Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund Asset Development Plan (Greek Privatization Plan) Leaked (PDF)

by Scott Creighton

The privatization plan concocted by the Troika’s International Monetary Fund, European Commission and European Central Bank has been leaked online. It includes a vast array of nationally owned businesses, infrastructure and public services including:

  • airports
  • gas transmission systems (pipelines) (keep in mind: the Turkish Stream gas pipeline)
  • golf courses
  • hotels
  • shipping ports
  • railways
  • marinas
  • motorways (toll roads)
  • oil refineries
  • various “other real estate tenders” in Argos, Veroia, Stylinda, Kefalonia, Nafplion, Chalkidiki, Mesinia and Athens
  • telecommunication services
  • the public power service (electric services)
  • public gas services
  • the postal services
  • and two water supply services

It’s called the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund Asset Development Plan (PDF) and essentially, it’s the selling off of nearly all of the potentially profitable government functions of Greece.

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Tempest in a Teapot: The Story of Neoliberal Kristen McQueary and Longing for a Katrina in Chicago

by Scott Creighton

Sometimes the neoliberal apologists for the neoliberal Free-Marketeers go too far.

Sometimes their editors have to erase the little peek they give us inside the minds of the sociopaths who make up the Milton Friedman True Believer class.

Sometimes they have to write unapologetic apologies when civil society reacts with horror at the shear selfishness and cruelty these Ayn Randians harbor deep down inside.

“Envy isn’t a rational response to the upcoming 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

But with Aug. 29 fast approaching and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu making media rounds, including at the Tribune Editorial Board, I find myself wishing for a storm in Chicago — an unpredictable, haughty, devastating swirl of fury. A dramatic levee break. Geysers bursting through manhole covers. A sleeping city, forced onto the rooftops.

That’s what it took to hit the reset button in New Orleans. Chaos. Tragedy. Heartbreak

An underperforming public school system saw a complete makeover. A new schools chief, Paul Vallas, designed a school system with the flexibility of an entrepreneur (privatized). No restrictive mandates from the city (deregulated) or the state. No demands from teacher unions to abide (no labor protections). Instead, he created the nation’s first free-market education system

That’s why I find myself praying for a real storm. That’s why I can relate, metaphorically, to the residents of New Orleans climbing onto their rooftops and begging for help and waving their arms and lurching toward rescue helicopters” original version of Kristen McQueary’s libertarian/neoliberal screed

not so cute sometimes I guess

That’s what happened when cute little libertarian Kristen McQueary penned her latest OpEd for the Chicago Tribune in which she pined away wishing for a Hurricane Katrina to come to Chicago and wash away all that liberal excess so the neoliberal economic hit-men could remake the city into Galt’s Gulch like they did in New Orleans.

It’s called “disaster capitalism” and in the case of New Orleans, it only cost about 1,800 lives and countless people being made homeless. That’s to say nothing of the corrupt, fascist, privatized public education system (the kind promoted by Rahm Emanuel, Jeb Bush and Ron Paul alike) they installed in the wake of the storm which has cost countless futures for countless kids of the poor and working classes of that once great city.

Just for shits and giggles, you guys do understand that the father of modern day charter school ideology was Augusto Pinochet under his Milton Friedman inspired dictatorship, right?

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Bailout terms for Athens ‘declare war’ on Greek workers, say campaigners

from RT

Requirements attached to Greece’s latest bailout package are “extreme” free market fundamentalism designed to punish ordinary Greek people, a leading social justice campaign has said.

After all-night negotiations in Athens, the European Commission (EC) came to an agreement with Greek representatives on Tuesday to provide Greece with an €85 billion (£95 billion) rescue loan.

UK campaign group Global Justice Now slammed the deal as an excuse for imposing radical economic restructuring on Greece, including privatization and deregulation measures.

The group’s director, Nick Dearden, said it was one of the most radical examples of neoliberal reforms being forced on a country that the organization had ever seen.

This package amounts to some of the most extreme ‘free market’ fundamentalism we’ve ever witnessed – even by the standards of the International Monetary Fund programs imposed on Africa, Asia and Latin America in the 1980s,” he told RT on Wednesday.

In short, it says that Greece is up for sale, and its workers, farmers and small businesses will have to be cleared out of the way.”

[read more here]

Greek Stock Market Follows Manufacturing Sector Over the Cliff Upon Opening this Morning

Greece stock market nosedives after five-week shutdown

Greece’s stock market plunged nearly 23% on Monday when it reopened after a five-week shutdown brought on by fears that the country was about to be dumped from the eurozone.

The main Athens stock index fell to in worst ever one-day performance after only a few minutes of trading.

Greek manufacturing activity hits record low in July

With capital controls, banks closed and slumping demand, Greece’s factory output fell to its lowest level on record in July.

The manufacturing sector – which makes up about 10% of the economy – fell to 30.2 points according to Markit’s montly purchasing managers index. Anything below 50 is a sign of contraction. This is the worst performance since the company started compiling the data in 1999

greece

UPDATES from Greece: Vote Day, Tahrir Moment in Syntagma Square and the IMF Pledge that Isn’t

by Scott Creighton

itemprop

A man racked by shame begs for money as Greeks line up to make their small daily withdrawals from a bank

Alexis Tsipras took his case to the press last night in an hour-long interview on state TV. During that time he defended his 180 degree turn and urged the country to get behind the “irrational” Troika coup because, as he put it, “it’s the best deal Greece can get” Gone was all the pretense he displayed back when he and the rock-star pretended to want Greeks to vote “NO” on the austerity referendum. Now he demands a “YES” from Parliament on the neoliberal economic brick being dropped on the heads of the people he represents. He promised to keep the banks closed until the deal is ratified. More economic terrorism from the “hero” of Greece and the left. Like Obama siding with the republicans to get several of his previous “successes” done in congress, Tsipras looks to the neoliberal opposition parties for support getting the deal finalized.

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BDS the Global Corporate Coup!

by Scott Creighton

Putting forward a simple idea: BDS the global corporate coup.

Embedded image permalink

In 2005, Palestinian civil society put out a call for a truly global movement of people opposed to Israel’s illegal and immoral treatment of Palestinian people living in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. It is called the BDS movement (boycott, divest and sanction) and though it has not yet ended the brutal and inhumane treatment, it’s influence is building across the globe with minor victories over the last few years and certainly a major victory for the Palestinian cause in the “hearts and minds” campaign targeting young, college-aged people all over the world.

Similar BDS-type movements have met with a great deal of success in the past most notably in apartheid South Africa.

The BDS movement is having a profound effect on Israeli businesses and therefore on Israeli policy. Fascist nations and their Vichy politicians are wholly owned subsidiaries of their Big Business backers. You haven’t got to look past our own borders here in the states to realize that simple truth about American “democracy” and our “friends in the region”.  And to that end, they are both equally vulnerable to the will of the wallet as long as it is well organized and just.

The effect is so great, Israel’s predominant lobbying effort here in the states, AIPAC, has put forward a rider ( U.S-Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act ) for a corporatist “trade” bill, the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), which seeks to counter the crippling effects of the growing BDS movement.

“The U.S-Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act will ensure that American free trade partners never engage in this harmful and illegitimate political protest against Israel, while also protecting U.S. companies from foreign lawsuits targeting their associations with Israel.” Feb. 2015

Clearly, powerful lobbying groups and think-tanks don’t take the time to write legislation to thwart a movement if they don’t perceive that movement as a serious problem and ultimately a threat to their established power structure. Therefore, BDS is working and AIPAC is telling us it is.

Today I would like to put forward another idea, one borrowing from the Palestinian BDS movement. Borrowing from it and hopefully adding to it.

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Protests grow in Baltimore in defiance of police-military siege

(“Authorities and the media are seeking to condition the population to accept routine police state measures and the suspension of democratic rights.” Yep. That’s the ticket)

by Jerry White, WSWS

Thousands of workers and students demonstrated in Baltimore Wednesday, defying the military-police crackdown in the city of 622,000.

Solidarity protests, including those demanding the removal of the National Guard from Baltimore, spread to other cities, including New York City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Washington, DC.

While the police murder of 25-year-old Freddie Gray was the trigger of social opposition, the outpouring of protests is driven by deeper social causes.

In addition to police violence, angry youth on the streets of Baltimore spoke out against deteriorating schools, impoverished neighborhoods, poverty level jobs and the vast social chasm that has produced “two Baltimores”—one for the rich and powerful, the other for the poor. They complained of the indifference of the political establishment in the city, which has long been dominated by a corrupt layer of African American Democratic Party politicians.

As the immense class tensions that characterize American society are beginning to rise to the surface, the ruling class is responding with violence and repression…

Much of the media coverage Wednesday was characterized by a self-congratulatory tone over the success of the military-police crackdown and the supposed popular support for the dispatch of armed troops

[read more here]

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