Archive for the ‘Germany’ Category

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The euro ‘family’ has shown it is capable of real cruelty‘ – Suzanne Moore

Angela Merkel and Jean-Claude Juncker seek to justify their Greek bailout deal, but what kind of family asset-strips one of its members in broad daylight?
The seemingly indestructible Angela Merkel can go without sleep, and still manage a half smile and speak about Greece’s wish to remain in “the euro family”. This may sound reasonable and pleasant. All families have their little local difficulties, don’t they? But they work through them. People see reason. When they are forced to.

By infantilising Greece, Germany resembles a child who closes its own eyes and thinks we can not see it. We can. The world is watching what is being done to Greece in the name of euro stability.

It sees a nation stripped of its dignity, its sovereignty, its future.

What kind of family, we might ask, does this to one of its own members? Even Der Spiegel online described the conditions that have been outlined as “a catalogue of cruelties”, but perhaps we should now put it another way, given Jean-Claude Juncker has denied that the Greek people have been humiliated. Juncker instead says that this deal is a typical “European” compromise. Yes, we see.

The machinations of financial institutions (the troika) have been exposed as much as the institutions themselves. Who runs these banks, and for whom? Twitter slogans talk of the three world wars: the first waged with guns, the second with tanks and this third world war waged by banks. Extreme? Well, there clearly is more than one way to take over a country.

The Eurozone and Germany want regime change in Greece, or at least to split Syriza. Alexis Tsipras has fought tooth and nail for something resembling the debt restructuring that even the International Monetary Fund acknowledges is needed. The incompetence of a succession of Greek governments and tax evasion within Greece is not in doubt. But the creditors of the euro family knew this as they upped their loans, and must now delude themselves that everything they have done has been for the best. It hasn’t, and now that same family will go in and asset-strip in broad daylight a country that can no longer afford basic medicines. In three days Greece is supposed to push through heaps of legislation on privatisation, tax and pensions so it can be even poorer.

There is to be no debt forgiveness in this family. Tsipras has to sell this to his people so the banks can reopen. His endurance has been remarkable, and more will be needed. The unsustainability of Greek debt, even if the country could achieve growth, remains. The words trust and confidence keep being used but by the wrong people. Trust is gone in this European project. François Hollande, ever the pseudo–mediator, may rattle on about the history and culture of Greece. Its value has actually been shown. Its value is purely symbolic. It is worth nothing.

The euro family has been exposed as a loan-sharking conglomerate that cares nothing for democracy. This family is abusive. This “bailout”, which will be sold as being a cruel-to-be-kind deal is nothing of the sort. It is simply being cruel to be cruel.

~ Suzzane Moore
guardian.com

Please note
By mistake, this article by Suzzane Moore (from the Guardian) was published at this blog as a page in 2015. We are now publishing it as a post as it was meant to be. Thank you.
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Φρήντριχ Νίτσε 1844 – 1900

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Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche 15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900) was a German philosopher, cultural critic, poet, and Latin and Greek scholar whose work has exerted a profound influence on Western philosophy and modern intellectual history. Beginning his career as a classical philologist before turning to philosophy, he became the youngest-ever occupant of the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel in 1869, at age 24. He resigned in 1879 due to health problems that plagued him most of his life, and he completed much of his core writing in the following decade. In 1889, at age 44, he suffered a collapse and a complete loss of his mental faculties. He lived his remaining years in the care of his mother (until her death in 1897) and then his sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, and died in 1900.
Nietzsche’s body of writing spanned philosophical polemics, poetry, cultural criticism, aphorism, and fiction while displaying a fondness for metaphor and irony. His thought drew variously on philosophy, art, history, religion, and science, and engaged with a wide range of subjects including morality, metaphysics, language, epistemology, value, aesthetics, and consciousness. Among the chief elements of his philosophy are his radical rejection of the existence and value of objective truth; his atheistic critique of religion and morality, and of Christianity in particular, which he characterized as propagating a slave morality in the service of cultural decline and the denial of life; his characterization of the human subject as the expression of competing wills, collectively understood as the will to power; and the aesthetic affirmation of existence in response to the “death of God” and the profound challenge of nihilism. His later work, which saw him develop influential (and frequently misunderstood) concepts such as the Übermensch and the doctrine of eternal recurrence, became increasingly preoccupied with the creative powers of the individual to overcome social, cultural, and moral contexts toward a state of aesthetic health.
After his death, Elizabeth Forster-Nietzsche became the curator and editor of her brother’s manuscripts, reworking Nietzsche’s unpublished writings to fit her own German nationalist ideology while often contradicting or obfuscating his stated opinions, which were explicitly opposed to antisemitism and nationalism. Through these published editions, Nietzsche’s name became associated with fascism and Nazism, although 20th-century scholars have contested this interpretation of his work. His thought enjoyed renewed popularity in the 1960s, and his ideas have since had a profound impact on twentieth and early-twenty-first century thinkers across philosophy—especially in schools of continental philosophy such as existentialism, postmodernism, and post-structuralism—as well as art, literature, psychology, politics, and popular culture.
Φρίντριχ Νίτσε
Ο Φρίντριχ Βίλχελμ Νίτσε (γερμ. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche) (Ραίκεν, 15 Οκτωβρίου 1844[1] – Βαϊμάρη, 25 Αυγούστου 1900[1]) ήταν σημαντικός Γερμανός φιλόσοφος, ποιητής, συνθέτης και φιλόλογος. Έγραψε κριτικά δοκίμια πάνω στην θρησκεία, την ηθική, τον πολιτισμό, την φιλοσοφία και τις επιστήμες, δείχνοντας ιδιαίτερη κλίση προς την χρήση μεταφορών, ειρωνείας και αφορισμών.
Οι κεντρικές ιδέες της φιλοσοφίας του Νίτσε περιλαμβάνουν τον “θάνατο του Θεού”, την ύπαρξη του υπερανθρώπου, την ατέρμονη επιστροφή, τον προοπτικισμό καθώς και την θεωρία της ηθικής κυρίων – δούλων. Αναφέρεται συχνά ως ένας από τους πρώτους «υπαρξιστές» φιλοσόφους. Η ριζική αμφισβήτηση από μέρους του της αξίας και της αντικειμενικότητας της αλήθειας έχει οδηγήσει σε αμέτρητες διαμάχες και η επίδρασή του παραμένει ουσιαστική, κυρίως στους κλάδους του υπαρξισμού, του μεταμοντερνισμού και του μεταστρουκτουραλισμού.
Ξεκίνησε την καριέρα του σαν κλασικός φιλόσοφος, κάνοντας κριτικές αναλύσεις σε αρχαιοελληνικά και Ρωμαϊκά κείμενα, προτού εντρυφήσει στην φιλοσοφία. Το 1869, σε ηλικία 24 ετών, διορίστηκε καθηγητής στο πανεπιστήμιο της Βασιλείας, στην έδρα της Κλασικής Φιλολογίας, όντας ο νεότερος που έχει πετύχει κάτι ανάλογο. Παραιτήθηκε το καλοκαίρι του 1879 εξαιτίας των προβλημάτων υγείας που τον ταλάνιζαν σχεδόν όλη του την ζωή. Σε ηλικία 44 ετών, το 1889, υπέστη νευρική κατάρρευση, η οποία αργότερα διεγνώσθη ως συφιλιδική «παραλυτική ψυχική διαταραχή», διάγνωση η οποία αμφισβητείται. Η επανεξέταση των ιατρικών φακέλων του Φρειδερίκου Νίτσε δείχνει ότι κατά πάσα πιθανότητα πέθανε από όγκο στον εγκέφαλο, ενώ η μετά θάνατον σπίλωση του ονόματός του οφείλεται κυρίως στο αντι-ναζιστικό μέτωπο. Τα τελευταία χρόνια της ζωής του ανέλαβε την φροντίδα του η μητέρα του, μέχρι τον θάνατό της το 1897, και έπειτα η αδελφή του, Ελίζαμπεθ Φούρστερ-Νίτσε, μέχρι τον θάνατό του, το 1900.
Εκτός από την φροντίδα του, η Ελίζαμπεθ Φούρστερ-Νίτσε ανέλαβε χρέη εκδότριας και επιμελήτριας των χειρογράφων του. Ήταν παντρεμένη με τον Μπέρναρντ Φούρστερ, εξέχουσα μορφή του γερμανικού εθνικιστικού και αντισημιτικού μετώπου, για χάρη του οποίου ξαναδούλεψε αρκετά από τα ανέκδοτα χειρόγραφα του Νίτσε, στην προσπάθειά της να τα «μπολιάσει» με τις ιδέες του, αντιβαίνοντας ριζικά με τις απόψεις του φιλόσοφου, οι οποίες ήταν ξεκάθαρα εναντίον του αντισημιτισμού και του εθνικισμού (βλ. Η κριτική του Νίτσε στον Αντισημιτισμό και τον Εθνικισμό). Με την βοήθεια των εκδόσεων της Φούρστερ-Νίτσε, ο Νίτσε έγινε συνώνυμο του Γερμανικού μιλιταρισμού και του Ναζισμού, αν και αρκετοί μελετητές του στο δεύτερο μισό του 20ου αιώνα έχουν καταφέρει να αντιστρέψουν την παρερμήνευση των ιδεών του.
~Wikipedia in both English and Greek http://www.wikipedia.org

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Greece is about to be completely dismantled and fed to profit-hungry corporations

The latest bailout has nothing to do with debt, but an experiment in capitalism so extreme that no other EU state would even dare try it.
 
by Nick Dearden
 
Greece is heading towards its third “bailout”. This time €86 billion is on the table, which will be packaged up by international lenders with a bundle of austerity and sent off to Greece, only to return to those same lenders in the very near future.
 
We all know the spiraling debt cannot and will not be repaid. We all know the austerity to which it is tied will make Greece’s depression worse. Yet it continues.
 
If we look deeper, however, we find that Europe is not led by the terminally confused. By taking those leaders at their word, we’re missing what’s really going on in Europe. In a nutshell, Greece is up for sale, and its workers, farmers and small businesses will have to be cleared out of the way.
 
Under the eye-watering privatization program, Greece is expected to hand over its €50 billion of its “valuable state assets” to an independent body under the control of the European institutions, who will proceed to sell them off. Airports, seaports, energy systems, land and property – everything must go. Sell your assets, their contrived argument goes, and you’ll be able to repay your debt.
 
But even in the narrow terms of the debate, selling off profitable or potentially profitable assets leaves a country less able to repay its debts. Unsurprisingly the most profitable assets are going under the hammer first. The country’s national lottery has already been bought up. Airports serving Greece’s holiday islands look likely to be sold on-long-term lease to a German airport operator.
 
The port of Peireus looks likely to be sold to a Chinese shipping company. Meanwhile, 490,000 square meters of Corfu beachfront have been snapped up by a US private equity fund. It has a 99-year lease for the bargain price of €23million. According to reporters, the privatization fund is examining another 40 uninhabited islands as well as a massive project on Rhodes which includes an obligatory golf course.
 
Side-by-side with the privatization is a very broad program of deregulation which declares war on workers, farmers and small businesses. Greece’s many laws that protect small business such as pharmacies, bakeries, and bookshops from competition with supermarkets and big businesses are to be swept away. These reforms are so specific that the EU is writing laws on bread measurements and milk expiry dates. Incredibly, Greece is even being told to make its Sunday opening laws more liberal than Germany’s. Truly a free market experiment is being put into place.
 
On labor, pensions are to suffer rapid cuts, minimum wages are to be reduced and collective bargaining is to be severely curtailed while it is to become easier to sack staff. All of this is far more extreme that many of Greece’s “creditor” countries have implemented themselves. Changes to tax includes a massive hike to that most regressive of taxes VAT, on a wide range of products.
 
Of course, reforms in some areas of Greece’s economy might be a good idea, and indeed Syriza came to power promising to make serious reforms in, for instance, taxation and pensions. But what is being imposed by the lending institutions is not a series of sensible “reforms”, but the establishment and micromanagement of radical ‘free market’ economics.
 
The privatization and deregulation bonanza opens vast new swathes of Greek society to areas where big business has never been able to set foot before. The hope is that this will generate big profits to keep big business growing, as well as providing an extreme model of what might be possible throughout Europe. Although what’s even more distasteful than the hypocrisy of European leaders forcing policies onto Greece that they themselves have not dared to argue for in their own countries, is the cynicism of those same leaders imposing policies that will benefit their own country’s corporations.
 
The intensity of the restructuring program currently being agreed for Greece should dispel any lingering notion that this is a well intentioned but misguided attempt to deal with a debt crisis. It is a cynical attempt to set up a corporate paradise in the Mediterranean, and must be resisted at all costs.
 
Source:
 http://dithen2010.blogspot.ca/

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Greece: Out of the Mouth of “Foreign Affairs” Comes the Truth

By Bruno Adrie

In an article by Mark Blyth titled “A Pain in the Athens: Why Greece Isn’t to Blame for the Crisis” and published on July 7th 2015 in the magazine Foreign Affairs, one discovers surprising statements, which are all the more surprising when one knows that this magazine is published by the Council on Foreign Relations that gathers the American élite, the New-Yorker banking élite being there for the most part (about this subject, see: Laurence H. Shoup and William Minter, Imperial Braintrust: The Council on Foreign Relations and United States Foreign Policy, 1977).
According to the author, “Greece has very little to do with the crisis that bears its name”. And, to make us understand this, he invites us to “follow the money—and those who bank it”. According to him, the origins of the crisis are not to be looked for in Greece but “in the architecture of European banking”. Indeed, during the first decade of the euro, European banks, attracted by easy money, granted massive loans in what the author calls “the European periphery”, and, in 2010, in the middle of the financial crisis, banks had accumulated impaired periphery assets corresponding to 465 billion euros for French banks and 493 billion euros for German banks. “Only a small part of those impaired assets were Greek”, but the problem is that, in 2010, Greece published a revised budget equivalent to 15% of the GDP. Nothing to be afraid of actually since it only represented 0.3% of the Eurozone’s GDPs put together. But, because of their periphery assets and above all a leverage rate* twice as high—that is to say twice as risky—as the American banks’, European banks feared that a Greek default would make them collapse. This is what really happened. The banks’ insatiable voracity led them, as always, to act carelessly, and, as they did not accept their failure, as always, they made sure that others would foot the bill. Nothing new under the golden sky of the Banking Industry, unless, this time, it went a bit further than usual.
These banks set up the Troïka program in order to “stop the bond market bank run”. And no matter if it increased unemployment by 25% and destroyed the third of the country’s GDP. It doesn’t make much difference to the bankers. This is what the rescue plans have been used for. Apparently aimed at Greece, they were created by and for the major European banks. Today, given that the Greek can no longer pay French and German banks, even the European taxpayers are solicited.
Greece was only a pipe through which French and German banks, for the most part, saved themselves. On the total amount of 203 billion euros that represents the two rescue plans (2010-2013 and 2012-2014), 65% went right to the banks’ vaults. Some people even go so far as to say that 90% of the loans did not pass through Greece. This approach, expressed in the columns of Foreign Affairs, cannot be seen as heterodox. It is even confirmed by the ex-director of theBundesbank, Karl Otto Pöhl, who acknowledged that the rescue plan was meant to save the banks, and especially the French banks, from their rotten debts.
Therefore, despite the fact that Germany defaulted on his debts four times in the XXth century, he will go on insisting that Greece pay, with France supporting him. However little some people like it, like the ignorant and wordy French philosopher whose décolletage every one knows but whom no one wishes to hear anymore, François Hollande hasn’t been generous to Greece. It is quite the contrary that happened, it is Greece that has been generous, and forced to be, to the French banks, before these very banks call on French taxpayers, when they were celebrating their revolution, their heads full of a firework of prejudices.
Mark Blyth finishes his article by saying what Frédéric Lordon developed in his article (in French) “Le crépuscule d’une époque”, namely that the European Central Bank does not play the role of a central bank and does not act like a politically independent bank.
According to him, we never understood Greece because we refused to see this crisis as what it is actually: the continuation of the private banks rescue plan that started in 2008.
One wonders how the French, who are so clever and so ready to give their opinions since they know everything about everything, can go on supporting the insane vociferations of the know-it-all from this little Parisian journalistic world, which is described by the excellent Pierre Rimbert in his article (in French) “Syriza delenda est” in the Monde Diplomatique, July 2015. Rather than burying Greece, we’d better off get rid of the proud and twisted faces of Demorand, Elkabbach, Giesbert, Baverez, Barbier, Aphatie, and others, by sending them carp in the desert in the middle of traitorous scorpions and venomous snakes which are their respectable and mute brothers.
~ Bruno Adrie (translated by Clara Piraud)
~ see from Mark Blyth and Matthias Matthijs, The Future of the Euro, Oxford University Press, 2015
http://www.globalresearch.ca

Ένα πολύ ενδιαφέρον άρθρο για την ελληνική οικονομική περίπτωση και πώς το βλεέπει ο τύπος του εξωτερικού.
Το άρθρο υποστηρίζει ότι τη μεγαλύτερη ευθύνη για το τωρινό οικονομικό πρόβλημα της Ελλάδας φέρουν οι Γερμανικές και Γαλλικές Τράπεζες που εκμεταλλεύτηκαν την ευκαιρία κατά τη διάρκεια της πρώτης δεκαετίας του ΕΥΡΩ εγκρίνοντας τεράστια ποσά ΕΥΡΩ σαν δάνεια στις χώρες της περιφέρειας (The European Periphery), με άλλα λόγια στις χώρες Ελλάδα, Ιταλία, Πορτογαλία, Ισπανία. Από τις επενδύσεις τους αυτές ένα πολύ μικρό ποσό ήρθε στην Ελλάδα. Αλλα οι Γαλλικές και Γερμανικές τράπεζες αποκόμισαν απ’ αυτά τα δάνεια κέρδη 465 και 493 δισεκατομμυρίων ΕΥΡΩ αντίστοιχα.
Όταν παρουσιάστηκε η κρίση του 2010, που απλώθηκε στην Ευρώπη από την Αμερική, οι τράπεζες αυτές σε κίνδυνο να χρεωκοπήσουν κι αφού η ισολογιστική τους κατάσταση ήταν πραγματικά δραματική, αντί να καταφύγουν στους Γάλλους και Γερμανούς πολίτες-φορολογούμενους και καταθέτες που θα πλήρωναν τα σπασμένα, μετέφεραν τις χασούρες στους πληθυσμούς των χωρών της Νότιας Ευρώπης (λογιστικό τέχνασμα της κεντρικής τραπεζιτικής πολιτικής της Ενωμένης Ευρώπης) στις χώρες της περιφέρειας, Πορτογαλία, Ιταλία, Ελλάδα, Ισπανία (PIGS).
Αυτές οι απόψεις γράφτηκαν στις στήλες του περιοδικό Foreign Affairs και υποστηρίχτηκαν από τον πρώην διευθυντή της Γερμανικής Κεντρικής Τράπεζας (Bundesbank) Karl Otto Pohl.

Για να μη λένε τουλάχιστον ότι όλα τα κακά ξεκίνησαν απ’ την Ελλάδα.

Η ανωτέρω περιληπτική μετάφραση του άρθρου από τα αγγλικά στα ελληνικά έγινε από το Μανώλη Αλυγιζάκη
http://www.authormanolis.wordpress.com