Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart
* TROIKA DIRECTIONS
… featuring the showroom dummies of the Troika, that are implementing the “Program” in countries like Greece, Ireland or Portugal : Poul Thomsen (IMF), Matthias Mors (EU) and Klaus Masuch (ECB).
* GREECE: BLACKWATER MERCENARIES GUARDING GOVERNMENT AND OVERSEEING POLICE; COUP FEARED
Blackwater mercenaries are currently overseeing the police in Greece as rumours of a coup abound. We understand the situation is extremely tense and that the mercenaries are there mainly to protect the Government and parliament should trouble break out either in the form of a revolution or counter-revolution. Already, a destabilisation plot involving the far-right and police has been uncovered.
Over the last 12 months or more Greece has seen wave after wave of mass demonstrations, riots, battles between police and protesters, armed attacks on Government premises, attacks by fascists (i.e. Golden Dawn ) on migrants, as well as, of course, the complete collapse of the economy. The Government has been beset by scandals (e.g. secret bank accounts in Switzerland) and journalists have been arrested. Most people now exist day by day via co-operatives ; workers are taking over the factories .
As we have said, there is a revolution taking place – a messy revolution . And it’s going to get messier, for the situation in Greece has now entered a critical phase – here is a summary (with further details below):
* Strategy of tension has already commenced
* Government is under siege and is protected by mercenaries
* Military coup is now talked of openly
* Insider warns that revolution (or counter-revolution) is imminent […]
* GREEK GOVERNMENT MAKES EXTRAORDINARY AND UNDEMOCRATIC ATTACKS ON FREE SPEECH
By Yiannis Baboulias, NewStatesman
There’s no element of surprise in the fact that things move faster when going downhill. In the wake of revelations such as the alleged torture of detained anarchists and the crackdown against activists in Skouries (Northern Greece), the Greek government and especially New Democracy has decided to use the “rule of law” in order to tighten its grip of the Greek media while at the same time winning back some of the voters they lost to the Golden Dawn.
Following PM Antonis Samaras’ own anti-immigrant rhetoric, 85 New Democracy MPs proposed a bill which would see only citizens of “Greek race” hired in police and military. The Golden Dawn was of course quick support it and to claim the proposed bill as “a major victory” for them. “The honourable uniform of the Greek armed officer will not be handed to the Albanians, the Asians and the Africans and the country’s armed forces will not come under the control of foreign spies,” the statement released by the party on Tuesday continued.
This follows weeks of extreme anti-immigrant and anti-leftist messages released by minor members of ND in social networks and interviews, their futile attempts to out-flank the far-right only strengthening the neo-nazi party’s current, that now sees six year-old kids brought in to it’s HQ’s for classes on “patriotic awareness”.
But this is only one side of the PR machine the coalition’s ruling party has set in motion: we’ve also had major moves against journalists and newspapers that speak out against their plans. Most striking example is the case of UNFOLLOW magazine, an independent left-wing publication, who saw its writers receive life threats after publishing an investigation on oil smuggling that appears to implicate Aegean oil and its owner Dimitris Melissanidis. A man who identified himself as Melissanidis threatened to “blow up” the reporter behind the article. The magazine went ahead and sued the oil magnate whose business ventures include contracts with the US Navy. But what is interesting here, is that after the magazine published the incident, Melissanidis requested the retraction of the article through his lawyer who none other than Failos Kranidiotis, personal friend and advisor to PM Antonis Samaras.[…]
* NEOLIBERALISM AND HIGHER EDUCATION IN GREECE
Panagiotis Sotiris, Vice-president of the University of the Aegean Teachers’ Union, explores the problems of Higher Education in Greece
First of all, I would like to express my deepest feelings of solidarity to Egitim Sen regarding the recent wave of arrests. Governments all over the world want to get rid of trade union resistances and attempt to criminalize trade union action. Solidarity and struggle are our weapons! Secondly, I would like to thank the organizers of this conference for this opportunity to share with you some thoughts and experiences regarding the neoliberal attack on Higher Education in Greece and the struggles against this attack, in a particular conjuncture marked by economic crisis, austerity and the imposition of draconian cuts as part of the loan agreements with the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.
Higher education in Greece has always been a highly politicized terrain. Until recently the sole responsibility of the State because of an explicit constitutional ban on private Higher Education, it has been considered one of the main forms of upwards social mobility and this can account for the social pressure to broaden access to Higher Education. Currently there are more than 75,000 posts to Universities and Technological Educational Institutes offered ever year. For the average Greek family entrance to a University Department, traditionally associated with obtaining better employment prospects, has always been a major goal. This can also explain the importance, in the public sphere, of events such as the university entrance exams or the high cost of extra tutorial courses a family is ready to bear in order to achieve entrance to a good University Department (Medical Schools, Law Schools, and Engineering Schools).
Struggle and protest has been an integral part of Greek Higher Education. The history of Greek Universities has been marked by the intervention, since the 1960s, of a highly politicized student movement, which was highly esteemed because of its role in the struggle against the 1967-1974 military dictatorship (epitomized in the 1973 Occupation of the National Polytechnic School which was brutally suppressed by the military dictatorship). After the fall of the dictatorship, the student movement was a crucial aspect of a process of radicalization of Greek society, producing not only victorious movements (such as the 1979 movement of occupations that forced the government to repeal the law 815/78 – one of the few cases in the past 40 years that a law that had been passed was subsequently repealed because of protests) but also important elements of the general social and political culture. Most aspects of Greek post-1974 left-wing radicalism emerged from Universities. In the early 1980s a wave of extensive reforms – and especially the 1268 frame law introduced in 1982 – combined a modernizing, technocratic aspect with the introduction of a democratic system of extensive faculty and student participation in the administration of University students, which included high representation in University Senates and Department Assemblies and a particular weight of student vote in the election of Rectors, Deans and Department Heads. […]
* LITTLE CLARITY IN ITALIAN VOTE, ASIDE FROM ANGER
By Rachel Donaldio, NYTimes
ROME — Italian voters delivered a rousing anti-austerity message and a strong rebuke to the existing political order in national elections on Monday, plunging the country into political paralysis after results failed to produce a clear winner.
Analysts said that the best-case scenario would be a shaky coalition government, which would once again expose Italy and the euro zone to turmoil if markets question its commitment to measures that have kept the budget deficit within a tolerable 3 percent of gross domestic product. News of the stalemate sent tremors through the financial world, sending the Dow Jones industrial average down more than 200 points.
Although analysts blamed the large protest vote on Italy’s political morass and troubled electoral system, the results were also seen as a rejection of the rapid deficit-reduction strategy set by the European Commission and European Central Bank — from a country too big to fail and too big to bail out. […]
* AUSTERITY, ITALIAN STYLE
By Paul Krugman, NYTimes
Two months ago, when Mario Monti stepped down as Italy’s prime minister, The Economist opined that “The coming election campaign will be, above all, a test of the maturity and realism of Italian voters.” The mature, realistic action, presumably, would have been to return Mr. Monti — who was essentially imposed on Italy by its creditors — to office, this time with an actual democratic mandate.
Well, it’s not looking good. Mr. Monti’s party appears likely to come in fourth; not only is he running well behind the essentially comical Silvio Berlusconi, he’s running behind an actual comedian, Beppe Grillo, whose lack of a coherent platform hasn’t stopped him from becoming a powerful political force.
It’s an extraordinary prospect, and one that has sparked much commentary about Italian political culture. But without trying to defend the politics of bunga bunga, let me ask the obvious question: What good, exactly, has what currently passes for mature realism done in Italy or for that matter Europe as a whole? […]
* GREECE AND SPAIN HELPED POSTWAR GERMANY RECOVER. SPOT THE DIFFERENCE.
By Nick Dearden, GuardianSixty years ago today, an agreement was reached in London to cancel half of postwar Germany’s debt. That cancellation, and the way it was done, was vital to the reconstruction of Europe from war. It stands in marked contrast to the suffering being inflicted on European people today in the name of debt.
Germany emerged from the second world war still owing debt that originated with the first world war: the reparations imposed on the country following the Versailles peace conference in 1919. Many, including John Maynard Keynes, argued that these unpayable debts and the economic policies they entailed led to the rise of the Nazis and the second world war.
By 1953, Germany also had debts based on reconstruction loans made immediately after the end of the second world war. Germany’s creditors included Greece and Spain, Pakistan and Egypt, as well as the US, UK and France. […]