Greece is Being Filled with Economic Migrants, Not Refugees, While Merkel Orders More

Greece is Being Filled with Economic Migrants, Not Refugees, While Merkel Orders More

(All photos by Joshua Tartakovsky. All Rights Reserved (C) 2016). By Joshua Tartakovsky 4 March 2016 First we had the Hotspots, where Greece was ordered by the EU to create locations where refugees and migrants will be placed.  Greece was told the Hotspots would be there for a short period, and a government minister said refugees would be placed there for 72 hours only. But reality proved otherwise. A fence was constructed along the border with Macedonia and Merkel said the migrants must remain in Greece. The Slovak Prime Minister said Greece must be “sacrificed” and blamed it for not stopping the refugee flood from Turkey, as if it could do anything.   Now, the Greek islands are now full with migrants ,chaos is the name of the game and tourism has been sinking for months. Migrants are arriving at 5,000-7,000 a day and growing. But that was not enough. On Saturday, came the order. Chancellor Merkel, who refused to compromise with Greece on its debt despite the fact that it cannot ever recover economically without a stimulus and is sinking deeper and deeper into depression, said that Greece is not doing enough to accept refugees although the country cannot even provide for its own. Merkel ordered Greece to work at a “lightening speed.” An order is an order, when the Führer decides something, it must be carried out.   Lebanon also accepted refugees. In fact, 25% of the total population are now refugees. But Lebanon is a good member of the global society. It abides by international law. In Lebanon, migrants and refugees have freedom of movement. Not...
Portugal : A Preemptive Strike

Portugal : A Preemptive Strike

  By Joshua Tartakovsky, November 3, 2015 A Prime Minister in charge of a new government was just appointed in Portugal.  His name is Pedro Passos Coelho, and he is the leader of Portugal à Frente (Portugal Ahead), a center-right umbrella that had been governing the country in a pro-austerity direction between 2011 and 2015.  There is a slight problem, however, and a reason to hold back from clinking glasses. In the recent October 4 parliamentary elections, à Frente received a total of 107 seats out of 230 seats in the Assembleia da República, the Portuguese Parliament.  À Frente is now the largest bloc in parliament. But Portugal is a parliamentary democracy.  A coalition that wishes to govern must enjoy the vote of confidence of at least 116 members in parliament in which 230 members serve.  Passos Coehlo does not enjoy such a majority, and the parties on the Left are unwilling to join his coalition. This not only means that he will be unable to govern, since in 10 days most of the Portuguese parties will pass a no-confidence vote, but also that he does not represent the democratic will of the Portuguese majority. How did things come to this bizarre stage? Before we begin to seek an answer to this question, we must first make sense of the Portuguese political map.  Portugal à Frente is the name of joint list composed of two parties, Partido Social Democrata (PSD), which is a social-democrat party only by name run by neoliberals (as one who is accustomed to European politics by now must know), and People’s Party (CDS), a Conservative...
Paul Mason’s Privileged Utopia

Paul Mason’s Privileged Utopia

Off-Guardian  July 24, 2015   How should one view the economic crisis in Greece? Is it fair to view it not in isolation but as a harbinger to the end of capitalism along with the phenomenon of various collaborative efforts worldwide that include making information free and hosting soup kitchens? According to Paul Mason in his triumphant article in the Guardian titled ‘The End of Capitalism has Begun’, the answer is clear. We are entering not a socialist era, but a post-capitalist one in which free information and free goods replace regular goods. This is evidenced by the fact that information is becoming more and more free, that people spend a significant amount of their time providing information freely to others, and that within the current market various collaborative practices are taking place by communities connected by networks worldwide rendering the traditional market obsolete or irrelevant. In Mason’s view our entry to a post-capitalist utopia is inevitable and nearly predetermined. In the future, he believes, we will all be able to enjoy flexible working hours and greater freedom in all areas. Such a free world may indeed sound tempting for some yet Mason avoids the obvious question of who will pay for it. Sharing information on Facebook may be free, but even that requires paying for an Internet connection and owning a lab top. How can “free money” be provided to all? What about free food, which is a basic human need and without which one cannot be connected to the technological hub for long? Mason does not bother to go there and address these questions. Instead, he makes...
This is a Betrayal: Interview with Professor Spyros Marketos

This is a Betrayal: Interview with Professor Spyros Marketos

Photo: telesurtv.net Telesur | Blogs By Joshua Tartakovsky 15 July, 2015 ​Professor Spyros Maketos teaches at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, is a member of the Truth Committee on Public Debt and a member of Antarsya. Joshua Tartakovsky (JT): Professor Spyros Marketos, how are most people in Greece reacting to the memorandum? Obviously people to the left of Syriza or even within Syriza are not happy but, the how does the vast majority, those who voted No in the referendum, view the agreement? and what is the media saying about the agreement? Sypros Marketos (SM): I can only give my impressions. Here we don’t have solid data on this but the first sentiment seems to be a numbing of the public. People were really joyous after the last plebiscite. After all this joy, this victory, the complete turn around of the government left them with no joy and there was agony until last morning and now people don’t really believe what had just happened. There is a large percentage of the people who are incredulous about what is happening but there are others that are very angry because this is not the first time something like this happens in Greece. Papandreou was elected promising to give money, and he imposed the first memorandum. Samaras has been elected as anti-memorandum and he imposed the second memorandum, and now Tsipras has been elected with the promise to tear the memoranda and now he brings the third memoranda. So people are now much less credulous and gullible than they were towards the previous governments before. Secondly, people know that the road to the...
Greek Leftist Leader in April 2015: Tsipras Will Cave In and Accept Austerity in July; Germany Will Create A “Credit Event” Against Greece

Greek Leftist Leader in April 2015: Tsipras Will Cave In and Accept Austerity in July; Germany Will Create A “Credit Event” Against Greece

Interview with Dimitris Kazakis, leader of the United Popular Front (E.PA.M). We discuss Tsipras, Varoufakis, the local oligarchy, how to save the economy, plans for political mobilization in the summer, Podemos, Ukraine, global capitalism and why he worked for a bank in the UK if he claims to be a socialist. The interview was conducted on April 1, 2015. Parts of the interview were published on TruthOut, while the audio of the interview is available here. Q. Do you think that the current government, as it is going now, do they have some kind of Plan B in mind or do you think they are they just trying their best? A.  I don’t think they even have a Plan A. In the first week after the elections they tried some general idea, like for example, the European Convention on debt issues. The European Union partner, especially Merkel and Berlin, rejected it so they [the Greek government] abandoned the whole idea. On the second level they tried to negotiate some kind of elimination of debt, nobody wanted it, and since they did not want to go into a confrontation with the lenders, they lost ground. Since 20th of Februay -that’s the commitment they have with the Eurogroup, everybody calls it the agreement of 20th Feberuary- the Greek government abided by the rules of the memorandum, of the loan agreement. So I don’t expect anything from this government. Q.  The agreement of February 20th had already many contradictions in it. It was obvious from the beginning that Greece could not satisfy both the Troika, also known as the Institutions, and the...