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From Troika hater to Troika defender. How Alexis Tsipras became the EU’s number one fan

Greek PM, Alexis Tsipras has sure changed his tune. Elected on a platform promising to dismantle the Troika and free Greece from EU debt slavery, Tsipras has now fully embraced the Troika + ECB (now called the Quadriga), and is now its strongest defender.

Alex Christoforou

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Post originally appeared on Bloomberg.

The troika has a new enforcer: Alexis Tsipras.

His finance minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, will welcome representatives from the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank at 10 a.m. Friday while the premier focuses his attention on stamping out an internal rebellion. It’s the first time since SYRIZA swept to power in January that the loathed trio get access to a cabinet member.

After railing against austerity, the Greek leader has come to accept it as a necessary evil to keep Greece in the euro. The U-turn leaves Tsipras on the same path trodden by predecessors including arch-enemy Antonis Samaras, who at one time he had blasted for kowtowing to creditors’ demands.

“Whoever thinks another government and another prime minister would do better, they should speak up,” Tsipras, 41, told his party members in Athens Thursday. “If someone thinks that this agreement is the worst compared to the previous bailouts, they should speak up and explain why.”

After winning massive public support for rejecting more belt-tightening, Tsipras folded in the aftermath of bank closures and capital controls. He signed up for more cuts as the only way to get an 86 billion euros ($94 billion) rescue loan.

The reversal left him at odds with own rank and file in a showdown that could put Europe’s most indebted state on course for snap elections.

SYRIZA mutiny

Speaking to the central committee of the SYRIZA governing party, Tsipras challenged critics to hold a party ballot on Sunday if they reject his decisions. In a show of hands, the committee backed his call for an emergency congress in September. The meeting was called after about a quarter of the party’s lawmakers rejected Tsipras’s move to seek a new bailout.

Opposition to the bailout is strongest in the Left Platform of Syriza, led by former energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis. It accuses Tsipras of violating the mandate voters gave him in January and in a July 5 referendum that saw Greeks oppose more spending cuts. Lafazanis was replaced as energy minister after leading a revolt against the new agreement.

The uprising has forced Tsipras to rely on opposition support to pass policies demanded by creditors.

“After abandoning earlier vows of unity, both sides appear to be preparing for a showdown today that could even split the party,” Paris Mantzavras and George Grigoriou, analysts at Athens-based Pantelakis Securities SA, wrote in a note to clients Thursday.

Party split

Eurasia Group analyst Mujtaba Rahman said a “formal split within SYRIZA is only a matter of time.”

Left Platform dissenters, publishing their views on Iskra, a website named after a newspaper managed by Russian revolution leader Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, have called on Tsipras to annul a July 12 agreement with creditors, and lead the country out of the euro area. Other prominent SYRIZA lawmakers, including Parliament Speaker Zoi Constantopoulou, have joined them in voting against the deal.

Constantopoulou said earlier this month that the measures Germany and other creditors are asking Greece to implement constitute “a crime against humanity” and “social genocide.”

Tsipras fought back on Wednesday, telling Sto Kokkino radio that the alternative to July’s agreement would be the collapse of Greece’s financial system.

“If I did what my heart was telling me to do, get up and leave, the very same day the branches of Greek banks abroad would fall,” Tsipras said. “Within 48 hours,” Tsipras added, the ECB would pull the plug of emergency loans from Greek lenders, “which would mean, at first, the collapse of Eurobank, then possibly the National Bank of Greece, and, maybe, along the way — the rest of the banks.”

The IMF on Thursday reiterated its support for one of Tsipras’s central arguments, that Greece needs debt relief in order to stabilize its public finances. Standing in the way is Germany, the country that has loaned Greece the most. IMF executives won’t support disbursing more aid to Greece without an explicit, concrete commitment from the euro area to ease the country’s debt burden, a fund official told reporters.

References:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-30/tsipras-embraces-troika-while-squashing-greek-party-rebellion

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EU leaders dictate Brexit terms to Theresa May (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 115.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how EU leaders have agreed on a plan to delay the the Article 50 process which effectively postpones Brexit beyond the 29 March deadline.

The UK will now be offered a delay until the 22nd of May, only if MPs approve Theresa May’s withdrawal deal next week. If MPs do not approve May’s negotiated deal, then the EU will support a short delay until the 12th of April, allowing the UK extra time to get the deal passed or to “indicate a way forward”.

UK PM Theresa May said there was now a “clear choice” facing MPs, who could vote for a third time on her deal next week.

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Theresa May outlines four Brexit options, via Politico

In a letter to MPs, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May set out the four options she believes the country has in light of Thursday’s decision by EU leaders to extend the Brexit deadline beyond next Friday.

The U.K. is faced with a four-way choice, May wrote late Friday.

The government could revoke Article 50 — which May called a betrayal of the Brexit vote; leave without a deal on April 12; pass her deal in a vote next week; or, “if it appears that there is not sufficient support” for a vote on her deal in parliament next week or if it is rejected for a third time, she could ask for an extension beyond April 12.

But this would require for the U.K. taking part in European elections in May, which the prime minister said “would be wrong.”

May wrote that she’s hoping for the deal to pass, allowing the U.K. to leave the EU “in an orderly way,” adding “I still believe there is a majority in the House for that course of action.”

“I hope we can all agree that we are now at the moment of decision,” she wrote.

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US media suffers panic attack after Mueller fails to deliver on much-anticipated Trump indictment

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

RT

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Via RT


Important pundits and news networks have served up an impressive display of denials, evasions and on-air strokes after learning that Robert Mueller has ended his probe without issuing a single collusion-related indictment.

The Special Counsel delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr for review on Friday, with the Justice Department confirming that there will be no further indictments related to the probe. The news dealt a devastating blow to the sensational prophesies of journalists, analysts and entire news networks, who for nearly two years reported ad nauseam that President Donald Trump and his inner circle were just days away from being carted off to prison for conspiring with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Showing true integrity, journalists and television anchors took to Twitter and the airwaves on Friday night to acknowledge that the media severely misreported Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, as well as what Mueller’s probe was likely to find. They are, after all, true professionals.

“How could they let Trump off the hook?” an inconsolable Chris Matthews asked NBC reporter Ken Dilanian during a segment on CNN’s ‘Hardball’.

Dilanian tried to comfort the CNN host with some of his signature NBC punditry.

“My only conclusion is that the president transmitted to Mueller that he would take the Fifth. He would never talk to him and therefore, Mueller decided it wasn’t worth the subpoena fight,” he expertly mused.

Actually, there were several Serious Journalists who used their unsurpassed analytical abilities to conjure up a reason why Mueller didn’t throw the book at Trump, even though the president is clearly a Putin puppet.

“It’s certainly possible that Trump may emerge from this better than many anticipated. However! Consensus has been that Mueller would follow DOJ rules and not indict a sitting president. I.e. it’s also possible his report could be very bad for Trump, despite ‘no more indictments,'” concluded Mark Follman, national affairs editor at Mother Jones, who presumably, and very sadly, was not being facetious.

Revered news organs were quick to artfully modify their expectations regarding Mueller’s findings.

“What is collusion and why is Robert Mueller unlikely to mention it in his report on Trump and Russia?” a Newsweek headline asked following Friday’s tragic announcement.

Three months earlier, Newsweek had meticulously documented all the terrible “collusion” committed by Donald Trump and his inner circle.

But perhaps the most sobering reactions to the no-indictment news came from those who seemed completely unfazed by the fact that Mueller’s investigation, aimed at uncovering a criminal conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin, ended without digging up a single case of “collusion.”

The denials, evasions and bizarre hot takes are made even more poignant by the fact that just days ago, there was still serious talk about Trump’s entire family being hauled off to prison.

“You can’t blame MSNBC viewers for being confused. They largely kept dissenters from their Trump/Russia spy tale off the air for 2 years. As recently as 2 weeks ago, they had @JohnBrennan strongly suggesting Mueller would indict Trump family members on collusion as his last act,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.

While the Mueller report has yet to be released to the public, the lack of indictments makes it clear that whatever was found, nothing came close to the vast criminal conspiracy alleged by virtually the entire American media establishment.

“You have been lied to for 2 years by the MSM. No Russian collusion by Trump or anyone else. Who lied? Head of the CIA, NSA,FBI,DOJ, every pundit every anchor. All lies,” wrote conservative activist Chuck Woolery.

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom was more blunt, but said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

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Canadian Lawmaker Accuses Trudeau Of Being A “Fake Feminist” (Video)

Rempel segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career

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Via Zerohedge

Canada’s feminist-in-chief Justin Trudeau wants to support and empower women…but his support stops at the point where said women start creating problems for his political agenda.

That was the criticism levied against the prime minister on Friday by a conservative lawmaker, who took the PM to task for “muzzling strong, principled women” during a debate in the House of Commons.

“He asked for strong women, and this is what they look like!” said conservative MP Michelle Rempel, referring to the former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has accused Trudeau and his cronies of pushing her out of the cabinet after she refused to grant a deferred prosecution agreement to a Quebec-based engineering firm.

She then accused Trudeau of being a “fake feminist”.

“That’s not what a feminist looks like…Every day that he refuses to allow the attorney general to testify and tell her story is another day he’s a fake feminist!”

Trudeau was so taken aback by Rempel’s tirade, that he apparently forgot which language he should respond in.

But Rempel wasn’t finished. She then segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career. This from a man who once objected to the continued use of the word “mankind” (suggesting we use “peoplekind” instead).

The conservative opposition then tried to summon Wilson-Raybould to appear before the Commons for another hearing (during her last appearance, she shared her account of how the PM and employees in the PM’s office and privy council barraged her with demands that she quash the government’s pursuit of SNC-Lavalin over charges that the firm bribed Libyan government officials). Wilson-Raybould left the Trudeau cabinet after she was abruptly moved to a different ministerial post – a move that was widely seen as a demotion.

Trudeau has acknowledged that he put in a good word on the firm’s behalf with Wilson-Raybould, but insists that he always maintained the final decision on the case was hers and hers alone.

Fortunately for Canadians who agree with Rempel, it’s very possible that Trudeau – who has so far resisted calls to resign – won’t be in power much longer, as the scandal has cost Trudeau’s liberals the lead in the polls for the October election.

 

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