Tag Archives: Ekathimerini

SW2, not WW2

Is there a Syrian War 2 brewing? That was the initial thought I had when I got exposed to the ridiculous claims from Turkey this morning. There are two parts. the first comes from the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/19/turkey-warns-assad-not-intervene-kurdish-enclave-afrin), the quote is “Turkey warned the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad that it risked a military confrontation with Ankara if it intervened in an ongoing war in the Kurdish enclave of Afrin, in a further escalation of tensions that hint at the possible widening of an already complex conflict“, now, just to make sure you get this. Turkey invaded Syria for the alleged reason of coming to aid towards Assad, or perhaps merely to ‘fight ISIS‘ in a presentation attempt to silently start the second genocide, the genocide of the Kurdish people. So Turkey goes invades Syria and now states: “Turkey warned the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad that it risked a military confrontation with Ankara if it intervened“, so how is optionally opposing an invader ‘intervening‘?

The second part comes from the BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-43107013), where we see basically the same with ‘Afrin offensive: Turkey warns Syria against helping Kurds‘. So when we read “Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said Turkey’s operations were going ahead as planned and it would be a “disaster” if Syrian troops were to intervene“, should we deduce that a failed introduction to genocide is a ‘disaster‘?

Even as we see the similarities, we see that the issue is larger than merely a scuffle between the Turks and the Kurds, the way we see the quotes and the way that they are reported give rise to the fact that there are other issues below the waterline. It is not merely semantics, it is the interaction that Turkey has been having with several nations gives that rise and the optional viewing of that should make plenty of people worried at the very least and decently nervous in the nominal setting of international relationships.

The BBC article ends with “President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Russia’s Vladimir Putin that Damascus would face “consequences” if it struck a deal with the Kurds, CNN Turk reported on Monday“. So, Erdogan, President of Turkey, a person with not much diplomatic skills or powers outside of Turkey for that matter, is telling Putin….? Oh, sorry, I nearly lost my breakfast laughing myself into several layers of bellyaches. It is almost as impactful and powerful as me calling Alexander Bortnikov, telling him to give me access to all his data, or he is going to hear ‘stuff he will not like‘ (most likely me calling him a pussy). Yes, people like the President of the Russian Federation, or the director of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (Федеральная служба безопасности Российской Федерации (ФСБ)) getting told by the likes of President Erdogan (or me for that matter) is something they should take extremely serious (sorry, second laughing attack, I will be back shortly). So, after I had my second laughing attack that lasted close to 611 seconds, I got back into my seat and decided to take another gander at a few parts. You see, the nice part of such short sighted actions is that it alienates the players Turkey actually desperately needs. Which in turn is making Iran more and more nervous, which is good news for several countries in the Middle East. The interesting part in all this that he BBC reported “During the course of the Syrian war, pro-government forces have largely avoided direct conflict with the YPG, but they have had sporadic clashes“, which now gives the optional food for thought that Syria might actually set some resources that way with the optional thought that they will not be targeting the YPG, because if we agree that direct conflict was never a real necessity, the Turkish forces changing that by sticking their short stick in a hornets nest, that part would be the greater threat to Syria, which now gets them into hot water is a few places and on several ways. In addition, it will also change the conversation that is going to happen in Kazakhstan in two weeks, giving more questions if there is still going to be a summit in Istanbul on Syria. The changing pressures are by no means a way to get things talked about and smoothed over. Even as Reuters gives us: “The three countries are working together to try to push the troubled Syrian peace process forward“, we need to also consider the mandate that Tehran gave to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as the outbursts from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is pushing its own agenda whilst at the same time causing chaos towards the plans that Iran seemed to be having in all this, his self-serving hatred of Kurdistan is making the creation of coalitions next to impossible. With the Netherlands adding fuel to the fire of Turkish non-diplomacy, as they have now voted to recognise the Armenian genocide of 1915, pressures are growing there too, at a time when Turkey needed every European nation to be on his side regarding the non-realistic approach to becoming an EU nation, we see that the gap is increasing beyond the chance of that ever becoming a reality. The Turkish parties kicking every hornets nest in the Middle East is not very useful. On the other hand, Turkey could decide after Kicking both the US and Russia, to see if this level of craziness is useful in Beijing, which it is unlikely to be unless they open up all kinds of open trade paths which might actually be a lot less interesting to Turkey, especially at a time when Turkey is trying to get increased Cherry exports to China in time for the next harvest, the need to grow their export which according to some is in excess of 80,000 tons, they are now in a stage where they can no longer afford to get on anyone else’s wrong side, which must be a novel experience for the Turkish Diplomatic Corps.

All this whilst the issues in Greece and Cyprus are at present still unresolved, with the Ekathimerini making a connection between the report published on March 28, 1897 in Empros newspaper where we get: “referred to a foreign diplomat who described Greeks’ behaviour in relation to Turkey as that of a dog that barks, but does not bite. We all know what followed, but we still tend to forget how bad it is in international affairs when you bark, but no one really feels any threat“, and the escalations on gas resources at present, that whilst there is a certain logic to make the statement, especially when we consider Europe, NATO and the UN is seen in relation to: “where tensions broke out between Greece and Turkey, these organizations never really offered anything more than carefully worded statements“, that is the situation when we rely on the paper tiger to get things done. So when we read: “Athens must be very careful in weighing its next moves. It’s a balance of terror. If it shows compliancy, one can’t be certain where the other side will stop“, whilst we all know perfectly well that Ankara will not stop until forcefully halted. As the article ends with the absence of emotion in the Turkish-Greek debates, the issue is that the theatre is getting prepared to get very emotional from more than one side. Turkey almost has no options left after kicking all the wrong shins. In my view, when Syria escalates and escalates in one wrong direction we will get a flood of orchestrated news (whilst journalists have been sentenced to life in prison) and from there onwards it becomes a long winded marketing campaign, because Turkey seems to be realising that the US, the UN and Europe are all about statements and statements alone. Which is a dangerous game as it could press towards a second Syrian war where the Syrian Kurdish area could get annexed into Turkey and its population would optionally somehow mysteriously vanish.

So, how should we see the optional threat of a second Syrian war? that is hard to see, with too many high level meetings, with the latest addition being one with the Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to meet in April in Turkey, there is no telling what it will actually be about. Even as we have seen from enough sources that it will be about Syria, there is in my personal view absolutely no way that it will just be about Syria, especially as the meetings are going to be behind closed doors. That view is made stronger when we consider the news merely a few days ago when Kirill Dmitriev, the chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), told CNBC “We’re at the breaking point in positive territory of this relationship … We really embarked on an amazing positive journey“, that in light of Iranian issues and the fact that President Putin’s face is on the homepage of the RFID gives enough indication that nothing happens there without the explicit approval from more than one key member of the Kremlin and there lies the complication, The meeting around Syria is set in a stage where all three have separate agenda’s. Turkey has the Kurdistan region, Russia has a truckload of billions it can win with Saudi Arabia and Iran is extremely opposing anything pro-Saudi Arabia, as well as having a few additional issues regarding Yemen, who would really like Russia to become a mediator here, so the Syrian talks will come with close to half a dozen unscheduled stress points. So, when we see these issues in the lights that can be confirmed, will Syria see more or less stability?

Less stability is not a given, but the premise of it happening is actually more realistic than I would have foreseen less than a year ago.

 

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A Syrian Reality

Another day, another mention of Aleppo, Syria and events. Hilary Benn speaks of the shame we all should feel. Yet, here we have an issue. Not with his sentiment, but with the clarity of who or what is in charge. Now that the UN has another meeting, labelled as ’emergency’, it is time for people to realise that labels are no longer things to see You see, CNN states ‘descent into hell‘, I say ‘the reality of choice‘. As we now see that Assad, with Russian aid secures the news like ‘Syrian Government Forces Are Close to Full Liberation of Aleppo City’ and ‘Syrian army gaining control of Aleppo eastern quarters’ we need to realise that America is no longer the leader of the free world, that it is too bankrupt to be calling any shots other than commercial deals (read: trade agreements) to feed its own greed. The fact that Libya has now asked Russia to intervene on its behalf. As General Khalifa Haftar is meeting with Russian minister to seek help, we now all need to realise that we are chasing the consent from an empty bag names America. Only now, well over a year too late are pundits all over the media field considering a change. Those who some consider to be half baked evangelical procrastinators of social sciences are now considering that Frexit ‘might’ happen. The data was clearly there for well over 26 weeks. Just like they were trying to stay buddies with those running the gravy trains, Brexit was ignored for too long and Frexit is very nearly a given next. When you consider the quote two weeks ago in the Guardian “Kenny’s administration in Dublin to strongly back any French attempt to gain more concessions from Brussels to prevent a possible ‘Frexit’“, we can now start quoting South Park (Oh my god, they killed Kenny) whilst Ireland is considering the dangers it is manoeuvring itself in.

What about Syria?

Yes, that is the question, because for the most, no one gives a dams about Syria! This is a harsh reality. When you look at the cold reality for Syria, you will consider that the natural resources of Syria include iron ore, crude oil, phosphate rock, manganese ore, asphalt, marble, rock salt, and gypsum. Most can be gotten in many places, whilst oil value is in the basement and iron ore is in an even worse place. The large corporations do not care for any of these substances, so as such The American Congress is speaking a lot, not saying much and acting even less. The evidence is all around you. This outgoing Democratic failure has done next to nothing substantial. We see mention of weapon support. It is less than it should be and likely done to write off old equipment or get some parties a tax breaks (personal assumption), it never amounted to anything serious. The same could be stated for the United Kingdom, who with the US was involved with Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, because the growth of ISIL is scary for both of them. In my view, if there is any hero to be laureled in this mess than it would be the doctors who despite this level of ignoring are still trying to aspire the best the medical profession has to offer, in my view, most of these doctors are worth of any recognition that equals the Victorian Cross (American equivalent: Medal of Honor).

The grim reality of life set to value is that the morality of the things that President Assad was accused of. Perhaps some people remember how a little over 5 years ago, the unrest of the 2011 Arab Spring escalated to armed conflict after President Bashar al-Assad’s government violently repressed protests calling for his removal. Soon thereafter we had the issue that the government of a sovereign nation retaliated against those who were seeking to overthrow that government. This is the issue, you see, many of these nations had to deal with massive gaps in quality and quantity of life. There was a great deal of dissatisfaction that led to opposition and uprising against these governments and as such things escalated. There have been widely distributed claims that the US government’s support of the uprisings fuelled actions, funded largely by the National Endowment for Democracy (www.ned.org). This in an age where people in non-governmental places seem to think that whatever they do the US government had its back. Yet the outgoing Democratic Party had no money left, even worse, the total national debt is expected to hit 20 trillion just when President-elect Donald Trump gets into office. He gets a building to temporary live in and a debt that will take more than 3 generations to remove. Whatever happens, their choice will be American based, American focussed and there will be no space for any military action of any kind unless it is due to a direct attack on America. In all of this Syria is not mentioned, because for the players at large, it has no value, not the living, the dead or the national resources. For the next 8 years at least there is every indication that Russia will get a near cart blanch to grow its influence and after this December 2016 there is plenty of evidence that this will come with full Syrian backing, and likely Libyan backing too.

So this now ups the ante for Israel and in addition, it will require the allies and friends of Israel to up their game by a lot, because this game implies that the next cold war comes with one player short, an empty intelligence coffer and a much wider supported Russia. I reckon that Alexander Bortnikov will be having some very comfortable lunches with Sergey Lavrov. I can only assume that black bread and borscht will not be on the menu, Pancake! (Internal FSB translation joke).

These events are very much at the core because the US security council has the US and Russia in opposition, so that part is not expected to get into action, the only benefit here is that China could side with US, not because of any Syrian humanitarian need, but if the US gets committed here, the US economic prospects go down further, which would suit China just fine. In my view, if there is anything to be salvaged, than it needs to be Jordan, not Syria. If we actually have any regard for lives, than the support for Jordan, for its infrastructure and resources is essential as it has been trying to give support to 1.4 million refugees (Syrians and officially registered refugees).

Let this sink in readers, we are bickering all over the world on how many refugees we should take and Jordan has added 25% of its entire population from refugees and Syrians. That whilst Jordan has always had a shortage of water and a few other resources. In my view, the actions of King Abdullah II of Jordan seem to me to be more worthy of a Nobel Peace prize a lot more than the one given to President Barack Obama ever was. I am not ignoring the issues at the Jordanian border, the given fact by Al Jazeera et al that there tens of thousands of refugees stuck in no man’s land. Yet Jordan already has 1.4 million, 25% of its entire population, they have done more than most nations have considered. That part, will be opposed and countered by nearly every nation, but that is the grim reality. I feel certain that Jordan was not working with open arms, yet when we see the few thousand that are in Greece (OK, a little over 10% of those in Jordan), the fact that Syrians (as reported by Ekathimerini) have been quoted that compared to life as a refugee in Greece, they would have preferred to have stayed in Syria. Tell me, when a person prefers to take their chances and live in an active war zone, how bad are you as a nation? Now, we can agree that Greece was in a really bad place before the Syrian refugees arrived, so that did not help the Greeks any, also their lack of any infrastructure to deal with these amount of refugees must also be accepted.

In all these matters discussed, big business have remained silent, inert and lacking actual action that make a difference. In addition, as Donald Trump is stated to make a policy change that it will be ‘America First’, which under their economic climate is fair enough, when the dust settles and President Bashar Hafez al-Assad sits on his ‘throne’ as victor, how many nations will move forward trying to do ‘business’ with Syria? How many will enter the quote ‘moving forward’ in their speeches and statements? You see, the reality of any nation has forever been that those with empty coffers do not govern, the US is figuring that out the hard way, because its actions and messages on a global scale are ignored by too many players for it not to be the case. In the end, these trade deals have a one sided benefit for American companies. They would still get to sue other governments, whilst the President-elect is moving towards the tactic of: “Instead, we will negotiate fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores“, and here I will be honest, it is pretty much the only option that the US has and no one can fault America for that, just realise that those who would have enacted the TTIP/TPP would have learned the hard way that American corporations would have sued governments for the mere profit of it. That too would bring money to America, and their board of directors. In all this, in light of Brexit/Frexit and now these trade deals, we see a massive lack of national legal protection in these ‘deals’, this whilst these corporations have only consented to continue certain factories when the tax breaks are juicy enough. When that falls away, those claimed economic national benefits fall away too and even today, certain taxations that wold have been seen as fair as those places took away billions, now that the economic weather changes, nations at large need to consider where to move to next. It is that weather that made me evangelize stronger bonds with the Indian pharmaceutical industry. Most nations have a growing need for generic medication and places like Syria, Jordan and Greece even more. Yet the people who should have realised this seem to be pushing for any pharmaceutical deal with America, whilst the players all know that there will be no local benefit, none at all, so again we see now that the Trump thinks like a business man, which is what the social left is not getting (read: comprehending), whilst they ignored the tax reform essentials, they keep on giving money from empty coffers, that party is over and those not adjusting their view will be in the cold soon enough. This also means that certain values change. This is the grim reality for Syrians, their value is none and have been so for some time. Not on a humanitarian scale, but the nations at large have no funds there, so we see that we turn our backs on a situation we cannot change and we cannot influence, in my personal view, mainly because some lawmakers were asleep at the wheel in setting up trade deals and certain tax loop holes (read: these loopholes were purely incidental and coincidental, not in any way orchestrated). Now we have to choose between economic hardship and humanitarian ‘sound’ suicide, how is that a choice?

So here we are, seeing another iteration of ‘boo hoo hoo’ Syria, we all know it, we all agree and we cannot do anything, mainly because those who could, gave away the keys to the castle and the executive washroom. Those who are now in charge are setting the pace and none of them want a war where they get nothing out of. This is the mere reality of an economic driven political society of elected officials. No monarchy would ever abide by that. Should you see that the Libyan and Syrian deal have no influence, when you hear someone preach just that, and how America will get on top soon enough, also feel free to investigate the connections that are now happening between Egypt and Russia. A new air base on the Mediterranean close to the Libyan border, so as America moved out, Europe is getting surrounded by Russian bases, if we include the now permanent Russian Naval base in Syria. This is why Israel needs to change its game, because it is not outside of the realm of issues that Mossad now needs to refocus their attentions to foreign operations and data gathering. A field that the Russian have been decently good at. They do have one advantage, Sergey Yevgenyevich Naryshkin might be highly intelligent; he lacks experience and is relatively new to the job. If he ends up relying on the heads of Political Intelligence and Illegal Intelligence, the game changes, because those two are not the newbies we would want them to be and the Middle East desk will be the new hot potato for Intelligence Officers with a scent for promotion for at least 5 years (read: Mossad will have to deal with Intelligence ego’s from all over Europe). My weird sense of humour would try to push those two into the marching path of General-Lieutenant Igor Valentinovich Korobov, a proud man and as per 2016 the new head of the GRU, pride is something that often be used against that very same person.

Why mention these matters, what is their impact on Syrian refugees?

No matter what happens in the coming 3 weeks, when the dust settles, most nations would want these refugees to return to Syria, many Syrians want to return to Syria, but that place is in rubble and those people have nothing left. Syria will be a construction heaven for Russian entrepreneurs for decades to come, also meaning that the economic times will change and the Middle East picture we had of it will have changed more than many understand or want to take for granted. The Arab spring will soon be seen as a temporary thing that was not the success people wanted and proclaimed it to be. Some in those fields will object and counter with all kinds of manipulated data, in addition the press will give a few more articles on how the Arab spring was the only way and it was a good way, yet when we see that Russian influence is rising all over the Mediterranean, and now with Morocco raising the tourist numbers for China and Russia, it could be interpreted that a first signal is given to Sergey Lavrov that a conversation of interest is soon to be an option. In my personal view, one of two corridors of travel for ISIS ends up being in Russian hands. If not correctly countered we will see a radically shifted view of northern Africa with America no longer being any form of player there. This also reflects on Syria, because these nations will allow Russia to set up an empty trade house where they are merely the middle man in commerce between Syrians and Northern African partners, so suddenly there will be large economic growth (moving from zero that will always be the case) and it will push a shift in other ways too. It is the Grim reality we face, because the actual culprit was greed and we have seen how both America and the European Economic Community was unwilling and unable to act against it, which is why we will only see a stronger push for Frexit and Brexit. A move that scares the US, because the Euro and the Dollar are too closely tied and this dissolving action will be seen as the nightmare scenario by the IMF and Wall Street, where the question now becomes: who is speaking for whom?

 

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Family of my enemy

There are all these expressions, like for example: ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend‘. In this day and age, in the one place, the one moment when Marine Le Pen has a growing chance of becoming President of France, her father, for whatever reason is now trying to thwart her chances. This is the one clear evidence that ‘Family of my enemy is my friend‘. The quote “threatened his daughter and sent her an ultimatum, to ensure the “unity of her movement and of the national movement“, must make François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy howl with laughter. Euro Disney could not come up with this plot! In addition, the quote “We must not lose part of our political capital in the hope to conquer others. You have to be yourself”, which reads like: ‘be the ultimate extremist of yourself, as outspoken as possible‘. The reality is that some will listen to the very old man, giving rise to internal opposition towards Front National. I still believe that an actual Brexit will give a massive sway towards Marine Le Pen. There are two factors that will change it. The first one is either Hollande or Sarkozy to get on the Frexit horse, this would be the most powerful deflator for Front National and here is the kicker. If Hollande does this before the Brexit vote they will actually expedite that what neither wants. We have seen in the previous round that they will combine powers just to prevent Marine Le Pen from winning, which could be seen as betraying ones constituency on one side and in my book there is no other side. The entire approach reeks towards the fact that Sarkozy and Hollande will do anything to stay in the Euro and keep Front National out of Élysée Palace. Is that truly representing ones constituency? We can argue for either side. Yet it could all be moot if Mademoiselle’s Le Pen’s daddy goes extreme. Her victory could turn instantly from definite into possibly, maybe. This is not a solution for her side, which the other players definitely love. So the problem for her side is now starting to grow. Her chances are growing fast, but only if she can get a handle on daddy dearest. For her opposition this is great, should their dreams come true, if they escape defeat by Le Pen, the speculation would become whether the gilded tombstone will read ‘Jean-Marie Le Pen, deceased, as is Front National, I killed my own party and we never got to govern because I would not trust my children‘, which could end up becoming a tourist attraction, which is also good for France.

Yet, the issue does not stop in France, recently we have seen issues rise in both the Netherlands and Italy. First the Netherlands. For this I will use the Irish times as a source, so you won’t need to learn the complications of Google Translate. For example ‘schijt lijster’ does not mean ‘shit thrush’, but ‘coward’. So let’s take a look at a decent version of reporting, where (at http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2016/02/geert-wilders-is-a-threat-to-democracy-says-labour-chairman/), we saw earlier this month “Wilders told a gathering of far right parties in Milan 10 days ago: ‘If I am the biggest and the other politicians won’t work with me, then the people will not accept that. Then there will be a revolt. We won’t let that happen“, which is a fair enough statement to make. The statement “Wilders has ‘let the genie out of the bottle’ with his calls for ‘resistance’ to the establishment of refugee centres and warnings that his supporters will ‘revolt’ if the PVV is not part of the next government, Spekman said” is in that context not correct, what Geert Wilders has stated that if he becomes the biggest (which is statistical likelihood at present) the other parties would need to work with him. This is at the core of the Dutch issue. In the past, not entirely unjustified did parties turn their back and all support away from the PVV, which in light of Dutch liberalism, if THEY think it is too extreme, there should be an issue. What becomes partially the issue is “The threats being made against local politicians are an attack on democratic decision-forming, the Labour party chairman said. Wilders, Spekman said, should take back his words. ‘The genie has to be put back in the bottle and Wilders has a role in doing that.’“, this is not correct. You see, for a long time there has been a growing aversion against more refugees. The Netherlands, pretty much the smallest nation in Europe is 7th on the GDP list, largely through transport and processing services. It has a comparable GDP with Turkey but is only 5% in size. It has a population size that is only 3 million less than Romania, yet 16% it’s size. So a population pressure that is 5 times higher. In addition, the local population have for a long time made the argument that the value of houses would decrease when a refugee centre would be added in near proximity. However, that last fact has never been proven with factual data, partially as the Dutch house market has had many fluctuations.

In light given another part is also ignored. When we see “threats being made against local politicians are an attack on democratic decision-forming“, there is a clear side that is ignored. The fact that the population is more and more agitated by these events is also a clear sign that political parties are about international visibility. The voter has been ignored too many times, this is exactly why the PVV had grown too much. Local politicians proclaiming to be international players all in the interest of ‘self’ is why this shift is happening. In addition, to some extent I still believe that a coalition government should be seen as the most corrupt form of democracy (not just a personal view). We see on how politicians will advocate ‘a little water added to the wine‘, this has been happening in the Netherlands since the 80’s, which means the politicians all get what they need, but the population gets a mix, no longer having the ability to differentiate water from wine. What they are left with won’t kill them, but it should be regarded as undrinkable. The people at large have had enough. The fact that the PVV is now regarded in the Netherlands as the largest party is a blemish on the political shield. The true political titans that the Netherlands had like Joop den Uyl, Hans Wiegel, Dries van Agt and Hans van Mierlo. These titans were true politicians, when den Uyl fought van Agt on the political battlefield it was a sight to behold, there was a true fight for their constituents. I believe that this fight is gone, as a majority is no longer an option it became about compromise and from the 90’s onwards there was too much compromise where parties gave in to big business and certain scandals (there will always be scandals in every nation) were almost a cornerstone of political office.

It is not really that much of a wonder that Geert Wilders grew to the extent he has. This now reflects back to France. As France is now making more and more compromises (Team Hollande/Sarkozy), we see a local population that has had enough. A united Europe has brought them too little, or nothing at all. In that regard many European nations are now more and more pushing the ‘nationalism’ button, after too much hardship the people are accepting that story, even though in the back of their mind they know it will not bring any ease to their hardship. After a harsh decade where large corporations gave millions to their top dozen, these people will now try ‘anything else’. It is the ‘else’ part that is bringing the problems known as Brexit and Frexit.

So in countering the statement by the Dutch Chairman of the Labour party, I would state “Mr Spekman, your party lost close to 50% of its power, because of self-serving bias. The pension plan is perhaps the most visible one. A long fight that had no option of getting won. Instead of fighting a useless battle, accepting the reality of a sliding age of retirement and presenting the demand for reinforcements and growth of the total pensions, giving way to a more secure future would have been the real solution. Your party never sold it correctly and did not terms of preparations which would have made all the difference. You lost the faith of your constituents!” which would have been my response to that disaster. In that light people are now listening to someone else, it is not up to me to decide whether he is the wrong person.

In light of that, as he stated in a Dutch Newspaper “Het optreden van Geert Wilders brengt democratie en rechtsstaat in gevaar“, “The acts of Geert pose a threat to democracy and the rule of law“, is that truly the case? If he is a threat to the rule of law, he would be breaking the law and he can be prosecuted, he cannot be a threat to democracy, in that light, you and your posse (your coalition partners) are that threat. The threat is there because the people have been ignored for too long and they (well over 25% have had enough), in that light, how often will a Dutch politician state ‘it is a complex situation‘ to avoid giving a clear answer? How many of the clear answers given turned out to be ‘half-truths’ or ‘incomplete answers’? In that light, who is the threat to democracy? In that light, Mr Spekman should realise (fast) that should the PVV win, he has no option, but to either find a way to work or to create a minority coalition. Should that happen, than perhaps Mr Spekman might want to try to remember what happened on August 20th 1672 and especially WHY it happened.

Even as the mood in France is not that grim, the issues are now quickly evolving. The investigation into the Nicolas Sarkozy 2012 election charges, which according to the French population is not a good thing. According to the poll 77% regard Mr Sarkozy ‘a handicap’ to his party’s ambitions, within his party, it is Alain Juppe who has 55% of the votes within the party (at http://www.connexionfrance.com/france-politics-les-republicains-nicolas-sarkozy-president-francois-hollande-alain-juppe-survey-17738-view-article.html), in that light, as Sarkozy designed a coalition with Francois Hollande, who is dealing with disastrously low ratings. So as the two French parties are in turmoil, there is a clear path for Front National to get national gains beyond the two areas where they had an advantage. An option for Marine Le Pen that is now in danger as her daddy seems to have a failing level of logic and even less faith in his youthful young daughter.

Even in this light, there is still an issue with Greece, as their economy created the dangers of Brexit and Frexit in the first place. However, in this case it is NOT Greece that has the blame here. In this case, the refugee issues that are fuelling election, we see a Greece that is in the middle of a scenario they did NOT create. In that light we need to look at the issue of Austrian short-sightedness. Greece is the first port of call, not by choice, by mere geography. Austria seems to forget that Turkey (stupid is as stupid does) is doing what it can to get the people away from their turf into the next one (Greece). So the quote “Sebastian Kurz says that Greece has “clearly expressed no interest in reducing the (migrant) influx and in contrast wants to continue waving them through” ” is already a first issue, because the refugees DO NOT want to be in Greece, they want the juicy places like Germany and the UK. Which means that they will end up getting through Austria. In my view, how was Sebastian Kurz elected for office as he has such a failing view of geography and logic? Greece should have been the guest of honour at that event!

You see, people (read: refugees) need to be processed, they need to be identified and assessed on optional issues of security. That system would bring jobs and possible economic support to Greece, whilst the EEC gets the data it desperately needs. So as we see (at http://www.ekathimerini.com/206291/article/ekathimerini/news/austria-defends-excluding-greece-from-migrant-conference), so as we look at the quote “the conference is set up in a “regular format” that does not include Athens“, to which I reply: “such a conference requires intelligence and clear thinking, so Minister Kurz, will you therefor be equally absent?

That for the mere reason that the intelligence required would be the data your neighbours desperately needs (which includes Germany and Italy). I wonder if that conference will lead to anything truly productive, or will it just be good food, hookers and a few days away from their offices? I’ll let you readers contemplate that part.

All these events are interconnected, and it is not even the complete story as Italy is missing in all this, but that is for another day.

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Ruled by cowards

That was my first thought this morning, the Guardian is full of news, on how Greece “needs up to €60bn (£42bn) of extra funds over the next three years and large-scale debt relief to create “a breathing space” and stabilise the economy“. Really? In all this, no move will be made until after the referendum, but the fact that Greece goes a way they do not like, a 60 billion Euro carrot is thrown into the mix. So as we see that the IMF now reveals a deep split with Europe as it warned that Greece’s debts were “unsustainable”, which we already knew, we see absolutely nothing on the accountability of Greece, its choice of politicians and it taken political policies in the last decade.

Consider the rules at creditcard.com ‘Preteens should learn that borrowing money costs money, and that when you borrow, you make a promise to repay‘, now there are two main reasons why things go wrong, the first is because things change, a person loses his job, a town falls into recession, these are usually temporary issues, and a delay tends to solve matters. Yet when the child has a compulsive buying disorder, that person will have all the toys and all the goodies and no usable credit card. Last there is the group of people who are both in denial and rationalising, this applies to Greece and pretty much the political BULK of the EEC.

They are in denial that they overspent and they are rationalising why it was spent in the first place. Greece being the front runner, because Greece is now in the hot water tub. More important, several players are now stepping on the plate stating things like unsustainable and debt relief, which was a given for a long time, yet NO ONE is holding Greece accountable (at present), for the things they did. It will be pushed towards ‘it was the previous people’ and these people are not to blame. We can allow for both to be truths, yet the current administration has done NOTHING to make serious changes, changes to prevent this from happening from now on. This makes them equally guilty. So as the Guardian published yesterday ‘IMF says Greece needs extra €60bn in funds and debt relief‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jul/02/imf-greece-needs-extra-50bn-euros) and now follows it up with ‘IMF says no third bailout without debt relief‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/live/2015/jul/02/greek-debt-crisis-athens-creditors-referendum-yes-no-live) yesterday, it seems to me that the people behind the screens are slowly releasing information in an urge to keep the status quo going, the fact that this will hit everyone down the track is not their concern, like former Greek politicians, they will leave it for the next person to solve.

What a tangled web we weave!

Now, we see additional hilarious statements as Yanis Varoufakis starts spinning its tail. With messages like “Europe has taken a “Political decision to shut the banks down” as a way to force Greece to accept a non-viable decision” on Bloomberg. Let’s not forget that the ECB had to give Greece 3.3 billion in emergency cash, making the total of cash through the Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) €68.3bn (£50.3bn) (source: BBC), so this means, that whilst people can only get 60 euro’s a day, and as some source stated “Greek banks down to €500m in cash reserves as economy crashes“, we see that 11 million people could take out 660 million euro’s leaving absolutely no money left in the banks (or ATM’s for that matter), so, how about stating that the banks were closed because Greece had no money left? As a professor of Economy, I would hope that Yanis Varoufakis can use an abacus and calculate the dire situation for himself. Giving us the issue that as a politician he is spinning half-truths as I see it (I do accept that as a politician he had very little options to work with).

You see in all this, my massive issue is not the status this parliament is in, they were handed a really bad hand. It is the utter inaction that propelled this situation into the limelight. So why bash Tsipras and Varoufakis? That is the question I ask myself, because I must look at reasoning in all matters!

I have no hatred or ill feelings towards Greece, I always loved Crete! I have nothing against these politicians as persons (never met them), but their actions call into the light certain elements we must inspect and investigate, even within ourselves, because if we do not do that, we become players in the blame game and there has been way too much of that on many sides of the monopoly table.

Now we look at news with more ‘fearing’ upcoming events of utter negativity ‘Greek economy close to collapse as food and medicine run short‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/03/greece-economy-collapse-close-food-medicine-shortage). First the subtitle “Alexis Tsipras urges people to vote no in Sunday’s referendum as capital controls bite and vital tourism industry sees tens of thousands cancel holidays in Greece“, how interesting as politicians and spokespeople were all about on how tourism was great and how the numbers would continue.

For example ‘The record boom in Greek tourism with more to come, says Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura‘ (at http://www.neomagazine.com/2015/04/greece-has-never-been-sexier-the-record-boom-in-greek-tourism-with-more-to-come-says-tourism-minister-elena-kountoura/), where we see  “All entities that deal with tourism including our ministry and the people of Greece have come together and joined hands so that 2015 will be an even better year. The feedback so far is very positive and we feel very optimistic“. Which is an April 2015 article, in my article of April 22nd, we see the Ekathimerini quotes, where the quote a drop of 50% came from, which I thought was overly pessimistic, it had foundations as Global Travel reported a predicted drop of 40% from the Russian shores. Now we see that Ekathimerini might be getting closer to the mark than we thought. Tourism is an important factor, because it is the first and direct influx of funds to the small business owners all over Greece, with a stated 50,000 tourist’s now changing destination, it becomes a very dangerous time for the Greek economy, when the tourists stay away Greek gets a new level of nightmares to deal with.

Then we see the quote “Greece’s economy is on the brink of collapse after the capital controls imposed ahead of Sunday’s referendum left the country with shortages of food and drugs” as well as “The survival of the Syriza coalition, formed just over five months ago to repudiate five years of austerity programmes, was in doubt as Greece started to suffer shortages of basic provisions, including the sale of vital drugs in pharmacies nationwide” You see, the second one is the problem, it hides another matter, the fact that a generic ‘commercial’ side can no longer survive in the Greek environment. I knew it was going to be bad, but this is showing another matter all entirely, a side many papers left in the shadow of the events. You see, if capital controls brought basic shortages to the surface, what else are the people (not just the Greeks) unaware of?

Consider the quote “Greek islands, where thousands of holidaymakers headed this week, have also been hit, with popular Cycladic destinations such as Mykonos and Santorini reporting shortages of basic foodstuffs. More than half of Greece’s food supplies – and the vast majority of pharmaceuticals – are imported, but with bank transfers now banned, companies are unable to pay suppliers“, and contemplate what capital controls allows for limiting the requirement of food and medication, unless it is done on credit, or done under a condition when currency has dwindled to zero. Of course the situation is not that simple, yet when imposed capital controls (as reported) stops food and medication from reaching the people. If it is a governmental ploy to push for a vote (not entirely impossible) than we can truly state that the game is changing for the Greeks and the power players behind the mirror.

This is given added weight when we consider “The ECB will meet on Monday to decide whether to step up its help to Greece under its emergency liquidity assistance scheme. The head of Greece’s banking association, Louka Katseli, told reporters: “Liquidity is assured until Monday, thereafter it will depend on the ECB decision.”“, so is this part of the fact, or is it another level? You see, if the Emergency liquidity opens the influx of medication and food, we have a nation truly out of cash. This is not a story that makes me happy, it is a sad continuation for a nation of people who have ended up with the short end of the stick for too long and in addition their latest government has done almost nothing to quell the issues that truly needed attention. So as we are now a day away from the referendum, we seem to bulk up question after question, most of them all relate to the referendum and more important, what will the consequence be on Monday?

Monday will be a milestone for the Europeans, not just the Greeks. You see, no matter what, the French and the Italians will be all about securing their borders, securing their financial status, because when we see Mark Carney all over the news with “He said the risk to the banking system in the UK has increased but added that the central bank was ready to take whatever action is required to protect Britain“, yet he also warned that Britain’s exposure to the rest of the Eurozone remained ‘considerable’” (at http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-3146443/Greece-deadlock-risks-UK-financial-stability-warns-Mark-Carney-adds-BoE-ready-action-protect-Britain.html). It is the part that is ignored by many people and a many reporters. You see, no matter what, France and Italy will be all about setting their projected and their presented status.

Yet, it is the French RFI that gives me “Elsewhere in Athens, in a backstreet with graffiti-painted walls not far from Omonia Square, is the Alexander the Great restaurant. Its terrace is full. But not full enough to keep the business running. “We have only 10 tables, down from 30, because the overheads were too high,” says Sodia Blacho, a lawyer who helps her father run the eatery in her spare time. “We are a family business. All our family members help around without being paid. We used to have 10 staff members but now we have only three left. We have to borrow individually some money to invest in the business and to keep it going.”“, this shows a different side. We all know that many restaurants are depending on tourism, but beyond that people have to eat, when places like this falter, is it a combination of issues? Not just the tourists, but what happens when business models fall under the changing conditions of an economy to this extent? I feel certain that there are more places, other places that have a similar issue to deal with. The interesting wisdom that people ignore as they bash a word called austerity, words of wisdom come from Dimitri Sotiropoulos, a senior research fellow with the Eliamep think tank, where we hear “Any type of austerity measures you can think of will be necessary in the next two years for Greece to stand again on its own feet and hopefully this will happen within the Eurozone. If it is going to be No, the prospects of Greece remaining in the Eurozone are very bleak”, the heart of Austerity ignored is a nation (actually pretty much all EEC nations) keeping a proper handle on its budget, when Greece falls, France and Italy become the next players that need to realise that the jig is up, no matter how committed and how up to date their payments are, when Greece falls 11 million people will start looking for any answer, anywhere in Europe to keep them alive and no one will be able to blame them. The news is only overshadowed by an article published today in the Economist (at http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21656720-legal-reforms-may-help-chip-away-mountain-non-performing), where we see the quotes “the government last week introduced an emergency decree aimed at unblocking a backlog of bad loans. The hope is that this would allow banks to lend to more deserving companies instead and so boost the economy, which after three years of recession grew by 0.3% in the first quarter“, “This has become especially problematic as the financial crisis has caused the number of companies in distress to soar: annual corporate insolvencies rose from around 6,000 in 2007 to more than 14,000 a year in 2013 and 2014. The result is a mass of impaired loans—€325 billion ($360 billion) as of December“, as well as “Italy’s justice ministry has appointed a commission to come up with plans for a comprehensive overhaul“. This is all emphasised by the subtitle ‘Legal reforms may help chip away at the mountain of non-performing loans‘, nice to see an article to phrase what I have been telling for almost a year. Italy might have options as it is making changes now, not in a year from now when it is possibly too late, with almost 30,000 companies going bankrupt in the last 2 years, this year will be a cruncher for Italy, especially with a contracting economy. All this changes with Greece, with 2.6 trillion in debt, Italy is another player altogether, even though the Italian outlook is nowhere near deadly at present, the Greek situation will push Italy (France too) towards the Abyss, now Europe has two direct options, the first is the four nations banding together (UK, Italy, France and Germany), yet the UK referendum is not sitting well with the other three players and France remains an item too. If President Hollande, President Sergio Mattarella and German Chancellor Angela Merkel set up a triad of economy between Italy, Germany and France, there is an option for limited growth, in that vision the UK becomes a pariah as the referendum talks have been voiced, in all that Hollande has time, but once Marine Le Pen gains too much traction with National Front, his options are over. In all this, those players will drop Greece like a bad habit, because Alexis Tsipras overplayed a really bad hand and he played it badly too. No matter how ‘clever’ some see the acts, those with all the coin behind the mirror will not hesitate to take a bruise regarding Greece if it means keeping the total 5 trillion debt issue from both Italy and France safe, when that goes it all stops for everyone.

No matter how it all goes next, the one change that will fill the minds of the policymakers will be legislation and prosecution, the view on how it filed in Greece is something these two nations cannot live with, through all this the French and British referendums will sound and it will have an impact on all changes that insiders and outsiders would want. When these evolutions remain absent, its population will see to what extent they are ruled by cowards, for the mere simplicity of fact that at present no one will get out of this without skin in the game, Greece was not cause of it, it just brought it to the surface a hell of a lot faster.

 

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