nettime's_scapegoat | 6 Jul 10:44 2015

Varoufakis: Minister No More!


Minister No More!

   Posted on July 6, 2015 by yanisv

   The referendum of 5^th July will stay in history as a unique moment
   when a small European nation rose up against debt-bondage.

   Like all struggles for democratic rights, so too this historic
   rejection of the Eurogroup's 25th June ultimatum comes with a large
   price tag attached. It is, therefore, essential that the great capital
   bestowed upon our government by the splendid NO vote be invested
   immediately into a YES to a proper resolution - to an agreement that
   involves debt restructuring, less austerity, redistribution in favour
   of the needy, and real reforms.

   Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware
   of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted
   `partners', for my... `absence' from its meetings; an idea that the
   Prime Minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an
   agreement. For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today.

   I consider it my duty to help Alexis Tsipras exploit, as he sees fit,
   the capital that the Greek people granted us through yesterday's

   And I shall wear the creditors' loathing with pride.

   We of the Left know how to act collectively with no care for the
(Continue reading)

Clive Crook: Europe Wants to Punish Greece With Exit


Europe Wants to Punish Greece With Exit

   Clive Crook
   494 Jul 1, 2015 12:01 AM EDT
   By Clive Crook

   In my more than 30 years writing about politics and economics, I have
   never before witnessed such an episode of sustained, self-righteous,
   ruinous and dissembling incompetence -- and I'm not talking about
   Alexis Tsipras and Syriza. As the damage mounts, the effort to rewrite
   the history of the European Union's abject failure over Greece is
   already underway. Pending a fuller postmortem, a little clarity on the
   immediate issues is in order.

   On Monday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said at a
   news conference that he'd been betrayed by the Greek government.

   The creditor institutions, he said, had shown flexibility and sought
   compromise. Their most recent offer involved no wage cuts, he
   emphasized, and no pension cuts; it was a package that created "more
   social fairness." Tsipras had misled Greeks about what the creditors
   were asking. The talks were getting somewhere. Agreement on this
   package could have been reached "easily" if Tsipras hadn't collapsed
   the process early Saturday by calling a referendum.

   Related: Greece Default Watch

   What an outrageous passel of distortion. Since these talks began five
(Continue reading)

nettime's avid reader | 4 Jul 10:44 2015

Paul Mason: Greece's mass psychology of revolt will survive the

original to:

Greece's mass psychology of revolt will survive the financial carpet-bombing
by Paul Mason, July 4, 2015

Sunday’s referendum is taking place against the background of a kind of
financial warfare. If the idea is to terrorise the population, it has only
half worked

When Times correspondent George Steer entered the city of Guernica in
April 1937, what struck him were the incongruities. He noted precisely the
bombing tactics “which may be of interest to students of the new military
science”. But his report begins with a long paragraph describing the
city’s ceremonial oak tree and its role in the Spanish feudal system.

Sitting in Athens this week, I began to understand how Steer felt.
Sunday’s referendum took place under a kind of financial warfare not seen
in the history of modern states. The Greek government was forced to close
its banks after the European Central Bank, whose job is technically to
keep them open, refused to do so. The never-taxed and never-registered
broadcasters of Greece did the rest, spreading panic, and intensifying it
where it had already taken hold.

When the prime minister made an urgent statement live on the state
broadcaster, some rival, private news channels refused to cut to the live
feed. Greek credit cards ceased to work abroad. Some airlines cancelled
all ticketing arrangements with the country. Some employers laid off their
staff. One told them they would be paid only if they turned up at an
anti-government demonstration. Martin Schulz, the socialist president of
(Continue reading)

V M | 4 Jul 10:48 2015

From Greece to Goa: The Anatomy of Debt Traps

The entire world is watching Greece with bated breath this week, as
its new socialist government attempts to navigate through a thorny
economic crisis that poses unprecedented threats to the nascent
Euro-zone, the imprimatur of the international banking system led by
the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank,
as well as the fragile recovery that has followed the global financial
crisis of 2007-08. But Greece is not alone in drowning in huge public
debt—many other countries are nearly as badly situated, and several
states in India—including Goa—now carry similarly worrying burdens.

How did Greece—a developed country integrated into the very wealthy
European Union—manage to slide into such a grave predicament? The
short answer is simple enough: The country kept spending more than it
collected in tax revenues, mainly to keep investing in grandiose and
unnecessary infrastructure (such as the lavish stadia for the 2004
Olympic Games), and to distribute as sops to government cronies. Greek
political and economic elites were addicted to cheap borrowing from
(mainly German and French) banks, taking out ever-increasing loans to
settle ever-increasing interest payments. That party ended in 2009
when the possibility of default became clear. Since that point, Greece
has struggled to borrow money to service existing debt, and has been
forced to pay market-level interest rates that dug its economic hole
so deep that IMF now says there is no possibility of repayment for at
least 20 years.

While there are many similarities between the position Greece finds
itself and the predicament of other countries and states—including
(Continue reading)

Michael Gurstein | 4 Jul 03:04 2015

Flashmob choir interrupts TTIP congress - Boing Boing

   > The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a secret EU/US
   trade agreement that "puts the right to profit above all other rights,"
   in the words of one MEP.
   > Like its cousin, the Trans Pacific Partnership, TTIP is being
   negotiated by trade officials and industry reps, without any oversight
   from elected legislators and without any participation by citizens'
   groups, environmental groups, or labor groups. And like TPP, it is
   expected to arrive with Investor State Dispute Settlement provisions
   that lets offshore corporations sue your government to overturn the
   democratically enacted environmental, labor and safety laws that
   undermine their profitability.
   > At a pro-TTIP congress where the Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister was
   promoting the treaty, a flashmob of attendees stood up singly and then
   in bunches, singing "Do You Hear the People Sing?" a rousing
   revolutionary song from Les Miserables, as the moderator sputtered with
   comic ineffectualness into the microphone. It's a hell of a video.
   > At this point, you may be asking yourself, well, so what? It's not
   like interrupting this one meeting will stop TTIP from grinding on.
   > You're right. This won't stop it.
   > The reason TTIP and TPP are steamrolling on is that, like all the
   most dangerous evils in the world, they are profoundly boring. It is
   virtually impossible to get anyone out there interested in them, and so
(Continue reading)

Felix Stalder | 2 Jul 18:23 2015

The Hard Line on Greece

The Hard Line on Greece

June 29, 2015
Andrew Ross Sorkin

In July 2012, Timothy F. Geithner, the United States Treasury
secretary at the time, traveled to Sylt, an island off Germany in the
North Sea.

Mr. Geithner was there for a meeting with Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s
finance minister, who would spend his summers at his vacation home on
the tiny island.

The topic was Greece.

In the home’s library, the two men spoke about Greece’s prospects and
begun discussing ways for the European Union to keep the country in
the eurozone.

To Mr. Geithner’s dismay, however, Mr. Schäuble took the conversation
in a different direction.

“He told me there were many in Europe who still thought kicking the
Greeks out of the eurozone was a plausible — even desirable —
strategy,” Mr. Geithner later recounted in his memoir, “Stress Test:
Reflections on Financial Crises.” “The idea was that with Greece out,
Germany would be more likely to provide the financial support the
eurozone needed because the German people would no longer perceive aid
(Continue reading)

Geert Lovink | 2 Jul 13:50 2015

Google admits it was wrong protesting against the

Google admits it was wrong on ???right to be forgotten???
Contribution by Joe McNamee, EDRi

In the widely publicised ???Google/Spain??? ruling of the European Court of
Justice (CJEU), it was decided that the results of Google searches
sometimes infringe the rights of individuals. In such circumstances,
individuals can complain ??? to Google in the first instance ??? and ask for
searches involving their name to be de-linked from the unfair results.

Google reacted furiously to the ruling, arguing that ???the balance that
was struck was wrong???. This was followed by the publication of
comparatively low (bearing in mind the huge amount of publicity) numbers
of complaints to Google to de-link content. On 29 June 2015, the total
number of requests received by Google was 276 580, which is
approximately three percent of the total number of copyright-related
removal requests that Google approves every week.

Subsequently, at a meeting of Liberal Member of European Parliament
(MEP) Sophie In't Veld's ???Privacy Platform???, Google's Privacy Counsel
Peter Fleischer got himself into a tangle where he simultaneously argued:
- that it is ???obvious??? that Google should act on some of the complaints
it receives, as it is clear that the rights of individuals are being
- that Google should de-link only relevant results in the national
search engines (such as or for instance), but not on and;
- by implication, therefore, that the ???obvious??? damage to the
individuals in question should be allowed to continue via searches
carried out via its gobal .com domain.

(Continue reading)

nettime's panic room | 2 Jul 12:44 2015

Fear-mongering is the enemy of democracy

The Tories always use Project Fear to get their way at the ballot box,
and the same tactic is used when the Greek people are asked to choose
between the hell they know and one they can only imagine

Wednesday 1 July 2015 20.00 BST
Suzanne Moore

Project Fear stalks Europe. In suits and ties and chaffeur-driven
cars, in hurried meetings, in corridors blaring with strip lights,
around the cabinet tables, in meetings where strategy is scrawled on
whiteboards, in advertising agencies where earnest young people
compete to unsettle us in the most effective ways.

Perhaps I am too old and dreamy to think that politics was ever about
anything other than fear; that hope is a necessity not a luxury.
Surely I know, really, that when you want someone to vote a certain
way you have to frighten them into thinking that any alternative is
worse. We may not know what we like, but we sure as hell as know what
we don’t like.

Project Fear is not a paranoid delusion of mine. This phrase was used
by the Conservatives in the last election and the pro-UK Better
Together campaign. It was part of Lynton Crosby’s tactics to scare
those in marginal seats by suggesting that a Labour vote meant a vote
for a smarmy thief or a snappy dominatrix in the form of Alex Salmond
or Nicola Sturgeon. It mostly worked. People don’t like being ruled by
people from another country, except, of course, if you are actually
(Continue reading)

Patrice Riemens | 2 Jul 06:57 2015

Paul Mason: Greece in chaos: will

original to:

Greece in chaos: will Syriza's last desperate gamble pay off?
Paul Mason
Monday 29 June 2015

The banks are closed, the bailout referendum is looming  -- and Europe's
only far-left government is struggling to hold on to its mass support. In
less than a week, it will either be triumphant or finished

If it all ends on Monday, with the Greeks voting for austerity in order to
keep the euro, the first far-left party to hold office in modern Europe
will be judged by its critics a failure.

By calling a referendum, Syriza has gambled that it can strengthen its
hand in negotiations with its lenders. But with no extension to its
bailout programme, and emergency funds from the European Central Bank
(ECB) on a knife-edge, the move has prompted this week's "bank holiday"
and the rationing of cash at ATMs.

With the opposition and business groups warning of economic catastrophe,
Syriza  -- which means "coalition of the radical left"  -- faces a nailbiting
week. What is at stake is whether this party of around 20,000 members can
hold the left half of Greek society together long enough to force the
lenders to negotiate  -- or whether it will crash and burn under the
pressure of popular anger and disillusion.

If they win, on the other hand, they will be seen as heroes by opponents
of austerity across Europe.
(Continue reading)

Moritz Bartl | 2 Jul 03:06 2015

Dead Tree Lovers -- Call for Books


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 ||              |===| .---.   __   .---| |XX|<(*)>|_|^^^|||
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   tl;dr: We want your books. Send them to us.

   In December 2014, over 500 books were brought to Chaos
   Communication Congress in Hamburg for an experiment:
   During the busy days of Congress, with over 12.000
(Continue reading)

nettime's_access_point | 1 Jul 21:20 2015

Ars Technica > Kenya to require users of public Wi-Fi to register with government


Law & Disorder / Civilization & Discontents

Kenya to require users of public Wi-Fi to register with government

New Internet regs will require cafs, hotels to log device owner data.

   by Sean Gallagher - Jul 1, 2015 2:16 pm UTC

   The head of Kenya's Communications Authority, Francis Wangusi,
   announced a new set of regulations on Tuesday aimed at combatting
   cybercrime in the country. The new rules would require all users of
   devices with wireless networking capability to register their devices
   with the Kenya Network Information Centre (KENIC)--much in the same way
   that some US states require registration of assault rifles and sex

   Yesterday, in a speech before the annual general meeting of the
   Association of Regulators of Information and Communications for Eastern
   and Southern Africa (ARICEA), Wangusi said, "We will license KENIC to
   register device owners using their national identity cards and
   telephone numbers. The identity of a device will be known when it
   connects to Wi-Fi." He also said that the Communications Authority
   would set up a forensics laboratory within three months to "proactively
   monitor impending cybersecurity attacks, detect reactive cybercrime,
   and link up with the judiciary in the fight," according to a report
   from Kenya's Daily Nation.

   The registry will enable Kenyan authorities to "be able to trace people
(Continue reading)