Monday, June 29, 2015

Transparent Varoufakis blogs out what he told the Eurogroup

The media complained today that Yanis Varoufakis avoided to make comments to the press. However yesterday he did publish at his blog his full intervention in the Eurogroup:



Selected excerpts:

What makes it impossible to pass the institutions’ proposal through Parliament is the lack of an answer to the question: Will these painful measures at least give us a period of tranquillity during which to carry out the agreed reforms and measures? Will a shock of optimism counter the recessionary effect of the extra fiscal consolidation that is being imposed on a country that has been in recession for 21 consecutive quarters? The answer is clear: No, the institutions’ proposal is offering no such prospect.

...

At the same time, we do not have a mandate to turn down the institutions’ proposals either, cognizant of the critical moment in history we find ourselves in. Our party received 36% of the vote and the government as a whole commanded a little more than 40%. Fully aware of how weighty our decision is, we feel obliged to put the institutions’ proposal to the people of Greece. We shall endeavour to spell out to them fully what a Yes to the Institutions’ Proposal means, to do the same regarding a No vote, and then let them decide. For our part we shall accept the people’s verdict and will do whatever it takes to implement it – one way or another.

...

The Greek government is now asking the electorate to answer the question you put it to me Jeroen [Djisselbloem, President of the Eurogroup] – especially when you said, and I quote, “you can consider this, if you wish, a take or leave it proposal”. Well, this is how we took it and we are now honouring the institutions and the Greek people by asking the latter to deliver a clear answer on the institutions’ proposal.

...

To those who instruct us to phrase the referendum question as a euro-drachma dilemma, my answer is crystal clear: European Treaties make provisions for an exit from the EU. They do not make any provisions for an exit from the Eurozone.

He also includes a postscript about what I called the Euro-putsch, i.e. when he was forced out of the Eurogroup. He does not issue an opinion though, although it is obvious he does feel offended, as should all Greeks and all Europeans.

Apparently there is only a very shallow legal frame for the Eurogroup (a protocol annexed to the Treaty of Lisbon), which is basically a discussion committee without formal power, but the protocol clearly reads "The Ministers of the Member States whose currency is the euro shall meet informally", this is the definition of the Eurogroup, hence excluding Yanis means that the meeting was not one of the Eurogroup but something else.

The entry also includes a video of the press conference held on Saturday. 

Zionist pirates assault the Freedom Flotilla

Again!
Once again the Zionist apartheid and genocide regime has reacted with piracy to the modest civic challenge posed by a bunch of boats loaded with humanitarian aid and lots of hope. The Marianne was assaulted overnight by Zionist troops in blatant act of piracy, as the ship was far in international waters, some 100 miles from the coast.

The Marianne, loaded with solar panels and medicines, and carrying, among others Bassel Ghattas (Knesset member), Moncef Marzouki (former President of Tunisia) and Ana Miranda (European MP), was not just searched but actually kidnapped by the Zionist forces and brought to the port of Ashdod. It is unclear at this point if there are any victims.

While it has been reported that the other four ships may have turned back their course, the information is yet unclear. 

Rallies have been called in many cities in protest for this aggression. 

Sources: Russia Today, Rumbo a Gaza[es].


Where is NATO when you need them?

Nowhere to be seen if the aggressor is Israel. As happened with the Mavi Marmara, which was technically Turkish soil, the Zionist act of piracy tonight is again an attack against NATO members. Yet NATO just sits back and laughs. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Was June 27 the day the EU began its implosion?

Rally yesterday in Madrid in solidarity with Greece (source)
Often only historians can in a retrospective manner gauge properly the relevance of key events like yesterday's series of door slams at Brussels, but, from the limited viewpoint of someone actively following the developments around Greece's neo-colonial demolition and the Euro-crisis in general, I would think it was: yesterday, June 27 2015, marks the beginning of the end of the European Union as we used to know it. 

Said that, the collapse will be played at slow-motion and the EU will not vanish overnight but it already bears deadly injuries that nobody seems able or even willing to heal, because healing them would imply to challenge the dictatorship of the bankster and other big capital's mafia and would imply also to challenge the national-imperialist attitudes of many of its members, especially Northern ones, worried only about striking a colonial plunder profit rather than about "building Europe".


People's choice

Some 33 hours have passed since Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced that he would call a referendum on a still unsigned deal with the so-called "Troika" or "the institutions". Since then, the Greek Parliament has held a 14-hour session which approved by a large majority the holding of such referendum. Also the conservative pro-bankster opposition, the much eroded New Democracy party of A. Samaras, announced a vote of no-confidence against Tsipras that is just a mere show, as it has no chances of success whatsoever. 

The exact content of the matter to be put to vote is unclear to me, as no deal was ever reached in the end. 

In any case it is clear that Tsipras cannot force, as Venizelos first and Samaras later did, the Greek People to sign something they are not willing to accept, even if reluctantly. The referendum is a must and it ends with half a decade of one-sided anti-democratic impositions by the bankster mafia and its bureaucratic puppets. 

It is not an easy decision but it is one that nobody can take in place of the sovereign Greek People. 



Euro-putsch!

The real sign of the incipient collapse of the European Union was not the referendum however. It was the illegal and putschist decision of excluding Minister Varoufakis from the Eurogroup meeting yesterday. 

The exact details are unclear but by all accounts Yanis Varoufakis was impeded from access to the second trench of the Eurogroup meeting yesterday. This is simply illegal and underlines the lack of democracy and transparency that plagues the European Union.

Tsipras qualified this episode as "a black day" in the history of the Eurozone. I would rather describe it as a full-fledged coup. 

Spain's Finance Minister Luis de Guindos instead watered down the relevance of the incident considering that the meeting was "informal" and that "nobody contemplates the exit of Greece from the Euro" (that would be illegal as well, of course: only Greece can legally take that decision on account of its sovereignty). 

However the maimed Eurogroup issued a communication as such institution with a mere footnote noticing that the Greek minister was absent and did not ratify the decision. So it was indeed a Eurogroup meeting, even if an illegal one: the Euro-putsch has begun!



Ripple effect

The underlying problem of all this is that the official "austerity" policies are totally rigged and do not work. In the case of Greece, it is being demanded to once and again to kill their hens, destroying the egg production altogether and making recovery impossible. 

Instead of taxing the wealthy and capitalist profits, the whole plan is about taxing the common people for their daily needs, while at the same time cruelly slashing their income sources such as salaries and pensions. Instead of cutting in wasteful expenditures such as the military, the burden of austerity is totally placed on social expenditure. Instead of taking from the profits of public companies, the Greek state is being forced to suppress that source of income by underselling its property to greedy speculators.

But it does not only affect Greece: it affects every other EU state. A major collateral risk, five times the size of Greece, in all this crisis is Spain, where the situation is also very bad, with extremely high unemployment and destruction of the productive fabric. And all to pay the bailout of some stupid bank that was managed in a most corrupt way and which is engaged, like the rest of its mafioso ilk, in the criminal activity of evicting people from their homes and other scams.

A takeover of power by the "radical" Left is still unlikely to happen in this case but some of that is already taking place at local and regional institutions, putting upside down the corrupt power schemes of the pro-Troika Spanish Right. Key in this matter will be the stand of the Spanish equivalent of the PASOK, the PSOE. So far it has mostly chosen (with important exceptions) to cut deals with Podemos and popular unity lists in towns and regions (implying important programmatic concessions) but at state level, when the real substance is being decided, I bet they will rather choose to form a "great coalition" with the conservatives, following the suicidal example of the PASOK but also a model that has been worked out in Germany and, briefly, in Italy, with varied results.

But, considering that the greed of the bankster mafia knows no bounds, and that "loot while you can" is the only plan that Global Capitalism has, the situation in Spain and other EU states, probably most, will only worsen in the next few years, so I would forecast the full collapse of the EU by the end of the decade. 

It won't be simple but one thing is clear: there is nothing substantial they can do to impede it other than foster civil war via terrorist mercenaries as in Syria or Ukraine. Not a very productive plan if you ask me, really. And such developments within the core of the US Empire (i.e. Western Europe, which is about the last meaningful solid holding it has overseas) can only spell the end of the Western World Order as we have known it for the last five centuries or so. 

We are going to witness and very possibly be part of major dramatic changes in no time, that is for sure. Get ready!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Greece will hold a referendum on debt deal

Mind you that at the time I write this the deal is not even signed yet. 

Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis warned that "every time we make a concession and we walk three fourths of the road, the institutions do exactly the opposite". But even then he did hope to reach an agreement today.

Unspecified "Troika" speakers also agreed that an agreement today is likely. 

The referendum will be held on July 5th. 

Varoufakis tweeted in this regard:
Democracy deserved a boost in euro-related matters. We just delivered it. Let the people decide. (Funny how radical this concept sounds!)

The official stand of Syriza is to ask for a "yes" "NO" (see update) vote. Right-wing nationalist coalition partners Independent Greeks (ANEL) have asked for a "no". PASOK considered the move "irresponsible". 

I'd personally vote "no" myself (because I believe unilateral bankruptcy and a socialist praxis is the way to go) but I do think it is not just important but a fundamental democratic need that the Greek People is the one to decide in such crucial matters. If they would have been asked five years ago, maybe we would not be where we are now. 

Sources: RT, Público[es].


Update:

The actual stand of Syriza and the Greek government is to ask for a "no". In other words: they feel that they are conceding too much and that they won't go ahead unless the Greek People demands them to do so. 

Brussels warns that the call of a referendum means the end of negotiations. It's plausible that Tsipras et al. already expected that and it may be the way to break useless negotiations in the most democratic and transparent possible way.

In effect it seems to mean that the Greek default is a fait accomplí and now begin the legal squirmishes on whether the Bank of Greece can print euros or not, whose fault is it, etc. Depending on the details it may result on formal suspension of Greece's membership in the EU (although a single country other than Greece could veto that decision even with an abstention, as it requires a yes vote by every single other member state).

Another legal squirmish may take place in the Greek parliament if the conservative opposition demands a no-confidence vote, which Tsipras will no doubt win, delaying the referendum process by maybe 3 days.

In any case the moment of truth has arrived.

Sources[es]: Principia Marsupia (Twitter), Público.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Periko Solabarria, tireless revolutionary flame, died at 82

There are men who struggle for a day and they are good.
There are men who struggle for a year and they are better.
There are men who struggle many years, and they are better still.
But there are those who struggle all their lives:
These are the indispensable ones.
B. Brecht




Very possibly the most incombustible Basque revolutionary of all, Periko Solabarria's flame turned off yesterday, not without having lighted up many thousands, maybe millions, of other flames.

Periko began his revolutionary "career" as priest in the Miner District of the Left Bank of the Bilbao Estuary, under the brutal boot of the fascist dictatorship. Soon he decided that being a conscious priest was not enough and he became a worker himself, a revolutionary worker who led many struggles. 

Eventually he just quit the Church, got married. Never ever however he stopped fighting, being in prison several times, hosting endless clandestine meetings, organizing parties and unions.  Even just months ago he was active in many struggles, not in distant parliaments or offices but stepping hard on the street pavement, inspiring with his unbreakable spirit all the rest of us. 

Agur eta ohore, Periko. Farewell and praise. 

Some further interesting reads for those who can understand Spanish:

Greek debt nightmare in a simple graph

As "negotiations" (mere charade and posturing, particularly on the creditor side) are and will be going nowhere (Lagarde and the Germans are sabotaging any possible deal) I found this nice explaining graph at RT "live updates" page on the matter:



So what Greece has got in five years of total surrender is a multiplication of its debt x4, a slashing of its economy by a whole quarter and no light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how bad it is, bankruptcy is clearly much better.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Greek debt audit: pure mafioso extortion

Update (Jun 25): full report (PDF).

The executive summary of the Greek Public Debt Audit Report was made public this week, setting the legal and ethical basis for the national bankruptcy which was delayed in extremis to the end of this month but will take place without doubt by June 30th. 

Can't pay, won't pay is the most read header in the mainstream media and even many blogs but that's only part of the issue. The background problem is that the debt was contracted in ways that were akin to high treason

First of all, the debt growth in the pre-Troika period was not used to increase public spending, which remained in fact the lowest of the Eurozone, but was caused by:
  • Usury by creditors, who charged very high interest rates
  • Extremely high unjustified military spending (ironically not at all what the Troika demands cutting)
  • Loss of tax revenues via capital outflows (tax evasion to British colonies, etc.)
  • Public subsidies (recapitalization) to private banks (welfare for the rich)
  • Trade imbalances caused by a flawed design of the monetary union: no UE public spending or low-rate public financing to compensate for this catastrophic design makes the UE a colony of Germany and a few small Nordic satellites, the infamous post-modern IV Reich. Is it a flaw or rather a feature?
These are the objective mechanisms that created the snowball of Greek public debt. 

Then, in the Troika period, states were coerced to bail out troubled private banks. This was again financed by the international financial bankster mafia and greatly increased the public debt of not just Greece but many other states. 

The Troika-imposed agreements (the infamous memorandums) only created new debt at even worse abusive costs (usury again). Most of the money that was lent to Greece in the 2010-14 period went directly back to the pockets of the lending International Capitalist Mafia. These also benefited from the dismantling of the Greek state, purchasing many of its profitable assets at ridiculously low prices. 

Worse: the conditions attached to those credit lines have only damaged the Greek economy, destroying its very sustainability and causing an almost unprecedented humanitarian crisis. 

The European Union and its institutions, such as the ECB, as well as UN institutions like the IMF, are bound (in theory) to protect human rights but they have only charged against them, following the only logic of (1) usurary gain and (2) the forge of an unstable German neo-colonial empire in Europe. In synthesis: profit of the oligarchs above the human rights of us so-called "European citizens". 

Incidentally the agreements were not signed under Greek law or international legality but under English law, which apparently does not care at all for human rights, only for profit. This was intended to circumvent the Greek constitution, what is actually illegal when one of the signatories is the Greek state itself. 

The debt is also illegal because it breaches the IMF statutes. It is also odious because it was produced in spite of being cause of breach human rights, something that neither the IMF nor the EU can legally do.

The ECB is also accused of over-stepping its mandate to favor the narrow interests of the Bankster Mafia. This should also be illegal and certainly is odious. Similarly the EFSF loans are illegal because they breach the Treaty of Lisbon (effective "constitution" of the EU), as well as imposing conditions that are anti-democratic.

The bilateral loans between Greece and various other states are also illegal, as they violate the Greek constitution, as well as EU and international laws. 

Loans with private banks are also illegal and odious because said banks (notably Goldman Sachs) did not behave responsibly and often acted in bad faith (credit default swaps, for instance). The recapitalization of Greek banks was also illegal, using public funds for private purposes and further indebting the Greek nation.

The fact that all these debts are illegal and odious make up the legal and ethical frame that allow the Greek state to unilaterally repudiate them. Of course the Greek state can always declare sovereign bankruptcy (can't pay: won't pay) but this report offers the basis for a different kind of default: the debt is illegal and immoral, so it does not exist. If anything, lenders owe reparations to Greece for the damages caused. 

One may think this is a totally pointless exercise because after all the situation is the same: little red and democratic Greece versus the massive Imperial Bankster Mafia. The point of it is, I understand, to stop the diversion: it's not that Greece owes money because it has dilapidated it, Greece is simply being extorted by the International Mafia

And it is not just Greece of course.

...

You can sign a petition demanding to cancel the Greek debt HERE.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Saudi Arabia secrets exposed

I committed the funny mistake of reading the RT header of these revelations right after reading the last page of Curvy (great "adult" comic!) and in my mind it first resonated as "erotic and seductive dictatorship", instead of "erratic and secretive dictatorship", go figure! 

Subliminal self-inflicted jokes apart, Saudi Arabia is a most serious matter. The (oligarch-controlled) media take a lot of time attacking North Korea (a real dictatorship), Russia (not worse than most Western states) or Venezuela (one of the most democratic states on Earth) but they invariably ignore Saudi Arabia, Israel and other terrorist tyrannies just because they are allied with the US Empire. 

A Yemeni hacker group (Yemeni Cyber Army) has managed to obtain a long list of secret documents from the most secretive and totalitarian state on Earth. So far they are only available in Arabic, so I cannot comment (as I barely know a few words in this language) but I am sure that Arabic-speakers, of which there are billions, will be most interested in reading and exposing the secret deals of the original Islamist Fascist regime, to which all other Islamists are nothing but imitators. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

We create the most heinous enemy, then we rally everyone to fight against them

Just got this from the news:

Former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld has said that George W. Bush was wrong to try and push democracy on Iraq and that NATO has become unfit to deal with modern threats and should be replaced by a more global alliance to fight Islamist extremism.

So many lies in one single bundle! The infamous Nixonian politician who was happily crying "dibs on Iraq" the very evening of the 9/11 false flag attacks, now blames his and Cheney's marionette Bush Jr. for it. But the really big lie is in the second part: the USA and allies have been organizing, financing and directing every single relevant Sunni Islamist extremist organization: Al Qaeda first of all but now also its offshoot the grotesque caricature called Islamic State. 

The purpose? To serve as pretext for military interventions here and there. First was Afghanistan, then Libya, then Mali and Central Africa and now they want to use their murderous sockpuppet organizations to orchestrate a new Imperial organization, one including such criminal tyrannies as Israel or Saudi Arabia. 

These may be lies in the form but not in the message that Rumsfeld is conveying: the Empire must be reorganized now that Europe is not anymore the main theater of the Cold War (version 2.0), now that the inter-imperialist confrontation has been moved to the neocolonial arena of Africa and the Near East.

Important blow against Fascist-Islamist Erdogan in Turkish elections

A victim of anti-HDP terrorist attacks votes in spite of all
The good news are two: on one side the theocratic reactionary AKP of Erdogan has lost the majority and won't be able to reform the constitution in favor of his theocratic ideals, on the other side the leftist internationalist People's Democratic Party (HDP), which gathers Kurdish and Turkish activists alike and the only party presenting a truly progressive program, has breached the extremely high 10% threshold and reached 13% of the vote, rallying many people, particularly in the ethnic-Turkish areas, that would have otherwise not voted or maybe picked up the lesser evil of the Kemalists (CHP), who in this poll gathered 25% of the vote.

The bad news are that the other fascist party, the ultra-nationalist MHP (whose youth or militant branch are the feared Grey Wolves: your usual bonehead nazis in Turkish version), becomes third force with 16%. It is very possible that both fascist parties form a government coalition, which will mean no significant change in the extremist policies that Turkey is prosecuting both inside and outside its borders in the last times. 

The results in terms of seats in the Grand National Assembly are:
  • AKP: 255 (-72)
  • CHP: 135 (=)
  • MHP: 82 (+29)
  • HDP: 80 (+51, compared with 29 Kurdish nationalist delegates who joined the party after its formation but were elected as independents).
Overall it is a notable turn to the left by 51 seats (almost 10% of the Assembly) but there is obviously a long way to go yet. 

In any case I have to congratulate the HDP comrades for their notable success and for opening the door of hope in the Turkish state. Themselves see this breakthrought as a first step for maybe even victory in the upcoming elections.

Main data source: Naiz Info[es].


Update (Jun 12): HDP performance by geography

Results obtained by Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) by province.
     0-10%        10-20%        20-30%        30-40%        40-50%        50-60%        60-70%        70-80%        80-90%

While the support obtained by the HDP outside Kurdistan was important, notably in Istanbul, Izmir and Cilicia, as well as in the Alevi (crypto-Armenian) province of Tunceli, it is apparent that most ethnic Turkish voters remained cautious about it preferring other opposition choices such as the CHP (mostly in the West) and MHP (mostly in the interior).

I find intriguing the high support for the HDP in the provinces bordering Armenia that are not usually considered to dominated by the Kurdish ethnicity: Kars, Ardahan and even Erzurum. It seems apparent that other ethnic groups, be them Azeris or crypto-Armenians (whose actual numbers are not really known) or even Turks have decided it was their party of choice.

The support for the HDP in Turkey proper was clearly concentrated in the most progressive urban provinces, where the popular uprisings against Erdogan have been strongest.

See other maps at Wikipedia. The AKP still commands strong support in rural Anatolia, being also the only Turkish nationalist party with some serious presence in Kurdistan itself.


Update (June 12): S. Demirtas (HDP) calls for a radical democracy.

Relevant post-election article by the hand of the Turkish co-leader of the HDP at LINKS International.

The introduction (by LINKS) underlines that the HDP got all seats in six Kurdish provinces, as well as eleven seats (out of 88) in Istanbul (the largest West Eurasian city and the fifth largest on Earth), that 40% of its MPs are women and that it fielded the only openly gay candidate, as well as many members of ethnic minorities (not just Kurds, also Yezidis, Armenians and Assyrians).

Demirtas speaks for democracy, transparency, peace, tolerance and respect, freedom, ecology,  education, a greater role for youth and women and worker class organization. In this sense he promises the setting up of "people's assemblies" and other popular organisms to control the state and force the fascist hand of Erdogan.