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Politics, Re-Spun: Is Greece the Front Line in the War Against Neoliberalism?

The EU is a powerful vehicle for neoliberalism. When democracy in Greece pushes back, we see the length the EU will go to punish and control Greece.

Neoliberalism is inherently anti-democratic. Greece deserves our support. And we need to continue to oppose neoliberalism and the soft fascism in Canada [like C-51] that the Conservative and Liberal coalition have been pushing for decades.

Viewed from either side of the political spectrum, the EU looks like a disaster right now:

The conservatives are proven correct about the way the EU takes away national sovereignty: The Greeks voted in a referendum to reject (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: The European Union Backstory. Greece Is the Least of Its Problems.

We may be on the verge of witnessing a ground shaking, dangerous and scary spectacle – the dismemberment of the European Union.  The recent events in Greece may have set some wheels in motion but Harvard professor of international relations, Stephen Walt, says the collapse of European unification traces much further back to five triggering events. He writes that no Western nation will emerge unscathed if it all falls apart.

As an economic unit, the EU has a combined GNP larger than that of the United States, considerable wealth, advanced industries, and significant military potential. The United States is formally (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? No One, Angela, No One.

Is it the Euro or is it Angela Merkel – or both?  Whatever the case, Merkel’s brutal subjugation of Greece has the neighbours outside the Eurozone good cause to think twice about joining the common currency, the Euro.

Once, it was an exclusive club that nearly all of Europe aspired to join. Now, in the wake of Greece’s latest financial crisis and the hard-line response from many of the Continent’s powers, becoming a partner in the European common currency seems less and less appealing to many of the countries lined up for their chance.

From Poland to the Czech (Read more…) They’re back…and are trying to ambush us with an online ‘link tax’

Two weeks ago we celebrated a win at the European Parliament, where members of a powerful committee tasked with making decisions about how we share and collaborate online rejected proposals that would restrict our right to link.

Seeing the pro-Internet community stand up and take action together is always reaffirming–and in today’s global political climate where important decisions like this are often taken behind closed doors, a healthy level of engagement is something to celebrate in and of itself.

read more

The Disaffected Lib: Krugman – Europe Also Won in Yesterday’s Greek Bailout Referendum

From my years practicing insolvency law, I was left stunned at the illogic in the demands that the creditors sought to impose on Greece.  The approach made no sense.  They demanded Greece accept a debt load it could never hope to pay off. They essentially wanted the Greek government to mortgage the very future of Greek youth, even those yet unborn.

It doesn’t make any difference whether it’s an individual, a corporation or a country – when it falls insolvent the best deal for creditors is always a workable deal and that means debt forgiveness, taking a haircut.  If Joe (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Greece & The Euro: Super Mario will come to the rescue this weekend

Mario Draghi of the European Central Bank

Deadlock reached, the EU negotiators broke off talks with the insurgent left wing Greek government, and that government threw a Hail Mary pass by calling for a referendum on the austerity package on July 5. Meanwhile, a hefty repayment of debt is due on June 30, and commentators are talking about a Greek default, leading to a Grexit from the EU.

Interesting events, but a man who embodies all the virtues that Plato imbued his Philosopher Kings with is now entering the stage right. That man will avert the crisis and let negotiations (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Tsipras lambasts ‘absurd proposals’ of creditors for Greece debt-deal failure | Business | The Guardian

Tsipras lambasts ‘absurd proposals’ of creditors for Greece debt-deal failure | Business | The Guardian.

Filed under: Crisis, Eurozone crisis, Greece Tagged: Austerity, EU, Eurozone Crisis, Greece, Syriza, Troika

The Disaffected Lib: John Bull In a China Shop

What good is a majority if it lands you in a minefield?  Conservative prime minister David Cameron finds himself in that predicament after last week’s elections handed him a very slim majority.

He’s looking to slash about 12-billion quid from his country’s welfare budget. His “red meat” backbench are spoiling for a tussle with the European Union.  And the other big winner, Scotland’s SNP, will pose a constant threat of stripping the “United” from United Kingdom.

From the Washington Post:

After unexpected political charisma and cunning propelled him to another term as Britain’s prime minister, David Cameron will now (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: But What Did They Expect?

David Cameron is wasting no time hammering rightwing nails in Britain’s coffin. He has served notice he’ll be making the most of his slim majority win last week and the first thing to go will be Britain’s Human Rights Act.

Just as Harper has Poillevre to do his slime work, Cameron has his own poindexter to axe the Human Rights Act, this guy, Michael Gove:

Backpheifengesicht anyone?

Cameron is also preparing his ransom note to the European Union.  His win has unleashed a backbench clamoring for a new deal with the EU whereby Britain could opt out of EU (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Why Syrzia Matters. It’s About a Good Deal More than Austerity. It’s About Salvaging Democracy.

Le Monde reminds all of us why Syrzia matters not just in Greece, but across Europe and even on our side of the North Atlantic.

The Greeks don’t need to have the meaning of the word “democracy” explained to them. Even so, they have been given countless lectures since voting in a leftwing government determined to end the austerity policies that have made their lives a misery for six years. The schoolmasterly reprimands have come from people who know what they are talking about: they are people who imposed treaties their electorates had voted against and reneged on campaign promises (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Is a socialist EU possible via left-wing populist parties such as Syriza, Podemos and the HDP? | openDemocracy

Is a socialist EU possible via left-wing populist parties such as Syriza, Podemos and the HDP? | openDemocracy.

Filed under: Europe, Socialism Tagged: EU, Europe, Podemos, Socialism, Syriza

The Disaffected Lib: Will the E.U. Again Pull the Rug Out From Under Harper’s Feet?

The European Union’s FQD, fuel quality directive, was once seen as a bitumen killer.  It’s intended to encourage the use of lower-carbon oil and to kill off the European market for tar sand oil.

It had been reported that the Canadian government persuaded the Euros to drop the regulation, opening Europe to Athabasca exports.  Now it seems the FQD isn’t dead after all.

The EU’s most senior energy official confirmed that the fuel quality directive (FQD) to encourage greener road fuels will not be scrapped at the end of the decade, as had been thought. Asked by the Guardian (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Tariq Ali on the Upcoming Greek Election

*Update – The election results are in.

There might be hope for the people of Greece in their upcoming elections. Excerpts of an interview of Tariq Ali hosted by Kostas Vlahopoulos and Thomas Giourgas.

“3. What is your view of the current sociopolitical situation in Greece?

Tariq Ali: The situation is polarised. The fascists of Golden Dawn and the Conservative descendants of the wrong side in the Greek Civil war have the support of a sizeable section of the Greek population. This cannot be ignored and we do so at our peril. The emergence and growing support for (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: The Greek canary in the European coalmine: An interview with Yanis Varoufakis

Over at Ricochet, I’ve transcribed my podcast interview with Yanis Varoufakis, economist and Syriza candidate in tomorrow’s Greek elections. With Syriza looking to get the most votes and possibly an outright parliamentary majority, I asked Yanis about the Greek economy, Syriza’s economic plans, his views on what these mean for Europe and how we can expect Greece to take its place in Europe come Monday. Here is the interview in full.

Michal Rozworski: I know this is an enormous topic but what is the current economic situation on the eve of the elections in Greece? Can you give a kind of snapshot?

Yanis (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Political Eh-conomy Radio: the left in Greece and Poland


I’ve been visiting family in Poland for the past few weeks so, fittingly, this week’s podcast deals with the situation of the left at two opposite ends of the European periphery: Greece and Poland. My first guest is Yanis Varoufakis, professor of economics at the University of Athens and candidate for SYRIZA in this Sunday’s parliamentary elections. Syriza is the main Greek left party and is poised to take the most votes, potentially even form a parliamentary majority, on Sunday. Yanis spoke with me about Greece’s economy on the eve of the elections and Syriza’s economic (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Sophisticated malware ‘Regin’: Western intelligence suspected source of spy tool

Symantec just recently reported on an advanced malware tool known as Regin or Backdoor.Regin that has  been showing up around the globe. A post that appeared on the company’s blog on Sunday described Regin as  “An advanced spying tool [that] displays a degree of technical competence rarely seen and has been used in spying operations against governments, infrastructure operators, businesses, researchers, and private individuals.”

According to Symantec, capabilities include capturing screenshots, stealing passwords, taking control of the mouse’s point-and-click function, monitoring network traffic and gathering information on processes and memory use. It can also search for and retrieve (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: The Climate Change Deal We Cannot Live Without

Just what does all this squabbling about greenhouse gas emissions really mean? What has to go into an effective climate change agreement?  What factors are in play?

Here, courtesy of, are a few charts that reveal a climate deal is both urgently needed and extremely difficult to craft.

First up, where we stand today.  Annex B countries are the wealthy nations that participated in the Kyoto Accords.  Non-Annex B countries, the poor nations and the emerging economic superpowers, now account for the lion’s share of global emissions.

Next is an illustration of per capita emissions.  While we’re (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Fidel Castro compares NATO with Hitler’s SS: says US/Israel responsible for the creation of ISIS

 Below: Demo in Poland protesting this weeks NATO summit in Wales

In an article published in Cuban state media iconic revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro, calls out NATO and imperialist war mongering. He compares statements by NATO representatives with Nazi SS talk.

Castro: “Many people are astonished when they hear the statements made by some European spokesmen for NATO when they speak with the style and face of the Nazi SS.”

Castro’s NATO remarks are timely given the summit currently underway in Wales that aims to increase troops and armaments in Eastern Europe in response to what NATO views as (Read more…)

drive-by planet: NATO summit targets Russia: nuclear threat increases with risk of war

Protest in Newport, Wales, against NATO aggression

Government leaders of NATO countries meet in Wales this week to make plans for the escalation of military preparedness, with Russia squarely in the cross hairs. This includes the likely endorsement of a rapid response force made up of as many as 4,000 soldiers capable of being deployed to any member state at short notice. It is also likely that the build-up of troops and armaments in Eastern Europe will be given the green light.

An article in World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) reports:

The NATO summit, to which Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Could America Break Its Own Bank on a Russian Anvil?

The sanctions being plastered on Russia by the US and her allies are already having a rebound effect, especially in Europe.  Russia is not only the major supplier of the natural gas the Europeans will need to get through this winter, it’s also a key market for their exports.  In these matters the EU and US are in different boats.  Another key difference is that American sanctions are more heavily weighted on depriving Russia of access to credit – loans.

Here’s the rub.  International finance is generally conducted in US dollars, the global reserve currency.  Throughout the post-WWII era that’s (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Hard question about MH-17 disaster: BUK missile video blaming Russia is debunked

Below right: Black boxes being handed over to Malaysian delegation

Since the crash of Malaysian Airlines MH-17 in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, questions have been raised about why the plane was flying over a war zone. MH-17′s flight path on July 17 diverged from the path taken during its earlier flights over Ukraine. On previous occasions the plane flew a route further to the south, over the Sea of Azov – a route declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

According to on the day of the crash, MH-17′s flight path diverted northward taking the Boeing directly over (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Oligarch Pyotr "Chocolate King" Poroshenko wins big in Ukraine’s low turn-out election: change to disbelieve in

The presidential election in Ukraine was held on the same date as elections to the European parliament that resulted in an unprecedented showing by anti-immigration Euro-skeptic parties. The Ukraine election held in the midst of conflict and poll boycotts saw EU-friendly billionaire Pyotr Poroshenko – aka the “Chocolate King” – emerge the big winner, with rival Yulia Tymoshenko a distant second.

According to reports from Kiev, Poroshenko’s big win was a disappointment for many of the protesters who risked life and limb on Maidan holding out for the prospect of real change.

The victory by Ukraine’s “Willy Wonka” will be (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Canada-EU trade deal will hurt Canada’s auto industry: study

by: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives | Press Release | May 28, 2014

OTTAWA – The proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will only exacerbate the Canadian auto industry’s recent decline, says a study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

The study, by Unifor economist and CCPA vice-president Jim Stanford, analyses CETA’s likely effects on Canadian automotive trade, investment, and employment and claims the trade deal will make Canada’s current trade imbalance with the EU incrementally worse. The study estimates that the existing $5.3 billion trade deficit with Europe will widen significantly as (Read more…)

drive-by planet: US corporate media propaganda: NYT’s misleading photo ‘evidence’ of Russian soldiers in east Ukraine

Back in 2003, when Colin Powell presented “evidence” at the UN to back up the White House claim that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, major US news outlets ran the story believing the Bush administration had the goods. During the UN presentation Russia’s ambassador at the time, Sergei Lavrov,  greeted Powell’s “evidence” with a look of incredulous disbelief or perhaps disdain might be the better term.  As we now know, the Russians were entirely right to cast scorn on Washington’s pack of lies about Saddam’s non-existent WMD.

In the current war of words-and-images on Ukraine, Russian media (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Massive turnout in Crimea: 96.77 vote for integration with Russia: jubilant crowds capture the mood

There was a massive turnout in the Crimea referendum, with 81.3 percent of eligible voters participating. When the final tally was in 96.77 percent voted “yes” to integration with the Russian Federation. The way it breaks down in terms of numbers is 1,233,002 votes for integration out of a total of 1,274,096 ballots cast.

The head of the monitors’ commission, Polish MP Mateusz Piskorski, told RT: “The referendum has been organized professionally, considering there was very little time for all the institutions to prepare, all the staff for polling stations, for electoral commission… So when it comes (Read more…)