Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Greek Lawmakers Approve Bill Amid Violent Protests Greek crisis brings us even closer to European empire
ATHENS, Greece -- Greece's lawmakers approved a key austerity bill Wednesday needed to avert default next month, despite a second day of rioting on the streets of Athens that left dozens of police and protesters injured.
The passage of the bill was a decisive step for the country to get the next batch of bailout loans from international creditors and was met with a huge sigh of relief in markets and by Greece's partners in the eurozone. A Greek default could potentially trigger a banking crisis, particularly in Europe, and turmoil in global markets.
Another bill has to be passed Thursday for the government to secure the money.
The bill to cut spending and raise taxes by $40 billion over five years, and raise $71 billion in privatizations over the same period of time, has provoked widespread outrage, coming after a year of deep cuts that have seen public sector salaries and pensions cut and unemployment rise to above 16 percent.
While deputies voted, stun grenades echoed across the square outside the Parliament building and acrid clouds of tear gas hung in the streets. The violence continued sporadically after the vote and smoke was billowing from beneath the Finance Ministry.
Authorities and emergency services said 26 police and 15 protesters were injured and transferred to hospitals, while 29 people were detained, and nine arrested.
The European Union and International Monetary Fund have demanded both bills pass before it releases a euro12 billion installment of the country's $157 billion bailout fund. Without it, Greece was facing defaulting on its debts by the middle of next month.

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The Greek crisis brings us even closer to the long-planned European empire

A long time ago, when I spent a lot of time at the Council of Ministers in Brussels, my good friend Otto Graf Lambsdorff and I would wearily raise our heads and mutter “Beware the Greeks when they come demanding gifts” when confronted by yet another plea for a subsidy from our Greek colleague. It would be very easy to think that current events in Greece are just a continuation of that same problem.
That would be to misunderstand the grand strategy being pursued in Brussels. It is designed to achieve, without recourse to war, the realization of a dream unfulfilled since the fall of Rome, the first pan-European Empire. Spain, France and Austro Hungary failed in their attempts to build such an Empire and after yet another destructive European war, the founding fathers of the EU swore to achieve through politics what warfare had failed to deliver.
The creation of a common, or to be correct, sole currency, the euro, was not an end in itself, but a weapon to achieve by economic means, a European government. It was about politics, not economics.
Had it been about economics, the Germans would never have closed their eyes and held their noses as the Greek government met the requirement for admission to the currency union only with blatantly falsified statistics.  There could never have been any serious doubt that sooner or later there would be a crisis requiring a Greek bail out, default or exit from the eurozone. Nor can there be any doubt that there will be bailout after bailout, with the sums at risk if Greece were to default and exit the zone growing to the level at which it would inflict huge damage to the wider European and world economy.  Indeed, there are already whispers that it is our interest to do anything to avoid such a disaster, for if Greece went down Spain might be next.
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