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ANDRE VLTCHEK – Greece: Raped, Humiliated, Frightened But Standing!

A small town of Distomo is just 150 kilometers from Athens, positioned in the heart of Greece, literally squeezed between two great world heritage sites: Delphi, the cradle of the European democracy, and a stunning Byzantine monastery of Hossios Luckas. But Distomo is much more than some picturesque village surrounded by mountains and history. Here, On June 10, 1944, according …

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Leid Stories – 08.04.15

Debt: The Creation of A Global Crisis

The forced, politically engineered bankruptcy of the City of Detroit has been an ongoing discussion on Leid Stories for almost two years. Its historic bankruptcy court filing, to discharge $18 billion in debts, still wreaks havoc with Detroiters, who now must live under the yoke of blistering austerity.

Detroit, however, was a template for almost 60 U.S. cities said to be on the brink of bankruptcy because of debt, as Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, grapples with an onerous debt of $73 billion.

But debt is a geopolitical contrivance, says Yanis Varoufakis, who on July 6 quit as finance minister in Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s government of Greece, opposing European Union, International Monetary Fund and bankers’ demands for drastic cutbacks to service the country’s debt obligations.

In a wide-ranging talk in Seattle three years ago, when he was an economics professor, Varoufakis deconstructs the myth of a global debt crisis.

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Yanis Varoufakis – A single currency challenges national sovereignty

In 2010 the Greek state lost the capacity to service its debt. Put simply, it became insolvent and thus lost access to capital markets. To prevent a default on fragile French and German banks that had irresponsibly lent billions to irresponsible Greek governments, Europe decided to grant Greece the biggest loan in world history on condition of the largest ever …

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Vojko Volk – The Failure — and Future — of Democracy In Europe

There’s at least one reason we should be grateful to the Greek people for exposing the European Union’s democratic dysfunction this summer: Their recent referendum showed that majority rule is impossible in a multinational union. Creating the illusion of democratic decisions within the EU, even when there is no clear will among the member states, has returned like a boomerang …

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Deirdre Fulton – Beppe: Nationalize Banks to Throw Off ‘Anti-Democratic Straitjacket’of Eurozone

Longtime critic of the Eurozone’s destructive commitment to austerity, Italian comedian-turned-political activist Beppe Grillo has launched what one news outlet called a “full-throated attack” on the single currency, saying his country should throw off that “anti-democratic straitjacket” by nationalizing its banks and taking a stronger stance against the demands of elite financial interests. Grillo, who the Guardian says “transformed Italian …

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Ernst Wolff – Tsipras and Varoufakis Approve of Home Evictions and Expropriation of Depositors

After being elected in January, Prime Minister Tsipras and his Finance Minister Varoufakis negotiated with the EU commission, the ECB and the IMF for almost five months. While fulfilling almost all of their financial demands, Syriza’s leaders openly criticized the “institutions” for their tough bargaining and resisted some of their harshest measures. At the beginning of July, the Troika tightened …

Greece: The Courage of Hopelessness – Slavoj Žižek

The Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben said in an interview that “thought is the courage of hopelessness” – an insight which is especially pertinent for our historical moment when even the most pessimist diagnostics as a rule finishes with an uplifting hint at some version of the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. The true courage is not to imagine an …

Varoufakis: Troika Forced Syriza Into Choice Between ‘Suicide or Execution’ – Lauren McCauley

In his first international television interview since stepping down from his post as Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis told CNN‘s Christiane Amanpour on Monday that European lenders had forced his government to make a choice between “suicide or execution.” After five months of rigorous negotiations, the outspoken Varoufakis stepped down from his post the night of the Greek referendum. And despite voting against the …

Greece debt crisis news: Alexis Tsipras shows his Machiavellian streak in a purge of Syriza rebels – Michael Day

Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has shown no mercy in axing left-wing cabinet colleagues in order to implement the austerity measures that saw a quarter of his MPs desert him and violence flare in the streets of Athens. Only by silencing his critics can he hope to introduce the tax hikes, labour reforms and privatisations which were ordered by the …