Posts Tagged ‘Greece’

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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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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

athena_7

This was the week the European dream died its deserved death
By
DarrellDelamaide

Politics columnist
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Greece will live to fight another day.
The Greek Parliament voted with a large majority to accept the impossible bailout demands of the European Union, pending the day when sanity is restored and these conditions can be reversed or abandoned.
The vote paves the way to begin negotiations on a third bailout and to provide immediate relief to Greece with a 7 billion euro bridging loan and increased liquidity assistance from the European Central Bank.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who showed a nobility rare among today’s politicians in humbling himself to ask for agreement with bailout terms that he acknowledged are pernicious and unjust, will remain prime minister, either with the fragile majority of a purged Syriza party or a national unity government.
The short-lived finance minister, Yannis Varoufakis, will return to the groves of academe, where his reckless ego will be more at home.
The ever-popular German chancellor, Angela Merkel, will win approval from her Parliament to begin talks for the third bailout of a fellow European country after she publicly humiliated Greece’s elected leader and forced him to grovel so that his elderly citizens could get medicine they need.
And Europe can begin the long process of unwinding a union that has failed and no longer has a chance of evolving into a United States of Europe.
Greece may perhaps negotiate the third bailout with the debt relief demanded by the International Monetary Fund and stay in the euro EURUSD, -0.4138% for a while.
But sooner or later, it will leave the euro, because every country in southern Europe will leave the euro. The euro as a currency for more than small handful of countries in the shadow of the German economy, will cease to exist.
The postwar “European Project” of political and economic integration is over.
Later this year, Spanish voters will register their protest against the euro with significant support for the Podemos movement, even if it falls short of giving that party a majority.
~ http://www.marketwatch.com

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Achilles tending the wounded Patroclus

ILIAD The Iliad in Classical Attic; sometimes referred to as the Song of Ilion or Song of Ilium) is an ancient Greek epic poem in dactylic hexameter, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy (Ilium) by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles. Although the story covers only a few weeks in the final year of the war, the Iliad mentions or alludes to many of the Greek legends about the siege; the earlier events, such as the gathering of warriors for the siege, the cause of the war, and related concerns tend to appear near the beginning. Then the epic narrative takes up events prophesied for the future, such as Achilles’ looming death and the sack of Troy, prefigured and alluded to more and more vividly, so that when it reaches an end, the poem has told a more or less complete tale of the Trojan War. The Iliad is paired with something of a sequel, the Odyssey, also attributed to Homer. Along with the Odyssey, the Iliad is among the oldest extant works of Western literature, and its written version is usually dated to around the eighth century BC. Recent statistical modelling based on language evolution has found it to date to 760–710 BC. In the modern vulgate (the standard accepted version), the Iliad contains 15,693 lines; it is written in Homeric Greek, a literary amalgam of Ionic Greek and other dialects.

Wrath_of_Achilles2

The Wrath of Achilles (1819), by Michel Drolling

ΙΛΙΑΔΑ Η Ιλιάδα (Ιλιάς) είναι ένα από τα ομηρικά έπη, μαζί με την Οδύσσεια και σώζεται ολόκληρη στις μέρες μας. Η σύνθεσή της, που κατά την παράδοση έγινε από τον Όμηρο, τοποθετείται στον 8ο αιώνα π.Χ. και βασίζεται στην παράδοση προφορικής σύνθεσης και απαγγελίας ηρωικών ποιημάτων που είχε αναπτυχθεί τους προηγούμενους αιώνες. Το ποίημα, που περιγράφει κάποια γεγονότα του δέκατου και τελευταίου χρόνου της πολιορκίας της Τροίας (Ιλίου) από τους Έλληνες (Αχαιοί ή Αργείοι ή Δαναοί στο έπος), είναι γραμμένο σε δακτυλικό (ή ηρωικό) εξάμετρο σε μια έντεχνη ποιητική γλώσσα και έχει 15.693 στίχους

Slays_Hector

Achilles Slays Hector, by Peter Paul Rubens (1630–35).

Ψάλε μου, θεά την οργή του Αχιλλέα, του γιου του Πηλέα, αυτή την καταραμένη οργή, που προξένεσε στους Αχαιούς αμέτρητες συμφορές κι έστειλε τις ατρόμητες ψυχές πολλών ηρώων στον Άδη, αφήνοντας τα σώματά τους βορά (τροφή) στα σκυλιά και στα όρνεα· αυτό ήταν το θέλημα του Δία από τότε που έπεσε μίσος για πρώτη φορά ανάμεσα στο βασιλιά γιο του Ατρέα και το θεόμορφο Αχιλλέα. Αρχή του ποιήματος είναι η μῆνις, η οργή του Αχιλλέα, μετά από διαφωνία με τον Αγαμέμνονα για τη διανομή των λαφύρων από τις μάχες, που οδηγεί στην αποχώρηση του Αχιλλέα από τις πολεμικές επιχειρήσεις. Στην Ιλιάδα περιλαμβάνονται τα γεγονότα που ακολουθούν την αποχώρηση του Αχιλλέα και οι επιτυχίες των Τρώων, η είσοδος του Πάτροκλου στον πόλεμο με τον οπλισμό του Αχιλλέα, ο θάνατος του Πάτροκλου, η επιστροφή του Αχιλλέα στη μάχη για εκδίκηση, ο θάνατος του Έκτορα και η βεβήλωσή του από τον Αχιλλέα. Τέλος, η παράδοση του νεκρού Έκτορα στους Τρώες για την ταφή του. Τα επεισόδια που έχουν προηγηθεί στα δέκα χρόνια του πολέμου, καθώς και η προϊστορία του πολέμου, περιλαμβάνονται στα Κύπρια έπη, ενώ τα γεγονότα μετά την ταφή του Έκτορα μέχρι και την άλωση της Τροίας περιέχονται στα επόμενα έργα του τρωικού κύκλου, Αιθιοπίς, Μικρά Ιλιάς, Ιλίου πέρσις. Από τα κύρια χαρακτηριστικά της Ιλιάδας πρέπει ν΄αναφερθεί η μεγάλη συμμετοχή των θεών στα δρώμενα με αποτέλεσμα το έπος να αποπνέει μεγάλη θρησκευτικότητα, αφού οι θεοί παρεμβαίνουν στις διαφωνίες των ισχυρών προσώπων. Ο Απόλλωνας υπακούοντας στον αδικημένο Χρύση και ο Δίας στον Αχιλλέα στέλουν λοιμό στους Αχαιούς. Πρέπει και οι δυο να ικανοποιηθούν. Οι ήρωες του έπους είναι αληθινοί άνθρωποι, αγαπούν την πατρίδα τους, είναι γενναίοι, έχουν υψηλό φρόνημα, είναι ευσεβείς, πολλές φορές είναι ορμητικοί και κάποτε ιδιοτελείς και στο έπακρο φιλόδοι. Αγαπούν τους οικείου τους, αγαπούν επίσης τις τιμές και τον πλούτο και δεν αρνούνται τις τέρψεις και τις απολαύσεις της ζωής. Καθένας απ΄ αυτούς έχει τη δική του προσωπικότητα και κάποιοι ιδιαίτερο γνώρισμα, όπως συμβαίνει με τον Αχιλλέα, τον Οδυσσεά, τον Αγαμέμνονα ή Νέστωρα. Σαφώς επίσης διαγράφονται από τον ποιητή και οι γυναικείες μορφές, όπως η Ελένη, η Εκάβη, η Ανδρομάχη κλπ. ~Wikipedia ~Wikipedia

images of absence cover

ΠΑΡΑΛΛΑΓΗ

Φύσηξε ο αγέρας
τα πεσμένα φύλλα
γέμισε θάνατο το πεζοδρόμιο
καθώς ο νους μου έτρεξε
στο χαμογέλιο σου
και ξάφνου είδα ένα χορό
μπροστά στα μάτια μου
παράξενο των φύλλων
ν’ αρχινά που λες ζωντάνεψαν
μέσα στη νέκρα τους
και σιγοτραγουδούσαν

τίποτα δεν πεθαίνει
ρυθμό μόνο αλλάζει
η ζωή και φόρεμα

CAMOUFLAGE

Wind blew
the fallen leaves
death took over
the sidewalk
and my mind
ran to your smile and
suddenly I saw a strange
dance before my eyes
the leaves had commenced
in the slumber
of their death
as if alive they sang

nothing dies
life only changes
its dress and rhythm

~IMAGES OF ABSENCE-ΕΙΚΟΝΕΣ ΑΠΟΥΣΙΑΣ, Ekstasis Editions, Victoria, BC, 2015

Sunday 10/6/2012

Spanish pie…

Or Spanish pudding as the proof therein lies. Spain is a brilliant example of healthy and balanced economic growth. A country that carefuly developed both its agricultural and industrial base. A country with balanced budgets and low debt before the crisis, Spain is suddenly scrambling to cover a black hole of debt. It realy makes no sense, unless of course you have read the Alexander the great plan: http://ellinomangia.blogspot.gr/2011/10/alexander-great-plan-unmasked.html
Spain organized the only profitable olympics ever in Barcelona in 1992. Not a corrupt country with a population that doesn’t pay its taxes like we Greeks are supposed to be. The most profitable car factories of the Volkswagen group are the SEAT in Spain. So how did the Spanish end up with such a black hole of debt. An article by local economist Baroufakis blames the “idiotic” private bankers. I have a feeling though that it is more likely that banks have been buying each other out and “idiotic” bankers have managed to sweep their “mistakes” under the carpet. Since the crisis began here in Greece our private banks, that had avoided buying high risk products and were thus poised to avoid the crisis, have been slowly acquired by foreign interests and now require public refinancing. In any event here is the plan that was put into affect to “save” the Spaniards. First the Spanish banks will borrow about 300 billion from the European Central Bank at 1% interest. To avoid any possible bankruptcies the government will also borrow from the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) at about 4% and give that money to the banks. As in every case so far when refinancing the banks public money is simply donated with no return or control. To avoid the scary event of a Spanish bankruptcy the private banks will then lend money to their government, from the funds they borrowed at 1% form the EFSF, at the incredible rate of 6%.  So first the private banks of Spain dump their losses onto the Government, and the public. Then they get refinanced at low interest while at the same time lending at a 5 percentage point profit to Spain, pushing her closer to bankruptcy while fighting to pay massive loans of 4 and 6 percentage points to cover these private sector losses. The only thing that is required for this rotten deal is aggressive austerity measures on behalf of the Spanish government and like in the examples of Greece, Ireland and Portugal, the partial granting of national sovereignty. It is a small price to pay to stay in the Euro eh? NOT! The basic premise for SYRIZA and Tsipras refusing to partake in a government with either ND or PASOK is just that, the two parties have already signed a partial granting of Greek sovereignty…
This is also my premise for calling Merkel and her gangster coworkers Nazis, ’cause what do they want with Greek sovereignty anyways? The mechanism to chip away at nations and national identities has been set up. Who will prevail and under what conditions will be judged in the future elections or in the marketplace depending on our vote.

 Eλληνομαγκιά

 

Saturday 15/10/2011

The Alexander the Great Plan unmasked

Using an extremely complicated algorhythm the ESA was able to estimate the proper financial moves to offset a possible housing crash in the US. Due to Budensbank and Credit Agricole massive investments in US mortgages it was decided that Europe was too exposed to fluctuations of the US market. So a vast program of lending was undertaken to offset this imbalance. According to the algorhythm it was wise to simultaneously funnel large sums into the European south to offset possible downturns in the US. True the countries of the south, and their banks, avoided high risk investments and overseas investments altogether. For the most part banks of southern Europe entrust their investments in Northern European banks. The very same banks that invest in US markets. When the crash did happen and the US with its new president, Obama, was in the compromised position of having to cover bank bankruptcies guess who were the first to go. Yup, the US government bought back its banks from European investors for cents on the dollar and of course the european banks used the investments of the south to cover the losses. A dominoe effect that set into motion the Alexander the Great algorhythm. Now Greece may not need to cover a multitrillion dollar hole but with its measly write off of 100 billion euros will set off a new dominoe effect. Exactly because of its position at the bottom of the totem pole the trickle effect will be a topling effect. You see a hundred billion euros of real money is the equivallent of two to three trillion in loans. Since it is a 30 percent slashing of debt in government bonds it is a slashing of that paperwork that the banks use to underwrite loans. Like a ripple reaching the shore and transforming into a tidal wave the defunct loans will topple each other till even the largest economies crumble. For real this time…

 

Eλληνομαγκιά

Manolis’s Greek short story titled ‘ο Εχθρός’ (The Enemy) is published in the new issue of the Greek literary magazine ENEKEN.

Find ‘ο Εχθρός’ on page 214 in Eneken No 21. The issue was just released in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Here is a link to the website of this acclaimed greek literary journal:
www.eneken.gr
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Manolis wins awards for poetry and fiction at the Festival InterArtia 2011 in Greece.


. Festival interArtia 2011

Two of Manolis’s poems won the 2nd poetry prize at InterArtia 2011.

Manolis also won the third prize for short fiction at Interartia 2011 for his short story titled ‘Birthday’.

InterArtia awards are offered by International Art Society each year to recognize excellence in poetry, short fiction, art and other forms of creative expressions.

View the lists in Greek at the link below:
International Art Society

Manolis’s name appears in two different lists.

Congratulations, Manolis!
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Manolis’s highly acclaimed latest collection of English poetry ‘Vernal Equinox’ is coming out in Greek as ‘ΕΑΡΙΝΗ ΙΣΗΜΕΡΙΑ’.

Published by ENEKEN Publishers in Salonica, Greece, the work is scheduled for release in August-September of this year.

In an email interview, Manolis said, ‘this initiative by ENEKEN may be the beginning of joint ventures that will benefit and enrich both Canadian and Greek literary traditions, communities and writers’.

Eneken Publishers have been publishing Greek literary titles for almost 20 years. The man in charge is George Gianopoulos, a renowned poet and editor. The publishing house also supports a literary magazine of the same name for about 10 years.

For more information on ‘ΕΑΡΙΝΗ ΙΣΗΜΕΡΙΑ’, Contact Eneken Publishers:
Email: eneken@hotmail.com
Website: www.eneken.gr
Street address: Eneken
55 Vasilisis Sophias Street
TT 54641
Thesaloniki, Greece

The English version, ‘Vernal Equinox’ by Manolis was released earlier this year in Vancouver Lower Mainland by Ekstasis Editions from Victoria. It is available at:
http://www.ekstasiseditions.com/
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