poverty

Oxfam warns on European poverty and says ‘Greece is in a terrible state’

The Guardian : Η Oxfam προειδοποιεί για φτώχεια στην Ευρώπη και λέει ότι η Ελλάδα βρίσκεται σε φοβερή κατάσταση

Charity says that austerity measures will create a divided continent and ‘entrench poverty for a generation’

Distribution of fruit and vegetables by Greek farmers outside the Agriculture Ministry in Athens

A free distribution of fruit and vegetables by Greek farmers outside the Agriculture Ministry in Athens. Oxfam has warned on the state of Greece in its predictions for Europe. Photograph: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

Europe faces a “lost decade”, with the number of people trapped in poverty across the continent set to rise by up to 25 million by 2025 unless austerity policies are reversed, according to a damning (more…)

Final Countdown

Global inflation has begun : the elites tremble before the wrath of the dupes

Deutscher Text  /  Μετάφραση στα ελληνικά Italiano

The dramatic collapse of young economies in the world are the first signs announcing the crash of the world financial system. The debt tsunami is rolling . It will lead to an inflation of anger against those whose goal is the exploitation of the world. The end will be painful, says Marc Faber. Christine Lagarde speaks about the breaking of a dam, against which defense lines need to be built up. But the attackers act in self-defense;  millions of people are starting to rebel against the financial system. The situation is changing.

bastilli

Caption: Revolutions always break out when those in power believe that they can lever a piece of bread into a piece of cake ( leverage). The storming of the Bastille  in 1793 , Charles Thévenin .

The alchemists of the global financial system start getting nervous. (more…)

Greek Tax Trap: overtaxing even zero-euro income with ‘deemed income criteria’

A shock is awaiting 2,400,000 Greek taxpayers with annual real income between zero and 5,000 euro. This year, they will have to pay tax even if they have no income at all. The tax law applied this year for the income of 2012, will be based on so-called “deem income criteria.” According to this Troika-imposed austerity measure, regardless of the actual income, every taxpayer is “charged” with a presumptive income of minimum 3,000 euro – for married couples 5,000- per year to cover living needs. In addition, another “presumptive income” is calculated by the tax authorities, if the taxpayer owns the home he lives in. Greek finance ministry will tax it presuming the owner needs several hundred euro per year for maintenance.

Daily Eleftheros Typos published on Saturday several examples of the injustice of this measure:

A pensioner had an annual income 4,800 euro in 2012. He lives alone in his home of 80 square meter in an area with objective value below 2,800 euro per sq.m.

Based on the income tax bracket the income of 4,800 euro is tax-free as the lower taxable cap is 5,000 euro.

when he will fill his income declaration this year though, he will have to add:

-3,000 euro for minimum living presumption and

-3,200 euro (40 euro/sq. m.) as residence maintenance presumption.

Based on these two ‘deemed income’ criteria, the tax office will calculate, the man has to have an income of 6,200 euro.

The pensioner will be charged with income tax of 10% for the amount of 1,200 euro (6,200 deemed income -5,000 tax-free threshold = 1,200 euro.). The pensioner will have to pay 120 euro even if the tax law officially grants him 5,000 euro are tax-free.

If this man has the luxury of owning a car, additional ‘deemed income’ will be added for vehicle maintenance cost. (more…)

EU austerity drives repression in Greece

By Christoph Dreier

Global Research, October 13, 2012

 

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.

greece_protest_group_2011_10_19

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…)

50 Truths about Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution

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President Hugo Chavez, who died on March 5, 2013 of cancer at age 58, marked forever the history of Venezuela and Latin America.

1. Never in the history of Latin America, has a political leader had such incontestable democratic legitimacy. Since coming to power in 1999, there were 16 elections in Venezuela. Hugo Chavez won 15, the last on October 7, 2012. He defeated his rivals with a margin of 10-20 percentage points.

2. All international bodies, from the European Union to the Organization of American States, to the Union of South American Nations and the Carter Center, were unanimous in recognizing the transparency of the vote counts.

3. James Carter, former U.S. President, declared that Venezuela’s electoral system was “the best in the world.”

4. Universal access to education introduced in 1998 had exceptional results. About 1.5 million Venezuelans learned to read and write thanks to the literacy campaign called Mission Robinson I.

5. In December 2005, UNESCO said that Venezuela had eradicated illiteracy.

6. The number of children attending school increased from 6 million in 1998 to 13 million in 2011 and the enrollment rate is now 93.2%.

7. Mission Robinson II was launched to bring the entire population up to secondary level. Thus, the rate of secondary school enrollment rose from 53.6% in 2000 to 73.3% in 2011.

8. Missions Ribas and Sucre allowed tens of thousands of young adults to undertake university studies. Thus, the number of tertiary students increased from 895,000 in 2000 to 2.3 million in 2011, assisted by the creation of new universities.

9. With regard to health, they created the National Public System to ensure free access to health care for all Venezuelans. Between 2005 and 2012, 7873 new medical centers were created in Venezuela.

10. The number of doctors increased from 20 per 100,000 population in 1999 to 80 per 100,000 in 2010, or an increase of 400%.

11. Mission Barrio Adentro I provided 534 million medical consultations. About 17 million people were attended, while in 1998 less than 3 million people had regular access to health. 1.7 million lives were saved, between 2003 and 2011. (more…)

Greece and Spain helped postwar Germany recover. Spot the difference

Sixty years ago, half of German war debts were cancelled to build its economy. Yet today, debt is destroying those creditors

Exchanging Food for Circus Tickets

People exchanging food for tickets in 1923 Germany. ‘Many, including Keynes, argued that [reparations imposed on Germany following the Versailles treaty] led to the rise of the Nazis and the second world war.’ Photograph: Keystone/Corbis

Sixty years ago today, an agreement was reached in London to cancel half of postwar Germany’s debt. That cancellation, and the way it was done, was vital to the reconstruction of Europe from war. It stands in marked contrast to the suffering being inflicted on European people today in the name of debt. Germany emerged from the second world war still owing debt that originated with the first world war: the reparations imposed on the country following the Versailles peace conference in 1919. Many, including John Maynard Keynes, argued that these unpayable debts and the economic policies they entailed led to the rise of the Nazis and the second world war.

By 1953, Germany also had debts based on reconstruction loans made immediately after the end of the second world war. Germany’s creditors included Greece and Spain, Pakistan and Egypt, as well as the US, UK and France.

German debts were well below the levels seen in Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain today, making up around a quarter of national income. But even at this level, there was serious concern that debt payments would use up precious foreign currency earnings and endanger reconstruction.

Needing a strong West Germany as a bulwark against communism, the country’s creditors came together in London and showed that they understood how you help a country that you want to recover from devastation. It showed they also understood that debt can never be seen as the responsibility of the debtor alone. Countries such as Greece willingly took part in a deal to help create a stable and prosperous western Europe, despite the war crimes that German occupiers had inflicted just a few years before. (more…)

Immigration: a blessing for modern colonialists

Within 25 years, until 2010, the number of migrants doubled, reaching 215 millions

Do you know what ‘immigration’ means? Before remembering the sadness, expressed by popular Greek songs of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, when Greeks’ migration movement reached tragic proportions, you may know that, for the world economy, it is a blessing. Especially during times of an economic crisis. This is, at least, what the World Bank claims, supporting that migration is the No 1 political solution to deal with poverty in under-developed countries.  This is what the World Bank tells us: “International immigration strengthens global income. It allows workers to move where they can be more productive, immigration results in increasing global product and income”. In other words, the more people migrate, the better it is for everyone.

(more…)