Well I have to congratulate you, Mr Samaras, for getting the Greek presidency off to such a cracking start. Your overnight successful negotiation in the trilogue on MiFID (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive), I’m sure we’ll have them dancing in the streets in Athens, no matter that your country, very poorly advised by Goldman Sachs, joined a currency that it was never suited to, no matter that 30% are unemployed, that 60% of youth are unemployed, that a neo-nazi party is on the march, that there was a terrorist attack on the German embassy.
RT November 6 2013
Public and private services have shut down across Greece as unions hold a 24-hour general strike against additional austerity cuts in the recession-plagued country. Protests are taking place as Athens holds talks with its ‘troika’ of creditors.
Wednesday’s strike disrupted public transport, halted ferry and train services, shut down state-run schools and left state hospitals and the ambulance service functioning with emergency staff, the Associated Press reports.
Dozens of flights were cancelled or rescheduled as air traffic controllers walked off the job for three hours from noon in support of the action.
“Workers, pensioners and the unemployed are going through an endless nightmare,” Reuters quoted a port workers statement. “The government and the troika are destroying this country.”
Protesters are pushed back from the riot police as EU and IMF officials escorted out from the emergency exit of the Greek Finance Ministry after their meeting with the Greek Finance Minister in Athens on November 5, 2013. (AFP Photo/Aris Messinis)
Bill Still is a former newspaper editor and publisher. He has written for USA Today, The Saturday Evening Post, the Los Angeles Times Syndicate and OMNI magazine. Bill has also written 22 books and made 3 documentary films: The Money Masters, The Secret of Oz and most recently Jekyll Island – the truth behind the Federal Reserve.
In this interview, we’ll focus on how debt is ruining Greece and discuss the fragile future of the European Union. Bill was recently invited as the keynote speaker at Athens University to talk about monetary reform and what Greece can do to get back on their feet. Economists in Greece agree with many of his suggestions but the politicians and bankers will not hear any of it.
Filmmaker Bill Still, the man behind the classic monetary documentaries ‘The Money Masters’, ‘The Secret of Oz’, and his latest film ‘Jekyll Island – The Movie’, joins us to discuss his new project ‘Fixing Greece’.
Bill needs your help with his new project, so if you can stop by http://secretofoz.billstill.com/index… and contribute a few bucks towards Bill’s efforts to save Greece and expose the Banksters evil plans, Bill would certainly appreciate your support.
Detroit is under attack by the international banking elite. The gutting of Detroit, its public works, its social programs and all human safety nets is the same Bankster-genocidal model used in Cyprus and Greece.
This is also the model for countless other large cities in the United States. If the cartel banks are not tied down with rule of law and prosecuted for crimes already committed, the Banksters will take it all. This IS austerity. This IS a model for genocide. The financial elite considers any restoration of Glass-Steagall “an Act Of War”. But it’s clear that the Banksters have already declared war, on the people. What will YOU do to stop them?
It’s been said that goldfish have the shortest memory of any animal– only about three seconds.
But a few years ago, scientists from Israel’s Technion Institute of Technology conducted an experiment which put to rest this erroneous myth.
Based on their research, it turns out that goldfish have a memory closer to five months… which seems to be quite a bit longer than most fund managers, bankers, and politicians.
I say this because it wasn’t even four months ago that banks in this country forcibly locked people out of their bank accounts.
This single event, perhaps more than anything else, highlighted the rot within Europe: a bankrupt government was being compelled by supranational powers to bail out an insolvent banking system at depositor expense.
Of course, this move was quickly followed by capital controls, which are still in place today. Yet based on this summer’s financial euphoria, it’s as if none of this ever happened.
It’s the same thing in Greece, where I just spent a few days checking out distressed asset deals (i.e. the entire country).
My friend Illias took a drag of his cigarette as he contemplated my question.
“Our government tells us that this will be a better year. No one really believes them. But all we can do is be optimistic. Too many people are committing suicide.”
His statement probably best sums up the situation in Greece right now. It’s as if the hopelessness has gone stale, and the only thing they have to replace it with is desperate, misguided, faux-optimism. And anger.
There are roughly 11 million people in this country. 3.4 million of them are employed, of which roughly one third work for the government.
1.34 million people are ‘officially’ unemployed. To put this in context, it would be as if there were 36 million officially unemployed in the US.
More startling, if you add the number of ‘inactive’ workers (i.e. those who gave up looking), the total number of unemployed is roughly 57% of the entire Greek work force.
And as you probably know, the situation for young people is even worse. Only 1 in 3 people aged 25 and under has a job.
When you get into too much debt, really bad things start to happen. Sadly, that is exactly what is happening to Italy right now. Harsh austerity measures are causing the Italian economy to slow down even more than it was previously. And yet even with all of the austerity measures, the Italian government just continues to rack up even more debt. This is the exact same path that we watched Greece go down. Austerity causes government revenues to drop which causes deficit reduction targets to be missed which causes even more austerity measures to become necessary. But if Italy collapses economically, it is going to be a far bigger deal than what happened in Greece. Italy is the ninth largest economy on the entire planet. Actually, Italy used to be number eight, but now Russia has passed it. If Italy continues to stumble, India and Canada will soon pass it as well. It really is a tragedy to watch what is happening in Italy, because it really is a wonderful place. When I was a child, my father was in the navy, and I got the opportunity to live there for a while. It is a land of great weather, great food and great soccer. The people are friendly and the culture is absolutely fascinating. But now the nation is falling apart. The following are 11 signs that Italy is descending into a full-blown economic depression…
#1 The unemployment rate in Italy has risen to 12.2 percent. That is the highest that it has been in more than 35 years.
#2 The youth unemployment rate in Italy is sitting at 38.5 percent, and in southern Italy it recently hit the 50 percent mark.
#3 An average of 134 retail outlets are shutting down in Italy every single day. Overall, approximately 224,000 retail establishments have closed since 2008.
#4 Italy’s economy has now been contracting for seven quarters in a row.
#5 It is being projected that Italy’s GDP will shrink by 1.8 percent this year. Continue reading
All governments – communist, capitalist, fascist, monarchy, theocracy, whatever – survive on the skim. They take money from productive people, by force or threat of force. However prettied-up or justified this fact may be, it remains the central fact of rulership.
It’s a simple but disturbing truth: A late-stage state’s modus operandi must always be “government against the people” – an MO that is inherently predatory. And it’s not because the participants are all sociopaths (though many are).
At most times, governments try very hard to skim quietly, as with payroll taxes, where the producer’s money is taken away before he or she ever holds it in their hands. That’s also why tariffs were a traditional tax – the average person never saw it, and didn’t feel violated.
But when governments are massively over-extended, they lose the luxury of the quiet skim and become more aggressive. This is simply what happens in long-established, monopolistic institutions, like governments. They spend wildly to make themselves look good, then find they need more money. Not willing to cut their spending, they have two choices:
- Debasement of the currency, which they always do first. But this trick never works for very long, since people do engage their minds when conducting commerce and adjust their prices to counteract the debasement.
- Squeeze the producers dry, any way they can.
The Problem of Legitimacy