Not so long ago, but certainly in a galaxy far, far away, the purported prime minister of Greece gave his state of the union address and told the masses just how great everything in Greece is, under the tenure of the SYRIZA-led coalition government in Greece. At least, one has to assume that Alexis Tsipras does indeed reside in a galaxy far, far away, if he believes all of the nonsense he spouted recently during his annual speech at the Thessaloniki Trade Fair. Why, according to Tsipras, salaries are going up, unemployment is going down, he is going to give raises, he will provide more jobs, schools and public services are all functioning better than ever before, tourism is arriving in Greece in record numbers, and Greece has turned the corner and is headed towards perpetual growth, stability, and sustainability.
That’s fantasy island. Now here’s reality. There’s the story of the elderly woman in Greece who relies upon an oxygen concentrator to live, but who had her electricity cut off, while her son was arrested for protesting the action. There was the street vendor, selling pastries on the street and whose spouse is unemployed, fined €5,000 for unlicensed operation, as part of the government’s supposed crusade against purported “tax evaders.” Not too far from home in Athens, 17 out of 22 storefronts lie vacant in a three block stretch which also includes a park that is chained shut and filled with overgrown weeds. On the island of Samos, German police patrol the main port, in uniform, while in the mountain villages, residents and shop owners listen to Turkish radio, because no reception of Greek stations is possible.
The transcript of Dialogos Radio’s interview with Déborah Berman-Santana, retired professor of geography and ethnic studies at Mills College in Oakland, California. This interview aired on our broadcasts for the week of September 15-21, 2016. Find the podcast of this interview here.
MN: Joining us today on Dialogos Radio and the Dialogos Interview Series is Déborah Berman-Santana, recently retired professor of Geography and Ethnic Studies at Mills College in Oakland, California. Deborah will speak to us about the latest economic and political developments in Puerto Rico, which is facing an economic crisis similar to that in Greece, and she will discuss the similarities that she has seen between Puerto Rico and Greece, after spending some time in Greece recently. Deborah, welcome to our program today.
DBS: Thank you!
MN: Getting us started, describe for us the history of the economic exploitation of Puerto Rico. What has the impact of colonialism been on Puerto Rico’s economic viability?
In our latest analysis for Mint Press News, we take a close look at the SYRIZA-led government in Greece and its continued implementation of harsh austerity measures and cuts. Rather than casting off the shackles of the EU, Eurozone and IMF, the SYRIZA-led Greek government favors the ‘oligarchs’ it once vowed to tear down and doubles down on austerity measures, leaving Greece to suffer through a modern colonial nightmare. Includes a thorough analysis of the scandalous, illegal television licensing bid recently completed by SYRIZA.
In our latest feature for Mint Press News, we had the opportunity to interview Déborah Berman-Santana, retired professor of geography and ethnic studies at Mills College in Oakland, California, on the ongoing economic crisis in Puerto Rico, the island’s recent so-called “bailout” by the federal government of the United States, the actions of “vulture funds” in Puerto Rico, the legitimacy of the nation’s debt, the impacts of the island’s colonial status on its economy and political system, and on the many similarities between the crisis in Puerto Rico and the crisis in Greece, based on Santana’s two recent, extensive visits to Greece.
Dialogos Radio & Media is now proud to be working with MintPress News, where our two latest pieces, on “Brexit” and on the one year-anniversary of the Greek referendum which said “no” to austerity, have been featured.
Our articles, interviews, and analyses will appear regularly in MintPress News in the future…keep checking back for more!
In May, likely for the first time in the post-war history of the Western world, a national parliament willingly ceded what remained of its country’s sovereignty, essentially voting itself obsolete. This development, however, did not make headlines in the global news cycle and was also ignored by most of the purportedly “leftist” media.
The country in question is Greece, where a 7,500-page omnibus bill was just passed, without any parliamentary debate, transferring control over all of the country’s public assets to a fund controlled by the European Stability Mechanism, for the next 99 years. This includes all public infrastructure, harbors, airports, public beaches, and natural resources, all passed to the control of the ESM, a non-democratic, supranational body which answers to no parliamentary or elected body. Within this same bill, the “Greek” parliament also rendered itself voteless: the legislation annuls the role of the parliament to create a national budget or to pass tax legislation. These decisions will now be made automatically, at the behest of the European Union: if fiscal targets set by the EU, the IMF, and the ESM are not met, automatic “cuts” will be activated, without any parliamentary debate, which could slash anything from social spending, to salaries and pensions. In earlier legislation, the Greek parliament agreed to submit all pending bills to the “troika” for approval. For historical precedent, one needs to look no further than the “Enabling Act” passed by the Reichstag in 1933, where the German parliament voted away its right to exercise legislative power, transferring absolute power to govern and to pass laws, including unconstitutional laws, to then-Chancellor Adolf Hitler.
The transcript of Dialogos Radio’s interview with investigative journalist, bestselling author, economist, and filmmaker Greg Palast. This interview aired on our broadcasts for the week of June 2-8, 2016. Find the podcast of this interview here.
MN: Joining us today here on Dialogos Radio for this week’s edition of the Dialogos Interview Series is one of our regular and most prominent guests, investigative reporter, filmmaker, and bestselling author Greg Palast, author of books such as Vulture’s Picnic, Armed Madhouse, and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. Greg, thanks for taking time out of your hectic schedule to join us once again.
GP: You’re very welcome, anytime.
MN: You’ve been spending the past few months on the road, from what I understand, as part of your new film project, taking an investigative look at the state of democracy and election fraud in the United States today. What have you been seeing, over the course of the primary season these past few months?
Our recent interview with internationally renowned investigative journalist, bestselling author, economist, and filmmaker Greg Palast has been featured in Truthout. In this interview, Palast discusses the economic crisis and austerity in Greece, his belief that Greece should immediately ditch the euro, the origins of the euro, neoliberalism and recent political and economic developments in Latin America, and election fraud in the United States. Additionally, he talks about his latest crowdsourced documentary film project, as well as the release of his latest book, “Vulture’s Picnic,” in Greek.
Dialogos Radio’s recent interview with the former leader of Finland’s Independence Party, Antti Pesonen, has been published in Truthout! In this interview, Pesonen talks about the Independence Party and the growing movement in Finland which is in favor of exiting the European Union and the Eurozone, while he also describes the many political and economic similarities between Finland and Greece.
Greece’s supposedly “leftist” government of so-called “hope” and “change” did it again! It saved Greece once more! Greece can continue living the European nightmare…excuse me, dream, can remain part of the vaunted “European family” and the Eurozone, and the government once again successfully completed “tough” negotiations with its so-called European “Partners,” with a capital P, as Greece’s deferential journalistic class tends to refer to them.
Let’s take a look at this new “success story” of Greece’s government of “hope” and “change.” It is a success story so big that Greece’s already insane value-added tax of 23% will be bumped up to 24% on June 1st. It is a success story so great that the unified property tax which SYRIZA, at one time, called unconstitutional and illegal and which at one time was said to be “temporary,” will now be raised and made permanent. It is a success story so tremendous that Greece’s already paltry pension and social security payments will be slashed further, despite government lies and propaganda to the contrary. Home foreclosures and auctions will resume, without anything but the flimsiest of temporary protections for the poorest homeowners. These foreclosures and auctions will take place electronically instead of in a courthouse, under cover of darkness and without warning. In the meantime, new privatizations are coming, alongside the development of a new super-fund of sorts which will manage essentially all of Greece’s publicly-owned assets and prepare them to be sold off, at bargain basement prices. And unlike most of the people of Greece, the foreign investors who will be snatching up these assets know very well how valuable a land Greece is.
Our recent radio interview with Greek economist, analyst, and the General Secretary of Greece’s United Popular Front (EPAM) Dimitris Kazakis has been featured in Truthout! In this interview, Kazakis discusses current economic and political developments in Greece, the impact of austerity upon the country, his beliefs that Greece must depart from the Eurozone and the European Union, the ongoing refugee and migrant crisis, and the positions of EPAM.
Transcripción de la entrevista de Radio Dialogos con el economista y secretario general del Frente Unido Popular de Grecia (EPAM) Dimitris Kazakis. Esta entrevista se emitió en nuestras transmisiones para la semana del 14-20 de abril de 2016. Encuentra el podcast de esta entrevista aquí (en inglés).
Nota de la traductora, Déborah Berman Santana: Esta es la transcripción (traducida al español) de la entrevista realizada en abril 2016 por la emisora “Diálogos Media Radio” (http://dialogosmedia.org/) con el economista, analista y secretario general de La Frente Unida Popular de Grecia (EPAM), Dimitris Kazakis. EPAM fue fundada durante el verando de 2011 en los campamentos de los indignados, en resistencia contra el primer acuerdo del gobierno con los acreedores de la deuda. Las demandas son: 1. Repudio unilateral de la deuda de acuerdo con el derecho internacional; 2. Cancelación de todos los memorandos y los tratados internacionales firmados desde 2010 con el FMI, la UE y el BCE; 3. Salida de la Unión Europea y la zona euro, y un retorno a la moneda nacional; 4. Nacionalización de los principales bancos a partir del Banco de Grecia, con el fin de controlar la economía, para redefinir la política de crédito y para controlar el tráfico de la capital; 5. Juicio y castigo de todos los responsables de la quiebra y la pérdida de la soberanía del país; 6. Nueva Constitución basada en la defensa de la plena soberanía nacional del pueblo de Grecia.
Traducido por Déborah B. Santana
MN: Para acompañarnos hoy en Dialogos Radio es el economista, analista, y secretario general del Frente Unido Popular de Grecia (EPAM) Dimitris Kazakis, que nos hablará hoy sobre los últimos acontecimientos económicos y políticos en Grecia y sobre la candente cuestión de la crisis de los refugiados y migrantes en Grecia y Europa. Dimitri, gracias por estar con nosotros una vez más.
DK: Gracias por recibirme.
MN: Antes de discutir la evolución económica en Grecia, vamos a hablar primero sobre la crisis migratoria y de refugiados. Usted ha hablado mucho sobre este tema y quería empezar por preguntar por el reciente acuerdo entre la Unión Europea y Turquía, que fue co-firmado por el gobierno griego. ¿Es este acuerdo legal y es ejecutable, y qué dice el derecho internacional sobre el tema?
Dialogos Radio’s recent interview with economist, author, columnist, and former undersecretary of the United States Treasury Paul Craig Roberts has recently been featured in Truthout! In this interview, Dr. Roberts talks about Greece and the issues of debt, privatizations, and the need for the country to leave the Eurozone, while Dr. Roberts also discusses global geopolitical trends and presents his analysis regarding the upcoming presidential elections in the United States.
The transcript of Dialogos Radio’s interview with Despina Kreatsoulas, the co-founder of the Politismos Museum of Greek History. This interview aired on our broadcasts for the week of March 31-April 6, 2016. Find the podcast of this interview here.
MN: Joining us today on Dialogos Radio and the Dialogos Interview Series is Despina Kreatsoulas, co-founder of the Politismos Museum, a recently-launched online museum of Greek history and culture. Despina will speak to us about the museum, the idea behind it, its mission and its exhibits. Despina, thank you for joining us today.
DK: Thank you so much for this opportunity, we’re happy to be here with you today.
MN: Share with us some words about how the idea for an online museum of Greek history and culture came about, and how the Politismos Museum was founded.
The transcript of Dialogos Radio’s interview with the economist and General Secretary of Greece’s United Popular Front (EPAM) Dimitris Kazakis. This interview aired on our broadcasts for the week of April 14-20, 2016. Find the podcast of this interview here.
MN: Joining us today on Dialogos Radio and the Dialogos Interview Series is economist, analyst, and the general secretary of Greece’s United Popular Front Dimitris Kazakis, who will speak to us today about the latest economic and political developments in Greece and about the hot-button issue of the refugee and migrant crisis in Greece and Europe. Dimitri, thank you for joining us once again.
DK: Thank you for having me.
MN: Before discussing economic developments in Greece, let’s first speak about the refugee and migrant crisis. You have spoken extensively about this issue and I wanted to begin by asking you about the recent deal that was reached between the European Union and Turkey, which was co-signed by the Greek government. Is this agreement legal and is it enforceable, and what does international law have to say about the issue?