Updated | Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is facing calls from the public to resign or be sacked after a series of controversial statements about the Russian economy.
At a public forum on Wednesday, a teacher from Dagestan asked Medvedev about teachers’ salaries and was told by the Prime Minister that he should “try business” if he wants to make more money. Continue reading
And there you have it. As mentioned in an earlier post, don’t expect him to stay in power for much longer. The Greek ‘no’ vote couldn’t have been a more clear message to leadership, but they still intentionally went the opposite direction. Self-proclaimed Communists Tsipras and Varoufakis are beginning to look more like a hit team whose assignment was do to a quick hit and run.
Greek prime minister hinted his position will no longer remain tenable if he did not get the majority backing of his Leftist Syriza party over a bail-out deal
Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras was ready to stand down from office on Wednesday night, as a Leftist rebellion erupted within his Syriza party over the punishing austerity measures the country needs to stay in the eurozone.
Greece’s lawmakers gathered for a midnight vote on reforms that would raise VAT, cut pensions spending and reform the country’s statistics body. The measures were passed with the support of Greece’s main opposition parties, with 229 voting “yes” and 64 voting “no”. There were six abstentions.
Outside the parliament, troubled flared briefly as groups of anarchists who were part of an anti-austerity protest threw petrol bombs at police, who barricaded the street leading to the entrance to parliament with several riot vans.
Earlier today, John O’Connell, CEO of Davis Rea, spoke to Canada’s BNN from what may be Greece’s top tourist attraction, the island of Santorini, to give a sense of the “mood on the ground.” Not surprisingly, his feedback was that, at least as far as tourists are concerned, nobody is worried. After all, it is not their funds that are capital constrained plus should the Drachma return as the local currency, the purchasing power of foreigners will skyrocket. Continue reading
- The Greek Coast Guard recently arrested a “refugee” coming from Syria, who had 200,000 euros in cash. Apparently this Syrian “investor” did not think that Turkey, Jordan or Lebanon — countries that border Syria — were safe for his “investments.” He preferred to deposit his money in Greek “zombie banks.”
- The network of Greek police officers and intelligence agents, cooperating with human traffickers from Turkey in transporting illegal migrants into Greek territory, had such access and influence that police officers and intelligence agents could be transferred from one city to another and from one department to another, to sideline honest officers who stood in the way.
When you visit Greece, the customs officers will put in your passport the stamp of the Greek Republic. You will see the Greek flag waving at Athens International Airport; taxis waiting for customers, gas stations still in operation and public infrastructure being kept at a mediocre level. This, however, is just an illusion. Greece is a collapsing country. Continue reading
Athens takes creditor by surprise, saying it will bundle together €1.6bn of debt payments due to International Monetary Fund and settle up on 30 June
Greece has moved closer to default and possible exit from the eurozone after telling the International Monetary Fund it would not be making a debt repayment of €300m (£219m) due on Friday.
A crisis that has been going on for more than five years entered a new phase when Athens surprised the IMF by saying it intended to bundle up four payments in June totalling €1.6bn and make them all at the end of the month.
The move came as the Greek government reacted angrily to what was seen as an ultimatum from its creditors – including the IMF – that demanded further austerity and unpopular reforms to VAT, pensions and wage bargaining as the price for €7.2bn in fresh financial help.
We’ve been saying for months that the troika’s ultimate goal in negotiations with Greek PM Alexis Tsipras is to use financial leverage to force Syriza into abandoning its campaign mandate, thus sending a strong message to the EU periphery’s other ascendant socialists that threatening to disprove the idea of ‘euro indissolubility’ is not a viable bargaining strategy when it comes to extracting austerity concessions from creditors.
Over the past several days the political situation has come to a head with Tsipras expressing his extreme displeasure at the troika’s “coordinated leaks” and unwillingness to give even an inch on what the PM calls “absurd” demands. Continue reading
I have been warning for some time that government was eyeing up pensions.The amount in private pension funds is about $19.4 trillion. The question that has been debated in secret behind the curtain is how to justify to the people taking that over. I have been warning that if this is seized by government, it will come after 2015.75. Just how that is to be accomplished was finally settled by the Supreme Court without any justification constitutionally.
The US Supreme Court ruled last week in the unanimous, 8-page decision in Tibble v. Edison holding that employers have a duty to protect workers in their 401(k) plans from mutual funds that are too expensive or perform poorly. That is simply astonishing since there is no constitutional requirement for even government to provide social benefits. The Supreme court held in HARRIS v. McRAE, 448 U.S. 297 (1980) it was explained that the constitution is negative not positive. There is no duty imposed upon the state to provide a program for that would convert the constitution from a negative restrain upon government to a positive obligation to provide for everyone. Continue reading
Because of the interconnectedness of the world economy, if Greece does truly fall apart and cause the currency bloc to crumble, it will spread to South America. South America’s weakest countries, such as Argentina or Venezuela or both, would be the most likely to take the hit and then collapse. From there, it will spread north up to Mexico which would then take a hit and go through the same process. When the falling dominoes reach Mexico, the United States has two weeks before it will suffer the same fate. Respectively, ordinary Americans will have a buffer of two weeks time to withdraw all the cash they can from the bank.
Keep your eyes wide open and remain on guard. The world is too interconnected and is one catastrophe away from implosion.
Greece cannot make debt repayments to the International Monetary Fund next month unless it achieves a deal with creditors, Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis said on Sunday, the most explicit remarks yet from Athens about the likelihood of default if talks fail.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said it would be “catastrophic” if Greece left the euro, predicting it would be “the beginning of the end of the common currency project”.
Shut out of bond markets and with bailout aid locked, cash-strapped Athens has been scraping state coffers to meet debt obligations and to pay wages and pensions. Continue reading
SAVERS are clearing cash out of Greek banks as the prospect of total economic meltdown is just days away.
The broke country is on borrowed time before it goes bankrupt and is forced to exit the euro.
“People are taking more or less everything they have got out of their accounts for fear that the government will be dipping into them next,” a bank official told the Guardian.
But Greece has struggled to pay pensions, public sector wages and suppliers in recent weeks, which has sent alarm bells ringing through the country. Continue reading
Earlier today, following weeks of speculation, Greece finally launched the first shot across the bow of capital controls, when it decreed that due to an “extremely urgent and unforeseen need” (ironically the need was quite foreseen since about 2010, but that is a different story), it would be “obliged” to transfer – as in confiscate – “idle cash reserves” located across the country’s local governments (i.e., various cities and municipalities) to the Greek central bank.
Several hours later the decree which was posted in the government gazette has finally percolated among the population, and the response to what even ordinary Greeks realize is now the endgame, is less than exuberant. Continue reading
‘We are a Left-wing government. If we have to choose between a default to the IMF or a default to our own people, it is a no-brainer,’ says senior Greek official
Greece is drawing up drastic plans to nationalise the country’s banking system and introduce a parallel currency to pay bills unless the eurozone takes steps to defuse the simmering crisis and soften its demands.
Sources close to the ruling Syriza party said the government is determined to keep public services running and pay pensions as funds run critically low. It may be forced to take the unprecedented step of missing a payment to the International Monetary Fund next week.
Money lenders trust America so implicitly that they generally dismiss the risk it won’t pay its debts. But in the US capital, fears are growing that political dysfunction might trigger the unthinkable.
A few years ago one would have said, ‘Don’t be silly. Of course they will raise the debt ceiling.’ But one can’t say that any more.
Government veterans from both political parties are aghast that lawmakers openly speak of managing a default that could be triggered next month if they don’t authorise more borrowing. Continue reading