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The Greek OXI vote has now become a NAI. The new (old) Greek bailout [Infograph]

Greece’s reform proposals are strikingly similar to the ones Greek voters overwhelmingly rejected at a referendum only earlier this week. Yet, there are a few differences, some crucial and others less substantial.

Alex Christoforou

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Via Zerohedge…

A cursory look at the “new” Greek proposal to creditors suggests PM Alexis Tsipras may have sold out the referendum “no” vote in a final, desperate attempt to avert an economic catastrophe and the collapse of the country’s banks which will be cut off from ELA as of Monday morning in the event Brussels and Athens do not come to terms over the weekend.

As Commerzbank’s Markus Koch said on Thursday, “the ‘No’ in the referendum appears to be turning into a ‘Yes’ from Tsipras.”

Via AFP…

GreeceNewProposalAFP_0

And even as it does indeed appear that Greeks (not to mention Syriza hardliners) will be forced to stomach a “compromise” that amounts to an outright concession.

The differences between the “old” and “new” Greek proposals, via Bloomberg…

Financing and Debt
Greece is asking for three-year loans of at least 53.5 billion euros ($59.9 billion) to cover its financing needs between 2015 and 2018. It is also seeking debt restructuring and reprofiling of its long-term debt due after 2022. The earlier proposals were in return for a five-month extension of an existing bailout program for loans of as much 15.5 billion euros and didn’t involve any debt restructuring.

Tax Reforms
With few exceptions, the Greek government adopts the creditors’ proposal on sales and corporate tax rates. The government is seeking to eliminate sales tax discounts on islands gradually by the end of 2016 instead of immediately, starting higher-income islands that are popular tourist destinations. It also seeks to keep hotels under a reduced 13 percent rate instead of the standard 23 percent.

Pension Reforms
The government proposes implementing a “zero-deficit” clause for supplementary and lump-sum pension funds, adopted in 2012, from October instead of immediately. While it agrees to phase out a supplementary allowance for low pensions by the end of December 2019, it wants to start phasing-out these benefits from March 2016 instead of starting immediately.

Fiscal and Structural Measures
Greece wants to increase advanced income tax payment on corporate income to 100 percent and gradually for individual businesses by the end of 2017, as part of steps to close loopholes for tax avoidance. It also proposes to eliminate preferential tax treatment for farmers by the end end of 2017. The creditors wanted these steps to be implemented by the end of 2016.

The government appears to backtrack on its own earlier proposals for military spending cuts, offering to reduce spending by 100 million euros in 2015 and 200 million euros in 2016. It had earlier suggested to cut military spending by 200 million euros in 2016 and 400 million euros in 2017. The creditors have sought an immediate cut in annual military spending by 400 million euros.

It offers instead to extend implementation of a luxury tax on recreational vessels in excess of five meters instead of in excess of 10 meters.

Labor Reform
Government insists to legislating changes to collective bargaining agreements this fall; creditors don’t want any changes to already agreed labor framework and demand that any changes be negotiated with the three creditor institutions first — the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the EU.

Privatizations
This is where the government appears to fully adopt the creditors’ demand for all agreed sales of state assets to proceed, including transferring the state’s shares in the Hellenic Telecommunication Organization SA to the asset sales fund and selling regional airports under terms already agreed with a venture led by Fraport AG, the winning bidder already selected by the previous government.

References:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-10/complete-visual-summary-new-greek-bailout-proposal

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-10/greece-bailout-plans-compared-june-vs-july

 

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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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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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