Rumors have been growing since last week after the decision of the head party of the coalition government New Democracy to shut down the public broadcaster ERT and proceed to massive layoffs. This decision brought continuous and harsh demonstrations from the labor unions of the country, while stirring up the existing concerns regarding the homogeneity of the coalition government as well as a series of other major issues that have been dealt inefficiently by the government the last couple of weeks.
The head party of the Greek coalition government, New Democracy, took yesterday a sudden and in any manner authoritarian decision to shut down the public broadcaster ERT. The public-led company was occupying almost 2,700 employees being the largest news network of the country. Within the new legislative framework, it is expected that ERT will start running again next September having finalized the process of recruiting 1000 employees. What is the story behind?
After the harsh shift in the peaceful manifestations in Taksim Square against the construction of a commercial mall and the bloody outcome, both sides have lost control in every possible respect. International media rushed to depict the image of a suppresive and under-developed “democracy” in Turkey with a political regime that infringes human rights and the right to manifest. Social media took the tally and all the world has been witnessing the outrage of Turkish people and the condemned reaction of the police and the government. I regret to say but it is not that easy to interpret what is really going in Turkey. It is a much more complicated situation and it is at least irresponsible to rush out and use pompous words and news headlines to describe the so-called “dictatorship” of Erdogan’s regime.
The Greek government is lately endeavoring to establish an environment of optimism, exploiting the sense of the latest reports of the troika. Is there any momentum, or daily and economic developments that justify this wave of optimism? Facts show the opposite, but are all those who believe the opposite biased and prejudiced?
Latest reports claim that Assad’s forces are taking lead in the civil war in Syria. A complex situation that seems to have no end and the ceasefire seems to get even more distant. The United States are closely following the situation, Russia and China remain solid at their non-interfering stance, the Arab world is puzzled, but the fact is that tens of thousands have been migrated, whereas atrocities and casualties increase incessantly. Who can finally stop this?
The two major global powers have long accommodated their geopolitical interests in the international field. Actually they have never been enemies, but rather competitive to each other. Since the fall of communism, China was deeply infiltrated by a combined statism and capitalism, whereas the USA was eagerly turned to be the dominating soft power, that when necessary it could exert power politics to secure its economic and political interests. The question lies elsewhere: what about the case of sensitive geopolitical players and to what extent China and the USA are antagonizing each other?
Tags: eu elections 2014, EU Institutions, EU integration, EU priorities, Eurocrisis, European Union, Eurozone, Greece, Interviews
Mr. Nikos Chountis is one of the oldest and most ardent members of the Left in Greece, currently serving as Deputy of SYRIZA-EKM in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. He kindly discussed with us the crisis in Eurozone, the future of the EMU, the deadlock of austerity politics, the European Elections of 2014, as well as the fight of the young Europeans that is necessary to bring changes in the Union.
Tags: BRICs, EU integration, Eurocrisis, European Union, Eurozone, France, Germany, Global Europe, Global Financial System, Global Policy, Marshall Plan, member states, Middle East, US policy
After the end of World War II the United States assumed the burden of restructuring Europe from the beginning. At that time, Germany was defeated -if not humiliated in the eyes of the Europeans- and entirely devastated, France was supposed to be the new prominent power in Europe, and the United States could build on the leverage they acquire after contributing fundamentally to the end of the war and the win of the Alliances. Do we have something relevant today? Are there any given comparisons looking so similar in 1950 and 2013?
Tags: eu elections 2014, EU Institutions, EU integration, EU priorities, Eurocrisis, Eurozone, Social Cohesion, Switzerland, Unemployment
French daily Le Monde issued yesterday the chart of unemployment in the European Union. The facts are extremely disappointing for the entity of the Union, but especially for the peripheries. South Europe scores the highest rates followed by Ireland, two of the three Baltic states (i.e. Latvia and Lithuania), Bulgaria, Hungary, and France. The aggregate combination of first- and second-paced economies in the same basket is something new in the European Union, as we were used to observe such high or increasing rates of unemployment in lower-developed economies of the Union. But now the phenomenon is widespread and the therapy even harder to find.
Tags: Austerity Politics, EU Institutions, EU integration, EU priorities, Eurocrisis, European Elections 2014, European Union, Eurozone, Immigration, member states, Social Cohesion, Unemployment
Europe is not only Germany. It is not only France nor Austria or Finland. Europe is above all the fundamental idea of co-existence, the basis from which any global initiative aiming at creating a federal union has to stem from. Europe is also Greece, Italy, Spain, Cyprus. Therefore the major issue of concern is not whether we want more or less European Union, but how we want this European Union -and consequently Eurozone- to function.