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Posts Tagged ‘Greece

Refugees Losing their minds in Idomeni, Greece

Idomeni, Greece, April 18, 2016 — The striking thing about these refugees, the ones stuck for months on the Greece-Macedonia border, is that you can actually feel them slowly losing their minds. (Being so close to the doors of Europe and denied to cross a stupid fence)

I’ve covered this refugee crisis for years and in all sorts of places — the refugees fleeing the war inside Syria, getting out of the war zone through barbed wire at the Turkish border, reaching European shores after dangerous journeys at sea on the Greek island of Lesbos.

And now here in the Greek village of Indomeni, near the border with Macedonia.

Andrew Bossone shared a link.
correspondent.afp.com

There are around 11,000 people stuck here.

This is the bottleneck that’s developed after a bunch of countries closed their borders in an effort to shut down the Balkan migrant route, through which thousands of people fleeing war and poverty in places like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan have reached European countries over the past year or so

Every place where I’ve covered the refugee crisis is different.

What you have to understand about this place is the utter despair. These people have left war-torn countries, made dangerous journeys with their children in tow.

And now they find themselves in the middle of Europe, living in conditions similar to what they left behind, with the gate to Europe shut and no idea of what will happen to them next.

Some of them have been here for two, three months. Just waiting. And not knowing what will happen next.

Will they be able to get into Europe, like the thousands before them? Are they going to be sent back to Turkey? Are they going to have to go back to their countries?

So they’re losing their minds. What do you expect? You’d do the same in their situation.

Day by day their behavior changes. Even me. I’m just doing my job, I’m used to these situations, having covered so many of them.

During the two weeks I was there, I knew I was only going to be there temporarily, and then I would return to my home and family. And even me, day by day I became more depressed, more aggressive.

The atmosphere of the camp, it doesn’t just hang over you, it weighs you down. It’s heavy.

And then there are the conditions. God, the conditions these people live in, I don’t even know what words to use to describe them.

They’re the same conditions that you had in camps in Syria. And Syria has been in the middle of a war for the past five years.

The first thing that strikes you is the smell. A mixture of toilets and body odor.

People are living, sleeping and eating near the toilets. (Even animals don’t sleep or eat where they shit)

You could say they’re living, sleeping and eating in the middle of toilets. What else can I say? That should tell you everything.

There aren’t enough showers, there aren’t enough places to wash your hands. There isn’t enough water, period

The smell — no, the stench — is heavy and it’s everywhere. Children get sick.

I have seen such conditions in war zones. And now I was seeing such conditions in the middle of Europe.

This is the shame of Europe. These people are living like livestock — and I don’t say that with any disrespect to them — they’re living like they’re still inside Syria and they’re in the middle of Europe.

And then there is their daily life. If you could call it that.

They go from food line to food line, eating food given to them by NGOs.

There is nothing to do but to take care of their basic needs. And wait. Can you imagine? Having literally nothing to do all day, except to watch your dreams and hopes slowly die, despite all the sacrifices you made to get to this point. And just not knowing what will happen next.

These people, they have spent lots of money and time, they took lots of risks to get here, they have spent their life savings. They don’t want to go back.

First off, there is nothing to go back to and secondly, then what was it all for?

As a journalist, it’s also difficult because people look at you as some kind of savior. Every day people ask me, “When are they going to open the gate?”

“What will happen to us?” I have no idea what to tell them. I just don’t know.

You want to know what life is like inside? I have a friend, a Kurdish woman from Syria whose husband went to Europe six months ago. He’s in Germany now and he has sent for her and their two children. She travelled through Syria and she has been at the border for two months, waiting to go to Germany and join her husband.

She goes to the food lines and people there, they start hitting each other and pushing each other to get the food.

She tells me ‘I have never hit anyone in my life to get food, I just can’t do it. Even here, I just can’t do it. How can I push another person to get food?” So there have been days when she just couldn’t get any food. This is how people live in the camps

And then there are the children.

The children are what gets to you the most in this story. They’re the ones that stay in your mind once you go home. Especially if you have kids of your own.

The children, they’re just going crazy in these camps. They don’t go to school. Do you know what happens to children if they don’t go to school?

The way they act changes. You can actually feel their brains changing.

They play in the middle of the train tracks, in mud. They have nothing to do. They come and touch you, they push you, they shout at you. What do you expect?

My friend, she has an 8-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl. Because of the war, they haven’t been to school in two or three years. She is really worried about them. They don’t learn anything, she says, what’s going to become of them?

And to top it all off, you had the tear gas incident of a week ago.

You had a bunch of people trying to force their way through the closed border into Macedonia, and the soldiers threw tear gas canisters and fired rubber bullets, injuring several dozen people who were then treated by NGOs.

Can you imagine? You’ve been through hell, you’re living in hellish conditions, you have no idea of what’s going to happen to you and then you have soldiers throwing tear gas at you.

It’s just crazy. Who wouldn’t lose their mind?

This blog was written with Yana Dlugy in Paris.

Bülent Kiliç . AFP’s award-winning chief photographer in Turkey, based in Istanbul.

Note: Click on the post to let the pictures tell you the story

Humans of New York: This long deadly journey by sea. Fleeing from Hell

Humans of New York's photo.

Humans of New York

“My husband and I sold everything we had to afford the journey.

We worked 15 hours a day in Turkey until we had enough money to leave.

The smuggler put 152 of us on a boat. Once we saw the boat, many of us wanted to go back, but he told us that anyone who turned back would not get a refund. We had no choice.

Both the lower compartment and the deck were filled with people. Waves began to come into the boat so the captain told everyone to throw their baggage into the sea.

In the ocean we hit a rock, but the captain told us not to worry. Water began to come into the boat, but again he told us not to worry.

We were in the lower compartment and it began to fill with water. It was too tight to move. Everyone began to scream.

We were the last ones to get out alive. My husband pulled me out of the window.

In the ocean, he took off his life jacket and gave it to a woman. We swam for as long as possible.

After several hours he told me he that he was too tired to swim and that he was going to float on his back and rest. It was so dark we could not see. The waves were high.

I could hear him calling me but he got further and further away. Eventually a boat found me. They never found my husband.” (Kos island, Greece)

Dismantled and fed to profit-hungry corporations? Case of Greece

Greece is heading towards its third “bailout” (Fourth bailout after parliament voted for it).

This third bailout of €86 billion is on the table, which will be packaged up by international lenders with a bundle of austerity and sent off to Greece, only to return to those same lenders in the very near future.

We all know the spiralling debt cannot and will not be repaid.

We all know the austerity to which it is tied will make Greece’s depression worse. Yet it continues. (Nothing will do unless liquidity for internal Greek market is made available)

Nick Dearden, Wednesday 12 August 2015

If we look deeper, however, we find that Europe is not led by the terminally confused. By taking those leaders at their word, we’re missing what’s really going on in Europe.

In a nutshell, Greece is up for sale, and its workers, farmers and small businesses will have to be cleared out of the way.

Under the eye-watering privatisation programme, Greece is expected to hand over its €50 billion of its “valuable state assets” to an independent body under the control of the European institutions, who will proceed to sell them off.  (In order to ward off China from buying everything of value?)

Airports, seaports, energy systems, land and property – everything must go. Sell your assets, their contrived argument goes, and you’ll be able to repay your debt.

But even in the narrow terms of the debate, selling off profitable or potentially profitable assets leaves a country less able to repay its debts.

Unsurprisingly the most profitable assets are going under the hammer first. The country’s national lottery has already been bought up. Airports serving Greece’s holiday islands look likely to be sold on long-term lease to a German airport operator.

The port of Pireus looks likely to be sold to a Chinese shipping company. Meanwhile, 490,000 square meters of Corfu beachfront have been snapped up by a US private equity fund. It has a 99-year lease for the bargain price of €23million.

According to reporters, the privatisation fund is examining another 40 uninhabited islands as well as a massive project on Rhodes which includes an obligatory golf course.

Side-by-side with the privatisation is a very broad programme of deregulation which declares war on workers, farmers and small businesses.

Greece’s many laws that protect small business such as pharmacies, bakeries, and bookshops from competition with supermarkets and big businesses are to be swept away.

These reforms are so specific that the EU is writing laws on bread measurements and milk expiry dates.

Incredibly, Greece is even being told to make its Sunday opening laws more liberal than Germany’s. Truly a free market experiment is being put into place.

On labour, pensions are to suffer rapid cuts, minimum wages are to be reduced and collective bargaining is to be severely curtailed while it is to become easier to sack staff.

All of this is far more extreme that many of Greece’s “creditor” countries have implemented themselves. Changes to tax includes a massive hike to that most regressive of taxes VAT, on a wide range of products.

Of course, reforms in some areas of Greece’s economy might be a good idea, and indeed Syriza came to power promising to make serious reforms in, for instance, taxation and pensions. But what is being imposed by the lending institutions is not a series of sensible “reforms”, but the establishment and micromanagement of radical ‘free market’ economics.

The privatisation and deregulation bonanza opens vast new swathes of Greek society to areas where big business has never been able to set foot before.

The hope is that this will generate big profits to keep big business growing, as well as providing an extreme model of what might be possible throughout Europe.

Although what’s even more distasteful than the hypocrisy of European leaders forcing policies onto Greece that they themselves have not dared to argue for in their own countries, is the cynicism of those same leaders imposing policies that will benefit their own country’s corporations.

The intensity of the restructuring programme currently being agreed for Greece should dispel any lingering notion that this is a well intentioned but misguided attempt to deal with a debt crisis.

It is a cynical attempt to set up a corporate paradise in the Mediterranean, and must be resisted at all costs.

Andrew Bossone shared this link

“selling off profitable or potentially profitable assets leaves a country less able to repay its debts.”

Greece is heading towards its third “bailout”. This time €86 billion is on the table, which will be packaged up by international lenders with a bundle of austerity and…
independent.co.uk

Post-war Germany recovery? Any roles to Greece, Spain, and Turkey…?

Sixty years ago today, an agreement was reached in London to cancel half of postwar Germany’s debt.

That cancellation, and the way it was done, was vital to the reconstruction of Europe from war.

It stands in marked contrast to the suffering being inflicted on European people today in the name of debt.

Germany emerged from the WWII still owing debt that originated with the first world war: the reparations imposed on the country following the Versailles peace conference in 1919.

Many, including John Maynard Keynes, argued that these unpayable debts and the economic policies they entailed led to the rise of the Nazis and the second world war.

By 1953, Germany also had debts based on reconstruction loans made immediately after the end of the second world war. Germany’s creditors included Greece and Spain, Pakistan and Egypt, as well as the US, UK and France.

German debts were well below the levels seen in Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain today, making up around a quarter of national income.

But even at this level, there was serious concern that debt payments would use up precious foreign currency earnings and endanger reconstruction.

Needing a strong West Germany as a bulwark against communism, the country’s creditors came together in London and showed that they understood how you help a country that you want to recover from devastation.

It showed they also understood that debt can never be seen as the responsibility of the debtor alone. Countries such as Greece willingly took part in a deal to help create a stable and prosperous western Europe, despite the war crimes that German occupiers had inflicted just a few years before.

The debt cancellation for Germany was swift, taking place in advance of an actual crisis.

Germany was given large cancellation of 50% of its debt. The deal covered all debts, including those owed by the private sector and even individuals. It also covered all creditors.

No one was allowed to “hold out” and extract greater profits than anyone else. Any problems would be dealt with by negotiations between equals rather than through sanctions or the imposition of undemocratic policies.

Perhaps the most innovative feature of the London agreement was a clause that said West Germany should only pay for debts out of its trade surplus, and any repayments were limited to 3% of exports earnings every year.

This meant those countries that were owed debt had to buy West German exports in order to be paid.

It meant West Germany would only pay from genuine earnings, without recourse to new loans.

And it meant Germany’s creditors had an interest in the country growing and its economy thriving.

Following the London deal, West Germany experienced an “economic miracle”, with the debt problem resolved and years of economic growth.

The medicine doled out to heavily indebted countries over the last 30 years could not be more different.

Instead, the practice since the early 1980s has been to bail out reckless lenders through giving new loans, while forcing governments to implement austerity and free-market liberalisation to become “more competitive”.

As a result of this, from Latin America and Africa in the 80s and 90s to Greece, Ireland and Spain today, poverty has increased and inequality soared.

In Africa in the 80s and 90s, the number of people living in extreme poverty increased by 125 million, while economies shrank.

In Greece today, the economy has shrunk by more than 20%, while one in two young people are unemployed. In both cases, debt ballooned.

The priority of an indebted government today is to repay its debts, whatever the amount of the budget these repayments consume.

In contrast to the 3% limit on German debt payments, today the IMF and World Bank regard debt payments of up to 15-25% of export revenues as being “sustainable” for impoverished countries. The Greek government’s foreign debt payments are around 30% of exports.

When debts have been “restructured”, they are only a portion of the total debts owed, with only willing creditors participating.

In 2012, only Greece’s private creditors had debt reduced. Creditors that held British or Swiss law debt were also able to “hold out” against the restructuring, and will doubtless pursue Greece for many years to come.

The “strategy” in Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain today is to put the burden of adjustment solely on the debtor country to make its economy more competitive through mass unemployment and wage cuts.

But without creditors like Germany willing to buy more of their exports, this will not happen, bringing pain without end.

The German debt deal was a key element of recovering from the devastation of the second world war. In Europe today, debt is tearing up the social fabric.

Outside Europe, heavily indebted countries are still treated to a package of austerity and “restructuring” measures.

Pakistan, the Philippines, El Salvador and Jamaica are all spending between 10 and 20% of export revenues on government foreign debt payments, and this doesn’t include debt payments by the private sector.

If we had no evidence of how to solve a debt crisis equitably, we could perhaps regard the policies of Europe’s leaders as misguided.

But we have the positive example of Germany 60 years ago, and the devastating example of the Latin American debt crisis 30 years ago. The actions of Europe’s leaders are nothing short of criminal.

Note 1: While Greece, Spain and Turkey were bailing out Germany, their citizens were flocking to Germany to work under the recovery program.

Note 2: I guess the creditors were convinced that the hard working and law abiding Germans, under institutions still functioning, and an industrial know how… will generate the necessary profit to pay back the loans. I guess France and Germany do not believe that the other EU States, crumbling under their debts, are good enough people with sane institutions to generate any profit.

Najat Rizk shared a link.
Nick Dearden: Sixty years ago, half of German war debts were cancelled to build its economy. Yet today, debt is destroying those creditors

 

 

Austerity, Democracy, left and right wing parties, Greece (Syriza) and Spain (Podemos, we can)

In extended time of austerity due to after war conditions or financial default problems, people feelings swing to extremes: either the people opt for a left-leaning social reforms or they retract to their cocoon of right wing tendencies that lead to authoritarian political systems.

It may be odd to use a Roman metaphor to describe a Greek political event, but in this case, it’s apt.

Just as Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon river because he could, in spite of the warnings of the Roman Senate not to, so Alex Tsipras, leader of the anti-austerity party, Syriza, has decided to try to end austerity in Greece, in spite of Europe’s leaders saying he shouldn’t.

Whether Tsipras will succeed is still unclear, but whatever happens, his victory represents a crucial turning point for Europe—a signal that time has run out on austerity policies.

Spain is following suit as Europe is facing an extended period of deflation and social unrest.

Give people jobs and they quiet down. How to reform a capitalist system so that worthy and honourable jobs can be created and sustained?

Austerity vs. Democracy in Greece

A “Tsipras” had to happen somewhere eventually, because there’s only so long you can ask people to vote for impoverishment today based on promises of a better tomorrow that never arrives.

If voting for impoverishment brings only more impoverishment, eventually people will stop voting for it—and the timing of “eventually” will depend on when people’s assets run out.

In the Greek case, backers of the incumbent New Democracy party and its austerity policies constitute that quarter of the electorate who still have assets (pensions, paper, and portfolios) after 5 years of depression and who want to preserve what they have.

The 36% that voted for Syriza were the young, the asset-less, and the unemployed—people who either lost what they once had or never had much to begin with.

Greece’s 1.9 percent of growth last year means essentially nothing to a society that has lost nearly 30 percent of GDP in a little over half a decade.

On the current course, it would take, by latest estimates, two generations for the country to get back above water.

Syriza’s victory presents two lessons for the rest of Europe.

First, no one votes for a 15-year-long recession.

Second, you can’t run a gold standard in a democracy. Either the gold standard goes, or democracy goes, and that is the choice Europe may face sooner than it thinks. (Why? Is the USA system truly a democracy after they flaunted the gold standard in 1968?)

The Euro is the gold standard that pretends that it’s not one—and therein lies the rub. While Europe has a plethora of national parliaments and free and fair elections, as well as a European parliament and multiple institutions with delegated power to represent the interests of citizens, once a country is a member of the eurozone, certain things happen that bypass any possible democratic checks.

On the upside, its credit history gets rewritten. Greece and Italy get to borrow like Germany (with predictable results). On the downside, when a eurozone country is hit with an economic shock, it cannot respond to it through the exchange rate (devaluation) or by using the printing press (inflation).  (Only Germany has the monopoly of printing the Euro money)

It must choose between default, which is not allowed, and balancing its books through internal devaluation (austerity).

And if that means a couple of constitutional coups d’état have to happen in the heart of democracy to get the policies through, as happened in Italy and Greece in 2011, then so be it.

So austerity becomes the only game in town. Although it may be rational for any one country to be austere, when multiple countries that share the same currency with no common fiscal policy do so, the result can only be a massive contraction of GDP and a corresponding increase in debt—which is exactly what has happened in Europe in recent years.

The boost in consumer and investor confidence that austerity was supposed to provide never materialized, and the eurozone as a whole slid into recession, and then, in the periphery, into depression and deflation. Now that all of this has occurred, however, the politics of sustaining the euro have changed, and changed utterly.

Until now, Eurozone policymakers’ obsession with fighting inflation has given them a one-sided understanding of politics. (Why Europe has to fight deflation too? It is good for the common people to survive their daily expenses)

In fact, Europe has not had an inflation problem of any magnitude since the 1970s. What it now faces is deflation—and since the politics of inflation and deflation are very different, the wrong policy choices produce Syrizas.

Inflation, after all, is not a general malaise that hurts all members of society equally, but a class-specific tax.

Those with assets, particularly paper assets, lose harder and faster than other groups that can pressure the state to accommodate them, which is why under inflation creditors suffer and debtors prosper. (Not in the USA)

Consequently, periods of inflation produce a type of politics where creditor interests come to the fore and the state is forced to retreat. The 1920s were one such period and the 1970s another—which is when Europe, and the euro, began to take their current form.

Deflation is different. Rather than creditors losing and debtors benefitting, in a deflation almost everyone loses, regardless of asset class.

Consider the choice of whether to work. A worker who decides to take a pay cut to price herself into a job is individually rational. But collectively, if all workers try this, the result is a collapse in consumption. (If the price of commodities drop commensurate to the pay cut, there is no problem. Common people will refrain from taking vacations abroad and patronize their own sceneries).

Employers get cheaper labor, to be sure, but also less demand for their products. Their logical individual responses are to cut prices to spur sales—but once again, the aggregate effect of such responses is to lower prices further. This increases real wages at a time when the economy is shrinking, which leads to more layoffs (Cannot comprehend this logic).

In such a world, with practically everyone losing, calls ring out for state intervention to stop the bleeding, and eventually, they are heard. It happened in the 1930s, and it is happening once again today.

This is what Tsipras and Syriza represent: the moment Europe drifted from ever-deeper and ever-wider open capital markets and institutionalized neoliberalism to a system in which the state comes back to reassert sovereignty over markets. (What if investors are reluctant to buy State properties as in Greece, on the assumption that the State will eventually lower its asking price?)

At that point, either democracy trumps markets, which need not be a progressive move, as Syriza’s immediate choice of coalition partners demonstrates, or markets undermine democracy to protect their asset values.

Which course European countries choose will be determined in the next few years, but a glance around the continent suggests that such a choice is indeed coming.

Greece may have crossed the Rubicon first, but due to its size in the European economy, Spain may be the game changer.

In Spain, Podemos is likely to form a winning left-wing coalition after that country’s general elections this fall, especially after the demonstration effect of Syriza.

In Ireland, Sinn Fein is cut from the same anti-austerity cloth and has risen substantially in the polls.

Although such parties are often called extreme, it is important to stress that their support bases, regardless of their leader’s dodgy connections, are democratic political forces whose core claims—­an end to self-defeating austerity and impoverishing wage policies—echo mainstream social democracy and the recommendations of many prominent economists on both sides of the Atlantic.

With regard to debt relief, these parties are merely restating the standard economic case that their countries’ debt overhangs are too big for investment to be resuscitated to levels that would permit high growth.  (The time of big countries waging wars against defaulting countries as during the colonial period is a tenuous alternative. Actually, big countries foment civil wars to buy very cheap State properties in exchange of the default debt)

Maturities can be extended indefinitely, but unless growth is restored, the game is over, and not just for Greece.

For those who fear Syriza and its left-wing counterparts, it is worth looking at the alternatives on the radical right.

From Britain to Hungary, political parties—whose ideology spans the spectrum from the explicitly Nazi (the Golden Dawn in Greece) to the nationalist–populist (the United Kingdom Independence Party and the French National Front)—are busy working to channel public anger in a different direction.

Harkening back to Europe’s darkest days, they translate negotiable conflicts over economic policy into non-negotiable conflicts over ethnic identity. They attack European integration even more than the left-wing parties, question the democratic rights of existing citizens, and fan the flames of xenophobia toward ethnic minorities and immigrants.

If Europe’s ruling elites want to save the European project, and the Euro at the heart of it, they need to start actively engaging with democratic left-wing parties such as Syriza and Podemos rather than shunning them.

If they don’t, they will drive some of these parties into volatile left–right alliances, or, if they fail in their mandates, leave the stage open to political forces whose goals will be far more radical than mere debt restructuring and opposition to austerity.

What is at stake now is not simply Syriza’s next moves or even a possible “Grexit.” These are symptoms, not causes.

The problem is that European authorities, driven by Germany, are enforcing a politics of deflation under a pseudo-gold standard, expecting citizens to vote indefinitely for their own impoverishment in order to save the asset values of creditors.

In such a world, both radical left- and right-wing forces can only stand to gain ground across many supposedly stable countries, and quicker than we think. To avoid that fate, the continent’s powerbrokers should make some sort of deal with Syriza now—because what may follow it may be far worse.

Liquidity is meant for the Internal market. Competitiveness is for External market?

Should the level of “Life-Style” be the same among the competitive and the challenged productive states within a Union?

This is not a fair condition to impose on States that managed to sacrifice and work hard for better life conditions.

States in financial crisis must have ready lists of 4 categories of enterprises:

1. The public institutions that are critical in the smooth transmission of liquidity to the various economic sectors

2. The mixed State/Private entities that have locations in many regions of the State and employ many citizens

3. The nationwide private companies

4. The medium and small productive companies that serve their local provinces

It is well know that medium and small productive companies constitute 70% of State production that cater for the internal market needs.

Any shortage in liquidity in these small private companies  and employment hit the roof and the citizens experience shortages in most commodities.

Giving priority to the local economies in the distribution (infusion) of liquidity is the first step in preventing mass unemployment.

There are public economic sectors that cater to the general public needs, such as energy, water and transportation… and the stabilization of these functional sectors in matter of maintenance is another urgent priority.

Before the internal market is reinvigorated and underway, it is of no use planning for the export sections to external markets in order to get the influx of “hard currencies”

Stability and security are the basis for a shift toward State development.

Having the autonomy to print money in period of liquidity shortage is the key for stabilizing the internal market.

The disadvantage resides in the society structure that favor the oligarchy and wealth disparity that eliminate the benefit of printing more money.

The crisis in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy have demonstrated that it is a priority that a State has to reform its public service institutions to discard redundant and politically influenced service appointments.

Without a drastic realization that the political structure should be reformed, and for actually feel the pain associated with uneven equal rights to jobs and opportunities in the institutions, all the remaining reforms will be within the “patching” process.

The crisis in Greece was deep rooted because it lacked the two preconditions: Lousy political structure and not having the right to print money.

Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy had political structures that could remedy to the “unfairly” political conditions and to reform the system within the single Euro currency.

The EU has learned the lesson:

1. First, the State that asks to join the union zone must demonstrate that it is serious to undertake political reforms and the structure be designed to react in timely manners to situations of political reforms.

Many States have been included based on historical and ideological “myths” that didn’t match their current unstable realities.

The EU dominant responsibility is to gradually transform the States who applied to join the union into politically viable structure.

The States in waiting must acknowledge that it takes time to achieve stable and valid political structure.

How a poor and unstable State can become competitive in the external market? This is an impossible condition to withhold liquidity infusion that is meant to support local companies.

The “productively challenged States” in the Euro zone should not expect the same level of life-style as the most competitive among them.

And equal rights in life-style is not an equitable and sustainable demand on State basis.

 

China has officially visited Greece last week and signed 11 economic agreements.  China has secured the management of the main Greek port of Piraeus for 35 years in return of investing $700 million for building a new extension and modernizing the port.   The Greek vice premier declared:  “China invests in real money and is not like Wall Street using faked paper money.  China invests in palpable business matters and do commerce in real objects and trading goods.  China will aid Greece in a tangible economic development of its infrastructure.”

Chinese tourists are already invading the Greek islands.

The executive manager of the Chinese giant maritime company Cusco declared: “We have built the nest so that the eagle investors in China will find a place to come to.  This is how we contribute to the interest of both countries.”

Jealous Japan decided to increase its investment in Greece with $34 billion in order to compete with the Yellow Dragon.  Europe is understandably very worried.  Jonathan Wood said in London: “Europe is apprehensive of trade imbalance with China.  Europe might be in the same position as the US in trade imbalance with China.”

China has already taken over Sudan investing in oil, gas, agricultural lands, forest, water, and mineral resources while the US was busy playing war games in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The US had 50 years to befriend Sudan but considered this outstretched super-undeveloped country as a reserve land to fall back to when needed. The US may try to resume destabilizing Sudan in the short-term, but the game is over: The US can benefit to negotiate with China to becoming a major subsidiary in Sudan’s wealth.

The central bank of China is siting on a monstrous pile of liquid money and has to turn it over quickly:  “The price is not a problem” with this much devalued Yuan.


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