Campaign: #TheGreekFiles

Mr Draghi, what are you afraid of?

Release #TheGreekFiles!

Join the campaign to demand that the ECB publish the legal opinion it commissioned on whether its closure of Greece’s banks in 2015 was… legal

What is this campaign?

Deep in a vault in the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) lie #TheGreekFiles, a legal opinion about the ECB’s actions towards Greece in 2015 that could send shockwaves across Europe.

As a European taxpayer, you paid for these documents. But the ECB’s boss, ex-Goldman Sachs head Mario Draghi, says you can’t see them.

So former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and MEP Fabio de Masi, together with a broad alliance of politicians and academics (below), have announced they will file a mass freedom of information request to the ECB to uncover #TheGreekFiles once and for all.

If Mario says no, they’ll take the campaign to the next level, and consider all options – including legal action – to make this vital information public.

 

Source: Campaign: #TheGreekFiles

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Government attacks @guardian Report on Hospital Infections In #Greece. Here are the facts #HAI 

The Greek government alleged the recent article published by British media outlet “Guardian”, which outlined the conditions in Greek public hospitals, and HAI , saying it was more was more or less a fabricated piece of reporting….
 
All the updates and the precise published data  about HAI in Greece, what is done and is not, on our fully updated page, January 3, 2017 

Source: Hospital Infections In Greece

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How @tsipras_eu Dissolved All The Shades Of #Greek #Hope In Two Years

Hope is on the way , was Alexis Tsipras’ slogan that brought him to power in January 2015

While two years later,  Greek PM saw  “light in the end of the tunnel”, as he said on his  New Years Eve message,- exactly as his predecessor Antonis Samaras did, precisely two Januaries earlier ,before his fall,-  Greeks showed to  be more pessimistic than ever  about the country’ s economic prospects and their own finances in the coming year, according to  survey conducted on last days of last year

Go to our Greek to me ! Newsblog full article

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#Tsakalotos “seals” his letter to “Scrooge” creditors with faithfulness #Greece

 

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Greek Finance Minister officially declared the country’s “adherence”, “compliance” and “faithfulness” to Greece’s creditors by his apology letter sent to promise  that Tsipras’ government will never give any relief to the poorest of the country without the creditors permission.

But before that , he cleverly chose to show his bravery to the Greek audience- and only- ,  reminding …

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President #Obama encouraged longer-term U.S.-Greece defense cooperation, commended Greece’s cooperation with Turkey, on his meeting with @tsipras_eu in Warsaw

WARSAW, Poland July 9  – President Barack Obama met with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Warsaw on Saturday, the White House said.

“The president commended Greece’s cooperation with Turkey to reduce irregular migration and encouraged longer-term U.S.-Greece defense cooperation,” a White House official said, Reuters wrote .

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3 billion $ paid for refugees by #Greece, which might be out of #Schengen anyway, @PanosKammenos, @imouzalas

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Possible the Out of Schengen scenario, anyway

“Europe might close the Borders to Greece, even after the country’s commitments are fulfilled” ,  Alternate Minister for Migration Policy Yiannis Mouzalas said in a tv interview on Monday evening, adding that “they don’t hear us in Europe!” , referring to the EU-Greece talks on European and Greece’s external Borders protection.

Commitments will be fulfilled by the deadlines

Earlier on Monday the Greek Defence Minister had reassured that “Greece will fulfill its commitments,” stating that all five “hot spots”for the refugees/migrants entrance screening and  identification will be ready on the Greek islands in less than a week.

Defense Minister Panos Kammenos discussed in detail on a press briefing in Athens on Monday the construction work that is underway in old military camps since late January by the Greek Army, and assured that all five hotspots will be ready on February 15, the deadline agreed with the European partners and Angela Merkel .

The cost of supporting the incoming refugees and migrants over the past two years and a half has reached 2.7 billion euros(3.02 billion US dollars) for Greece, according to Panos Kammenos.

Greece requests more help from European partners and neighboring countries to face the huge refugee crisis challenge, as the debt laden country is threatened by the EU with an expulsion from the Schengen passport free travel zone, and while refugees continue to arrive in thousands day to day on the Aegean islands’ shores,  despite bad weather and the cold waters of winter time.

The Greek Defence Minister stressed also that two relocation centers on the mainland will be ready by the deadline, despite protests from local communities. Hundreds have angrily protested on the streets of Kos island, as well as the Piraeus suburb of Keratsini and a district in the northern city of Thessaloniki, where the two relocation centers will be set up.

Kammenos said that the government is open to dialogue, but there is no time for lengthy discussions, he emphasised, as people are dying in the Aegean Sea and survivors need aid with no more delays. According to the government, all the “hot spots” are temporary structures.

Cabinet ministers , who are obliged, by all means on the moment, to act “under emergency” to protect Greece’s Borders, have dismissed the three local communities’ reactions,  as “xenophobic outbreaks” by a minority of locals, while the vast majority of residents of the border islands have shown a total different face, trying to give, all of them, a helping hand .

Indeed, among protesters at Keratsini on Monday were ultra-Right Golden Dawn party MPs and members, but in several cases demonstrators have rejected any affiliation with the party.

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@imouzalas: Real the out-of-Schengen threat

Alternate Minister for Migration Policy Yiannis Mouzalas being interviewed by Nikos Xatzinikolaou on Star TV late on Monday, did not rule out possible negative acts on the part of Europe

“They can even close the borders although Greece meets its commitments.”, he said openly

Mouzalas summed up the national policy for the refugees to:

  • the identification centers to be ready and adequately staffed,
  • creating relocation centers for refugees and asylum seekers,
  • and temporary centers.
  • Moreover, Greece is asking a safe corridor for refugees from Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, and immediate readmission to Turkey of those not seeking asylum or refuse voluntary return.

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Children unaccompanied

Greece’s Alternate Interior Minister, during his interview to Nikos Hatzinikolaou on star tv, also referred to the issue of unaccompanied children saying that “we are lagging significantly behind.”

To address that issue, he said that a committee composed by the ministry, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNICEF and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) has been set up.

The Europol police agency had warned on January 31 that young people arriving alone were particularly vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and trafficking.

More than 10,000 unaccompanied children registered after arriving in Europe over the past 18 months to two years had disappeared, the EU’s law enforcement agency said.

  • «Children currently account for 36 per cent of those risking the treacherous sea crossing between Greece and Turkey,» the Unicef spokeswoman Sarah Crowe has also said.
  • «Children and women on the move now make up nearly 60 per cent» of those entering from Macedonia, she added.

(The figures mark a significant shift since June, when 73 per cent of migrants were adult males and only one in 10 were under the age of 18.)

 Marie Pierre Poirier, Unicef’s special coordinator for the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe, said women and children were even more vulnerable to the dangers of trying to travel to Europe.

 

Speaking to AFP on Monday, UNICEF’s Crowe said European mechanisms for protecting children had not worked.

This «is really a failure of child protection systems across the region», she said.

«Procedures need to be a lot faster and children need to be part of that process so they don’t fall through the cracks and they do not fall prey to smugglers and traffickers.»

Black Market on the islands

During the Press briefing on Monday February 8, Minister Kammenos also denounced “the flourishing of a black market on the islands in recent months.”

“A minority of locals has reportedly exploited the needy refugees, overcharging products and services, as long as the assistance from the state mechanism is insufficient, he said. To the moment, complete and ready, adequately functioning is only one “hot spot”that  is running so far, and that’s on Lesvos island.

A total of 960,000 refugees entered Greece via Turkey on their way to other European countries since early 2015, according to the latest official data.

Find more about the Borders of the West on our full coverage updated Homepage by greek2m.org

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Tsipras, Lagarde agree first program review should not be delayed

Neither Greece, nor the International Monetary Fund (IMF) want to delay the completion of the country’s first program review, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the Fund’s head Christine Lagarde agreed during a meeting in Davos on Thursday.
According to the prime minister’s office, Tsipras and Lagarde agreed that the government and the IMF should have direct communication so that each side has a clear understanding of each other’s position.
The prime minister also briefed Lagarde on the audits conducted by Greek authorities for possible tax evaders who have bank counts abroad, noting it is the first time that there is political will to investigate those cases and not cover them up. Finally, he said the government is hoping to collect a significant part of this money by introducing a legislation of “self-reporting”.

Following the meeting, the IMF issued a press release saying that it stands ready to continue to support Greece in achieving robust economic growth and sustainable public finances through a credible and comprehensive medium-term economic programme, but only if it was granted “significant” debt relief by its European partners.

Earlier, Tsipras said during a panel discussion that solving Europe’s problems required “more Europe”.

“We are doing what we can in order to progress quickly and smoothly with the implementation of the agreement,” he said, and expressed hope that the disagreements and different views that occasionally arose between the three institutions representing the country’s creditors would not be the cause of further delays.

“This is not the time for various ‘exits’, whether these concern ‘Grexit’ or ‘Brexit’, or for divisions, or walls, or differentiations,” the Greek premier continued. “It is a time for more Europe: Common rules, deepening democracy, strengthening solidarity, an increased European budget in order to restrict inequalities, banking union with a European system for guaranteeing deposits,” he added.

According to Tsipras, it was time for Europe to return to its founding principles, which were those of democracy, solidarity and social cohesion.

Addressing issues raised by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who said the International Monetary Fund’s presence in the Greek programme was essential and compared asking German lawmakers to sanction its removal to “going into a room full of dynamite with a lit candle”, Tsipras made the following comment:

“I too am no supporter of the view that one should attempt to light a candle in a room full of dynamite. Neither, however, do I have the view that on this account one must constantly be in the dark. The best solution is to remove the dynamite from the room and then light the candle.”

ANA-MPA

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“This is why I call you to judge me #Greeks…” @atsipras Party splits hours after he resigned for #Grelections

“This is why I call you to judge me #Greeks…”, @PrimeministerGR said, resigning for #Grelections

Lafazanis, Konstantopoulou, Varoufakis, Stratoulis, all of them anti-MoU among Tsipras’ Party, but not among the 25 Split SYRIZA signatures the two (popular at most, both) in the center

25 lawmakers announced their move in a letter to Parliament on Friday morning in Athens, hours after Alexis Tsipras resigned and called an early election to deal with a rebellion in Syriza over his signing Greece’s third bailout deal and accepting austerity measures demanded by creditors. Among the 25 former Greek MPs are not Zoe  Konstantopoulou, the President of the Greek Parliament, who has strongly opposed the Memorandum agreement of the Prime Minister nor is the Popular Yianis Varoufakis

The new group, which will be called Popular Unity and will be led by former energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, becomes the third largest group in the Greek Parliament.

That means it could potentially receive the mandate to try to form a new government, although, it is not a party that has gone through national elections’ round yet, which might not allow them to get the mandate at all, professors of Constitutional Law said to the Greek media today

Having been catapulted to power after years of oppositions to Greece’s bailouts — which come paired with austerity and structural reform packages — the remaining members of Syriza now find themselves tasked with implementing one, the businessinsider commented.

But, still, It still looks quite likely that Tsipras will be Prime Minister in two months,BI’s article assessed.

Syriza remains popular in comparison to the alternatives. After getting 27.8% of the vote in the January election, the centre-right New Democracy party now regularly polls below 20%.

It’s possible that Tsipras will have to form a new and different coalition, the BI article assumes, but seems that there will be no alternative bloc in parliament to build a majority around. It’s not clear for the moment, how much support Popular Unity might sap from Syriza.

HSBC, Metron Analysis

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“This is why I call you to judge me #Greeks…”, @PrimeministerGR said, resigning for #Grelections.

#IMF report revelations for unsustainable #Greekdept leave eurozone countries without arguments against @PrimeministerGR

478990122Euro zone countries tried in vain to stop the IMF publishing a gloomy analysis of Greece’s debt burden which the leftist government says vindicates its call to voters to reject bailout terms, sources familiar with the situation said on Friday to Reuters, as its exclusive report wrote

The Europeans were also concerned, the Reuters exclusive artcle further reveals,  that

the report could distract attention from a view they share with the IMF that the Tsipras government, in the five months since it was elected, has wrecked a fragile economy that was just starting to recover.

“It wasn’t an easy decision,” an IMF source involved in the debate over publication said. “We are not living in an ivory tower here. But the EU has to understand that not everything can be decided based on their own imperatives.”

The board had considered all arguments, including the risk that the document would be politicized, but the prevailing view was that

all the evidence and figures should be laid out transparently before the referendum.

“Facts are stubborn. You can’t hide the facts because they may be exploited,” the IMF source said.

The document released in Washington on Thursday said Greece’s public finances will not be sustainable without substantial debt relief, possibly including write-offs by European partners of loans guaranteed by taxpayers.

It also said Greece will need at least 50 billion euros in additional aid over the next three years to keep itself afloat.

Publication of the draft Debt Sustainability Analysis laid bare a dispute between Brussels and the Washington-based global lender that has been simmering behind closed doors for months.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras cited the report in a televised appeal to voters on Friday to say ‘No’ to the proposed austerity terms, which have anyway expired since talks broke down and Athens defaulted on an IMF loan this week.

It was not clear whether an arcane IMF document would influence a cliffhanger poll in which Greece’s future in the euro zone is at stake with banks closed, cash withdrawals rationed and commerce seizing up.

“Yesterday an event of major political importance happened,” Tsipras said. “The IMF published a report on Greece’s economy which is a great vindication for the Greek government as it confirms the obvious – that Greek debt is not sustainable.”

At a meeting on the International Monetary Fund’s board on Wednesday, European members questioned the timing of the report which IMF management proposed at short notice releasing three days before Sunday’s crucial referendum that may determine the country’s future in the euro zone, the sources said.

There was no vote but the Europeans were heavily outnumbered and the United States, the strongest voice in the IMF, was in favor of publication, the sources said.

In Brussels, the way the IMF communicated the findings was seen as confusing, misleading and politically unhelpful.

The European Commission had produced its own debt sustainability analysis, based partially on IMF data, which is less pessimistic in its scenarios and is one of the documents mentioned on the Greek referendum ballot paper.

Diplomats said the IMF’s publication of the study was a way of making clear it would only be part of any future loan pact with Greece if the Europeans included debt relief in the mix.

Germany and its north European allies have said the IMF’s presence is indispensable both to win parliamentary backing for aid for any euro zone partner, and to keep the European institutions honest. Berlin suspects the European Commission of being too soft on Greek efforts to wriggle out of reforms of pensions, taxation, public sector wages and labor law.

The European Central Bank, ( which has made Banks close in Greece as soon as the referendum was announced , we note)  the third partner in what used to be called the “troika” of bailout enforcers, is also keen to keep the IMF involved, the Reuters article writes.

imagesFor the How, When and Why the IMF draft document was exposed to public opinion and had to be revealed go to our Greek2m eye story

For the Reuters’ exclusive story click here

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#Grexit in a bottle, Yay… “Zum Wohl”, such a #moodhack!

Grexit in a Bottle? Oh...right on time... Zum Wohl! Is it for Greeks?

#Grexit in a bottle, Yay… “Zum Wohl”, such a #moodhack!.