* GREEKS SHOULD SEE GOLDEN DAWN’S TV ASSAULT AS A WARNING
A media blackout on the neo-Nazi party meant Greek voters were unaware of its violence – none can plead ignorance now
By Sophia Igntidou, Guardian
After systematic attacks towards minority groups and dissidents, the denial of Nazi concentration camps’ gas chambers and a constant disregard for some of democracy’s most fundamental values, Greece’s Golden Dawn party can now add assaults on rival politicians to its list of crimes.
Greek, international and social media were flooded on Thursday with stories and comments about the neo-Nazi party representative’s attack on two female candidates of the radical left Syriza party and the country’s communist party, KKE.
During a morning television show on Greece’s flagship broadcasting channel ANT1, Ilias Kasidiaris, who was attending as Golden Dawn’s spokesman, ran out of words. Syriza’s candidate MP Rena Dourou, commenting on his charged speech, said that “beyond the crisis in society, this is a crisis of democracy” and that Golden Dawn “will take the country back 500 years”. Kasidiaris then proved her point by throwing a glass of water in her face. […]
* GREEK PROTEST AGAINST VIOLENT NEO-NAZI MP ON THE RUN
Golden Dawn spokesman who assaulted leftwing politicians evades arrest as protesters denounce fascism
By Helena Smith, Guardian
[…] Constantinou, a tall, thin man who has spent years running an organisation that protects migrants, is, like a growing number of Greeks, convinced that it is the police who have facilitated Golden Dawn. “Without police cover and protection Golden Dawn would not have survived,” he said. “And the proof of that is the failure to capture Kasidiaris.
“How is it possible that a man can do what he did in a television studio and yet manage to get away and stay on the run after a state prosecutor has ordered his arrest? The police clearly don’t want to arrest him.”
Dimitris Trimis, the head of the Greek journalists’ association, ESEA, agreed. In a nation where physical violence is rare – and public displays of violence against women even rarer – Kasidiaris’s assault on Liana Kanelli and Rena Dourou, during a live TV debate of politicians representing the seven parties that won seats in the country’s inconclusive 6 May election, had clearly shocked Greeks.
All day Friday, TV channels had replayed footage showing Kasidiaris, a former commando in the Greek army, lashing out at Dourou first, hurling a glass of water in her face before turning his fists on Kanelli, the KKE communist party’s spokeswoman, a former news anchor.
But his ability to evade arrest was entirely plausible, said Trimis.
“Suspicions of the collaboration between the police and Golden Dawn were confirmed at the ballot box in May,” he said.
“As much as 50% of the police force voted for the party. There might be all the political will to arrest Kasidiarias. But there is a certain level of unwillingness among the police force that will stop that happening.” […]
* THE MEDIA WITCH HUNT GOES ON: STOP AUSTERITY IN GREECE!
Three years down the line, with Europe steadily driving Greece to the brink, the international media continues its smear campaign against the Greek people.
By Ingeborg Beugel, Roar Magazine
[…] Exactly one year ago, I wrote a fiery essay against the easy, superficial and generally downright anti-Greek coverage on Greece. Now, a year later, hardly anything has changed. The right-wing press continues its witch hunt against the Greek people with lies and falsehoods, and the majority of the mainstream media establishment blindly parrots this nonsense, too.
It’s clear that major Dutch newspapers like the centrist NRC Handelsblad and center-left Volkskrant — which have, in the meantime, begun to sketch a slightly more nuanced picture — still do not find the crisis in Greece, which has brought all of Europe to the precipice, important enough to station a permanent correspondent in Athens who at least speaks the language. Invariably, in all articles, even those of De Groene (which shines as a lone quality star on the flop media firmament here in the Netherlands) are structurally misspelled names of Greek newspapers, politicians, political parties and cities. I could repeat my story of last year word for word — it’s still just as topical. Amazing how, a year later, most Dutch people still think that all Greeks retire around their 50th, and that Dutch taxpayers are “giving” money to that “garlic country full of lazy parasites”, instead of lending it an usurious 5.5 percent interest rate to a country where, according to official EUROSTAT figures, people work the longest hours of all the 27 EU Member States.
The average Dutch citizen still does not seem to have realized that Italy and France were much more fraudulent with their figures when they joined the euro than Greece. While several very good documentaries have been made laying this out in great detail, it’s still something you have to explain repeatedly: the introduction of the euro in 2001 suddenly enabled the ‘PIGS’ countries to borrow money on the same terms as Germany and France. A downright irresponsible gamble of the EU elite, which, through the ECB, gave over a trillion euros in support to the banks, which subsequently lent that money to countries under the “olive border”, failing to develop the local economy but actively encouraging the widely condemned Greeks to “live beyond their means”. […]
* ON JUNE 17 WE SAY: THERE IS NO RETURN TO THEIR PLANS
The Greek elections on May 6 delivered a clear message: NO MORE AUSTERITY. No political party or coalition has any legitimacy to continue the austerity policies either inside or outside the Eurozone. Regardless the result of the coming elections we will continue to take the streets and struggle against the neoliberal policies in Greece and all over Europe. The victory of the people in Greece will be a victory for all people in Europe. The defeat of the Troika, the release from the debt and the toppling of the corrupt political system in Greece is the first step for the struggle for a just society in Europe.
On May 6, the people gave a decisive blow to the former ruling parties that conceded the austerity policies and brought the state’s economy to its knees. Since the May elections the propaganda of the mainstream media and statements of officials are trying to force the people in Greece to accept the policies of the Troika and the previous government. The media promote gloomy scenarios together with an image of Greece regressing back to the Stone Age in case the austerity policies come to a halt. On top of it, a patronized left-wing / right-wing division is imposed on the Greek society. EU-officials ignore the message of the Greek elections and keep interfering with domestic politics by expressing their expectation from the new government to stick to the commitments of the previous administration. The IMF director C. Lagarde, the German Chancellor A. Merkel and the German minister of Finance W. Schäuble accuse openly the people in Greece for the disaster to come in case they decide to turn their back to their policies. Their propaganda aims at persuading the Greeks to give the majority-vote to the pro-austerity parties.
The EU and the IMF expect from the new government to apply budget cuts up to 1.5% of GDP within 2012 and 3.8% until 2015. According to the Revised Adjustment Program of March 2012 this goal will be achieved by the redundancy of 150.000 civil servants, a further decrease in salaries and pensions below 600€ and 400€ respectively, and the complete abolishment of employment protection and social-security benefits. These measures will be applied on top of the 25% loss of average income, the 100.000 companies that have closed down, an unemployment rate that has reached 21%, and the rapidly increasing rates of homelessness and suicides. […]
* Montréal : manif nationale étudiante 22 mars 2012
* THE SUPREME COURT HAS BETRAYED THE AMERICAN ELECTORATE
By John Olen, Economy In Crisis
Few Americans would look at the massive sums of money being thrown at this year’s elections by wealthy individuals and say that it is an expression of free speech. Unfortunately five justices of the Supreme Court see things differently, and the American people are paying the price. Some of our best elected officials are paying the price at the hands of the deep pockets of their political enemies, while self-serving politicians ride the wave of money to victory. This was not the way our system was intended to work. The Supreme Court has failed us. […]
* HOW AMERICAN CORPORATIONS TRANSFORMED FROM PRODUCERS TO PREDATORS
By William Lazonick, Alternet
Corporations are not working for the 99 percent. But this wasn’t always the case. In a special five-part series, William Lazonick, professor at UMass, president of the Academic-Industry Research Network, and a leading expert on the business corporation, along with journalist Ken Jacobson and AlterNet’s Lynn Parramore, will examine the foundations, history and purpose of the corporation to answer this vital question: How can the public take control of the business corporation and make it work for the real economy?
In 2010, the top 500 U.S. corporations – the Fortune 500 – generated $10.7 trillion in sales, reaped a whopping $702 billion in profits, and employed 24.9 million people around the globe. Historically, when these corporations have invested in the productive capabilities of their American employees, we’ve had lots of well-paid and stable jobs.
That was the case a half century ago.
Unfortunately, it’s not the case today. For the past three decades, top executives have been rewarding themselves with mega-million dollar compensation packages while American workers have suffered an unrelenting disappearance of middle-class jobs. Since the 1990s, this hollowing out of the middle-class has even affected people with lots of education and work experience. As the Occupy Wall Street movement has recognized, concentration of income and wealth of the top “1 percent” leaves the rest of us high and dry.
What went wrong? A fundamental transformation in the investment strategies of major U.S. corporations is a big part of the story. […]