EU periphery

Eyewitness to the destruction of Greece under IMF/ECB rule

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This year as every year I went back to the place of my birth, Greece. I go back to Greece once, sometimes twice a year if I can. The experience of my last and recent visit to the place was a different experience all together that has me sick to my stomach and feeling extremely upset. 

Here in Ireland I read about Greece on a daily bases on the web, in the liberal mainstream and radical press and as well as I keep regular contact with people though phone calls and the internet. This gives me the false impression that I understand the current situation in Greece even though I'm living 2500 miles away from the place for a good 11 years now. Primarily I went back  to meet good friends and family but also because I have that odd habit to travel around the place try to figure out things for myself.

Eurozone Appoints New Dictators in Greece and Italy l

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Armoured cars and tanks and guns did not come to take away their sons, but the peoples of Greece and Italy last week found that their elected governments had been replaced overnight by a new postmodern dictatorship of ECB-appointed "technocrat" Viceroys. Clearly in the new Eurozone, the old liberal dogma that modern capitalism and liberal democracy are joined at the hip, has turned out to be just another fairy story.

Back to school for the Eurozone as the Greek deal collapses

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Here we are at the end of the Summer and it’s time for the politicians and bureaucrats of the Eurozone to come back to the office and take a look at what’s lurking in their in-trays. By the same token, it’s also time for all of us interested in fighting back against a Europe of Austerity, to take stock of the lie of the land.

Greek Default: A game of Euro-Chicken?

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Grekk riot police covered in red paint - photo By endiaferon on flckrThe big bad ECB wolf is a-huffing and a-puffing but the first of the three little pigs is showing no signs of surrendering just yet. And behind the spectacle of the Greek populace standing up against its government and the core EU powers, lurks a recent historical shadow - a spectre is haunting Europe, the spectre of Yugoslavia.

Today Greece is the target of pressure and brinkmanship by the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund who are holding back the next installment in the so-called "bailout" agreed last year. The payment of €12 billion was originally scheduled for this month and without it Greece will default on repaying its existing bonds due for redemption on Jul 15.

Peripherals Revolt: Spanish Square Occupation Movement Challenges Austerity and Worthless Elections

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Since the demonstrations called last Sunday, the central squares of cities all across Spain have been occupied by camps of protestors, furious at austerity and the uselessness of all the existing politicians and the pointlessness of this coming Sunday's local elections.

The movement consists mainly of young people, both students and unemployed or precarious young workers calling themselves by names such as Juventud Sin Futuro (Youth Without Future) and #DemocraciaRealYa (Real Democracy Now!). Bypassing existing organisations, whether political parties or trade unions, the participants have organised themselves via Facebook and Twitter, in the manner of the Tunisian and Egyptian activists of the Arab Spring.

And Portugal Makes Three - looks for ECB\IMF bailout

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Yesterday the acting prime minister of Portugal finally threw in the towel and declared the need for an ECB\IMF rescue of the kind that Greece and Ireland already succumbed to last year. So Portugal becomes the third Eurozone country to be press-ganged into the Bailout Brigade.

At the time of Ireland's fall into the clutches of direct rule from Frankfurt, the common consensus was that Portugal would follow not long after. That it has taken until the beginning of April for the inevitable to happen is testament to the desperate struggle of the then Prime Minister José Sócrates to stave off this fate.

70 Billion Bank Bailout Most Expensive April Fool in History

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On the 1st of April 2011 the government got in on the April Fool's game early, by announcing yet another visit to the trough for the endless bailing out of the country's basket case banks to the tune of 70 billion euros. Anyone remember when Brian Lenihan swore on his life that 40 billion was definitely the last of it? My how we laughed...

Clashes at EU Summit in Brussels

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There were clashes earlier in Brussels between riot police and trade union demonstrators as the EU Summit got underway today. An estimated 20,000 people took part in the demonstration against the austerity agenda being pursued by the EU and its constituent governments.

Solidarity with the European peoples in struggle! - Joint statement by the European Anarkismo organizations

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In recent weeks, the signs of anger among the peoples of Europe have been increasing: a general strike in Portugal, the huge September 29 strike in Spain, demonstrations of historic proportions in Ireland, the student movement in England, the enormous protests in Italy by factory workers and students and the growing mass movement against the privatization of water and, hopefully, the beginning of a lasting movement following the mobilizations over pension reforms in France. Though the slogans may vary from one country to the next, the revolt has the same origin: the peoples' refusal to pay for a crisis they did not cause, to have to put up with austerity measures by themselves, without the capitalists having to pay.The case of Ireland is emblematic - reduced social benefits, staff cuts in the public sector and cuts to public sector workers' pay, the extension of income tax to those who do not currently pay, the lowest-paid workers. But the government is not touching corporate tax, however, one of the lowest in Europe. The Irish people are refusing to bow down and tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in late November.

This is not an IMF bailout but end to ECB life support

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Why is the director of the IMF complaining that the rate of progress of the IMF negotiations in Dublin is going too slowly? What's wrong with this picture? The answer is nothing, so long as you understand that the IMF are not the driving force in these negotiations.

Despite the newpaper headlines, what is happening is not an IMF bailout. This is a European debt restructuring process in which the IMF are playing a merely supportive role as consultants. This is a Eurozone process and although the political masters of the Eurozone, through their EU Commissioners, have the final say on passing or vetoing the final agreement, the true driving force behind this process is the ECB.

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