european commission

Report of the UN independent expert on the effects of foreign debt to human rights in Greece, 29 Feb. 2016

Advance Unedited Version

Distr.: General
29 February 2016
Original: English

Human Rights Council

Thirty-first session

Agenda item 3

Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.

Report of the Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights on his mission to Greece*


Beware of Citizens and Development ante portas

ελληνικά    /    deutsch

On January 8, 2014 Greece inaugurated the beginning of its 5th Presidency of the EU with a big show held at the Zappeion in Athens. Hardly anybody was missing who had contributed to the destruction of the country in the past crisis years. It was the celebration of a paradox: A country presiding over an organization that is destroying its nation and its people!

Of course, democracy and freedom were topics in the speeches made by the participants. The police, on the other hand, prohibited all demonstrations justifying it with the argument ”to protect the life and the physical integrity of the participants…” The same police order also mentioned (more…)

Mining interests trump local democracy in Greece

Μεταλλευτικά συμφέροντα υπερισχύουν της τοπικής δημοκρατίας στην Ελλάδα

The birthplace of Aristotle is under threat from large-scale Canadian mining, but a wave of social unrest threatens to derail the government’s economic agenda, writes Jen Wilton.

Lazaros Toskas  [Related Image]
Lazaros Toskas holds a photo of a demonstration in Thessaloniki in March 2013, where thousands gathered to protest against the Skouries mine. © Jen Wilton

‘In the land that gave birth to democracy, democracy has been abolished,’ asserts Lazaros Toskas, a leader in the campaign against mining on the Halkidiki Peninsula in north-east Greece. He is speaking in reference to several large mining projects near his hometown that have been given a green light by the government, despite fierce local opposition.

Toskas is a lifelong resident of Megali Panagia, a small village neighbouring Aristotle’s place of birth. It is located just three kilometres from the Skouries exploration site where Canadian-based Eldorado Gold plans to develop an open-pit gold and copper mine. Skouries (more…)

EU Accuses 13 Banks of Hampering CDS Competition

Οι ρυθμιστικές αρχές της Κομισιόν κατηγορούν 13 τράπεζες (Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Bear Stearns, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan, RBS και UBS) ότι παραβίασαν τους αντιμονοπωλιακούς κανόνες για την αγορά των CDS.


The European Commission has informed 13 of the world’s largest investment banks through a statement of objections that they infringed EU antitrust rules and distorted competition regarding credit default swap (CDS). The statement of objections is addressed to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Bear Stearns, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS as well as the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) and data service provider Markit. (more…)

EU Official: Cyprus Was A Special Case, But…

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Big bank depositors could take a hit under planned European Union law if a bank fails, the EU’s economic affairs chief Olli Rehn said on Saturday, but noted that Cyprus’s bailout model was exceptional.

Olli Rehn

“Cyprus was a special case … but the upcoming directive assumes that investor and depositor liability will be carried out in case of a bank restructuring or a wind-down,” Rehn, the European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner, said in a TV interview with Finland’s national broadcaster YLE.

“But there is a very clear hierarchy, at first the shareholders, then possibly the unprotected investments and deposits. However, the limit of 100,000 euros is sacred, deposits smaller than that are always safe.”

The European Commission is currently drafting a directive on bank safety which would incorporate the issue of investor liability in member states’ legislation. (more…)

Cyprus: Savage Austerity Measures and Economic Dictatorship


By Jordan Shilton and Chris Marsden

Global Research, March 24, 2013

Cyprus’ fate illustrates how the European Union imposes the dictatorship of the global speculators, banks and corporations on the working class. The EU yesterday continued to demand massive austerity in Cyprus to raise €6 billion ($7.8 billion) in return for a €10 billion bank bailout.

The island country has been the centre of an escalating financial crisis, with its parliament voting Wednesday to reject proposals to raise the necessary funds by taking money from anyone with deposits in Cypriot banks.

A new vote on whether to impose a “haircut” on depositors was delayed until today. The EU and European Central Bank (ECB) dismissed proposals by Cypriot politicians—themselves wholly reactionary—to create a “solidarity fund” to raise the six billion demanded.

Cyprus’s aim was to preserve its financial relations with Russia and force workers to pay the price by nationalising pension funds to pay the debts of the super-rich. Other proposals included seeking contributions from the church and selling gold reserves—all in order to avoid levying a significant one-off levy on major depositors.

However, the EU bluntly dismissed these measures as insufficient. German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared baldly after a parliamentary meeting of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), “We want Cyprus to remain in the euro zone”, but insisted that its “current business model is dead.”

The ECB has insisted that the levy on investors should be re-imposed—this time with a widely-anticipated penalty of 15 percent on depositors with balances over €100,000, as initially rejected by Nicosia. If not, it was made clear that proposals had been discussed to prepare for and limit the impact of a Cypriot exit from the euro zone. (more…)

Euro, Bruxelles confirm: they are cheating us!

Twitter @francescofilini

Finally comes the reply to the parliamentary inquiry submitted by MEP Marco Scurria on the legal nature of ‘€ uro, and finally comes the confirmation: we are cheating. There have always cheated. First things first.

Marco Scurria asked for clarification on the answer given by the European Commission to the first parliamentary inquiry on the legal ownership of the euro presented by MP. Mario Borghezio, which said that during the issuing bank notes belong to the Eurosystem, while in the phase of the movement belong to the owner of the account on which they are charged.

Be careful because the words in official acts and in the techno-eurocratic  language must be well weighed. So the commissioner Olli Rehn answered Borghezio that  the ownership of paper notes (which are well imprinted in every language of EU the initials of the European Central Bank) is the Eurosystem.

But what is this Eurosystem?
“The Eurosystem comprises the ECB and the NCBs of those countries that have adopted the single currency. The Eurosystem and the ESCB will co-exist as long as there are EU Member States outside the euro area.” This is the definition that you read on the official website of the ECB.

So the national central banks print notes and take possession of their nominal value (eg whether to print a business card 100 has a physical cost for who coined by 0.20 cents – intrinsic value – NCBs are also appropriating of the value printed on the ticket).

Scurria asked what were the legal grounds on which it rested the statement of the Commissioner Olli Rehn:

Inquiry with written answer E-000302/2012
the Commission
Rule 117
Marco Scurria (EPP)

Subject: Legal status of ownership of the euro

In response to a written question on the same subject submitted by Mr. Borghezio provided June 16, 2011, the Commission informs his colleague that “on issue euro banknotes belongs to the Eurosystem and, once issued, both banknotes and euro coins belongs to the owner of the account on which are charged as a result. “
Can the Commission clarify the legal basis upon which is based this statement?

Comes the answer: (more…)