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Syriza minister vows to veto TTIP

Syriza minister vows to veto TTIP

That was back in February 2015

Georgios Katrougkalos, the country’s deputy minister for administrative reform, promised his government would block the deal.

Speaking to EurActiv Greece, Katrougkalos said:

I can assure you that a Parliament where Syriza holds the majority will never ratify the deal. And this will be a big gift not only to the Greek people but to all the European people.

If TTIP is to become a reality, it will need to pass a unanimous vote of the European Council and then be ratified by all 28 member states.

Could add a whole new dimension to the Greek bail out/bail in/ troika takeover?

I wonder what the EU definition of ‘debt sustainability’ actually is…..


Austrians Sign Petition to Leave European Union

Austrians Sign Petition to Leave European Union

Over 260,000 Austrians have signed a petition calling for the EU exit for the country, and now the Austrian parliament must discuss a referendum on the issue.

Unlike Greece, Austria is an extremely wealthy nation, with one of the highest standards of living in the world. Which kind of makes you wonder right? Everyone has been talking about the consequences of what would happen if a financial basket case like Greece leaves the EU, but what happens if one of the more stable and functional nations leave? What if the people who are carrying the weight of the insolvent, decide that they’ve had enough?

Queen’s Europe speech raises eyebrows in Britain ?

Queen’s Europe speech raises eyebrows in Britain ?

A speech by Queen Elizabeth II warning against “division” in Europe as Prime Minister David Cameron plans a referendum on Britain’s EU membership was interpreted by British media on Thursday as a political statement.

British newspapers were quick to express their surprise on Thursday, the same day that Cameron is due to address European Union leaders in Brussels on Britain’s desire for a looser association with the EU bloc.

The Daily Telegraph said “the Queen’s comments may be interpreted by some as the sovereign expressing a view on the EU debate”.

A headline in The Independent read: “Queen issues unexpected warning as EU leaders meet in Brussels for key summit”.

But a Buckingham Palace aide quoted by the BBC rejected the interpretation of the queen’s words.

“This is not about the EU. The queen is apolitical.

That’s the EU official version *cough*


EU commission sets up Brexit unit

The European Commission has sent a strong political signal to London by appointing a special team to take charge of relations with the UK in the run-up to its referendum on EU membership.

Jonathan Faull, a lawyer and one of Britain’s top civil servants in the commission, will head up the new unit, which officially starts its work on 1 September.

Cameron sidelined at summit

Cameron sidelined at summit

According to EU news :

British Prime Minister David Cameron found his reform agenda sidelined at a tense EU summit Thursday as leaders warned he faces tough negotiations ahead of a referendum on whether to leave the bloc.

And according to the Torygraph:

David Cameron ‘delighted’ with EU talks

That infers he wants the reform agenda sidelined?





Euro theatre and high Drama

What is being masked?

Eurozone leaders meet to break Greece deadlock

EU Heads of State or Government of the eurozone meet in Brussels on 22 June 2015 to discuss the urgent situation in Greece.

check out the link above – scroll down  and see the ‘doorstep’ videos – the ’round table’ (it’s oval) – it’s like the political oscars – they even give credits for production and technical questions……………..

Theatre of the Absurd? – with warm smiles and funny handshakes all round

Whilst Juncker – today announces

Eurozone should have own treasury by 2025

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker even declares – “The report is likely to cause some national governments to worry about sovereignty issues.”

Eurozone states should cede more powers to EU institutions, including to a euro area treasury to be set-up in the next 10 years, according to a new report on further integration in the single currency area published on Monday (22 June).

The report, entitled ‘Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union‘, comes on the same day that finance ministers and their government leaders of the euro area will meet to debate the Greek debt crisis, amidst renewed fear of a Greek exit from the eurozone.

In the next two years, by 30 June 2017, each country should create a ‘competitive authority’, “a national body in charge of tracking performance and policies in the field of competitiveness”.

These bodies should be “independent entities with a mandate to ‘assess whether wages are evolving in line with productivity and compare with developments in other euro area countries and in the main comparable trading partners”.

The opinions of the authorities should be used by social partners in wage setting negotiations.

Other measures for the next two years include an advisory European Fiscal Board, completion of the Banking Union, and a reorganisation of the European Semester.

That’s my boy?

Cruising the Med this summer? Here’s what you need to know

Cruising the Med this summer? Here’s what you need to know

EU navies take up position in Mediterranean


Italy’s largest aircraft carrier, the Cavour, is spearheading an EU-led naval operation to monitor and then crush migrant smugglers in the Mediterranean.

More than a dozen military assets including warships, helicopters, reconnaissance planes, submarines, and drones are also moving into position near Libya as part of a risky operation called EUnavfor Med.

Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK are supplying the weapons.

The formal announcement comes just two days after World Refugee day. 

The EU is hoping for a UN Security Council resolution to scale up its operation, allowing EUnavfor Med to move into Libyan waters, but is meeting resistance from China and Russia.

It also wants a unity government formed in Libya to help resolve the issue.

With up to 1,000 people taking part, EUnavfor Med is to cost the EU €11.8 million over its first two months. It is based in Rome and will be in full swing sometime early July.

I didn’t know there was an ‘EU Navy’ – but it seems the EU decided on May 18th to ‘set one up

As for EUNavfor – it’s explained here:

EUNAVFOR Med is the European Union naval operation to be launched in order to disrupt the business model of human smugglers for the Mediterranean Sea, where NATO is conducting Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR, its counter-terrorism operation.

Under NATO’s Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR, ships are patrolling the Mediterranean and monitoring shipping to help deter, defend, disrupt and protect against terrorist activities. In addition to monitoring suspect vessels, the Operation aims to build a picture of maritime activity in the Mediterranean. To this end, ships in patrol conduct routine information approaches to the various merchant vessels in order to reassure the mariners on the efforts to keep the sea safe, protect shipping and control suspect vessels.


Hmm –   Costa Condordia was bad enough….


Greece –  Painless poverty is better than embittered wealth.

Greece – Painless poverty is better than embittered wealth.

The title is from a Greek proverb. We’ve been covering the Greek situation here since the launch of the site on May 11th, as those who have been following the news stories will know. This is a short summary – a synopsis – a ‘meze’ of  morsels to give the flavour of what is currently on the table.

Before we set out some dishes – here’s the background cloth.

Greece’s short- term ‘repayment’ schedule

Here’s the repayments till August 2015

Unfortunately Greece couldn’t ‘stump up’ the June payments – so

The International Monetary Fund on Thursday allowed Greece to bundle its four debt payments due this month into a single payment now due on June 30.

(How very kind of the IMF?)

But that ”concession” follows the temporary indigestion of The Bailout Farce in May.

Greece Borrows IMF Funds To Pay IMF Now; Will Need New IMF Loan To Repay Next Month

and at that point


(Maybe just go back and check that chart of what’s still outstanding?)

Now Greece has declared that the debt is

Illegal, Illegitimate, And Odious as we posted on here yesterday (thanks zerohedge)

Then we have Lagarde (who is clueless)

Greece will be in default if it fails to meet a €1.6 billion repayment to the International Monetary Fund due on 30 June 30, Christine Lagarde said on Thursday. There would be “no period of grace” for Greece, Lagarde told reporters.

So where are Greece going to get the euro dosh?

Russia Won’t Comment on Aid to Greece Ahead of Tsipras Visit.

And Russia has already invited Greece to join BRICS

– and BRICS is –a brave new world  where leading developing countries finally challenge the iniquitous international system.

(New World…………?)

Now. Take a rest between courses and ask a question.

Is it just about the money?

Why should it matter to Brussels/the Troika if Greece gets the money from Russia?

Well the secret ingredient is this:

Unless Greece agrees economic reforms (or sells off assets) with its creditors by the weekend, EU officials believe time will run out for Athens to access a much-needed €7.2bn tranche remaining in its bailout programme before it expires in two weeks.

So the Greeks get another loan – which goes to repay an earlier loan – but ONLY if they DO AS THEY’RE TOLD

Let’s not forget what hidden jewels Greece harbours

Analysis: Could oil and gas reserves save the Greek economy?

What’s the best way for 3rd parties to get hold of those assets cheaply I wonder?

Well – a bank run always helps?

Game Over For Greek Banks: Depositors Yank €2 Billion In Past Three Days


followed by an official denial:                   EU OFFICIAL: ECB DIDN’T SAY GREEK BANKS MAY NOT OPEN MONDAY

then undermine Tsipras and scaremonger

Stournaras approved a coruscating statement released by the BoG condemning Tsipras and asserting (rather than hypothesising) doom for Greece unless it agreed to the latest Troika demands.   Stournaras also sits on the IMF Board

Threats that Greece will be forced out of the EU and spiral into economic collapse without a rescue deal are crude intimidation

The central bank did not present these as potential dangers in a worst case scenario – something we might all accept – it asserted that they would occur unless Mr Tsipras agrees to terms imposed by Brussels before the Greek treasury runs out of money.

Never before has such a “monetary policy” report been published by the central bank of a developed country, or indeed any country. It is a political assault on its own elected government.


Greece’s economy will be locked down with capital controls if it can’t find a deal by the weekend

Greece’s economy will be locked down with capital controls if it can’t find a deal by the weekend

A report in Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper on Monday evening says European governments are ready to push for capital controls in Greece if there’s no deal this week.

Other European countries can’t make that move on their own — there’s no institutional procedure for the rest of Europe locking down an individual member state. Greece would have to pass its own law agreeing to the move.


We’re All Greek Now — Some Just Don’t Know It Yet

Let’s see…a heavily-indebted country can’t pay its bills, engages in a long series of failed attempts to manage a partial, controlled default, sees most of its capital flee to safer venues, and then, in a final act of desperation, imposes capital controls.

But it quickly realizes that it’s too late. Capital controls, to the extent that they ever work, have to be imposed by surprise, while there’s still some capital to control. If you wait until everyone expects them, the banks empty out in anticipation and you’ve locked a barn sans horses.


EU Court of Justice opens door for lawsuits against Greece

EU Court of Justice opens door for lawsuits against Greece

Hundreds of lawsuits by Greek government bondholders in Germany had been on hold since 2013 pending the ruling. The bondholders argue that Greece in 2012 forced them to swap their securities with new government bonds of a significantly lower nominal value. While none of the claimants accepted Greece’s initial offer, the government carried out the proposed exchange.

The EU court’s decision comes days before it is due to rule on another German case with the potential to send shock waves across the euro area. Judges are scheduled to deliver a verdict on whether ECB president Mario Draghi overstepped the mark with a 2012 bond-buying plan he designed to help save the euro.

Watch: TTIP vote in European Parliament descends into chaos……….

Watch: TTIP vote in European Parliament descends into chaos……….

Ukip MEPs sparked a protest that sent the European Parliament into chaos today after a crucial vote and debate on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) was suspended.

Meanwhile fellow MEPs from other parties who are also opposed to TTIP joined Ukip in standing, shouting, booing and clapping to show their dissatisfaction with proceedings.