The Internet is the last source of information we have that hasn’t been completely corrupted by the powers that be, and that changes on an almost daily basis. We, the people, need to fight back and take to the Internet and ensure that our model for the free passing of thoughts and ideas is protected for future generations.
Iceland holds some key lessons for nations trying to survive bailouts after the island’s approach to its rescue led to a “surprisingly” strong recovery, the International Monetary Fund’s mission chief to the country said.
Iceland’s commitment to its program, a decision to push losses on to bondholders instead of taxpayers and the safeguarding of a welfare system that shielded the unemployed from penury helped propel the nation from collapse toward recovery, according to the Washington-based fund.
“Iceland has made significant achievements since the crisis,” Daria V. Zakharova, IMF mission chief to the island, said in an interview. “We have a very positive outlook on growth, especially for this year and next year because it appears to us that the growth is broad based.”
Iceland refused to protect creditors in its banks, which failed in 2008 after their debts bloated to 10 times the size of the economy. The island’s subsequent decision to shield itself from a capital outflow by restricting currency movements allowed the government to ward off a speculative attack, cauterizing the economy’s hemorrhaging. That helped the authorities focus on supporting households and businesses.
“The fact that Iceland managed to preserve the social welfare system in the face of a very sizeable fiscal consolidation is one of the major achievements under the program and of the Icelandic government,” Zakharova said. The program benefited from “strong implementation, reflecting ownership on the part of the authorities,” she said.
I think reality has just opened itself up and engulfed me. Internets, do your thing and spread this. If the IMF is admitting that this model is supporting positive growth, than why would anyone do it any other way?
#Fuck the banksters
Democracy was created in Greece. Good to know that the powers that be see this and are trying to destroy Democracy’s birthplace.
#eat the rich
After weeks of violent protest at cuts to Spanish mining subsidies, workers are on the march to Madrid.
Bishoy, a 25-year-old Egyptian asylum seeker, at an anti-racist demonstration in the southern Athens suburb of Kallithea, where he was a victim in one of two separate racist attacks in May 2012 that left four migrants injured.
The Greek authorities are failing to tackle a rising wave of xenophobic violence that has left migrants afraid to walk the streets.
Check out our video and photo series here.
Photo © 2012 Zalmaï for Human Rights Watch
If you’re interested, Evelyn, a Greek-American, has talked in-depth about the rise of Greece’s largest far-right political party, Golden Dawn, and how international economic policies (through the EU) and Greece’s current economic situation has affected the country and helped fuel Xenophobia.
Honestly, what do you people expect from a nation that has been DESTROYED by members of other countries? Greece has been desimated by the international cartels of bankers and politicians of other nations.
I’d be upset about others doing the same thing too if I had 25% unemployment, no stable government and the host of other problems currently suffered by them.
Who seeks asylum in a nation that is falling apart?
Greece is just another sad story in the epic of how we fucked up the world, they should be allowed to be cut free from the Euro, take their DE-valuation, and move on. As a wise man, Nigel Farage of UKIP, once said: “It’s even more serious than economics because if you rob people of their identity, if you rob them of their democracy, then all they are left with is nationalism and violence. I can only hope and pray that the Euro project is destroyed by the markets before that”
Sir Richard Branson believes that the ideal way for Spain to get out of its current morass of national debt, savage austerity cuts, and social turmoil would be to legalize and tax marijuana.
The billionaire founder of the Virgin Group suggested at the opening of the world’s largest cannabis museum in Barcelona on Wednesday that this policy “would help get the country back on its feet.”
Branson is a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, a body “which includes five ex-presidents and Kofi Annan, the former United Nations secretary general, and which concluded last year that the war on drugs had failed and called for experiments in decriminalisation.”
Other members of the commission include former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz and former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso.
Branson was invited to Barcelona to receive the Cannabis Culture Award 2012 on behalf of the commission and in recognition of its ground-breaking report. In his speech, his praised the nearby town of Rasquera, whose inhabitants voted to rent land to a Barcelona cannibis-growers’ society as part of an “anticrisis plan.”
The town’s mayor, Bernat Pellisa, explained that the idea to use marijuana to help get the town out of recession was inspired by the global commission’s report.
“It seems like a great idea to me,” Branson stated enthusiastically.
The Hemp Museum Gallery Barcelona was officially opened on Friday. According to ThinkSpain, it “will exhibit paintings, photos and drawings illustrating the use of cannabis throughout history, as well as some antique objects, like tools and instruments used to transform the hemp plant into rope, paper and fabric.”
Reuters) - German police said they detained 400 anti-capitalist protesters in Frankfurt on Friday for defying a ban on demonstrations against austerity policies implemented to tackle the intensifying euro zone debt crisis.
The demonstration in the German financial capital was part of a four-day-long “Blockupy” protest, due to run until Saturday, against capitalism and swingeing austerity measures.
"Hungry? Eat a banker," read one banner protesters held up outside the Messeturm skyscraper housing Goldman Sachs’ offices. Reuters’ Frankfurt office is also in the building.
Police closed several main roads in Frankfurt - including a main artery into the city that passes by the Messeturm - and flooded the centre with officers. There was no violence.
The protesters are angry at the misery they say governments are inflicting on people with their response to the crisis, which has intensified since inconclusive elections in Greece this month fueled concerns about its future in the euro zone.
"The Greek austerity measures are making Greece go kaputt even faster," said protester Leonard Loch, 37, from Hamburg.
The European Central Bank reported no trouble on Friday and commercial banks, many of whom have made contingency plans to cope with the protests, said their operations were running smoothly.
"Our operating business is not curtailed. We were well prepared," said a Commerzbank spokeswoman.
The Germans seem to keep the protests peaceful, yet due to the nature of the protest, the police still get involved. This is wrong. If you aren’t harming anyone or preventing them from enjoying their freedoms, what exactly is the problem?
Reality sometimes does exceed fiction. Three days ahead of the elections in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s largest and most populous state, the Piratenpartei‘s website has been discovered to be censored in schools. These state-run institutions do not allow people – voters – to read what policies the challenger party stands for.
Specifically, it is the election program of the German Pirate Party that is being actively censored in schools, under the category “illegal drugs”. It is no secret that the German Pirate Party wants to change the law to regulate, rather than prohibit, cannabis. Apparently, expressing a desire to change the law is seen as just as dangerous as breaking the law – just questioning the current policy: enough to suppress freedom of speech in the state-run schools.
It should be noted that the Piratenpartei is currently polling at levels that would give the party 8-10% of the seats in the state parliament, so the challenge is real and the challenger is expected to win seats in the elections this Sunday. It is far from a nonsense minority party; rather, it currently has a lot of the media spotlight.
Election fraud appears to be the norm in the G8 countries.
The Israeli government is seeking to renege on a pledge to demolish a West Bank outpost built on privately owned Palestinian land.
The move comes amid a wave of international condemnation over its retrospective authorisation this week of three other illegal outposts, strengthening Israel's hold on the West Bank and bolstering pro-settler groups, whose influence on government policy is growing.
The attorney general, Yehuda Weinstein, will ask the supreme court to delay an order to evacuate and demolish five apartment buildings at Ulpana, on the edge of the Beit El settlement. The case is due to be heard before Tuesday’s deadline for evacuation.
The government had earlier given a commitment to carry out the order, saying it did not approve settlement construction on private land. Most settlements in the West Bank are built on land taken over by the state of Israel during its 45-year occupation.
But vigorous lobbying – including threats to bring down the coalition – by pro-settler members of the ruling Likud party, smaller rightwing parties and government ministers led prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu to seek ways to avoid confrontation on the issue.
Three outposts, which were defined “illegal” because they lacked proper authorisation when founded in the 1990s, were retrospectively “legalised” this week by a special ministerial committee. Under international law, all settlements on occupied territory are illegal.
Critics said the move was, in effect, the first official establishment of new settlements in the West Bank in more than two decades.
The decision drew criticism from the US, UK, French, German, Danish and Jordanian governments, the European Union, the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority.
Canada has been left off this list because we can’t criticize the State of Israel in Canada without it being hatespeech, according to the new leader of the NDP, Tomas Mulcair. So, in light of that, allow me to make some non-hateful comments about Israel:
Your government’s decisions regarding settlement lands are illegal. Your government is just as corrupt and vile as ours, the Americans, and any other government. It’s only through peace and love that we can affect change. If you continue to make it about an “us vs them” problem, you will be embroiled in a battle for your lives, and the lives of your children. I’m reminded of a quote by a British politician, Nigel Fargae, who was speaking about Greece, but the same could be said of Palestine.
"If you rob people of their identity, if you rob people of their democracy, than all they are left with is nationalism and violence."
The statement from the European Parliament’s rapporteur reads:
David Martin, the European Parliament’s rapporteur on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), today announced that he will recommend that Parliament votes against this controversial trade agreement because it does not provide enough guarantees for citizens.
Mr Martin made this announcement at the end of a public debate organised by the S&D Group in the European Parliament with representatives of industry, NGOs, unions, internet groups and citizens concerned about the effects of implementing ACTA.
Martin is confident enough in getting the trade agreement failed by stating the European Parliament will reject it:
Today’s conference has confirmed my suspicion that ACTA raises more fears than hopes. What it delivers in terms of important intellectual property rights is diminished by potential threats to civil liberties and internet freedom. When the European Parliament rejects ACTA, the Commission must work to find other ways to defend European intellectual property in the global marketplace.
The president of the S&D Group – the parliament’s second largest bloc after the conservative European People’s Party - European MP Hannes Swoboda, meanwhile, backed Martin’s statement:
Next week, at our upcoming group meeting, I will recommend to all Socialists and Democrats to reject ACTA. It will be important to find a way to solve standing problems through a transparent process and in a way whereby freedoms of Internet users will not be further restricted.
So, it seems the entire left-wing bloc within the European Parliament will most definitely vote against ACTA upon its ratification stages in the coming months. If the strong opposition from some of the major parties within the European Parliament is followed by others, ACTA will surely ultimately be failed by the other parties involved.
Awesome. This made my fucking day.