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28 April, 2014

The dirty role of US organizations in Venezuela

key points:

According to NED’s 2013 annual report, the agency channeled more than $2.3 million to Venezuelan opposition groups and projects. Within that figure, $1,787,300 went directly to anti-government groups within Venezuela, while another $590,000 was distributed to regional organizations that work with and fund the Venezuelan opposition. More than $300,000 was directed towards efforts to develop a new generation of youth leaders to oppose Maduro’s government politically.”

One of the groups funded by NED to specifically work with youth is FORMA, an organization led by Cesar Briceño and tied to Venezuelan banker Oscar Garcia Mendoza. Garcia Mendoza runs the Banco Venezolano de Credito, a Venezuelan bank that has served as the filter for the flow of dollars from NED and USAID to opposition groups in Venezuela, including Sumate, CEDICE, Sin Mordaza, Observatorio Venezolano de Prisiones and FORMA, amongst others.”

Another significant part of NED funds in Venezuela from 2013-2014 was given to groups and initiatives that work in media and run the campaign to discredit the government of President Maduro. Some of the more active media organizations outwardly opposed to Maduro and receiving NED funds include Espacio Publico, Instituto Prensa y Sociedad (IPYS), Sin Mordaza and GALI. Throughout the past year, an unprecedented media war has been waged against the Venezuelan government and President Maduro directly, which has intensified during the past few months of protests.”

Detailed in a report published by the Spanish institute FRIDE in 2010, international agencies that fund the Venezuelan opposition violate currency control laws in order to get their dollars to the recipients. Also confirmed in the FRIDE report was the fact that the majority of international agencies, with the exception of the European Commission, are bringing in foreign money and changing it on the black market, in clear violation of Venezuelan law. In some cases, as the FRIDE analysis reports, the agencies open bank accounts abroad for the Venezuelan groups or they bring them the money in hard cash. The US Embassy in Caracas could also use the diplomatic pouch to bring large quantities of unaccounted dollars and euros into the country that are later handed over illegally to anti-government groups in Venezuela.”


27 April, 2014

Ex-mainstream media journalist reveals: We knew that the plane flew to Italy to get money for the banks!

Maria Spyraki, ex-journalist for MEGA channel, one of the biggest tv channels in Greece, now candidate for the euro-elections with the main government coalition party Nea Dimokratia, revealed among other things:

Greece had a bank-run in the period between the elections of May and June of 2012. This means that, in reality, people were going to the banks and taking their money. This was something that no one in my position could ever tell. No one could ever tell for example that there could be a moment where someone could go to a bank and say 'Good evening, I want ten thousand euro' and the bank would say to him 'I'm sorry, we have no money', because then, everything would end."

There was a process which was very painful, it was the process of supplying cash to Greece. The plane was taking off from Elefsina, flying to Italy, and returning with cash for the Bank of Greece which was distributing them to the other banks. This was something that we never described ...”

Spyraki didn't make clear of course what she meant by saying "everything would end" - who would be those that would go down first, while in essence she admitted that the argument of "securing of deposits" by the mainstream media, was a fairy tale to justify the recapitalization of the banks.

Someone of course should also explain: what was the deal for this process of supplying cash to Greece through a plane under such a secrecy? Had all these money included in the balance sheets of the banks or were they just off-balance sheets black money like in the case of the Federal Reserve, which supplied the US shadow banking system with at least 9 trillion dollars during the period of the economic crisis?

See also:

26 April, 2014

A black anniversary: 28 years from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster

On April 26, 1986, a reactor at the plant, in the then Soviet Union, exploded and caught fire after a safety test went badly wrong. The blast sent radiation billowing across Europe.

At first, authorities denied there was a problem. But tens of thousands of inhabitants were evacuated from Prypyat, the town closest to the site, never to return. A 30 km exclusion zone is still in place around the town.

Local firefighters and other emergency workers went straight to the scene and in the ensuing days and weeks sought to bring the situation under control. Exposed to high levels of radiation, few of them are alive today.

At least 30 people were killed immediately but some put the eventual death toll from radiation exposure at tens or even hundreds of thousands.”

... and other nuclear accidents that remained secret for years:

America’s worst accident at a civilian nuclear power plant occurred on March 28, 1979. Unbeknown to anyone, half the fuel melted in one of two nuclear reactors on Three Mile Island near Harrisburg, Pa. Large quantities of radioactivity leaked from the reactor, but most of it was contained. In all probability, no one received a harmful amount of radiation. The enormous damage to the reactor was revealed only years later when TV cameras and a specially developed ultrasonic, sonar-like imaging system looked inside the reactor vessel.”

Meanwhile, the huge problem of treating efficiently and safely radioactive wastes remains unsolved.

Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima and who knows how many others were covered by governments. Where will it end?

Άλλο ένα δείγμα “αντικειμενικής” πληροφόρησης στην Ελλάδα

... και άλλη μια απόδειξη για τον πραγματικό ρόλο των συστημικών ΜΜΕ την περίοδο της κρίσης 

Η πρώην δημοσιογράφος του MEGA, Μαρία Σπυράκη και νυν υποψήφια με την ΝΔ για τις ευρωεκλογές, αποκάλυψε μεταξύ άλλων:

Η Ελλάδα είχε bank-run την περίοδο ανάμεσα στις εκλογές του Μαίου και του Ιουνίου του '12. Δηλαδή, στην πραγματικότητα, οι άνθρωποι πήγαιναν στις τράπεζες και έπαιρναν τα λεφτά τους. Αυτό, ήταν κάτι που ποτέ δεν θα μπορούσε να πει ένας άνθρωπος στη θέση μου. Δεν μπορούσε δηλαδή να πει ότι μπορούσε να έρθει μια στιγμή που κάποιος θα πήγαινε στην τράπεζα και θα έλεγε 'Καλησπέρα σας, θέλω δέκα χιλιάδες' και θα του έλεγε η τράπεζα 'λυπούμεθα δεν έχουμε', γιατί εκεί θα τελείωναν όλα.”

Υπήρχε μια διαδικασία η οποία ήταν πολύ οδυνηρή και ήταν η διαδικασία της τροφοδοσίας της Ελλάδας με μετρητά. Έφευγε το αεροπλάνο από την Ελευσίνα, πήγαινε στην Ιταλία και επέστρεφε με μετρητά που πήγαιναν στην Τράπεζα της Ελλάδος και μοιράζονταν στις τράπεζες. Αυτό, δεν το περιγράψαμε ποτέ ...”

Η Σπυράκη δεν διευκρίνισε βέβαια τι εννοούσε όταν είπε ότι “θα τελείωναν όλα” και κυρίως για ποιους θα τελείωναν όλα και επιβεβαίωσε στην ουσία ότι η “διασφάλιση των καταθέσεων” που διατυμπάνιζαν τα συστημικά κανάλια για να δικαιολογηθεί η ανακεφαλαιοποίηση των τραπεζών ήταν ένα παραμύθι.

Αλλά θα έπρεπε κάποιος να μας εξηγήσει, στα πλαίσια ποιας συμφωνίας έρχονταν τα λεφτά με το αεροπλάνο στην Ελλάδα κάτω από άκρα μυστικότητα; Έχουν εγγραφεί αυτά στους ισολογισμούς των τραπεζών ή είναι μαύρα λεφτά εκτός ισολογισμού, όπως έγινε και με την “Ομοσπονδιακή” τράπεζα των ΗΠΑ, η οποία τροφοδότησε με τουλάχιστον 9 τρισ. δολάρια το “σκιώδες” τραπεζικό σύστημα των ΗΠΑ την περίοδο της τελευταίας μεγάλης οικονομικής κρίσης;

25 April, 2014

Forty years from the defeat of the dictatorship in Portugal

Forty years from the defeat of the fascist dictatorship by Salazar in Portugal. An almost non-blood movement by the Portuguese army which was started in the early hours on April 25th, 1974, and put an end to a brutal dictatorship of nearly half a century in Portugal.

The movement went down in history by the name "Carnation Revolution", since thousands of Portuguese people in the streets were encouraging soldiers to unite with the revolutioners by putting a carnation in the barrels of their guns as an indication of peace and reconciliation.

Today, Portugal, as well as the rest of the European south countries are under a peculiar neoliberal dictatorship imposed by a Europe which stands very far from its original principles and values to serve the big banks and corporations. The European neoliberal economic empire is imposing for the first time in history, the most brutal measures, not through a military dictatorship, but through an economic war and the dictatorship of the markets.

22 April, 2014

Black anniversary

April 21st 1967: Military junta in Greece backed by the US

On April 21st 1967, a group of colonels will oust democratic government under Panagiotis Kanellopoulos administration to take power, claiming that Greece was under the “Communist danger”. Seven years of brutality, terror, tortures, political persecutions, exiles, will follow. The junta will end in 1974 with the biggest tragedy: Turkish invasion in northern Cyprus, a Kissinger-type plan from the US.

The seven-year junta will leave its marks in future generations and the psychosynthesis of modern Greeks.

In the post-civil war Greece, mainly during 50s, 60s and 70s, interceptions of citizens from para-state agents and all kinds of informers had become a routine. Indeed, the Greeks who lived during that time have plenty, often grotesque, stories to tell around this issue. This phenomenon, which peaked during the seven years of junta, has influenced Greek society in such a degree that even today, even the younger generations who have no memories of such situations, "inherited" the syndrome of distrust against state institutions, from the older ones.

18 April, 2014

US failures leading to US self-destruction

An interview with the Voice of Russia by Joseph Zrnchik, a retired US military planner and trainer

Key parts

[US foreign policy] is schizophrenic because on one hand they are attacking different various groups, and then on the other hand they start assisting the same groups that they are attacking, and it makes no sense and it doesn't advance US interests at all, when you attack Al-Qaeda and then you fund Al-Qaeda. That is just the case there. Same thing in Syria: you work to destabilize the government and then support the CIA to attack Syria, and then the same groups that attack Syria, you sit back and go 'Oh, my God, what were we thinking? It looks like these Jihadists are winning, so we need to start backing off'.”

We have had a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Iraq fiasco has just been disastrous, I mean if you are looking at it from an advantage of what the US was trying to accomplish, it totally failed in the war. There is still war going on, in Iraq you have Sunni-Shiites with sectarian violence, hundreds being killed a month after all that money was spent. You've got a war going on in Afghanistan. And now the US is trying to figure out how to bow out without losing too much face, giving away billions of dollars and the economy in the US is really… They all keep saying: 'We think it is going to get better' but all the experts are saying it is about ready to crash. So, that is economically.”

The Ukraine is probably in worse shape than a lot of other, what they were calling; 'The PIIGS Nations', saying that they needed all that money to be bailed out. [...] 'PIIGS Nations', which was the nations that we were having big trouble economically that they were having to impose austerity measures on, which was Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Spain and Greece. [...] It was in western media, it became very common because it was PIIGS, and I guess they wanted to do that to say these countries were just pigs and that is why they are in the mess that they are in economically and of course to deflect any blame from the EU, and then also to create a situation in which Americans weren't sympathetic to those European countries who were having austerity measures forced upon them by the EU.”

I mean it is that kind of chaos, it is ridiculous. And I think the same things are going to happen with the Ukraine. They probably are going to try to dump everything on Nuland and a few people within the State Department and Hillary was smart because she bailed. But let's face it, that policy did not just come about in the last two days. That was a policy that was being carried out by Hillary Clinton for her entire time as head of State Department. I think it is going to be an utter disaster for the US and I don't know where they are going to go. I don't know what Ukraine is going to do. Those are things that can't be answered at this point.”

One of the things that I was going to mention is I think that a lot of problems that the US is having like every empire, what ends up happening is that the more you go out and become belligerent on the world stage, the more people start lining up against you, and pretty soon the empire creates so many enemies for itself that anybody who's against its interests, it is pretty easy for them to go ahead and oppose the US. I mean everything has been so leveraged that once one thing collapses, everything else starts going down.”

Gone is the day when the US can go ahead and ship pallets of hundred dollar bills literally by the ton to other countries like they did in Iraq, in a ham-fisted attempt to rebuild civil society. They hadn't done it in Iraq and they had just pallets of hundreds tons of hundred dollar bills, there is no way that they are going to able to do anything like that in Ukraine. So, it is just stupid for them to be doing that.”

In the Crimea the people have to have the ability to be able to determine their own future and the US has said that over and over again but as soon as it goes against whatever the US policy is, then everything gets thrown out of the window and that is the problem with the US because constantly it is the hypocrisy that drives the rest of the world crazy. And that is why right now if you look at polls that have been taken, the rest of the world considers the US to be the greatest challenge and the greatest threat to peace.”

And the other thing is The Global War on Terror has been such a disaster and it has done nothing but created more chaos, more than the US could ever have hoped to solve. So, now I think a lot of it is they have wanted to go back to this Cold War mentality, it was safe for the US when the US was just opposing Soviet Union. If you look at it now, it was actually a very stable time and you knew what each side wanted, what their foreign policy was, what they were going to do, now there is nothing that the US can control anymore.”

The whole interview:

France's local elections: A message with multiple receivers

An interview with Kostas Vergopoulos, Professor of Economics, University of Paris for the website

by Katrin Alamanou

Was the percentage of the National Front in French local elections the expected one? Many media are speaking about "historic" results.

It was expected. However, it was not as big as announced. In the area of Paris, the most populated electoral area of the country, with about 12 million people, Marine Le Pen's National Front, despite its rise, did not exceed 6%.

In South and North France, however, a rise was recorded. In North France a mayor was elected with 50%. In four or five cities of South its percentage was 40-45%. This is a success for the National Front, but in national level it was not so successful. In France, the National Front's total percentage was 4.7% while the percentage of the Right was 47% and the percentage of the Left was 37%. The Left lost in total 8 percentage units, while the Right gained 3.5% and the far-Right 7.5%. What should concern us is not only the rise of the far-Right, but also the fall of the Left, especially that of Socialists, but also the stagnation of the so-called Left of the Left, especially under Mélenchon.

How do you interpret the rise of the far-Right?

First of all we should examine from where the National Front took voters because on the other hand, the percentage of the Right was increased. François Hollande thus Socialists, far-Left with less than 0.5%, as well as Mélenchon's party with 6% while in past years received 11-12%, are the ones who lost. Communist party performance could not be seen because it was hidden inside Hollande's Socialist party coalition. This coalition, however, did not gain what was expected.

Given that the percentages of Hollande's Socialists as well as Mélenchon's Leftists fell, we could say that we have a turn to the Right expressed by the percentages of Le Pen's far-Right National Front, as well as of the Right party.

Are the causes of the rise of National Front different from that of the rise of far-Right parties in Europe generally?

They are part of the same phenomenon, which is observed in the whole Europe. The way that the far-Right treats Socialists is characteristic because it's viewing them as representatives of the establishment, not as Left. Or rather denounce the Left as representative of the establishment, adopting the stance of the far-Left against Socialists, but appears to be more capable to persuade the electoral body.

But Mélenchon's Left doesn't also identify Socialists as representatives of the establishment?

This is true, but Mélenchon is not gaining votes. Le Pen also identify the Right and the Socialists as establishment (mostly Socialists) and manages to persuade voters on this.

So, why only Le Pen gains votes?

The Left - but also the Right - never understood the reason of the existence of the National Front. They are only accusing it as fascist, nazist, racist and nationalist "exorcising" it through this way. However, they didn't try to examine deeply the views of this party in order to understand why it attracts voters.

The basic characteristic - and this is common for the whole Europe - is the slogan according to which the country should get out from the Europe of monopolies. If someone doesn't know who is speaking, listening these views, would think that the Left is speaking. Additionally, Le Pen speaks about the regaining of national sovereignty. Her political career is based on these things.

Why Mélenchon's Left doesn't attract votes from French citizens who see that Europe is the problem?

Because Left does not clarify its position for Europe and this results to Le Pen's success who uses demagogy in the absence of a different point of view. In essence, she monopolizes the part of the popular disaffection against the negative course of the European matters and she does not participate in the discussion to change Europe, but instead, she tries to ruin it by putting in front a nostalgia of return to some national sovereignty of the past that never existed in essence.

I don't support that the country should leave the European Union. However, many of those that Le Pen says, and are definitely serious but particulary contradictory, should be answered and reconsidered. For example, she declares the reduce of taxation. Her voters agree, but they don't understand that through the tax reduction, social benefits for the poorest will be reduced as well. These things were not explained by the Left to give an answer against the rhetoric of the far Right.

I would say that in the whole Europe, far-Right parties exploit the sense of loss of national sovereignty. And this because economy has been paralyzed, gradually or rapidly, unemployment rise everywhere and the state is absent. The state does not intervene since it has no income according to the terms that the EU imposes, which are the so-called "golden rule of zero public deficits and continuous cuts of public spending".

They are closing schools, hospitals, transportation, what happens in Greece it happens in France and the rest of Europe. But, if we follow the National Front recipe, we will end to a similar result because what is asking is the restriction of public spending and state income from taxation. No one bothers to explain this. Everyone is satisfied to demonize far-Right phenomenon and stigmatize it, using cliches from the past that today have little meaning for the young people.

Also, the fact that the National Front is treated as a "waste" by the political system probably works to its benefit because allows it to claim, misleadingly of course, that it is the only anti-systemic political power. In any case, the far-Right entity needs to be treated politically, not just to be demonized with "incantations" from the past which mean nothing to the young people.

Besides that, as long as Europe is being supported, not by political and logical arguments, but by taboos, the demagogic and populist reaction against it naturally increases, but without political and logical arguments of course. However, since the defenders of Europe are the first who do not explain its necessity through political, economic arguments, but project it as a religious dogma, speedy reaction and expansion of the opposite demagogy at this level, comes naturally.

Demagogy and populism in favor of Europe is the ultimate and basic cause for the fast development of the exactly opposite anti-European demagogy and anti-European populism. It's for the interest of the Left not to be involved in any demagogy against Europe or in favor of it.

In Greece we have to deal with the worst case of a far-Right rise, since we are talking about a neo-nazi party ...

And in our case we need to deal this politically, not by demonizing it, or, by a solution through law, prohibition. The term "neo-nazi" does not prevent, as we have seen, voters to choose them. This is a term which refers to facts four generations in the past and not everyone understands its meaning. Of course, modern citizens should know what nazism is, but I doubt whether everyone knows it. They would understand much better demagogy and the exploitation of current reality.

Do you expect a rise of the percentage of National Front in euro elections?

Of course, because euro elections are taking place in one round and with the simple analogy. In local elections, the result of the first round is "drown" in the second round. However, the results of the first round should concern us mostly politically. As long as they do not concern us, but only through slogans and laws, the "black stain" will be expanded.

Was the high percentage of abstention a way to disapprove Hollande?

It was an important factor because it reached 38%, and it seems that those who didn't go to vote, were mainly Socialists and Leftists. This resulted in a more massive "presence" of the Right voters. Those who were voted for Hollande in the past have been discouraged by his government. But Mélenchon's Left didn't go better and this is a problem which must put us in thoughts.

On the contrary, in Greece we saw a rise in the percentage of SYRIZA

From the whole Europe, only in Greece can be seen a significant rise of the Left, being so close to power. The Greek experience probably will be proven useful for the rest of the European Left. That doesn't mean that SYRIZA treats the far-Right phenomenon without mistakes, but also national matters which may be proven crucial, like for example the Cyprus problem. Experiences from other countries should inspire us to think and search, to lead us in useful lessons, not in sterile or catastrophic triumph-talks without future.

17 April, 2014

The Greek government sells off the systemic banks

More to follow

According to the announcement of the main opposition party SYRIZA "... we are talking about a crime in opportunity price since the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF), prior to the increase of the share capital of the bank, has signed an agreement with a team of institutional investors (!) leaded by Fairfax, to attract capital with a share price of 0.30 - that is 75% cheaper of what is was cost to the Public (HFSF), but also lower from the current price in stock market! [...] the offer of the foreign financial firm concerns 47% of the increase equal to 1.332 billion."

In essence, the bank is just changing private hands with money from the taxpayers who will be called to carry the damage of recapitalization. The bank, as well as the other systemic banks was in reality always under private control.

Profits for banks, debts for Public:

16 April, 2014

How to transform an independent country into a banksters colony

Αnother reason why international banksters and speculators rushed to lend the Greek government

Stock market technical analyst P. Panagiotou reveals the whole background of the process

The Greek government decided to design a bond auction that, in order to be held, the planned evaluation of the country should be postponed first. The evaluation would remind the obvious: that Greece is not out of the crisis, that the country has financial gaps and probably will be led to a new memorandum and, of course, Greece's debt is still not viable and needs to be treated substantially.

In order Greece to attract investors like Goldman Sachs, as the Greek government wanted and to build a picture of a "normal" bond auction, has designed the latest bond issuance under unprecedented legal and financial terms for a European and developed nation. This was designed by the government under top secrecy.

A top executive of a party of the opposition forced the Greek Public Debt Management Agency to announce officially that Greece, for the first time in decades, would issue bonds in financial markets which are regulated according to the foreign and not the Greek law. More specifically, the bonds are regulated according to the English law, which is the most protective to the lender against the borrower.

The government tried to block any publication or information concerning its commitments to the private lenders. Due to this fact, on Thursday April 10, just before the beginning of the bond auction, the Ministry of Finance sent to the media a non paper according to which the bond issue was designed under "specific law regime" so that the private lenders to be persuaded to participate, and for this reason there were "very strict conditions of publicity"!

According to some information, the legal text of the specific secret lending contract, disguised as a normal bond auction, contained a stipulation known legally as "pari passu", which upgrades banks like Goldman Sachs on the scale of institutional lenders, equalizing their legal rights with that of the European nations who lent Greece under memorandums.

Also according to some information, the government has signed that in case of delay or being unable to pay the interest or the capital of the specific bonds, their private holders would have the right to impound any part of the Greek public property except from the property elements which are part of the cultural heritage of Greece.

One third of the 5-year bond issue was sold to hedge funds which are investment companies known for their aggressive way and short-term approach in markets. In order government to serve its purposes, the Greek bonds passed in the hands of hedge funds under unprecedented legal stipulations of collateralizing public property, something which equalize official lenders, like eurozone state-members, with these hedge funds.

Like in the case of Simitis administration, when Goldman Sachs lent Greece under secret terms, in order the country to enter eurozone, the current Greek government has borrowed from private lenders under a secret law regime in order to gain the return to markets.

One of the direct consequences is the creation of a "de facto" situation for Greece, with the establishment of a new financial and law "status quo" for the country. Therefore, in every attempt of issuing bonds from now on, the lenders will demand from Greece similar terms, different from the rest of the European countries.

Therefore, in the specific latest bond issue, interest was lower exactly because of this specific law regime, which means that if any Greek government in the future try to proceed in a borrowing process from the markets under normal terms, similar to that of the European and developed countries, the lending interest will rise, increasing the cost of lending, even if the Greek economy would enter in a recovery phase and debt would become viable.

Key parts from the article by Panos Panagiotou, under the title "Exit in markets under the terms of a Goldman Sachs colony" , published on website

Comment: This is a particularly important information because it shows another reason why the international banksters want the Greek experiment to be completed. We will probably see in the future similar actions for other eurozone countries which under the weight of their debt will be forced to change the terms of borrowing from markets under neoliberal governments guided by banking puppets.

15 April, 2014

Ελλάδα: Χειροτέρευση των δημοσιονομικών για το 2013

Ένα συντριπτικά μεγάλο ποσοστό του ελλείμματος οφείλεται στην στήριξη των τραπεζών!

Σύμφωνα με τη νέα ανακοίνωση της ΕΛΣΤΑΤ “Το έλλειμμα της Γενικής Κυβέρνησης για το έτος 2013, όπως υπολογίζεται στα πλαίσια της ΔΥΕ, ανήλθε στα 23,1 δις ευρώ (12,7% επί του Ακαθάριστου Εγχώριου Προϊόντος), ενώ το ενοποιημένο χρέος της Γενικής Κυβέρνησης σε ονομαστικές τιμές στο τέλος του 2013 ανήλθε στα 318,7 δις ευρώ, (175,1% επί του Ακαθάριστου Εγχώριου Προϊόντος).

Επίσης, με βάση τον πίνακα 2 του δελτίου τύπου της Ελληνικής Στατιστικής Αρχής που αφορά τα δημοσιονομικά στοιχεία για την περίοδο 2010 ‐ 2013, οι απώλειες για το ΑΕΠ της χώρας ήταν πάνω από 40 δισ. ευρώ.

Σύμφωνα πάντα με το δελτίο τύπου “Ο Πίνακας 3 παρουσιάζει την επίπτωση της υποστήριξης των χρηματοπιστωτικών ιδρυμάτων από όλες τις παρεμβάσεις του κράτους κατά τη διάρκεια της χρηματοπιστωτικής κρίσης, στο ισοζύγιο (έλλειμμα/πλεόνασμα) της Γενικής Κυβέρνησης. Το 2013, αυτή ανήλθε σε 19.272 εκατομμύρια ευρώ. Στο ποσό αυτό συμπεριλαμβάνονται οι συνεχιζόμενες δαπάνες και έσοδα που σχετίζονται με τις παρεμβάσεις από το 2008, επιπρόσθετα στις νέες δαπάνες και έσοδα που ανέκυψαν το έτος 2013. Ως μέρος των τελευταίων αυτών, το 2013 η Γενική Κυβέρνηση, μέσω του Ταμείου Χρηματοπιστωτικής Σταθερότητας (ΤΧΣ), πραγματοποίησε κεφαλαιακές μεταβιβάσεις ύψους 6.189,3 εκατομμυρίων ευρώ για την εξυγίανση των τραπεζών και 14.759 εκατομμυρίων ευρώ σαν αποτέλεσμα της διαδικασίας ανακεφαλαιοποίησης των τεσσάρων συστημικών τραπεζών.

Έτσι, με βάση τον πίνακα 3, η “Επίπτωση της υποστήριξης των χρηματοπιστωτικών ιδρυμάτων στο έλλειμμα της Γενικής Κυβέρνησης”, όπως αναφέρεται χαρακτηριστικά, ήταν πάνω από 19 δισ. ευρώ, δηλαδή ποσοστό 10,6%(!) του ΑΕΠ, ενώ στη διπλανή στήλη, το “Έλλειμμα Γενικής Κυβέρνησης χωρίς την επίπτωση της υποστήριξης των χρηματοπιστωτικών ιδρυμάτων”, θα ήταν λιγότερο από 4 δισ., δηλαδή μόλις το 2,1% του ΑΕΠ!

Αξίζει να σημειωθεί ότι, το άθροισμα των κεφαλαιακών μεταβιβάσεων για την “εξυγίανση” των τραπεζών, συν το ποσό για την ανακεφαλαιοποίηση των τεσσάρων συστημικών τραπεζών για το 2013, αγγίζει σχεδόν τα 21 δισ. ευρω, δηλαδή, είναι ίσο περίπου με το μισό των απωλειών του ΑΕΠ της χώρας κατά την περίοδο 2010 – 2013.

Επιπλέον, με βάση τον πίνακα 2, το έλλειμμα της γενικής κυβέρνησης και το χρέος ως ποσοστό του ΑΕΠ για το 2010, δηλαδή τη χρονιά που η Ελλάδα αποκλείστηκε από τις αγορές, ήταν 10.9% και 148.3% αντίστοιχα. Παρόλα αυτά, η Ελλάδα υποτίθεται ότι επέστρεψε στις αγορές μετά από τέσσερα χρόνια με πολύ χειρότερη την κατάσταση στα δημοσιονομικά της, για να μην αναφέρουμε την ανεργία που σπάει κάθε ρεκόρ.

Αυτό δείχνει ότι η πολυδιαφημισμένη επιστροφή στις αγορές είναι μια καθαρά πολιτική απόφαση, με την συγκατάθεση των διεθνών τραπεζιτών και τοκογλύφων, που θέλησαν να ανταμείψουν την νεοφιλελεύθερη κυβέρνηση Σαμαρά για τα δώρα του στις τράπεζες και σε βάρος των Ελλήνων φορολογουμένων, αλλά και για να την βοηθήσουν να παραμείνει όρθια, τουλάχιστον μέχρι τη λήξη της θητείας της, ώστε να ολοκληρώσει το πείραμα στην Ελλάδα. Δεν υπάρχει τίποτα το τυχαίο στις αποκαλούμενες “αγορές”, ούτε αυτές λειτουργούν “αυτόματα”, όπως θέλουν να μας πείσουν οι οικονομολόγοι-υπηρέτες της νεοφιλελεύθερης δικτατορίας.


Greece: Deficit at 12.7% and public debt at 175.1% of GDP in 2013

According to the Hellenic Statistical Authority, the deficit of the general government in 2013 was 23.1 billion euros or 12.7% of GDP. The unified debt of the general government in nominal values at the end of 2013 was 318.7 billion euros or 175.1% of GDP.

Between 2010 and 2013 country's GDP shrank more than 40 billion euros. It is worth to note that only for 2013 the general government supported banks with 6,189.3 million euros through the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF), while 14,759 million were given to recapitalize the four systemic banks, thus more than 20 billions in total, or equal to the half of the GDP loses for the period 2010-2013.

The corresponding numbers in 2010, when Greece was excluded from markets, were 10.9% of GDP for the deficit and 148.3% of GDP for the debt of the general government.

This is another proof that Greece's recent "return to markets" is clearly a political decision allowed by the international banksters in order to support current neoliberal government to complete the experiment. There is nothing accidental in the so-called "markets", nor they behave "automatically", as the mainstream economists want us to believe.

According to table 3 of the report, 10.6% of the deficit in 2013 is due to the support to banks! Which means that the deficit would be only 2.1% without this support!

Read also:

14 April, 2014

Official: Merkel wants a "Treuhand" for Europe!

by system failure

During Merkel's visit in Athens, mainstream media flooded, as expected, by more or less triumphal comments, with only few exceptions of different opinions which were allowed in the name of the supposed reliable information.

From the first moment of her visit as representative of the European neoliberal economic empire, it was like all problems were magically vanished: homeless who searching garbage for food disappeared, poverty was beaten, unemployment rate dropped to single digits and the only thing that Greece has to do is to prepare for the millions of tourists who are about to come and borrow from international speculators at low interest!

The German chancellor said many things (more or less expected), but it would be worth to focus on a phrase which shows her intentions: "I come from an electoral periphery which was marked by the reunion phase of east and west Germany. Many occupations that were necessary sometime, suddenly were not. Thus, I do have a picture of the weight that you carry in your country".

Merkel wants to "unload the weight" by offering "earth and water" to the German big capital. If someone wants to see an example, could only have to take a look at the relatively recent past and how former West Germany behaved against former East Germany, with the fast and massive privatizations and companies that passed into the hands of the West Germany's economic elite under ridiculous prices. German oligarchs are organizing a new "Treuhand" throughout Europe. Other multinationals will follow to take advantage, and preparing for big party on potential oil and natural gas fields.

The latest bill voted by the very thin majority of the Greek parliament opened the road for good. The experiment in Greece is about to end according to the plan and the timeline was verified also by the IMF director of the European department, Reza Moghadam, who stated that, it is likely that Greece may need further help from the eurozone over the next two years, thus until the end of Samaras administration, so that the last phase of the experiment to be completed, including the sell off of state property and shrinking of the minimum wage at 300 euros.

No one should have illusions. The armies of economists of the "new economy", were presenting improved economic indexes as an answer to those who were criticizing neoliberal policies of IMF in various countries. However, development indexes that supposedly improve the economic situation of a country, are only related to the high profits of the big companies and banks and not to the improvement of the conditions in people's lives which are getting worse.

However, in the case of the Greek experiment, the anxiety of the economic murderers to present a "success story" in any case, is more than obvious since in this case even the numbers expose them. Thus, they created a false "primary surplus" and a "return to markets", as an answer to the obvious destruction, because they have to persuade, somehow, the rest of the eurozone to adopt such policies, so that the experiment not to be restricted to Greece.

Therefore, what the neoliberal dictatorship fears most now, is an "accident" in the oncoming euro elections that may be proved catastrophic for the completion of the experiment. The systemic establishment in Greece has already prepared the scenery for a possible coalition between the neoliberal Right party Nea Dimokratia and the neo-nazi party Golden Dawn, in case that the rest of the systemic parties will not be able to regain power. At the same time, politics of fear and blackmail are in the front line:

The "parrots" who reproduce the systemic propaganda, insist to speak about the new age, the new economy. However, the fact that for the first time an economically developed area is being tested through the current experiment, is in reality the only innovation that someone can find. For the rest, not only nothing new can be found, but on the contrary, Europe walks backwards to the Feudalism and Machiavellianism of the 21st century guided by Merkel, something that someone could call as "Merkiavellianism".


Επίσημο: Η Μέρκελ θέλει μια "Treuhand" για την Ευρώπη!

του system failure

Κατά την επίσκεψη της Μέρκελ στην Αθήνα, τα συστημικά μίντια κατακλύστηκαν, όπως ήταν φυσικό, από σχεδόν θριαμβευτικά σχόλια, με ελάχιστες εξαιρέσεις, οι οποίες βέβαια και αυτές κατάφεραν να ακουστούν στο όνομα δήθεν της αντικειμενικής πληροφόρησης και της πολιτικής των ίσων αποστάσεων που υποτίθεται ότι τηρούν.

Με το που πάτησε το πόδι της στην Αθήνα η εκπρόσωπος της Ευρωπαϊκής νεοφιλελεύθερης οικονομικής αυτοκρατορίας, ήταν λες και διορθώθηκαν όλα ως δια μαγείας: οι άστεγοι που ψάχνουν στα σκουπίδια εξαφανίστηκαν, η φτώχεια εξαλείφθηκε, η ανεργία έπεσε σε μονοψήφιο ποσοστό και το μόνο που μένει να κάνει η Ελλάδα, είναι να προετοιμαστεί κατάλληλα για να υποδεχθεί τους τουρίστες που θα έρθουν κατά εκατομμύρια και να δανειστεί από τους διεθνείς τοκογλύφους με χαμηλό επιτόκιο!

Από τα πολλά (και λίγο - πολύ αναμενόμενα) που είπε η Μέρκελ, αξίζει να σταθούμε σε μια φράση της στο επενδυτικό φόρουμ για νέους επιχειρηματίες: «Προέρχομαι από μια εκλογική περιφέρεια που χαράχτηκε από τη φάση της επανένωσης ανατολικής και δυτικής Γερμανίας. Πολλά επαγγέλματα που κάποτε ήταν αναγκαία, ξαφνικά δεν ήταν απαραίτητα. Έτσι έχω εικόνα για το βάρος που έχετε εδώ στη χώρα σας».

Η Μέρκελ είναι έτοιμη να “ελαφρύνει το βάρος” προσφέροντας “γη και ύδωρ” στο Γερμανικό κεφάλαιο. Αν θέλει κανείς να δει ένα παράδειγμα, δεν έχει παρά να ρίξει μια ματιά στο σχετικά πρόσφατο παρελθόν και το πώς συμπεριφέρθηκε η πρώην Δυτική Γερμανία στην πρώην Ανατολική Γερμανία, με τις μαζικές ιδιωτικοποιήσεις και τις εταιρίες να περνούν στα χέρια της Δυτικογερμανικής οικονομικής ελίτ, έναντι πινακίου φακής. Οι Γερμανοί ολιγάρχες οργανώνουν μια νέα “Treuhand” που θα αφορά ολόκληρη την Ευρώπη. Από κοντά ακολουθούν και άλλες πολυεθνικές που ετοιμάζονται να κάνουν πάρτι στα πιθανά κοιτάσματα πετρελαίου και φυσικού αερίου.

Το τελευταίο πολυνομοσχέδιο άνοιξε το δρόμο για τα καλά. Το πείραμα στην Ελλάδα είναι έτοιμο να ολοκληρωθεί βάσει σχεδίου και το χρονοδιάγραμμα επιβεβαιώθηκε και από τον διευθυντή του Ευρωπαϊκού Τμήματος του ΔΝΤ, Ρέζα Μογκαντάμ, που δήλωσε ότι η Ελλάδα πιθανώς να χρειαστεί πρόσθετη στήριξη από τη ζώνη του ευρώ την επόμενη διετία, δηλαδή μέχρι τη λήξη της θητείας Σαμαρά και μέχρι να ολοκληρωθεί και η τελευταία φάση του πειράματος με το ξεπούλημα της όποιας κρατικής περιουσίας και την βύθιση του κατώτατου μισθού στα 300 ευρώ για χάρη των πολυεθνικών.

Κανείς δεν πρέπει να τρέφει αυταπάτες. Οι στρατιές των οικονομολόγων της “νέας οικονομίας”, παρουσίαζαν έως τώρα τους βελτιωμένους οικονομικούς δείκτες ως απάντηση σε εκείνους που κατέκριναν τις νεοφιλελεύθερες πολιτικές του ΔΝΤ σε διάφορες χώρες. Όμως, οι δείκτες ανάπτυξης που υποτίθεται ότι βελτιώνουν την οικονομική κατάσταση μιας χώρας, έχουν να κάνουν με τα υπερκέρδη των μεγάλων εταιριών και τραπεζών και όχι με τις συνθήκες ζωής των ανθρώπων, οι οποίες συνεχώς χειροτερεύουν.

Ωστόσο, στην περίπτωση του Ελληνικού πειράματος, η αγωνία των οικονομικών δολοφόνων να παρουσιάσουν οπωσδήποτε ένα “success story” είναι ολοφάνερη, καθώς σ'αυτή την περίπτωση, ακόμα και οι αριθμοί τους διαψεύδουν πανηγυρικά. Έτσι επιστράτευσαν ένα πλασματικό “πρωτογενές πλεόνασμα” και μια “επιστροφή στις αγορές”, γιατί μέσα σ'όλη αυτή την καταστροφή που σπέρνουν, πρέπει κάπως να πείσουν τις υπόλοιπες χώρες της ευρωζώνης να ενστερνιστούν παρόμοιες πολιτικές, ώστε το πείραμα να μην σταματήσει στην Ελλάδα.

Άρα τελικά, η νεοφιλελεύθερη δικτατορία φοβάται ένα ατύχημα εν όψει ευρωεκλογών, που μπορεί να έχει ολέθριες συνέπειες για την ολοκλήρωση του πειράματος. Έχει ήδη προετοιμάσει το έδαφος για μια πιθανή σύμπραξη ΝΔ-ΧΑ, σε περίπτωση που τα συστημικά κόμματα δεν ανακτήσουν τα απαραίτητα ποσοστά ( Παράλληλα, δηλώσεις τύπου Γεωργιάδη (, ευθυγραμμίζονται απόλυτα με την πολιτική του φόβου και του εκβιασμού που επιχειρείται με αμείωτο ρυθμό από την αρχή της κρίσης (

Οι παπαγάλοι που αναπαράγουν την συστημική προπαγάνδα, επιμένουν να μιλούν για τη νέα εποχή, τη νέα οικονομία. Όμως, στο πείραμα που βρίσκεται σε εξέλιξη, η μόνη καινοτομία είναι ότι για πρώτη φορά διεξάγεται σε μια ανεπτυγμένη οικονομικά περιοχή. Κατά τα άλλα, όχι μόνο δεν υπάρχει τίποτα το νέο, αλλά αντίθετα, η Ευρώπη οπισθοδρομεί ολοταχώς προς την Φεουδαρχία και τον Μακιαβελλισμό του 21ου αιώνα, με οδηγό την Μέρκελ και αυτό που θα μπορούσαμε να ονομάσουμε ως Μερκιαβελλισμό.


11 April, 2014

A “warm welcome” for Merkel in Athens

A "warm welcome" is expected today for Angela Merkel in Athens. During a different type of protest, the documentary by Stelios Kouloglou, "The Godmother" (, will be projected in a big screen at Propylea in 19:00.

Meanwhile, the main opposition Leftist party SYRIZA called citizens to protest at Klafthmonos Square at 17:00, while stated that "The visit of Chancellor Merkel in Athens to is to support the Samaras-Venizelos coalition government, in view of the elections, to reward the catastrophic work of the government, to oversee the continuation of austerity, to inspect whether the banks were given away to the vested interests, if the public property was sold for chicken feed, whether the Greek wages have dropped to the level of those in Bulgaria.

Όταν το σύστημα εκβιάζει τις κοινωνίες

του system failure

Ενισχύονται τα σενάρια για κλιμάκωση των επιχειρήσεων προβοκάτσιας μετά την τελευταία βομβιστική ενέργεια έξω από την τράπεζα της Ελλάδας. Θα πρέπει κανείς να αναμένει μια κλιμάκωση των τακτικών αποπροσανατολισμού και εκφοβισμού του συστήματος σε έναν τέτοιο οικονομικό πόλεμο, όπως αυτόν που βιώνει η Ελλάδα τα τελευταία χρόνια.

Μια συνήθης πρακτική των λεγόμενων "νονών της νύχτας" είναι να πουλάν προστασία σε μπαρ και νυχτερινά κλαμπ. Φυσικά, πρόκειται για καθαρό εκβιασμό, καθώς όπως πολύ καλά γνωρίζουμε, είναι οι ίδιοι οι νονοί που συχνά στέλνουν μπράβους για να δείρουν ανθρώπους και να ρημάξουν τέτοιες επιχειρήσεις, σε περίπτωση που οι ιδιοκτήτες τους αρνηθούν την "προστασία".

Φαίνεται ότι η Ελληνική κυβέρνηση στην παρούσα φάση υιοθετεί μια παρόμοια λογική, προσπαθώντας να εκβιάσει τους πολίτες όσο πλησιάζουμε προς τις ευρωεκλογές. Μετά το ξέσπασμα του σκανδάλου Μπαλτάκου, η παγκόσμια νεοφιλελεύθερη δικτατορία έσπευσε να στηρίξει την κυβέρνηση Σαμαρά μέσω της ανακοίνωσης της εξόδου στις αγορές και της σημερινής επίσκεψης Μέρκελ, ως μια ανταμοιβή προς τα κυβερνητικά στελέχη που ακολουθούν κατά γράμμα την νεοφιλελεύθερη ατζέντα τύπου ΔΝΤ. Είναι μια προσπάθεια να αντιστραφεί το αρνητικό κλίμα ενάντια στην κυβέρνηση.

Όσο τα κόμματα που υπηρετούν το σύστημα και ειδικότερα η νεοφιλελεύθερη Δεξιά με κυριότερο κόμμα την Νέα Δημοκρατία, χάνουν ποσοστά και όσο η Αριστερά με επικεφαλής τον ΣΥΡΙΖΑ βρίσκεται μπροστά στις δημοσκοπήσεις, το συστημικό κατεστημένο αναμένεται να πυκνώσει τις επιχειρήσεις προβοκάτσιας στέλνοντας το μήνυμα στους πολίτες ότι σε περίπτωση που τολμήσουν να ψηφίσουν εναντίον του, θα επικρατήσει χάος και καταστροφή μετά τις εκλογές.

Είναι παραπάνω από φανερό ότι, το συστημικό κατεστημένο εκμεταλλεύεται τον φόβο που σπέρνουν καθημερινά τα κυρίαρχα ΜΜΕ υπό τον έλεγχο του, από την αρχή της κρίσης στην Ελλάδα. Το μήνυμα είναι απλό: ψηφίστε υπέρ του συστήματος για να επιστρέψουμε στις αγορές, να έχετε ασφάλεια, να έρθουν επενδύσεις, αλλιώς θα βιώσετε την ολοκληρωτική καταστροφή. Φυσικά, ότι έχουμε δει ως τώρα, είναι στην πραγματικότητα η απόλυτη καταστροφή, με φτώχεια, ανεργία, ανισότητα, δημόσιο χρέος, να σπάνε κάθε ρεκόρ. Η διαφορά είναι ότι η παρούσα καταστροφή έχει γίνει συστηματικά από τους οικονομικούς δολοφόνους της τρόικα.

Σε περίπτωση που ο λαός υπακούσει, θα αμειφθεί με μια πλασματική "σταθερότητα". Πιθανόν ο Ξηρός να γυρίσει πίσω στο κλουβί του και οι αρχές να πουλήσουν άλλο ένα "success story" που θα ανακοινωθεί θριαμβευτικά ως ένας επιτυχής πόλεμος κατά της τρομοκρατίας. Αυτό είναι κάτι που θα επιτρέψει την νεοφιλελεύθερη κυβέρνηση να ολοκληρώσει το πείραμα και να παραδώσει τη σκυτάλη στην υπόλοιπη ευρωζώνη, πάντα υπό την επίβλεψη της Μέρκελ.

Αλλά αυτό που θα πρέπει να καταλάβουν οι λαοί, είναι ότι η δύναμη βρίσκεται στα χέρια τους. Εξάλλου, όλες αυτές οι τακτικές δείχνουν ότι στην παρούσα φάση, το συστημικό κατεστημένο βρίσκεται σε πανικό και χρησιμοποιεί κάθε μέσο προκειμένου να διατηρηθεί στην εξουσία. Οι λαοί σε Ελλάδα και Ευρώπη πρέπει να στείλουν το μήνυμα στις επερχόμενες ευρωεκλογές ότι είναι αποφασισμένοι να σταματήσουν την επέκταση του πειράματος στην Ευρώπη. Ότι είναι αποφασισμένοι να βάλουν ένα οριστικό τέλος. Όσο πιο ισχυρό το μήνυμα, τόσο πιο σίγουρη η νίκη.

10 April, 2014

When system blackmails societies

by system failure

Apart from the most obvious explanation that the latest bombing in the center of Athens outside the Bank of Greece, is just a reaction from a radical-left guerrilla group against government, there are other scenarios which involve provocative operations by the government itself. Tactics of fear and disorientation by the system in times of such a hard economic war like currently in Greece, should be expected more and more often.

A common practice from the "godfathers of night" is to sell protection to bars and nightclubs from potential rival interests against them. Of course, this is a pure blackmail since they are the same ones who often send paid bouncers to cause significant damages in those businesses in case that their owners refuse "protection".

It seems that the Greek government currently follows a similar logic to blackmail citizens as we approaching euro-elections. After the Baltakos scandal (, the global neoliberal dictatorship rushed to support Samaras administration through the announcement that Greece is returning to markets and the Angela Merkel's visit to Athens on Friday, as a reward to government officials who adopt every part of the IMF neoliberal agenda. It's an attempt to reverse the negative climate against government.

As long as the parties who serve the system and especially the neoliberal Right party of Samaras, Nea Dimokratia, are losing power with the leftist main opposition party SYRIZA in the first place, according to recent polls, the systemic establishment is expected to proceed more often is such provocation operations to "send the message" to citizens that in case that they will dare to vote against the system, chaos and destruction will dominate Greece after the elections.

The systemic establishment will exploit the fear that its mainstream media are distributing to the people since the beginning of the crisis. The message is simple: vote for the system to return to markets, security, investments or else you will get absolute destruction. Of course, what we've seen in Greece so far is in reality the absolute destruction, with poverty, unemployment, inequality, public debt breaking every previous record. The difference is that it's been done systematically by the troika economic murderers.

In case that people will obey and vote for the system in the oncoming elections, they will be rewarded with a fake "stability". Probably Xiros ( will return to his cage and the authorities will sell another "success story" to the public, entitled "a successful war against terrorism". This is something which will allow the neoliberal government to complete the experiment in Greece and deliver it to the rest of the eurozone, always under the supervision of Angela Merkel.

But what people should understand is that the real power is in their hands. Besides, all these tactics reveal that the systemic establishment is in panic and uses every available mean to stay in power. People in Greece and Europe should send the message in the oncoming euro-elections that they are determined to fight against the will of the neoliberal dictatorship to expand the experiment across the Europe. That they are determined to put an end for good. The stronger the message, the more secure the win.

Breaking: Explosion of a trapped vehicle outside the Bank of Greece

Continuous updates

At 5:55 Greece time this morning the explosion outside the BoG at the intersection of Amerikis and Stadiou streets. No victims. There was a call at the newspaper "Efimerida ton Syntakton" and 45 minutes earlier.

The unknown man who called said that a trapped vehicle was loaded with 75 kilos of explosives.

The center of Athens was isolated immediately by the authorities and workers from the buildings in the area were removed.

The driver of the vehicle left it unlocked early on Thursday morning and run away. A motorcycle, with which he escaped, was following him until he parked the car. The incident was recorded by security cameras, but the pictures are not clear due to the darkness at that time.

Bombs and bonds return to Athens

Just when Greece was ready to supposedly return to markets and speculators and 24 hours before Merkel's visit to Athens. Accidental?

Related opinions and possible scenarios:

At the same time, the escape from prison of a convicted and self-confessed member of the armed guerilla group November 17th, Christodoulos Xiros, gives an opportunity to the system to plan new provocative operations.”


09 April, 2014

Enemies of the Internet

A report from the Reporters Without Borders

Key findings:

"Three of the government bodies designated by Reporters Without Borders as Enemies of the Internet are located in democracies that have traditionally claimed to respect fundamental freedoms: the Centre for Development of Telematics in India, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in the United Kingdom, and the National Security Agency (NSA) in the United States."

"The NSA and GCHQ have spied on the communications of millions of citizens including many journalists. They have knowingly introduced security flaws into devices and software used to transmit requests on the Internet. And they have hacked into the very heart of the Internet using programmes such as the NSA’s Quantam Insert and GCHQ’s Tempora."

"The 2014 list of Enemies of the Internet includes 'surveillance dealerships' – the three arms trade fairs known as ISS World, Technology Against Crime and Milipol. These forums bring companies specializing in communications interception or online content blocking together with government officials from countries such as Iran, China and Bahrain."

"The censorship and surveillance carried out by the Enemies of the Internet would not be possible without the tools developed by the private sector companies to be found at these trade fairs. Ethiopia’s Information Network Security Agency has tracked down journalists in the United States thanks to spyware provided by Hacking Team, an Italian company that Reporters Without Borders designated as an Enemy of the Internet in 2013. Even the NSA has used the services of Vupen, a French company that specializes in identifying and exploiting security flaws."

"Private-sector companies are not the only suppliers of surveillance technology to governments that are Enemies of the Internet. Russia has exported its SORM surveillance system to its close neighbours. In Belarus, Decree No. 60 on 'measures for improving use of the national Internet network' forces Internet Service Providers to install SORM"

"China has begun assisting Iran’s uphill efforts to create a Halal Internet – a national Internet that would be disconnected from the World Wide Web and under the government’s complete control."

"The NSA and GCHQ, Ethiopia’s Information Network Security Agency, Saudi Arabia’s Internet Services Unit, Belarus’ Operations and Analysis Centre, Russia’s FSB and Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service are all security agencies that have gone far beyond their core duties by censoring or spying on journalists and other information providers."

"Ignoring the objections of many human rights groups, France’s parliament cavalierly adopted a Military Programming Law in December 2013 that allows the authorities to spy on phone and Internet communications in real time without asking a judge for permission. The grounds given are vague and general, ranging from the need for 'intelligence affecting national security' and 'safeguarding the essential elements of France’s economic potential' to 'preventing terrorism, criminality and organized crime.'”

"In Tunisia, the government gazette announced the creation of a Technical Agency for Telecommunications (ATT) on 12 November 2013 for the purpose of monitoring communications in order to assist judicial investigations into 'information and communication crimes.' Its sudden creation by decree without any consultation with civil society triggered immediate concern, as it revived memories of the Tunisian Internet Agency (ATI), the symbol of online censorship under ousted President Zine el-Abine Ben Ali. The lack of any safeguards and mechanism for controlling its activities is particularly alarming."

"In Syria and Iran, Internet speed is often reduced drastically during demonstrations to prevent the circulation of images of the protests."

"In China, the authorities disconnected the Internet for several hours on 22 January 2014 to stop the circulation of reports about the use of offshore tax havens by members of the Chinese elite."

"In Sudan, the authorities disconnected the Internet throughout the country for 24 hours on 25 September 2013 to prevent social networks being used to organize protests."

"Internet Service Providers, website hosting companies and other technical intermediaries find themselves being asked with increasing frequency to act as Internet cops."

"In Venezuela, President Nicolás Maduro has forced ISPs to filter content of a sensitive nature. The authorities ordered them to block about 50 websites covering exchange rates and soaring inflation on the grounds that they were fuelling an 'economic war' against Venezuela. This did not prevent a wave of protests against shortages and the high crime rate. On 24 February, when many photos of the protests were circulating on Twitter, the authorities ordered ISPs to block all images on Twitter."

"In Turkey, the latest amendments to Law 5651 on the Internet, voted on 5 February 2014, turn ISPs into instruments of censorship and surveillance, forcing them to join a new organization that centralizes requests for content blocking or removal. If they do not join and install the surveillance tools demanded by the authorities, they will lose their licence."

In Gambia, the government gave itself a new legislative weapon in July 2013 by getting the national assembly to pass amendments to the Information and Communications Act – the main law limiting freedom of information. The amendments make the 'spreading of false news against the government or public officials' punishable by up to 15 years in prison or a fine of 3 million dalasis (64,000 euros).”

"The creation of a licencing system for news websites serves as an administrative and sometimes economic barrier and is a widely-used method for controlling online information."

In Singapore, the authorities have created a major economic barrier for online news media. Under a measure that took effect in June 2013, news websites that post more than one article a week about Singapore and have more than 50,000 Singaporean visitors a month need a licence that requires depositing 'a performance bond' of 50,000 Singaporean dollars (39,500 US dollars). The licence has to be renewed every one year.”

The latest and perhaps most outrageous practice to come to light so far is GCHQ’s 'Optic Nerve' programme, used to capture the personal images of millions of Yahoo webcam users. It suggests that there are no limits to what the intelligence agencies are ready to do.”