Greece #3

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epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Greek Gov’t Builds €1 Mln Refugee Camp

In an effort to tackle the huge influx of refugees and undocumented migrants, the Greek government is building a new camp for migrants in Elaionas area in Athens.

A large vacant lot in Elaionas will serve as an open camp for the refugees who now camp out at the Pedion tou Areos park, near the Athens Archaeological Museum.

The land has been provided by the City of Athens and the prefabricated homes by the Attica Regional Authority and Labor Ministry, while the Public Power Corporation (DEI) is covering the cost of connecting the camp to the national grid and the Athens Water and Sewage Company (EYDAP) will provide the piping and water for free....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Squaring the triangle of corruption

By now, Greek society is all too familiar with the triangular relationship between the State, the banks and the media. The media are owned by oligarchs who use them to support the political system, in exchange for government contracts. But there is more...

Systemic media companies in Greece are members of groups of companies involved in construction and shipping and are in reality unsustainable businesses, financially speaking. In order to remain in operation, they receive hundreds of millions in loans from banks without any guarantees or collateral. They are the financial engine of the triangular relationship. Today ThePressProject reveals the fourth pillar of the relationship, the mechanism that undertakes the laundering and the movement of money between the state, banks and the media. And this is none other than some very odd advertising agencies....

NDPP

Greece: Frightened But Standing!

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/08/10/greece-rape-humiliated-frightened...

"Greece is obviously on the same hit list of the Empire as are countless other 'unruly' nations from Ecuador and Venezuela to Russia, China and Iran.

'Mr Tsipras, what has been done to your people? Is there any democracy left in Greece?'

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Polarisation in Syriza as democracy undermined in Greece

quote:

The ongoing struggle in Syriza

Tsipras scored an important victory against the left at a 30 July Syriza central committee meeting. The left pushed for a party conference of the standing delegates to take place before the agreement is finally ratified at the parliamentary sitting on 18 August. Instead, the conference will take place in September, which, as Left Platform leader Panagiotis Lafazanis said in a statement published on the website Iskra, “makes no sense, as the participants will be asked to ratify a fait accompli”.

The left had hoped to consolidate the opposition to the agreement, which earlier was expressed in a statement signed by a majority of the central committee prior to the parliamentary vote on 15 July.

 

Nonetheless, in the course of the meeting, 17 central committee members resigned. All were supporters of the ex-Maoist KOE group. While the outcome of the meeting was to close off the possibility of the left winning a majority of the party, the fight is not over. The left has not been subdued. Opposition has in fact hardened.

The Left Current (a sub group of the Left Platform) held a rally in a sports stadium in central Athens on 27 July. Lafazanis addressed up to 2,000 supporters. During his speech, which was punctuated by chants of “Oxi!” (Greek for “no”), from the crowd, he argued that the alternative to the agreement was in the party program. Speaking of the overwhelming numbers of young people that had voted “no” in the referendum, he recalled the youth wing of the communist-led resistance, EPON, and called on the youth to be the new generation for the “no”.

 

Rebuilding the struggle in the streets and workplaces is vital. A meeting of 250 activists and unionist from both the Left Platform and Antarsya was held in Athens on 28 July to establish “No until the end committees”. The report from the meeting states: “It is obvious to everyone that a massive resurgence of the labour-popular movement is an immediate necessity to shift political and economic developments … in order to finally reverse the memorandum”.

The creation of these committees is a concrete step toward rebuilding the broader struggle. It is made possible by the cooperation between activists and revolutionaries both within and outside of Syriza. Six hundred and fifty unionists and activists have signed on to the initial call for the creation of these committees. At the meeting, activists also called a demonstration to coincide with the 18 August parliamentary vote and a demonstration at the annual trade fair in Thessaloniki in September.

 

NDPP

Greece Says It Has Reached A Deal With Creditors...

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/08/greece-says-it-has-reached-a-deal...

"Germany comes out ahead even with 100% default."

lagatta

Tariq Ali weighs in about the Greek crisis:

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n15/tariq-ali/diary

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Dockworkers Against the Troika

Greek Dockworker and Union Leader, Giorgos Gogos, who is also a member of the Central Committee of SYRIZA says the workers are very ready for the struggle against privatization and austerity in the Memorandum.

NDPP

Syriza Government Steps Up Repression of Refugees

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/08/13/gree-a13.html

"Refugees fleeing war ravaged Syria, Afghanistan and other countries seeking protection in Greece are being brutally treated by the Syriza government. MSF Director of Operations Brice de le Vingne condemned the sitution in Kos, saying it was 'state abuse, with police using heavy-handed force against vulnerable people.

The indiscriminate violence meted out to people desperate to escape from their home countries, ravaged by years of war and imperialist intrigue, exposes the right-wing, bourgeois character of the Syriza government led by Tsipras."

Pondering

NDPP wrote:

Syriza Government Steps Up Repression of Refugees

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/08/13/gree-a13.html

"Refugees fleeing war ravaged Syria, Afghanistan and other countries seeking protection in Greece are being brutally treated by the Syriza government. MSF Director of Operations Brice de le Vingne condemned the sitution in Kos, saying it was 'state abuse, with police using heavy-handed force against vulnerable people.

The indiscriminate violence meted out to people desperate to escape from their home countries, ravaged by years of war and imperialist intrigue, exposes the right-wing, bourgeois character of the Syriza government led by Tsipras."

Where is Greece supposed to get the money to treat people any better? I wouldn't be surprised if Germany is trying to force Greece out of the EU so that they can't give out European travel papers.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Where is Greece supposed to get the money to treat people any better?

Taking the WSWS article at face value for the sake of argument, how expensive is it to NOT abuse people these days?

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Where is Greece supposed to get the money to treat people any better?

Taking the WSWS article at face value for the sake of argument, how expensive is it to NOT abuse people these days?

That depends on what degree of deprivation you consider abusive or if any amount of deprivation can even be considered abusive if it isn't actively caused.

We are all complicit as our government have made self-serving deals that force refugees to request asylum in the first country they reach. We are just as responsible as Greece is for the refugees landing on their shores, probably more so. I doubt Greece has much of an arms industry.

iyraste1313

from Reuters...

"The fight against the new bailout starts today, by mobilizing people in every corner of the country," said a statement signed by Lafazanis and 11 other Syriza members and posted on the far-left faction's Iskra website.

The statement called for founding a "united movement that will justify people's desire for democracy and social justice", although it did not explicitly call for a new party or a split from Syriza.

NDPP

Eurogroup Approves Austerity Deal With Syriza-Led Greek Government

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/08/15/gree-a15.html

"Having passed the latest memorandum, Syriza is now tasked with imposing savage cuts against the working class..."

Doug Woodard

Yanis Varoufakis on A New Approach to European Sovereign Debt:

http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2015/08/17/a-new-approach-to-eurozone-sovereig...

 

Doug Woodard

Greece, the Sacrificial Lamb:

http://nyti.ms/1Iv9exb

 

Doug Woodard

The Greek Debt Deal's Missing Piece - the IMF:

http://nyti.ms/1LeacyO

 

Doug Woodard

Disinventing Democracy in Greece as Elsewhere:

http://www.monbiot.com/2015/07/08/3796

 

 

NDPP

Greece For Sale: Germans To Run Greek Regional Airports as Part of Bailout Deal

http://www.rt.com/business/312852-greece-airports-germany-privatization/

"Athens has approved a deal to hand over the operation of 14 airports to a German company. The 40-year contract worth 1.23 Billion EUR was awarded to Fraport AG, which currently runs Frankfurt Airport.

The airports are not the only things on sale in Greece right now. Other travel hubs like ports and railways, the national lottery, water utilities and even the islands are to be sold off.

The privatization is part of the creditors demands to secure a third bailout for the debt-ridden country."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

A handling crisis or a crisis of the European borders regime?

The refugee camp is getting bigger by the day. Equally problems, needs and shortages are growing too, tragically demonstrating the lack of infrastructure as well as the problems of both European and Greek policies on refugees and migrants. Solidarity is growing too.

quote:

In the past  weeks more than 50 Afghani families with more than 150 children including infants born while their families were fleeing their homeland, have taken shelter at a make-shift refugee camp at Pedion Areos with no sanitary provisions. Since the day the first tents were put up along Heroes street, dozens of people joined a solidarity initiative while there was huge response to calls for support for cash and first aid (#‎pedion_areos, #‎refugeesGr).

Through open meetings and work groups who handled the logistics, meal preparation and distribution, medical aid and cleaning, the volunteers-men and women of all ages, of different political backgrounds, locals, migrants and refugees- have managed to remain as effective as possible while they keep on pushing the authorities to take immediate action, demanding adequate relocation options.

NDPP

EU Backs Greece's Tsipras as Left Platform Splits From Syriza

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/08/22/gree-a22.html

"Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' decision to call snap elections is a calculated maneuver aimed at establishing a new political framework for pushing through deeply unpopular austerity measures.

Tsipras' Syriza Party is expecting to be able to win the elections held next month and to form a new government, perhaps with one or another pro-austerity coalition partner."

Doug Woodard

Yanis Varoufakis: Bailout deal allows Greek oligarchs to maintain grip:

http://gu.com/p/4bhq3/sbl

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

How many more deaths can we stomach?

Over the past weeks Greece has been facing an unprecedented spike in refugee arrivals in its eastern islands, pushing the country’s limited resources into a breaking point.

On some islands, the number of arrivals-all of them fleeing war and persecution in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq-has surpassed the totallocal population. In July alone over 50,000 people have arrived in Greece, which has seen around 160,000 migrants land on its shores since January. Seven out of ten of the people are refugees from Syria followed by lower numbers of Afghans and Iraqis.

Under the pressure of the influx of people-and in the context of the bleak financial situation of Greece- the country’s reception system is stretched to its limits. There are three reception and identification centers on the islands of Chios, Lesvos and Samos run by the police while on the other islands the police or the coast guard accommodates people in open spaces. Asylum claims can only be filed in Athens, as there are no asylum services on the islands. The two existing servicesof Rhodes and Lesvos are understaffed and hence cannot process any claims. But even in Athens, lack of personnel and coordination hampers the registration and identification process that can last for many months. In the interim, people are either packed like animals for slaughter in inadequate reception centers or are forced to sleep outdoors in squalid conditions....

Geoff

Whatever the Greek Govenrment decides to do, they should send the bill to Berlin, since the Germans have all Greece's money.

NDPP

Yes, or perhaps compare best practices with Lebanon, hardly a rich country either, that now has approximately a million and a quarter Syrian refugees alone to support...USRAEL's ME wars have created a human catastrophe that is crushing countries, including now Greece..

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Crisis-Hit Greek Island Introduces Cryptocurrency

quote:

The only ATM on the island quickly ran out of cash, therefore many residents and tourists were forced to take a boat to the mainland in order to withdraw their daily –and later- weekly limit. Furthermore, the fact that the capital controls are keeping small businesses from paying their vendors, Agistri is faced with low tourism rates, since larger travel agencies tend to provide travel packages to larger and more well-known islands.

The inhabitants had very few options when it came to keeping the island’s economy running. The local authorities met and decided to participate in a new pilot cryptocurrency program, Nautiluscoin.

Nautiluscoin is a digital currency created in an effort to help various businesses and individuals who wish to make transactions without using the traditional currency system. It was created and launched by Brian Kelly and its purpose is to preserve purchasing power and maintain stability, in the economic sector.

“The mayor of the Greek island of Agistri has agreed to allow the island to be a pilot program for a new monetary ecosystem, which will use Nautiluscoin,” wrote Kelly in a CNBC article. “The combination of the small size and convenient location makes Agistri a perfect candidate for a pilot program. Over the coming weeks, the infrastructure for this project will be rolled out and the citizens of Agistri will receive Nautiluscoin to begin transacting.”

Doug Woodard

Leaked EU memorandum reveals renewed attempt at imposing water privatization on Greece:

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/32499-leaked-eu-memorandum-reveals-re...

 

 

Doug Woodard

Towards the democratization of the Eurozone - Yanis Varoufakis:

http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2015/08/25/10081

and click on the link indicated.

NDPP

Varoufakis Documents Syriza's Political Treachery

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/08/24/varo-a24.html

"Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis is continuing his effort to distance himself from the austerity memorandum Syriza Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has agreed to impose. In doing so, he is succeeding only in confirming the bankruptcy of the entire Syriza project, which has been embraced by pseudo-left groups internationally..."

 

German Left Party Declares Its Support For Syriza's Alexis Tsipras

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/08/25/left-a25.html

"...The only thing 'left' about the Left Party are its phrases. The latest developments in Greece underscore its capacity to cover up the most reactionary policies with left rhetoric."

 

KKE: In the Face of the Early Elections

http://inter.kke.gr/en/articles/In-the-face-of-the-early-elections/

"...So, in practice it has been demonstrated that the SYRIZA-ANEL government is another anti-people government, which with 'left' slogans served in an equally faithful way the bourgeoisie, the EU and NATO as the previous governments had done.

At the same time, the bourgeois political system in order to curb and control any radical changes in the people's consciousness that could be brought about by the exposure of SYRIZA's role continues to manufacture new parties.

One such party, with the title 'Laiki Enotita' (People's Unity) was formed by MPs and former ministers from SYRIZA. These forces, which were active as a 'left platform' inside SYRIZA, bear grave responsibilities as regards the deception of the people.."

Doug Woodard

Why Greece and the eurozone aren't playing games, by John Gray:

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-33863913

 

Doug Woodard

The poisoned chalice, by James Galbraith:

https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/james-galbraith-j-luis-...

Note the very interesting links.

josh

Quote:
Alexis Tsipras’s surprise move to tighten his grip on power, with what he had hoped would be a fresh mandate to implement spending cuts and reforms, is showing all the signs of having backfired. Diehard leftists, appalled by the anti-austerity movement’s spectacular U-turn, appear to be leaving Syriza in droves.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/06/centre-right-level-with-syr...

Doug Woodard

Yanis Varoufakis - On German Moral Leadership (have patience, he gets around to Greece eventually):

http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2015/09/14/on-german-moral-leadership-english-...

 

NDPP

Greece is Now A Protectorate of the European Union

http://www.voltairenet.org/article/188654.html

According to the revelations in the Greek press on the 5th September, 2015, concerning the secret agreement signed by the Tsipras government, ' the new government of Greece will be under the strict supervision of Brussels.

The deputy director of the Commission for Economic and Financial Affairs, Holland's Maarten Verwey will preside over the new work group. 'He can write any project or any law in all sectors, from income tax to the job market to public health policies, via the system for social security.

Mr Verway's team will cooperate closely with the troika. It will be able to present reports to the IMF and talk directly with the Prime Minister.

"Robert Fico, the President of the Slovakian government declared: 'I don't like to use an expression like that, but on a certain level it's a protectorate..

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Days of Revolt: We Are All Greeks Now

In this episode of teleSUR's Days of Revolt, Chris Hedges continues his conversation with Leo Panitch on global neoliberalism and the possibilities for revolutionary change in Greece...

Doug Woodard

The lenders are the real winners in Greece - Alexis Tsipras has been set up to fail:

http://gu.com/p/4ct5h/sbl

 

Tom Vouloumanos

Hi, this is my latest piece for TeleSUR: UNDERSTANDING THE GREEK ELECTIONS AND THE PROSPECTS OF THE LEFT, its a four part series. I was recently in Greece and got some insights from both people involved with Syriza and Popular Unity. This was before the elections.  I hope you find this informative. 

 

Part 1: http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Syriza-and-Popular-Unity-20150917-0044.html 

Part 2: http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Criticisms-and-Counter-Criticisms-from-Within-Syriza-20150918-0029.html 

Part 3: http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Greece-The-Left-Platform-20150919-0013.html 

Part 4: http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Greece-A-Divided-Left-20150920-0015.html 

 

 

NDPP

Tsipras Returns to US to Offer Up Greece for Capitalist Exploitation

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/09/30/tsip-s30.html

"Following Syriza's re-election, Tsipras has spared no time in deepening his ties with the financial elite in the US and internationally. On Saturday he began a week-long trip to the US.

Tsipras was in the US to hear his master's voice as well as to advertise Syriza's pro-capitalist bona-fides..."

NDPP

In Aristotle's Homeland, Canadian Mining Giant Fights Ban to Get Its Gold

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/10/02/aristotles-homeland-canadian...

"Eldorado Gold must realize that beautiful Halkidiki is not its property, nor is Halkidiki a 'lab-rat' of environmental destruction for its profits..."

 

Ukrainian Extremists Threaten Greek Delegation in Odessa, Prevent it Meeting City's Greek Minority

http://newcoldwar.org/ukrainian-extremists-threaten-greek-delegation-in-...

"The Greek journalist emphasized that ultranationalists deprived the delegation of any opportunity to communicate with members of the Greek minority here in Odessa.

'The ultrantionalists, wearing paramilitary uniforms along with masks and balaclavas were waving Ukrainian flags and banners and placards that read,

'Foreigners and Russophiles have no place in Ukraine!'

NDPP

Former Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis Denounces Working Class, Praises British Tories

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/10/03/varo-o03.html

"Varoufakis is, in essence, Blair in a Greek context..."

NDPP

Greece: Tsipras is Eliminating Any Trace of His Rivals

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/10/26/greece-tspiras-is-eliminating-any...

"Our conclusion is optimistic: It will take much more than the 'cleansing' of the Greek Parliament site, and even much more than the relentless smear campaign and the dirtiest of blows to destroy resistance to those who have sold their soul to the neoliberal devil by agreeing to apply his inhumane policies.

Even in very difficult conditions, the struggle continues as it is now a question of defending all that is most precious: our dignity and our very survival."

screwed by social democratic sellouts

KenS

The gratuitous sneer at "social democrats" is noted.

Social democrats feel screwed by Tsipras too.

mark_alfred

PASOK is the social democratic party of Greece, isn't it?  Do they have much to do with Tsipras?

NDPP

It is true that PASOK is the social democratic party of Greece and that Syriza claimed to be more radical, an 'anti-capitalist coalition', (Varoufakis came to Syriza from PASOK) but it quickly moved into social-democrat territory and I consider it of that ilk.

KenS

My comment stands: "real socialists" sneer at all social democrats- even if they usually only do it only when talking amomg themeselves.

So every social democrat if not an out and out traitor like Tsipras is a traitor in waiting.

Anyone still in PASOK is a suspect social democrat in my books. [Or still there a year or 2 ago, for that matter.]

But for example, Varoufakis is in my books just plain a social democrat like me- regardless of whether I always am happy with what he and others do.

ED after seeing cross-post: in NDPP's own words- but SYRIZA quickly moved into social-democrat territory and I consider it of that ilk.

[the territory of hopeless class traitors, etc, etc]

NDPP

Varoufakis Charging $60,000 Per Speech

http://www.the-american-interest.com/2015/10/27/varoufakis-charging-6000...

"Self-described 'Marxist libertarian' former finance minister is collecting hefty speaking fees in an offshore bank account. The Times of London reports. The average Greek household has a disposable income of $18,575 per year - less than a third of what Mr Varoufakis makes per year."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Austerity vs. The People's Health: How Greeks Built an Alternative Health System

quote:

Health care from the bottom-up, in the middle of crisis-stricken Greece and born out of dire need: How did all of this happen and how did a people decide to take health into their own hands?

The first solidarity clinic -the Social Clinic of Rethymno- was to open on Crete, the idyllic island that is especially popular amongst European tourists. The clinic describes its purpose on its website as supporting people who do not have access to free health, medicines and vaccines as well as highlighting the problem that a big part of the population is being excluded from basic health services. Whereas the clinic was initially founded to serve the influx of immigrants and refugees, it soon started getting demand from native Greeks. Those who came were from diverse backgrounds; most just recently lost their health insurance as a result of unemployment. More than 300,000 people fell into this bracket in 2014, making the total share of uninsured Greeks stand at around 33.2% of the population (not even counting immigrants). Even people that are part of the social security register and formally employed have increasingly been making use of the solidarity structure; a decrease in public spending for medicines by more than half, from ca. five to only two Billion Euro means that many are unable to afford co-payments for drugs of sometimes up to 70%.

Whereas Greece has surely never been a pioneer in health matters - it has always been able to guarantee access to care to those that needed it. Its healthcare has been a mix of social health insurance and tax financed services via its own NHS run structure; comprised of a fragmented, corrupted but nevertheless accessible system. And although quality suffered in the last years, the biggest difference now is not that good-quality services are unavailable, but that people´s incomes are too low to pay for them any longer.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Eurogroup doesn’t unlock funds for Greece; it bows to Schaeuble instead as he tries to topple Merkel

For one more time, Greece is in the Eurogroup’s Twilight Zone. Some of the creditors insist on putting obstacles in front of the release of the 2-billion euro bailout tranche. And no wonder, it is the usual “suspects”: Schaeuble, Dijsselboem & Co. Ok, everybody knows that Dijsselbloem is following Schaeuble’s orders, while Schaeuble is following his own political  aspirations: to be Chancellor in Berlin. Thus taking advantage of the situation with the refugees, with Merkel’s policy on the issue and the crowd of conservative German voters, the economic situation in Greece. How he will do it? It’s easy – today he staged his own little coup against Merkel, short before he left for the Eurogroup meeting in Brussels. Today, it became clear how Schaeuble’s deepest wishes are interwoven with the Greek bailout and the Refugee Crisis.

It has been clear in the last few days, that the Eurogroup would not approve the release of the 2-billion euro bailout tranche Greece desperately needs. The gap between Athens and the creditors on certain issues is still there. Or the creditors do not want to bridge it. At the doorstep of the Eurogroup meeting hall, the German Finance Minister and the Eurogroup chief competed with each other as to who will give the strongest headbutt the Greeks....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Greece Grinds to a Halt Amid Nationwide 24-hour Strike

Unions representing private sector workers and state employees in Greece launched a 24-hour nationwide general strike on Wednesday against the austerity measures put through by the government.

Called by Greece’s umbrella unions ADEDY and GSEE, the industrial action disrupted trains and ferries, as well as public services. Hospitals were operating on skeleton staff and pharmacies were scheduled to close for the day. Teachers, prison staff and court employees were also participating in the strike....

iyraste1313

Thanks for this! These movements in Greece are essential reading, a harbinger of what´s to come here in Canada, as our own economy is melting before our eyes...oil, energy, lumber, mining, realestate....

It´s time to prepare ourselves with ideas and organization. What is their plan of action in Greece, but to protest...their Party has already sold out! The alternatives types are already gone! Where will the blueprint to rebuild the country come from...outside the control of the EU bureaucrats?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

General Strike In Greece Reignites Anti-Austerity Battle (video)

quote:

GORGOS: Yes, it's true that Greek society, not only the party of Syriza, is in a depression. It's many people that are disappointed, and they want some times so as to recover and to get out in the streets, and keep on demanding. I think this strike today, it's a part of a further plan of rejection of memorandums. And people that will start going out to the streets demanding their rights. It's through that the movement in general, it's not in the same situation as it was in the summer, just before the referendum, which was the peak of the movement in Greece against austerity. But slowly, people realize that there is no other way than struggling and demanding for our rights.

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