Image

#GreekGov acceptance of the No Way Out in #NorthAegean isles due to EU-Turkey deal causing repetititve resignations in Ministry of Migration

Mytilene, Lesvos, September 2015, 25.000 refugees in the port area awaiting the boat to Athens

The third consecutive resignation within seven months has sent, reportedly, the Secretary General for Migration Policy Mr. Vasilis Papadopoulos, denounces the situation in the Greek islands “with the ever growing concentration of migrant and refugee population”, following the example of the previous Secretary General Odysseas Voudouris who resigned nearly two months ago …..

Read more: Greek to me ! Newsblog article 

Gallery

Our Free #tv! and the #GreekGov #Communication Blow up

Source: Greek to me ! article

 

the 24/7 moodhacking Mobile Guide to navigate your way to Greek Health, Wellness and Happiness and keep you informed for your safety in Greece. Click, Sense and stay.

This is Greek to me ! Stay with us 24/7

#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

VISIT OUR Greek to me ! 24/7 News updates Special Home Page

GREEK2M YES OR NO GREECEon Greece Yes or No Updates

The counties are not companies, said in Rome the President of Greek Parliament

132608274

Politics is one thing and companies is another, the President of the Greek Parliament Zoi Konstantopoulou said during the Conference of Presidents of Parliaments of the Member States and the European Parliament, which takes place in Rome.

“There must be a clear message to all those who negotiate that the countries are not companies, the European Union is not a company to sign agreements and treaties concerning countries or the European Union as a company,” Konstantopoulou noted adding that this a questionable strategy which at the end of the day poses problems to the citizens and creates difficult living conditions as is the situation with countries that have signed memorandums.

“Therefore, we have to understand that these negotiations should not continue to be as secret as they are,” the President of the Greek Parliament said noting the need for a more democratic process.

by enikos.gr

Image

Greek representative to IMF resigned, with no comment

IMF-Get-Out

Thanos Catsambas, the Greek representative to International Monetary Fund and one of the Fund’s alternate executive directors, resigned, unxpecedly on Wednesday. Greek media speculate whether Catsambas’ resignation is related by any means with the visit of Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis to IMF last Sunday.

Effectively Thanos Catsambas will step down from his position on 1. June 2015. No official statement, press release or announcement has been made for the reasons for his departure yet.

Mr Catsambas was a former IMF official from 1979-2010, and was appointed as Greece’s IMF representative in January 2012 when Lukas Papadimos was Prime Minister.

Sources from the Greek Finance Ministry commented on Catsambas’ resignation that “it was his own personal decision” implying that he was not asked to do so.

source: keeptalkingreece

That’s how the Index of Despair was created in Greece. Such a lack of interest for tax transparency, by Samaras’ government, said Switzerland

       46586671.cms Swiss Bank Account Spaniards

German newspaper Die Welt recently accused Greece, -but mainly the ex Greek government this time-, of not acting on opportunities to recover billions in lost tax, “The Greek government has done nothing for a year to recover supposedly untaxed assets of Greek citizens in Switzerland. There is an invitation extending from 2014 by the Swiss Secretariat for International Financial Matters (SIF) to track the money and transfer it to Athens,”

 The Swiss authorities expressed their wonder, Greek government sources have said, for the lack of interest of the previous government for the revised double taxation agreement between Switzerland and Greece that has been in place since 2012,
as only fifteen requests had been received for the transfer of tax-related data.
Greece’s new government has committed to fighting tax evasion and corruption in a bid to raise funds for the state and to spread the burden of the crisis, which is currently falling disproportionately on the poor as wages and pensions have been cut, and taxes on lower incomes raised much more than those on higher incomes .

Between 2008 and 2012, taxation in Greece, which made a 72.4 percent contribution to fiscal adjustments, was increased by 337.7% for lower income households, compared to just 9% for higher income groups, according to the publication of  a recent study GREECE: SOLIDARITY AND ADJUSTMENT IN TIMES OF CRISIS, supported by the Macroeconomic Policy of Institute of the Hans-Boeckler-Foundation

The study, that created an “Index of despair” claims that a “deficient crisis management approach and ideological inflexibility coupled to established political interests” made “the exit from the crisis more complicated and painful.”
0,,16884414_303,00
On 19 March, the EU and Switzerland concluded a new tax agreement which aims to increase tax transparency by guaranteeing an automatic annual exchange of data between Switzerland, and all of the EU member states. It will come into force on 1 January 2017. Leading up to this date, Switzerland is keen to work with Greece to prevent capital outflows to other uncooperative financial centres.
On 26 March Swiss State Secretary Jacques de Watteville met with Greek Minister of State Nikos Pappas to resume discussions between the two countries with a view to increasing cooperation to combat tax crime. It was agreed that transmission mechanisms needed to be strengthened, whilst the main theme of discussion was the preparation of the planned automatic exchange of information from 2017/2018 in the framework of a new EU agreement with Switzerland agreed just last week.

“Offensive Charm”, Alexis? OR, Zorba Dancing with the United Euro Europe?

“A charm offensive by Greece’s prime minister this week calmed bruised relations with Germany” wrote on AFP the day after the crucial, for Greece’s future and present, Tsipras-Merkel tet à tet.

more  of this gallery and the Zorbas the Greeks on our Special edition, so Greek  me !

Indeed, kind of  the “dance” semantics between the German leader and the new elected Greek leader arose since the first days of Alexis Tsipras election.

With no irony, political cartoonists of the Western world envisioned a dance behind the poor-and- the strong relationship in which Greece was positioned towards Germany during the “bloody” five years of  austerity. The young empathetic leader even though he is far more demanding from the Greece’s part, he reveals, as it comes out, other codes in the eyes of the world and its opinion makers .

It is the code of the human nature of politics to be humanitarian, we could guess, since the huge effort of Alexis Tsipras’ first two months was to make Germany and Europe aknowledge there is a humanitarian crisis iin Greece.

But when we are dealing with a Crisis in a society, first thing its leaders are oblidged to do is to assess the extension of the damage, and the sooner possible adress the best possible plan to to rescue this society in the best  manageable way . Exactly this is our problem. Europe seems to have no idea of Crisis management , or at least Crisis Response.

For the moment speaking, Europe barely responds to the human need of the Greek specie, totally aknowledges that we are talking with victims of a crisis whom the crisis is not at all their fault, and finally barely shows a human response.

This  might  turn to a nightmarish dance with Greece for Germany and the Eurozone, but it will be a humanizing dance .

“Our common part of the two countries’ history in Europe’s past has been paid by “blood”, Tsipras underlined. Looking to the future of United Europe,  which Angela Merkel kept emphatically mentioning during the press conference of the two, Tsipras said  “Our common European future could merely be based on solidarity.”

Looks like a dance posture, or a call of dance, isn;t it? But what is it about ” Syrtaki” that suddenly pops up on the semiology of such a critical decision Europe has to take in this point of its modern history?  Eurozone, not Europe  precisely , the united Europen face which is  based on “our common financial present, and future.”

In the mind of all Greeks and anybody who has experienced the Greek life of the past five years, on place, Greece, the suffering status in which Greek people are obliged to be, in the name of the “United Euro Europe”, is unbearable enough, to make it seem a point of no return . On such circumstances, ususally, on  point of no return”, the Greek psychosynthesis, indeed, gets in a …dancing mood! We can assure that, experientially

Indeed, the attitude of the Greeks is now very similar to that of Alexis Zorbas wrote New Europe in the first moth of the new government election, who was happily dancing while watching his house burning. When he was asked why he was so happy, dancing while his house was in flames, he said, “I have never seen such a catastrophe in my life.”

In less than a month, after five years of extended misery looming all over the country, Greeks, all Greeks regardless of how they have voted in the January 25 election, changed attitude and swiftly became Zorbases.

Even though the premier dance of Alexis Tsipras with Angela Merckel was soughted by “charm”, as the AFP names it, Eurogroup two days after denied even the 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) which was unduly handed back last month by Greece to the European Union’s rescue fund

Greece’s government last month was obliged to return to the EFSF 10.9 billion euros that remained unused in a rescue fund created for the recapitalisation of Greek banks.

However, the new hard-left leaders later realised that the previous conservative-socialist government had used 1.2 billion euros to support the banks from another source, the Hellenic stability fund.

Speaking to Dutch station RTL Z, before todays’ Eurozone meeting that denied returning the fund to Greece, the leader of the eurozone’s finance ministers,Dijsselbloem said that for the time being Greece was “still able to finance itself”.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, also said technical talks on Athens’ reforms were “flowing again” after an unimpressive start, while expressing hope for a deal by the end of the week.

sakellaridis.jpgedited390
“A communication channel has been restored between the German Chancellor and the Prime Minister” Gabriel Sakellaridis, the Greek governement spokesman said after the Tsipras Merkel meeting in Berlin, adding that “they found the common reference points in relation to the reform program of Greece”.
Let’s see it half full, common steps are the step A for a dance to keep going …..

Secret Wermacht Archives, bought by Greece from Maryland, have been kept in drawer for fifteen years

ΑΡΧΕΙΑ ΒΕΡΜΑΧΤ ΓΕΡΜΑΝΙΚΗ ΚΑΤΟΧΗ (1).JPG400,000 secret documents of  Wehrmacht, by 160 microfilms, bought by Greece from the National Archives US service in Maryland, as the Greek Minister of Defence recently revealed, have been kept for 15 years in the drawer in the Greek Minister fo Defence, said the credible journalist for Defense, Dimos Verikios on air  on Alpha TV NEWS .

In their majority, the files have now been digitalised and show, according to the Deputy Minister of Defense Costas Isychos-,  illegal archaeological excavations in the period 1941 -1945 from the German occupators in Greece, mining precious metals and minerals, the destruction of historical monuments, destruction of logistical infrastructure and so on.

Each microfilm containing a brief description on the front page, but not enough information to be able to make a first assessment.

“These documents not only document the historical truth, they are detailed notes, calendars,and reports of the officers of Wehrmachtbericht to their superiors” told the reporters Deputy Minister Isichos.

The material seized by the Americans when they went to Berlin in 1945 is particularly important because as confidentiality contains factual and accurate information that never saw the light of day.

Kostas Isychos is visitin Moscow today , and one of the primare issues to discuss is to open a cooperation line with Kremlin, for more archival material Russia might have available to provide.

ΑΡΧΕΙΑ ΒΕΡΜΑΧΤ ΓΕΡΜΑΝΙΚΗ ΚΑΤΟΧΗ (2)

How could you translate Greek Humans in Need ? You created a monster, Europe, that ate the “86% of the flesh of the poor”. Here are the numbers

laptop550_334_356969schrank-democracytragicomedy

How do you capture the humanitarian crisis in numbers?

Add, may be together the suicides (more than 4,000 since beginning of the crisis),count the many soup kitchens and charity clinics, pharmacies and municipality grocery shops for the poor, determine the number of homeless and the number of households without electricity due to outstanding debts to the power company? Or may be take into account the families living on borrowed money and the ones sought shelter in family’s and relatives homes because they cannot afford to pay rent?

Should all debtors in despair come out and raise hands, wrote Keep talking Greece in February, while Alexis Tsipras government was desperately trying to presuade Eurozone Leaders, that such a Crisis does exist (!) as the most tragic Emergency on Humanitarian meanings of today’s western world.

But the most shocking part of all, is the non-humanitarian , ugly capitalistic result of this crisis, where, according to German official research, is the burden to the poor, the low-incomers, the low-pensioners and even the jobless appears proved to be  over-proportional when compared to the  economically better society classes.

.

This is the result of  the German Institute for Macroeconomic Research (IMK)- affiliated with the Hans Böckler Foundation-, that has analyzed 260.000 tax and income data from the years 2008 – 2012.
According to the study
  • . The poorest households in the debt-ridden country lost nearly 86% of their income, while the richest lost only 17-20%.
  •  The tax burden on the poor increased by 337% while the burden on upper-income classes increased by only 9%
The study that has analyzed 260.000 tax and income data from the years 2008 – 2012, and still has left out of the study the poisonous years of Mr. Samaras governance, where life was made impossible for more and moremiddle class and low incomers, who often have decided ,due to despair , to give their life an end.
– The nominal gross income of Greek households decreased by almost a quarter in only four years.
– The wages cuts caused nearly half of the decline.
– The net income fell further by almost 9 percent, because the tax burden was significantly increased
–  While all social classes suffered income losses due to cuts, tax increases and the economic crisis, particularly strongly affected were households of low- and middle-income. This was due to sharp increase in unemployment and tax increases, that were partially regressive.
– The total number of employees in the private sector suffered significantly greater loss of income, and they were more likely to be unemployed than those employed in the public sector.
-From 2009 to 2013 wages and salaries in the private sector declined in several stages at around 19 percent. Among other things, because the minimum wage was lowered and collective bargaining structures were weakened. Employees in the public sector lost around a quarter of their income.
-The extent of the wages cuts were grossly overstated at least ten percentage points, the study researchers estimate.
Unemployment & Early Retirement

Unemployment surged from 7.3% in the Q2 2008 to 26.6% in the Q2 2014. among youth aged 15-24, unemployment had an average of 44%.

Early retirement in the Private Sector increased by 14%.

Early retirement in the Public Sector* increased by 48%

The researchers see here a clear link to the austerity policy, that’s is the Greek government managed to fulfill the Troika requirements for smaller public sector. However, this trend caused a burden to the social security funds.

Taxes
Taxes were greatly increased, but they had a regressive effect.

Since beginning of the austerity, direct taxes increased by nearly 53%,  while indirect taxes increased by 22 percent.
The taxation policy has indeed contributed  significantly to the consolidation of the public budget, but by doing so the social imbalance was magnified.
Little has been done against tax avoidance and tax evasion, however, the tax base was actually extended “downwards” with the effect that households with low-income and assets were strongly burdened.

Particularly poorer households paid disproportionately more in taxes and the tax burden to lower-income rose by 337%. In comparison, the tax burden to upper-income households rose by only 9%.
The Poor suffered more
The losses were significantly different to each income class with the poorest households to have suffered the biggest losses.
Almost one in three Greek household had to make it through 2012 with an annual income below €7,000.
Income losses 2008-2012
1. Class: i.e. 10% of Greek total: households that have lowest income: loss 86%
2. and 3. class: loss between 51% and 31%
4. – 7. class: households with higher income: loss between 25% and 18%
8. Class: 30% of Greek total: households with the highest income: loss between 20% and 17%.
On average, the annual income of Greek households before taxes fell from €23,100 euros in 2008 to just below €17,900 euros in 2012. This represents a loss of nearly 23 percent.
Greece-humanitarian-crisis

Who was bribed by Germany in Greece? Greek Foreign Minister asks for key persons and evidences to be brought to Justice

NA-AO921_SIEMEN_20071227202444Greek Foreign Minister to Germany: Give us the bribery protocols

Kotzias- Foreign Minister: “In Greece we have major corruption scandals. Perpetrators of these scandals, of Greek identity continuee to live in Germany free.  The German justice should finally give us the protocols of testimonies in order to have the evidence about who was bribed in Greece. Germany cannot argue with pseudo-ethical exhortations and on the same time keep these people that have caused such scandals, like Mr. Christoforakos of Siemens, safely to be located in Germany. This should be stopped. The German justice must notify us of their deposits. We are a government who fights corruption, and also the wealth obtained by corruption methods. Germany should stop hiding such swindler. “

Key person of Siemens scandals in Germany commits suicide in perfect timing

Before his election  Alexis Tsipras had warned the German justice that the Siemens scandal should be brought before the courts by his government . And , voila, what a coincidence: The key person for the revelation of the scandal, Heinz-Joachim Neuburger, former chief financial officer of Siemens,”commited suicide” some days after the new governmenet’s election in Greece, a suicide shrouded in mystery, as the international press mentioned.The German press, for the most part has said that he was found dead at his home without clarifying how the suicide took place. Those close to Neuburger are puzzled by the suicide because he had recently settled a lawsuit filed against him by the company on bribery charges. He had been found guilty of paying bribes to procure contracts in foreign countries, including Greece. Despite charges, Neuburger insisted on his innocence until the end.  He contested that he had failed to combat corruption in the company. For this reason, he was the last of nine former executives to reach a settlement that called him to pay 2.5 million euros (less than what Siemens owed him in pension payments and other compensations). The settlement had been approved at a January 27 annual meeting.

Keeping its promises Greek governement of Alexis Tsipras sends  64 suspects to trial for SIEMENS/OTE €70m bribes scandal; among them 13 Germans

Ten years after the discovery of the scandal and judges have finally took the decision to refer 64 suspects to stand trial over bribes paid by German giant SIEMENS to secure a public contract. Among the 64 suspects are 13 German nationals, executives of the parent company. According to the judges decision SIEMENS has allegedly paid bribes of estimated €70 million to secure a contract and digitize the network of then Greek Public Telecommunications System OTE. The contract “Convention 8002″ was signed in 1997. Among the suspects is also the former powerful man of SIEMENS HELLAS Michalis Christoforakos, who escaped to Germany and authorities there refused to extradite him to Greece’s previous requests. The 13 German names mentioned refer to former executives of the parent company and former executives of OTE. The charges refer to “money laundering”, “active and passive bribery” and “accomplishment to such actions.” Theodoros Tsoukatos, the former consultant of former Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, is also on the suspects’ list. “Tsoukatos appears to have distributed 1 million Deustche Mark and has maintained that the funds ended up in PASOK’s accounts.”* Others suspects  include top officers of the Siemens’ Greek subsidiary, as well as German nationals who are said to have approved payments and bribes to Greece. In their decision, the judges acquit 80 people of the charges. In November 2014, the Financial prosecutor had sent his 2,368-page report to a council of judges to make the final decision on whether the suspects should stand trial over the so-called Contract 8002, for Siemens to digitize OTE telecom’s network.

The suspects are said to include 19 Siemens and 14 OTE telecom executives.

It is alleged that nearly 70 million euros in bribes were paid to secure the deal. The only Greek politician who has been convicted in connection with the scandal is ex-Transport Minister Tasos Mantelis, who was given a three-year suspended prison sentence in 2011 after being found to have accepted payments of 450,000 Deutsche Marks (230,000 euros) from Siemens between 1998 and 2000.

B9ORpDnIMAEU7ks.jpg large