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Greek government begins censoring media by allowing only 4 TV channels to broadcast

Greece’s radical left Syriza government awarded new broadcasting licenses to only a handful of companies in a controversial step to limit the number of TV channels.

Alex Christoforou

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The Greek government seems to be getting ahead of the media censorship curve.

The Alexis Tsipras radical left Syriza government has taken a very controversial step in cementing media censorship by issuing TV licenses to only four entities.

The winners of the TV licenses paid a total of €246 million, which we are sure will make absolutely no dent in Greece’s mountainous €350 billion debt load.

Tsipras said the move to regulate the TV sector was about stamping out corruption and mismanagement, but the media says it will curb free speech and shut down stations, putting thousands of people out of work. With an unemployment rate that is near 27%, the last thing Greece needs is more people looking for a job.

You know the world has been turned upside down when a far left socialist government (which states it is for free speech, human rights and open borders) begins closing down TV stations under the guise of mismanagement.

Syriza’s move to authoritarian rule was brash and direct, by only offering four licenses to the highest bribe bidder…meaning some of the eight channels now broadcasting nationwide will now close down.

The bidding process lasted 66 hours.

Skai TV won the first license (bid 43.6 million euros), but it was far from a celebration. Costas Kimbouropoulos, Skai’s representative, said…

“We were not contesting a license, we came to negotiate ransom.” 

Vladimiros Kalogritsas won the second license with a bid of 52.6 million euros. ANT1 secured the third license with a 75.6 million euro bid. Marinakis (Alter Ego TV) won the fourth license with a 73.9 million euro bid.

Keep Talking Greece reports

When everything is cleared, the bid offers will have to be paid in installments in a period of two years. First installment of some 30% will have to be paid within 15 days, the second after one year and the third in the second year.

However, the bid is not over yet, at least not legally, because Greece’s highest court, the Council of State, will have to dig in the issue of whether the procedure was conform with the Constitution as some bidders appealed the procedure.

The next bid to be held will be for TV licenses for regional broadcasters.

ALPHA TV (Kontominas) and STAR TV (Vardinogiannis) are left without a license and will have to stop broadcasting via Digea* in 90 days. Once powerful MEGA TV was left out of the tender for the very beginning due to its financial situation.

While there are scenarios that losers might merge with winners or lease TV program to them, certain is that hundreds if not thousands of journalists, technicians and administrative personnel will lose their jobs.

Without a license is left also Ivan Savvidis; the Russian-born Greek businessman said that the bid money should be given to… “poor Greeks from Pontos.”

I will have to disappoint Savvidis and the poor Pontus-Greeks as the money will most probably will go to Greece’s creditors.

*Digea is the digital network operator that provides a digital terrestrial television transmission network in Greece for the seven (before the bid) nationwide private TV channels.

Ekathimerini reports that the TV media censorship move by Tsipras is far from over.

While the Greek government makes moves to convince Brussels, and its Troika lenders, that it will do whatever it takes to secure more borrowed money to keep the state on never ending life support, this latest move may be the straw that breaks the Syriza camel’s back. 

The government, which came to power promising to take on “the oligarchs,” has said the move will help bring order to a sector mired in debt and discredited because of its political links.

Broadcasters, who have mounted a legal challenge to the process, say the auction was little more than an attempt to gag critics, but they still took part in the process.

Antenna TV and two new entrants also won a license. The bidders were on lockdown at the Press Ministry for more than three days, mobiles phones were banned to ensure no leaks.

Skai had called the auction “a bad reality show” aimed at distracting the public from economic hardship.

Existing operators who failed to secure a license, among them Star channel and Alpha TV, will have 90 days before going off air, the government said. Mega TV, the first private station which aired in Greece in 1989, did not qualify to participate in the licensing round because of outstanding debts.

The government has called the country’s media “vampires” living on borrowed funds that they cannot repay.

In a country where up to a fourth of its national output has been wiped out, media, along with a business and a political elite are frequently cited by ruling politicians as being part of an establishment responsible for Greece’s current woes.

State Minister Nikos Pappas, who oversaw the auction and is one of Tsipras’ closest aides said on Friday that Greece now has “TV channels which will inform Greek people objectively…not depending on their owners’ links to the political leadership.”

Opposition parties have accused the government of launching the auction to bring in new business players, more friendly to a party that swept to power for the first time last year and may have less influence over the state mechanism and private sector.

“This auction is a parody,” said Anna-Michele Asimakopoulou, a lawmaker with the conservative New Democracy party on Tuesday. “The government wants to control information…and secondly it wants to create a system of corruption that can be controlled.”

Via: http://www.ekathimerini.com/211691/article/ekathimerini/news/greece-culls-broadcasters-awarding-tv-licenses-to-four-media-groups

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Russia’s economy continues to outperform as gold takes center stage (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 118.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine how US and EU sanctions have continued to provide a huge boost to Russia’s economy. Russia’s food sovereignty has practically been achieved, as the Russian central bank continues to buy gold and lower its exposure to western financial markets.

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Via TASS…

Outside pressure in the form of sanctions has become an incentive to resolve various issues of Russia’s economy, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev stated in an interview with the Izvestiya daily.

He noted that through introducing sanctions against Russia, “the West aims to destabilize Russia’s economy and to create social and political tensions in society.”

“But during the difficult times, Russians have always stuck together and mobilized their resources in order to ensure the country’s sovereignty. This is what is happening now – the outside pressure has become an incentive to resolve many problems in Russia’s economy,” he said.

“Before the sanctions, it seemed that we would never be able to feed ourselves and that we are doomed to be dependent on Western import. However, right now, Russia’s food sovereignty in crucial sectors has practically been achieved, and in some areas, Russia has become the leading exporter,” Patrushev noted.

Those who apply the sanctions “can see that they (the sanctions – TASS) are ineffective and often achieve the opposite goal,” the Russian security chief concluded.

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US Neocon Foreign Policy and the War Waged Against Serbia

The Serbian assault began first by a ‘financial war’; by sanctions and finished off by an aggressive unprovoked incessant NATO bombing campaign.

Richard Galustian

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The ‘witch-hunt’ against President Trump over Russian collusion has officially ended, following the submission of the Mueller Report, enabling us to now focus on the real problems of America that effects the whole world.

In the hope of a waining of the Russophobia in America, let’s look at the US’s recent war history by starting with the 20th anniversary this month of the NATO war on Serbia in 1999 which amounted to almost 100 days of bombing of historic cities and infrastructure.

Firstly, these problems are, in the main caused by the Neocons, or Deep State, whatever you wish to call them, and the continuing promotion, by the US Military-Security Industrial Complex, of wars and regime change and secondly, Trump’s unreserved support for Israel, regardless of war crimes they may continue to commit against the Palestinians.

Incredibly after that one sided unjust and illegal war that NATO executed, NATO has the audacity to invite Serbia to join it! Something that will never happen. What do they smoke in DC, in the Pentagon and Brussels based NATO?

To compound these overall problems, the US Military and Israeli Defence Forces collaborate on these US regime change policies on all continents evidenced most recently by the arrival of crack Israeli troops last month in Brazil, prepared to support an attack potentially by Brazil and Columbia on Venezuela.

As, has now come to be expected, America pursues its Venezuelan regime change with full main stream media (MSM) cooperation, using well proven sophisticated propaganda techniques along with a variety of pretexts.

From Serbia to Iraq to Libya, where does it end? Observe that Trump is now seeking a ‘NATO alliance’ offering NATO status, to President Bolsonaro of Brazil to back the invasion of Venezuela.

So it is important to remember, as an example, that after a long war of economic and financial destabilization ended with the bombing of Serbia.

Serbia was previously a part of Yugoslavia, a country which had successfully evolved after 1945 to solve the old rivalries of the 19th and early 20th Century Balkan ethnic animosities which was, prior to the advent of power of President Tito, its past history.

The United Nations, instead of supporting, in effect, so called ‘humanitarian wars’ and ‘regime change wars’ by the US, using NATO, helped and relentlessly driven home by MSM outlets like CNN and FOX NEWS into people’s heads, must finally take a stand.

So too, Yugoslavia, once the envy of many in the world, given its then ‘non-aligned’ status under President Tito, was destroyed and broken up; ‘Balkanized’ in the early 1990s.

The Serbian assault began first by a ‘financial war’; by sanctions and finished off by an aggressive unprovoked incessant NATO bombing campaign. That’s what we can expect in Venezuela next.

This ‘Balkanization’ strategy similarly applies to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria et al. It serves US Neocon interests to dismember States in the world and create smaller more ‘manageable’ countries.

‘Regime change’ runs against the intent, the very words contained in the US Constitution. No one in MSM ever reminds us of that fact. Nevertheless America’s ambition to overthrow other States continues, which they arrogantly now make no secret of. The next States will probably be Nicaragua then Iran to name but two.

A very noteworthy most recent outrageous unilateral declaration was made by President Trump, not yet formally agreed by US institutions, ‘giving’ something he has no authority to give; Syrian territory, the Golan Heights to be precise, to Israel. Something that one day could trigger a full scale Arab-Israeli War.

This is of extreme importance yet no real outcry comes from world leaders; well not so far.

The main reason for that decision given by senior US Administration figures is that “God anointed Trump to save the Jews”.

Not forgetting Trump’s need (which we the people don’t understand exactly why) to support Prime Minister Netanyahu in his difficult upcoming elections in Israel – in part because both countries failed to ‘regime change’ Syria – but more importantly to help the ‘financial terrorists’ who formed a company jointly that has already started drilling for oil in the Golan Heights. You might like to know who owns such oil drilling company which should answer a plethora of questions in one go that you must be asking yourselves.

The shareholder’s names tells us everything; Dick Cheney; Baron Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch. The titular heads of neocons, bankers and media on the planet.

In ending there is no more evidence required for us, the people of the world, to rise up against the globalist dark forces wherever they exist, be it in Brussels, London, France or Washington. We must demand democratic elections or start revolutions, the latter has already begun in France in the form of ‘the yellow vests’. And Brexit, by definition, is a rejection by the British people of globalism and American Hegemony.

The pattern of US destabilization and destruction of States to loot them of their sovereign resources is the unseen history of the last 100 years, not taught in any university, anywhere in the West.

As far as Ukraine is concerned, its government was taken down by the CIA and replaced by an ultra fascist regime that has full backing from America. This is no secret. But the MSM simple don’t report it.

US led NATO is ‘the transnational war machine’ of the world, devouring almost all free countries wealth. It can extort to terrorize all into conformity to the global ‘carcinogenic’ US Neocon imperialistic strategy.

A total estimated 20m people around the world have died since the end of WW11 at the hands of US Forces. Think about that for a moment.

One of the most famous sayings attributed to America’s great President Abraham Lincoln is about deception: “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

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‘Dark day for internet freedom’: EU approves controversial copyright reform

Julia Reda, a German MEP with the Pirate Party, described it as a “dark day for internet freedom.”

RT

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Via RT


The European Parliament has voted to adopt the highly controversial Article 13 provision which would govern the production and distribution of content online under the auspices of increasing copyright protections.

Tuesday’s move will update the EU’s 20-year-old copyright rules and will govern everything from audiovisual content to memes, much to the dismay of many social media users who have already begun outpouring their grief online.

MEPs passed the legislation by 348 votes to 274 Tuesday. Opponents had hoped for last-minute amendments to be made but their efforts were in vain.

Julia Reda, a German MEP with the Pirate Party, described it as a “dark day for internet freedom.”

Article 13 or ‘The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market’ makes all platforms legally responsible for the content hosted and shared on their platforms.

The process of updating the bloc’s copyright laws began in the European Commission two years ago, ostensibly to protect Europe’s publishers, broadcasters and artists and guarantee fair compensation from big tech companies.

By essentially forcing companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter to pay artists and publishers for the reproduction of their work online, include in meme format, the EU is effectively clamping down on online memery.

The onus will now be on tech companies to clamp down on content-sharing on their platforms, which will likely ensure yet more draconian policing of speech and content.

EU member states now have two years to pass their own laws putting Article 13 into effect.

Tens of thousands marched in protest across Germany ahead of the vote, decrying what they viewed as severe online censorship.

Tech giant Google said that while the directive is “improved” it will still lead to legal uncertainty and will damage Europe’s creative and digital economies.

Critics have argued that the only way for Article 13 to be effectively enforced would be through the use of upload filters which automatically check content to see if it’s copyrighted or not, at least in theory. However, the exact mechanics of such a system have yet to be fully debated and the potential for abuse is immediately clear.

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