Saturday, 28 April 2012

Greek (Hellenic) Elections: Dead End


What happens in Greece, lately, is the absolute dead end. The Greeks have been paralyzed by a rotten political system, interrelated with foreign intelligence agencies and interests and completely subjugated. The upcoming elections on May 6th is the total effort of prevalence of the forces that want to "end" Greece (Hellas)!
 
The political system has taken care to break into supposedly "new" and"independent" parties which after the elections will return to the "matrix" on the occasion of the pseudo dilemma of anarchy and chaos! I'm talking specifically about the two "major" parties, PASOK and Nea Democratia primarily with a part of the "left" wing supporting.


So once again by deceiving the Greek (Hellenic) people, will try to steal the vote, thus continuing the policy that foreign centers, the EU and the International Monetary Fund require at the expense of Greece (Hellas)!

The Democratiki Aristera, of Fotis Kouvelis is the duo's PASOK party with many former executives in it. It is almost certain that the Democratiki Aristera will be the third party if necessary in a co-ruling of PASOK and Nea Democratia.


If the polling rate does not give to the three of them the chance to form a government, then the fourth pole is the party of Panos Kammenos, Aneksartiti Ellines which mainly comes from the 'Viscera' of Nea Democratia. Many may disagree with my view because of the statements that 
Kammenos did saying that: "neither  dead will not cooperate with Antonis Samaras" but let me believe that P. Kammenos is not new in politics. He is an old politician, pulled out from the bowels of ONNED (youth of Nea Dimocratia) and has experience in methods of attracting voters. Even if he refuses cooperation nobody guarantees that the same will do his members. Besides, the -against the Memorandum and the Loan Contract- rhetoric was used by Samaras, who just as easily went to the other side.



the posible new greek government

As it concerns LAOS if it manages to enter the parliament then it is very likely to join the Nea Democratia as before its members Voridis and Georgiadis did
.The only area which states "opposite" to what is happening in Greece in recent years, namely the Memorandum and those arising from this, is the site of the Left. But here there is a big dose of hypocrisy. While "trying" to save the country from the EU and the International Monetary Fund they do not touch -perhaps the biggest problem of Greek society and history- that of illegal immigration and the invasion of millions of settlers. Furthermore within the Left wing are host figures not known for their love of the country,  for example Tatsopoulos candidate of the SYRIZA party, or "comrade Maria" (Repousi) of Kouvelis!


Both Right and Left wing created fertile ground for the sharp rise of the extreme right, which sees rates rising geometrically, based primarily on what others avoid. Illegal immigration. A right-wing with love for the German Nazis do not require payments of independent policy!

Unfortunately for the Greeks, the vote of May 6 will be "non-lesser of two evils"!




Samaras: leader of the Nea Dimocratia (ΝΔ) party
Venizelos: leader of the Pasok (ΠΑΣΟΚ) party
Kouvelis: leader of the Dimokratiki Aristera (ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΚΗ ΑΡΙΣΤΕΡΑ) party
Tsipras: leader of the Syriza (ΣΥΡΙΖΑ) party







Tuesday, 24 April 2012

I am Hellene!





The Goldman Sachs coup that failed in America has nearly succeeded in Europe—a permanent, irrevocable, unchallengeable bailout for the banks underwritten by the taxpayers. 
In September 2008, Henry Paulson, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, managed to extort a $700 billion bank bailout from Congress.  But to pull it off, he had to fall on his knees and threaten the collapse of the entire global financial system and the imposition of martial law; and the bailout was a one-time affair.  Paulson’s plea for apermanent bailout fund—the Troubled Asset Relief Program or TARP—was opposed by Congress and ultimately rejected.
By December 2011, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi, former vice president of Goldman Sachs Europe, was able to approve a 500 billion Euro bailoutfor European banks without asking anyone’s permission.  And in January 2012, a permanent rescue funding program called the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) was passed in the dead of night with barely even a mention in the press.  The ESM imposes an open-ended debt on EU member governments, putting taxpayers  on the hook for whatever the ESM’s Eurocrat overseers demand.
The bankers’ coup has triumphed in Europe seemingly without a fight.  The ESM is cheered by Eurozone governments, their creditors, and “the market” alike, because it means investors will keep buying sovereign debt.  All is sacrificed to the demands of the creditors, because where else can the money be had to float the crippling debts of the Eurozone governments?
There is another alternative to debt slavery to the banks.  But first, a closer look at the nefarious underbelly of the ESM and Goldman’s silent takeover of the ECB . . . .
The Dark Side of the ESM
The ESM is a permanent rescue facility slated to replace the temporary European Financial Stability Facility and European Financial Stabilization Mechanism as soon as Member States representing 90% of the capital commitments have ratified it, something that is expected to happen in July 2012.  A December 2011 youtube video titled “The shocking truth of the pending EU collapse!”, originally posted in German, gives such a revealing look at the ESM that it is worth quoting here at length.  It states:
The EU is planning a new treaty called the European Stability Mechanism, or ESM:  a treaty of debt. . . . The authorized capital stock shall be 700 billion euros.  Question: why 700 billion?  [Probable answer: it simply mimicked the $700 billion the U.S. Congress bought into in 2008.] . . . .
[Article 9]: “. . . ESM Members hereby irrevocably and unconditionally undertake to pay on demand any capital call made on them . . . within seven days of receipt of such demand.”  . . . If the ESM needs money, we have seven days to pay. . . . But what does “irrevocably and unconditionally” mean?  What if we have a new parliament, one that does not want to transfer money to the ESM?  . . . .
[Article 10]: “The Board of Governors may decide to change the authorized capital and amend Article 8 . . . accordingly.”  Question:  . . . 700 billion is just the beginning?  The ESM can stock up the fund as much as it wants to, any time it wants to?  And we would then be required under Article 9 to irrevocably and unconditionally pay up?
[Article 27, lines 2-3]: “The ESM, its property, funding, and assets . . . shall enjoy immunity from every form of judicial process . . . .”  Question:  So the ESM program can sue us, but we can’t challenge it in court?
[Article 27, line 4]: “The property, funding and assets of the ESM shall . . . be immune from search, requisition, confiscation, expropriation, or any other form of seizure, taking or foreclosure by executive, judicial, administrative or legislative action.”  Question: . . . [T]his means that neither our governments, nor our legislatures, nor any of our democratic laws have any effect on the ESM organization?  That’s a pretty powerful treaty!
[Article 30]:  “Governors, alternate Governors, Directors, alternate Directors, the Managing Director and staff members shall be immune from legal process with respect to acts performed by them . . . and shall enjoy inviolability in respect of their official papers and documents.”   Question:  So anyone involved in the ESM is off the hook?  They can’t be held accountable for anything? . . . The treaty establishes a new intergovernmental organization to which we are required to transfer unlimited assets within seven days if it so requests, an organization that can sue us but is immune from all forms of prosecution and whose managers enjoy the same immunity.  There are no independent reviewers and no existing laws apply?  Governments cannot take action against it?  Europe’s national budgets in the hands of one single unelected intergovernmental organization?  Is that the future of Europe?  Is that the new EU – a Europe devoid of sovereign democracies?
The Goldman Squid Captures the ECB
Last November, without fanfare and barely noticed in the press, former Goldman exec Mario Draghi replaced Jean-Claude Trichet as head of the ECB.  Draghi wasted no time doing for the banks what the ECB has refused to do for its member governments—lavish money on them at very cheap rates.  French blogger Simon Thorpe reports:
On the 21st of December, the ECB “lent” 489 billion euros to European Banks at the extremely generous rate of just 1% over 3 years.  I say “lent”, but in reality, they just ran the printing presses. The ECB doesn’t have the money to lend. It’s Quantitative Easing again.
The money was gobbled up virtually instantaneously by a total of 523 banks. It’s complete madness. The ECB hopes that the banks will do something useful with it – like lending the money to the Greeks, who are currently paying 18% to the bond markets to get money. But there are absolutely no strings attached. If the banks decide to pay bonuses with the money, that’s fine. Or they might just shift all the money to tax havens.
At 18% interest, debt doubles in just four years.  It is this onerous interest burden, not the debt itself, that is crippling Greece and other debtor nations.  Thorpe proposes the obvious solution:
Why not lend the money to the Greek government directly? Or to the Portuguese government, currently having to borrow money at 11.9%? Or the Hungarian government, currently paying 8.53%. Or the Irish government, currently paying 8.51%? Or the Italian government, who are having to pay 7.06%?
The stock objection to that alternative is that Article 123 of the Lisbon Treaty prevents the ECB from lending to governments.  But Thorpe reasons:
My understanding is that Article 123 is there to prevent elected governments from abusing Central Banks by ordering them to print money to finance excessive spending. That, we are told, is why the ECB has to be independent from governments. OK. But what we have now is a million times worse. The ECB is now completely in the hands of the banking sector. “We want half a billion of really cheap money!!” they say.  OK, no problem. Mario is here to fix that. And no need to consult anyone. By the time the ECB makes the announcement, the money has already disappeared.
At least if the ECB was working under the supervision of elected governments, we would have some influence when we elect those governments. But the bunch that now has their grubby hands on the instruments of power are now totally out of control.
Goldman Sachs and the financial technocrats have taken over the European ship.  Democracy has gone out the window, all in the name of keeping the central bank independent from the “abuses” of government.  Yet the government is the people—or it should be.  A democratically elected government represents the people.  Europeans are being hoodwinked into relinquishing their cherished democracy to a rogue band of financial pirates, and the rest of the world is not far behind.
Rather than ratifying the draconian ESM treaty, Europeans would be better advised to reverse article 123 of the Lisbon treaty.  Then the ECB could issue credit directly to its member governments.  Alternatively, Eurozone governments could re-establish their economic sovereignty by reviving their publicly-owned central banks and using them to issue the credit of the nation for the benefit of the nation, effectively interest-free.  This is not a new idea but has been used historically to very good effect, e.g. in Australia through the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and in Canada through the Bank of Canada.
Today the issuance of money and credit has become the private right of vampire rentiers, who are using it to squeeze the lifeblood out of economies.  This right needs to be returned to sovereign governments.  Credit should be a public utility, dispensed and managed for the benefit of the people.
To add your signature to a letter to parliamentarians blocking ratification of the ESM, click here
_________________
Ellen Brown is an attorney and president of the Public Banking Institute,http://PublicBankingInstitute.org.  In Web of Debt, her latest of eleven books, she shows how a private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back. Her websites arehttp://WebofDebt.com and http://EllenBrown.com.





My girlfriend and I turned up for a romantic break in Athens last Wednesday evening, only to discover that Dimitris Christoulas had shot himself in front of parliament hours before. The 77-year-old pharmacist couldn't cope with the austerity imposed upon him by Greece's technocratic government. His suicide note confessed he couldn't bear to look his children in the eye any more. Massive demonstrations in the central Syntagma Square over the next four nights were his fellow citizens' response.


A terrible suffering has been unleashed upon the Greek people as a result of the Euro crisis, and the fiscal incompetence and corruption of the previous Greek government. The leaders of the richer, more powerful European nations, especially France and Germany, have imposed a bureaucrat called Lucas Papademos on the broken country, and demanded cuts to public spending, whose human toll Christoulas has now come to symbolise. Pay and pensions have been debauched; taxes have risen very sharply.

Greece is entering its fifth consecutive year of recession. As the journalist Peter Oborne has noted, during the Great Depression of the 1930s, Britain's national output dropped around 10 per cent in total.
Since 2008, Greece's output has dropped 13 per cent. Some forecasters think it could drop 10 per cent further this year alone. Perhaps 100,000 businesses have ceased to exist. Parties of the far right and far left are now polling a terrifying 50 per cent or more between them.

The suffering is visible everywhere. You can't eat lunch in a cafe without beggars swarming around you; the homeless crouch on almost every street corner; drug dealing takes place in broad daylight; and students and anarchists have declared their violent, vengeful intentions in graffiti across the city. That all this should happen in the shadow of the Acropolis, that eroded temple of an eroding civilisation, is ironic.

What do we owe the Greek people? Sympathy, solidarity, and support – and an apology too, if you campaigned in favour of the euro. Right on our doorstep in Europe, the country that gave birth to the continent is paying the price of the most idiotic economic experiment in modern history.

It is true that the restoration of the drachma could cause an economic catastrophe, as other countries also leave the single currency – and that prospect is what stops Eurosceptics from gloating, for now.
But a reckoning is coming, in the form of Greek elections next month. Whatever their result, the Greek people want their economic sovereignty returned from Berlin and Paris to their own capital. I would avoid booking romantic holidays to Athens for the time being.

source: http://www.independent.co.uk/hei-fi/views/amol-rajan-paying-the-price-for-an-idiotic-economic-experiment-7630324.html?origin=internalSearch

2012 Greek America Foundation Short Film Contest: White & Blue





Monday, 9 April 2012

How the Greek tiger learnt to roar again...


...and Germany shot itself in the foot. A futuristic fable with a moral for those who want Athens out of the euro.



04 Apr 2012
Stephen King, Group Chief Economist

At the end of 2015 the Greek Government could look back with some satisfaction at its recent achievements. The outside world, once so despairing of Athens, now regarded Greece as the "Hellenic tiger". Its stock market, which had fallen by 90 per cent from its 2007 peak through to the early months of 2013, was roaring back. Interest rates, once in the financial stratosphere, were now much lower than in Italy or Spain. And while growth wasn't quite in the double-digit range, Greece was giving China and India a run for their money.
Having severed its links with Europe in response to what had become known as "the calamity," Greece's future now seemed assured, reflecting its growing connections with the world's more dynamic economies. Even as its former European partners walked away, Greece had found new sources of financial support, thanks to the deep pockets of the Russians – who were planning to build a giant gas terminal in Thessalonika at the end of a new pipeline – and the Chinese.
Even during the calamity, China had shown its enthusiasm for all things Greek: the operation of Piraeus's container terminals had been transferred to China's COSCO Pacific Ltd and the port had established itself as the hub for Chinese goods going to southeast Europe, the Levant and North Africa (much to Turkey's irritation). Meanwhile, Greece had cornered the rapidly growing Chinese market for olive oil, undercutting its southern European rivals thanks to a much more competitive exchange rate.
Athens' decision to leave the eurozone – and the EU – had been made with a heavy heart. The Greek people wanted to be part of Europe but had increasingly felt abandoned in an economic wilderness. Admittedly, some of their politicians had been economical with the truth and their wealthiest citizens had found ways of escaping the taxman's clutches but, after three years of devastation, with income down 25 per cent from the peak, it was time to move on.
At first the introduction of the "new drachma" looked like a disaster: those Greeks sufficiently fleet of financial foot removed all their money from the Greek banking system in an attempt to prevent their euros being swapped into devalued drachmas. In response, the new currency halved in value against the euro. The Greek economy shrank by a further 8 per cent as the banking crisis went from bad to worse. Yet with the introduction of capital and exchange controls – mimicking an approach seen in the fast-growing emerging world – Greece could soon insulate itself from the ups and downs of international capital markets. Within a handful of months, domestic economic collapse had been halted.
Inflation threatened, rapidly rising import prices brought big domestic wage demands, but in the absence of support from its former European partners the Greek Government persuaded its people that austerity and wage restraint were necessary for a vital one-off improvement in competitiveness. Within months there were signs of an export recovery. The economy was slowly being rebalanced.
Politicians had repeatedly warned Greece about the costs of leaving the eurozone and the EU, yet it seemed as if it had emerged smelling of roses.
But that was only the beginning. After the exchange rate collapse, and the final debt swap, Greece had rapidly established itself as an extraordinarily attractive destination for foreign investors looking to get a foothold in a dynamic part of the world, particularly after reforms stemming from the Arab Spring. As the investment came in, opposition from domestic Greek unions collapsed: admittedly, workplace practices had to adjust but no one could afford to ignore the sudden and welcome reduction in unemployment thanks to an influx of foreign money.
Europe looked upon this rebirth with a mixture of envy and alarm – politicians had repeatedly warned Greece about the costs of leaving the eurozone and the EU, yet it seemed as if it had emerged smelling of roses.
After Greece's success, all hell had broken loose in the eurozone's financial markets. Germany was still demanding austerity from the likes of Spain and Italy, even as their economies faced a fourth year of contraction. As investors priced in the possibility of a Spanish or Italian departure from the euro, borrowing costs for the southern European nations rose dramatically. The contrast between Greek success and Spanish and Italian failure was obvious, so much so that the Spanish and Italians began to demand their own version of the Greek escape.
The Germans, meanwhile, began to wonder what had gone so badly wrong. They thought that austerity would fix all ills. They believed the fiscally recalcitrant could be brought to heel. The Bundesbank had vehemently opposed any programmes offering support to the weaker members of the euro, fearing fiscal backsliding. Yet, with the prospect of the euro disintegrating, the risk for Germany was obvious – a huge increase in the value of its currency on the foreign exchanges sufficient to wipe out vast swathes of German industry.
Angela Merkel, now the grande dame of European politics, recognised the danger. Forcing Greece out of the euro had, it turned out, been a mistake. The costs to Greece had been outweighed by the benefits. Parts of the eurozone, however, were still mired in recession. Ms Merkel faced a choice: push for a fiscal union that would lock in for ever the transfer payments that, in Greece's case, she had so strenuously opposed; or head for a euro exit, with all that entailed for German industry.
Germany's gamble had failed. In the attempt to punish Greece, it had ended up with an impossible choice: creating a fiscal union or huge currency upheaval. Berlin had taken aim at Greece but shot itself in the foot.
This fantasy is hardly an orthodox view. There is no particular reason why the events described will happen (although the bit about COSCO taking control of container ports in Piraeus is true). But the idea that Greece can leave and that the rest of the eurozone will then live happily ever after – a view that is quickly becoming the conventional wisdom – is surely wrong. Departure might eventually be an answer to Greece's difficulties but it only asks questions of everybody else.
Stephen King originally wrote this article for The Times newspaper, published on 4 April 2012.


source:http://www.hsbcnet.com/gbm/global-insights/insights/2012/stephen-king-how-greek-tiger-learnt-to-roar-again.html?WT.ac=CIBM_gbm_ban_hom_ban00_On


Written by Menelaos Tasiopoulos

The privilege that Greece has against  Germany is the Berlin report on occupation loan and the war reparations of World War II in Greece

Within the euro zone with Greece is in a state of bankruptcy and complete dependence on borrowing by the Union, Germany has managed to close this front, through the Memorandum 1 and 2.
 

Especially in the new Memorandum, which has been voted by the Greek Parliament with 199 votes, compensation for clearance of loans from Europe is excluded. Nevertheless, the German foreign ministry wanted to close with an explicit and not only on the basis of a loan agreement the whole issue.

Also, as we see announcements like this from the German-Hellenic  Business Association, Berlin wants to blackmail at this stage Greece  officially, in accordance with  the foreign ministry, the attitude that the issue of reparations is historic, and European political establishment has closed. The Greek Foreign Ministry officially confirmed in a statement that the issue of damages remains open for Athens.

What do the Germans fear? Any exit of Greece from the eurozone, voluntary or mandatory.
 In such a case, given that Greece will seek funds for the functioning of the state and to support its economy, at least in the first two years of difficult adjustment, could claim damages, which according to the calculation of Paris, are reaching the amount of 500 billion euros. A huge amount that threatens the dominant position of Germany in Europe.


And of course the exit from the eurozone, may be the result of generalized unrest and overthrow of the current political and party system in Greece, which controls the dominant involvement in "black funds" of Siemens bribes and weapons from Berlin.

Germany has also calculated the process of claiming compensations, which could be followed by Greece, when the decision of withdrawal from the euro and Europe will be taken.

Assign all of its assets (entitle the reparations and sell them) in foreign banks and international funds, which are based in England and the U.S, perhaps in Russia, which is in a state of state capitalism and get in advance discounted capital, or low,
 at rates of 1-2% credit. 



So if we have to calculate a total amount of 500 billion (1 trillion according to other calculations including the loan and the reparations of Paris Peace Treaties) and not only at the level of forced loan,

Greece gives its requirements and takes a total amount of 300 billion and assigns the remaining 200 billion in banks and funds, which they (for example banks, US, Russia etc.) can claim directly from Germany.

The 200 billion euros is too much profit for the protagonists of the international markets to refuse to come into conflict with Germany, and this will complicate matters, today's bullying will collapse and Berlin, will be in a difficult position, threatened by most of international markets or other forces.



Today's relentless and defiant attitude that Germany has followed has its logic.

And at this stage Sachinidis (minister of economics) and his colleagues at the Treasury may not be able to find the files of the compensations and the threatened two-party system may have shut down the Siemens scandal, but forces against the memorandum in Greece have an impact on society. And possibly in the upcoming elections, their presence will be formalized in the parliament and strengthen even further their position, not allowing any, next, government scheme, to make other non acceptable to the interests of Greece, compromises.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Athens: Protesters Beat Policeman, Set Uniform Jacket Alight


Posted by keeptalkinggreece in Society


Protesters attacked one policeman at Syntagma Square, near the spot where Dimitris Christoulas, 77, committed suicide on Wednesday morning. According to Greek media reports, mourners had marched to Syntagma Square after having attended the funeral of the retired pharmacist. It looks as if there was also a march by anti-authoritarian protesters.  News portalZougla.gr reports that some of the protesters attacked the policeman, grabbed his mobile and stripped him off his jacket and they beat him with punches, breaking his nose.



Carl Sagan: We might have saved twenty centuries!


THE GREEKS documentary 
narrator: Liam Neeson


Saturday, 7 April 2012

The Antikythera Mechanism


Antikythera mechanism replicaby Hublot
Hublot has worked closely with the Antikythera project, and has created a miniaturized version of the mechanism that fits on a wristwatch. The mechanism is to be displayed at the 2012 Basel World Expo. Here’s a short documentary on the project.






Tale of a clockwork computer

Andrew Robinson1

BOOK REVIEWEDDecoding the Heavens: Solving the Mystery of the World's First Computer

by Jo Marchant
William Heinemann/Da Capo Press: 2008/2009. 330 pp/ 288 pp. £12.99/$25
It is appropriate that Arthur C. Clarke recommended this book before his death in March 2008.














Friday, 6 April 2012

April 6th: History repeats itself



Roberto Benigni: The whole world owes Greece



"Greece owes nothing! We owe Greece! The whole world owes Greece everything"
"
I want to kiss you all in the mouth": This is how Roberto Begnini began his speech in front of an enthusiastic crowd, the Italian actor and director, who received his honorary doctorate at the Section of Italian Language and Literature of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
"It is not Greece that owes. The whole world, Europe owe Greece!" he said. As always ebullient, R.Benigni did not hesitate to climb on the benches in applauses.
 "Thank you. Good evening. Hello my dear friends. I want to kiss you all in the mouth. My heart beats too loud, " said the Italian actror,  who spoke about the "Divine Comedy "."A highly significant moment for the university" said the dean of Aristotle University, John Mylopoulos, added that the ceremony expands the spiritual wealth of the institution.
"Valuable piece of Italian culture" characterized the works of the honored, the chairman of the University Phoebus Gikopoulos.The Professor of the Department Katerina Evangelou, noted that Roberto Benigni is the most prominent descendant of a long tradition of the Italian court jesters and comedy del Arte. She referred also to the relationship with Benigni's "Divine Comedy" of Dante, stressing that he redefined the relationship of the project with the public and freed it from the "dual watch" of the school environment and the historical and literary market.

Roberto Benigni is starring in the new film by Woody Allen To Rome with Love.

source: 
http://www.defencenet.gr/defence/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=38416&Itemid=170




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