Greek Journalists Strike To Protest Austerity

Athens (dpa) – Greek journalists walked off the job for 24 hours on Tuesday to protest austerity measures and income cuts, forcing a news blackout across the country.

The strike, which began at 6 a.m. (0400 GMT) affected all media, including radio and television news broadcasts, websites and daily newspapers.

Journalists‘ unions have been protesting firings and pension and benefit cuts while hundreds of journalists in the private sector frequently go unpaid for months.

Tuesday‘s strike comes one day ahead of a nationwide strike by workers in the state and private sector, which is expected to disrupt public services and transport, including rail and ferry service.

Hospitals will be operating on skeleton staff as doctors and nurses join the 24-hour walkout and pharmacies will be closed for the day.

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Military Spending, Banking, Austerity, TAFTA…Protested

The EU summit brought hundreds of protesters onto the streets of Brussels over a variety of causes – from austerity to food production and military policy.

While European leaders talked about defence and banking rules aimed at protecting taxpayers, demonstrators complained the EU favours vested interests.

“They are pursuing policies for big business, the big bosses, whereas we need all that money for the people. If we don’t fight we’ll be adopting the German model, where the situation of young people, having to work for little jobs, will always be precarious,” said Stephane, a student.

Traffic was disrupted as some 50 organisations turned out to stage demonstrations. Anger was also directed at cost-cutting by Belgium in its new budget, and by other European governments.

“What we see in countries with very strong austerity like in Greece, Portugal or in Spain, is that debt goes up, the deficit goes up, so does unemployment and the number of suicides. It’s economic poison,” said Felipe Van Keirsblick from the CNE trade union representing private sector employees.

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Greece: Rise Of The Party, Demise Of The Movement?

I was at Syntagma Square in Athens during its long summer of 2011. Just like hundreds of thousands of other participants in this incredible horizontal experiment, I was impressed by the ability of everyday people — who were until then outsiders of the political game — to spontaneously get together and organize themselves into the largest Popular Assembly Athens has ever witnessed, seeking to overturn the neoliberal austerity measures the government was soon to vote on, and invent ways in which direct democracy could possibly work as a form of decision-making beyond the limited space of a square. Two-and-a-half years later, on November 10, 2013, another call for the occupation of Syntagma Square was made. Yet this time there was no need to investigate who made the call, neither “who brought the mic”. The whole event was organized by the radical-left party SYRIZA. Many leftists in Europe and North America look to SYRIZA with hope and amazement. But is it really a good sign that a political party has “stolen the show” of the movements and usurped their energy? Should we not be worried that the horizontal and direct democratic experiment of the squares has largely given way to the old hierarchical forms of representation and electoral politics? Should we not be concerned that the Popular Assemblies have been replaced with the speeches of a party leader in Parliament?

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The Surge Of Neo-Nazism In Greece

“The surge of neo-Nazism in Greec certainly would not have been possible without the ongoing economic catastrophe and the social decay caused by the policies of fiscal sadism conceived by the EU and the IMF and enforced by the servile and thoroughly incompetent Greek political establishment in exchange for the bailout loans; but neither would it have materialized had it not been for the presence of a long historical tradition of authoritarianism and fascism in Greece. Golden Dawn also might not have surfaced as a viable political force were it not for the criminal failure of the two major parties (the conservatives and the socialists) since the end of military rule to build a marginally fair and a barely just social order and to use the resources available to the state for true public purposes instead of as bait for ignorant voters and to enrich themselves and their associates.”

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Greek Govt Cracks Down On Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party

Greek police have arrested the leader, several MPs and dozens of members of ultra-right Golden Dawn party on charges of leading a “criminal organization.” The party promised to respond with mass rallies of its supporters.

Greek police issued arrest warrants for Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos, party spokesman and MP Ilias Kassidiairis, two other prominent members, at least five other party MPs, as well as number of ordinary party members.

“The Secretary General and one lawmaker of the Golden Dawn Party were arrested a short while ago after arrest warrants were issued,” Greek police informed journalists.

Police have detained about 30 members of the ultra-right party, which won 18 seats in the Greek parliament in the June 2012 elections, having received close to 7 percent of the popular vote.

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Greek Anti-Fascist Musician Murdered By Neo-Nazi Thugs

Pavlos Fyssas, a 34-year-old left-wing activist and hip-hop artist, was stabbed to death by Golden Dawn supporters in the Keratsini district of Athens. According to Pavlos father, Pavlos’ friends made a remark against Golden Dawn inside a café where they were watching a football match. Somebody from a nearby table overheard them and made a phone call to Golden Dawn members. Golden Dawn squads arrived almost simultaneously with DIAS motorbike police. Pavlos tried to help his friends evade the scene, but he was ambushed by another Golden Dawn squad and surrounded. Then another Golden Dawn associate drove with his car opposite in an one-way street, stopped and stabbed him to death, while the DIAS policemen did not intervene.

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Greeks Protest Against Golden Dawn Attack On Communists

Thousands of Greeks took to the streets of Athens on Friday to protestagainst a violent attack on Communist party members by black-shirted supporters of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party which left nine people in hospital with serious injuries.

In what was described as a murderous attack – and the most serious violence since the extremist group was elected to the country’s parliament last year – about 50 men wielding crowbars and bats set upon leftists as they distributed posters in a working-class district of the capital late on Thursday. With the Communist party preparing to stage a youth festival in the coming days, Thursday’s midnight assault comes amid mounting fears that the far right is trying to cultivate an atmosphere of civil war in Greece.

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The Catastrophic Management Of Catastrophe

The catastrophic management of catastrophe. If there is one line that describes the nature of neoliberal crisis management, that must be it. From Mexico and Latin America in 1982 to the South-East Asian crisis of 1997-’98, and from Turkey and Argentina in the early 2000s to the European debt crisis from 2010 onward — the most catastrophic thing about neoliberal crisis management is not only that it has a penchant to turn already catastrophic financial crises caused by runaway private speculation into an immense source of private gain for the same very financiers responsible for the catastrophe to begin with; but, even more nefariously, that it makes those catastrophes so much more catastrophic than they really need to be for almost everyone else. Notwithstanding all the propaganda and rhetoric about “free markets” promoting democracy and development, the massive bank bailouts of the neoliberal era have invariably shown that those so-called neoliberals in fact care very little even about free markets — let alone about democracy or development.

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‘We Won’t Pay’: Greek Activists Reconnect Power To Poverty-Stricken Homes

Members of the ‘We Don’t Pay’ movement demand alternatives to the austerity measures that, as many argue, have deepened the recession and made unemployment unbearable. “The vast majority of the public is sunk into poverty, and a few families across the world have 99 percent of the wealth. That’s not something we want to bear, that’s something we want to overthrow here in Greece and across the world,” Ilias Papadopoulos from the ‘We Don’t Pay’ movement told RT in Athens. Members the group, that began in a village of 3,000 people, reconnect electricity to homes and disconnect power from road tolls, making them free for motorists. Sometimes they also target the Athens metro system.

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Greece Opposition Party, Syriza, Re-Organized To Win

“Starting tomorrow, with our new party, all together, stronger and more united than ever, we will embark on our great and victorious path,” Alexis Tsipras said in a statement issued by the party. Tsipras, who ran against another two candidates, was re-elected with 74.08 percent of the votes. At the end of a dramatic five-day party conference and heated debates, Syriza decided to adopt a new, unified form, abandoning its previous format that featured various small factions. Syriza scored a surprising second place in parliament in the elections of June 2012, winning 72 seats out of an overall 300.

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The Incredible Story of Greece’s ‘Most Wanted’ Journalist

Reviled in his own country and hailed abroad, Kostas Vaxevanis is most certainly the loneliest and most persecuted journalist in Greece. He acquired a worldwide reputation and became a thorn in the government’s side after publishing the infamous Lagarde list of potentially tax-evading wealthy Greeks. This essay by leading Dutch journalist Ingeborg Beugel, who served as a correspondent for numerous Dutch newspapers and TV stations in Greece, is a portrait of a lone voice crying in the wilderness — a man who fears for the future of Greek democracy. “At the moment I feel most threatened by the silence. A deafening silence. For an investigative journalist, nothing is worse than being ignored. I do not fear for myself, but for our democracy. It’s in danger.”

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From the Greek Streets: Solidarity

Over the past few days, numerous acts of solidarity took place throughout Greece in solidarity with imprisoned anarchist Kostas Sakkas, who is on hunger strike since the 4th of June 2013 fighting for his immediate release. On the 11th of June, a treating physician reported that clinically he has profound weakness, fatigue after minimal exertion (e.g. walking from his cell to the prisons infirmary), discomfort, mild dyspnea, dizziness, headache, abdominal pain, and he has lost 3.5kg of weight. In the meantime, fellow prisoners have declared their unreserved solidarity with the hunger striker with hundreds taking action in support of him and in opposition to his lengthy pre-trial detention.

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Greek Public Broadcasting Reopens After Court Victory

A Greek court has ordered the state broadcaster ERT back on air while it is restructured, allowing squabbling leaders of the governing coalition to move towards a compromise that avoids early elections. The ruling came six days after the prime minister, Antonis Samaras, suddenly switched ERT off to save money and please foreign lenders, sparking an outcry from unions, journalists and exposing a rift with his allies. All parties claimed victory from the ruling, which failed to specify whether ERT must restart with programming as before or only partially resume operations until its relaunch.

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Video: Greek Government Pulls the Plug on State TV

In Greece on Thursday, there was a state-wide protest. Protesters were in the street today demonstrating against the closure of the state television station ERT. The public access channel was switched off in the middle of the night by the government. It sounds so clandestine. But we’re here to discuss all of this with Costas Lapavitsas. Costas is a professor in economics at the school of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, he is a member of the Research on Money and Finance, and he’s a regular columnist for The Guardian.

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