Recent Protests in Greece II

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'European Union Must Dump Whole Euro': Interview with Edward Spannous, Executive Intelligence Review (and vid)

"...If they accept the austerity the people will be destroyed. This is what is happening. The bailouts are not for the countries. They are not for the people. They are for the banks.."


Athens Burns (and vid, photos)

"The worst riot damage in years has struck Athens as MPs pass harsh new austerity measures.."

Greek Austerity: It's About Ideology, Not Economy

"...We can only hope for the resilience of the Greek people to keep up the fight for social justice and for massive international solidarity. The first thing is already happening, the latter not (yet).

What the Greeks now practice on the streets has a name: democracy (that's a Greek word, folks)

Jacob Richter

Until I read today's papers I thought that the "austerity" crap in Greece was merely about hiking taxes (sales, payroll, other income), laying off public-sector workers, budget cuts, and so on, all in line with the usual bourgeois "living beyond their means" dismissal.

However, there's not enough discussion on the minimum wage cuts. The papers themselves wrote of "riots" while mentioning the minimum wage. Under normal circumstances I'm more cynical about such form of "action," but I definitely cannot shed tears for the broken windows of those who would be eager to take advantage of this change to Greece's labour law.


Greece And The Rape of The Rentiers,   by Marshall Auerback

"We're one step closer to ensuring that the birthplace of democracy becomes a form of national indentured servitude. That is of course, unless Greece regains some modicum of self-respect and tells the Troika to take a hike and leaves the eurozone.."


Goldman Sachs' Mega Deal for Greece (2003)

Goldman Sachs shorted Greek debt after arranging shady swaps

"evidence emerges of a remarkable deal between the public debt division of Greece's finance ministry and the investment bank Goldman-Sachs.."


Greek Fire: Extremist Elites Gone Wild in Democracy's Cradle  - by Chris Floyd

"..And make no mistake: the extremist doctrine being forced on Greece is, in every particular, the ruling ideology of the US, Great Britain, [Canada] and all the 'great democracies' of the West. The aim of the doctrine is the 'final solution' of the 'problem' of democracy: ie, the fact that the rabble keep seeking a decent life for themselves instead of staying in harness to enrich an all powerful elite.."

'Greece Must Plan to Leave Euro' (and vid)

"Today, Greece has a choice - to contract additional debt with international lenders or leave the Euro Zone and declare bankruptcy.."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Madrid in solidarity with Greece


Several hundred people gathered outside the embassy of Greece in Madrid, in solidarity with Greek people, to whom the European Union is asking for great sacrificies. The protesters chanted slogans similar to those of #15M, “Solidaity with Greek people”, “We won’t pay your crisis”, “Cuts to bankers”.

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Financial Oligarch Power Raping Greece


A Final Comment

Trapped under euro straightjacket rules, Greece surrendered control over its ability to monetize debt freely, devalue its currency to make exports more competitive, and enact stimulative fiscal policies.

Instead, it's entrapped by foreign bankers demanding tribute at the expense of mercilessly exploiting the nation's working class, youths, and retirees.

Financial oligarchs dominate ruthlessly. They make the rules, set terms, issue diktats, control parliaments, and pressure, bribe or otherwise force capitulation on terms no loan shark would demand.

They include mass layoffs, deep wage and benefit cuts, higher taxes, selling off the nation's crown jewels, and more to assure bankers get paid first. No wonder economist Michael Hudson calls predatory finance "a form warfare."

It operates like pillaging armies, seizing land, infrastructure, other tangible assets, and all material wealth. In the process, countries and ordinary people are devastated.

Greece is effectively bankrupt. Only its obituary remains to be written. Its people have a simple choice - leave or rebel.

Street protests and strikes produce nothing. Banker controlled parliamentarians don't care.

By whatever means necessary, replacing them is crucial. Nothing else can work, and delay only exacerbates intolerable conditions.


Elections called for April:


"The main socialist party, PASOK, is polling badly and is likely to lose heavily.

The main beneficiaries are expected to be the politicians and parties who have opposed the spending cuts - especially the far left."

Life, the unive...

I just recently spent 10 days in Greece.  There were protests from the large to the small and personal everywhere.  Yet I get home and find that next to nothing is said.  Such a sad state of affairs our media is in.


. As one perceptive writer put it 'one of the most seamlessly perfected systems of internal colonization in the world.'


Greece's downward economic spiral has accelerated. Data on Tuesday showed that the economy shrank by seven percent in the fourth quarter of last year, even more than the five percent contraction of the third quarter.

Greece is well on its way to suffering one of the biggest slumps of modern history. Gross domestic product has contracted 16 percent from its peak and the austerity will make that worse.

Papademos has said that failure to back the bailout would consign Greece to economic catastrophe.

. . . .

"On the current path - which is not sustainable in my view - we may very well see Greek GDP go down 25-30 percent, which would be historically unprecedented. It's a disastrous crisis for them," said Uri Dadush, at the Carnegie Endowment think tank in Washington.

That would put Greece in the same league as the United States, where the economy shrank 29 percent during the Great Depression.

I'd say the catastrophe is already here.


Greece: Your Money Or Your Life

"The sad truth...that citizens of supposedly democratic countries live in dictatorships of, for, and by the rich..."


'Troika Driving Greece Towards Violent Revolution'  -  Nigel Farage, MEP (and vid)

"...Greece is being driven into the ground, and I think, frankly, when it comes to chaos, you ain't seen nothing yet!'


Greece the 'First Domino' (and vid)

"They are not going to stop until they can eradicate representative governments inside of Europe and have everything handled financially from Brussels.."


Austerity Policy Destroying Greek Society (and vid)

"this report from Dimitri Lascaris, a lawyer with family in Greece, via Real News Network, gives a flavour of how conditions have deteriorated, even in small towns where social ties are presumably tighter than in Athens..."

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Greek Strategy


Michael Hudson on the Greek experiment.




a poll published on Thursday showed support for Mr Samaras's New Democracy party slipping, although it would still win most votes if an election were held now. The poll by VPRC for Epikaira magazine put New Democracy on 27.5 per cent, with Pasok on 11 per cent, representing a decline of 3-4 per cent in ND's share of the vote from previous polls, while Pasok's share increased by the same amount.

The two parties may form a coalition government to implement reforms after a general election in April, according to analysts.

The three leftwing parties, which oppose Greece' s second €130bn bail-out, together have the biggest slice of the vote, reflecting popular anger with austerity, but their fractious leaders would not consider co-operating in government, the analysts said.

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#OWS Joins International Day of Action: We Are All Greeks Now

Posted 1 hour ago on Feb. 17, 2012, 12:43 p.m. EST

Tomorrow, the people of Greece will take to the streets again to occupy Syntagma Square in protest of the extreme austerity measures being imposed on the backs of the Greek 99% to the joy and benefit of the European financial elite. The 99% everywhere are under assault by the same global banking interests. Greece is merely the most severe economic crisis yet to be imposed by the International Monetary Fund and other agents of the 1% in the Global North. People all over the world live under the tyranny of policies dictated by the IMF, the World Bank, and the G8. As demonstrated by the wholesale slashing of social services in the name of "debt reduction," New York City and the United States are not immune.....

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Meanwhile the extreme austerity measures planned for Ontario in the Drummond report are being calmly accepted by the good burghers of Ontario, despite the lessons of Greece.


Yeah really...handed down like the 10 commandments, from on high by an ex TD big bankster...what a country.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[url= austerity measures in Greece are endangering the world's cultural heritage[/url]

Greek austerity is driving up the crime rate, at the same time as it forces cutbacks in security staff at major museums.

Armed robbers tied up and gagged the only guard on duty at the antiquities museum in Ancient Olympia, where a ceremony will be held on May 10 to light the flame for the London Olympics.

The raiders smashed display cases and stole more than 60 bronze and pottery artefacts from the UNESCO World Heritage site, which dates back 2,800 years.

The mayor of Olympia criticised the lax security at the museum, one of the most important in Greece.

“The level of security is indeed lacking,” Efthimios Kotzas said. “These are treasures. A piece of world heritage has been lost thanks to these thieves ... I think (authorities) should have been more mindful and the security should have been more serious.”...

In January, three works of art, including one by Pablo Picasso and another by the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, were stolen from the National Gallery in Athens.


Letter From A Greek

"On Tuesday, William Wall's recent article on Greece, 'This Shameful Sacrifice of Greece to the gods of the Market,' was published on the Guardian's Comment is Free site...The article generated a huge number of comments. Many of which used the article to once again repeat the line used too often that the Greek people deserve the level of depravation being forced upon them because of their past profligacy.

The following comment from a Greek citizen, however, stood out as a clear response to that, and it was so good that I felt the need to share it more widely.

Dear Mr Wall,

I am Greek, I am 38 years old and I have two little children. I live in this hell you are describing..."

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Greece shows us how to protest against a failed system

The rage displayed in Greek cities against austerity measures inspires all who are suffering for the benefit of banks and the rich

I do not like violence. I do not think that very much is gained by burning banks and smashing windows. And yet I feel a surge of pleasure when I see the reaction in Athens and the other cities in Greece to the acceptance by the Greek parliament of the measures imposed by the European Union. More: if there had not been an explosion of anger, I would have felt adrift in a sea of depression.

The joy is the joy of seeing the much-trodden worm turn and roar. The joy of seeing those whose cheeks have been slapped a thousand times slapping back. How can we ask of people that they accept meekly the ferocious cuts in living standards that the austerity measures imply? Do we want them to just agree that the massive creative potential of so many young people should be just eliminated, their talents trapped in a life of long-term unemployment? All that just so that the banks can be repaid, the rich made richer? All that, just to maintain a capitalist system that has long since passed its sell-by date, that now offers the world nothing but destruction. For the Greeks to accept the measures meekly would be to multiply depression by depression, the depression of a failed system compounded by the depression of lost dignity....


Insider Documents Detail a March 23 Greek Default Plan

"A written document giving firm dates and detailed plans for a Greek default has been in the possession of two top Wall Street bank currency trading bosses since the second week of January. The plan gives a firm date of March 23 for default to be announced after the close of business.."

Greece's Wartime Resistance Hero Denounces EU Backed Cuts

"The hero of Greece's anti-NAZI resistance movement, Manolis Glezos, has appealed to anti-capitalist protesters to 'overturn a rotten system.' 'We have become the guinea pigs of policies exacted by governments whose only god is money,' said Glezos, famous for ripping down the swastika from the Acropolis within days of Nazi forces overrunning Greece.

He told the Observer, 'It starts here but will move to other states. That's why we're seeing this solidarity because people are reacting.." Under the banner 'We Are All Greeks!', demonstrations from Dusseldorf to New York denounced the draconian belt-tightening measures."

'Debtocracy' (and vid - doco)

"Debtocracy seeks the causes of the debt crisis and proposes solutions, hidden by the government and the dominant media.."


Merkel's Incredible Feat (Part 1) - by Nikos Raptis

"Angela Merkel (a Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz 'offering' to the world) managed to turn almost an entire society into a healthy political force; a leftist force.."


Merkel's Incredible Feat (part 2)

"Let us examine in more detail this new situation.."


New Democracy continues to drop. Down to between 19 and 24% PASOK between 8 and 14%. Left parties about 45%.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Germany owes to Greece 575 billion euros from Second World War ?

Dear Mr. Douillard,

We are very moved by the outpouring of support from the people of Nantes to the people of Greece at these very difficult times of our history. Your solidarity is an expression of humanity at its best.

While for nearly two years the obligations of Greece to European banks are a regular feature of the news worldwide, while Greece is under a punitive assault by the IMF, EU and the European Central Bank (Troika), and while this assault poses a great threat to the project of a United Europe, very little attention has been paid to the long-overdue obligations of others to Greece. On July 2, 2011, the French economist and consultant to the French government Jacques Delpla stated that Germany owes to Greece 575 billion euros from Second World War obligations (Les Echos, Saturday, July 2, 2011). On September 18, 2011, the German newspaper Die Welt admitted that Germany owes to Greece many billions of euros from obligations arising, at least, from a forcibly obtained loan from Greece during World War II.
We would greatly appreciate it, if you would publish in your Newsletter the petition of the Forum of Hellenic Professors and PhDs, shown below, requesting the German government to honor its long-overdue obligations to Greece by repaying the forcibly obtained occupation loan, and by paying the World War II war reparations awarded to Greece by international agreements.
Our petition has already collected over 140,000 signatures. You can find more information at the website

Thank you very much for your support,
Constantine Tzanos, PhD, Engineering
For the Forum of Hellenic Professors and PhDs

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What is not being said about Greece #Syntagma

The story below is has been sent to us by a Spanish friend from the marches, that is in Greece and is an example of what is not being said about Greece.

“The international media have talked about last nightin Greece. They talked about fire, chaos, violence …
They talk about the 100,000 people gathered in Syntagma, but not the200,000 who really had or the 300,000 who could not reach theplace because the streets and subways were blocked by police.

They have talked about how the police provoked the start of the riotsat 17:00 throwing tear gas indiscriminately throughout theSyntagma Square, the demonstrators dispersed around the centerAthens, in order not to bother outside parliament.

The media has spoken of destruction indiscrimanada, have run therumor that the National Library of Athens burned in flames. False.

Have burned banks, cafes and shops, franchises industriesmultimillionarias Greece which led to this situation, the mediaspeak of young anti, but they speak of women and menelderly people with their gas masks to show their support for hoursrhythmically pounding the gates of banks and multinationalhands and feet, whistling and shouting in support of the first lines thatembites resisted the riot in the streets full oftear and fire, clapping when they saw the flames in alpha bank andEurobank.

They talk about the violence does not fix the situation in Greece, but nottalk about inter-neighborhood assembly which was held last week in thepantios University, do not say that the occupation of the University ofnomiki had intended to be a place of exchange and debate amongdifferent movements Greeks, do not talk about the free diningexchange markets are held weekly in neighborhoods.

What the media will not say is that after the last massive expropriationa supermarket, and distribution of food in a working class neighborhood Thessaloniki, the old saying that time had not reached thatwe returned to enter, and although at present they do not come, they know whereis its people.

What does not say is that as we walked by a working class neighborhood in asmall demonstration from the center, people looked out the balconyraising his fist, and the expression increased its flow, peopledown from their homes, they added, the old leaning applauded, theold … Hell, they sang the old hymns, Pope did not understand but notyou imagine, you become our idea, and we do not tell the media, but itnosotrxs say.

Here in Athens, they know they are not alone, that all over Europe follows the sameway, they do not know is that we are making the rest of europe … ifwe are doing something the rest of Europe.

We’re not only seeing this in Greece, we’re seeing our future.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..this is madness going on!

‘Greece needs rescue package worth its entire economy’



Saluting austerity measures, translated from the Greek:



The Path O' Non-Resistance: Greece Gets New Lifeline (and vid)

"Eurozone finance ministers have reached a deal for a second 130 billion-euro bailout for crisis-stricken Greece. The country's debt will also be lowered by private holders who agreed to face value loss of 53.5 percent on their bonds..."

How Greece Could Take Down Wall Street

"The Houses of Morgan, Goldman and the other Big Five are justifiably worried right now, because an 'event of default' declared on European Sovereign debt could jeopardize their $32 Trillion derivatives scheme..."



More significantly, Greece will have to pass within the next two months a new law that gives paying off the country's debts legal priority over funding government services. In the meantime, Athens has to set up a kind of escrow account, managed separately from its main budget, that will at all times have to contain enough money to service its debts for the coming three months.

These requirements, together with tighter on-the-ground monitoring, are an unprecedented intrusion into the fiscal affairs of a sovereign state in Europe and could eventually see Greece being forced to pay interest on its debt before compensating teachers, doctors and other state employees.


You get a sense of what's lurking just around the corner in the Greek context when you see pensioners throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at police, alongside the grand kids.  All bets are off if the state there ends up shooting more people in the streets, in its own desperation and panic.

What also comes to mind in recalling Flaherty's muted and intentional alarm about Canadian exposure to the European debt crisis, is that our own casino society is being kept aloft on the backs of Greek citizens, and upon the bruised heads and bodies of protesters there.

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A proposal by the Greek Committee against the Debt

Dear Friends,  dear Comrades,

We, the Greek committee against the Debt, take the initiative to address you all, offering you to decide, prepare and organize a great, unitarian, combative and massive European day of Solidarity with the Greek people, and at the same time  a day of action against the policies of austerity, privatizations and dismantling of public services all around Europe, taking as a  central demand the annulation of the Greek public debt. The reason for our proposal is obvious: using the Greek debt as a pretext, the Troika, that is to say the IMF, the ECB and the European Commission have turned Greece into a laboratory of the most inhumane, antidemocratic and antisocial austerity policies. By testing the stamina and capacity of resistance of the Greek people who have been transmuted into a guinea-pig, the Troika leads the way for the generalization of these policies being applied all around Europe. However, today, that is two years after the launching of this frontal aggression against the Greek guinea-pig, there is no place for any kind of doubt: in the streets and on the squares of Greece, it is not only the fate of Greek society, of national sovereignty and Greek democracy, so badly brutalized, that is at stake, the fate of workers and retired people, the fate of unemployed people, of Greek youth and women and of all oppressed people in our country. What is at stake is also the fate of the immense majority of European Citizens for whom Troika, antidemocratic reaction and big investors have in store the same future.

So yes, we are not afraid of saying that: what Spain was to Europe of “those from below” in 1936”, fighting Greece of 2012 tends to become to today’s Europe ! In 1936, there has been a defeat because Spanish resistance to triumphant fascism remained tragically alone and helpless. Needless to remind you the nightmarish consequences that were brought up back then by the Spanish “guinea-pig” ’s defeat, and the open wounds that it left behind it up to now.

The question we are posing you is very simple: Are we willing today to accept such a repetition of history, are we prepared to accept a crushing defeat of today’s Greek guinea-pig, which would have tragic and long term consequences for all the peoples and all workers in Europe?

Dear Friends, dear comrades,

We are sure that your answer will be a ringing NO. However, this is no longer enough, in the current state of things. When time desperately presses, as the people of Greece doesn’t have unlimited time margins of resistance in front of an international, over armed, very well organized and coordinated class enemy, the situation requires one first direct, sonorous and massive European manifestation of solidarity in acts. In other words, we need at last a European scaled mobilization of “those from below”, which would have a double function: on one hand, to show to Greek people who are fighting that they are not alone, that their fight is part of a larger fight of all the oppressed people in Europe, and thus that they have more chances to win. On the other hand, to make the first step and the starting point for the creation and development of the European mass resistance movement that we need so badly!

Having all this in mind, we believe, dear Friends and comrades, that the Brussels Meeting of European countries and North Africa audit campaigns, on April, 7th, offers a great opportunity to discuss, but also to adopt and push forward our proposal so that it be supported by the largest number of social movements, as well as social, trade union and political forces of our continent…

Hoping that your reaction will be positive, we are looking forward to your response as well as to any other idea, proposal or initiative of yours.

 Fraternal greetings,

The Greek committee against the Debt

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Attac France offers you to organize together an international delegation of social movements in Greece

Attac France offers you to organize together an international delegation of social movements in Greece as soon as possible.
We have many objectives:

- to be the carriers of a concrete solidarity
- Meet and discuss with local social actors
- come back with materials for strengthening the solidarity at the European level: video support, call in the direction of European populations, interviews of different social actors, etc.

All of this should enable a solidarity European movement to strengthen and express itself more profoundly and to help the mobilizations in our respective countries.

We have launched this proposition in France and we decided to go on Monday 27 early in the morning until Wednesday 29 late in the afternoon.  We have already made contacts by various means on site: Social Greek Forum, Indignants, unions,  contacts with Greek students and workers in Paris with whom we work with.

We wish to know as soon as possible if you wish to join this initiative.

Thank you for your feedback.

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As Greece Erupts, BBC’s Paul Mason on "The New Global Revolutions" Over Austerity, Inequality


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Financial Times: “Greece is the eurozone’s first colony”

When even the media paragon of free-market ideology argues that “Greece must default if it wants democracy,” you know something is profoundly wrong.

Here at ROAR, we usually don’t rely on the analyses brought forward by the mainstream media; in particular not those of the unreconstituted neoliberal intelligentsia at the Financial Times. But the latest article by financial analyst and EU expert Wolfgang Münchau deserves being disseminated widely. Arguing that “Greece must default if it wants democracy,” Münchau has just launched his most scathing critique of the EU’s approach to Greece yet:

"When Wolfgang Schäuble proposed that Greece should postpone its elections as a condition for further help, I knew that the game would soon be up. We are at the point where success is no longer compatible with democracy. The German finance minister wants to prevent a “wrong” democratic choice. Similar to this is the suggestion to let the elections go ahead, but to have a grand coalition irrespective of the outcome. The eurozone wants to impose its choice of government on Greece – the eurozone’s first colony."

As a leading columnist, Münchau’s articles are widely read by policymakers in Brussels, Berlin and Paris. A friend of mine who used to work in the European Parliament once told me that his writings are extremely influential in informing the political debate among the Brussels eurocrats. What’s more, Münchau can hardly be considered a leftist or a radical. Indeed, most of his work has focused on how to save European capitalism from itself....

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#weareallgreeks – thank



We asked for solidarity
and your answer was
We just want to say
Thank you all !!!!!!
equality justice dignity
for everybody

Solidarity demonstrations all over Europe

Cologne, Scotland, Paris, Amsterdam, Athens and more on

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A message from the streets of Athens: “save us no more!”


Because what the new austerity measures will mean for them is:

  • An additional 15 percent wage cut to their salaries — which have already been reduced by 30 percent since 2009 — to increase ‘competitiveness’, or so they say;
  • A 22 percent reduction of the minimum wage: 32 percent for people under 25, to tackle youth unemployment [!], or so they say;
  • Which in turn automatically brings unemployment benefits (for those lucky ones who are eligible for one, for Greece does not have a minimum income scheme) to a level below the poverty threshold;
  • A 7-20 percent cut in pensions (including those pensions currently as low as 300 euros);
  • Laying off 15.000 civil servants in 2012, and 150.000 before 2015 (in a country with more than 20 percent unemployment already!);
  • A 1,1 billion euro reduction in pharmaceutical expenditures;
  • Just a tiny 0.15% GDP  reduction in military expenditure (Greece has been the #6 top-spender on military equipment as a share of GDP in the world in the past 15 years, displaying a major preference to German and French weapons);
  • At the same time, (profitable!) state owned enterprises and assets (ports, airports, motorways, energy, real estate) will be privatized (“transferred to more productive uses”, as they call it in the neoliberal slang).


Greece Downgraded Next to Default Level by Fitch

"Fitch rating agency wasn't impressed by the EU leaders' decision to grant a second bailout for Greece. It downgraded the country to pre-default level..."


Argentine Advice for Greece: 'DEFAULT NOW!'

"So Greece: Just default on your 'sovereign debt' to the German bankers and the Troika vultures. All governments should understand that you either govern for the people and against the bankers, or you govern for the bankers and against the people."


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Days of Strike

video (press cc for subtittles)

Here’s a short doc I produced with my colleague Giannis Vakrinos about the workers’ strike at Halyvourgia Ellados steel industry. The story goes like this.

In mid-October, the owner of the company called the workers to sign an alteration in their contracts. Due to the financial crisis and the company’s losses, he asked them to reduce what in the rest of the world is common sense. They wouldn’t work 8 hrs per day and for 5 days a week anymore. The new working hours plan was 5hrs per day, 5 days a week and a 40% cut in their salaries which would mean that they’d earn around 500 euros.

As you can also see in the doc, there is a widespread belief that if the company’s proposals are passed in this factory, they’ll then spread all around the heavy industry with consequences even in the retail sector. The immense solidarity that you can see is owed to this fact. Workers of nearby factories and people from all around Greece are sending food and money to the strikers who have managed to last for more almost 2,5 months.


epaulo13 wrote:

Greek Strategy


Michael Hudson on the Greek experiment.

If the EU is merely a mechanism for war of the rich against the poor, a
number of countries are going to say NO to Europe, just as the Icelanders
have voted not to join Europe, just as other countries that had planned to
join Europe, all the way to Turkey at the other end, are saying, wait a
minute, if that's the Europe that's coming, an oligarchic Europe whose
program is austerity and shrinkage, why on earth would we want to join?

The EU is proving that it works for private banks, but not for its citizens.


The banksters are trying to do with capital what used to require foreign armies to invade and plunder countries. 


NDPP wrote:

How Greece Could Take Down Wall Street

"The Houses of Morgan, Goldman and the other Big Five are justifiably worried right now, because an 'event of default' declared on European Sovereign debt could jeopardize their $32 Trillion derivatives scheme..."It is the "contagion," however, that seems to be the concern. Players who have hedged their bets by betting both ways cannot collect on their winning bets; and that means they cannot afford to pay their losing bets, causing other players to also default on their bets. The dominos go down in a cascade of cross-defaults that infects the whole banking industry and jeopardizes the global pyramid scheme. The potential for this sort of nuclear reaction was what prompted billionaire investor Warren Buffett to call derivatives "weapons of financial mass destruction." It is also why the banking system cannot let a major derivatives player-such as Bear Stearns or Lehman Brothers-go down. What is in jeopardy is the derivatives scheme itself. According to an article in The Wall Street Journal on January 20th:

Hanging in the balance is the reputation of CDS as an instrument for hedgers and speculators-a $32.4 trillion market as of June last year; the value that may be assigned to sovereign debt, and $2.9 trillion of sovereign CDS, if the protection isn't seen as reliable in eliciting payouts; as well as the impact a messy Greek default could have on the global banking system.


Global pyramid scheme?

Pulpit rock


Choose Your Own Misadventure


Find your own way out of the Greek crisis. No, there aren't really any happy endings.




This will probably leave many Greeks somewhat annoyed. Salary cuts in the public sector are being made retroactive to November, the result being that in addition to the salary cut they're taking already they are going to have to pay the government back for the "extra" amount they received for the last four months. Simply insane.


The Truth About Greece: An Open Letter to Public Opinion  -  by Mikis Theodorakis

"Composer and resistance icon Mikis Theodorakis lambastes the joint strategy devised by Greek politicians and financial institutions with the objective of pillaging the country. He explains how Greece was gradually put under IMF tutelage by Dominique Strauss Khan and former Prime Minister Papandreou

While the Western media point the finger at Syria, Russia and China, a financial government has taken over the reins of power in Greece and in Europe.."

Goldman Sachs Cooked Greek Books (and vid)

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Report from the battlefield + Video


What happened yesterday words cannot describe…
The brutality of police repression units cannot be put into words.
In these few lines I will do my best to narrate what I witnessed first hand, along with at least 500.000 of my co-citizens.

Early afternoon around 18:00. Ermou St is the most famous pedestrian shopping road, leading to Syntagma square, where the Greek Parliament is located. Thousands of people, many holding their children, marching down the street to protest against this unconstitutional Government’s ill will.
The road was packed and everything seemed strangely peaceful, although in the background few sporadic explosions of tear gases were heard from the far end of the square which led some of the early protesters to withdraw momentarily.
I thought this was a good thing, we could keep our forces recycling to keep the pressure on.
I thought wrong....

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Some news from Kilkis occupation by Leta Zotaki, ENIK

Thank you so much for your interest and support.
The occupation of our hospital in Kilkis by its workers started on Monday, February 20th, 8:30 local time.
This occupation is not only about us, the physicians and the workers at the Kilkis Hospital. Neither is it only about the Greek National Health System, which is collapsing, indeed. We are in this fight because what is in real danger now is the human rights. And this threat is not against just a nation, or against a few countries, or a few social groups, but against the low and middle classes in Europe, America, Asia, Africa, in the whole world. Today’s Greece, is tomorrow’s picture of Portugal, Spain, Italy and the rest of the countries worldwide.

The workers at the Kilkis Hospital and at most of the hospitals and health centers in Greece are not paid on time and some of them see their salaries being cut down to practically zero. A fellow-worker of mine was transferred to our cardiologic clinic in shock, when he realized that instead of receiving the usual check of 800 euros (yes, that is his monthly salary) from the state, he received a note saying that not only he will be paid nothing for this month, but he is also to return 170 euros! Other workers were paid only 9 (nine) euros for this month! Those of us who still receive some kind of a salary will support them in any way we can....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

meanwhile back at the ranch...

European Banks Get Big Injection of Cash in Bid to Ease Crisis

FRANKFURT — In a closely watched display of its firepower, the European Central Bank on Wednesday allocated to euro zone banks another huge round of the cheap, three-year loans that have helped avert a banking crisis but have not yet revived lending to business and households.

Banks asked to borrow €529.5 billion, or $713 billion, compared to €489 billion in December’s offer of three-year loans. The E.C.B. said that 800 banks put in for loans, compared to 523 in December, as many smaller lenders took advantage of the central bank’s broader collateral rules. The E.C.B. wanted to encourage borrowing by community banks that are likely to lend the money in turn to businesses and consumers.

Banks could borrow as much as they wanted at the benchmark interest rate of 1 percent, but had to pledge collateral — typically bonds or other securities that can be bought and sold. Previously, the E.C.B. lent to banks for a maximum of about a year. The E.C.B. disclosed the amount that banks requested on Wednesday and will disburse the money on Thursday.

Between the loan offers in December and this week, the E.C.B. will have lent banks a total of about €1 trillion. But the actual amount of new money flowing to banks is closer to €520 billion, because many banks shifted money from shorter-term E.C.B. loans into the three-year loans.

The loans appeared to have headed off a funding crunch that could have caused some banks to fail and many others to run short of money to lend into the euro zone economy. The E.C.B. loans also have helped lower borrowing costs for countries like Spain and Italy, as many banks borrowed from the E.C.B. at 1 percent interest and bought government bonds paying more than 5 percent. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Italian government bond fell to below 5.2 percent Wednesday from 5.35 percent on Tuesday....


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Transnational open assembly – Coming to a city near you!


It seems that resistance is not enough; neither escape. What has been proven in recurrent instances during the past two years is that the question (im)posed by innumerable subjectivities is not that of resistance against the attacks, neither the construction of evading alternatives; it is simply and purely the unformulated, speechless, hence ungraspable, unpredictable and fearful refusal.

As anonymous, unformed and unformable part of this non-representable movement, we invite everyone who is part of this scattered, bewildered and confused street thought and action to come and form a two-day Open assembly in Athens, where the monsters of crisis the global European South (from London to Madrid and from Berlin to Rome, as well as the upheavals and insurrections in North Africa) will exchange experience and ideas in order to further contaminate the European underdogs with hopeless rage and hopeful fear.

Following the 5th of May 2010 demonstration in Athens, the Economist published in its front-page an image from Athens with the title ‘Coming to a city near you?’. Today we replace the question mark with an exclamation mark. The networks that link Syntagma with Tahrir, Barcelona, London or New York are stronger than ever; like a chain of events occupations, demonstrations, initiatives for collective and un-mediated refusal become transnational.

We invite everyone individually and collectively to come to the assembly in order to think in common how we can disperse this absolute refusal and find ways to work together against the economic and political dogma of the crisis across established national, economic and political borders. Our aim is to open up to the various forms of active and absolute refusal that emerge in our every day interconnected lives, and to create common time and spaces of struggles, practices and actions.

Athens, 21-22 March 2012
Occupied theatre Empros
Riga Pallamidou 2, Psyrri