The Iberian mentality in the EU

The Iberian mentality in the EU

(Image Copyright: Stockfresh). By Joshua Tartakovsky, June 6, 2017 Having spent time in Barcelona and observing and seeking to understand the local mentality, some realizations dawned on me regarding the nuances of Iberian culture and the unique mindset. Due to Spain’s current profound economic crisis, the differences in mindset between Barcelona and Madrid on the one hand, and Berlin and Frankfurt on the other hand, can perhaps also explain why the current crisis is not likely to be resolved in a mutually beneficial for all sides manner. To begin with, and to express it simply, while inevitably falling into some generalizations which are only proven by the exceptions, the Spanish mentality is to seek compromise, not seek confrontation, to be generous without seeking to gain a material price for everything given, to seek accomadation, most certainly not to humiliate the other. When in disagreement, Spainards prefer not to engage in an outright rejection, but explain in a slight way that there may be another option. Life is seen as a mystery to resolve, and finding new solutions that will be mutually beneficial are prized. From the Spanish perspective, if you do someone a favor, at least you will get some kind of favor in return. That’s because Spainards deeply believe in community and family. From the perspective of the Germans, no matter how many favors you may do, a No will be a No, and that’s it. It’s the rigidity of the principle versus the matters of the heart. Therefore, Spainards are nice to Germans and the English, thinking that the others will treat them fairly, but the others...
PressTV:  Greece’s bailout referendum

PressTV: Greece’s bailout referendum

Press TV conducts an interview with Roger von Hanwehr, the executive director of ArcXeon International in New York, and Joshua Tartakovsky, an independent researcher from Philadelphia....
PressTV Debate: Bailout Showdown

PressTV Debate: Bailout Showdown

Press TV February 17, 2015 Greece and Eurozone countries are engaged in a fierce battle to break the deadlock over Athens’ loan program. In this edition of The Debate, Press TV asks Joshua Tartakovsky, an independent researcher from Athens, and Ian Williams, with Foreign Policy in Focus from New York, if Greece will stay an EU member. The full program can be viewed here or divided into the two videos...
Dimitrios Papageorgiou and Joshua Tartakovsky: Syriza – Fraud or Savior of Greece?

Dimitrios Papageorgiou and Joshua Tartakovsky: Syriza – Fraud or Savior of Greece?

Syncretic Studies Posted on February 5, 2015 by Joaquin Flores By: Tesha Teshanovic In order to give a picture of the moment, we decided to interview two people with opposing views on Syriza. The first one is Dimitrios Papageorgiou, a Greek right wing journalist from Athens, the second one is Joshua Tartakovsky, an independent left wing journalist and film maker from Jerusalem. What are your comments on the victory of Syriza at this elections? Dimitrios Papageorgiou: It was something bound to happen. The New Democracy’s government had all the aspects of a government that was going to soon crumble.  And since the socialist party is almost non-existent nowadays, a big part of it is part of SYRIZA now, it was the only logical assumption that they too would gain power at some point. Joshua Tartakovsky: The victory of Syriza has immense ramifications for Greece, Europe and even the world. For the first time in Greek history, a party that is truly on the Left, combining Communist, Socialist and Green elements, won the elections in Greece. It should be remembered that it was the so-called socialist PASOK of George Papandreou, that agreed to the bail-out plans laid out by the Troika, which entailed austerity for the Greek people while the center-right party, New Democracy, continued this path. This austerity meant, in real terms, decline in wages, pensions being cut by 40%, the economy shrinking by 26%, wages declining, prices rising, and the government cutting down on health and education. The Greek people saw no future in sight with austerity and recession,and if there is one place where neoliberal capitalism clearly failed, it is in Greece. Therefore, the Greek people decided...
SYRIZA: Uniting Greece and demanding justice

SYRIZA: Uniting Greece and demanding justice

Photo:  Alexis Tsipras By Joshua Tartakovsky What is one to make of the fact that SYRIZA, a progressive party with socialist values, formed a government with Independent Greeks (AN.EL), a populist right-wing party that opposed immigration and was accused of racism? Has it gone mad? Betrayed its initial promises? A short respite had barely passed since the announcement, that an outcry has emerged from the international left, mostly that based in the West. Whereas Venezuela and Cuba congratulated Alexis Tsipras in the friendliest terms, Marxists in Western countries have voiced their alarm at the fact that SYRIZA will not be forming an alliance with the orthodox Communist party KKE and bemoaning the fact that the Left will share a government with a right-wing party. While criticism from Greek voters of SYRIZA who would like to be ruled by a Left-wing government is understandable and justified, international progressives have committed a grave error by intervening in the autonomous decision of the newly elected party without giving it a chance to carry out what appears to be a well-calculated strategy, with a clear purpose and plan. The most central issue facing the newly elected Syriza party, that received 149 seats in a parliament of 300, is to renegotiate Greece’s immense and insurmountable debt and ensure sustainable growth while securing funds to provide electricity, health, and education to the Greek people. Ever since the neoliberal bailout enacted by the European Central Bank, EU and IMF (Troika) in 2010, real wages declined by 25%, pensions have been cut, suicides have numbered in the hundreds per year, and austerity demanded by the Troika prevailed...