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Chris Jones – The Bleak Plight of Refugees on Greece’s Samos Island

We are sorry that we have not posted anything from Samos over these past few weeks. The mood for writing has not been there. In large measure this has been caused by an overwhelming sense of sadness which hangs like a thunder cloud over this beautiful island. It is a cloud that affects us all. There are many elements which …

europesoldes

Europe’s oldest known living inhabitant

A Bosnian pine (Pinus heldreichii) growing in the highlands of northern Greece has been dendrocronologically dated to be more than 1075 years old. This makes it currently the oldest known living tree in Europe. The millenium old pine was discovered by scientists from Stockholm University (Sweden), the University of Mainz (Germany) and the University of Arizona (USA). “It is quite …

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Alternative Visions – Greek Debt Crisis II: Why Syriza Lost – 08.26.16

Jack takes a detailed look at the strategic and tactical errors of the Syriza party and Greek government in 2015 that led to its eventual capitulation to the Troika, resulting in continued austerity and economic depression in Greece. Among the errors noted are Syriza’s naïve reliance on the support from social democratic allies in Europe that did not exist or abandoned it, Syriza’s repeated unilateral concessions to the Troika without any concessions in turn, its allowing the ECB to slowly shut down Greece’s banking system and its refusal to nationalize its banks to remove them from ECB control, Syriza’s agreement to extend the prior debt terms and continue making debt payments to the Troika while the Troika denied Greece loans and payments it was due, amateur bargaining tactics by Syriza negotiators, Syriza’s refusal to leverage potential support from Russia, China, threaten to leave NATO, or to demand concessions from the Troika in exchange for Greece assistance controlling refugee flows into Europe, Syriza continued signals it would not Grexit or form an alternate parallel currency, Syriza’s poorly worded referendum vote in July, and its leaders’ rejection of the results of the vote. (For more detailed analysis of the Greek debt events from 1999 through May 2016, see Jack Rasmus, ‘Looting Greece: An Emerging New Financial Imperialism’, Clarity Press, September 2016.) See also the article by Rasmus on Greece posted on the PRN website and at Jack’s blog, jackrasmus.com.

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JACK RASMUS – Greek Debt and the New Financial Imperialism

This week marks the first anniversary of the 2015 Greek debt crisis, the third in that country’s recent history since 2010. Last Aug. 20-21, 2015, the ‘Troika’—i.e., the pan-European institutions of the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB), plus the IMF-imposed a third debt deal on Greece. Greece was given US$98 billion in loans from the Troika. A …

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Alternative Visions – On the Anniversary of the Greek Debt Crisis of 2015: Part 1 (Neoliberal and German Origins of Greek Debt) – 08.19.16

Dr. Rasmus discusses the first of a two part series on the nature of Greek debt crises, and how they are the consequence of Euro neoliberalism, dominance of the Eurozone’s ‘Troika’ (European Commission, European Central Bank, IMF) by German bankers, allies and politicians, and the continuing insolvency of European private banks. Citing recent studies that show 95% of Greece’s debt payment to the Troika since 2010 have gone to European bankers, Rasmus argues the recycling of debt and interest payments represents an emerging new form of financial imperialism that is built into the Eurozone’s very structure since 1999. The deeper analysis is available in Dr. Rasmus’s new book, to be released in September, ‘Looting Greece: An Emerging New Financial Imperialism’, by Clarity Press. Rasmus discusses the origins of the 2010, 2012, 2015 (and April 2016 mini) debt crises in Greece, and concludes with the Greek Syriza party’s main strategic error. Next week, Part 2: ‘Why Syriza’s strategy (and tactics) failed and why the Troika’s prevailed’—plus more on the new financial imperialism taking form in the Eurozone periphery and its prospects globally elsewhere.

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Yanis Yaroufakis – The IMF confesses it immolated Greece on behalf of the Eurogroup

This week began with a debate in Greek Parliament called by the Official Opposition (the troika’s main, but not only, domestic cheerleaders) for the purposes of, eventually, indicting me for daring to counter the troika while minister of finance in the first six months of 2015. The troika who had staged a bank run before I moved into the ministry, who had threatened me …

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Katie Allen and Larry Elliott – UK joins Greece at bottom of wage growth league

Britain has suffered a bigger fall in real wages since the financial crisis than any other advanced country apart from Greece, research shows. A report by the TUC, published on Wednesday, shows that real earnings have declined more than 10% since the credit crunch began in 2007, leaving the UK equal bottom in a league table of wages growth. Using data …

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ROBERT HUNZIKER – Healthcare’s Neoliberal Death Warrant

Neoliberalism’s mantra of “privatizing everything in sight” and elimination, or cutbacks, of governmental programs, aka: austerity, especially public healthcare, is a death warrant for millions, maybe more than millions! Sure-fire, whenever private interests take control, or cut funding for public welfare programs, similar to what Democratic and Republican neoliberal advocates have consistently advocated ever since the 1980s, all hell breaks …

index

Clearing The Fog – We’re In The Midst Of A Political Realignment – 06.28.16

Decades of lesser evil voting and the failed policies that have been the result are creating a political realignment in the United States. Such a realignment has been going on in other countries recently such as Spain, Venezuela, Greece and Iceland. The two major parties in the US, the Democrats and Republicans, are shrinking and more people are joining third parties or switching to be unaffiliated. We’ll discuss this political realignment and what it means with Darcy Richardson and Ashley Smith.