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Εγχειρίδιο χειρισμού κρίσεων λόγω πολιτικών ΔΝΤ από τη CIA! / Already confirmed: Civil liberties under attack! / Greece's creditors gone completely insane! / How the global financial mafia sucked Greece's blood / ECB's economic hitmen / The German Thatcher confirms bureaufascists' plans! / Η Μέρκελ επιβεβαιώνει τα σχέδια των γραφειοφασιστών! / Explaining the Greek paradox / Proxy wars everywhere, the planet already in flames ... / Ενώ η Γερμανία προετοιμάζεται για τα χειρότερα, η Ελλάδα επιμένει στο ευρώ! / Ένας παγκόσμιος "proxy" πόλεμος κατά της ελευθερίας έχει ξεκινήσει! / McCarthyism 2.0 against the independent information / Ο επικεφαλής του "σκιώδους συμβουλίου" της ΕΚΤ επιβεβαιώνει ότι η ευρωζώνη είναι μια χρηματοπιστωτική δικτατορία! / It has started: A global proxy war against freedom! / Βαρουφάκης: Το ΤΧΣ δεν ελέγχεται από το δημόσιο! / Η Ευρώπη συνθλίβεται από τους φασίστες, τους ισλαμοφασίστες, τους γραφειοφασίστες και τα αφεντικά τους / Europe crushed by the fascists, islamofascists, bureaufascists and their masters / Δεν γίνεται έτσι "σύντροφοι" ... / Panama Papers: When mainstream information wears the anti-establishment mask / The Secret Bank Bailout / The head of the ECB “shadow council” confirms that eurozone is a financial dictatorship! / A documentary by Paul Mason about the financial coup in Greece / The ruthless neo-colonialists of 21st century / First cracks to the establishment by the American people / From Tsipras to Corbyn and Sanders: This is not the Left we want / Clinton emails - The race of the Western neo-colonialist vultures over the Libyan corpse / Επιχείρηση Panama Papers: Το κατεστημένο θέλει το μονοπώλιο και στις διαρροές; / Operation "looting of Greece" reaches final stage / IMF says ... "neoliberalism"! / France officialy enters the neo-Feudal era! / The US establishment just gave its greatest performance so far ... / A significant revelation by WikiLeaks that the media almost ignored / It's official: the US is funding Middle-East jihadists! / Οι αδίστακτοι νεο-αποικιοκράτες του 21ου αιώνα / How to handle political unrest caused by IMF policies!

21 February, 2017

Julian Assange stays safe for now as the Left retains power in Ecuador


The successor of Rafael Correa, in Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, is very close to mark a big victory against the Right Wing opponent, Guillermo Lasso, and that's good news for Julian Assange and the Whistleblowers community:

      With just over 88 percent of votes counted in Ecuador's election as of Monday, left-wing front-runner Lenin Moreno led the presidential race with 39.11 percent of the vote, bringing him closer to the 40 percent threshold that he needs to avoid a second round. Moreno's closest contender, conservative former banker Guillermo Lasso of the right-wing CREO party, trailed more than 10 percent behind the presidential favorite with 28.31 percent.

Guillermo Lasso, faithful to the neoliberal establishment, stated recently that he will stop providing asylum to Assange:

      In an interview with the Guardian, Guillermo Lasso, of the rightwing Creo-Suma alliance, said it was time for the WikiLeaks founder to move on because his asylum was expensive and no longer justified. “The Ecuadorian people have been paying a cost that we should not have to bear,” he said during an interview in Quito. “We will cordially ask Señor Assange to leave within 30 days of assuming a mandate.”

Telesur gives a short background of the banker Lasso:

Before his first unsuccessful run for the presidency in 2013 — where he came in a distant second to Rafael Correa — Lasso had been one of the most powerful figures in Ecuador's finance sector as president and majority shareholder of the Bank of Guayaquil for 18 years.

[...]

Despite, or perhaps because of, Lasso's controversial short reign as governor — where he attacked civil servants and used state police to violently repress union demonstrations — Mahuad appointed Lasso as Ecuador's minister of finance and energy in 1999.

In that role, Lasso — in a departure from his current promises to eliminate corporate and inheritance taxes — oversaw a significant increase in the sales tax on basic goods which primarily affected poor and middle-class Ecuadoreans.

[...]

Despite overseeing Ecuador's economy in the lead-up to the country's worst ever economic crisis, Lasso himself was never charged in connection to the banking scandal which crippled the country's economy and led to the forced migration of almost three million Ecuadoreans.

In fact, President Mahuad's decision to freeze all bank accounts in the country for a year eventually meant millions of dollars in profits for Lasso and his bank, as people were forced to withdraw their savings at half their value.

From the results so far, Lasso will not be able to challenge Moreno's victory, which means that Julian Assange can feel safe in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for now.

Assange has been trapped in Ecuador's London embassy since 2012 when the left-wing government of Rafael Correa granted him asylum over concerns about his political persecution and potential torture if he were deported to the US. Recall that the United Nations ruled that the UK and Swedish governments were guilty of arbitrarily detaining Assange for continually refusing to guarantee they would not deport him to the US.

Meanwhile, Assange has recently opened a twitter account to repel rumors of his supposed death.

Despite Moreno's victory, the situation for Assange becomes increasingly problematic. Pressure from the US empire continues and Trump's stance shows that he will continue the fierce hunt against him and against the Whistleblowers on behalf of the neoliberal/neocon establishment.

Moreno has made already some statements, apparently to calm the unpredictable Donald Trump:

      “We granted Assange political asylum because his life was in danger. We don’t have the death penalty in Ecuador. We saw that a citizen of the world – it doesn’t matter who he is – was in danger. That’s why we granted him asylum and it was by and large preserved. I say ‘by and large,’ because it all could have been done more competently by the country on which territory he is now. One thing that is clear is that Assange will have to reduce meddling in the policies of the nations we have friendly relations with,” Moreno said in an exclusive interview with RT Spanish. Expanding on his comment, Moreno said that he specifically meant “the way he [Assange] meddled with the election campaign in the United States.”

A global movement is absolutely necessary for the protection and liberation of Julian Assange and the other Whistleblowers.

Chinese fear US military 'tightening the encirclement' of their country

Cold War 2.0

America is forming military alliances with a lot of China’s neighbors, reinforcing the idea among many Chinese that the US presents a real threat to their country in more ways than one, says independent China strategist Andrew K.P. Leung.

A fleet of American warships was deployed in the South China Sea for what the US Navy called a routine patrol. This came two days after China finished similar exercises in the same waters where they claim sovereignty.

The US ships are now due to pass right by a series of contentious islands leading to tension between the two countries.

The South China Sea has a long history of maritime disputes. Beijing claims almost all its surrounding waters are sovereign, but many regional powers, as well as the US, disagree.

Interview:

O Λενίν Μορένο κερδίζει τον πρώτο γύρο των προεδρικών εκλογών στο Εκουαδόρ

O υποψήφιος της “Αlianza Pais” κέρδισε τον πρώτο γύρο των προεδρικών εκλογών και επιβεβαιώθηκε σαν το μεγάλο φαβορί για να διαδεχτεί τον Ραφαέλ Κορέα.

Μέχρι το κλείσιμο αυτής της έκδοσης, δεν είχαν δοθεί τα τελικά αποτελέσματα, όμως ο Μορένο είχε ένα σαφές προβάδισμα έναντι του δισεκατομμυριούχου υποψηφίου της αντιπολίτευσης Γκιγιέρμο Λάσο της “Alianza CREO-SUMA” που κατακτά την δεύτερη θέση.

Με καταμετρημένο πάνω από το 72% των ψήφων ο υποψήφιος της “Αlianza Pais” λαμβάνει το 38,66% των ψήφων, ένα αποτέλεσμα πολύ κοντά στο να κερδίσει από τον πρώτο γύρο τις εκλογές.

Σύμφωνα με τον εκλογικό νόμο της νοτιοαμερικανικής χώρας, για να εκλεγεί πρόεδρος από τον πρώτο γύρο πρέπει να λάβει το 50% και μία ψήφο ή το 40% των ψήφων και διαφορά πάνω από 10% από τον δεύτερο υποψήφιο.

Ο Λάσο με το 28,9% των ψήφων, είναι κοντά στο να αναγκάσει τον Μορένο σε ένα δεύτερο γύρο, αποτρέποντας το πλεονέκτημα του 10% που θα έδινε την νίκη από τον πρώτο γύρο στον υποψήφιο της Αlianza Pais.

Tέλος, ο υποψήφιος της “Alianza Partido Social Cristiano-Madera de Guerrero” Σύλβια Βιτέρι ήρθε τρίτη λαμβάνοντας ποσοστό λίγο πάνω από το 16%.

Πηγή:

Lenín Moreno gana la primera vuelta

El candidato de Alianza Pais, lideró la primera vuelta de los comicios presidenciales en esa nación sudamericana y se confirmó como el gran favorito para suceder a Rafael Correa

El candidato de Alianza Pais, Lenín Moreno, lideró la primera vuelta de los comicios presidenciales en Ecuador y se confirmó como el gran favorito para suceder a Rafael Correa en el Palacio de Carondelet.

Al cierre de esta edición, aún no estaban disponibles los resultados totales de las elecciones, pero Moreno contaba con una ventaja inalcanzable para el banquero y multimillonario Guillermo Lasso, de la Alianza CREO-SUMA, quien marchaba en segundo lugar.

Con más del 72 % de las actas escrutadas, el candidato de Alianza País contaba con el 38,66 % de los votos, muy cerca de ganar los comicios en primera vuelta.

De acuerdo con la ley electoral de la nación suramericana, para evitar un balotaje es necesario obtener el 50 % más un voto o 40 % con una diferencia de al menos 10 puntos porcentuales frente al contendor más cercano.

Lasso, con 28,9 % de los sufragios, se acercaba lo suficiente a Moreno para obligar a uno segunda vuelta y evitar la ventaja del 10 % que le daría una victoria directa al candidato de Alianza Pais.

Entretanto, la candidata de la Alianza Partido Social Cristiano-Madera de Guerrero, Cynthia Viteri, se ubicaba en la tercera posición con poco más del 16 % de los sufragios.

Reporte completo:

Τι είναι και τι φέρνει η CETA

Μέρος 2ο - Ανάπτυξη και απασχόληση: Αμφιβολίες ως προς την αποτελεσματικότητα

Ενώ η κοινή γνώμη απορρίπτει ολοένα και περισσότερο την «ευτυχή παγκοσμιοποίηση» που τόσο έχει επαινεθεί τα τελευταία είκοσι χρόνια (πράγμα που αποδεικνύεται περίτρανα από το Brexit και την εκλογή του Donald Trump), η ΕΕ επιμένει παρόλα ταύτα να ακολουθεί αυτήν την πορεία. Η CETA, για την Ευρωπαία Επίτροπο Εμπορίου Cecilia Malmström έγινε το σύμβολο του αγώνα για την καταπολέμηση του προστατευτισμού που επαγγέλλεται ο νέος πρόεδρος των ΗΠΑ. Αυτή η εμπορική συμφωνία «νέας γενιάς» θα έλθει να «τονώσει την ανάπτυξη και την απασχόληση σε ολόκληρη την Ευρώπη», διαβεβαιώνει η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή σε ένα έγγραφο 16 σελίδων που επικεντρώνεται, όπως μαρτυρεί και ο τίτλος του, αποκλειστικά στα «οφέλη της CETA. »

Oι Βρυξέλλες εκτιμούν ότι η CETA θα αυξήσει σχεδόν κατά 25% το εμπόριο αγαθών και υπηρεσιών μεταξύ της ΕΕ και του Καναδά επιφέροντας μία αύξηση του ΑΕΠ της ΕΕ της τάξεως των 12 δισ. ευρώ ετησίως, όχι και τόσο σημαντικό ποσό, σε σύγκριση με την αύξηση των 14.600 δισ. ευρώ του ΑΕΠ της Ένωσης το 2015.

Από την πλευρά της απασχόλησης, τώρα, κάθε δισεκατομμύριο ευρώ ευρωπαϊκών εξαγωγών «θα υποστήριζε» (δεν θα δημιουργούσε) 14.000 θέσεις εργασίας, υπολογίζεται χονδρικά η Επιτροπή. Ενώ πέραν του Ατλαντικού, η καναδική κυβέρνηση υποστηρίζει ότι θα δημιουργηθούν «80.000 νέες θέσεις εργασίας». Με τι χρονικό ορίζοντα; Ούτε αυτό θα το μάθουμε με ακρίβεια.

Προοπτικές δελεαστικές τις οποίες η Επιτροπή Απασχόλησης και Κοινωνικών Υποθέσεων του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου απέρριψε στο σύνολό τους. Εξάλλου αυτή είναι και η μόνη κοινοβουλευτική επιτροπή που είχε καλέσει τους ευρωβουλευτές να απορρίψουν το κείμενο.

Στην καλύτερη περίπτωση, η CETA θα επέφερε «σε γενικές γραμμές οριακές αυξήσεις που δεν υπερέβαιναν το 0,018% για την απασχόληση στην ΕΕ σε μια περίοδο εφαρμογής έξι έως δέκα ετών», αποφάνθηκε σε μια γνωμοδότηση με ημερομηνία 8 Δεκεμβρίου.

Στην χειρότερη περίπτωση, η CETA θα προκαλέσει «πραγματικές απώλειες θέσεων εργασίας που θα ανέρχονται σε 204.000 σε ολόκληρη την ΕΕ, εκ των οποίων 45.000 θα αφορούν την Γαλλία, 42.000 την Ιταλία και 19.000 την Γερμανία», προσθέτουν οι ευρωβουλευτές, αναφερόμενοι σε μια μελέτη που δημοσίευσαν τον Σεπτέμβριο δύο ερευνητές του Πανεπιστημίου Tufts (της Μασαχουσέττης), ο Pierre Kohler και ο Servaas Storm.

Πηγή:


[1]

Foreign-funded NGOs in Ecuador: Trojan Horse for intervention?

Ecuador has come under fire for scrutinizing non-profits like Accion Ecologica, many of whom get millions from Europe and North America.

Part 2 - Silent Action Meets Loud Reaction

This government is the first to scrutinize NGOs, but their scrutiny has not been limited to Accion Ecologica.

In 2012, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa boldly declared that NGOs have been entering the country like never before during the previous decade. Many, backed by foreign states and foreign money, are out to destabilize the state, Ecuadorean leaders stated.

Their interest is not the country, impoverished sectors, natural resources or strengthening democracies,” said Paola Pabon, director of the National Ministry of Political Management, which is responsible for tracking NGOs, in an interview with teleSUR last year. “What interests them is having control over governments, having influence over civil society to create elements of destabilization.

Executive Decree 16, which went into effect in 2013, created a system to catalogue the financing, decision-making and activities of every registered social organization — a total of over 46,000 in the country, including non-profits, unions and community organizations, among others.

The resulting action saw 26 foreign NGOs expelled from the country for a lack of transparency and compliance with national law; in brief, for declaring themselves “non-governmental organizations” while acting on behalf of foreign governments. Among the more high-profile cases was Samaritan’s Purse, an evangelical missionary relief organization that received funding and support from USAID. Fifteen others were given two weeks to get their activities in order.

A handful of Indigenous organizations, which had previously mobilized against Correa's government, attacked the decree via the Constitutional Court. Two years later, Ecuador reformed the regulations with Executive Decree 739, which fine-tuned the reasons for closing an NGO — the main one, “diverting from stated objectives” — and, caving to demand, eliminated the requirement for organizations to register projects financed from abroad.

Source, videos:


[1]

Making America broke again: Trump & the inevitable financial crisis

Trump can either ‘bite the bullet’ now if he really wants to improve the American economy or he can ‘kick the can down the road’ like his predecessors have, noted financial commentator Peter Schiff tells MintPress.

by Whitney Webb

Part 3 - The failures of Dodd-Frank

In the aftermath of the 2008 crisis, public outrage and anger at the country’s financial sector was palpable. In order to temper public sentiment, a massive piece of legislation known as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was assembled with the stated goal of minimizing risk in the U.S. financial system chiefly through the creation of new regulatory agencies and the establishment of certain consumer protections. While the current consensus holds that Dodd-Frank made some individual institutions technically safer due to the constraints it imposes, it is still widely regarded as an imperfect piece of legislation.

Indeed, prior to taking office, Trump joined a host of other conservative politicians in slamming the landmark legislation, which he has recently deemed a “disaster.”

The evidence regarding the legislation’s ultimate impact paints anything but a rosy picture. Despite Dodd-Frank’s well-stated intentions, things have not gone according to plan. The legislation actually has produced very few — if any — meaningful regulations, as the agencies tasked with drafting new regulations quickly became the focus of massive financial industry lobbying efforts. For example, three years after Dodd-Frank’s passage, commercial banking lobbyists had met with Dodd-Frank regulatory agencies 901 times, compared to just 116 meetings with lobbyists of consumer protection groups.

Nearly seven years after Dodd-Frank was passed, massive loopholes remain in derivatives trading, banks are still permitted to gamble with FDIC-insured money, and credit-rating agencies have yet to be reformed.

Further, in the years since the bill’s passage in 2010, the top five “too big to fail” banks continue to control the same share of U.S. banking assets they possessed prior to the crisis, while smaller banks and community banks suffered major losses, with some small banks losing as much as 20 percent of their share of national banking assets.

These smaller banks, which have great historical economic importance, essentially lost any competitive advantage to the nation’s banking behemoths. This is a concerning development, particularly because the big banks who largely caused the crisis suffered few ill effects while their smaller competition – who were largely uninvolved in derivatives trading and other activities that contributed to the crisis – has taken a major hit. A 2015 study conducted at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government confirmed this, finding that community banks had been absolutely crushed by Dodd-Frank regulations which caused the decrease in their markets shares to double.

To make matters worse, many of the “too big to fail” banks have ballooned in size since the passage of Dodd-Frank. For instance, in 2013, the country’s six largest banks owned an astounding 67 percent of all assets of the U.S. financial system, a 37 percent increase from 2008.

Many critics of Dodd-Frank, Trump included, have argued that the legislation was doomed to fail from the beginning. Indeed, the corruption scandals surrounding one of the bill’s co-authors suggest that this could be the case. Barney Frank, a former congressman from Massachusetts and chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, was embroiled in several notable financial scandals during his three decades in office, including some that took place during the 2008 financial crisis.

Prior to the crash, internal government documents obtained by government watchdog Judicial Watch showed that Frank was well aware that troubled lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were likely to fail, but did nothing to stop it. In addition, internal Treasury Department documents revealed that Frank sought to steer $12 million in federal bailout funds to OneUnited Bank, a bank located in Frank’s district, during the aftermath of the 2008 crisis. In 2015, Frank further cemented his shady ties to the financial sector by joining the board of Signature, a private bank with assets totalling $28.6 billion.

However, the true reason for Dodd-Frank’s failure is neither the corruption of one of its authors nor the weak and convoluted nature of the regulations it enforces. Dodd-Frank, whether it is ultimately repealed by the new administration or left largely intact, has failed to produce a recovery or prevent a future crisis because it ignores the true cause of the 2008 meltdown as well as that of the looming financial crisis: over a century of misguided and self-serving central bank policy.

As Schiff remarked when speaking to MintPress, “The Federal Reserve is the culprit.

Source, links, videos:


[1] [2]

Related:



Brazil’s manufactured coup: the ‘Shock Doctrine’ returns to Latin America

The Global South is growing unintelligible from the European South amid harsh austerity measures and other maneuverings that suit the rich and powerful at the expense of the poor and working class.

by Michael Nevradakis

Part 6 - Familiar Tactics

Escobar refers to the “toolbox” of tactics employed in Brazil leading up to Rousseff’s ouster. This set of strategies included the creation of manufactured consent amongst the populace, for the impeachment and the new regime.

This bears a great similarity to the cases of countries such as Greece, where public opinion polls conducted by polling firms which are not independent of the state and which are commissioned by pro-austerity media outlets have repeatedly shown vast majorities purportedly in favor of EU and eurozone membership at all costs, while the very few independent surveys conducted in Greece, such as those by Gallup International, have actually found such majorities to be slim or nonexistent.

Manufactured consent is used to legitimize the austerity policies which then follow, and to characterize any dissent as belonging to a small, marginal minority.

Indeed, similarities between the case of Brazil and the case of countries of the European South such as Greece abound. Just as the Temer government has not been elected and overthrew a government which apparently did not go “far enough” in its austerity regime, the EU imposed a non-elected technocrat prime minister, Lucas Papademos, a former banker, on Greece in late 2011 to ensure that a new package of austerity measures and “reforms” would be railroaded through parliament.

At around the same time, a non-elected prime minister, Mario Monti, was also installed in Italy, with the blessings of the EU — technocrats from which described this unelected government as “the best thing that ever happened to Italy” during a visit of mine to the EU in 2013 as part of a week-long academic program. Italy is now being governed by no less than its third consecutive non-elected prime minister.

The Greek referendum overwhelmingly rejecting EU-proposed austerity was shot down in short order, replaced by an austerity package even harsher than that which had originally been proposed, and even more onerous than the two prior memorandum agreements signed by Syriza’s predecessors, the New Democracy and PASOK (“socialist”) political parties.

The manufactured consent and “shock doctrine” which imposed the “bitter medicine” of austerity on Greece could be viewed as a pre-emptive strike against any thoughts of “Grexit,” a Greek exodus from the Eurozone or even the EU, much like the “hybrid war” against countries like Brazil and Russia described earlier by Escobar.

Kat Moreno identifies certain parallels between the Global South, of which Brazil is part, and the European South, which has in recent years experienced much of the same IMF-supported austerity which Latin America is all too familiar with. She highlights the “clear relationship” between being a part of the Global South and being dependent on and the hostage of the international financial system.

And in looking to the future, it is difficult to say who can lead these countries, whether it is Brazil or Greece or Spain or Italy, out of their current death spiral unscathed. Guilherme Giuliano points out that what has been happening in Brazil, as in Greece, Argentina (where the Kirchner government was replaced by one much friendlier to Washington and to global capital), or even the United States, are symptoms of a global crisis — a crisis which, according to Giuliano, “nobody has a progressive way out.

Indeed, many progressives and much of the global left seem to be focused more strongly on identity politics and a notion of a world without nations or states. In doing so, they have supported such undemocratic, austerity-driven institutions as the EU, while demonizing phenomena such as the “Brexit” as the exclusive realm of racists and xenophobes, widening their chasm with vast sections of the poor and working classes in the process.

Meanwhile, a blind eye has been turned to the actions of former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who in conjunction with Wall Street, supported right-wing coups and electoral takeovers all across Latin America, from Brazil to Venezuela to the Honduras. In this vein, James Petras chastises “left politicians who speak to the workers and work for the bankers.

As for Brazil, Moreno describes the country as finding itself at a crossroads.

People are seeking autonomy over their destinies, but where it is going we are not sure,” she said. “It can lead to neo-fascism, or it could go towards leftist positions.

***

Source, links, videos:


[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Related:













20 February, 2017

Varoufakis: Brexit would not had occur if the Europeans would not had crush the Greek government in 2015


Former Greek Minister of Finance with Tsipras Administration, Yanis Varoufakis, gave another interesting interview on Greek TV recently, revealing further interesting details about the Greek situation and the European situation after the crisis, Brexit, refugee issue and the rise of Far Right in Europe.

Among his most interesting remarks was that Brexit would not had occur if the Europeans would not had crush the Greek government in 2015, referring to the open financial coup against Greece when the current PM, Alexis Tsipras, decided to conduct a referendum on the catastrophic measures imposed by the ECB, IMF and the European Commission, through which the Greek people clearly rejected these measures, despite the propaganda of terror inside and outside Greece:

Brexit would not had occur if they [European creditors] would not had crush our government in summer 2015. During the period of pre-referendum process in the UK, before 23th June last summer, me and our movement DM25 were participating that period on the pre-referendum process.

Varoufakis supported this argument saying that he made thirteen speeches in thirteen cities of England, Wales and Scotland, against Brexit. He had thousands of people in the audience. In every place he went, people told him that they agree with most of what he pointed. Yet, the central argument by them was 'how is it possible to vote for the UK to remain in the EU, seeing the way that Brussels and Frankfurt treated Greece?'


Varoufakis' argument is very important because it shows that even if we assume that most of the Britons were not observing carefully what happened to Greece, the totally unacceptable authoritarian behavior of the European creditors against the country was certainly an extra bullet in the gun of the British nationalists and the Far Right to persuade citizens to vote for Brexit.

Κούλογλου: Η Ελλάδα δεν μπορεί μόνη της να σηκώσει το βάρος της αντίστασης κατά της CETA


Ο γνωστός δημοσιογράφος και ευρωβουλευτής του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ Στέλιος Κούλογλου, μίλησε στο κανάλι της βουλής για την καταστροφική συμφωνία CETA μεταξύ ΕΕ και Καναδά, που προωθούν τα μεγάλα εταιρικά λόμπι.

Όπως είπε, οι συμφωνίες αυτές ευνοούν μόνο τις μεγάλες πολυεθνικές. Όλες οι μικρές και μεσαίες επιχειρήσεις στην Ευρώπη θα πληγούνε και ιδιαίτερα ο αγροτικός τομέας και τα προϊόντα που δεν προστατεύονται.

Αναφέρθηκε επίσης και σε μια συνέντευξή του στο Politico κατά την οποία ρωτήθηκε γιατί οι ευρωβουλευτές του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ ψηφίζουν εναντίον της CETA, ενώ η Ελληνική κυβέρνηση θα την υπερψηφίσει, τονίζοντας εδώ τη μεγάλη αντίφαση.

Εκτίμησε ότι η CETA θα περάσει από το ευρωκοινοβούλιο λόγω συσχετισμού δυνάμεων (θα την ψηφίσουν οι Σοσιαλιστές και η Λαϊκή Δεξία, δηλαδή τα κόμματα που κυριαρχούν τις τελευταίες δεκαετίες και έχουν διαφθαρεί πλήρως από την διαπλοκή τους με τα τραπεζικά και τα εταιρικά λόμπι).

Εφόσον όμως η συμφωνία θα πρέπει να περάσει και από τα εθνικά κοινοβούλια, ο Κούλογλου ρωτήθηκε για ποιο λόγο η Ελληνική κυβέρνηση δεν θα την καταψηφίσει. Η απάντηση είναι αποκαλυπτική. Όπως είπε, σ'αυτή τη δύσκολή φάση, η Ελλάδα δεν μπορεί μόνη της να στραφεί κατά των υπολοίπων καθώς τα οικονομικά συμφέροντα για να περάσει αυτή η συμφωνία είναι τεράστια. Όπως είπε χαρακτηριστικά "θα μας διαλύσουνε".

Όμως, συνεχίζοντας, ο Κούλογλου έκανε (ίσως άθελά του, ίσως όχι), μια εντυπωσιακή παραδοχή, απαντώντας σε αυτούς που κατηγορούν την Ελλάδα ότι δεν προβάλει αντίσταση κατά της CETA :

Εγώ τους είπα, γιατί φωνάζετε, γιατί λέτε τώρα για την Ελλάδα, ας πάει η Γαλλία, που είναι μεγάλη χώρα, ας πει όχι. Ας πάει η Πορτογαλία, που έχει Αριστερή κυβέρνηση, να πει όχι. Δεν μπορεί να ζητάτε από την Ελλάδα να σηκώσει το βάρος όλης της οικουμένης ...

Δηλαδή, το ίδιο το στέλεχος του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ λέει ότι η μικρή Πορτογαλία, η οποία επίσης πιέζεται από τα μνημόνια και τη λιτότητα, θα μπορούσε να ψηφίσει κατά της CETA, επειδή έχει Αριστερή κυβέρνηση, που σημαίνει αυτόματη παραδοχή ότι η Ελλάδα αυτή τη στιγμή δεν έχει Αριστερή κυβέρνηση, αφού θα ψηφίσει την CETA!

Η απάντηση Κούλογλου είναι χαρακτηριστικό δείγμα της νοοτροπίας του μεταλλαγμένου ΣΥΡΙΖΑ και του Τσίπρα, ο οποίος υποκύπτει τελικά πάντα στους συσχετισμούς δυνάμεων και στην ισχύ του νεοφιλελεύθερου κατεστημένου, θυσιάζοντας βασικές αξίες και κόκκινες γραμμές. Δηλαδή, το μεταλλαγμένο σοσιαλδημοκρατικό μόρφωμα στο οποίο έχει μεταλλαχθεί ο πάλαι ποτέ Αριστερός ΣΥΡΙΖΑ, είναι λογικό να λειτουργεί με όρους ρεάλ πολιτίκ και όχι με βάση τις αρχές και τις αξίες της Αριστεράς.


Ολόκληρη η συνέντευξη:

Καρλ Μαρξ: «Εγώ ποτέ δεν είπα κάτι τέτοιο»

Η μανία με την οποία επιτίθεται ο φιλελεύθερος αγγλοσαξονικός Τύπος στα fake news, τις ψεύτικες ειδήσεις που υποτίθεται ότι κατακλύζουν το διαδίκτυο, είχε πρόσφατα ακόμη ένα θύμα. Αίφνης όλοι διαπίστωσαν ότι το Ιντερνετ είναι γεμάτο με ψεύτικα αποφθέγματα ιστορικών προσωπικοτήτων. Μόνο που το συγκεκριμένο πρόβλημα έχει ιστορία αρκετών αιώνων.

του Άρη Χατζηστεφάνου

Tην ημέρα των 208ων γενεθλίων του Αβραάμ Λίνκολν ο Ντόναλντ Τραμπ αναπαρήγαγε στο Τwitter μια διάσημη φράση του 16ου προέδρου των ΗΠΑ: «Στο τέλος, σημασία δεν έχουν τα χρόνια που είχε η ζωή σου αλλά η ζωή που είχαν τα χρόνια σου». Το πρόβλημα, όπως σωστά έσπευσε να επισημάνει το BBC, ήταν ότι ο Λίνκολν ουδέποτε είπε κάτι τέτοιο.

Το περιστατικό συμπεριλήφθηκε αμέσως στα δεκάδες ψέματα που εκστομίζει ανερυθρίαστα ο Τραμπ σε κάθε δημόσια εμφάνισή του. Σχεδόν κανένας όμως δεν θέλησε να μας θυμίσει ότι σχεδόν όλοι οι Αμερικανοί πρόεδροι των τελευταίων δεκαετιών χρησιμοποιούσαν ψευδή ή εμφανώς παραποιημένα αποφθέγματα τα οποία απέδιδαν στον Λίνκολν.

Ο Ρόναλντ Ρίγκαν του απέδιδε τη φράση «Δεν μπορείς να ενισχύσεις τον αδύναμο αποδυναμώνοντας τον ισχυρό», η οποία ήταν απόλυτα συμβατή με τη νεοφιλελεύθερη κοσμοθεωρία του γελαδάρη προέδρου, αλλά δεν ειπώθηκε ποτέ από τον Λίνκολν.

Ο Ομπάμα παραπληροφορούσε, συνειδητά ή ασυνείδητα, το ακροατήριό του αποδίδοντας στον Λίνκολν τη φράση «Δεν είμαι προορισμένος να κερδίσω αλλά είμαι προορισμένος να είμαι αληθινός». Το αποκορύφωμα όμως ήταν ο Μπιλ Κλίντον, ο οποίος του απέδωσε την παρακάτω φράση: «Μπορείς να κοροϊδέψεις όλους τους ανθρώπους για κάποιο χρονικό διάστημα και κάποιους ανθρώπους για πάντα, αλλά δεν μπορείς να κοροϊδεύεις όλους τους ανθρώπους συνέχεια».

Πριν σπεύσετε να υποστηρίξετε ότι ο Κλίντον εμπνεύστηκε τη φράση ακούγοντας Μπομπ Μάρλεϊ υπό την επήρεια μαλακών ναρκωτικών, να διευκρινίσουμε ότι το απόφθεγμα υπάρχει, ανήκει πιθανότατα στον Γάλλο προτεστάντη Ζακ Αμπαντιέ και χρονολογείται από τον 17ο αιώνα. Σε καμία περίπτωση όμως δεν ειπώθηκε από τον Λίνκολν.

Σε αρκετές περιπτώσεις τέτοιου είδους λάθη είναι αθώα και οφείλονται σε παρεξηγήσεις. To γεγονός, παραδείγματος χάριν, ότι αποδίδεται λανθασμένα στον Βολταίρο η φράση «Διαφωνώ με αυτό που λες αλλά θα υπερασπιστώ μέχρι θανάτου το δικαίωμά σου να το λες» (η οποία ανήκει στη βιογράφο του, Εβελιν Μπέατρις Χολ) δεν έρχεται σε σύγκρουση με το πνεύμα του Γάλλου φιλοσόφου.

Τις περισσότερες φορές όμως οι ψευδείς αναφορές χρησιμοποιούνται για να «επιβεβαιώσουν» την κυρίαρχη αφήγηση για ιστορικά πρόσωπα, ενώ αποσιωπούν τις πιο ριζοσπαστικές πτυχές της προσωπικότητάς τους.

Ακόμη μάλιστα και μεταξύ ψευδών ή ανεπιβεβαίωτων αποφθεγμάτων, κυριαρχούν αυτά που συνάδουν με την καθεστηκυία τάξη. Ελάχιστοι λόγου χάριν αναφέρονται στην αμφισβητούμενη φράση του Μαχάτμα Γκάντι «Η φτώχεια είναι η χειρότερη μορφή βίας» – παρά το γεγονός ότι του την αποδίδει το Διεθνές Ινστιτούτο Ερευνών Ειρήνης. Αντίθετα, πολλοί παπαγαλίζουν τη φράση «Να είσαι η αλλαγή που θέλεις να δεις στον κόσμο», η οποία θυμίζει περισσότερο τις αμπελοφιλοσοφίες του Πάουλο Κοέλιο («Οταν θέλεις κάτι, όλο το σύμπαν συνωμοτεί για να τα καταφέρεις»).

Για την ακρίβεια, όπως υποστήριζαν οι New York Times, η συγκεκριμένη «απολίτικη» φράση ταιριάζει τέλεια «σαν αυτοκόλλητο στο πίσω μέρος ενός Nissan Prius», αλλά ο Γκάντι πίστευε ακριβώς το αντίθετο: ότι η προσωπική αλλαγή δεν αρκεί αν δεν συνδυάζεται με τον κοινωνικό μετασχηματισμό.

Στην Ελλάδα, μια από τις δημοφιλέστερες φράσεις που ουδέποτε ειπώθηκαν αποδίδεται στον ποιητή Γιάννη Ρίτσο, που φέρεται να είπε «Τα σοβιετικά τανκς χόρευαν βαλς (για άλλους τανγκό) στην Πράγα (ή στη Βουδαπέστη)». Ο ποιητής δηλαδή υποτίθεται ότι χαιρετίζει είτε την καταστολή της επανάστασης στην Ουγγαρία το 1956, είτε τη σοβιετική εισβολή στην Τσεχοσλοβακία το 1968.

Όπως απέδειξε όμως ο Νίκος Σαραντάκος, αυτό που πραγματικά είχε πει ο Ρίτσος ήταν ότι κατά τη διάρκεια μιας στρατιωτικής παρέλασης το 1977 στη Μόσχα, «τα τανκς πέρασαν κι αυτά μ’ έναν ρυθμό χορευτικό».

Η παρανόηση πιθανότατα προκλήθηκε όταν ο Νίκος Πουλαντζάς, ο Κώστας Βεργόπουλος και ο Κων. Τσουκαλάς απάντησαν σε ιδιαίτερα επιθετικό τόνο στο Ρίτσο, θέτοντας το ερώτημα: «Γιάννη Ρίτσο, η εισβολή των σοβιετικών τανκς στην Πράγα το 1968 έγινε μήπως με τον ίδιο αξιαγάπητο και χορευτικό ρυθμό;».

Το ερώτημα είναι αν θα είχε επικρατήσει η συγκεκριμένη παρανόηση εάν δεν ταυτιζόταν με την κυρίαρχη αφήγηση που προωθούσαν, για τον κομμουνιστή ποιητή, τόσο η ελληνική Δεξιά όσο και η ανανεωτική Αριστερά.

Ο Τραμπ λοιπόν μπορεί να είναι αποδεδειγμένα ψεύτης με περικεφαλαία, αλλά σε ό,τι αφορά τα αποφθέγματα, απλώς συνεχίζει την πολυετή παράδοση προηγούμενων προέδρων: αποδίδει ό,τι θέλει σε όποιον θέλει.

Πηγή:

UAE arms show heightens militarism as Yemen war rages on

The United Arab Emirates, a partner to Saudi-led coalition waging a destructive war in Yemen, is eyeing billion-dollar arms deals with local and international companies as an arms show in Abu Dhabi gets underway.

The UAE announced 4.5 billion dirhams ($1.2 billion) worth of military procurement deals on Sunday at the opening of the biennial International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi, which is attended by over 1,200 companies.

Brigadier General Rashid al-Shamsi, an IDEX spokesman, said the figure was part of a total of 20-billion-dirham worth of purchases the UAE expects to make at the arms fair this week, AFP reported.

He said most of the figure will be spent on buying 400 armored personnel carriers worth $544 million from a local manufacturer, adding, "We expect (to award) more than 20 billion dirhams in contracts by the end of Idex."

Australia and the UAE have agreed to consider a 10-year defense plan that could include more than one billion Australian dollars ($767 million) in sales to the UAE.

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Foreign-funded NGOs in Ecuador: Trojan Horse for intervention?

Ecuador has come under fire for scrutinizing non-profits like Accion Ecologica, many of whom get millions from Europe and North America.

Part 1

Ecuador, the tiny South American nation sandwiched between Colombia and Peru, rarely makes waves in the English-speaking world’s corporate mediascape. Last year, news traveled far on at least two occasions.

First, with an earthquake that killed at least 673 people. Second, when the government moved to investigate and potentially dissolve a nonprofit called Accion Ecologica in connection with deadly violence between members of an Amazonian tribe and police sent to protect a Chinese-operated mining project.

Ecologists and prominent activists friendly to the group, including heavy-weights such as Naomi Klein, called out what they characterized as a callous repression and criminalization of Indigenous people protecting the unparalleled richness of the Amazon and alleged state prejudice against an underdog non-profit organization that was only there to save the rainforest and its inhabitants.

Ecuador's socialist government, on the other hand, sees the "underdog" label as misplaced.

NGOs may be seen as do-gooders, but that's not always the case. As a country historically vulnerable to the whims of powers in the North, Ecuador has, under the administration of the outgoing President Rafael Correa, put up a guard against a new kind of public diplomacy from abroad that focuses on gaining the favor of civil society to indirectly execute their political priorities.

NGOs are flagged when they operate outside the bounds of the law and their stated objectives, indicators of potential pressure from outside funders to protect their interests rather than those of nationals.

We’re an Ecuadorean NGO, born here in Ecuador and working for 30 years in the defense of the rights of the environment and of communities across the country, and for that work we are very well known, even at an international level,” Alexandra Almeida, president of Accion Ecologica, told teleSUR.

But that doesn’t mean that a foreign organization could manipulate us with anything — with funds, with nothing — that’s how we operate.

NGOs have rarely had to justify their work to anyone, let alone prove that they act for the good of the people only. But Ecuador is not an ordinary country. Rich in resources but export dependent, authorities are attempting to manage the many foreign hands trying to pull the country's development in their favor.

Source, videos:

Bolivia confiscates ‘criminal’ US weapons cargo

The seized weapons were shipped in November 2016 from the Everglades port in Miami

The National Customs of Bolivia confiscated a large cargo of military weapons from the United States on Friday, launching a criminal investigation of the case.

The seized weapons were shipped in November 2016 from the Everglades port in Miami, HispanTV reports. They entered Santa Cruz in eastern Bolivia after being transported through the Dominican Republic, Peru and Chile.

We must see what was the purpose of this internment in Bolivian territory and who are the members of this criminal organization,” Bolivian Interior Minister Carlos Romero told reporters.

Romero added that he found it “striking” that the cargo passed “so many controls” without being detected.

The weapons cargo was found in the double bottom of a trailer vehicle. It contained 34 long arms, including rifles and machine guns with telescopic sight, Bolivia’s National Customs reports. Police also discovered 41 pistols and cell phones worth US$46,000.

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Ecuador elections: accessibility leader set to beat banker

Alianza Pais leader Lenin Moreno leads with 42.9 percent of votes, Opinion Publica reported.

Exit polls in Ecuador point to Alianza Pais candidate Lenin Moreno winning the country’s presidential election with 42.9 percent of votes, Opinion Publica reported. Polling stations in Ecuador closed at 5 p.m. local time.

Moreno, who would take office on May 24 if elected, leads top opposition rivals Guillermo Lasso, Cynthia Viteri, and Paco Moncayo, who have 27.7, 14.7, and 6.1 percent respectively.

Other exit polls have Moreno with a significant lead.

We will continue to serve the people, to continue our process, and to build our revolution," Moreno said during a televised press conference shortly after the polls closed. "But as the respectful citizens that we are, we will await the final results to see what's next."

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Making America broke again: Trump & the inevitable financial crisis

Trump can either ‘bite the bullet’ now if he really wants to improve the American economy or he can ‘kick the can down the road’ like his predecessors have, noted financial commentator Peter Schiff tells MintPress.

by Whitney Webb

Part 2 - Trump vs. the financial establishment

Trump has long made his disdain for the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act public knowledge, recently announcing his intentions to “do a number” on the bill and promising to loosen a large part of the restrictions it put into place. Immediately, members of the neoliberal political and financial establishment lashed out, arguing that Trump’s potential deregulation will directly cause another financial crisis.

Reuters reported that Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank and former vice chairman and managing director of Goldman Sachs International, argued during a Feb. 6 press conference that easing banking rules and regulations was not just troublesome but dangerous. He warned that doing so threatens the global economy’s “slow but steady recovery” from the 2008 crisis.

Draghi’s concerns were echoed by other prominent bankers in Europe, including Andreas Dombret, a board member of Germany’s powerful central bank, Bundesbank, who said that weakening or removing regulations would be a “big mistake” that would create a new economic crisis.

Major media outlets have followed this narrative with headlines like “How Donald Trump could create a financial crisis,” “Is President Trump about to unleash another financial crisis?” and “Why Donald Trump’s financial policy could recreate a 2008 crisis scenario.” These reports similarly point to Trump’s plan to lift or weaken Dodd-Frank regulations as a likely instigator of a coming crisis. Even Barney Frank, one of the bill’s co-authors, has said as much.

Yet Trump and his advisors hold a starkly different view of the situation, arguing that Dodd-Frank’s regulations are holding the economy back — a fact that Frank admitted last year when he called key elements of the bill “mistakes.”

While Trump’s plan to loosen regulations has been labeled a catalyst for another financial crisis, the Trump administration has taken to blaming central banks and their manipulation of interest rates and the money supply as major factors leading to economic instability. In addition, Trump’s chief trade advisor, Peter Navarro, recently accused Germany of currency manipulation, arguing that the country uses the euro to “exploit” the United States and European Union. He told the Financial Times that Germany’s trade surplus was due to the nation’s exploitation of the euro being “grossly undervalued.” Draghi, during his most recent press conference, rejected these claims outright, saying, “We are not currency manipulators.

Aside from the partisan rhetoric, there remains little doubt on either side that another massive financial crisis is on the horizon. For instance, James Rickards, an economist who advises the Department of Defense and U.S. intelligence community, told MarketWatch: “[T]he crisis is coming and the time to prepare is now. It could happen in 2018, 2019, or it could happen tomorrow. The conditions for collapse are all in place.

Other big names in economics, such as Martin Wolf of the Financial Times, have voiced similar concerns, arguing that another financial crisis is “inevitable.”

Even Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, warned in 2009 that “the [2008] crisis will happen again but it will be different.” Trump himself expressed these same concerns in an interview with the conservative news site Newsmax in 2011, telling Americans to prepare for “financial ruin” resulting from the massive national debt and overall weak economy.

With such a massive crisis looming, it’s clear that Dodd-Frank, at the very least, has fallen quite short of its stated mission of preventing another economic calamity. This leads to an important question: What has brought us to this point — the weakness of Dodd-Frank or the policy of central banks?

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Brazil’s manufactured coup: the ‘Shock Doctrine’ returns to Latin America

The Global South is growing unintelligible from the European South amid harsh austerity measures and other maneuverings that suit the rich and powerful at the expense of the poor and working class.

by Michael Nevradakis

Part 5 - How have Brazilians responded?

The spotlight of the international media was thrust upon Brazil in 2013 and again prior to Rousseff’s impeachment in 2016, when protests sprung up in the streets—which may have been fueled, at least in part, by Koch-funded and wealthy elements in Brazilian society.

With a regime in place which may not be supported by the majority of Brazil’s population but is very much supported by the global banking and business elite and by Washington, protests against Temer’s government have not been afforded the same level of coverage, perhaps giving the impression that the Brazilian populace has resigned itself to a tacit acceptance of the new regime. Reality, however, seems to be a bit more nuanced.

There have been both strikes and protests on a fairly wide scale in Brazil since Temer’s takeover, including protests which erupted following the enactment of the 20-year public spending freeze, further significant protests against the Temer government on Brazil’s Independence Day, and a strike of workers at oil refineries all across the country at the end of the year.

These movements are accompanied by abysmal approval ratings for the new government in multiple public opinion surveys, even if approval ratings and poll numbers are often meaningless or inaccurate. Just look at the low approval ratings and exceptionally high re-election ratings for members of the U.S. Congress, for instance, or the multiple polls which all but assured a Hillary Clinton victory in the U.S. presidential elections, or the public opinion polls in Greece which have repeatedly been not just grossly inaccurate but always in a pro-austerity direction. For instance, Greek polling firms predicted a neck-and-neck referendum result in July 2015, when in fact, the “no” vote rejecting the European Union’s proposed austerity package received an overwhelming 62 percent of the vote.

Despite the protests that have taken place ever since Temer took over in Brazil, Kat Moreno points out the factors that have prevented them from being more widespread or long-lived.

According to Moreno, some strata of society do not feel safe in taking to the streets, and Moreno cites fear as a “strong variable” to consider when examining responses to the political situation in the country, as a result of the high degree of police repression and brutality, which has been especially evident during protests of left-wing groups and protesters who are not affiliated with any major organization or party.

Such a situation could also be said to foster “protest fatigue,” which is often seen as a factor in the lack of wide-scale protest in Greece and other crisis-stricken countries of the European South in recent years. Following large-scale protests seen in the 2010-2012 period, which peaked with the movement of the “Indignants” in Spain and Greece in the spring and summer of 2011 and which were eventually met by a violent and heavy-handed police response, protests have largely disappeared or been confined to ephemeral and single-issue efforts without longevity.

In Greece, a common response to questions as to why Greeks no longer take to the streets is that protesters will simply get tear gassed again and sent back home. The “shock doctrine” described by Naomi Klein may also serve as another psychological factor: When protests turn out to be fruitless and unpopular policies are rammed through despite opposition, feelings of discouragement and despair become more prevalent and serve as obstacles to further action.

To some extent, Brazilian society may be experiencing some of these symptoms.

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