullover starts to unravel, we’ll lose the trust we’ve started to rebuild. We have set targets that we have to meet.”
The disbursal of the next tranche, worth 9.2 billion euros is due after the January 21 Eurogroup. By then, Greek Parliament will have to approve a new tax code. […]
* DEMOCRACY, DISTRUST AND THE RIGHT TO RESIST, TODAY
By Javier de Lucas and Maria Jose Anon
Democracy means dissent, distrust and resistance
According to classical theory, the roots of democracy are in consensus. The truth, however, is quite the opposite. Experience has shown us that the key to democracy lays elsewhere; in the capacity to accept and even guarantee dissent and criticism of the established powers, with resistance to these powers playing an even more important role. Although trust is a vital component of democracy, distrust and maintaining a permanently critical attitude towards the execution of power are even more essential. The way in which this power is exercised must be controlled if we hope to preserve any essence of the notion of power to the people. A serious look at the critical evidence leaves us in no doubt that this is the case, as we take into account the conflicting and pluralistic nature of any kind of social reality. The only chance that democracy has to flourish is if the vast range of conflicting interests and needs are acknowledged and ways are found to respect these as far as possible.
In order to negotiate the recognition of these interests and needs and respect them accordingly, the public presence of each and every citizen’s voice must be amplified to the maximum. In his Political Treatise (Tractatus Politicus)(chapter V, paragraph 4), Spinoza demonstrated that the key to assessing the quality of governance is a critically engaged, active society conscious of its sovereignty: “Besides that commonwealth, whose peace depends on the sluggishness of its subjects, that are led about like sheep, to learn but slavery, may more properly be called a desert than a commonwealth.“1 But this distrust works both ways. As J. Rancière explains, the history of democracy can be explained as a history of hatred towards the very meaning of the concept;2the power of the people as a sovereign authority, the power of equals, those upon whom iura paria has been bestowed (to use the words of Cicero on the subject of his notion of res publica).
Now, this is where the difficulty arises. Those who represent the centres of power within the so- called “institutionalised democracy”, usually consisting of a mixtum of “political” aristocracy and economic oligarchy, have always been reluctant to place their faith in the people as a genuine sovereign subject. Balibar provides a clear explanation for this:
… democracy, understood in a radical manner, is not the name of a political régime, but only the name of a process which we could call tautologically the democratization of democracy itself (or of what claims to represent a democratic régime), therefore the name of a struggle, a convergence of struggles for the democratization of democracy… a permanent struggle for its own democratization and against its own reversal into oligarchy and monopoly of power”.3 […]