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Greek gamble. Coalition government moves Presidential election forward after EU overlords grant two month bailout extension

Greece’s government brought forward on Monday a crucial presidential vote by two months to next week, in a surprise gamble aimed at ending political uncertainty that has hung over the country for months. If the Parliament fails to reach a super majority and approve the Presidential nominee, then snap elections will be called in line with Greece’s constitution.

Alex Christoforou

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Greece is back in the spotlight.

Via eKathimerini:

A decision on Monday by Greece’s coalition government to move forward the election for a new president constitutes a “significant popular and democratic victory,” opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said on Tuesday.

“The acceleration of the process for the election of president by a Parliament that is too weak to achieve the broad consensus required by law for the election of president equals the acceleration of procedures that will lead to a popular vote,” the leftist leader told a meeting of SYRIZA officials.

“We have every reason to hope for a happy new year,” Tsipras said, expressing confidence that the election will lead to a “government of salvation with SYRIZA at its core.

And just like that, the entire Eurozone crisis kicked off by Greece some 6-7 years ago, has come full circle with a vote that may possibly decide if Greece stays or leaves the Euro currency.

Via Cyprus Mail:

The decision [to move up the Presidential vote] came after euro zone finance ministers said they were in favour of granting Greece its request for only a two-month extension to its bailout programme, a boost for Prime Minister Antonis Samaras who has been pushing for an early exit from the programme which is deeply unpopular in Greece.

Parliament’s vote to select a new president, the first round of which will be held on Dec. 17 instead of Feb. 15 as previously scheduled, could trigger early elections if Samaras fails to get his candidate for president elected.

He needs the support of 180 lawmakers in the 300-seat chamber to scrape through the vote — support he does not currently have.

However, officials and analysts said the move to bring forward the vote was a sign that the coalition government, which has 155 lawmakers in parliament, has improved prospects of securing the level of support it needs to survive.

Greek law stipulates that parliament must be dissolved and new elections called if parliament cannot elect a president.

“The market’s sentiment is that the prime minister is now more certain that he will find the 180 MPs, as the government tries to put an end to political uncertainty,” Beta Securities analyst Takis Zamanis told Reuters.

The decision effectively throws down the gauntlet to nearly two dozen independent lawmakers sitting on the fence, allowing Samaras to argue they have a choice on whether to side with his pro-bailout government to lead Greece out of the woods or usher in a new period of uncertainty with snap elections and the potential victory of leftist radicals who have vowed to tear up the bailout.

Greek Prime Minister Samaras has been pushing his EU/IMF masters to let Greece exit the austerity memorandum ASAP, a political victory for Samaras and his New Democracy party if achieved. With close to 30% unemployment and over 350 billion euros in loans to pay off, why not call the entire EU/IMF Greek rescue plan a victory. In today’s delusional Europe it makes perfect sense.

More via Cyprus Mail:

Samaras had been staking his survival on exiting the unpopular EU/IMF aid programme by the end of this year, but the plan ran into trouble as Athens and its lenders haggled over next year’s budget.

Greece still needs to resolve the final bailout review with its lenders and finalize details of the bailout exit, including the conditions tied to an interim, post-bailout programme.

By holding the presidential vote while those negotiations are still going on, the government appears to be gambling that it has a better shot of securing support now rather than leaving it to February and allowing a period of general political malaise to continue.

In a statement on Monday, the government blamed the leftist opposition for undermining efforts to seal a deal with lenders.

Opinion polls show the leftist Syriza party would win if early elections were held right now. The leftist party welcomed the move to hold the presidential vote next week, saying it would only pave the way to early elections that the country needs.

“The decision — in coordination with the (EU/IMF) troika — to speed up the presidential vote, is a hopeless effort to hide new (austerity) measures and blackmail the votes of lawmakers,” the party said in a statement. “They won’t make it.”

Syriza has vowed to abandon any cooperation with EU/IMF lenders, and promised to reverse austerity cuts taken in recent years — a stance that has spooked markets wary of Greece going off the path of fiscal rigour just as it straightens out its finances and returns to economic growth.

The country exited a painful six-year recession this year and has tapped bond markets twice after a four-year exile, but investors have begun to fear a return to the days of crisis as the presidential vote looms.

References:

http://cyprus-mail.com/2014/12/09/greek-government-in-political-gamble-brings-forward-crucial-presidential-vote-to-next-week/

http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite1_1_09/12/2014_545270

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alisya7492redpilltimesRocky Racoon Recent comment authors
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Rocky Racoon
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Rocky Racoon

The bondholders fear the bondholders fear the bondholders fear going to jail for bribery embezzlement and extortion.

redpilltimes
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redpilltimes

Bankers run the world..for now

alisya7492
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alisya7492

Been to Greece many times last year…the place cannot handle more austerity. EU and IMF wants more austerity…something has to give. Who will break first is anyone’s guess

Rocky Racoon
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Rocky Racoon

The bondholders fear the bondholders fear the bondholders fear going to jail for bribery embezzlement and extortion.

redpilltimes
Guest
redpilltimes

Bankers run the world..for now

alisya7492
Guest
alisya7492

Been to Greece many times last year…the place cannot handle more austerity. EU and IMF wants more austerity…something has to give. Who will break first is anyone’s guess

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Macron cuts ski holiday short, vowing crack down on Yellow Vests (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 109.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the 18th consecutive week of Yellow Vests protests in Paris. Following last weeks lower participation, Saturday’s Yellow Vests in Paris gathered larger crowds, with various outbreaks of violence and rioting that has been blamed on extreme elements, who French authorities claim have infiltrated the movement.

“Act XVIII” of the protests has shown that the Yellow Vests have not given up. France’s Champs-Élysées boulevard was where most of the violence occurred, with the street being left in a pile of broken glass and flames.

One day after Paris was set ablaze, French President Emmanuel Macron cut his ski holiday short, returning to Paris and vowing to take “strong decisions” to prevent more violence.

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Via Zerohedge


Paris awoke on Sunday to smouldering fires, broken windows and looted stores following the 18th consecutive Saturday of Yellow Vest protests.

Around 200 people were arrested according to BFM TV, while about 80 shops near the iconic Champs Elysees had been damaged and/or looted according to AFP, citing Champs Elysees committee president Jean-Noel Reinhardt.

The 373-year-old Saint Sulpice Roman Catholic church was set on fire while people were inside, however nobody was injured. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

The riots were so severe that French President Emmanuel Macron cut short a vacation at the La Mongie ski resort in the Hautes-Pyrénées following a three-day tour of East Africa which took him to Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Macron skied on Friday, telling La Depeche du Midi “I’m going to spend two-three days here to relax, to find landscapes and friendly faces,” adding “I’m happy to see the Pyrenees like that, radiant, although I know it was more difficult at Christmas” referring to the lack of snow in December.

In response to Saturday’s violence, Macron said over Twitter that “strong decisions” were coming to prevent more violence.

Macron said some individuals — dubbed “black blocs” by French police forces — were taking advantage of the protests by the Yellow Vest grassroots movement to “damage the Republic, to break, to destroy.” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter that those who excused or encouraged such violence were complicit in it. –Bloomberg

The French President has family ties in the Hautes-Pyrénées, including Bagnères de Bigorre where his grandmother lived. He is a regular visitor to the region.

Emmanuel Macron (2ndL), head of the political movement In Marche! (Onwards!) And candidate for the 2017 presidential election, and his wife Brigitte Trogneux (L) have lunch April 12, 2017 (Reuters)

 

 

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Vesti calls out Pompeo on lying about Russia invading Ukraine [Video]

Secretary Pompeo displayed either stunning ignorance or a mass-attack of propaganda about what must be the most invisible war in history.

Seraphim Hanisch

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After the 2014 Maidan revolution and the subsequent secessions of Lugansk and Donetsk in Ukraine, and after the rejoining of Crimea with its original nation of Russia, the Western media went on a campaign to prove the Russia is (/ was / was about to / had already / might / was thinking about / was planning to … etc.) invade Ukraine. For the next year or so, about every two weeks, internet news sources like Yahoo! News showed viewers pictures of tanks, box trucks and convoys to “prove” that the invasion was underway (or any of the other statuses confirming the possibilities above stated.) This information was doubtless provided to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Apparently, Secretary Pompeo believed this ruse, or is being paid to believe this ruse because in a speech recently, he talked about it as fact:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine an attempt to gain access to Ukraine’s oil and gas reserves.

He stated this at IHS Markit’s CERAWeek conference in Houston, the USA, Reuters reports.

Pompeo urged the oil industry to work with the Trump administration to promote U.S. foreign policy interests, especially in Asia and in Europe, and to punish what he called “bad actors” on the world stage.

The United States has imposed harsh sanctions in the past several months on two major world oil producers, Venezuela and Iran.

Pompeo said the U.S. oil-and-gas export boom had given the United States the ability to meet energy demand once satisfied by its geopolitical rivals.

“We don’t want our European allies hooked on Russian gas through the Nord Stream 2 project, any more than we ourselves want to be dependent on Venezuelan oil supplies,” Pompeo said, referring to a natural gas pipeline expansion from Russia to Central Europe.

Pompeo called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an attempt to gain access to the country’s oil and gas reserves.

Although the state-run news agency Vesti News often comes under criticism for rather reckless, or at least, extremely sarcastic propaganda at times, here they rightly nailed Mr. Pompeo’s lies to the wall and billboarded it on their program:

The news anchors even made a wisecrack about one of the political figures, Konstantin Zatulin saying as a joke that Russia plans to invade the United States to get its oil. They further noted that Secretary Pompeo is uneducated about the region and situation, but they offered him the chance to come to Russia and learn the correct information about what is going on.

To wit, Russia has not invaded Ukraine at all. There is no evidence to support such a claim, while there IS evidence to show that the West is actively interfering with Russia through the use of Ukraine as a proxyWhile this runs counter to the American narrative, it is simply the truth. Ukraine appears to be the victim of its own ambitions at this point, for while the US tantalizes the leadership of the country and even interferes with the Orthodox Church in the region, the country lurches towards a presidential election with three very poor candidates, most notably the one who is president there now, Petro Poroshenko.

However, the oil and gas side of the anti-Russian propaganda operation by the US is significant. The US wishes for Europe to buy gas from American suppliers, even though this is woefully inconvenient and expensive when Russia is literally at Europe’s doorstep with easy supplies. However, the Cold War Party in the United States, which still has a significant hold on US policy making categorizes the sale of Russia gas to powers like NATO ally Germany as a “threat” to European security.

It is interesting that Angela Merkel herself does not hold this line of thinking. It is also interesting and worthy of note, that this is not the only NATO member that is dealing more and more with Russia in terms of business. It underscores the loss of purpose that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization suffers now since there is no Soviet Union to fight.

However, the US remains undaunted. If there is no enemy to fight, the Americans feel that they must create one, and Russia has been the main scapegoat for American power ambitions. More than ever now, this tactic appears to be the one in use for determining the US stance towards other powers in the world.

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Ariel Cohen explains Washington’s latest foreign policy strategy [Video]

Excellent interview Ariel Cohen and Vladimir Solovyov reveals the forces at work in and behind American foreign policy.

Seraphim Hanisch

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While the American people and press are pretty much complicit in reassuring the masses that America is the only “right” superpower on earth, and that Russia and China represent “enemy threats” for doing nothing more than existing and being successfully competitive in world markets, Russia Channel One got a stunner of a video interview with Ariel Cohen.

Who is Ariel Cohen? Wikipedia offers this information about him:

Ariel Cohen (born April 3, 1959 in Crimea in YaltaUSSR) is a political scientist focusing on political risk, international security and energy policy, and the rule of law.[1] Cohen currently serves as the Director of The Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics (CENRG) at the Institute for Analysis of Global Security (IAGS). CENRG focuses on the nexus between energy, geopolitics and security, and natural resources and growth. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, within the Global Energy Center and the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.[2] Until July 2014, Dr. Cohen was a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He specializes in Russia/Eurasia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Cohen has testified before committees of the U.S. Congress, including the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the Helsinki Commission.[4] He also served as a Policy Adviser with the National Institute for Public Policy’s Center for Deterrence Analysis.[5] In addition, Cohen has consulted for USAID, the World Bank and the Pentagon.[6][7]

Cohen is a frequent writer and commentator in the American and international media. He has appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX, C-SPAN, BBC-TV and Al Jazeera English, as well as Russian and Ukrainian national TV networks. He was a commentator on a Voice of America weekly radio and TV show for eight years. Currently, he is a Contributing Editor to the National Interest and a blogger for Voice of America. He has written guest columns for the New York TimesInternational Herald TribuneChristian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, EurasiaNet, Valdai Discussion Club,[8] and National Review Online. In Europe, Cohen’s analyses have appeared in Kommersant, Izvestiya, Hurriyet, the popular Russian website Ezhenedelny Zhurnal, and many others.[9][10]

Mr. Cohen came on Russian TV for a lengthy interview running about 17 minutes. This interview, shown in full below, is extremely instructive in illustrating the nature of the American foreign policy directives such as they are at this time.

We have seen evidence of this in recent statements by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine, and an honestly unabashed bit of fear mongering about China’s company Huawei and its forthcoming 5G networks, which we will investigate in more detail in another piece. Both bits of rhetoric reflect a re-polished narrative that, paraphrased, says to the other world powers,

Either you do as we tell you, or you are our enemy. You are not even permitted to out-compete with us in business, let alone foreign relations. The world is ours and if you try to step out of place, you will be dealt with as an enemy power.

This is probably justified paranoia, because it is losing its place. Where the United Stated used to stand for opposition against tyranny in the world, it now acts as the tyrant, and even as a bully. Russia and China’s reaction might be seen as ignoring the bully and his bluster and just going about doing their own thing. It isn’t a fight, but it is treating the bully with contempt, as bullies indeed deserve.

Ariel Cohen rightly points out that there is a great deal of political inertia in the matter of allowing Russia and China to just do their own thing. The US appears to be acting paranoid about losing its place. His explanations appear very sound and very reasonable and factual. Far from some of the snark Vesti is often infamous for, this interview is so clear it is tragic that most Americans will never see it.

The tragedy for the US leadership that buys this strategy is that they appear to be blinded so much by their own passion that they cannot break free of it to save themselves.

This is not the first time that such events have happened to an empire. It happened in Rome; it happened for England; and it happened for the shorter-lived empires of Nazi Germany and ISIS. It happens every time that someone in power becomes afraid to lose it, and when the forces that propelled that rise to power no longer are present. The US is a superpower without a reason to be a superpower.

That can be very dangerous.

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