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Greece Capitulates: Tsipras Crosses 'Red Line', Will Accept Bailout Extension

"...Tsipras must decide how he wants history to remember his tenure as Prime Minister. Either he will be the leader who allowed Greece to crash out of the euro on its way to a redenomination-driven economic collapse, or he will go down as the fiery advocate for change who caved under pressure and allowed the troika to stamp out democracy in the place where it was born.

And because this is Europe after all, someone had to deny the rumors:


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Why the words ‘civil war’ are no longer a joke in Greece

Here’s the situation as the Eurogroup on Greece is underway. On Sunday the Greek cabinet met and decided to make a further retreat on the fiscal targets their lenders want them to meet.


Tsipras (pictured above) and his team are under huge pressure from within Syriza, and from within the 47 per cent of voters who, when polled last week, said they would vote for Syriza. The pressure comes verbally, in constant text messages from constituents, and from a group within the parliamentary party known as the 53 group.

These are grassroots “modernised” left-wingers – and their 53+ MPs, combined with around 30 or so from the pro-Grexit Left Platform, have enough support and willpower to reject any deal that looks like humiliation.

Controlling Syntagma Square

So Tsipras and his cabinet went to Brussels to make one more big concession, but fully prepared to endure an unwilling “rupture” with lenders, leading to the imposition of capital controls and a default, if they judge lenders are actually trying to humiliate them and force them to the exit.

They understand the likely chaos would not just be economic. The second of the pro-euro demonstrations is due to be held tonight. So far has the mood darkened between this essentially right-wing, pro-austerity movement and the mass base of Syriza that it has in the past week become routine for people to start throwing around the words “civil war”, and no longer in the jokey way they used to.

People fear, sooner or later, that the left and right will stop alternating their demonstrations in Syntagma Square and start vying for control of it.

As I’ve explained before, this is because the election of Syriza triggered kind of recovered memory syndrome on both sides of politics, about the cold war and fascist collaboration and dictatorship in the 1970s.

‘Not ready’

Syriza as a party faces a dilemma. It knows that, should the banks close, there would soon be queues at supermarkets and pharmacies. It knows there could be social chaos into which the grassroots party structures would have to intervene – if only to expand their soup kitchen and advice centres and try to calm things down.

But its entire evolution as a left-wing party has been away from confrontation with the state and towards the “long march” through the institutional strategy of the New Left, as advocated by Syriza’s intellectual guru, the late Marxist intellectual Nicos Poulantzas. (coincidentally, in a debate with Ed Miliband’s father).

So while, as a party, its members are in their majority minded to demand rejection of the coming deal, they also know – as several activists have put it to me – that they are “not ready” for the situation....

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In Search of Lost Time

It appears that five months were needed for the Greek government to finally withdraw from a process that has been exhausting for the government itself and society as a whole. This was the time required for a (perhaps temporary) end to be put to the repayment installments to the creditors and for Syriza to issue a call for reactivation of the popular mobilization that was interrupted by the catastrophic agreement of February 20.


Wagering on Social Passivity

But the “lost time” does not apply only to the continual backtracking by Greek negotiators. Equally crucial is the demobilization of society, the constant lowering of expectations, the sense of impotence that is becoming generalized. The break here came with the February 20 agreement that put an end to the climate of hope and the combative mood that had been triggered by the electoral victory of Syriza in January.

The official discourse of the government has been a decisive factor in that process, as well as Syriza’s inability as a party to strike a different tone. What prevailed in the end, and continues to some extent on its posthumous course, was the interminable “negotiationology,” the never-ending song and dance on the subject of the imminent “agreement” and the allegedly “honorable compromise,” interspersed from time to time with truculent outbursts that hint at a “rupture” — but without ever preparing it or explaining it as a viable and positive option....


Greek Debt Crisis: LIVE UPDATES

1430 GMT: The EU could easily give Greece debt reduction or even cancel it, Richard Wolff, Prof of Economics, U of MA, told RT.

1517 GMT: Pensioners from across Greece marching through Athens with demands to end austerity..."

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..this was posted on the june 18th so the list has more likely changed.

A handbook to the first months of SYRIZA-ANEL government


What the hell has the SYRIZA-ANEL government been doing all this time, apart from negotiating with its creditors?
The answer may be found below, through a list I compiled from various sources. The list is not exhaustive, I focused on issues which I consider interesting for an international audience.


Summing up, whether the SYRIZA-ANEL government has done a good job or not depends on one’s point of view. Those who hoped that SYRIZA would lead Greece to socialism should be lamenting by now. Those of us, on the other hand, who already knew there’s nothing radical about SYRIZA apart from its title (“Coalition of the Radical Left”), are satisfied with the small progress made in various sectors; and are patiently waiting for the monotonous negotiations to come to an end, in a way as to finally see what lies ahead. The good news is that the ultimate deadline for the negotiations to conclude is June 30th. Both possible outcomes  –a default or a deal (i.e. a SYRIZA capitulation)–  will have cataclysmic consequences to the Greek society and economy. Therefore, there’ll be plenty to write and talk about in the weeks and months to follow.


Bad day for democracy. Greek PM Alexis Tsipras capitulated to the troika last night and agreed to increase taxes and pension cut. President Obama, major corporate groups, GOP leaders sucessfully pushed to pass TPP in the Senate. Why even bother voting?


Counterproposal may be too much for Greece to swallow:

Greece and its creditors are still deeply divided over three key areas -- corporate taxation, the overhaul of Greece’s pension system and value-added taxes.

That’s according to the latest counter-proposal from the Institutions, which the Wall Street Journal has seen. And which Greece has rejected.

According to the WSJ, Greece’s creditors won’t accept some of the tax rises on businesses, which they want toned down.

But they also want more money clawed from consumers through VAT hikes.

And Greece’s plan to raise pension contributions while protecting payments to existing pensioners is also being challenged. Creditors want more frontline cuts.



PM Tsipras Says Greek Creditors Didn't Accept Reform Plan (LIVE UPDATES and vid)

"Prime Minister Alex Tsipras said the international creditors didn't accept the new Greek proposals prior to another round of negotiations on Wednesday.

In his official Twitter account, Tsipras said the international creditors have never been so persistent in rejecting reform plans, neither in Ireland nor in Portugal.

This stance means they either don't want an agreement or serve specific interests in Greece, he added."

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Greek debt crisis brings discord within Syriza as Tsipras hopes for leap of faith

The internal faultlines in Greece’s governing Syriza party grew wider on Wednesday as its members digested the sheer scale of concessions being demanded to avert a national bankruptcy and remain in the eurozone.

With the battle lines now firmly drawn between Athens and its creditors, senior Syriza figures took rhetorical potshots at the tactics employed by the debt-stricken country’s lenders as prime minister Alexis Tsipras attended back-to-back talks in Brussels.

“The European Union’s neoliberal elite has lost touch with reality,” said the interior minister, Nikos Voutsis. “Every day they argue among themselves or bring issues that supposedly had been solved, or put to one side, on the table. It is an unacceptable situation that has to stop.”

Voutis was speaking in the Greek parliament as Syriza’s secretariat met in an urgent session to discuss the reforms Tsipras has proposed to reach a deal with lenders. An agreement would unlock the bailout funds desperately needed to avoid default: Athens must pay €1.6bn (£1.1bn) to the IMF next Tuesday....


 When is the Greek Prime Minister going to stop being a coward and tell these evil corrupt pieces of shit to go to fucking hell.


Lots of Greeks are now asking the same question.


  Chomsky on the Greek Crisis 2012 (and vid)

"There are few options. one option is for rich countries like Germany to take over the debts and to pay. The other option is Greece refuses to pay its debts. It is not impossible to do so. There are countries that have done it in the past with success...

Of course it is hard to swallow for banks and investors because they will lose their money but one has to choose.

And the third option would be for Greece to leave the eurozone and have the opportunity to make its own economic policy, to devalue the currency and get out of the crisis.

There are only three options and none of them are very attractive."




epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

small drift that can apply to greece and everywhere...

Municipal Tremors - Radical Democracy: Reclaiming the Commons teaser (Spain Medialab)


...end of drift


The neo-liberal thugs want more concessions. And more and more.

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Europe ready to kill Greece to keep TINA alive


Today, official Europe can countenance only austerity. Syriza’s expansionary proposals have been bargained down to something that is only a moderately social-democratic or “leftist” austerity. While the latest proposal includes some luxury taxes, slightly higher corporate taxes and a reduction in military spending, two thirds of the money raised will come from increases in VAT and pension reforms that hit at everyone, though both are to be implemented in a way that limits the impact on the poorest.

But even this proposal is seemingly not enough: it is only to be the basis for more negotiations coming later this week, which means more expected concessions from the Greek government and more pain for the people of Greece. It’s not just any austerity Europe wants, but a vicious right-wing austerity that hits at the vulnerable — and no talk of the underlying issue of an insolvent public debt so Greece can continue to be strung along as an example to others. In the face of this, the argument of saving Greek capitalism within existing European institutions has come under increasing scrutiny within Syriza. The intransigence of elites to make an example of Greece has increasingly led members of Syriza, including MPs, to abandon the majority point of view and call instead for a break with European institutions.

Sadly, their call has not been answered within the rest of Europe. The deal being negotiated this week shows just how far Germany and its satellites have been able to double down. Without left and labour pressure at home, Germany has been largely free to pursue a maximally punitive strategy. Likewise the governments of Finland, Austria and other smaller creditor states in central and northern Europe have been able to stand firmly in line behind Germany without internal pressure from their respective lefts.

The governments of the other debtor countries such as Spain and Ireland, on the other hand, have been equally punitive towards Greece because they fear giving any hope to their respective anti-austerity oppositions at home. The opposition, however, has not broken through anywhere outside Greece, and even Spain looks set to remains within the grip of its old parties in elections later this year.

Beyond the haggling over proposals at the official level, the politics of austerity have worked to divide and conquer workers across the Old Continent. In a Europe where elites have worked to limit wage and income growth in all countries, the neoliberal dream of individuals and nations engaged in a constant war of all against all has flourished....



The question is whether the Troika is pushing Tsipras beyond where he can go out of a desire to break Syriza or was simply exhibiting their pathological faith in economic quackery, aka austerity, as well as a related belief that members of the Eurozone needed to follow the rules

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Greek Pensioners Demonstrate Against Inhumane Austerity Demands

45% of Greek pensioners already live in poverty due to previous austerity measures but now the troika is demanding more cuts to their pensions, says Dimitri Lascaris


EU Rejects Syriza's Austerity Proposals at Euro Summit  -  by Robert Stevens

"Syriza representatives in Athens said what was being demanded was 'Armageddon' and 'financial napalm'. Noting subsequent comments by Tsipras warning of the threat to democratic rule, this month Business Insider also cited a note from Mujtaba Rahman and Federico Santi at the Eurasia Group consultancy, who said the talks between Athens and the creditors were being carried out 'in the hope of bringing about regime change.'

With the European Commission talking of an imminent 'state of emergency' in Greece and the need to plan for social unrest, the Daily Telegraph said Tsipras hinted 'that their real goal is to destroy the credibility of his radical-Left Syriza government and force regime change.'

Greek history demonstrates that regime change to defend the interests of international finance capital can mean a return to military rule. Since the onset of mass austerity in Greece in 2010, there have been consistent rumours of coup discussion among high-ranking military personnel.

The Greek army, a large conscript force twice the size of the British Army, is in a state of high-alert."


Greece Rejects Bailout Extension: Tsipras 'Won't Be Blackmailed', Threatens Snap Elections

"Protothema is reporting that Tsipras has confided in a fellow EU official that if the country's creditors insist on sticking to pension and VAT red lines and if friday's bailout extension proposal (which the Greek government apparently views as a patronizing stopgap) is the troika's final offer, he is prepared to call for snap elections..."


Not sure why he'd call an election. Surely, he knew the troika would play hardball, so he ought to have a plan, other than seeing if someone else wants to run the country. He received a mandate to challenge the EU.  What would another election accomplish?

Further, if the EU wants to put the screws to Greece, maybe Greece should see what the Russians have to offer.  Even the threat of working with Moscow might give the EU pause. 

I hope Tsipras sticks to his guns.  Opposing austerity is painful, but giving into austerity is even worse.  It's a terrible situation for Greek workers and Greek pensioners.  They are taking it on the chin for the rest of us when it comes to fighting the destructive ideology of austerity.

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Greece to Call Referendum on Bailout Deal: Skai TV

The prime minister will talk to press soon with more details. Reuters and Skai TV reported Friday that Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras will call a referendum on the proposed bailout accord with foreign creditors, Greece's Skai TV reported on Friday. Tsipras, who called an urgent cabinet meeting earlier on Friday, is due to speak to the press shortly. More to come...

Tom Vouloumanos

It will probably be a referendum. Tsipras does not have a mandate to sign the "deal" they are trying to shove down Greece's throat but he also does not have the mandate to leave the euro....anouncement is now...listening...


more on 'taking it on the chin'...

Suicides in Greece Increased by 35% During Austerity

"Yet another study has found that suicides in Greece increased by 35% during the first two years that strict austerity measures were imposed on the country..."


Tom Vouloumanos

its confimed he's calling it now...

Tom Vouloumanos

without saying it directly...everything he said in his speech...was calling on Greeks to vote against austerity...all the while stating that Greece is inseperarable from Europe and Europe inseperable...its a question of democracy, that Europe needs to be democratic common house, there are no landlords and tenants...he asked Greeks to honour their history, struggles and values...and that he will respect whatever the outcome is....

Tom Vouloumanos

without saying it directly...everything he said in his speech...was calling on Greeks to vote against austerity...all the while stating that Greece is inseperarable from Europe and Europe inseperable...its a question of democracy, that Europe needs to be democratic common house, there are no landlords and tenants...he asked Greeks to honour their history, struggles and values...and that he will respect whatever the outcome is....


Sounds like a big cop out to me.

If he loses the referendum, wouldn't he have to step down?


omitted already posted by epaulo


I think considering the drastic nature of the choices that may shortly have to be made, going to the Greek people is a logical, essential next step. For history as well as to cover his own ass...


That's why they have elections. He just won one. Calling for new elections would make more sense. Even in the short referendum time time period, the corporate media and the troika will use carrot and stick propaganda on the Greek public. And austerity will win.


Greece To Hold National Referendum on Debt Deal

"The Greek PM has announced a national referendum on July 5 on the conditions of the debt deal with international creditors. It's up to the Greek people, Tsipras said, to make a fateful decision on the country's sovereignty, independence and future.

The referendum will be a simple 'yes' or 'no' question on the measures proposed under the debt deal. Considering the public sentiment, the Greeks would likely reject the terms of the bailout agreement offered by creditors, the PM's senior aide, Nikos Pappas said.

Greece's opposition Socialist Party was quick to blame the PM for an inability to make decisions by himself and shifting responsibility on the public. 'Since Mr Tsipras is unable to take reasonable decisions, he ought to resign and let citizens vote for their future via elections,' PASOK's leader Fofi Genimmata stated.

'The government does not have a popular mandate, nor a moral right to sign up to a new bailout,' an anonymous senior Greek official said just hours before Tsipras announced the referendum..."


Take austerity.Return to the Drachma.Don't pay back any loans.If any rich Europeans or anyone else still want to invest in Greece..have at 'er.


Greece : The Way Out  -  by Peter Koenig

"What the troika is doing to Greece these days is the pinnacle of financial terrorism. It is economic waterboarding. It is blackmailing of the first degree. Thse people are neoliberal fascists.

This 'Union' doesn't deserve existing.

It is however also amazing how adamant Mr Tsipras and Syriza defend the idea of staying at all costs in the Eurozone. Why? The Euro is doomed. Europe has surrendered its sovereignty to a bunch of monster mega-banks, all linked to Wall Street. In other words, Goldman Sachs runs Europe's monetary and economic policy.

The mystery remains - why commit suicide, economic suicide of an entire nation, by stubbornly clinging to a sinking ship...?


What Russia Offered Greece  -  by Alexander Mercouris

"Russia's offer of a pipeline came with an offer of a $5 B prepayment. This was intended to buy Greece time to apply for a loan from the BRICS Bank. However, the Greeks don't seem to be embracing the offer..."


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Greek Asset Stripping Similarities

The Delphi Initiative - Speech by Michael Hudson


Greek Debt Crisis: Eurogroup Shifting Towards 'Plan B' (and vid)

"According to Reuters, Germany admitted that there was little Eurogroup could do at the moment, as there was nothing left to discuss except how to cope with the failure. He added that the bailout program for Greece ends on Tuesday, as 'Greece has left the negotiating table...and there are no more negotiations."

Mr. Magoo

What the troika is doing to Greece these days is the pinnacle of financial terrorism. It is economic waterboarding.

I love loopy hyperbole.

If Greece is really being tortured then they're the first torture victim I've ever heard of who has the option of getting up and leaving any time they want.

All they have to do is say "we have no particular right to your money and we don't want it on these terms".  I'm betting a genuine waterboarding victim would love to be able to just say that and go.

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..blaming greece

EU ministers refuse bailout extension for Greece as referendum looms

Europe’s single currency entered the stage of rupture for the first time in its 16-year life on Saturday night when 18 governments told Greece its bailout package would be terminated within days. The country plunged towards financial collapse after its leftwing prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, abandoned negotiations and called a referendum on his lenders’ terms for continuing the lifeline.

An emergency meeting of eurozone finance ministers took place in Brussels on Saturday evening without Greece for the first time since the crisis began in 2010. It turned into a crisis planning session devoted to quarantining Greece and insulating the rest of the eurozone from the impact of anticipated financial mayhem....


NO to Austerity, YES to Democracy! SIGN THE PETITION!

Europe is at a crossroads. The institutions of the Troika are not only trying to destroy Greece; they are trying to destroy us all. Now is the time to raise our voices against this blackmail by the European elites.

Stand with Greece and SIGN the petition Opens external link in new windowhere

We, members of trade unions, political groups, and social movements from all over Europe, came together today in Athens in truly moving and historic times.

Europe is at a crossroads. The institutions of the Troika are not only trying to destroy Greece; they are trying to destroy us all. Now is the time to raise our voices against this blackmail by the European elites.

Next Sunday the Greek people will be able to vote to reject the blackmail that is austerity and vote for dignity – with hope for another Europe.

This historic moment requires everyone in Europe to speak up and take a stand.
We all say NO to austerity, pension cuts, and VAT increases;
We all say NO to poverty and privileges;
We all say NO to blackmailing and to the dismantling of social rights;
We all say NO to fear and the destruction of democracy.

We all say YES to dignity, sovereignty, democracy, and solidarity with the citizens of Greece.


Tsipras' Bailout Referendum Scam

"...Among Sun Tsu's rules of war are 'know your enemy' and 'know yourself'. Syriza appears to have not bothered understanding what they were up against. They have seemed to be in denial for the last two months that the creditors were not afraid of a Greek default.

Thus the referendum ruse looks to be about trying to spare Tsipras and Syriza the worst consquences of his having underestimated the creditors and not preparing for worst-case scenarios, which is another responsibility of leadership  that he and his party have neglected.

Thus the question is, will the course of action that Syriza has chosen make the lives of ordinary Greeks better?


A great day for Western civilization. Its good to show the evil Russian oligarchy and the nasty totalitarian Chinese government how democracies work on behalf of the voting public. This is the democracy that NATO rightly feels justified in imposing on countries around the globe.




That's capitalism...


Tsipras' Address on Referendum


Greek Diaries  -  by Tariq Ali

"Where is Syriza's Plan B? Non-existent. The punishment being meted out to the Greeks gets worse because their leaders are moving about like bewildered puppets.

March to the Acropolis, women and men of Greece with your tambourines and only one word on your lips: NO, OKHI..."

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What Greece Needs Is a Plan C


For five months now, all we have been talking about is whether or not there will be a deal. But what would happen the day after? What would Syriza do if stays in the euro? What would it do if it defaults and leaves? What are Greece’s prospects for the next years, the next decade? There is life after the talks. What will it look like?

Posing the question this way reveals just how rapidly the radical horizon has shrunk in recent years. In the early days of the crisis, people were still talking about reinventing democracy, transforming finance and production, and organizing popular power from below. Today, all the left seems to talk about is the relative merit of Varoufakis’ Plan A (to end austerity while remaining in the eurozone) versus Lapavitsas’ Plan B (a “rupture” with the creditors and an exit from the eurozone).

In the cacophony of this highly dichotomized debate, few seem to notice the fact that both plans essentially share the same top-down premise: if only the government succeeds in executing its chosen program, the economic recovery will be swift and things will quickly go back to the way they were before.

This is a dangerous illusion. Grexit or no Grexit, for the majority of Greeks there will be no going back to the halcyon days of credit-fueled consumerism. Both Plan A and Plan B — however successful either may be — will still be accompanied by great hardship for ordinary people. In reality, neither Greece’s dysfunctional state nor its depressed economy will be able to adequately meet the basic needs of the country’s millions of dispossessed workers, pensioners and unemployed youth.

Of course, imposing a debt moratorium and reintroducing the drachma may restore a much-needed sense of dignity and national autonomy, making Plan B a much more progressive option than continued debt servitude under the aegis of the country's creditors. But in the years and decades ahead even Grexit and devaluation cannot countenance the deep structural crisis of Greek capitalism.

What is needed, then, regardless of what ends up being decided at the level of high politics, is the development of a much more imaginative vision that can actually take the country beyond the deeply embedded contradictions of its collapsing economy and state apparatus. What is needed, in short, is a Plan C: the reactivation and reinvigoration of a project of the commons — a project that was unleashed with great power and creativity in the 2010-’12 cycle of struggles but that has since subsided following the demobilization of the movements and the widespread popular anticipation of a left government....


June 26, 2015 CrossTalk: Greek Pain (and vid)

"The Greeks appear to be willing to do only enough to stay in the Eurozone, while the rest of Europe is willing to offer it just enough support to stay afloat - all while making the Greek economy almost impossible to grow. Is the EURO a failure?

CrossTalking with Mitch Feierstein, Stephen Haseler and Scheherazade Rehman


Catastroika: Privatization Goes Public (and vid)

Catastroika follows the global trend of privatization in the past two decades, extrapolating the forthcoming results of the current sell-off in Greece, which has been demanded in order to face the country's enormous debt."


Fascism Inc (and vid

"Fascism Inc examines a series of historical events to compile a view of the past, the present and the future of fascism and its relation to the economic interests of each era - including the current era."

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Greek Parliament approves Referendum with 178 YES

Greek Parliament approved with votes the government proposal for Referendum on Creditors’ proposal on July 5th 2015. YES voted: SYRIZA, INDEPENDENT GREEKS, GOLDEN DAWN.


The Referendum Question

Referendum question

The roll call voting started at 2 a.m. Sunday, after a heated debate that lasted 14 hours.

Absolute majority of 151 votes was needed.


epaulo13 wrote:

Greek Parliament approves Referendum with 178 YES

Greek Parliament approved with votes the government proposal for Referendum on Creditors’ proposal on July 5th 2015. YES voted: SYRIZA, INDEPENDENT GREEKS, GOLDEN DAWN.

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Precarity in Paradise: the Barcelona model

Fusing gentrification, technology, tourism and anti-terrorism, the Barcelona model of urban redevelopment has sparked an upsurge of popular resistance.

The city of Barcelona evokes a contrasting range of images. Many know it as a hip city on the sea, famed for its paella and flamenco, and its rich street life. But anyone who follows the news will also recall the massive assemblies in occupied plazas, protests against mortgage foreclosures, and more than a couple incidents of heavy rioting, including a week of uninterrupted street fighting last May that forced City Hall to cancel the eviction of the 17-year-old squatted social center, Can Vies, a fait accompli since the building had already been retaken and the demolition equipment torched by rioters.

There is in fact an intimate relationship between these two distinct facets of the city. Continued economic growth in Barcelona despite the crisis that is hammering Spain, with unemployment reaching up to 26%, relies on a dynamic process of gentrification that is violently remaking the city. Far from a typical case of urban renewal, the renovation of Barcelona enjoys international investment and heavy central planning that blurs the traditional distinctions between industry and tourism, work and leisure, good jobs and precarious ones, strategically playing to the city’s strengths and turning crisis into bonanza....


One week bank holiday declared, and capital controls imposed .


On the Delphi Declaration  -  by Michael Hudson

"What is not recognized is how successful the Syriza negotiating strategy has been..."



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