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When a coffee break turns into a modern Greek nightmare

Suicides have become an epidemic in crisis-hit Greece while SYRIZA claims the country is “recovering” and “emerging” from the economic crisis.

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Having stopped off briefly for a coffee break near the Dafni metro station in Athens to catch up with some work e-mails, I noticed a crowd had developed at the entrance to the station for some unknown reason. It was clear the station had closed, but no one initially knew why. What happened next is a microcosm of a society in terminal decline.
Suddenly police, ambulance, and fire crews arrived and the crowd in front had to make way. It was stated someone had fallen on the tracks. No one initially knew the cause or the age of the victim. After more than thirty minutes, a mobile stretcher arrived on wheels and it was positioned eerily at the entrance. It epitomized what happened next. Authorities brought out a black body bag fully wrapped and wheeled it away. It was then revealed that a 75 year old Greek man who had jumped in front of a train.
The mythology that Greece has “turned the corner,” that “development is back,” and that “unemployment has been reduced from 27 percent to 19%,” are words that don’t relate to the human dramas unfolding in front of everyone’s eyes on a daily basis. With the massive expansion of part time work, the destruction of full time employment, and wages that could end up as low as €250 a month, one can understand how easily figures are manipulated.
Quite a few Athenians, the majority of which arrived from the villages in the 1950’s and 1960s, built their houses with cash without the necessity of mortgages or loans from the banking system. When the Great Crash of 2010 arrived, the IMF imposed property taxes. Many families had an ancestral home in a village and possibly one in four had built small holiday homes that were never properly legalized as they were built in designated “forest” or non-planning areas (Editor’s note: for more about the absurdities of Greece’s land and “forest” registry, click here). The irony of this is that one cannot then sell a property of such nature but the government does tax it!

With the massive expansion of part time work, the destruction of full time employment, and wages that could end up as low as €250 a month, one can understand how easily figures are manipulated.

With the collapse in pension payments by at least 50 percent, which has not been reversed by SYRIZA, as originally pledged, but instead has continued, a retired pensioner could end up being liable for two or three property tax payments and and to be placed in the “wealthy” tax bracket (Editor’s note: In Greece, the tax system is such that if one owns property or a car, a certain income level is assumed, even if one is now unemployed or even if the property was inherited). When added all together, the reduction in fixed income could be as high as 70 percent, and without the capacity of reducing overheads or transferring assets to ones children (who have their own problems) many seek the option of suicide.
It is alleged more than 10,000 people have committed suicide in Greece since the onset of the crisis, but many such incidents aren’t registered as such, as suicide is considered to bring shame upon the family. In actuality, the figure could be much closer to 30,000. The most infamous case is that of the pensioner Christos Soulas, who hanged himself in 2012 publicly in Syntagma Square in central Athens.

It was only a few years ago when then-government minister Andreas Loverdos stated on live television that the problem with Greek pensions “is that Greek pensioners live too long.” Taken literally, one understands how a short coffee break turns into a modern Greek nightmare…

When one adds to this the rash of robberies of pensioners inside their homes or on the streets, it is evident that this economic war against the third generation has as an aim to destroy Greek families and break the nation apart. Social justice has been erased from the lexicon of the modern mass media and the political parties that govern. It’s all forecasts and targets with made up figures.
It was only a few years ago when then-government minister Andreas Loverdos stated on live television that the problem with Greek pensions “is that Greek pensioners live too long.” Taken literally, one understands how a short coffee break turns into a modern Greek nightmare…
Originally published on http://imfoccupationgreece.blogspot.gr/2012/04/greek-pensioner-commits-suicide-in.html.

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Putin, Trump meet in Helsinki for first bilateral summit

The Helsinki summit is the first ever full-fledged meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. Their previous encounters were brief talks on the sidelines of the G20 and APEC summits in 2017.

Vladimir Rodzianko

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump are meeting in the Finnish capital of Helsinki for their first bilateral one-on-one meeting.

Trump arrived in the Finland capital a day early, while the jet of Putin, who wrapped up his nation’s hosting of the World Cup Sunday, touched down around 1 p.m. local time and the Russian president’s motorcade whisked him straight to the palace where the two world leaders are meeting.

Trump signed an August 2017 law imposing additional sanctions on Russia. The law bars Trump from easing many sanctions without Congress’ approval, but he can offer some relief without a nod from Congress.

Almost 700 Russian people and companies are under U.S. sanctions. Individuals face limits on their travel and freezes on at least some of their assets, while some top Russian state banks and companies, including oil and gas giants, are effectively barred from getting financing through U.S. banks and markets.

The agenda of the summit hasn’t been officially announced yet, though, the presidents are expected to discuss global crises, such as the Syrian conflict and Ukraine, as well as bilateral relations.

Stay tuned for updates…

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“Foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails (Video)

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx): Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails was hacked by foreign actor, and it was not Russia.

Alex Christoforou

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A stunning revelation that hardly anyone in the mainstream media is covering.

Fox News gave Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) the opportunity to explain what was going on during his questioning of Peter Strzok, when the the Texas Congressman stated that a “foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Aside from this segment on Fox News, this story is not getting any coverage, and we know why. It destroys the entire ‘Russia hacked Hillary’ narrative.

Gohmert states that this evidence is irrefutable and shows that a foreign actor, not connected to Russia in any way, intercepted and distributed Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails.

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Via Zerohedge

As we sift through the ashes of Thursday’s dumpster-fire Congressional hearing with still employed FBI agent Peter Strzok, Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller plucked out a key exchange between Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) and Strzok which revealed a yet-unknown bombshell about the Clinton email case.

Nearly all of Hillary Clinton’s emails on her homebrew server went to a foreign entity that isn’t Russia. When this was discovered by the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG), IG Chuck McCullough sent his investigator Frank Ruckner and an attorney to notify Strzok along with three other people about the “anomaly.”

Four separate attempts were also made to notify DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to brief him on the massive security breach, however Horowitz “never returned the call.” Recall that Horowitz concluded last month that despite Strzok’s extreme bias towards Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump – none of it translated to Strzok’s work at the FBI.

In other words; Strzok, while investigating Clinton’s email server, completely ignored the fact that most of Clinton’s emails were sent to a foreign entity – while IG Horowitz simply didn’t want to know about it.

Daily Caller reports…

The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found an “anomaly on Hillary Clinton’s emails going through their private server, and when they had done the forensic analysis, they found that her emails, every single one except four, over 30,000, were going to an address that was not on the distribution list,” Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said during a hearing with FBI official Peter Strzok.

Gohmert continued..

“It was going to an unauthorized source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia.”

Strzok admitted to meeting with Ruckner but said he couldn’t remember the “specific” content of their discussion.

“The forensic examination was done by the ICIG and they can document that,” Gohmert said, “but you were given that information and you did nothing with it.”

According to Zerohedge “Mr. Horowitz got a call four times from someone wanting to brief him about this, and he never returned the call,” Gohmert said – and Horowitz wouldn’t return the call.

And while Peter Strzok couldn’t remember the specifics of his meeting with the IG about the giant “foreign entity” bombshell, he texted this to his mistress Lisa Page when the IG discovered the “(C)” classification on several of Clinton’s emails – something the FBI overlooked:

“Holy cow … if the FBI missed this, what else was missed? … Remind me to tell you to flag for Andy [redacted] emails we (actually ICIG) found that have portion marks (C) on a couple of paras. DoJ was Very Concerned about this.”

Via Zerohedge

In November of 2017, IG McCullough – an Obama appointee – revealed to Fox News that he received pushback when he tried to tell former DNI James Clapper about the foreign entity which had Clinton’s emails and other anomalies.

Instead of being embraced for trying to expose an illegal act, seven senators including Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca) wrote a letter accusing him of politicizing the issue.

“It’s absolutely irrelevant whether something is marked classified, it is the character of the information,” he said. Fox News reports…

McCullough said that from that point forward, he received only criticism and an “adversarial posture” from Congress when he tried to rectify the situation.

“I expected to be embraced and protected,” he said, adding that a Hill staffer “chided” him for failing to consider the “political consequences” of the information he was blowing the whistle on.

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Donald Trump plays good cop and bad cop with a weak Theresa May (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 55.

Alex Christoforou

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US President Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK was momentous, not for its substance, but rather for its sheer entertainment value.

Trump started his trip to the United Kingdom blasting Theresa May for her inability to negotiate a proper Brexit deal with the EU.  Trump ended his visit holding hands with the UK Prime Minister during a press conference where the most ‘special relationship’ between the two allies was once again reaffirmed.

Protests saw giant Trump “baby balloons” fly over London’s city center, as Trump played was his own good cop and bad cop to the UK PM, outside London at the Chequers…often times leaving May’s head spinning.

Even as Trump has left London, he remains front and center in the mind of Theresa May, who has now stated that Trump advised her to “sue” the European Union to resolve the tense negotiations over Brexit.

Trump had mentioned to reporters on Friday at a joint press conference with Theresa May that he had given the British leader a suggestion that she found too “brutal.”

Asked Sunday on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show what that suggestion was, May: “He told me I should sue the EU. Not go into negotiation, sue them.” May added…

“What the president also said at that press conference was `Don’t walk away. Don’t walk away from the negotiations. Then you’re stuck.”‘

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris summarize what was a state visit like no other, as Trump trolled the UK PM from beginning to end, and left London knowing that he got the better of a weakened British Prime Minister, who may not survive in office past next week.

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Via CNBC

It wasn’t exactly clear what Trump meant. The revelation came after explosive and undiplomatic remarks Trump made this week about May’s leadership — especially her handling of the Brexit negotiations — as he made his first official visit to Britain.

In an interview with The Sun newspaper published Thursday — just as May was hosting Trump at a lavish black-tie dinner — Trump said the British leader’s approach likely “killed” chances of a free-trade deal with the United States. He said he had told May how to conduct Brexit negotiations, “but she didn’t listen to me.”

He also praised May’s rival, Boris Johnson, who quit last week as foreign secretary to protest May’s Brexit plans. Trump claimed Johnson would make a “great prime minister.”

The comments shocked many in Britain — even May’s opponents — and threatened to undermine May’s already fragile hold on power. Her Conservative government is deeply split between supporters of a clean break with the EU and those who want to keep close ties with the bloc, Britain’s biggest trading partner.

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