A bird's eye view of the vineyard
?Putin? ? the Documentary Sure to Change Everything You Thought You Knew About Russia?s President Sun Mar 25, 2018 01:14 | Scott
A groundbreaking new film by Andrei Kondrashev. ?Putin? dives into depth about the man who we all hear so much about, but who we know so little about. From the
Theresa May wants to invade Switzerland! Sat Mar 24, 2018 16:34 | The Saker
West attacks China?s Social Credit System to deflect from its fascist panopticon Sat Mar 24, 2018 16:13 | The Saker
by Jeff J. Brown for The Saker blog crosslinked with: http://chinarising.puntopress.com/201... https://youtu.be/VKeBiK0Z-Xo https://soundcloud.com/44-days/west-a... Pictured above: the panopticon Illinois State Prison, in Joliet. For every Westerner out there, just look
EMERGENCY WARNING FROM THE SAKER Sat Mar 24, 2018 15:30 | The Saker
Dear friends, I have learned that several anti-Empire websites have been hit by strong and sustained DDoS attacks including Craig Murray (https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archi... and, apparently, the the Russian journal New Eastern
Urgent: Britain stages Russia poisoning, drowns in lies Fri Mar 23, 2018 23:55 | The Saker
The Saker >>
Repeal and Replace? Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:58 | Fiona de Londras
Shifting Sands Under the Abortion Debate Mon Jan 15, 2018 09:30 | GuestPost
Liberty, the ICCL, and other NGO groups? landmark challenge against the UK Government?s mass surveil... Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:56 | admin
What Ireland can gain from international guidance on Article 19 UNCRPD Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:53 | Eilionoir Flynn
Repeal or Replace? Tue Oct 03, 2017 06:31 | Fiona de Londras
Human Rights in Ireland >>
For lefties too stubborn to quit
A new SBP/Red C Poll 18:31 Sat Mar 24, 2018 | WorldbyStorm
Brian Hanley on the General Election of 1918 13:09 Sat Mar 24, 2018 | WorldbyStorm
Cover versions of Are ?Friends? Electric? 12:38 Sat Mar 24, 2018 | WorldbyStorm
Sports and recreation news? 11:49 Sat Mar 24, 2018 | WorldbyStorm
This Weekend I?ll Mostly Be Listening to? Gary Numan 06:59 Sat Mar 24, 2018 | WorldbyStorm
Cedar Lounge >>
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting
Some Thoughts on the Brexit Joint Report 11:50 Sat Dec 09, 2017
IRISH COMMONWEALTH: TRADE UNIONS AND CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE 21ST CENTURY 14:06 Sat Nov 18, 2017
Notes for a Book on Money and the Irish State - The Marshall Aid Program 15:10 Sat Apr 02, 2016
The Financial Crisis:What Have We Learnt? 19:58 Sat Aug 29, 2015
Money in 35,000 Words or Less 21:34 Sat Aug 22, 2015
Dublin Opinion >>
Impoverishment Made in Germany
Friday April 27, 2012 16:29 by O.O'C. - People's Movement 086 3150301
By Kevin McCorry
The German austerity dictate is leading to new economic and social turbulence in the indebted counties of the southern Euro-zone.
Spain, compelled in late March to make financial cutbacks totalling 27 billion Euros, must extend its austerity program to a total of 37 billion Euros. An increasing number of debtors cannot repay their credits on time. With their backlog of 143,8 billion Euros, the country's banks, in fact, can only refinance themselves through the European Central Bank. Italy is also slipping into the downward spin of cutbacks, growing unemployment, decreasing purchasing power and increasing social spending and, like Greece a few years ago, must already readjust its savings goals. Greece has been fully drawn into this development. Last year, 68,000 enterprises went bankrupt - the volume of incoming orders has dramatically shrunk. A high number of bankruptcies is also expected this year. This offers German enterprises good opportunities for acquiring the fillet morsels of state enterprises at rock-bottom prices.
Compulsory Social Cuts
Germany's political elite firmly insists on maintaining this disastrous austerity policy, imposed on European countries within the framework of the measures to overcome the crisis. At the end of last month, Chancellor Merkel imposed the political line of march to be taken by Madrid in this crisis. Spain will meet all of its deficit obligations, decreed Merkel in a newspaper interview as the right wing Spanish government announced 27 billion Euros worth of new social cuts and austerity measures, to ward off the continued growing budged deficit. "I am optimistic that everyone will meet their obligations," Merkel stated, referring also to the reduction of Spain's budget deficit to below the 3 percent GDP-limit by 2013.
Ten Billion More
A mere three weeks later, the situation in Spain worsened dramatically again. The burden for Spanish government bonds' interests has increased once more, the budget deficit has again grown, the economic outlook has become even more somber. After Madrid was forced at an auction to pay 5.7 percent for ten-year government bonds, Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy's government took headlong flight into even more austerity measures. This time, around ten billion Euros would be saved on the health and educational systems - through measures including higher supplementary payments for medicine and more pupils to school classrooms. Madrid's "clean-shave" austerity program would add up to about 37 billion Euros, withdrawn from the domestic economy, already in a tailspin.
Record Payment Backlogs
According to its Minister of Economics, Luis de Guindos' preliminary estimates, Spain has re-entered a recession, with the first quarter in 2012 having turned out just as bad "as the last quarter of the preceding year," showing an economic contraction of 0.3 percent. The uncompromising austerity course is being applied to a country wracked by crisis. Since the burst of the real estate bubble, which, for years, had served as the economic motor, the economy has been groaning under the weight of a gigantic mountain of debts and an unemployment rate of around 23 percent - the highest in all of Europe. Spain's youth unemployment rate has risen to 50 percent. Due to the disastrous economic trend, a diminishing number of mortgage holders can still use their credits, contributing to a destabilization of the Spanish - and indirectly also the European - financial systems. In the meantime, 8.16 percent of all credits issued in Spain have a backlog in payments, which is an absolute record, corresponding to 143.8 billion Euros. It is, therefore, no wonder that Spain's financial establishments are being drip-fed by the European Central Bank and can only refinance themselves through the ECB.
Italy also in an Downward Spin
As a consequence, Spain is undergoing the same catastrophic crisis spiral as Greece had been forced into by Berlin and Brussels. Repeatedly, new austerity measures are permitting a collapse of domestic consumption demand, leading, in its turn, to an escalating recession. In the end, this course generates massive poverty and an economic collapse, which places the targeted savings goals out of reach - because the recession causes a breakdown of tax intake while bloating the social expenditures. The devastating down spin that has so ravaged Greece and is now gripping Spain, is also reaching Italy. Applying more comprehensive and more ruthless austerity measures, the Italian Prime Minister, Mario Monti, imposed by Merkel and her French junior partner, Nicolas Sarkozy at the head of a technocratic government, hopes to achieve a balanced budget by 2013. In 2011, the new debts were still at the level of 3.9 percent. Now Monti must sheepishly admit that this year, Italy's recession will reach 1.2 percent - much worse than his previous 0.5 percent forecast. The Italian technocrat no longer wants to talk in terms of a "balanced budget." In 2013 he expects a 0.5 percent deficit.
200 Bankruptcies Daily
The example of Greece shows where the Europe-wide austerity measures are ultimately heading. After applying a number of the austerity measures and suffering about four years of recession, the country has an unemployment rate of nearly 22 percent and is undergoing a comprehensive de-industrialization. Since June 2007, incoming orders for the Greek industry, characterized by small enterprises, has dropped by 35 percent. London's Markit Financial Information Services predicts a "markedly lower production, new orders and the number of employees." Many enterprises will not survive. In 2011, approx. 68,000 small and medium enterprises went bankrupt, an average of 200 per day. Experts are predicting around 63,000 more bankruptcies this year.
The industry and infrastructure still remaining in state ownership is now being sold off under German supervision. The comprehensive sale of public property, that Athens was forced to agree to as the price for receiving further credits, is being carried out by the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF). The German Ministry of Economics' Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI) agency is serving as its advisor. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.) GTAI's listed duties conveniently include the counseling of German companies in their foreign activities. The agency is explicitly seeking German buyers for the fillet morsels of Greek bankruptcy assets, according to the German Economics Ministry's "Checklist of an Investment and Growth Offensive for Greece." "Assistance in finding German investors and placing the German experience in the privatization and restructuring process of the new [East German] federal states" will be GTAI's contribution to its Greek counterparts. The latter chore listed is in reference to the German Treuhand (Trust Fund), which, in a chaotic process beginning in 1990, squandered the public property of the German Democratic Republic.
The time is right for cheap "bargain deals" in Greece. The disastrous economic situation is rapidly shrinking the value of public property now being put up for sale. Already last February, the Greek government was forced to radically reduce its original prognosis of expected receipts for 2015 from its privatization measures from 50 billion to merely 15 billion Euros. Hence, it seems that particularly German companies are profiting from Athens' economic collapse, for which the austerity policy imposed by Berlin bears the brunt of the responsibility.
 Merkel: Spanien wird Defizit-Verpflichtungen einhalten; www.stern.de 31.03.2012
 Rezession! Spanien steckt im Schuldenstrudel; www.abendblatt.de 16.04.2012
 Spanien: Doubtful Loans auf 18-Jahreshoch; www.querschuesse.de 18.04.2012
 Spanische Banken ersticken an ihren faulen Krediten; www.welt.de 18.04.2012
 Rückschlag für Super-Mario; www.ftd.de 18.04.2012
 Griechen stecken tief im Tal der Tränen; www.mainpost.de 03.04.2012
 see also Patterned after the Treuhand
 Ausverkauf: Deutschland hilft Griechenland beim Privatisieren; www.deutsche-mittelstands-nachrichten.de 20.04.2012