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Old 04-09-2013, 12:16 PM   #301
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Europe desperately needs a banking union.
i thought that's what they were aiming for though??

can't see it working personally - the banking system is very different in different European countries - it would be a logistical nightmare...
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:36 AM   #302
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Spain unemployment rate hits 27.2%. Jesus. Hard to believe more than one in four people in Spain are unemployed.

BBC News - Spain unemployment hits record high
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:20 PM   #303
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Spain unemployment rate hits 27.2%. Jesus. Hard to believe more than one in four people in Spain are unemployed.

BBC News - Spain unemployment hits record high
Here more detailed for each of the autonomous regions.


Spanish are furious. Here in Catalunya, it's not exacerbated when the media say that there's a real danger of separatism. There's growing discomfort against foreigners, and, most of all, some madness for those who don't speak catalan, the first language here.
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Old 04-27-2013, 03:59 AM   #304
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How come? Are people just so frustrated that they're looking for something to take their anger out on?
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Old 04-27-2013, 04:02 AM   #305
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People in these conditions often look for a scapegoat, often they are the foreigners, far-right groups/parties help fuel that.
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:56 AM   #306
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People in these conditions often look for a scapegoat, often they are the foreigners, far-right groups/parties help fuel that.
It's not far-right groups. Far-right (as greek's Golden Dawn) don't have much expression here. It's the anarchists, the far-left, but most of all, the separatists... Which is a big part of the population.
Plus, there's a big anger against the spanish monarchy, which is with no credibility at all, after all those heavy scandals. Most people here in Catalunya are republican. In fact, when you walk on the streets, 1 in each 3 balconies have the Catalunya flag, whether the official one, whether the unofficial separatist/republican one.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:09 AM   #307
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Why do far-left have something against foreigners? I thought people on the left embraced multiculturalism (honest question)
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:19 AM   #308
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They are internationalists, not nationalists, so that's why it doesn't make sense for anarchists and communists alike to be targeting foreigners instead of the state. I was a bit confused with Aygo's post then.

Sometimes nationalism can manifest in the far left, ie. national liberation groups, which I think the Catalans may be?
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:28 AM   #309
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People in these conditions often look for a scapegoat, often they are the foreigners, far-right groups/parties help fuel that.
And this is probably one of the most dangerous things that can possibly happen.
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:25 AM   #310
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They are internationalists, not nationalists, so that's why it doesn't make sense for anarchists and communists alike to be targeting foreigners instead of the state. I was a bit confused with Aygo's post then.

Sometimes nationalism can manifest in the far left, ie. national liberation groups, which I think the Catalans may be?
There is left nationalism. It exists in several european countries, including eastern Europe. In Portugal, for instance, the old Communist Party (which has 12% in opinion polls - 8% over the last elections) is somewhat nationalist.

I understand that I left you confused. I was also when I arrived (and it still is confusing.
Basically, people don't trust in no party at all (more or less like in Portugal).
The key to understand why all these "factions" are all on the same side is to understand the feeling in Catalunya.
Catalunya wants to be an independent country. Most people in Catalunya are for an independent country.
Catalunya feels that it produces and generates richness and pay taxes which goes to the other regions... Which is not 100% true because, for instance, the money raised in some taxes stays inside Catalunya and the region has plenty autonomy in many levels.
Plus, there's the linguistical/cultural issue, because it's a bilingual region (first language is catalan, although 99% of the people speaks spanish/castilian). If 20 years ago, most things in the quotidian were in spanish, in 2013, you can find many things only in catalan, as an agressive protection of this language which, in fact, is spoken by at least 7 million people.

Connect this with the anger of the unfairness of the super-austerity, and you have people furious.
That's why far-left, far-right, anarchists and common people are all on the same side: «we want the independence».

The two big parties in Spain are the PP (Partido Popular, right-wing) and PSOE (labourist/social-democratic/Third Way).
In Catalunya, these parties, supporters of the monarchy, don't have much electoral expression - both had 17-18% in the last catalan election.
On the other hand, the usual big party in Catalunya is CiU (center/center-right/"catalanist"), which sometimes is for the monarchy, sometimes is independentist and republican.
Plus, the ERC (republican left party) gained a boost on the last elections, going for the second political force.
CiU lost its absolute majority although it won. But, together with ERC, now the catalan parliment is dominated by mostly republican and independentist parties.
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:18 PM   #311
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Greece's youth unemployment is said to be more than 50% now.

Here's a link with a chart to the high unemployment rate among Millennials. Supposedly, its harder for a 25 year old European to get a job than one in Sub Saharan Africa.

The Global Youth Jobless Crisis: A Tragic Mess That Is Not Getting Any Better - Derek Thompson - The Atlantic

I hear Australia is doing just fine with a healthy economy for the past 15 years nonstop. Part of me wants to think that's cool, while also thinking, "damn that place" (I'm only joking there, Aussies).
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:53 AM   #312
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Greece's youth unemployment is said to be more than 50% now.

Here's a link with a chart to the high unemployment rate among Millennials. Supposedly, its harder for a 25 year old European to get a job than one in Sub Saharan Africa.

The Global Youth Jobless Crisis: A Tragic Mess That Is Not Getting Any Better - Derek Thompson - The Atlantic

I hear Australia is doing just fine with a healthy economy for the past 15 years nonstop. Part of me wants to think that's cool, while also thinking, "damn that place" (I'm only joking there, Aussies).
What I read yesterday on a catalan newspaper is that Greek unemployment in young people reached 62%...
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:17 AM   #313
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IMF admits: we failed to realise the damage austerity would do to Greece | Business | The Guardian
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:22 AM   #314
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Scary. Extremely scary. News Finds New Ways to Flow as Greek State Broadcaster Is Shut
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:48 AM   #315
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http://www.2ndcouncilhouse.co.uk/blo...ion-in-greece/

Here's a good article for those who don't know too much about what's going on there, and it goes without saying, it's frightening.
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Old 07-27-2013, 09:05 PM   #316
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Whenever workers take things into their own hands it's a good thing.

Citing Dignity, Greek Workers Take Over Factory : Parallels : NPR

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The financial crisis in Greece has devastated the country's manufacturing sector, which has lost more than 30 percent of its jobs in the past three years. But at one factory in an industrial center in the north, workers have taken matters into their own hands.
Inside the cavernous factory on the outskirts of Thessaloniki, eight middle-aged men are filling bottles with a vinegar-based fabric softener that's scented with fresh lavender.
This assembly line used to produce glue for ceramic tiles. But the collapse of the construction industry killed demand for building materials.
Dimitris Mokas, one of the men working here, says Greeks still need to wash their clothes — and his firm's new line of laundry products are a good deal.
"You don't want to go to the supermarket and [buy] soap for clothes and pay 20 euros when we will give you for 3 euros," he says.
This firm is called VIO.ME. It's short for Viomichaniki Metalleftiki, or Industrial Mineral.
VIO.ME is a subsidiary of Philkeram Johnson, a Greek company that once made ceramic tiles and exported them to 29 countries.
Bankruptcy In 2011
Philkeram Johnson declared bankruptcy in 2011. VIO.ME's 70 employees stopped getting paychecks the same year. But they still came to work and continued making glue and tile-cleaning products. For a time, they also received unemployment checks, Mokas says.
"Unemployment benefits finished last September," he says. "We said, 'what can we do now? Stay only here and be guards here? We have to eat, we have to do something.' Because we want to have work."
Finding a job in Greece is daunting. More than 27 percent of Greeks are out of work; northern Greece is especially hard-hit. That's why half of the VIO.ME staff decided to occupy the bankrupt factory and revamp it to turn out environmentally friendly detergent and fabric softener.
The workers start their shifts at 7 a.m., and they do everything, Mokas says.
"I was driving a forklift and now I'm an accountant ... a supplier, driver, anything you want," he says.
That includes being a manager. There's no boss here, so for the past five months, Mokas and his fellow workers have also shared the administration of the plant.
The court has appointed a liquidation lawyer, Giorgos Vanaroudis, to administrate the bankruptcy of VIO.ME's parent company, Philkeram Johnson.

Vanaroudis told NPR that the workers of VIO.ME — like other potential buyers — don't want to pay for shares in a company that's more than 4 million euros ($5.3 million) in debt. He says a court in Thessaloniki is now considering whether to appoint administrators for VIO.ME who will allow the workers to remain on the property — or kick them out.
Workers Hope To Own Factory
The VIO.ME workers have been inspired by a precedent in southern Argentina, where the laid-off staff of Zanon, a ceramics factory that closed in 2001, took over the plant and now operate and own it.
The Argentine workers also renamed the plant Fabrica Sin Patrones — Factory Without Bosses — and it's a darling of leftist organizations and labor activists.
The same kinds of activists also support VIO.ME, which also collects donations through PayPal on the plant's website.
What they're not getting is credit from any undercapitalized Greek banks, which rarely give out loans anymore, says Athanassios Savakis, president of the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece.
"The problem is liquidity, in fact," he says. "The extrovert companies, the ones with high levels of exports, have faced this in a positive way."
Those companies make money selling their products abroad, whereas the factory workers are struck selling their detergent in a depressed local market.
VIO.ME's fabric softener may not have a future. But the workers still put in eight-hour shifts on the assembly line every day.
When the shift is over at 3 p.m., they line up in a hot, airless office for a day's salary – just 10 euros, or about $13.
Dimitris Nikolaidis, a tall electrician with a crown of salt-and-pepper curls, walks to his aging sea-blue Daewoo Lanos.
"It's really difficult to live on this salary," Nikolaidis says, as he drives home. "The truth is, you can't live on it. It's just enough money to pay for me to get here and keep working."
In the back seat is Giorgos Deligiannis, a bespectacled machine operator in a pressed pastel shirt. He says it's been hard to learn so many new skills, including accounting, and to manage so many different personalities in a collective that insists on equality over ambition.
"But we're trying to be patient," he says. "We want to believe that things will improve."
Outside their factory, the economy is broken. Inside these walls, the men are surviving. And they say they have found dignity, if not money, in their work.
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Old 12-30-2013, 07:57 PM   #317
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The situation in Hungary may as well be even worse than that of Greece.

Hungary is no longer a democracy
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Old 01-04-2014, 11:37 PM   #318
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I worry about the way this country is going. We've just had the first rash of major xenophobia in a while over the Romanians and Bulgarians getting freedom of movement in the EU, with policies and talk from the government that are frankly bordering on Enoch Powell's river of blood speech.

We are also commemorating the First World War with Lord Kitchener on our £2 coins. He who was also a great proponent of concentration camp usage responsible for the deaths of some 26,000 women and children in the Boer War. He of course also was ordering the murder of injured Sudanese soldiers at the Battle of Omdurman.

And now we have the education secretary writing in the Daily Shite that we should feel patriotic about a good and just war, that it is basically a left wing conspiracy to denigrate those who fought. Of course in the same paper that tried to spin the leader of the Labour party's father as someone who hated Britain and its values because he didn't believe in monarchy and wanted changes to parliament, because he was a left wing academic, of course this man also was a Jew who fought for Britain in WW2. It had a slight anti-Semitic edge.

This whole thing reeks of the far right and I don't like where it is heading.
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Old 01-05-2014, 01:20 AM   #319
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I found this today, and thought it had some relevance (?) to your post, LJT.

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Old 01-21-2014, 09:24 PM   #320
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The situation in Hungary may as well be even worse than that of Greece.

Hungary is no longer a democracy
Doesn't really matter. Tecno-bureaucrats only care if your country is decreasing salaries, shutting down the public school/health/social security services, in order to compete directly with China, India, Mercosur, where the production costs are cheaper and where citizens (still) do not demand the same life quality europeans do.
As long as Hungary still has their salaries low enough to produce at a low cost, but high enough to buy what Germany and France produces, everything's okay.

There's European Parliment Election coming up on May 25th.

In France, for the first time in France's history, the Front National party, of Le Pen is gonna win. At the same time, many french seem to enjoy the shows of a pseudo-commedian, "linked" to Front National, who likes to make xenophobic jokes or anti-semitic... In line with Front Nationale's holocaust-denial.

In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders of PVV party is making some sort of pre-coalition with french Marine Le Pen and probably is going to have a good result again, as in 2009.

In the UK, the UKIP, another extreme-right party, is probably be in 3rd place. They also have similar positions and this week, one of his members claimed that recent flood is due to gay marriage.

In Hungary, the FIDESZ, traditionally right-wing, became far-far-right with Victor Orban. Hungarians seem to be happy with him, as opinion polls still give 45-50% to him... Not counting with the JOBBIK party, the extreme-right party that had 17% in the last elections and probably will repeat it. Orban's policy is known: shutting down radios and newspapers of the opposition, repressing minorities, repressing homeless, chasing gypsies (which are the XXI centuries "jews" for most of Europe), etc.

In Italy, in the legislative elections of 2012, there was a tie between 3 parties, all of them with ± 25%: the center-left (which is leading the government), Berlusconni's party (which, for me is far-far-far populist right) and Beppe Grillo's party, which is a ultrapopulist party, centered in Grillo's party and who wants to blow down the whole system.

In Portugal, the PPD/PSD party, traditionally the biggest center-right party (don't rely on wikipedia, they never ever were social-democratics, just stole the name not to be connoted with Salazar's nationalist right) now is a revival of 1930's proto-fascism, doing single everything that any portuguese thought it was impossible to happen, from taxes to counscience matters, from the extermination of culture/science to a propaganda that's typical of dictatorial regimes... All with the help of their coalition party, CDS-PP, leaded by a in-the-closet self-homophobic queer, a right-wing party, ranging from right populism to conservative-liberalism and never hides its nostalgia for the fascist regime.

In Germany, Angela Merkel (right wing) sucked the politica agenda of every party around her with the exception of the socialist/ex-comunists: from the liberals of FDP to SPD's social-democrats, and even part of the Green's agenda. No one is able to make a reliable opposition to that woman.

In Greece, the Golden Dawn, the neonazi party is now 3rd in the opinion polls (for many months they're stable in 3rd place) and reaching the 15% mark. Golden Dawn is entering and rising in the greek system the same way that Hitler's NSDAP's did in the late 1920's/early 1930's.

Simultaneously, in 2010, after Merkel-Sarkozy's summit, that decided that Europe (mostly the PIIGS) should now suffer a totalitary-punitive catholic-protestant-speeched austerity cure, the European Union changed the rules for the accounting of the deficits and debts. Suddenly, in a blink of an eye, the debts and deficits, specially of the PIIGS, had exploded.
Yesterday, January 21st, only 4 months before the European Elections, the EU tecno-bureaucrats decided to change the rules again, in a way that the GDP's will increase 1-2%... Which means that the public debt and budget deficit in % of GDP... Will suddenly decrease. And also suddenly the austerity plan worked after all!
The EU became a sort of Soviet Union but ideologically reversed.

This is Europa in 2014.
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