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MOSCOVICI ADMITS THE GREEK PROGRAM IS A “DEMOCRATIC SCANDAL”

European Commissioner for Monetary and Financial  Affairs Pierre Moscovici described  the Greek program of fiscal adjustment as a ‘democratic scandal’. In an interview to Italian newspaper Corriere dela Sera, Pierre Moscovici replied to a journalist question: “Why do you say that the program for Greece is a “democratic scandal”?

“It is a scandal with regards to democratic procedures, not with regards to the decisions themselves. But to decide in such a way about the fate of people, to impose in detail decisions about pensions, about the labor market… I speak about the basic details of the life in a country that have been decided by an organization behind closed doors, plans that have been worked out by technocrats without the minimum control of a parliament. Without that the media really know what it has been said, without fixed criteria or common guidelines

The interview was given on the sidelines of the Ambrosetti Forum in Cernobbio, Italy, over the weekend.

In his speech at the Forum, Pierre Moscovici criticized among others the way the Eurogroup operates and urged for democracy and transparency in decision-making structures that will help the euro zone.

“But I am convinced that the euro area will only have a truly bright future if we address three burning political issues: the lack of democracy in its decision-making structures; the need to ensure that a future European Monetary Fund is successfully built on democratic principles; and the economic and social divergences creating a dangerous political divide between countries.

The problem is a structural one. We are talking about decisions that are first prepared by officials – in almost complete opacity– and then taken by Ministers behind closed doors, often after very limited discussions,and with no formal rules. Unlike in a normal Council formation, the European Commission does not have the prerogatives in the Eurogroup to promote and advance the general interest of the euro area as a whole. Major decisions are taken on national budgets and reforms and no one is – or feels – accountable for these decisions to the European Parliament.

I would go so far as to say that this flaw in the governance of EMU is a democratic deficit, and sometimes in the past, when we look at Greece, it has been close to a democratic scandal.

As you can gather from what I have already said, I believe that our Economic and Monetary Union requires a quantum leap forward on the institutional front to fix this political vacuum. We cannot go on having the main decision-making forum for the euro area detached from the most basic democratic standards, as enshrined in the Community method.

Reforming the euro area’s governance is also a prerequisite for increased solidarity. Any strengthening of EU powers must be reflected in a more democratic euro area.”

I supposed, Moscovici has been thinking all the time that the Greek adjustment programs was implemented and enforced by aliens. It looks as if  the European Commissioner just stood at the many Eurogroup sessions watching stunned and speechless how the little mean creatures from outer space designed the future of every Greek child, man, woman and senior down to last detail and the imposed their evil plans to the country as a whole.

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Dimitris Kazakis interview by independent journalist Joshua Tartakovsky

Dimitris Kazakis: “The Soros Agenda is to Destroy the Identity of Our People”

DK (Dimitris Kazakis): Right now we have more people coming [to EPAM] from the Right, looking for a patriotic organization, that can fight to overthrow the occupation regime of this country. Nowadays everybody feels that we are under occupation. Of course, we are not under a military occupation but we are under occupation. Our state is not our state even formally. In every department of our state you will find foreign emissaries controlling everything. So we have four independent authorities that were created by the Europeans that control everything. For example, we have TAIPED –  the independent authority of privatization of the public utilities and public assets. Another independent authority is the General Secretariat Of Public Revenue – the president of this independent authority is Dutch. And another independent authority is the one that gives money to the systemic banks. And the fourth is the new fund, created by the Syriza government, that will control the big utilities of the public, for example electric energy. And of course all kinds of assets that were part and parcel of the Greek Republic. Everything will go to this particular fund. So the laws that created these independent authorities say that you cannot go back. You cannot introduce another law that will take back what you gave to these independent authorities. So we don’t have a constitution. We have laws that we cannot take them back. We have foreigners that control everything. There is no way Greek citizens can find protection in the justice system or in any other institution in Greece. We are under occupation. And everything comes down to the simple truth that they want everything. They want the whole country. IMF in their last report on the debt gave spectacular data about the tax collection system in Greece. They say that in 2015, 55% could not pay their taxes to their tax collection system – the IRS – here in Greece.

JT (Joshua Tartakovsky): They are avoiding taxes?

DK: No. They cannot pay any taxes because they do not have enough income. So the conclusion of the IMF is that we have a huge avoidance of tax-paying citizens so you have to reduce the basis of the income that is not obliged to pay taxes, and of course put more taxes on the citizens. That would create…more

To view this article in German click here.

 

How could we cope if capitalism failed? Ask 26 Greek Factory Workers.

Successful co-operatives are a viable form of economic organization and the Viome story is another proof of this.

Staff at Viome had to confront an existential quandary. The owners of their parent company had gone bust and abandoned the site, in the second city of Thessaloniki. Their plant, which manufactured chemicals for the construction industry, would be shut. There would be immediate layoffs, and dozens of families would be plunged into poverty. And seeing as Greece is in the midst of the greatest economic depression ever seen in the EU, the workers’ chances of getting another job were close to nil.

So they decided to occupy their own plant and make a living out of it. Read the full article.

How Greece Became A Guinea Pig For A Cashless And Controlled Society

As Greece moves closer to becoming a cashless society, it is clear that the country’s attitude towards cash is reckless and dangerous. The supposed convenience of switching to a cash-free system comes with a great deal of risk, including needless overreach by the state.

cash-is-not-accepted

Greece is being used as a guinea pig not just for a grand neoliberal experiment in both austerity, but de-cashing as well. The examples are many, and they have found fertile ground in a country whose populace remains shell-shocked by eight years of economic depression. A new law that came into effect on January 1 incentivizes going cashless by setting a minimum threshold of spending at least 10 percent of one’s income via credit, debit, or prepaid card in order to attain a somewhat higher tax-free threshold.

Beginning July 27, dozens of categories of businesses in Greece will be required to install aptly-acronymized “POS” (point-of-sale) card readers and to accept payments by card. Businesses are also required to post a notice, typically by the entrance or point of sale, stating whether card payments are accepted or not. Another new piece of legislation, in effect as of June 1, requires salaries to be paid via direct electronic transfers to bank accounts. Furthermore, cash transactions of over 500 euros have been outlawed.

full article