Saturday, 21 February 2015

Hitler's American Business Partners

This documentary uncovers the unholy alliance between Nazi Germany and some of the biggest corporations in the US — companies which were indispensable for Hitler to wage war. Henry Ford, the automobile manufacturer; James D Mooney, the General Motors manager; and Thomas Watson, the IBM boss were all awarded the Grand Cross of the German Eagle — the Nazi's highest distinction for foreigners for their services to the Third Reich.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Greek Crisis Talks Collapse in Acrimony as Syriza Defies EMU

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: 'The only way to solve Greece is to treat us like equals; not a debt colony,' says Greek finance minister

Greece is on a collision course with the eurozone’s creditor powers after emergency talks ended in acrimony on Monday night, triggering the most serious political crisis since the launch of the euro.

The Leftist Syriza government reacted with fury to eurozone demands that it must stick to the country’s discredited austerity plan, describing the draft text as “absurd and unacceptable”.

Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister, said Eurogroup finance ministers had ignored a deal already agreed with the European Commission for a four-month delay and a “new contract for growth”, returning instead to old demands. "The only way to solve Greece is to treat us like equals; not a debt colony,” he said, predicting that EU authorities would soon have to withdraw their latest “ultimatum”.

The talks were halted after four hours of stormy exchanges, risking a traumatic showdown that could precipitate the biggest default in world history and force Greece out of the euro by the end of the month. » | Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, International Business Editor | Monday, February 16, 2015

Monday, 9 February 2015

Greece's Leaders Stun Europe with Escalating Defiance

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: "The euro is like a house of cards. If you pull away the Greek card, they all come down,” says Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister

Greece’s finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has spelled out the negotiating strategy of the Syriza government with crystal clarity.

“Exit from the euro does not even enter into our plans, quite simply because the euro is fragile. It is like a house of cards. If you pull away the Greek card, they all come down,” he said.

“Do we really want Europe to break apart? Anybody who is tempted to think it possible to amputate Greece strategically from Europe should be careful. It is very dangerous. Who would be hit after us? Portugal? What would happen to Italy when it discovers that it is impossible to stay within the austerity straight-jacket?”

“There are Italian officials – I won’t say from which institution - who have approached me to say they support us, but they can’t say the truth because Italy is at risk of bankruptcy and they fear the consequence from Germany. A cloud of fear has been hanging over Europe over recent years. We are becoming worse than the Soviet Union,” he told the Italian TV station RAI. Read on and comment » | Ambrose Evans-Pritchard | Monday, February 09, 2015

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Tsipras favours Greek Jobless Over Creditors In Defiant Policy Speech

Greece prime minister Alexis Tsipras delivering his first speech
at the parliamentary session of Syriza.
THE GUARDIAN: Prime minister says government’s first priority is to tackle humanitarian crisis caused by years of austerity

The Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, has announced his anti-austerity government programme in a defiant address that prioritised the jobless and destitute over international creditors who have lent the country more than $300bn (£200bn).

In his first policy speech before parliament, he said his government did not have the right to prolong the five-year bailout deal that has foisted austerity on Greece, and felt a duty “not to disappoint” those who had voted him into power.

“We see hope, dignity and pride returning to Greek citizens. Our obligation and duty is not to disappoint them,” he told the 300-seat house. “We realise that negotiations [with foreign lenders] won’t be easy … but we have faith in our struggle, because justice is on our side.”

Declaring his administration “a government of national salvation”, Tsipras said he would also pursue claims to win back from Germany wartime loans that Greece had been forced to make to Nazi occupiers. “I can’t overlook what is an ethical duty, a duty to history … to lay claim to the wartime debt.” » | Helena Smith in Athens | Sunday, February 08, 2015