Richard Wolff:Greece & Ireland:Epic Fiscal Failure

ΕΙΝΑΙ Ο ΠΑΠΑΝΔΡΕΟΥ ΗΡΩΑΣ; GREEK PRIME MINISTER A HERO?

GREEK SUBTITLED VERSION

Όταν ήταν φοιτητής στο  πανεπιστήμιο του Amherst στη Μασαχουσέτη, ΗΠΑ, ο  Έλληνας πρωθυπουργός, Γιώργος Παπανδρέου υπήρξε μαθητής του οικονομολόγου, Richard D. Wolff.
Σε αυτή τη αποκαλυπτική συνέντευξη, η δημοσιογράφος Ελένη Σκόπη του Athens International Radio ρωτά τον καθηγητή Wolff το ακόλουθο -
«Ο πρωθυπουργός Γιώργος Παπανδρέου ήταν μαθητής σας στο πανεπιστήμιο του Αμχερστ  στην Μασαχουσέτη. Εάν ερχόταν σε σας για συμβουλή, πως θα του προτείνατε να χειριστεί το τρέχον ελληνικό οικονομικό πρόβλημα;»

Επίσης, στο πλαίσιο αυτής της συνέντευξης, η Έλενη Σκόπη κανει τα ακόλουθα συναφή ερωτήματα:
- Ο πρόεδρος της ευρωπαϊκής κεντρικής τράπεζας κος Ζαν Κλωντ Τρισσέ έχει απορρίψει την όποια σκέψη η Ιρλανδία ή η Ελλάδα να αναδιαρθρώσουν εν μέρει τα κρατικά ομόλογα τους για να μειώσουν το χρέος τους. Είπε ότι το να αναγκάζεις  επενδυτές να χάνουν για να ανακατασκευάσεις το εθνικό σου χρέος ουσιαστικά θα αμείψει τους  κερδοσκόπους. Θα λέγατε ότι αυτή η στρατηγική είναι προς όφελος της Ιρλανδίας και της Ελλάδος?
-H Ελληνική κυβέρνηση για παράδειγμα θα μπορούσε να λύσει το πρόβλημα του ελλείμματος της εάν φορολογούσε τους "έχοντες";
-Έχουμε προσέξει ότι η ευρωπαϊκή επιτροπή σταθερότητας δεν έχει καταφέρει ακόμα να ηρεμήσει τις αγορές. Εάν η επιτροπή ενισχυθεί και οι αρμοδιότητες της μεγαλώσουν θα μπορούσε να προστατέψει  την ευρωζώνη;
-Τι κερδίζει η ευρωζώνη στο σύνολο της με τη μη αναδιάρθρωση του ιρλανδικού και ελληνικού χρέους;
-Έχουμε προσέξει ότι η ευρωπαϊκή επιτροπή σταθερότητας δεν έχει καταφέρει ακόμα να ηρεμήσει τις αγορές. Εάν η επιτροπή ενισχυθεί και οι αρμοδιότητες της μεγαλώσουν θα μπορούσε να προστατέψει  την ευρωζώνη;
-Αυτό που λέτε είναι ότι η Γερμανία για παράδειγμα, που είναι η πιο ισχυρή οικονομία της Ευρώπης, θα έπρεπε να αναλάβει μέρος του βάρους αυτής της οικονομικής κρίσης;
- Πως θα χαρακτηρίζατε τη σταδιοδρομία του Δ.Ν.Τ. μέχρι σήμερα με τα προγράμματα που έχει εφαρμόσει στις διάφορες χώρες που έχει δανείσει χρήματα;

Richard D. Wolff: Academic positions-

Richard D. Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he taught economics from 1973 to 2008. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University, New York City. He also teaches classes regularly at the Brecht Forum in Manhattan.

Earlier he taught economics at Yale University (1967-1969) and at the City College of the City University of New York (1969-1973). In 1994, he was a Visiting Professor of Economics at the University of Paris (France), I (Sorbonne).
Education

BA in History from Harvard College (1963);
MA in Economics from Stanford University (1964);
MA in History from Yale University (1967); and a
PhD in Economics from Yale University (1969)

Website of Richard D. Wolff: http://www.rdwolff.com/


Richard Wolff:Greece & Ireland:Epic Fiscal Failure

ENGLISH VERSION (NO SUBTITLES)





ALJAZEERA - Helen Skpois on Athens Courthouse Bomb

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2010/12/201012308575312715.html

An anonymous call to a Greek newspaper has warned of a second bomb attack at a tax office in the Greek capital hours after an explosion shattered windows of buildings and damaged eight cars in the centre of the city.

Police vacated the building and conducted a search.

Speaking to Al Jazeera from Athens, Helen Skopis, a journalist, said: "The caller has not given any indication of when the bomb will explode."

She said that a Balkans security expert told her that "he believes that there is no bomb at the tax office and in his opinion this was either a farce or a test for the police".

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

"It was a huge blast. I was in the kitchen with my grandchild and the whole building shook. We saw smoke and flames," an elderly woman who lives about 50 metres from the courthouse told Flash radio.

Spyros Vougias, the deputy transport minister, said: "We condemn the action, there is no point in trying to change the world by risking the death of innocent people."

According to the Balkans expert, the group Revolutionary Struggle may be behind the attack because ANFO, the material used in the explosive device, has been previously used by the group.

The blast, which happened at 06:22 GMT, damaged the facade of a court building, located on Riancour Street in the area of Ambelokipi in central Athens.

No casualties

According to police, the blast caused no injuries.

"An anonymous call to a TV station warned that an explosive device on a parked motorcycle outside the court house would go off in about 40 minutes," said a police official who did not want to be named.

According to Al Jazeera's sources, the caller also gave them the motorcycle's licence plate number.

Police rushed to the scene, found the motorcycle with the bomb and then evacuated the court building before the blast.

Authorities believe a makeshift explosive device was placed on a motorbike parked outside the Athens courthouse.

A police official said that the fact that the caller gave a 40 minute warning along with the motorcycle's plate number indicated the perpetrators were not aiming to kill.

'Leftist violence'

Greece has a decades-old history of leftist violence. Some groups became more active after riots in December 2008, triggered by the police killing of a teenager.

They usually target government buildings, police stations and banks, mostly at night, and make warning calls.

In November, a Greek anti-capitalist group claimed responsibility for sending parcel bombs to a number of embassies in Athens and to foreign governments abroad.

"They have their own agenda, they have no ideological background, they are just out there to create chaos, they are against the system," Skopis said of the Revolutionary Struggle.


Athens Anarchy: Fresh fierce clashes in Greece over govt cuts

Greece has been gripped by a new wave of protests over the government's sweeping austerity measures, aimed at reducing debt and fulfilling its bailout obligations.


A general strike has been called after the country's socialist government passed a highly controversial bill which slashes the salaries of public servants.

Helen Skopis, a journalist for Athens International Radio, said that Greece is "the only country up to now, at least in the Eurozone, whose financial crisis is not because of the collapse of the banking system, but because of the corrupt political system."

"People are demanding that the burden of this financial crisis not be put on their shoulders. They are on the streets protesting against austerity measures and structural reforms that passed in Parliament yesterday - 156 votes were in favor, 130 were against. One government deputy was expelled from the government party because he voted against the measures," the journalist said.

She added that many deputies describe their feelings as if "it was compromising democracy."

"Many deputies have reacted to what is going on with this express parliament procedure. They said yesterday they lashed [out] at the finance minister George saying that they feel as if they are being forced to vote with a gun to their head on measures that they know very little about," Helen Skopis said.

Meanwhile, Danish MEP and a member of Europe of Freedom and Democracy Group Morten Messerschmidt said that a bailout is just stalling, and thereby creating an even bigger problem, because the debt will just grow and grow, and the Eurozone is reacting very desperately.

"We need to be frank. We need to say that if Europe should have a common currency, we need to have everything governed by Brussels. The Europeans don't want that. Therefore a common currency is not realistic," he said.


Max Keiser: "IMF is Pledging Greece's Assets as Collateral"

For eleven years the Gold Anti Trust Action Committee has been amassing evidence that the prices of gold and silver are suppressed. As part of an ongoing investigation, it has now become clear that JP Morgan is sitting on what is estimated to be a 3.3 billion ounce short position on silver in an attempt to keep the price artificially low in order to keep the appeal of the dollar and other fiat currencies high. Financial analyst Max Keiser is calling on people to crash JP Morgan by buying silver...in this way making its price go up leaving JP Morgan with a huge short position to cover. To find out more about this initiative I spoke to Max Keiser and asked the following questions:
1) Why should people want to crash JP Morgan?
2) You are comparing JP Morgan to a terrorist organization?
3) What does a short position in silver mean?
4) Credit rating agency Standard & Poors has warned that Greece faces a further downgrade following the proposed new bailout regime in Europe... Why? Why now?
5) The head of the IMF Dominique Strauss Kahn is coming to Athens tomorrow (December 6) . What can be expected from his visit?
6) The domino effect you stated would begin after Greece is occurring. Where and when will this stop?
7) There has been talk recently of issuing European Bonds. Will this help the Eurozone?

PARCEL BOMBS

Ioannis Michaletos, an analyst with the World Security Network, speaks of the four parcel bombs which were found in Athens, in November 1st and 2nd.

PART 2:




ICELAND FIGHTS BACK - with Greek Subtitles

Iceland's former Prime Minister Geir Haarde has been referred to a special court called the Landsdσmur in a move that could make him the first world leader to be charged in connection with the global financial crisis. A recent report commissioned by the parliament found more should have been done to limit the damage from the collapse of Iceland's banks in 2008. To find out how this development has been received, I spoke with Birgitta Jonsdottir, a member for Icelandic parliament for the People's Movement, asking for insight on the following questions:

How has the public reacted to the fact that three additional ministers who were being investigated were not referred to the court?

Geir Haarde has said that his official acts as Prime Minister didn't cause the banking collapse and it was not in his power to prevent it. What are the main reasons which lead the parliament to decide to refer him to the special court?

The Landsdσmur has never convened since it was set up in 1905 to try government ministers accused of crimes. Can this court convict and our dismiss the charges?

Has a hearing date been set yet?

Haarde has blamed the banks for misleading his government. What has happened with the special bank chief who has accused thru a special investigation report of acting with gross negligence? Where does he stand?

How is Iceland coping with it's financial crisis and the presence of the IMF?
In many people's eyes the citizens of Iceland have set an example for the world by standing up to the banking system... what would Iceland like to see happening in the rest of Europe?

Birgitta Jonsdottir answers  in detail describing the people's reaction to Iceland's historic vote, the rage of many citizens concerning their dire economic conditions, the increase in home foreclosures and Jonsdottir's own hope that there will be political reform in the rest of Europe. She hopes the people of Europe become aware that "...the age of "left and Right" politics is over and it is time people have access to Parliament and to decision making either thru being able to get into office or thru laws which will allow them to call for national referendums on important issues such as when the IMF was brought into Greece. "

Η ΙΣΛΑΝΔΙΑ ΠΑΡΑΠΕΜΠΕΙ ΣΕ ΕΙΔΙΚΟ ΔΙΚΑΣΤΗΡΙΟ ΑΚΟΜΑ ΚΑΙ ΠΡΩΗΝ ΠΡΩΘΥΠΟΥΡΓΟ ΤΗΣ. ΕΜΕΙΣ ΤΙ ΚΑΝΟΥΜΕ;;; Τους χαϊδεύουμε φοβούμενοι μη σπάσουμε κανένα αυγό...

Μια συνέντευξη της Ελένης Σκόπη, με την Birgitta Jonsdottir , μέλος της Ισλανδικής βουλής, για το "Κίνημα του Λαού" η οποία ενημερώνει για την παραπομπή του πρωθυπουργού της Ισλανδίας σε ειδικό δικαστήριο με την κατηγορία της αμέλειας στην εκτέλεση των καθηκόντων του. Ενημερώνει και για τη ζοφερή κατάσταση στην Ισλανδία γενικότερα ένεκα της οικονομικής κρίσης, και σχολιάζει κατάσταση στην Ευρώπη και τις μεταρρυθμίσεις που πρέπει να γίνουν σε πολιτικό επίπεδο.

Aνακοίνωση ΑΙR 104.4 FM

Σε απαράδεκτη ενέργεια προέβησαν οι εισαγγελικές αρχές , κλείνοντας χτες τις εγκαταστάσεις μετάδοσης του ξενόγλωσσου προγράμματος του "Αθήνα 984", Athens International Radio 104.4 FM, την στιγμή μάλιστα που εκκρεμεί η γνωμοδότηση του ΕΣΡ την ερχόμενη Τρίτη.  Πρόκειται για τον σταθμό που προσφέρει ενημέρωση και ψυχαγωγία στους μετανάστες και όλους τους ξένους που ζουν και εργάζονται στην Αθήνα, καθώς και στους επισκέπτες της πόλης, ενώ αποτελεί συνεκτικό σημείο αναφοράς για τις ξένες κοινότητες.

 

Είναι ένας σταθμός που έχει χαρακτηριστεί παγκόσμιο πρότυπο, αφού μεταδίδει από το 2004 ειδησεογραφικά και ψυχαγωγικά προγράμματα σε 16 γλώσσες, ενώ έχει συμφωνίες συνεργασίας αναμετάδοσης προγράμματος με τα μεγαλύτερα ειδησεογραφικά δίκτυα του κόσμου (BBC World Service, Radio France Internationale, Deutsche Welle, China Radio International). Χαρακτηριστικό μάλιστα είναι ότι αναγκάζεται να διακόψει τις εκπομπές του στα FM ο σταθμός που μεταδίδει αποκλειστικά στην Ελλάδα κινεζικό πρόγραμμα από το CRI,τη στιγμή που η Αθήνα ετοιμάζεται να υποδεχτεί τον Κινέζο πρωθυπουργό.

 

Έχουμε ήδη ενημερωθεί οι ξένες πρεσβείες και τα ειδησεογραφικά πρακτορεία και ζητούμε να τοποθετηθούν όλοι οι αρμόδιοι υπουργοί, Γιάννης Ραγκούσης, Δημήτρης Ρέππας, Γιώργος Πεταλωτής, αλλά και όλοι οι εκπρόσωποι των δημοτικών παρατάξεων της Αθήνας, για τη σκοπιμότητα της απόφασης να διακοπεί βίαια η λειτουργία ενός σταθμού που προσφέρει δημόσιο αγαθό στους πολίτες χωρίς εμπορικές στοχεύσεις.

 

Ο AIR συνεχίζει κανονικά την εκπομπή του 24ωρου προγράμματός του διαδικτυακά.


Announcement

Athens International Radio 104.4 FM


 The public prosecutor's office proceeded yesterday with the unacceptable action of shutting down the transmission equipment of Athens International Radio 104.4 FM, the foreign language radio program of Municipal station "Athina 984".  This comes shortly before the National Radio Television Council is due to opine on the station's status next Tuesday, September 21, 2010. 

 

AIR FM provides news and entertainment to the immigrants and all foreigners living and working in Athens, as well as to the city's visitors, while at the same time it serves as a cohesive reference point for the capital's foreign communities.

 

AIR FM is considered a unique global radio innovation as it has been broadcasting news and entertainment programs in 16 languages since 2004.  It also broadcasts, as  media partners, programs from the world's largest news networks (BBC World Service, Radio France Internationale, Deutsche Welle, China Radio International).

 

Furthermore, AIR FM is the exclusive broadcasting vehicle in Greece for China Radio International, and has been forced to close its transmission on the FM frequency as Athens prepares to welcome the Prime Minister of China, Wen Jiabao.

 

Foreign embassies and news agencies have already been informed and we request that all relevant ministers, Giannis Ragousis (Minister of Interior, Decentralization and Electronic Government), Dimitris Reppas (Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks), and Giorgos Petalotis (Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister & Government Spokesperson), as well as all municipal representatives state their position on the underlying motives behind the abrupt closure of a station that provides a public service for citizens without commercial objectives.

 

AIR FM will continue its 24 hour broadcasting normally over the internet.

Bob Chapman/Helen Skopis: Greek Revolution, IMF Control & Greeks with Gold & Silver

Interview with Bob Chapman, owner and editor of the bi-weekly financial newsletter "The International Forecaster" which is read throughout the world.

Questions:

1) German economist Dr. Hans Werner Sinn has said that what Greece is undergoing amounts to an IMF austerity package but without the IMF "cure" of debt restructuring or devaluation that is usual for a country with a spiraling public debt and a chronic loss of competitiveness.  The International Forecaster states the real objective of the IMF austerity program is not to assist Greece but rather to bail out North European banks with heavy exposure to Southern Europe. Could you please explain this further?  

2) The Greek people have been told that returning to the Drachma would be disastrous for the economy. Could you further explain your premise of the need for Greece to return to the Drachma?

3) In your recent publications and in interviews you have said you have information there will be a people's coup or a revolution by the end of September. Could you tell us more?

4) Having been the largest gold and silver stockbroker from 1960 to 1988, you have long since been an advocate of owning physical gold and silver bullion if not for long term profit then as a hedge against inflation. The inflation rate in Greece stands at approximately 5.5% . Do you believe the acquisition of gold and silver assets would be a smart move for the average household in Greece?  

5) It is said the acquisition of gold and silver bullion and coins by the average person helps to break a corrupt financial system. Is this the case?


Max Keiser on EuroStat's Investigation of Hidden Greek Debt and Other Issues

On the onset of EuroStat's scheduled visit to Greece in order to secure a solid estimate of the total value of debt hidden by the country through opaque financial contracts. ... I ask financial analyst, Max Keiser his views on the following questions:
1) Why did EuroStat's Director General Walter Rademacher describe its upcoming investigation of Greek "creative financing" as " this is a new era"?
2) Perhaps by stating "a new era" Rademacher indicates a possibility that Greece's debt is higher or much higher than currently reported and that this "new era" actually means new austerity measures will be needed?
3) In 2008, after EuroStat asked countries to report the use of complex swap contracts , Rademacher stated Greece was the only European country which lied, reporting they were not utilized. Is this true? Was Greece the only country which covered up the use of these intricate financial instruments?
4) The extra yield the market is demanding for Greek bonds compared to German bonds is over 900 basis points. When is the yield for Greek bonds going to drop?
5) Germany has shown growth and enjoyed an increase in exports. Why are these facts not acting as a steam engine for the Euro zone economy?
6) Norway's sovereign fund finds Greek bonds safe to buy. Why do other entities think otherwise?
7) Greece is planning to auction 26 week T-Bills on September the 14th. How does he foresee the sale's success or failure?