The Secret Bank Bailout (HD 1080p) – German TV Award 2013

50 billion euros in Greece, 70 billion euros in Ireland, 40 billion euros in Spain – one Euro-country after another is forced to support its banks with huge sums of money in order to equalize the losses incurred by money worldwide from bad loans. But where do the billions go anyway? Who are the beneficiaries? With this simple question the award-winning business journalist and nonfiction author Harald Schumann travels across Europe and gets surprising answers.

The rescued are not in the poorer Euro states – unlike commonly believed – but mainly in Germany and France. A large part of the money ends up with the creditors of the banks that want to be saved or must be saved. And although these investors have obviously made bad investments, they are – against all logic of the free market economy – protected at the expense of the general public against any losses. Why? Who gets the money? Actually, simple questions, but that regard the core of European identity. Maybe the most passionate film on the banking crisis.

Director: Arpad Bondy
Script: Harald Schumann, Arpad Bondy
Camera: Axel Schneppat

The Nature Of The Greek Crisis

by Yanis Varoufakis on 31 March 2015 @yanisvaroufakis

German journalist Harald Schumann of Der Tagesspiegel and Arpad Bondy produced a documentary “The Trail of the Troika” for the TV channel Arte. The film features short clips with Yanis Varoufakis but now they released the full interview on YouTube.

If you want to understand the crisis analysis of the new Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis watch this interview.

Greece Inaugurates Special Committee to Pursue WWII Reparations from Germany

by Philip Chrysopoulos – Apr 1, 2015

The special committee that will pursue war reparations, the repayment of the loan received during the occupation and the return of stolen archaeological treasures from Germany starts work today.

The committee convenes a few days after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras returned from Berlin where he met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the crucial negotiations with international creditors, the biggest of which is Germany.

Head of the committee is Parliament President Zoe Konstantopoulou, indicative of the importance the Greek government has given the issue.

The all-party parliamentary committee will continue and complete the collection of data and evidence to document the case, using indisputable historical data that will effectively strengthen the Greek argument. The committee will cooperate with all pertinent European and international organizations and agencies to collect data and will collaborate with organizations that have dealt with similar cases. It will also organize conferences and lectures on the subject. Continue reading

Greeks in Support of SYRIZA Govt But Afraid of Grexit

by Aggelos Skordas – Apr 1, 2015

The newly elected SYRIZA – Independent Greeks (ANEL) coalition government has managed to attract the Greek public opinion to its side in the first two months since it took office. According to a new opinion poll conducted by the University of Macedonia on behalf of Greek TV “SKAI,” Greeks agree with the government’s negotiation policy as well as the internal policies implemented so far. At the same time though, the fear of a possible Grexit is continuously intensifying.

55% of the respondents consider the Greek government’s movements in the negotiation front as correct, while the publicity of both Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and junior coalition partner ANEL leader and National Defense Minister Panos Kammenos is on the rise. Greece’s youngest Prime Minister since 1865 attracts a positive view from 65.9% of the respondents, while Kammenos attracts the positive view of 35%. In contrast, Tsipras’ predecessor and main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras’ publicity has dropped to just 15%, “To Potami” leader Stavros Theodorakis to 5%, PASOK leader and former government Vice President Evangelos Venizelos to 3%, Greek Communist Party (KKE) leader Dimitris Koutsoumpas and neo-nazi inspired Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos to 1% respectively.

Growing fears of a possible Greek exit from the euro

When asked what emotion a possible Greek exit from the Eurozone (the so-called Grexit) causes to them, 43.5% of the respondents said fear, 14.5% hope, 26% none of the two as nothing will change, while 16% of them said there is no such possibility. The above answers were given between March 16 and 17. By comparison, on March 26 to 27, 45.5% of the respondents replied fear, 11% hope, 26.5% no emotion and 17% did not believe there is such possibility.

– See more at: http://greece.greekreporter.com/2015/04/01/opinion-poll-greeks-in-support-of-syriza-govt-but-afraid-of-grexit/#sthash.kdm0kaaG.dpuf

Yanis Varoufakis calls for end to ‘toxic blame game’

published at BBC.com
30 March 2015
Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has called for an end to the “toxic blame game” between Greece and Germany. He made the call as Greece prepares to finalise its list of economic reforms to present to its international creditors. The reforms are needed to unlock a new tranche of bailout cash for Greece, which could run out of money in weeks. Mr Varoufakis said that finger-pointing between Germany and Greece would only aid Europe’s enemies. Athens and Berlin have been engaged in a bitter war of words as the Greek government seeks to renegotiate the terms of its bailout.
German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has publicly expressed his anger, claiming last week that Greece “has destroyed all trust”. He also acknowledged that Greece could “accidentally leave the eurozone”. Writing in the German business newspaper Handelsblatt, Mr Varoufakis said that tensions between the two countries “must stop”, adding: “Only then can Greece, with support of its partners, focus on implementing effective reforms and growth-orientated policy strategies.”
Greece submitted preliminary plans to the European Union, International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank on Friday night that it says will raise some €3bn (£2.2bn) in state revenues.
They include measures to combat tax evasion, more privatisations and higher taxes on alcohol and cigarettes, but no “recessionary measures” such as wage and pension cuts.
However, the reforms as initially proposed do not appear to have been specific enough to win the approval of the lenders, formerly known as the “troika”.
‘Positive sign’
European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said on Monday that the list of reforms still “requires a lot of technical work” despite talks over the weekend.
However, he added that the continuing discussions were “a positive sign that shows willingness and seriousness of all sides to constructively engage”.
Officials say the final list may not be ready for several days.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Greece had some flexibility about the reforms it chose, but that they must “add up”.
“The question is can and will Greece fulfil the expectations that we all have,” she said on a visit to Helsinki. “In the end the financial stability of the country must be restored. Greece is talking with the institutions now. We are waiting on these talks. And we will wait for the evaluation of the institutions.” Speaking in parliament later on Monday, the Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras repeated that his government was ready to strike a deal with creditors – but not at any cost.
But he did acknowledge the need to restructure the country’s debts.
“There is the recognition [from lenders] of the need to finally begin a debate on the necessary restructuring of the Greek debt,” he told parliament.
“Because without such an intervention it is impossible to repay it.”
Greece faces a deadline on 9 April when it is due to repay a tranche of funds to the IMF.
Mr Tsipras added that the country was already seeing the benefits of his strategy, with the introduction of a new law making it easier to repay tax arrears leading to 100 million euros in a week.

Is Fascism on the Rise?

May 8-9, 2015, Panteion University Athens, Greece
EASP Small Group Meeting:

A dialogue between social psychologists and historians on collective memories and on the current revival of extreme right-wing ideologies
Contact: Xenia Chryssochoou at xeniachryssochoou@yahoo.gr or xeniachr@panteion.gr
Organizers: Xenia Chryssochoou, Susan Condor, Chiara Volpato, Christina Kouloupri (Historian), Chantal Kesteloot (Historian)

Social Psychology was developed mainly after WWII and research on authoritarianism, obedience, social influence, intergroup relations and common sense knowledge aimed to understand how and why the horrors of the war were possible. Seventy years later we see a rise of conservative and extreme right-wing ideologies in Europe, of hatred, xenophobia and scapegoating towards culturally diverse populations and a tolerance of the curtailing civil liberties and human rights. Can the legacy of WWII help understand the current increase of these ideologies? How have the memories of WWII, contributed to the construction of national and European identities and to the vision of European integration? What can we learn from social psychological theories and research?

In this workshop we aim to develop a scientific exchange in order to:
 achieve a scientific understanding of the nature of fascism
 develop a systematic understanding of the conditions under which extreme right-wing ideas become popular and people move from support of democratic leaders for support for authoritarian leaders
 consider the similarities and differences between a psychology of racism and a psychology of fascism or extreme right-wing ideologies
 consider, in particular, the role of historical memories of fascism in WWII on the contemporary rise of neo-nazi ideologies.

To answer these questions we propose a small group meeting that will bring together social psychologists and historians to discuss whether we can make parallels with fascists movements of the 1930/40 and the current situation. We invite social psychological contributions from different areas (identity and intergroup relations, social influence, collective emotions, stereotype research, authoritarianism, national identity, dehumanization, collective memory, resistance, solidarity, human rights and representations of the democratic process) and of qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Papers will be presented and discussed along historical accounts and explanations of the phenomenon. They
will be circulated in advance and ample time will be devoted to discussion.

The small group meeting will take place the 8-9 May 2015 in Athens
COST Action 1205 “ Social Psychological Dynamics of Historical Representations in the enlarged European Union” will fund the participation of 7 social psychologists (members of the COST Action network). Participants who are not members of the Cost Action will have to cover travel and accommodation expenses.

Interested participants should send an abstract of 600 words to Xenia CHRYSSOCHOOU by January 10th 2015 at xeniachryssochoou@yahoo.gr or xeniachr@panteion.gr

Important deadlines:
Submission January 10th 2015
Notification of the decision by end of January 2015
Papers produced by end of March 2015

The Greek Debt ‘Confidence Trick’

Greek-Debt-Confidence-Trick-600x437

by George Pappas • 23 February 2015 published at Critical Legal Thinking 

Greece’s best long term economic and budgetary policy lies in adopting the IPSAS accounting standard to kick start Greek job growth and rebuild its economic infrastructure. As William Shakespeare said in Much Ado About Nothing, “Let every eye negotiate for itself And trust no agent.” As so it seems appropriate to cast our ‘eye’ upon the discourses that have defined the current Greek financial crisis from both the left and the right. These discourses have failed to draw the curtain back enough to reveal the true nature of the ‘Oz’ like problem Greece faces today.

As Costas Douzinas so aptly stated in his recent article on CLT, Syriza:The Greek Spring:

There is no blueprint or textbook and the new government will be tested every step along the way. It is a tall order for a small country and party. But if the Greek spring succeeds — it is a big if — it will mark the beginning of a new type of democratic socialism for the 21st century”. Continue reading