There was a time when Swiss bank secrecy was the passion of every tax-challenged oligarch in the world. Then things changed, Obama made it s badge of honor to rat out anyone you know who has a bank account in Zurich or Geneva, lists of previously ultra-secret account holders started “leaking” and from an asset, Swiss bank accounts promptly became a liability to everyone involved. Such as the matriarch of the legendary Papandreou family, former Pasok Greek PM G-Pap’s mother, Margaret, also wife of former PM Andreas, who according to The Telegraph has been revealed as having a €550 million ($700 million) Swiss bank account (she will hardly be happy to learn that Credit Suisse just instituted a negative interest on CHF deposits) in the Geneva branch of HSBC. Obviously lots of hard work by M-Pap went into building up that particular nest egg.
by Greg Palast for In These TimesHere’s what we’re told:
Greece’s economy blew apart because a bunch of olive-spitting, ouzo-guzzling, lazy-ass Greeks refuse to put in a full day’s work, retire while they’re still teenagers, pocket pensions fit for a pasha; and they’ve gone on a social-services spending spree using borrowed money. Now that the bill has come due and the Greeks have to pay with higher taxes and cuts in their big fat welfare state, they run riot, screaming in the streets, busting windows and burning banks.
I don’t buy it. I don’t buy it because of the document in my hand marked, “RESTRICTED DISTRIBUTION.”
I’ll cut to the indictment: Greece is a crime scene. The people are victims of a fraud, a scam, a hustle and a flim-flam. And––cover the children’s ears when I say this––a bank named Goldman Sachs is holding the smoking gun.
Headlines as the outgoing PM has what may be one of his last addresses to the nation.
PAPANDREOU DOESN’T SAY WHO WILL LEAD NEW GOVERNMENT
PAPANDREOU SAYS AIMED FOR CONSENSUS FROM BEGINNING
PAPANDREOU SAYS HAS CONSENSUS NOW
PAPANDREOU SAYS NEED OF UNITY MORE THAN EVER BEFORE
PAPANDREOU SAYS GREECE MUST DO ALL TO STAY IN EURO
PAPANDREOU SAYS GREECE MUST DO ALL TO EXIT CRISIS
PAPANDREOU SAYS NEED OF UNITY MORE THAN EVER BEFORE
PAPANDREOU SAYS WILL DO WHATEVER IS NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT EU AID DEAL
In the meantime, L-Pap appears to be gone, and with it, the Fed and ECB annexation plans, and instead the speaker of the government Filippos Petsalnikos (or F-Paps) will most likely be named interim PM. What that means for the future of the country at this point is still unclear.
As Greek politics grew ever more chaotic strong political protests erupted as the government moved to replace military chiefs with officers seen as more supportive of George Papandreou, the prime minister.
In a surprise development, Panos Beglitis, Defence Minister, a close confidante of Mr Papandreou, summoned the chiefs of the army, navy and air-force and announced that they were being replaced by other senior officers.
Neither the minister nor any government spokesman offered an explanation for the sudden, sweeping changes, which were scheduled to be considered on November 7 as part of a regular annual review of military leadership retirements and promotions. Usually the annual changes do not affect the entire leadership.
“Under no circumstances will these changes be accepted, at a time when the government is collapsing and has not even secured a vote of confidence,” said an official announcement by the opposition conservative New Democracy party.
“It has no moral or real authority any more, and such surprise moves can only worsen the crisis currently sweeping the country”.
The party said it will not accept the new nominations and will take its own decisions on armed forces changes if it comes to power at the general elections that are expected to take place in Greece if the government loses the vote of confidence on Friday night.
The country that invented drama and democracy is not disappointing the world on either front. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on Monday called for two high- stakes votes.
The first asks parliament to say by the end of this week whether it has confidence in his leadership. The second is a referendum in which Greek voters would approve or reject, possibly by year’s end, Europe’s latest debt-crisis workout.
The move blindsided European leaders on the eve of a global summit and rocked lawmakers in Papandreou’s party, some of whom are now calling for him to step down. The next day, stocks tumbled worldwide, the euro declined and Italian bonds plunged.
No doubt, Papandreou’s gambit is extremely risky. He has only a three-seat parliamentary majority. And the referendum, if rejected, could push Greece into default and out of the European Union and the single currency. A doomsday scenario could follow, including financial market mayhem, soaring sovereign borrowing costs and cascading bank failures. Europe and the U.S. could fall back into recession.
Still, it was the right thing to do. Greek citizens deserve a say on one of the most important matters in their lifetimes. Perhaps more important, the move could finally force Europe into the full reckoning required to solve its two-year-old sovereign- debt crisis.
European Commission President calls on Greek leaders to support the bailout package insisting the alternative would be more painful
Greek cabinet vote unanimously to hold referendum on whether to uphold debt agreement
Generals face sack in Athens as coup rumours spread
Papandreou to face confidence vote in Greek parliament on Friday
The Greek prime minister was today preparing for a tense showdown with the leaders of France and Germany after he announced shock plans to hold a referendum on his country’s emergency bail-out.
George Papandreou has arrived in Cannes, France, after securing his ministers’ support for the vote in a mammoth seven-hour cabinet meeting last night. The referendum could take place next month.
If Greece rejects the austerity measures – part of a package to stop the sovereign debt crisis spreading, Europe faces being plunged into an economic catastrophe.
Mr Papendreou will face the wrath of President Nicolas Sarkozy and Chancellor Angela Merkel this evening ahead of the G20 summit.
The pair will then meet with other top world leaders who they will try to convince that the eurozone is not in terminal decline.
In Greece yesterday, little was done to calm the nerves of politicians and financial markets as Athens announced extraordinary plans to sack its military leaders amid rampant speculation that it was trying to head off a coup d’etat.
‘It’s all over. The government is about to collapse,’ said one Greek official. Greece’s former deputy finance minister Petros Doukas agreed: ‘The **** has hit the fan.’
Greece to miss deficit target for 2011-2012; deficit to reach 8.5 pct of GDP this year
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece won’t meet 2011-2012 deficit targets imposed by international lenders as part of the country’s bailout, the Finance Ministry said Sunday.
The country’s deficit this year is expected to reach 8.5 percent of gross domestic product, or euro18.69 billion ($25.2 billion) — higher than the targeted euro17.1 billion ($23.1 billion), which would have been 7.8 percent of GDP, the ministry said.
Greece will miss a deficit target set just months ago in a massive bailout package, according to government draft budget figures released on Sunday, showing that drastic steps taken to avert bankruptcy may not be enough.
The dire forecasts came while inspectors from the International Monetary Fund, EU and European Central Bank, known as the troika, were in Athens scouring the country’s books to decide whether to approve a loan tranche. Without that installment, Greece would run out of cash as soon as this month.
Print. Lie. Borrow. Deceive. Deny. These are a the principal tenants of the Greek restructuring plan that were released today from Brussels… it’s as if EU policymakers put it together after shaking a Magic 8-ball.
The whole world knows that Greece is bankrupt and has been living bailout to bailout for over a year. Deep in debt and devoid of cash, the country has completely forsaken its sovereignty in exchange for becoming a ward of the European Union; Prime Minister George Papandreou is now a hapless stooge awaiting instructions from Germany.
It’s ironic that the Greek proposal released today calls for a ‘Marshall Plan’ of investment across Europe… given that the last time Greece was being controlled by Germany was during the country’s occupation by Nazi forces after being vanquished by Hitler’s 12th Army in April 1941.
And so, with limited debate and even less fanfare, Europe has just officially signed on to destroy its own currency. Utterly worthless, quasi-defaulted Greek debt will become perfectly acceptable collateral, much in the same way that the US Federal Reserve took every scrap of toxic paper it could find off banks in 2008 and 2009.
Given the favorable market reaction, European politicians must be feeling pretty proud of themselves. The euro is up. The stock market is up. Oil is up. Well, never mind about oil, they’ll blame that on evil speculators… just like food prices.
– Greece: Default Is Inevitable (By Mario Blejer, who was former president of the Central Bank of Argentina, and has held top positions at the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Bank of England.)
The only solution for Greece is to arrest the Goldman Sachs bankers immediately and all those involved in the fabrication of Greek economic data in 2000, when you became a member of the eurozone. The next step is to nationalize all banks like Sweden did in 1993. The International Monetary Fund is that last thing you need. You will lose your sovereignty. It exercises terrorism. You will be raped in such a way, that it will be the worst pain you have ever felt.
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said the euro zone and International Monetary Fund must quickly approve a second bailout for his country to avoid its economic reform plans collapsing, a German newspaper reported.
“The current mood doesn’t help us to get through this crisis,” Papandreou told the Financial Times Deutschland, in a brief preview of an interview to be published in the paper’s Thursday’s edition.
“This uncertainty scares investors. If we don’t get a decision soon supporting the second Greek programme so that the country can begin its far-reaching reforms, the programme itself could be held up.”
A short video about what’s happening in Greece at the present and what has lead Greece to this state. Speaking in the clips are Max Keiser, Nigel Farage and Gerald Celente. The clips are from Russia Today, Aljazeera and EU parliament. Music by Corner Stone Cues – Requiem For A Tower Mvt II III IV.
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