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Parchment in the Fire: Germany, not Greece, should say goodbye to the euro | Comment |

Germany, not Greece, should say goodbye to the euro | Comment |

Filed under: Eurozone crisis Tagged: Euro, European Union, Eurozone Crisis, Germany

CuriosityCat: Success – Greece to stay in the Eurozone and the EU

Hands are being wrung; Chancellor Merkel is being cast as a vicious, heartless, and vengeful person; some speak of the French president being brushed aside; and Greeks are dismayed.

During a tense, drama-filled weekend, a deal was hammered out and presented to the debtor nation, which now has to pass legislation this week in order to earn the bailout:

The demands, quickly leaked, piled up: a complete overhaul of Greece’s tax and pension system, the ceding of $70 billion of Greek assets to eurozone authorities for privatization, and an agreement to allow Greece to become a ward in all (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: The New Europeans: Like the Old on Greece

Poland’s man in Brussels, President of the European Council Donald Tusk, has truly settled into his shoes as a new member of the European elite. On Tuesday, he issued the stern warning: “Our inability to find agreement may lead to the bankruptcy of Greece and the insolvency of its banking system. And for sure, it will be most painful for the Greek people.”

Such threats are common currency among Euro-elites. Tusk shows just how well the Polish political class, alongside those of the other Eastern European countries, has been integrated into the power structures and ideology of neoliberal (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Greece tables unified set of negotiation principles with EU

The PM of Greece fired his first opening shot in the coming negotiations with the Troika of faceless technocrats and panoply of politicians, by huddling with the opposition parties and then releasing their statement of principles. Employing one of the necessary steps in Harvard U’s Getting to Yes negotiation handbook (a must for every politician, not to mention anyone engaged in business or personal relationships), the PM has tabled a set of interests that Greece wishes to attain in the talks. By making it an agreed set of principles of all the major parties, the PM is leveraging off the (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: The effort to engineer regime change in Greece could lead to a much bigger disaster

PHOTOS: Leaders of the Greek military government of 1967 to 1974. Is something similar waiting in the wings if the eurozone leadership’s effort to terrorize the Greeks into voting Yes to never-ending austerity fails today? Below: Greek Prime Minister Alex Tsipras, former Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien and Nobel-Prize-winning American economist Paul Krugman. Recent Western […]

The post The effort to engineer regime change in Greece could lead to a much bigger disaster appeared first on Alberta Politics.

CuriosityCat: Greece & The Euro: Some words of wisdom from a Swiss Ambassador

Dr Daniel Woker

In an article headed Greece and the Nattering Nabobs of the Anglosphere in Real Clear World, Dr. Daniel Woker has some timely advice to the chattering classes: Cool it, you just don’t get it. 

A former Swiss Ambassador to Singapore and Australia, and now a lecturer at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, as well as a columnist, Woker is spot on with this observation:

Where the EU is concerned, the nabobs in London, Washington and elsewhere in Tony Abbott’s Anglosphere don’t get it, as shown by recent comments on events in Greece and on Germany’s (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Greece & The Euro: Some words of wisdom from a Swiss Ambassador

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Politics, CETA, and the fishery #nlpoli

The European trade deal came up in the House of Assembly on Monday.

Everyone kept to the same lines they’ve been kicking around for months.

Believe it if you want,  but if you want to find out what is really going on,  check out the interview your humble e-scribbler did with Jamie Baker of the Fisheries Broadcast last week.



Province increase CETA demands after crucial agreement (December 2014) Abbott and Costello meet the trade deal (January 2015) Conservatives abandon ridiculous position on European deal (May 2015)

The Disaffected Lib: And So It Begins

It’s an idea that’s been kicked around for quite a while – the use of military force to thwart climate change migration.  To some it’s a matter of doing what’s necessary to keep the barbarian horde at bay.  Underlying it is this element of self-defence, self-preservation – necessity.

The European Union is now at this point.

The European Union has drawn up plans for military attacks in Libya to try to curb the influx of migrants across the Mediterranean by targeting the trafficking networks. It is to launch a bid on Monday to secure a UN mandate for armed action (Read more…) . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: And So It Begins

Parchment in the Fire: Contesting Capitalism in the Eurozone

In light of the new Syriza government’s difficult struggle against the German dominated institutions of the Eurozone, I’ve revisited a little known book published ten years ago by political scientist Richard Dunphy called Contesting Capitalism? Left Parties and European Integration (Manchester University Press, 2004). In the book, Dunphy charts out the trajectory of the European Far Left’s relationship to European integration. While at the time the book seemed to fly under the radar (this was just before the French and French rejection of the Lisbon Treaty in 2005 and the rapid accession of a number of new member states in (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Reading The Greek Deal Correctly

Reading The Greek Deal Correctly. James K. Galbraith

On Friday as news of the Brussels deal came through, Germany claimed victory and it is no surprise that most of the working press bought the claim. They have high authorities to quote and to rely on. Thus from London The Independent reported:

several analysts agreed that the results of the talks amounted to a humiliating defeat for Greece.

No details followed, the analysts were unnamed, and their affiliations went unstated – although further down two were quoted and both work for banks. Many similar examples could be given, from both sides (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Grexit, schmexit: It ain’t gonna happen

For sale? Owner must sell …

Right now a battle of Homeric proportions is being waged for the future soul of the European Union.

On one side are the Teutonic bookkeepers of the EU, led by Merkel of Germany and Cameron of Britain. On the other side is the tiny, profligate, bankrupt state of Greece, the home of Western civilization. Caught in the middle are the other EU states, with the citizens of most of them not too sure that tightening the screws on Greece with renewed – or continued – austerity steps is the wisest thing to do. Siding with (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…)

The Canadian Progressive: WikiLeaks publishes CIA tips for sidestepping airport security

WikiLeaks has released two classified CIA documents offering tips to help undercover spies elude security systems at international border crossings using false IDs.

The post WikiLeaks publishes CIA tips for sidestepping airport security appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

CuriosityCat: America versus the European Union: The Precautionary Principle

The European Union has already institutionalized a litmus test that cuts to the core of the differences that separate the new European view of shared risks and vulnerabilities from the older American view of unlimited personal opportunities and individual prowess. It’s called “the precautionary principle,” and it has become the centerpiece of EU regulatory policy governing science and technology in a globalizing world. Most European political elites, and the public at large, favor it. Far fewer American politicians and citizens would likely countenance it… The key term … is “uncertainty.” When there is sufficient evidence to suggest a potential deleterious (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Canada-EU trade deal threatened by EU lawmakers

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Every once in awhile commonsense and decency trumps greed and avarice, not often, but it is news when it happens.

Our PM Steve Harper has polished up an apple for the corporate world in an attempt to pave the way to huge profits through yet another crippling trade deal. This time with the European Union. (EU)

Looks as if he has hit a few bumps as he tries to set the terms and position the US to follow in with a sweetheart deal that would further entrench the corporate world at the cost of local authorities and (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Calling the bluff on "we must compete in the global marketplace"

The soul-numbing mantra “we must compete in the global marketplace” is much heard these days. Conservative politicians and business groups toss it out tirelessly as an argument to reduce taxes, and weaken labour and environmental laws. Unfortunately, their argument is valid. Trade agreements have so reduced the ability of national governments to tax and to provide legislative protection for

CuriosityCat: David Cameron turning on the Spitzenkandidaten

David Cameron and the Spitzenkandidaten

Remember The Cullen Plan for pre-election electoral cooperation between the NDP and Liberals? He advocated a deal which enabled one candidate to run against the sitting Conservative MP, rather than splitting the vote and letting the Tory win, which is the reason Harper is in power right now. In the election of the European Parliament held yesterday, we saw a somewhat similar electoral cooperation pact between certain parties, resulting in what is called the selection of Spitzenkandidaten, to maximize the chances that groups of parties with similar policies will have a better chance of having (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Ukraine: One possible Russian-driven solution

Bill Clinton: Ukraine Saviour?

Ukraine is in turmoil, with positions apparently hardening on all sides, since the Geneva Agreement outlining a method of resolution was agreed upon a short while ago. The level of support for the anti-Kiev position in eastern Ukraine is unclear at the moment: Armed men have seized public buildings in a string of towns in the Donbas region. It is unclear how much support they have. Polls suggest that two-thirds of people in the south and east want to stay part of Ukraine and not be annexed by Russia, as Crimea was in March. Even (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: The Great Game—did Putin outplay the West in Crimea?

In the 19th century, the British and Russian empires’ strategic rivalry for supremacy in Central Asia was referred to as the Great Game. The game has never really ended as Russia has continued to vie with Western powers for influence and control in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. And in recent days, the Russians may have just outplayed the West in Ukraine.

Influence in Ukraine has see-sawed

CuriosityCat: Ukraine: Russia advances its creeping-federalization agenda

Ukraine: Doors open for Putin

Today, much to the surprise of some, a public agreement was announced by the US, Russia, EU and current Ukraine government, dealing with concrete steps to move the matter forward. The following is the full text of that agreement, with the most important part (in my view) bolded:

Geneva Statement of April 17, 2014The Geneva meeting on the situation in Ukraine agreed on initial concrete steps to de-escalate tensions and restore security for all citizens.

All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions. The participants strongly condemned and rejected all (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Ukraine: Russia advances its creeping-federalization agenda

CuriosityCat: Ukraine: Some Commensense on Dealing with Russia

Putin’s Push: Reality versus Rhetoric

Congratulations to Thomas Graham, a senior fellow at the Jackson Institute, who was the senior director for Russia on the US National Security Council staff 2004-2007. He has shrewdly analyzed the Russian push under Putin, in its historical context, and outlined the steps that the West has to take to deal with Putin. Visa denials and economic sanctions, while nice sound bytes, are pretty meaningless. His views:

The way to stymie Russian expansion is not by denying visas and freezing assets of Russian officials and their business associates, the West’s current approach. Nor will (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Ukraine: Some Commensense on Dealing with Russia

Political Eh-conomy: Diagnosis, or into the privatization matrix (Canada Post, Part 1)

There is little doubt that Canada Post’s recently-announced plan to eliminate home delivery, raise prices and lay off thousands of workers is not aimed solely at streamlining operations, but is likely a prelude to future privatization of postal delivery in Canada. Canada Post is ripe for the picking: it is a profitable, socially-useful public enterprise with n updated, nation-wide infrastructure of retail outlets, other properties, vehicles and IT systems. One bad year in 2011, when the post office recorded a loss due in part to rotating strikes and a 2-week lockout, has been used to create an image of unsustainability (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Americanized Labor Policy Is Spreading in Europe –

Americanized Labor Policy Is Spreading in Europe –

While most of the debate over Europe’s response to the financial crisis has focused on the budget austerity enveloping the Continent, the comparatively unheralded erosion of worker protection is likely to have at least as big and lasting an impact on Europe’s social contract.

Filed under: Austerity, Europe, Exploitation, Labour, Neoliberalism Tagged: Collective bargaining, European Union, Labour law, labour relations

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Converting principles to other people’s money #nlpoli

When Premier Kathy Dunderdale spoke to a St. John’s Board of Trade last May,  she claimed the federal government had tried to tie the federal loan guarantee on Muskrat Falls to the European free trade talks.

There’s no evidence that her claim is true, at least based on the selected documents Dunderdale released last week in the House of Assembly on the negotiations.

The documents actually show something else.

(Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Canada-EU CETA trade agreement has “troubling” elements: Yves Engler [VIDEO]

Yves Engler, a Canadian activist and author of The Ugly Canadian: Stephen Harper’s Foreign Policy, discusses the “troubling” elements in the Canada-EU CETA trade agreement.

The post Canada-EU CETA trade agreement has “troubling” elements: Yves Engler [VIDEO] appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.