Western European News Digest
200,000 Greeks Say No to Bankers Dictatorship
May 5 (EIRNS)Up to 200,000 Greeks demonstrated today in central Athens as a message to the Greek government, the European Union, and the International Monetary Fund that the Greek population will not accept the brutal austerity that will reduce their living standards by 20% or more. In Thessalonika, 20,000 people demonstrated.
The demonstrations were called by the public workers union ADEDY, and the private sector workers federation GSEE, which have also staged a 24-hour strike that has closed down government services, transportation, and private business. The two unions represent 50% of Greece's working class. The Communist Party and its trade union also participated in the strike.
While the police talk of tens of thousands of demonstrators, others spoke of up to 100,000; but the trade unions said that 200,000 participated, making it the largest protest in 20 years.
Meantime, three people were killed when fires broke out at a bank in central Athens, believed to have been the result of a fire bomb. Fires were seen at two other buildings. Anarchists and provocateurs also clashed with riot police.
Mass Strike Spreads to Romania; Unions Protest IMF-Ordered Cuts
May 8 (EIRNS)The mass strike ferment that has seized Greece is now spreading to Romania, as Romanian unions threaten a wave of strikes which could cripple hospitals, schools, and public transport, in protest against draconian wage and pension cuts. President Traian Basescu announced the cuts on May 6, saying they were needed to ensure continuation of a EU20 billion aid package led by the International Monetary Fund, according to Reuters.
Romania's powerful unions will meet Basescu today before an IMF review mission leaves the country, and leaders said protests similar to those in Greece could be carried out if they do reach an accord. "The likelihood that we will strike is big, as long as these draconian measures are not abandoned," said Marius Petcu, head of the CNSLR Fratia union, which represents about 800,000 people. "I think in two weeks we will know whether we will strike. We are talking about hundreds of thousands of people that need to be consulted."
Schachtians Demand EU Dictatorship
MAY 4 (EIRNS)Three liberal European politicians authored an article in the April 30 Swedish Svenska Dagbladet, demanding that all EU bailout packages include a temporary withdrawal of sovereignty in economic matters. The three are European Parliament Members Wolf Klinz (FDP) and the Olle Schmidt (Swedish FP), together with the Swedish member of Parliament Carl B. Hamilton (FP), the Swedish henchman of Iceland. Following the tradition of Nazi-era Liberal Party leader and Economics Minister Hjalmar Schacht, these three detail the demands in three points originating from an article by Klinz:
1. The Stability Pact must be obeyed. "Member states breaking with the pact should lose their voting rights in matters of budget deficits and crisis measures and also risk withdrawal of EU funding for support of agriculture and economic structure."
2. The Eurogroup must have an automatic crisis mechanism, using the IMF but, "withdraw, at least temporally, the sovereignty in economic matters of the recipient country or at least a great part of policy regarding taxation, wages, labor market, social welfare etc." They add here, "It should not be excluded that lenders should be forced to contribute through debt write offs."
3. "The Stability Pact should be expanded to also include measures for financial stability and preemption against transnational banking crises."
Italian LaRouche Rep on Radio Padania: Glass-Steagall Is Solution
MILAN, May 7 (EIRNS)Liliana Gorini, chairwoman of Movisol (Movimento Soliarietà), the LaRouche movement in Italy, was interviewed today by Radio Padaniathe, radio station of the Northern League (Lega Nord) in Milan. Host Roberto Ortelli initially wanted to question her on the British elections and the Greek crisis, but Gorini opened her report with the good news of the Cantwell-McCain measure in the U.S. Senate to restore Glass-Steagall, and Lyndon LaRouche's evaluation that this could bring down the present defunct system, and allow the creation of a new credit system in replacement.
Ortelli asked questions on the SEC investigation of Goldman Sachs (and its role in the Greek crisis), and also Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's ties to Wall Street, which led into a discussion of the Dodd-Obama financial reform as a cover-up, in contrast to the Cantwell-McCain amendment.
Italy: Minority Voices Against the Euro
May 5 (EIRNS)Whereas most Italian media and politicians are supporting the doomed bailout of the euro system, a minority faction is exposing the bankruptcy of the euro. One of these is author Ida Magli in the pro-government daily Il Giornale. Magli, an anthropologist from Rome University, writes that "those who designed the euro have barely taken into account the lack of an image of 'Europe' behind the 'single' currency. Now, facing the crisis, it is useless to remark that one should have first built the political Europe, before the monetary Europe. De facto, a political Europe was not built because it was impossible, and it is impossible, to build it."
Also today, Mario Borghezio, Lega Nord caucus leader in the European Parliament, issued a statement blasting the euro as responsible for aggravating the crisis: "Behind the drama which is unfolding in Greece, on the verge of a civil war, surely also the European Union bears a large responsibility. Today, the 'wisemen' of Europe would like us to believe that Greece is an isolated case, but tomorrow, when perhaps it will be the turn of Spain and/or other countries, what will they tell us? The sad scene of dying workers and of a whole people suffering, clashes with the inability of European political, economic, and financial leaders to recognize their mistakes and, above all, that the euro neither solves nor eases, but actually aggravates crises."
Deputy Mayor Calls for France To Leave Euro
PARIS, May 6 (EIRNS)Nicolas Dupont Aignan, Deputy Mayor of Yerres in the Paris region and a National Assembly Deputy, is the first national elected official to call for France to leave the euro. Aignan is the leader of a Gaullist party, Republic Arise. He is also calling for closing down the European Commission and for renegotiating the Economic and Monetary Union Treaties, adopted in 1992, which created the supranational single currency Eurozone that has brought about the present crisis.
"In order to face up to the major crisis shaking Greece and soon other countries of South Europe, it is high time to allow the return to national currencies which would adjust to each other, in order to carry out effective policies to come out of the crisis, policies which must be differentiated according to the competitiveness of each of the member states."
Italian Oligarch Caracciolo Celebrates Euro Death
May 7 (EIRNS)Whereas eurofools believe they can save a dead currency, better informed British-allied strategists acknowledge the death of the euro, but also plan a chaos and break-up scenario for Europe. Italian oligarch Lucio Caracciolo, editor of the geopolitical magazine Limes, bluntly exposes the failure of the euro ("Without a real state, no currency can exist"). However, Caracciolo forecasts that European leaders will let the situation slide "to the point that the sickness is so widespread and rooted in the Eurozone and beyond, that it is impossible to cure. At that point, politics can do nothing, except take care of public order, because it is evident that the collapse of our monetary system, in a recession and with double-digit unemployment, would produce social revolts and political-institutional crises of unforeseeable dimensions."
The most probable outcome of the crisis, Caracciolo says, will be a "Europlus" core with Germany and "its economic sphere of influence" which includes northern Italy. "The optimal currency area, from a German standpoint, is the one that splits Italy."