reports that journalists are becoming the targets of extremists in Greece. Last weekend 5 bombs were detonated at the homes of journalists in Greece. Lovers of Lawlessness claimed responsibility for bomb attacks of Friday's attacks. Their reasons? They believe that the media coverage of the austerity package and the country's foreign lenders has been too favourable.In a statement the controversial group said the journalists and the media were the , ''main managers of the oppressing state designs, manipulating society accordingly."
No injuries were reported.The bombings have been widely condemned. Explosives were tied to gas canisters. Damage was caused to 'the homes of the editor of the Athens News Agency, Antonis Skylakos, and two broadcasters, Giorgos Oikonomeas and Antonis Liaros, from private television stations. Petros Karsiotis, a crime reporter, and Christos Konstas, a former journalist who is now a spokesman for the government agency in charge of privatizing Greek assets, were also targeted.'Activism by far-left groups is on the increase but there has been little reporting of similar events by the far-right. Threats were issued last year by
Golden Dawn, the far-right neo-facist group. There have also been reports of journalist being intimidated by police. Journalists were restricted on Saturday.
In November, about 15 officers surrounded the home of a Greek magazine editor and arrested him hours after he published a list of more than 2,000 Greeks who were said to have accounts at a bank in Switzerland. Kostas Vaxevanis, the editor of the magazine, HotDoc, was put on trial for privacy violation and quickly cleared by a judge, but faces a retrial after the prosecutor appealed the verdict.
Yesterday there was a gun attack
on the Greek PMs New Democracy party headquarters. A Kalashnikov assault rifle was used and a bullet pierce PM Samaras' office window. He was not there at the time.OpinionThe IMF, Germany's Chancellor Merkel, Greek Prime Minister Samaras
and others in Europe believe that the austerity measures are working. The question remains - How much more of this can Greece and its people take? Surely the priority must be catching the tax evaders who in Greece cost the economy dearly.The increase in violence in Greece has had a knock on effect of reducing tourism, which sadly hits the economy further.
Yesterday as Greek politicians debated the latest Draconian austerity measures demanded by the EU violent protests erupted
on the streets. Greece is no stranger to swingeing cuts and violent protests. That has been the way of life in Greece for sometime now.The government passed the further measures which will impact negatively on people's lives, but probably not their own. The latest cuts mean that the retirement age will rise to 67. Many Greeks have no work though as unemployment continues to rise.The vote was a difficult one which divided the Greek parliament further. The government is already a "wobbly" coalition and it is doubtful that it will be able to remain in office as the austerity measures continue to bite.
The latest round of demands will see Greek people facing spending cuts, tax rises and labour reforms.The Greek Conservative PM Antonios Samaras has promised the Greek people that these will be the last austere measure they will face. He has promised that if further "fiscal adjustment" is needed "it will come from clamping down on tax evasion and cutting public expenditure."
Surely though that is where it should have come from in the first place instead of bleeding dry the poorest in society.Greece is now facing a sixth year of recession. So what has been the point of all these bail outs and this belt tightening. Someone somewhere along the line will be making money out this Greek tragedy.Today's figures show that "unemployment is up at 25.4 percent in August, increasing from 24.8 percent in July and 18.4 percent the year before. More than 1.2 million people in Greece, a country of barely 10 million, are now unemployed, with 58 percent of all young people aged 15-24 unemployed."It is obvious then that these bail outs and austerity measures are not working. They are doing nothing to help the lot of the Greek people.
More austerity means more unemployment and more economic woes. It is not rocket science.Even though the latest cuts have been passed the bail out will not be forthcoming immediately. Not yet at least. The EU and in particular Ministers in Germany will not commit to the bail out until the Greek's 2013 budget is passed and approved by the EU.
The latest tranche of money is well overdue. There is little wonder that the people of Greece have no faith in their political system and the EU. The Central Bank of the EU will not foot the bill of these new bailots. Instead the money will come from EU countries. In other words from countries that are already struggling to survive.When will they admit that the EU is not in need of repair but should be blown to oblivion, not literally of course. It is beyond repair.
Time for a re-think, surely?Related reading: So what of politicans, bankers and big businees in Greece?
Are they feeling the austerity pinch. No. It would seem that they are busily stashing away wealth in Swiss bank accounts out of reach of the taxman.
The Greek economy is spiralling out of control. It is in a caught up in negativity and there will be no easy way back to economic stability.
Financial bail outs for Greece are vital yet they are self destructive. The way money is being handled in Europe lately is undermining its worth. We are now running a serious risk of devaluing our assets.Today Greece has received more bad economic news. Firstly there are the unemployment figures. Greece has had record high levels of unemployment for some time now. If you thought these figures coulkd not get worse then you were mistaken.
In July 2012 thelevel of unemployment in Greece rose to 25.1% from 24.8% More than a quarter of the working age population of Greece have no job and few prospects for the foreseeable future. As we all know the devil makes work for idle hands and such high levels of unemployment will lead to trouble.Here are some of the shocking statistics:
- During the past year more than one thosand jobs were lost each day.
- Sadly young people are the worst hit group with the 15-24 age group accounting for 54.2% of all unemployed.
- Yet in Greece and other countries of Europe the retirement age is increasing, meaning less jobs are available for the young generation of workers.
- 1.26 million Greek people were unemployed in July 2012.
- In July 2008 only about 364,000 Greeks were registered unemployed. A nassive increase then in just 4 years.
- Greece faces another year of recession in 2013.
- Greece is caught in a web of bailojts with strict austerity strings attached.
Reporting on these latest shocking figures some in the media have stated that more people in Germany want Greece to stay in the EU than want the country to leave. Perhaps more to the point should be what the Greek people want. They are being treat as the whipping nation of the EU and sooner or later they woll have had enough. What have they got to lose from an exit?Germany and other EU countries of course wiill have a lot to lose should Greeve exit the Eurozone. The best bet would surel;y be scrapping the EU and starting again from scratch. Somethings break and are not able to be repaired. Fact. Sometimes it is time for a more modern model.Rubbing salt into the debt wound of Greece Coca Cola Hellenic has announced today that it is moving ots operations from Greece to Switzerland. CCH was Greece's largest bottling company and its exit from Greece will herald more job cuts. Some have claimed however that this will have a limited impact on the Greek economy. CCH have said that plants will still operate as normal in Greece and ot is more about the companyand its tax burden.It will however be another pyschological blow to Greeks and their economy.
European leaders are still clinging to the hope that the EU and the Euro can be saved. The dream turned to nightmare
many moons ago and nothing has changed. Not for the better that is. Surely by now it is obvious that the EU is doomed?Yesterday there were protests against austerity measures in Spain. The Police fired rubber bullets in an attempt to control the situation. Whatever happened to democracy and the right to protest? It seems that western leaders want to advocate such fre
edoms in countries such as those of the Middle East but not in their own backyards. The Spanish government is yet another political force in Europe expecting the people to gaily tighten their belts and live in poverty whilst they continue to prosper. It will not wash. 21st Century citizens are not quite the same as those of the past. Those who were happy to struggle to survive on the promise that the meek would inherit the earth. Most people these days
want a fair wage for a fair days work and not promises for the so called after life. We know that the Elite are privileged but we also know now that they are not our "betters". Far from it.
Today September 26, 2012 in Greece the country is experiencing a General Strike. Not its first for sure but no less damaging. Spain and Greece have huge financial problems and the Eurozone is at the heart of their problems. It is way past the time for surrender. The EU crisis will not be solved. It is not possible to do so. All that happens is it lurches from one crisis to another. Somewhere along the line something will have to give. It is time for Ministers to cut their losses.
If not one of the few things that in a way will resolve the situation, War, will happen.The economies of Greece and Spain are on a downward spiral. They are spiraling out of control. Yesterdays protests in Spain involved around 6,000 citizens. Not vast but problematic. In time such protests will grow.
Perhaps the police who responded with batons and rubber bullets were trying to send out a stark warning to others. If the economic situation deteriorates further more people will protest.Strikes and protests do nothing for the economy but you cannot blame the workers. After all it is the very leaders who are trying to implement austerity measures who helped cause the mess in the first place. Now they want the poorest people to pay for their incompetence.A heavy police presence in Athens means that today's 24 hour strike could turn violent. Marches and protests will quickly become heated.The markets have responded in typical fashion. The events in Spain and Greece have hit confidence in the EU, Europe, the Euro and more. A big sell off is underway amidst fears that the Euro and Eurozone are doomed. Tell us something we did not know. We have been saying that for months.The downward spiral will spin faster and ever more out of cotrol until what? You tell me.
It certainly will not be resolved.
The second Greek Election in just six weeks is over. In reality though it is far from over. The winner by a majority was the New Democracy Party with 29.7% of the vote. It secured 129/300 seats. Hardly a resounding vote of confidence from the people. Enough however to form a government if they can find a political party willing to do business with them.
The Greek Parliament and the people now face many challenges. First and foremost of course is forming a government and quick. Political vacuums are bad news. They can lead to military coups and revolutions.
Who the NDP choose or rather who is prepared to play ball could also impact on the Greek people. Second place in the election was won by the Syriza Party who took 26.9% of the vote and secured 71/300 seats. Such a close run race means that plenty of people will be happy with a New Democracy coalition, but many will not.
The New Democracy is a right wing party. If it works with the Pasok socialist party to form a coalition it may not work. However both of these parties are pro the EU bailout. In times like these political allies may come from opposing ideals. What is being seen as the most important factor is who is pro and who is anti the bailout.
Syriza is anti bailout. This party will be hard to ignore in any new parliament. With such a large number of seats and votes it will have a voice in government. This could mean that it will have power to wield.
Merkel in Germany and Obama in the US are happy that the New Democracy Party has won the majority. They of course do not have to live in Greece under the austerity measures previously agreed. It is fair to say that all Europeans leaders will be happy with the initial outcome of the Greek Elections. The money men and women who manipulate our lives have already expressed their pleasure. How so? By boosting the stock markets.
There is however still a long way to go.
All Antonis Samaras won in effect was the right to be first to hold coalition talks. If the Pasok Party teams up with Samaras it will be a similar situation to the UK. That is a coalition made up of the first and third place in the people's vote. Hardly the people's choice.
Both the Pasok and the New Democracy Party have governed Greece for many years. Both are therefore blamed by many for the economic crisis Greece is facing. Syriza being a fresh new party has said that it will not join forces with others to form a coalition.
No such moral stand point by the old guard.
Socialist PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos has already come up with a novel suggestion. He has proposed politicians forget the usual procedure and go for a four-party coalition between New Democracy, Syriza, PASOK and Democratic Left.
It is worth noting that anti bailout political parties saw their share of the second vote in Greece increase from six-weeks ago. The Neo Nazi Party Golden Dawn had its share of the vote reduced compared to the earlier election.
Europe may have breathed a sigh of relief but now it is holding its breath as it waits to see if forming a Greek government is possible. Germany has already warned Greece that the bailout is not open for re-negotiation.
In May 2012 the Greek people went to the polls. The national election was not due until 2013 but the resignation of former leader George Papandreou meant an early election was necessary. The post of leader was filled temporarily by a technocrat, Mr Lucas Papademos, and he led an interim government,The Greek people have endured a terrible few years and it looks like it will get worse, before if ever it gets better. In May the people failed to return a majority government. The main players were unable to form a coalition government and so a further election was scheduled for June 2012.
This weekend the people will vote once more. Has enough changed to return a majority government this time?It will be a hard one to call. The Greek people could choose to elect and support a pro-bailout government or an anti-austerity one.
It is not a straight forward choice however between the right and the left of politics. The Greek political front runners include communists, the extreme right, socialists, neo nazis and conservatives.If the vote is split again it will be hard for any party to win through. However
since the failed election in May the political front runners have been campaigning hard. Up until the death each party has been trying to win over voters and make that one last push.Currently many are predicting a win for the liberal conservatives, the New Democracy Party. However some see these politicians at the heart of Greek woes. As the party in office during the economic crisis the New Democracy Party failed to resolve the situation. When it comes to it though will the majority of Greeks see them as the only sensible way forward?Behind the scenes preparations are underway for an EU exit by Greece, if it is deemed necessary. To the cameras people maintain that Greece will not leave the
Eurozone and no EU countries want them to leave. Whether that is what is said behind closed doors is doubtfulShould Greec
e leave the EU it will be a protracted affair. It will not be easy for any country in Europe and possibly beyond. The economic fall-out will reach far and wide, but what of if they stay? How much longer can the Eurozone farce continue? One that demands the people suffer whilst the banking sector continues to crumble. One that increases unemployment to disastrous levels? Related reading regarding the USA and their involvement with the EU crisis since 2008 hereTags: Greek election 2012, EU crisis, Greek New Democracy party, second election in Greece, Eurozone exit, Greek politics, Greece
Finally in the early hours of today, February, 21, 2012, EU ministers thrashed out a new debt deal for Greece. Earlier deals did not go far enough for lenders in the EU, plus lenders wanted firm assurances that Greece would stick to any terms agreed.
Of course the problem is that whilst politicians may agree such a deal, the Greek people may not. With an election on the horizon there are reports that extremist groups are on the rise in Greek politics.
The national election has been delayed but it will be held in April 2012. Who would want to try and head this country during some its darkest financial days? Can a newly elected parliament improve the lot of the Greek people?
Greece and its population rely heavily on tourism for economic growth but sadly tourists are turning their backs on Greece. Wth media reports of a volatile situation some seeking Mediterranean Sunshine are looking elsewhere. Add to this the precarious nature of the European currency, the Euro, and you have a recipe for disaster. Yet without tourism and tourists Greece will be a much poorer place.
Currently opinion polls in Greece suggest that it would be a hung Parliament if an election were held NOW. Coalition governments may work sometimes, as long as the political bedfellows have some common ground, but a Greek coalition of the socialist and new conservatives, for example, would be doomed from the start.
The changing face of Greek politics means that just which political parties will stand in an election is hard to determine. The Socialist party is out of favour with some of its traditional voters, being blamed for the mess that Greece is now in. If only life and politics was that simple or that black or white.Sky News
has a report of the debt deal that was thrashed out. In one fell swoop a debt of 89 billion Euros, owed by Greece, was wiped away as payback for promised cuts. To a lay person such as this blogger this makes no sense. It all smacks of "jiggery pokery" as they say. Of course whilst countries such as France have said they would be happy for Greece to exit the Eurozone there is no easy mechanism to enable them to do so. So Greece is left battered and bruised to say the least. The latest package it is claimed will in the long term improve the economic prospects of Greece. Only time will tell if that is true.
As Communist and Militant groups grow in numbers in Greece you have to wonder where this will all end Laura Davidescu, Euronews
correspondent in Athens, said: “Pushing for still more austerity, as demanded by the creditors’ Troika, amounts to suicide for Greece’s political parties. Not pushing looks like shirking responsibility, since without an international transfusion, Greece faces social chaos.”
Yes a no won situation.Reuters
has reported on the latest deal but is less enthusiastic than some stating that there are still many doubts. Perhaps Reuters quote from a man on the street in Greece is most telling, "Anastasis Chrisopoulos, a 31-year-old Athens taxi driver, saw no reason to cheer the deal."So what?" he asked. "Things will only get worse. We have reached a point where we're trying to figure out how to survive just the next day, let alone the next 10 days, the next month, the next year."
Of course in true style the markets responded positively which is their own form of blackmail.
The Greek tragedy continues to play out on the World stage. The next huge problem though could be the Greek election and what political course Greece takes.
As the Greek parliament met today, Sunday February 12, 2012, to try and reach agreement on the latest EU debt deal, protesters took to the streets again. Once again Athens saw rampaging protesters.
As police tried to keep the rioters out of Parliament an historic building a cinema, began to burn, At time of writing the riots are continuing.
Tens of thousands of rioters and protesters took to the streets in protest about the austerity measures the EU are placing on Greece. The protesters have said that those in parliament about to vote on the austerity measures were the ones responsible for the financial mess Greece is in right now.
It has been reported that tear gas has been widely used today and has infiltrated the Greek parliament. The Greek people are in a lose lose situation. The austerity measures will leave many suffering for years. Failure to pass the debt deal will herald the unthinkable and perhaps a collapse in many other countries too and the EU.
Today's detruction has also damaged cafes and shops which will cause further problems.