Archive for the ‘Greek Radical Left Coalition’ Category
Good Advice from Zizek
…they could do worse than read this from Slavoj Žižek on Europe and the Greeks… passed on by Wu Ming for which many thanks…
On the choice between SYRIZA amd the right…
And, as is usually the case when a real choice is on offer, the establishment is in a panic: chaos, poverty and violence will follow, they say, if the wrong choice is made.
Here is the paradox that sustains the ‘free vote’ in democratic societies: one is free to choose on condition that one makes the right choice. This is why, when the wrong choice is made (as it was when Ireland rejected the EU constitution), the choice is treated as a mistake, and the establishment immediately demands that the ‘democratic’ process be repeated in order that the mistake may be corrected.
But it’s his conclusion which is most important where he points to a depoliticised technocracy…
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International Monetary Fund Chief Christine Lagarde gave an interview to the British Guardian, on Friday May 25 – saying :
“It’s payback time: don’t expect sympathy” – Lagarde to Greeks
Take responsibility and stop trying to avoid taxes, International Monetary Fund chief tells Athens”
IMF Boss Lagarde Tells Greeks “It’s Payback Time”
A huge facebook protest has erupted :
Facebook fury prompts Lagarde Greece clarification
The managing director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, has issued a statement on Facebook seeking to explain comments made in a newspaper interview. This response followed an online offensive from unhappy Greeks.
The International Monetary Fund’s top official issued a lengthy statement on her Facebook site at the weekend, responding more than 10,000 angry and often explicit messages on her account.
Lagarde had said in an interview with the Guardian newspaper that she had greater sympathy for impoverished children in Africa seeking an education than the plight of the Greek people, in reponse to a question on whether human emotion made her job more difficult.
The answer, though perhaps more carefully worded than some of the subsequent reports on it suggested, led to a wave of angry online responses.
“As I have said many times before, I am very sympathetic to the Greek people and the challenges they are facing. That’s why the IMF is supporting Greece in its endeavor to overcome the current crisis and return to the path of economic growth, jobs and stability,” Lagarde wrote on her inundated Facebook page.
“An important part of this effort is that everyone should carry their fair share of the burden, especially the most privileged and especially in terms of paying their taxes. That is the point I was emphasizing when I spoke to the Guardian newspaper as part of a broader interview some time ago,” the statement concluded.
Greater sympathy for children in Africa
Within 24 hours, this subsequent post had attracted 11,458 comments, most of them critical.
“You should say that to the relatives of the 3,000 Greeks that have committed suicide, to the one million unemployed,” a user said under the name Ntavos Paok.
In the original article, Lagarde was asked how she could block out the human impacts of austerity when setting cost-cutting targets for the indebted Greek government – whether it was possible to take a more hard-nosed attitude.
“I think more of the little kids from a school in a little village in Niger who get teaching two hours a day, sharing one chair for three of them, and who are very keen to get an education. I have them in my mind all the time,” Lagarde told the Manchester-based paper. “Do you know what? As far as Athens is concerned, I also think about all those people who are trying to escape tax all the time.”
Socialist party leader Evangelos Venizelos responded by saying “nobody can humiliate the Greek people during the crisis, and I say this today addressing specifically Ms. Lagarde … who with her stance insulted the Greek people. I call on her to re-think what she wanted to say.”
Greece has accepted two sets of emergency international loans from the IMF and its European partners. The lower-interest funds are being released on a piecemeal basis and are tied to tough economic reforms. The country, meanwhile, is headed for its fifth consecutive year of recession.
Tax evasion, especially by the most wealthy people in the country, has been cited as one of the more notorious reasons for the Greek economic problems.
msh/pfd (AFP, AP, Reuters)
Séumas Milne points out :
EU elites are trying to scare Greeks and Irish into swallowing austerity, but it’s they who brought the economy to its knees
Continuing, the Guardian columnist explains further :
Democracy has never been the European Union’s strongest suit. It’s an institution where the unelected and the barely accountable have always called the shots – and electorates are routinely made to vote again if they get the answer wrong in a referendum. So perhaps it’s no surprise that as soon as it became clear the Greeks would be given another say on the austerity programme that has already driven their country into 1930s-style depression, the threats and bullying began in earnest.
The entire European establishment has now lined up to scare Greeks off giving another majority to anti-austerity parties, as they did in explosive elections earlier this month. Europe’s revolt against austerity has to be contained. Democratic niceties about not interfering in other countries’ elections have been ditched. If Greeks vote for parties such as the radical left Syriza – now leading in most opinion polls – they will be voting to leave the euro, Europe’s political elite has warned.
Read the full article here :
Dublin Public Meeting :
Despin Charalampidou was elected to the Greek Parliament in the recent elections. She is a member of the Central Political Commitee of SYRIZA and has been an active trade unionist for many years.
Despin will speak at a public meeting in Wynn’s Hotel at 8.00pm on Thursday, May 24.