The Watchdog

Keeping citizens in the loop

JANE BURGERMEISTER REPORT: ‘German coalition government rebels against Merkel-Sarkozy Greek debt plan and its leniency on banks’

German coalition government rebels against Merkel-Sarkozy Greek debt plan and its leniency on banks

 JUNE 18, 2011, 1:33 P.M. ET

German Coalition Critiques Merkel-Sarkozy Greece Plan -Report

FRANKFURT (Dow Jones)–German coalition government leaders have criticized plans for a voluntary Greek debt rollover agreed to by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, arguing that the plan falls short of a full-scale debt restructuring favored by Berlin, German news magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday.

“This isn’t the private sector participation that the German Bundestag pushed for,” said Frank Schaeffler, a member of the FDP Free Democratic Party.

Read more at: http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110618-702530.html

June 21, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption internationally, Internationally significant information, Jane Burgermeister Report | Leave a comment

JANE BURGERMEISTER REPORT: ‘Euro Area May Break Up by 2013 on Bailout Strains, CEBR Says’

Euro Area May Break Up by 2013 on Bailout Strains, CEBR Says

Sunday, June 19, 2011

June 20 (Bloomberg) — The euro area is on course to break up as member nations’ willingness to continue bailouts for the region’s indebted countries dissipates, the Centre for Economics and Business research said in a research note.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/06/19/bloomberg1376-LMXYA20YHQ0X01-3VF67JI15BL0PJA8INI84TR86P.DTL#ixzz1PpT4Hr4c

June 21, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption internationally, Internationally significant information, Jane Burgermeister Report | Leave a comment

JANE BURGERMEISTER REPORT: ‘Boris Johnson: Let Greece default on its debts and leave the euro’

Boris Johnson: Let Greece default on its debts and leave the euro

Britain will NOT be part of bailout, says Downing Street

Single currency is responsible for ‘exacerbating’ the international financial crisis, says London Mayor

In Spain thousands have flooded the streets blaming bankers and politicians for painful spending cuts

By Daniel Martin

Last updated at 3:21 PM on 20th June 2011

Boris Johnson said Britain should refuse to contribute to another bailout of Greece

Greece should be allowed to default on its debts and leave the euro, according to London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2005499/Boris-Johnson-Let-Greece-default-debts-leave-euro.html#ixzz1PpSdPXlT

June 21, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption internationally, Internationally significant information, Jane Burgermeister Report | Leave a comment

JANE BURGERMEISTER REPORT: ‘Britain ‘won’t bail out Greece again’ says Downing Street’

Britain ‘won’t bail out Greece again’ says Downing Street

Britain ‘won’t bail out Greece again’ says Downing Street

George Osborne, the chancellor, will tell EU finance ministers in Luxembourg today that Britain does not intend playing a part in any new aid package for Greece.

By Szu Ping Chan and Andy Bloxham

12:16PM BST 20 Jun 2011

European financial markets tumbled on Monday morning as the postponement of a final decision on extending £10.6billion (€12bn) in emergency loans to Greece spooked investors across the world.

Read more at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/8586519/Financial-markets-slide-over-Greek-bailout-delays.html

June 21, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption internationally, Internationally significant information, Jane Burgermeister Report | Leave a comment

JANE BURGERMEISTER REPORT:’SENSIBLE GERMAN DEFENCE MINISTER KEEPS ARMY OUT OF LIBYA AND SYRIA ‘

SENSIBLE GERMAN DEFENCE MINISTER KEEPS ARMY OUT OF LIBYA AND SYRIA

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06/20/2011

SPIEGEL Interview with Defense Minister De Maizière

‘We Will Not Get Involved’ in Syria

Christian Thiel / DER SPIEGEL

German Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière in Berlin: “Significant progress must be made in Afghanistan.”

The US has been critical of Germany for not supporting NATO in the mission in Libya. SPIEGEL spoke to German Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière about Berlin’s skepticism of getting involved in Libya and Syria, and about the future of the NATO alliance.

SPIEGEL: Minister de Maizière, during his recent speech on the future of North Atlantic Treaty Organization, outgoing US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that there are two categories of NATO partners: those who fight and those who dig wells. Which category is Germany in?

Thomas De Maizière: In Afghanistan, we’re demonstrating that the Bundeswehr (eds. note: the German military) is a fighting army whenever it has to be.

SPIEGEL: When it comes to NATO’s mission in Libya, Gates recently said that Germany, among others, wasn’t doing enough. What is your response?

De Maizière: Our decision to not participate in the military part of the Libya mission was based on carefully considered reasons. It remains correct. But that doesn’t put us in the category of mere well-diggers, as you put it.

SPIEGEL: Have you no bad conscience at all, given that your NATO partners in Libya are running out of steam and munitions?

De Maizière: The Americans did ask us for military assistance again at the most recent NATO meeting. We turned them down. But we have made things easier for the alliance by allowing German AWACS planes to participate in the mission in Afghanistan. And there’s one thing I’d like to add: When you start something, you of course always have to know how long you can keep it up.

SPIEGEL: On the eve of the first NATO airstrikes, you said on German public broadcaster ZDF: “Could the fact that we are suddenly intervening now have something to do with oil? We can’t get rid of all the dictators in the world with an international military mission.” Would you still say the same thing?

De Maizière: Yes. The “responsibility to protect” a country’s civilian population if its government violates human rights is firmly anchored in international law. But does that mean we are allowed to intervene? Or does that mean we’re actually required to? I believe that each military operation must be analyzed to determine whether its goals can be achieved with appropriate means and within an appropriate time frame as well as how one gets out at the end. Every one.

SPIEGEL: You are dodging the question. You have insinuated that Germany’s NATO allies are only intervening in Libya because of oil.

De Maizière: No, I wasn’t insinuating that at all. I strictly formulated that as a hypothetical.

SPIEGEL: But your formulation still implies it.

De Maizière: During the interview, I was pointing out that there have to be criteria for each and every decision about humanitarian intervention — even if that presents me with a number of dilemmas. If I say yes once, then I’ll have to justify why I say no the next time. Refraining from action is also a decision. One must make a decision, but one can’t expect that — no matter what the decision is — that one can always emerge from this kind of matter with clean hands. I have to live with that.

 

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,769339,00.html

 

June 21, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption internationally, Internationally significant information, Jane Burgermeister Report | Leave a comment

JANE BURGERMEISTER REPORT: ‘New Zealand citizens face show-trials under “terrorism” laws, reports Kiwisfirst’

New Zealand citizens face show-trials under “terrorism” laws, reports Kiwisfirst

“After almost 4 years and over $10 million in taxpayer funds thrown at the prosecution, few Kiwis are aware of the evidence and court proceedings in the criminal prosecution of 18 New Zealand citizens initially labelled as terrorists, but whom the U.S. Embassy in Wellington was advised in 2007 by NZ Police would likely face only fines of up to $4,000.

The High Court has tried to shroud the proceedings in secrecy.

But you can FIND OUT THE INSIDE STORY AND FACTS at

www.kiwisfirst.co.nz/index.asp?pageID=2145845331

And: waterpressure.wordpress.com

June 18, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Fighting corruption internationally, Human rights, Internationally significant information, Jane Burgermeister Report | Leave a comment

JANE BURGERMEISTER REPORT: ‘German tax payers face 65-billion-euro bill for the Greece bankster bailout, says FDP finance expert’

German tax payers face 65-billion-euro bill for the Greece bankster bailout, says FDP finance expert

German tax payers could face a bill of 65 billion euros by 2015 for the bankster bailout for Greece alone, according to Frank Schäffler, financial spokesman for the Free Democrats, the junior partner in Germany’s  coalition government.

German tax payer’s are already the biggest private creditors of Greece after the ECB bought up Greek souvereign debt, reports the FTD. But the amount they are owed is set to soar as Greece’s national debt grows.

http://www.ftd.de/finanzen/:euro-krise-die-groessten-griechenland-glaeubiger/60066259.html

The German government buried a policy document by economic experts in autumn 2010 urging an insolvency mechanism to be introduced to help country’s that are burdened with an unsustainable debt, as reported on this blog.

An insolvency mechanism is what is required for Greece – and yet there are still no plans for one.

Instead of following the recommendation of economic experts and putting Greece through a managed insolvency, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble are spreading hysteria, warning about a disorderly default and a worldwide financial crash to frighten lawmakers into putting limitless money into the giant debt hole of Greece as well as Ireland and Portugal.

The choice being offered to the people of the eurozone should include the option of a managed insolvency of Greece as well as Ireland and Portugal.

Merkel and Schäuble are falsely misrepresenting the choice as being between a disorderly default and a bank crash or limitless bankster bailouts.

Schäffler estimates that Greece’s existing debt of 350 billion euros is set to grow ever year by another 30 billion euros as the economy continues to contract under fiscal austerity measures prescribed by the EU, IMF and ECB. Greece’s national debt I, therefore,  set to increase to 470 billion euros by 2015.

By that time, the commercial banks would have been able to offload the last of their Greek bonds onto the ECB, leaving the tax payers having to shoulder all the losses when Greece eventually defaults or reprofiles while the private banks have taken all the profits.

Because Germany has a 28% share in the ECB, tax payers would have to contribute 130 billion euros of the 470 billion euros, Schäffler calculates.

Assuming ( optimistically) a haircut of 50% on Greek bonds in 2015, the loss for German tax payers in 2015 would amount to 65 billion euros.

Germany has an annual tax revenue of about 250 billion euros right now in a boom time for its economy – one which has benefitted corporate shareholders and not low paid workers, however.

Added to the amount Germans will be expected to pay for Greece, will come billions more for Ireland, Portugal and possibly Spain and Italy by 2015.

A debt reduction for Greece if it were carried out today would cost German tax payer’s only 15 billion euros, Schäffler says.

However, there is no sign that the German government is going to stop the gigantic sums of money flowing from tax payers to American, German and French banks as part of the bankster bailouts.

The German government has not only ignored the advice of experts to create an insolvency mechanism to keep the bankster bailout’s flowing.It has also violated the no bail out clause of the Lisbon Treaty, it has also allowed the Bundesbanbk and the ECB to violate Article 123 of the ECB rulebook prohibiting the ECB from buying debt instruments of governments.

The ECB is estimated to have 75 billion euros of Greek souvereign debt on its books. In addition, the ECB has hundreds of billions of loans to Gree, Irish, Portuguese and Spanish banks against shaky collateral under an emergency liquidity programme.

The ECB has, in fact, so many bad loans that economist Hans Werner Sinn estimates that it will be in debt to itself in just two years if it continues at this pace.

How can the eurozone central bank money-making machine destroy so much capital so fast that it will actually be in debt to itself in just two years?

As Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff explains how Greece’s economy is being run into the ground.

“Today’s strategy, however, is far more likely to lead to blowup and disorderly restructuring. Why should the Greek people (not to mention the Irish and the Portuguese) accept years of austerity and slow growth for the sake of propping up the French and German banking systems, unless they are given huge bribes to do so? As Stanford professor Jeremy Bulow and I showed in our work on sovereign debt in the 1980’s, countries rarely can be squeezed into making net payments (payments minus new loans) to foreigners of more than a few percent for a few years. The current EU/International Monetary Fund strategy calls for a decade or two of such payments. It has to, lest the German taxpayer revolt at being asked to pay for Europe in perpetuity,” he writes.

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/rogoff81/English

June 18, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption internationally, Internationally significant information, Jane Burgermeister Report | Leave a comment

JANE BURGERMEISTER REPORT: ‘Protests in Greece go on as Papandreou reshuffles cabinet: snap elections soon?’

Protests in Greece go on as Papandreou reshuffles cabinet: snap elections soon?

Greek Prime Minister Giorgos Papandreou has reshuffled his cabinet in a bid to quell mass protests and persuade his disillusioned party to swing behind legislation for another round of fiscal austerity measures mandated by the EU, IMF and ECB.

But even if Papandreou survives a vote of confidence expected on Wednesday and gets the legislation through parliament at the end of June, it does not look as if his government will survive for very long as mass protests continue to mount against plans for more cuts and more debt for the profit of American, German and French banks.

Trade unions took to the streets of Athens today to oppose plans to sell state assets, joining the “Indignant Citizen” movement to keep the pressure up on the government to abandon the failed IMF, EU and ECB austerity policies, which are only putting Greece deeper into debt.

“Thousands of Greeks marched on parliament on Saturday in a show of unabated public anger after Prime Minister George Papandreou reshuffled his cabinet and vowed to push on with a belt-tightening campaign,” reports Reuters.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/18/us-greece-idUSTRE75E0ZS20110618

Papandreou moved Bilderberg Finance Minister George Papaconstantino to the energy ministry. The privatisation of energy companies is part of a package of €80 billion or so of pension and public sector job cuts, tax increases and asset sales.

Though Greece’s public sector and energy companies undoubtedly need to undergo some reform and become more efficient, Greek lawmakers just have to look at the privatisation of British energy and transport companies to see an example of failed privatisations, which allowed corporations carte blanche to milk captive customers and double and tripple bills while slashing investment, and reducing services to a minimum.

If this is how Greek energy companies and other state assets are to be privatised, it is sure to add fuel to the social protests.

Alan Mattich in the WSJ argues the case for Greece defaulting and devaluing its — new Drachma? — currency to reignite growth.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304186404576389632761803982.html?mod=WSJ_hp_us_mostpop_read

June 18, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption internationally, Internationally significant information, Jane Burgermeister Report | Leave a comment

JANE BURGERMEISTER REPORT: ‘Extreme right-wing Diva Heinz-Christian Strache stakes claim to be next Chancellor of Austria ‘

Extreme right-wing Diva Heinz-Christian Strache stakes claim to be next Chancellor of Austria

Far right wing demagogue Heinz- Christian Strache has said that he wants to be the next Chancellor of Austria at a rally for his supporters in Graz.

Portraying himself as a critic of the EU and the banks, Strache, is making a blatant attempt to hijack a growing grass roots movement opposing the authoritarian EU and the bankster bailouts.

Strache is a dental technician by training (though low achievement has never been a bar to leading far right parties in Austria as exemplified by the career of Adolf Hitler) – and so his call for Austria to form a “cultural community” with Germany in an echo of 1933 carried a hollow ring of pathos.

The bankers know they have to switch out their sock puppets politicians, who are plummetting in the polls due to the bankster bailouts, soon so that they can get four more years of looting tax payers. Strache is the front man for a new aggressive phase involving a more intense crack down on civil rights, war mongering and social unrest and designed to coincide with ever tighter fiscal austerity measures kicking in from 2012 due to the bailouts.

For Strache to claim that he stands for freedom and law and order is like a wolf claiming he is vegetarian to get into the sheep pen.

Strache stokes hatred for anyone who does not agree with his neo-Nazi coloured world view.

Far from representing a break with the current politics, Strache’s new Freedom Party line up is comprised of the ultimate insiders in the shady far right scene so often linked with criminal ventures.

Strache obviously thinks that people in Austria have a memory hole and have forgotten already that they were looted by the last predatory far right government led by Jörg Haider.

In fact, the new faces in the proposed far right cabinet make former far right Finance Minister Karl Heinz Grasser — who was found to have been lugging suitcases full of cash to invest in dodgy bank deals at the cost tax payers — look squeaky clean. Karl Heinz Grasser is married to Fiona Swarowski, scion of the super rich Swarowski clan, and along with the Flick Foundation reaped significant profits paid thanks to the  tax payers in a shady Hypo Alpe Adria deal he has never been held to account for by justice officials.

Among the collection of eccentrics and outsiders in the far right cabinet, there is Johan Gudenus, the Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg of Austria.

The scion of wealthy, far right family, Gudenus is not known to have held any job at all – perhaps because looking after his hair style and going to parties is too time consuming.

After graduating in law from Vienna university and undergoing a short stint as a trainee at a local court, Gudenus seems to have gone straight into the Freedom Party, where he has lived the life of one of the pampered political elite ever since, appearing only now and then to stoke hostility towards asylum seekers. No sensible policy intitiative has ever been heard of from Gudenus – and yet he is supposed to be the next foreign minister.

Gudenus made headlines after he was caught brawling outside a beer tent and in a disco as part of the Opera ball, and the ability to pick fights will be very useful for a warmongering minister. Others may have to shed their blood in Libya and the Middle East for Gudenus, who can put his feet up and count his increased revenue from his family investments in corporations and banks.

Gudenus along with Martin Graf and other members of the far right fencing fraternities also attended a ceremony on May 8th in the Heldenplatz in Vienna to mark Nazi Germany’s capitulation in the second world war, and Austria and Germany will be head for their third major defeat in any world war under the brazenly cynical bankster puppets like this if they ever get into power.

http://www.wienerzeitung.at/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=4375&Alias=wzo&cob=559610

June 18, 2011 Posted by | Internationally significant information, Jane Burgermeister Report | Leave a comment

JANE BURGERMEISTER REPORT: ‘The Euro’s PIG-Headed Masters, by Kenneth Rogoff’

The Euro’s PIG-Headed Masters, by Kenneth Rogoff

Jane Burgermeister | June 18, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/puNtl-1iA

2011-06-03

Kenneth Rogoff, Project Syndicate

CAMBRIDGE – Europe is in constitutional crisis. No one seems to have the power to impose a sensible resolution of its peripheral countries’ debt crisis. Instead of restructuring the manifestly unsustainable debt burdens of Portugal, Ireland, and Greece (the PIGs), politicians and policymakers are pushing for ever-larger bailout packages with ever-less realistic austerity conditions. Unfortunately, they are not just “kicking the can down the road,” but pushing a snowball down a mountain.

True, for the moment, the problem is still economically manageable. Eurozone growth is respectable, and the PIGs account for only 6% of the eurozone’s GDP. But by stubbornly arguing that that these countries are facing a liquidity crisis, rather than a solvency problem, euro officials are putting entire system at risk. Major eurozone economies like Spain and Italy have huge debt problems of their own, especially given anemic growth and a manifest lack of competitiveness. The last thing they need is for people to be led to believe that an implicit transfer union is already in place, and that reform and economic restructuring can wait.

European Union officials argue that it would be catastrophic to restructure any member’s debts proactively. It is certainly the case that contagion will rage after any Greek restructuring. It will stop spreading only when Germany constructs a firm and credible firewall, presumably around Spanish and Italian central-government debt. This is exactly the kind of hardheaded solution that one would see in a truly integrated currency area. So, why do Europe’s leaders find this intermediate solution so unimaginable?

Read more at: http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/rogoff81/English

June 18, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption internationally, Internationally significant information, Jane Burgermeister Report | Leave a comment

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