WORLD GOVERNMENTS “COUP D’ETAT” through WORLD GOVERNANCE INVASION VIA GLOBALIZATION
Kissing Canada “Goodbye” and saying “Hello” to the UN/ Corporate Global Governance through International Trade Deals and so far most of the Political parties are in support of these deals.
Like Greece and other European Union Countries, Canada is on the verge of losing it’s Canadian “Decision Making Authority and Sovereignty Jurisdiction” within Canada to the EU Controllers if we do not stop our “Out of Control Politicians and The Globalization Trade Deals such as:
- Canada-European Union: Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) .
- Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Negotiations
Our Canadian Wheat Board was sold to a Saudi Arabia Corporation and Ontario Premier Wynne is selling 60% control of Hydro One and Ontario Hospitals to International Corporations. What else are they selling out from under us?
CETA Past and Present May 26, 2015 and as of July 14, 2016
Problems with CETA – Provinces to lose jurisdiction over fisheries? May 26, 2015
CBC News Posted: May 26, 2015 3:23 PM NT
Processing requirements ‘off the table’ in CETA spat with Ottawa: Darin King
A dispute between the Newfoundland and Labrador government and Ottawa surrounding the Canadian European Union Comprehensive Trade Agreement (CETA) was reignited Tuesday, with the province saying it will not relinquish authority over minimum fish processing requirements, or MPRs.
Darin King, Minister of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development, said the decision is related to the federal government’s refusal to live up to an agreement reached in 2013 on the creation of a $400-million fisheries renewal fund, with Ottawa paying 70 per cent.
“Given there’s been no movement on the fishery fund … we’re not giving up our jurisdictional authority for minimum processing requirements. We’ve simply said that’s off the table for Newfoundland and Labrador,” King told reporters Tuesday.
‘We thought we had a deal. We don’t have a deal. So, thank-you very much. We’ll keep our jurisdictional authority to manage the fishery.’– Darin King
King said he also notified the European Union’s ambassador to Canada of the province’s decision.
The fund was envisioned as a concession for the removal of jurisdictional authority on MPRs for seafood products destined for the EU market.
The dispute has frayed relations between the two governments, with Premier Paul Davis declaring in December he “cannot trust” Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Davis has said Harper reneged on the agreement, with the federal government saying it will only provide compensation for “demonstrated losses” as a result of the removal of MPRs, and that it was never intended as a “slush fund.” Provincial officials have argued that was never part of the original deal.
King said the province still supports the trade deal, but will not give up MPRs.
This could create complications for the federal government as the trade deal gets closer to being ratified, because the elimination of MPRs is an element of the deal.
That’s Ottawa’s problem, said King.
“All we’re saying is it’s within our jurisdiction. We were prepared to find a way forward with a deal. We thought we had a deal. We don’t have a deal. So, thank-you very much. We’ll keep our jurisdictional authority to manage the fishery.”
Not intended to be a blank cheque
Meanwhile, Rob Moore, the regional minister for Newfoundland and Labrador and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, said the federal government remains committed to working out the details of the MPR fund with the province.
“As we have indicated to the government of Newfoundland and Labrador, we remain open to a transition initiative that includes support for displaced workers, research and development, and innovation,” Moore said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
“However, the fund was always intended to compensate hard-working Newfoundlanders and Labradorians for actual losses arising out of the removal of MPRs. It was never intended to be a blank cheque that could be used to disadvantage the other Atlantic provinces.”
Download the CETA PDF here: Canada-European Union_ Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
CETA Section on Banking, Insurance etc: http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/ceta-aecg/text-texte/35_01.aspx?lang=eng
Just as you get to the bank, your realtor calls. Turns out, that kitchen you liked so much? It’s no longer part of the deal. Or maybe it will be. It’s going to take a couple of years living in the place to sort out.
In the meantime, the sale price stays the same, and your mortgage will be just as high as before.
Would you sign that mortgage? Of course not.
With all the uncertainty surrounding this already deeply flawed deal, there is absolutely no rush to ratify CETA post-Brexit.
That’s because the former Harper government signed the CETA deal in 2014 with a Europe that included the United Kingdom, our largest trading partner in Europe.
A lot has happened since then. The Harper government has been booted from power, and the U.K. has voted to leave the European Union. Both its national parties are in meltdown, and its new prime minister says she will negotiate her country’s exit from the EU — something that must happen within two years, once formal notice is given.
This is a problem for Canada.
A Europe without Britain is a much smaller and much less desirable partner to sign a trade deal with.The United Kingdom is our most important trading partner in the EU, taking more than 40 per cent of our European exports and accounting for about a third of our European trade in services, including banking. Worldwide, the U.K. is our third-largest trading partner, after the U.S. and China, with some $16 billion in trade last year.
In short, a Europe without Britain is a much smaller and much less desirable partner to sign a trade deal with. That matters, a lot.
Not that it was ever a great deal, anyway. It would limit the right of all levels of government to direct procurement to Canadian companies (to ensure government spending creates jobs in Canada), threaten supply management, extends drug patents and contains only phantom advances in auto exports to Europe.
While CETA’s odious investor-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS) was tweaked earlier this year in the face of public outcry in both Europe and Canada, it still gives too much power to corporations to sue governments over laws that may be in the public interest, but which hurt their profits.
As well, it turns out the United Kingdom is not so united. Ever since the Brexit vote, both Scotland and Ireland have made loud noises about leaving the U.K. Even in London, the financial capital of Europe that voted to stay in the EU, there’s talk of separation.
And yet, Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland has said she still wants to see CETA implemented in 2017. The Minister is applying nowhere near the same degree of scrutiny to the CETA as she is with the equally-concerning Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.
As with the TPP, there is no need to rush ratification of the CETA, and every reason to wait and see how things shake out in Europe as Britain negotiates its exit. Anti-EU forces in other countries, including France and the Netherlands, are feeling emboldened by the Brexit vote and pushing for referendums of their own. In such an uncertain atmosphere, committing to CETA seems premature, when we don’t even know what Europe will look like in a few years.
I have made no secret of my distaste for CETA. It was always a bad deal. Without Britain, it becomes a pointless one.
We have, thanks to Brexit, a good reason to step back, take a harder look at the Harper-era deal and re-evaluate what we want from a trade pact with Europe, or anyone else for that matter, and negotiate a fair trade deal that truly helps Canadians.
1: Harper pushes for ratified Canada-EU free trade agreement at G7
SCHLOSS ELMAU, GERMANY—Prime Minister Stephen Harper used Sunday’s opening of the G7 summit to push European leaders to ratify the comprehensive Canada-EU free trade agreement.
Harper’s office said he talked up the trade pact at the G7’s first working session of the day on the fragile global economy.
“Prime Minister Harper encouraged European members of the G7 to swiftly implement the job-creating Canada-EU trade agreement,” his office said in a statement.
Harper met European Council President Donald Tusk, and the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, where he was expected to push the deal.
Harper said nothing about the trade deal going into the meeting, and did not meet with the travelling Canadian media on the first day of the summit, holding two photo-ops that lasted barely a minute in total.
Canada and the EU have an agreement in principle on a sweeping pact in goods and services but the legal text still must be finished so it can be ratified by Canada and the EU’s 28-member countries.
Ratifying the pact, known as CETA, would be a major political win for Harper with the planned Oct. 19 federal election looming.
Harper used a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to push for CETA’s ratification.
2: Trans-Pacific trade negotiators face high-wire act in Hawaii
Pacific Rim officials meet in Hawaii this week for talks that could make or break an ambitious trade deal which aims to boost growth and set common standards across a dozen economies ranging from the United States to Brunei.
Trade ministers go into the talks, which run July 28-31 on the island of Maui, with high hopes of an agreement to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the most sweeping trade deal in a generation and a legacy-defining achievement for U.S. President Barack Obama.
But the toughest issues have been left until last, including monopoly periods for new life-saving medicines and preferential treatment for state-owned companies as well as more traditional trade issues such as opening protected markets to competition.
“This meeting will be extremely important to decide the fate of the TPP negotiations,” Japanese Economy Minister Akira Amari told reporters on Friday.
“I believe all the nations will come to the meeting with their strong determination that it has to be the last one.”
But Canadian Trade Minister Ed Fast was more cautious, warning last week that there is a “lot of hard work to be done before this agreement is put to bed.”
Canada’s refusal so far to accept more dairy imports is a major sticking point in the talks, infuriating the United States as well as New Zealand, which has said it will not sign a deal that fails to open new dairy markets.
Read more about the TPP : Japan’s Abe to Congress: TPP’s value is ‘awesome’
They thought he would be their SAVIOR…
He promised the People REFERENDUMS, but he only gave them one before he destroyed all of their lives!
1-1: Paid for Politicians/Lies/Con or are they Threatened?
Alexis Tsipras’ Statement: New strength for the Left
THE LIES / CON
PROGRAMATIC DECLARATION OF ALEXIS TSIPRAS
I. MY CANDIDACY – A MANDATE FOR HOPE AND CHANGE.
The Party of the European Left elected me candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission, at its 4th Congress on 13-15 December 2013 in Madrid.
It is an honour and a mandate. The honour is not only personal. The candidacy of the leader of the main opposition in Greece symbolizes solidarity for the Greek people and also for all the people in Europe’s South who are suffering the catastrophic social consequences of the Memoranda of austerity and recession.
But, more than a candidacy, my nomination is a mandate for hope and change in Europe. It is a roll call for Democracy in which every generation deserves to participate, and which every generation is entitled to live. It is a call for struggle to gain hegemony in Gramscian terms, i.e., to win the peoples’ hearts and minds. It is a struggle for the power to change the everyday life of ordinary people. To recall Aneurin Bevan, a genuine social-democrat and political father of the British National Health Service, for us power means “the use of collective action designed to transform society and so lift all of us together”.
I am not a candidate of Europe’s South. I am a candidate of all people, regardless of their address, whether they live in the North or in the South, who want a Europe without austerity, recession and Memoranda. My candidacy aspires to reach all of you, irrespective of your political convictions and vote in national elections. It unites the very same people that the neoliberal management of the economic crisis divides. It addresses all people who want a better life for themselves and their children in a better Europe.
My candidacy particularly addresses young women and men. For the first time in postwar Europe, a generation of young people expects to be worse off than their parents. The young see their expectations entrapped into high unemployment and the prospect of low-wage and jobless growth. We have to act – not for them but with them – and act now!
We need to urgently overcome the North-South division of Europe and demolish the “wall of money” that tears standards of living and life chances apart in the Continent. The Eurozone is teetering on the brink of collapse. This is not due to the euro per se but to neoliberalism – to the set of recessionary austerity policies that, far from supporting the single currency, they have undermined it. But, along with the single currency, they have also undermined public trust in the European Union and support for further and deepening European integration. It is for that reason that we believe that neo-liberalism is the accelerator of Euroscepticism.
This is not our Europe. This is only the Europe we want to change. In place of a Europe of fear of unemployment, disability, old-age and poverty; in the place of the current Europe that redistributes income to the rich and fear to the poor; in place of a Europe in the service of bankers’ needs, we want a Europe in the service of human needs.
Change is possible and will happen! We need to reunite Europe and reconstruct it on a democratic and progressive basis. We need to reconnect Europe with its Enlightenment origins and so give primacy to democracy. Because the European Union will either be democratic or will not exist. And, for us, democracy is non-negotiable.
The European Left is fighting for a democratic, social and ecological Europe; for the re-foundation of Europe on the basis of those strategic objectives, which define our three basic political priorities:
1. The democratic reorganisation of Europe. Europe will not be either social or ecological, if it is not democratic. And, if it is not democratic, it will alienate its citizens – as it does today. Because, at this critical point in time, the European Union has decayed into an oligarchic and anti-democratic fabric in the service of bankers, multinationals and the super-rich. Democracy in Europe is in retreat. And there is no doubt that we should end austerity to regain democracy. This is because neoliberal austerity has mostly been imposed on the Memorandum countries by legislative means that undermine the institutional authority and political role of national Parliaments; it has undercut long-gained citizens’ economic and social rights, and has been enforced by practices associated with police states. At the same time, the structure and actual operation of European institutions – to which national competences and sovereign rights have been transferred – lack democratic legitimacy and transparency. Anonymous and unaccountable bureaucrats cannot substitute for elected politicians in decision-making. But, for the entire discussion on democracy in Europe to be meaningful, the European Union needs its own strong budget and a European Parliament which decides budget allocation, oversees budget execution along with national Parliaments, and controls budget performance. The democratic reorganization of the European Union is the political objective par excellence. To this end, we should extend the scope of public intervention and citizen engagement and participation in European policymaking and service design. In parallel, we should empower institutions with direct democratic legitimacy, such as the European and national Parliaments. That implies concrete political initiatives, at a first stage to restore the primary role of national Parliaments in drafting and deciding upon national budgets. That means suspension of articles 6 and 7 of Regulation (EU) 473/2013 (the second of the two-pack legislative acts for the Eurozone countries) on monitoring and assessing national draft budgetary plans, which gave the European Commission the right to scrutinize and revise national budgets before the respective Parliaments can do that. At a second stage, as mentioned earlier, it implies greater involvement of both the European and national Parliaments in the oversight of the European budget. It also implies institutional enhancement of the European Parliament as mechanism of democratic control of the European Council and the European Commission. But a democratic European Union cannot be democratic and consensual only in Europe, and arrogant, non-peaceful, militaristic and aggressive abroad. For that reason, we need a European security system predicated on negotiation and disarmament. No European soldier should operate outside Europe.
2. To end austerity. Austerity is a harmful medicine at the wrong time with devastating consequences for the cohesion of our societies, for democracy, for the future of Europe. One of the scars of austerity that shows no sign of healing is unemployment – and in particular, youth unemployment. Youth unemployment in Greece and Spain hovers around 60%. With 3,5 million under-25s jobless, Europe pens its own suicide note.
3. To set in motion the ecological transformation of production. The crisis is not simply economic. It is also ecological, in the sense that it reflects an unsustainable economic paradigm in Europe. We, therefore, need a tandem economic and ecological transformation of European societies to exit the crisis and create a solid basis for development with gender and social justice, decent and stable employment and a better quality of life for all. We need that transformation urgently! The reason is that, on the pretext of the crisis and the search for quick-fix solutions of economic recovery, the European Union and the member-states have relaxed their environmental awareness and narrowed sustainability, at best, to energy and resource efficiency.
Europe needs a paradigm shift towards sustainability. As a first step, we should deepen the acquis européen. We need an ecological public policy in Europe that prioritizes sustainability and quality, cooperation and solidarity. The ecological transformation of production encompasses the widest possible range of policy domains, such as: a tax reform, which would change the logic of taxation and shift its burden from employment to resource consumption, the elimination of environmentally harmful subsidies, the preservation of biodiversity, the replacement of conventional energy with renewables, the investment in environmental research and development, the organic farming and sustainable transportation, as well as the rejection of any trans-Atlantic trade agreement which does not guarantee high social and environmental standards.
4. To reform the European immigration framework. The human quest for a better life is unstoppable. Border walls stop human rights – not human beings. As long as the income and prospects gap between, on the one hand, the countries of origin or the transit countries of migration and, on the other, the European Union, remains large and widening, immigration to Europe will continue unabated. The European Union should exhibit the necessary double solidarity: external, to the countries of emigration, and internal, with a just geographical allocation of immigrants in Europe. In particular, the European Union should undertake the political initiative for a new qualitative relationship with those countries, enhancing both developmental assistance and capacity-building for endogenous development with peace, democracy and social justice. In parallel, the overall institutional architecture of the European Union for immigration and asylum has to be changed. We need to ensure the protection of fundamental human rights on the entire European soil and immediately plan efficient measures to rescue migrants on the open sea, to set up reception centers at the entry points, and adopt a legal procedure and a new legal framework, which would efficiently and justly settle access of immigrants to all EU countries, in a fair and proportional fashion, taking into consideration, as far as possible, their own wishes. European Union funding should be redirected accordingly. The recent Lampedusa and Farmakonisi tragedies make clear that both the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum and the so-called Dublin II Regulation [Regulation (EC) 343/2003 and Regulation (EU) 604/2013] should be immediately revised. We reject “Fortress Europe” which only operates as a seeding ground for xenophobia, racism and fascism. We are working for a Europe that will become an impregnable fortress to the extreme right and neo-nazism.
Mr Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission and one of Mr Tspiras biggest supporters said angrily that he had “tried again and again” to stick up for the Greek people but warned that there is little he can do to stop events running their fateful course. “A ‘No’ would mean that Greece had said ‘No’ to Europe,” he said.
1-2: The REALITY of the TSIPRAS DECEPTION - Is He a PLANT?
Greece: Government Reshuffle Expected After Party Rebellion Over Austerity Bill
ATHENS, Greece – Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is widely expected to reshuffle his Cabinet, following a rebellion within his party over a parliament vote to approve painful austerity measures demanded for new bailout talks to start.
The reshuffle was expected Friday or over the weekend.
In the early hours of Thursday, 38 of Tsipras’ own radical-left Syriza party members dissented and vote against him. They included two cabinet members — the energy and welfare ministers — as well as the parliament speaker and the former finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis.
The legislation, which includes consumer tax increases and pension cuts, was part of conditions demanded by Greece’s European creditors in order to start negotiations on a third bailout, worth about 85 billion euros ($92 billion).
1-3: Statement by Yanis Varoufakis
THE CONFUSION / COVER-UP?
Varoufakis reveals cloak and dagger ‘Plan B’ for Greece, waiting possible Treason charges.
Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis claims he was authorised by Alexis Tsipras to look into a parallel payment system
A secret cell at the Greek finance ministry hacked into government computers and drew up elaborate plans for a system of parallel payments that could be switched from euros to the drachma at the “flick of a button”.
The revelations have caused a political storm in Greece and confirm just how close the country came to drastic measures before premier Alexis Tsipras gave in to demands from Europe’s creditor powers, acknowledging that his own cabinet would not support such a dangerous confrontation.
Yanis Varoufakis, the former finance minister, told a group of investors in London that a five-man team under his control had been working for months on a contingency plan to create euro liquidity if the European Central Bank cut off emergency funding to the Greek financial system, as it in fact did after talks broke down and Syriza called a referendum.
The transcripts were leaked to the Greek newspaper Kathimerini. The telephone call took place a week after he stepped down as finance minister.
“The prime minister, before we won the election in January, had given me the green light to come up with a Plan B. And I assembled a very able team, a small team as it had to be because that had to be kept completely under wraps for obvious reasons,” he said.
Yanis Varoufakis (right), Greece’s former finance minister, with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras
Mr Varoufakis recruited a technology specialist from Columbia University to help handle the logistics. Faced with a wall of obstacles, the expert broke into the software systems of the tax office – then under the control of the EU-IMF ‘Troika’ – in order to obtain the reserve accounts and file numbers of every taxpayer. “We decided to hack into my ministry’s own software programme,” he said.
The revelations were made to a group of sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, and life insurers – many from Asia – hosted as part of a “Greek day” on July 16 by the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF).
Mr Varoufakis told the Telegraph that the quotes were accurate but some reports in the Greek press had been twisted, making it look as if he had been plotting a return to the drachma from the start.
“The context of all this is that they want to present me as a rogue finance minister, and have me indicted for treason. It is all part of an attempt to annul the first five months of this government and put it in the dustbin of history,” he said.
“It totally distorts my purpose for wanting parallel liquidity. I have always been completely against dismantling the euro because we never know what dark forces that might unleash in Europe,” he said.
The goal of the computer hacking was to enable the finance ministry to make digital transfers at “the touch of a button”. The payments would be ‘IOUs’ based on an experiment by California after the Lehman banking crisis.
A parallel banking system of this kind would allow the government to create euro liquidity and circumvent what Syriza called “financial strangulation” by the ECB.
“This was very well developed. Very soon we could have extended it, using apps on smartphones, and it could become a functioning parallel system. Of course this would be euro denominated but at the drop of a hat it could be converted to a new drachma,” he said.
Mr Varoufakis claimed the cloak and dagger methods were necessary since the Troika had taken charge of the public revenue office within the finance ministry. “It’s like the Inland Revenue in the UK being controlled by Brussels. I am sure as you are hearing these words your hair is standing on end,” he said in the leaked transcripts.
Mr Varoufakis said any request for permission would have tipped off the Troika immediately that he was planning a counter-attack. He was ready to activate the mechanism the moment he received a “green light” from the prime minister, but the permission never came.
“I always told Tsipras that it will not be plain sailing but this is the price you have to pay for liberty,” he told the Telegraph.
“But when the time came he realised that it was just too difficult. I don’t know when he reached that decision. I only learned explicitly on the night of the referendum, and that is why I offered to resign,” he said. Mr Varoufakis wanted to seize on the momentum of a landslide victory in the vote but was overruled.
He insisted that his purpose had always been to go on the legal and financial offensive within the eurozone – placing Greece’s eurozone creditors in a position where they would be acting outside EU treaty law if they forced Grexit – but nevertheless suggested Syriza did have a mandate to contemplate more radical steps if all else failed.
“I think the Greek people had authorised us to pursue energetically and vigorously that negotiation to the point of saying that if we can’t have a viable agreement, then we should consider getting out,” he said in the tape.
“[German finance minister Wolfgang] Schauble believes that the eurozone is not sustainable as it is. He believes there has to be some fiscal transfers, some degree of political union. He believes that for that political union to work without federation, without the legitimacy that a properly elected federal parliament can render, can bestow upon an executive, it will have to be done in a very disciplinary way.
“And he said explicitly to me that a Grexit is going to equip him with sufficient terrorising power in order to impose upon the French that which Paris has been resisting: a degree of transfer of budget-making powers from Paris to Brussels.”
Mr Varoufakis told the Telegraph that Mr Schauble had made up his mind that Greece must be ejected from the euro, and is merely biding his time, knowing that the latest bail-out plan is doomed to failure.
“Everybody knows the International Monetary Fund does not want to take part in a new programme but Schauble is insisting that it does as a condition for new loans. I have a strong suspicion that there will be no deal on August 20,” he said.
He said the EU authorities may have to dip further into the European Commission’s stabilisation fund (EFSM), drawing Britain deeper into the controversy since it is a contributor. By the end of the year it will be clear that tax revenues are falling badly short of targets – he said – and the Greek public ratio will be shooting up towards 210pc of GDP.
“Schauble will then say it is yet another failure. He is just stringing us along. He has not given up his plan to push Greece out of the euro,” he said.
Statement by the Office of Yanis Varoufakis, former Minister of Finance, Member of Parliament, Hellenic Republic
During the Greek government’s negotiations with the Eurogroup, Minister Varoufakis oversaw a Working Group with a remit to prepare contingency plans against the creditors’ efforts to undermine the Greek government and in view of forces at work within the Eurozone to have Greece expelled from the euro. The Working Group was convened by the Minister, at the behest of the Prime Minister, and was coordinated by Professor James K. Galbraith. (Click here for a statement on the matter by Professor Galbraith).
It is worth noting that, prior to Mr Varoufakis’ comfirmation of the existence of the said Working Group, the Minister was criticized widely for having neglected to make such contingency plans. The Bank of Greece, the ECB, treasuries of EU member-states, banks, international organisations etc. had all drawn up such plans since 2012. Greece’s Ministry of Finance would have been remiss had it made no attempt to draw up contingency plans.
Ever since Mr Varoufakis announced the existence of the Working Group, the media have indulged in far-fetched articles that damage the quality of public debate. The Ministry of Finance’s Working Group worked exclusively within the framework of government policy and its recommendations were always aimed at serving the public interest, at respecting the laws of the land, and at keeping the country in the Eurozone.
Regarding the recent article by “Kathimerini” newspaper entitled “Plan B involving highjacking and hacking”, Kathimerini’s failure to contact Mr Varoufakis for comment and its reporter’s erroneous references to “highjacking tax file numbers of all taxpayers” sowed confusion and contributed to the media-induced disinformation. The article refers to the Ministry’s project as described by Minister Varoufakis in his 6th July farewell speech during the handover ceremony in the Ministry of Finance. In that speech Mr Varoufakis clearly stated: “The General Secretariat of Information Systems had begun investigating means by which Taxisnet (Nb. the Ministry’s Tax Web Interface) could become something more than it currently is, to become a payments system for third parties, a system that improves efficiency and minimises the arrears of the state to citizens and vice versa.” That project was not part of the Working Group’s remit, was presented in full by Minister Varoufakis to Cabinet, and should, in Minister Varoufakis’ view, be implemented independently of the negotiations with Greece’s creditors, as it will contribute considerable efficiency gains in transactions between the state and taxpayers as well as between taxpayers.
In conclusion, during the five months of negotiations that gripped Europe and changed the debate throughout the Continent, the Ministry of Finance did everything possible to serve the public interest against many odds. The current media campaign to besmirch these efforts will fail to dent the legacy of a crucial five month struggle for democracy and common sense.
1-4: Greece’s Syriza makes military deal with Israel that only US has made
Greece’s ruling ostensibly left-wing Syriza party signed a “status of forces” accord with Israel on July 19. The Jerusalem Post explains that the agreement “offers legal defense to both militaries while training in the other’s country.”
That is to say, it is a pact in which Greece agrees to help the Israeli military—which has illegally militarily occupied and colonized Palestinian sovereign territory for almost five decades and which, practically bi-annually, demolishes infrastructure and massacres civilians and journalists (whom it deliberately targets when soldiers are “bored”) in Gaza.
Only one other country in the world has signed such an accord with Israel; that country is the US, which calls its uncritical support of Israel the “special relationship.”
“We very much appreciate your visit here during a difficult period for Greece,” Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, former Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and an aggressive war hawk, told his Greek counterpart Panos Kammenos at a meeting in the Israeli Defense Ministry. “This underlines the importance of relations between the countries,” Ya’alon added.
Kammenos defended the deal on “anti-terrorism” grounds. He insisted that the “Greek people are very close to the people in Israel.”
Critics note that Syriza first compromised its fundamental economic values, agreeing to a Troika-imposed crippling austerity deal that the IMF (which profits off of Greece’s odious debt) openly admitted would not work and that a prominent economics professor warnedwill make it simply “impossible” for Greece to pay off its large debts. The Syriza government made this decision in spite of the fact that almost two-thirds of the Greek population explicitly voted against austerity in an historic referendum in early July.
Now critics say Syriza has compromised its supposed support for the Palestinians, signing an agreement with the very military that occupies them—and not just any agreement, but an agreement that only the US, Israel’s closet ally, has signed.
Is this move surprising? The answer to that question depends on whom one asks.
In January 2015, an op-ed in the Jerusalem Post claimed “the victory of Syriza in Greece is bad news for Israel.” The opposite has been shown to be the case.
Just after Greece’s January election, Greek ambassador to Israel Spyridon Lampridis presciently remarked “I can see only positive things in the future.”
To be clear, Syriza is by no means the first Greek government to stand with the Israeli military. Professor Aristotle Tziampiris, the Director of the Center for International and European Affairs at the University of Piraeus, has written an entire book about The Emergence of Israeli-Greek Cooperation.
And it is crucial to note that not everyone in the Syriza party is happy with the government’s decisions to capitulate to an impossible-to-pay-off austerity and privatization package and to work closely with Israel’s military.
Greek-Israeli businessman Sabby Mionis pointed out in an interview with the Times of Israel that “Several members of Syriza, including some who are getting government positions, were even [aboard] the Flotilla in 2010.” Mionis was referring to the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, which sought to bring humanitarian aid and construction materials to the strip. Israel prevents such materials from entering with its siege on Gaza, which the UN has for years ruled is illegal. On 31 May 2010, the flotilla was attacked by the very same Israeli military with which Syriza is now signing an historic agreement. Nine human rights advocates were killed by Israeli forces in the attack.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has demonstrated, however, that his preferred method to deal with this left-wing dissent within his party is by kicking leftist members out of his government.
1-5: Will The People Survive the Deception of Tsipras at the Hands of Austerity Measures?
Thousands Protest As Greek Parliament Approves Second Round of Austerity Measures
Demonstrators tell TRNN’s Dimitri Lascaris why they oppose reforms demanded by Greece’s creditors and why they support leaving the Eurozone – July 23, 2015
DIMITRI LASCARIS, ATHENS, GREECE: We’re here in front of the Greek parliament where a very large crowd is gathering in anticipation of a second vote on the prior actions required by the creditors of Greece pursuant to the July 13 agreement with Greece’s creditors. We’ve been trying to get people to go on the record and speak to us about why they’re out here, and we’re being met with a wall of silence. And I just asked somebody off the record why people are so reluctant here to speak to a journalist. And they brought to my attention a Greek saying, one that figured very prominently during the protest that led up to the oxhi vote in the July 5 referendum.
I’m not going to repeat it because it was full of expletives. But basically what she told me is the journalists in this country have lost all respect of the populace and the protesters simply have no interest in speaking to them. Which is unfortunate, but I think is really telling in terms of the quite negative role that the media in this country have played in the crisis, in the descent of Greece into the current quagmire.And we wanted to talk to people, the young people here who came out tonight because 80 percent of Greece’s youth, a very, very high percentage of the youth of Greece, voted oxhi in the July 5 referendum. And we’re wondering if you could explain to us what motivated so many young people of Greece to say no to the ultimatum that was put to Greece by the Troika.
Conflicts erupt over Syriza’s contingency planning for Greek euro exit
By Robert Stevens
28 July 2015
On Sunday, the right-wing Greek daily Kathimerini released a partial transcript of a teleconference of hedge fund managers that former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis took part in earlier this month. The teleconference call was attended by 84 people.
Varoufakis claimed that under the instruction of then-party leader, now Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, he looked into setting up a parallel banking system based on IOUs. If necessary, it could be changed “overnight” to make payments in drachmas if Greece was forced to abandon the euro currency and restore the Greek drachma.
The instruction came from Tsipras in December, a month before the Syriza victory in the January general election.
“There is the website of the tax office where citizens go and use their tax file number and transfer monies to their tax,” he says. “We were planning to create, surreptitiously, reserve accounts attached to every tax file number without telling anyone.
“That would have created a parallel system so while the banks were shut, thanks to the ECB’s aggressive action, it would give us some breathing space … it could have become a functioning parallel system. It would have been euro denominated but it could have been transferred to drachma at the touch of a button.”
According to his account, he recruited a childhood friend, now an IT expert, to hack into the public revenues system within the finance ministry, which is “controlled fully and directly by the troika.”
The plan was not completed, however, as “the difficulty was to go from the five people who were planning it to the 1,000 people that would have to implement it. For that I would have to receive another authorisation, which never came.”
On Monday, Greece’s right-wing TV channel Skai reported that 24 New Democracy deputies plan to question Tsipras on whether Varoufakis should face a judicial probe and parliamentary inquiry, as his actions entailed not just “political but also criminal liability.” These efforts are supported by the other main opposition parties, Pasok and To Potami (The River).
Denying that he ever planned to engineer an exit from the eurozone, Varoufakis said Monday that his opponents were attempting to “have me indicted for treason.”
The attack on Varoufakis also extends to Syriza’s Left Platform, which belatedly made a token display of opposing Tsipras’ July 13 agreement to implement the demands of the troika, and his betrayal of the overwhelming vote opposing austerity in the July 5 referendum.
Prior to Kathimerini’s release of the transcript, on Friday the Financial Timesclaimed that Syriza’s Left Platform made moves to return to the drachma in the hours after Tsipras’ capitulation.
It alleged that Panayotis Lafazanis, the then-energy minister, wanted the government to take control of the reserves held by Nomismatokopeion, the Greek mint. The FT said under the Left Platform’s plan, “the central bank would immediately lose its independence and be placed under government control. Its governor, Yannis Stournaras, would be arrested if, as expected, he opposed the move.”
Lafazanis denied there was any plan to arrest Stournaras and said the FTreport was based on “lies, fantasy, fear-mongering, speculation and old-fashioned anti-communism.”
The source of the leak of Varoufakis’ comments remains unclear. However, the leak came just as representatives of the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund began talks with Greece over the terms of a new loan deal. In this context, the issue of Varoufakis’ remarks was rapidly harnessed to escalating pressure for more austerity in Greece.
The talks began with warnings from Germany that Greece had to accept even deeper levels of austerity than what it has already signed up to. The weekend edition of Der Spiegel reported, “The German government regards it as obligatory that a lot of Greek citizens will lose their jobs in line with the third aid package.”
In a parliamentary answer to Germany’s Left Party, Parliamentary State Secretary Jens Spahn of the governing Christian Democratic Union listed the austerity measures that “have to be taken in the field of employment markets,” including, “mass layoffs according to the schedule and scale, which are agreed with the institutions,” that is, the troika.
Slovakia’s Finance Minister Peter Kažimír tweeted on the Varoufakis leak, “We need to make sure that such two-faced ‘games’ will be avoided when debating & drafting the third bailout package for Greece.”
None of this means that Varoufakis’ plan was any alternative to the policy of collusion with the troika’s austerity agenda that he pursued jointly with Tsipras from the outset until his resignation on July 26.
The teleconference took place on July 16. Tellingly, Varoufakis was talking to an audience of hedge fund managers from the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum at a meeting called by the former Conservative chancellor of the UK, Norman Lamont , whom Varoufakis has previously described as a close friend.
Varoufakis’ remit was only to organise, behind the backs of the Greek and European working class, measures to keep the Greek financial system afloat, should Greece be forced, against its will, out of the eurozone.
On Monday, US economist James Galbraith said he had worked closely with Varoufakis while he was finance minister and, “…at no time was the Working Group engaged in advocating exit or any policy choice. The job was strictly to study the operational issues that would arise if Greece were forced to issue scrip or if it were forced out of the euro.”
Varoufakis’ scheme was never implemented because in the end Tsipras did enough, at least temporarily, to reassure Greece’s creditors that he was prepared to do their bidding. If it had been made necessary, it would have been carried out as a desperate attempt to rescue Greek capitalism from disaster.
Varoufakis indicated that one of the major problems he faced in drawing up his plan was that Syriza had handed control of the main levers of Greece’s economy to the troika. “The General Secretary of Public Revenues within my ministry is controlled fully and directly by the troika,” he said. “It was not under control of my ministry, of me as minister, it was controlled by Brussels.”
While media attention has centred on his planning for a parallel banking system, Varoufakis also revealed divisions between Berlin and Paris over Germany’s plan for Europe-wide austerity. He stated, “The French are terrified. They are terrified because they know that if they’re going to shrink their budget deficit to the levels that Berlin demands, the Parisian government will certainly fall. There is no way that they can politically handle the kind of austerity that is demanded by Berlin.”
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble was “hell-bent” on a Greek exit from the eurozone, as it would give him “sufficient bargaining power, with sufficient terrorising power in order to impose upon the French that which Paris is resisting … a degree of transfer of budget-making powers from Paris to Brussels”, said Varoufakis.