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Parchment in the Fire: Greek court acquits farmers who shot 28 Bangladeshi strawberry pickers | World news | theguardian.com

Greek court acquits farmers who shot 28 Bangladeshi strawberry pickers | World news | theguardian.com.

A Greek court’s decision to acquit local farmers who admitted shooting 28 Bangladeshi strawberry pickers when they dared to ask for months of back pay has sparked outrage in the country.

Politicians, unionists and anti-racist groups roundly condemned the verdict describing it as a black mark for justice in a case that had shone a light on the appalling conditions in which migrant workers are often kept in Greece.

“I feel shame as a Greek,” said the victim’s lawyer, Moisis Karabeyidis, after the tribunal (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: The 500 – A Cautionary Tale for North American Workers

The rights we enjoy today in Canada as workers and professionals were not given to us. It was through determined, bloody at times, never-say-die, collective struggle that our rights as workers were imposed on the capitalist class. Power never makes concessions – struggles for basic working benefits must be fought for and taken. The price for humane working conditions can be as high as death or as in the case of Cleaning Workers Union in Greece, permanent disfigurement.

“Vassilis Kikilias, didn’t lose time. Less than an hour after he took office, riot police cracked down on (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: The 500 – A cautionary tale for North American Workers

The rights we enjoy today in Canada as workers and professionals were not given to us. It was through bloody at times, collective struggle that our rights as workers were imposed on the capitalist class. Power never makes concessions – struggles for basic working benefits must be fought for and taken. The price for humane working conditions can be as high as death or as in the case of Cleaning Workers Union in Greece, permanent disfigurement.

“Vassilis Kikilias, didn’t lose time. Less than an hour after he took office, riot police cracked down on a protest (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Andrea Horwath’s Debacle

I can’t remember the last time I laughed out loud when I saw election results. I almost spat a mouthful of my breakfast across the room.

Almost nobody expected Ontario’s Liberals to win a majority, least of all the NDP’s Andrea Horwath. Her decision to pull the plug on the Wynne government has to go down as one of the worst political miscalculations in recent memory.

While the NDP are putting a brave face on the results, there is little question this was a debacle of Horwath’s engineering. While once she was in the driver’s seat, now the NDP are (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Leader in Austerity Push Appointed Head of Greek Central Bank – NYTimes.com

Leader in Austerity Push Appointed Head of Greek Central Bank – NYTimes.com.

By NIKI KITSANTONISJUNE 11, 2014

The announcement on Wednesday, by the General Council of the Bank of Greece, followed a sweeping cabinet shuffle on Monday that installed Gikas Hardouvelis, another economist and former government adviser, as Greece’s new finance minister. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras overhauled his government to give it new momentum after a weak showing in European Parliament elections last month.

Although Mr. Stournaras, 57, was widely credited with guiding Greece’s return to international bond markets in April and paving the way for crucial debt (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Greece Wars With Courts Over Ways to Slash Budget – NYTimes.com

Greece Wars With Courts Over Ways to Slash Budget – NYTimes.com.

ATHENS — The Greek government has made a range of painful cuts to salaries, pensions and jobs for public workers over the last four years, saying they were needed to satisfy the demands of the international creditors that bailed the country out. But the Greeks hurt by those steps, and the nation’s courts, have a different idea.

Steadily, citizens groups — including police officers, university professors, cleaning workers and judges themselves — have challenged the cuts as illegal or unconstitutional. And in case after case, Greek courts have (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Capital, Labour, and the Eurozone Crisis

Most of the coverage regarding the Eurozone crisis has understandably focused on the politics of austerity. Less attention, however, has been paid to the longer term trends in the industrial relations of those countries hardest hit by the crisis: Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain; the so-called PIIGS countries.

Recent data from the European Industrial Relations Observatory reveals some interesting trends in the relationship between capital and labour in the context of the Eurozone crisis. More specifically, it reveals a trend towards declining labour costs and rising labour productivity, meaning that the so-called ‘recovery’ is being constructed by squeezing workers, (Read more…)

Art Threat: Evaporating Borders explores asylum-seekers in Cyprus

“… it’s a place I call home, although I blend in only as a familiar stranger.”

Evaporating Borders, written and directed by Iva Radivojevic, is a five-act exploration of asylum-seekers in Cyprus.

Beginning with a personal, essayistic voiceover and lush compositions, the film’s first act also uses subtly executed re-enactments of events in order to establish a first-person connection with the viewer. This not only creates a sense of intimacy through the film’s introductory segment, but also amplifies the increasing depersonalization and dehumanization portrayed throughout the remainder of the film.

The documentary moves from the first segment’s depictions (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Tony Blair and the Corporatization of Social Democracy

Tony Blair, by any sensible yardstick, is a douchebag.

Recently, The Guardian, under the headline “Toxic”, detailed Blair’s “downward spiral”. This included the revelation that he may have been having an affair with Wendi Murdoch, the now ex-wife of media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Blair was once good pals with Murdoch and Wendi and is godparent to one of their two children.

Other recent revelations have emerged during the on-going Rebekah Brooks trial over the News of the World phone-hacking scandal playing out in a London courtroom. Brooks was once editor of this Murdoch-owned scandal sheet, which for years hacked (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Tough austerity measures in Greece leave nearly a million people with no access to healthcare, leading to soaring infant mortality, HIV infection and suicide – Europe – World – The Independent

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/tough-austerity-measures-in-greece-leave-nearly-a-million-people-with-no-access-to-healthcare-leading-to-soaring-infant-mortality-hiv-infection-and-suicide-9142274.html

Filed under: Austerity, Greece, inequality, Neoliberalism Tagged: Austerity, crisis, Greece, neoliberalism

Parchment in the Fire: Ponzi Austerity: A Definition And An Example – Social Europe Journal

Ponzi Austerity: A Definition And An Example – Social Europe Journal.

For a while now I have been arguing that Europe’s policies for reducing the public debts of fiscally stressed member-states can be described as a Ponzi austerity scheme. In this post I attempt precisely to define ‘Ponzi austerity’.

Ponzi growth

Standard Ponzi schemes are based on a sleight of hand that creates the appearance of a fund whose value grows faster than the value that has come into it. In reality the opposite is true, as the scheme’s operator usually helps himself to some of the incoming capital while (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Maria the ‘mystery’ Roma girl and Madeleine McCann… racist underside of news coverage

Maria posters and headline/Maria’s biological mother Sasha Ruseva

A story from Greece about a four year-old ‘mystery girl’ named Maria has been making headlines in the mainstream media. Maria who is fair-haired was living in the care of a Roma couple who happen to be dark complexioned. This created suspicions in the minds of some that the child may have been abducted.

The ethnic profiling of Maria’s guardians reflects the tabloid stereotype of the Roma, a misleading one. There are in fact many fair-haired Roma, a fact glossed over by outlets that prefer to play up the “Gypsy” stereotype. Nonetheless (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: The left in Greece must rise up against Golden Dawn | Costas Lapavitsas | Comment is free | theguardian.com

The left in Greece must rise up against Golden Dawn | Costas Lapavitsas | Comment is free | theguardian.com.

Greece – and the rise of Golden Dawn – is an extreme parable of what has happened to many developed countries since the global crisis broke out in 2007. The policies of the Greek “rescue” – where the Greek people had no inkling what was afoot until the agreement was signed in 2010, leading to a tremendous spasm of anger – are instantly recognisable, if exceptionally severe. Wages, salaries and pensions have been cut; austerity has been imposed on the (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Government Crackdown on Golden Dawn Won’t Defeat Greek Fascism

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=10812

Costas Lapavitsas on why the state crackdown on Golden Dawn fails to address the basis of their popular support.

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Extreme Right, Fascism, Greece

Parchment in the Fire: Greece’s democracy in danger, warns Demos, as Greek reservists call for coup | World news | theguardian.com

Athens riot police fire tear gas at an anti-fascist protest calling for action against the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party following a rapper’s murder. Photo: Milos Bicanski/Getty

No country has displayed more of a “backslide in democracy” than Greece, the British thinktank Demos has said in a study highlighting the crisis-plagued country’s slide into economic, social and political disarray.

Released on the same day that judicial authorities ordered an investigation into a blog posting by a group of reservists in the elite special forces calling for a coup d’etat, the study singled out Greece and Hungary for being “the most significant (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Pavlos Fissas’ accused killer Giorgos Roupakias had Golden Dawn links: killing adds fuel to Greek anti-austerity protests

 Top: Killah_P  Beneath: Suspect Giorgos Roupakias in custody and shrine at killing site

On September 17, Greek hip-hop artist Pavlos Fissas aka Killah P was stabbed to death in the Amfiali/Keratsini neighborhood of Piraeus (about 10 miles from downtown Athens). He was ambushed by neo-Nazis linked to the far-right Golden Dawn party. According to eye witnesses about 15 to 20 people were involved in the attack, some wearing military style gear.

Fissas reportedly identified his killer before he lost consciousness. He was transported to a local hospital where he later died. A trucker affiliated with the Golden Dawn, Giorgos (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Greece—1930s redux

When Europe sank into depression in the 1930s, politics polarized. The far right became more appealing to some, the far left to others. One reassured people by harking back to tribal values, the other by insisting nothing would do but to overthrow the system and start afresh.

In hard times, people become frightened and angry, and look for easy answers. Demagogues are ever ready to prey on their

drive-by planet: ‘Into the Fire’ video: targeting of immigrants in Greece by the authorities and Golden Dawn fascists

Into the Fire sends a powerful message about the xenophobia and violence faced by immigrants in Greece struggling to survive against steep odds. A large percentage were driven to seek asylum not as a matter of choice but because of war and other problems in their countries of origin. Many have been forced to live on the street with no legal papers. Too often they are targets of harassment and physical assault, not only by fascist thugs linked to the anti-immigrant Golden Dawn but even in some cases by police who have been filmed either actively participating in attacks on (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Classical Greek Women – Badassery Maxxed.

THIS IS MARRIAGE!!

Thats right!

Permission to be a bad ass. Nod.

He looks back at the guy like, “SEE THAT? SHE SAID YES. YOU’RE SO FUCKED.”

Like, guys. Sparta was so kick ASS sometimes when it came to women. Spartan women were given these small knives so that if their husbands came home and tried to hit them or assault them, they had a weapon within reach. That weapon was for CUTTING THEIR HUSBANDS’ FUCKING FACES so that when he went out in public everyone would know he was an asshole, abusing jerkface and they would publicly shame (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Greeks ask Canadians to help stop Canadian mining corp Eldorado Gold

By: Mining Watch Canada | Press Release

OTTAWA – The situation around Eldorado Gold Corporation’s mining projects in northern Greece is extremely tense. In the face of negative official response to social and environmental concerns from the company, Greek authorities, and even the Canadian Ambassador – a delegation from the affected area has come to ask Canadians for help.

The Canadian government strongly supports extractive resource development in Canada and internationally, where Canadian companies dominate the mining sector. It relies on “host” countries to regulate such operations in the absence of any relevant and binding international regulations. MiningWatch Canada (Read more…)

OPSEU Diablogue: Academics present evidence that austerity really does kill

Ontario is presently entering year two of its austerity program, convinced that it is the only way out of an economic problem that wasn’t even created here. We have previously highlighted economic arguments that suggest austerity creates a self-defeating “fiscal … Continue reading →

drive-by planet: Why Greek opposition to gold mining is justified: Canadian mining practices under scrutiny

Last week in Greece a large demo was held in Thessaloniki to protest a Canadian gold mining project in the Halkidiki region. Around 15,000 took to the streets. They voiced their objections to the mine project and slammed Greek PM Antonis Samaras. Chants included “Junta police, Antonis Samaras” and “Gold isn’t bringing us closer, it is killing us.”

The gold mining project is owned by Hellas Gold (95% Canadian multinational, Eldorado Gold / 5% Aktor, a Greek construction company). Eldorado is also behind other gold, copper and zinc mining operations in the region.

News that Eldorado hopes to get

. . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Why Greek opposition to gold mining is justified: Canadian mining practices under scrutiny

bastard.logic: Creeping Fascism Like Woah

Business Insider:

The AP reports that 5,000 Golden Dawn supporters marched past the US Embassy in Athens, chanting anti-Turkish, anti-US and anti-immigrant slogans. The anti-US feeling was prompted by memories of a 1996 territorial dispute between Greece and Turkey that only ended peacefully after the intervention of the US, and led to three Greek navy officers dying in a helicopter crash.

Related: The Indy: How Golden Dawn is nurturing the next generation; Der Spiegel: ‘Golden Dawn’ Fosters Ties with German Neo-Nazis

Filed under: fascism Tagged: Athens, fascism, Golden Dawn, Greece, right-wing, Turkey, US

Eclectic Lip: From housing to plumbing

(originally written Mar 4, 2012. Part of Great Upload of 2013.)

Readers (regular and irregular both) may know that about six years ago, I was quoted in MacLean’s saying Canadian housing was in a bubble. So after six long years of looking very wrong, I was delighted to see the right-wing rag run a cover story proclaiming that Canadian housing is in a bubble! So I’ll dedicate this email to all the stopped clocks out there — twice a day, your time will come!

Like anyone else challenged by a cognitive dissonance between ego

. . . → Read More: Eclectic Lip: From housing to plumbing

Eclectic Lip: Homer (not Simpson) and the Kaopectate Kid

The doctor diagnosed young son Leo recently with the stomach flu — which is colloquial shorthand for a condition which isn’t the flu, per se. (The most recent editor of the relevant article on the almighty Wiki agrees!)

The Kaopectate Kid

Our medical professional then suggested we give Leo some Kaopectate to soothe his stomach. So, what is the active ingredient in Kaopectate? Clay. Yes, modern medicine’s 21st-century response to our son’s stomach flu … was for him to eat dirt. (Expert biologists will surely argue that clay isn’t dirt per se, but

. . . → Read More: Eclectic Lip: Homer (not Simpson) and the Kaopectate Kid