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.
This working paper and infographic provide an overview of a great ‘fire sale’ of public services and national assets across Europe that is providing profits for a few transnational companies but is often fiercely opposed by its citizens.
A visual overview of privatisation of public services and assets enforced on crisis countries by the European Commission and European Central Bank. And the popular resistance movements to defend public services that have emerged as a result. > Download image | See image in interactive format
“The drive for austerity was about using the crisis, not solving it. It still is.”
Nobel prize-winning economist, Paul Krugman
In her lightning visit to Athens on Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel made clear that the European Union (EU) intends to intensify its attacks on the social rights and conditions of working people throughout Europe.
Shielded by 7,000 riot police, Merkel raced through streets that had been cleared of people to attend a meeting with Greek Premier Antonis Samaras. Her purpose was to ensure that Samaras not back down in the implementation of the savage austerity measures dictated by the EU. Merkel then met with selected entrepreneurs who hope to make a killing based on the starvation wages being imposed on Greek workers.
On the same day, an all-party coalition of the ruling Socialist Party, the right-wing Union for a Popular Majority, and the centre-right Democratic Movement voted in the French National Assembly for the fiscal pact Merkel had negotiated with former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Although Sarkozy’s successor, François Hollande, won last May’s election in large part by pledging to renegotiate the fiscal pact, it was passed without so much as a comma changed. It commits France to reducing its budget deficit by radical social cuts.
Greece has been the example for all of Europe since it applied for bailouts in 2010. Wage cuts, mass layoffs and the destruction of social welfare programs imposed by successive Greek governments at the behest of the troika (the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank) serve as a template for every other European country. (more…)
Movements around the world have put the spotlight on bailouts and tax evasion that have enriched the 1% at the expense of the 99% but this is only part of the picture. This popular video animation exposes how international investment agreements are also at the heart of an international economic system that is enriching a small corporate elite at the public expense. This video shows how:
•corporate lawsuits against governments have risen by almost 1200% since 1990 •Argentina’s legal bill for fighting corporate lawsuits has come to US$ 912 million, equivalent to the annual average salary of 140,000 teachers or 75,000 public hospital doctors
• corporate lawyers, based mainly in the UK and US, are earning around $800 dollars an hour encouraging corporations to sue governments
A useful pocket guide on how a crisis made in Wall Street was made worse by EU policies, how it has enriched the 1% to the detriment of the 99%, and outlining some possible solutions that prioritise people and the environment above corporate profits.
Is there an exit from the actual financial crisis? Is the crisis real, paradoxal or a paradigm of economic ideological orthodoxy, combined to the needs of uncontrolled modern financial markets? “Debt Management” is an insight to the Greek reality/developments of the unfolding crisis.
What is actually happening in Greece? How different is the crisis from the rest of the Euro-zone?
What can we learn from this symbolic war between people’s determination to preserve common values, human conditions, rights and needs, versus an orwellian financial world?
We see them, but we act as if we don’t. There are some people, who have escaped the “system”. We hear them, but we act as if we cannot hear them. There are some people, who always were free. We feel them, but we pretend that they do not exist. We will not see them wrapped in flags, whatever they may be, red, blue, striped or black. They will not spit out derogatory comments about your particular ideas or values. They will not be pushing their ideology or religion to you and you will never see them seated or at the forefront at the high positions of high society. It’s not that all of these things are bad by definition, that’s not really the reason for bringing these things up. I just want to show that today, right now, NONE of these things are of value and essential. Appearances are not enough. What we need now, are real and effective ACTIONS!