Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Wildfires in Saskatchewan, Canada

2,000 evacuees from northern Sask. fires expected in Regina

Emergency shelters already full in Prince Albert, Saskatoon



CBC,
30 July, 2015

Two thousand evacuees are expected to take shelter in Regina by Tuesday's end, after wildfires in northern Saskatchewan forced them from their homes.

Kathy Lavalee arrived from La Ronge with her two sons. The group is now staying at the Credit Union EventPlex at Evraz Place. 

She said the seven-hour drive was a harrowing one through certain highways up north. 
"It seemed like it was so unreal. It was, the smoke was just so heavy and you could see fire spots on either side of the highway," she said.

Lavalee said the heavy smoke was also unbearable back home. 

"The smoke was very thick and it had dropped a lot, it was very heavy. It was making it very hard to breathe. First time in my lifetime, where I've been evacuated out twice, in a month," the mother said. 

The Saskatchewan Red Cross director said evacuation and shelter efforts are among the largest in 30 years in the province.

Sucker River
Cabins and areas north of Sucker River, Sask. remain wrapped in smoke from wildfires in northern Saskatchewan. (Submitted by Lisa Koshinsky)


A large section of Highway 2 north of Prince Albert to La Ronge remained closed Tuesday afternoon.

Louis Laprise traveled more than 10 hours and 800 kilometres to take refuge in Regina.
He left La Loche because of a raging fire just 5 kilometres east of the community.
"(We're) lucky that we got out of there," he said. 

Premier Brad Wall urged everyone in the province to "pull together" to help evacuees.

"We really need to do that right now in terms of taking care of these folks that are displaced from their home," he said.

"It's kind of lonely right here. Without knowing anyone. Just kind of out of touch," Laprise said of Regina.

University of Regina hosting evacuees

Approximately 85 evacuees were staying at the University of Regina on Tuesday afternoon. 

The Red Cross moved displaced northern residents needing private rooms due to nursing needs with infants or health issues to the campus, a university representative confirmed. 

She said the school has a capacity for 170 people..

Arrivals started from Monday night

On Monday night around 11:00 p.m., the first evacuees started arriving at the Credit Union EventPlex in Evraz Place. Some 350 came to the city during the night, Red Cross officials told CBC News. 

More were on the way Tuesday morning after Prince Albert and Saskatoon reached capacity. 

The Red Cross estimates as many as 4,500 people could be in temporary shelters across the province by the end of the day.

The Red Cross says once the space fills up at Evraz Place, they will look to put evacuees in schools and hotels in the city. 

Fire scene near Montreal Lake
Riley Bloodworth took this photo earlier this week about five kilometres from Montreal Lake. (Riley Bloodworth)

Regina firefighters and paramedics were helping out evacuees in Regina Monday night, while the Red Cross co-ordinated the registration processes. 


At least four Salvation Army personnel were there handing out meals and snacks. 
Some said they were feeling the effects of the smoke in Regina, which reduced visibility to under a kilometre by the late afternoon. A girl from Grandmother's Bay told CBC the smoke burns her eyes and that she tires easily.


New wildfire in Chernobyl exclusion zone

New wildfire sends smoke billowing over Chernobyl exclusion zone

Screenshot from YouTube video by MNS GOV.UA


RT,
30 June, 2015
A wall of smoke was seen rising over the exclusion zone around the crippled Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Tuesday as Ukrainian emergency services scrambled helicopters to extinguish a wildfire.

Some 130 hectares of grassland is ablaze, emergency service officials say.

In the zone of exclusion and mandatory relocation near the village of Kovshilovka and Polesskoye, in the Uzh river flood basin there was a fire outbreak in dry grass and rushes, which spread in separate flashpoints across an area of about 130 hectares,” the statement on the emergency ministry’s website says.

People were relocated from the area around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant after the 1986 incident, when an explosion and fire at one of the reactors triggered a massive release of radioactive particles in the worst ever nuclear disaster in terms of casualties and clean-up costs. Radiation contaminated the surrounding area, seeping into the ground and vegetation.

This is not the first wildfire in the area over the recent weeks. An indication of how wide a fire can spread in the untamed wilderness of the exclusion zone can be gleamed from the events of early May.

Read more Chernobyl fire: Kiev claims no radiation threat, experts ring alarm bells

Then, some 400 hectares of forests were burning near Chernobyl, the fire at some points reaching as close as 20 kilometers from the sealed, crippled Reactor No. 4. Then, some 300 personnel and 51 vehicles, including airplanes and helicopters, were involved in putting out the fire.

According to officials in Kiev, the fire did not result in an increase of radiation levels. However, it did highlight “a catastrophic lack of equipment in Ukraine,” Prime Minister Yatsenyuk said at the time.

Although, according to the emergency ministry’s spokesperson in Kiev region, the new blaze does not pose any threat so far, uncontained wildfires in contaminated areas can lead to a disastrous spread of radiation, experts have warned in May. “The amount of radioactivity potentially released from wildfires could be the equivalent of a major nuclear accident,” a Greenpeace representative told radio Govorit Moskva.





The potential danger comes from the radioactive particles that the plants in the area have absorbed over the years, ecologist Christopher Busby told RT.

Some of the materials that were contaminating that area would have been incorporated into the woods,” said Busby, who is the scientific secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risks. “In other words, they land on the ground in 1986 and they get absorbed into the trees and all the biosphere. And when it burns, they just become re-suspended. It's like Chernobyl all over again."

Ukraine Halts Russian Gas Purchases

Ukraine Halts Russian Gas Purchases After Price Talks Fail


Reuters / Gleb Garanich


30 June 2015

It has been a bad day for deals and deadlines all around: first Greece is about to enter July without a bailout program and in default to the IMF with the ECB about to yank its ELA support or at least cut ELA haircuts; also the US failed to reach a nuclear deal with Iran in a can-kicking negotiation that has become so farcical there is no point in even covering it; and now moments ago a third June 30 "deal" failed to reach an acceptable conclusion when Russia and Ukraine were unable to reach an agreement on gas prices at talks in Vienna on Tuesday. As a result, Ukraine is suspending its purchase of Russian gas.

According to RT, Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak and Ukraine’s Energy and Coal Minister Vladimir Demchishin both admitted to reporters that the negotiations had born no fruit. Demchishin added that there would be a new round of talks in September.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s energy company, Naftogaz, will stop buying gas from Russia as of Wednesday, July 1.

As of June 30, 2015, the agreement between Naftogaz and Gazprom runs out, and conditions for continued supply of Russian gas to Ukraine have not been agreed upon; Naftogaz will no longer be purchasing gas from the Russian company,” a press release by Naftogaz said.

The Russian minister seemed unhappy and said it was politically motivated and there were no grounds for it.

So what will prevent Ukraine from simply siphoning off Russian gas transiting its territory for Europe? Nothing, except its word: 

Naftogaz gave assurances that “the transit of Russian gas through Ukrainian territory to Gazprom’s European clients will continue in full, according to contracts agreed.”

Russia will not increase the discount it has offered to Ukraine on gas purchases, Novak told the media. “The price of $247 [per cubic meter of gas] is completely uncompetitive, that is why we are very surprised that Ukraine wants a much lower price – it is out of line with the current market environment.” He stressed that the price “is not subject to correction.”

Ironically, even as Kiev will begin counting down the days until the winter, Russia will continue direct supplies of gas to Ukraine’s southeast, the Donbas separatist region which has been all but forgotten by the Ukraine capital due to the ongoing civil war on location. It has been doing so since February, when Kiev claimed that it could no longer supply gas to the conflict-torn regions due to damaged pipelines.

While Gazprom insists that Kiev is still responsible for paying for the gas that goes to Donbas, it probably should not hold its breath.

Incidentally, just like the Eurogroup launched shock treatment on Greece with capital controls first and shortly deposit haircuts, all in order to force the Greek government to resign by peaceful means or otherwise, the Kiev government, just as broke and about to default on its own bonds, may have just lit the fuse under its own cabinet, because while nobody needs heating in the summer when it is hot, in 5 months it will get very cold and as Greece has shown a desperate people are unpredictable.

Should the gas cutoff continue well into the cold winter, it just may be the catalyst that forces the revulsion against a regime that has so far done the bidding of the US State Department, if not so much its own people.



Greece defaults

Greece becomes first developed nation to default on international obligations
Greece has missed its June deadline to pay €1.6 billion to the IMF, becoming the first developed country to default on its international obligations.


Reuters / Pawel Kopczynski

RT,
30 June 2015

The news hardly comes as a surprise. On Tuesday, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis told journalists that Athens would not repay the €1.6 billion IMF debt on time.

Skipping a payment to the IMF is referred to as arrears – owed money that should have been paid earlier – in the terminology of the Fund. It should be officially reaffirmed by the IMF chief Christine Lagarde who in a month should notify the Executive Board of the Fund.

MORE: Greece misses June deadline to pay €1.6 billion to the IMF http://t.co/BUa1Evue0Lpic.twitter.com/rikbjvObqX
— RT (@RT_com) June 30, 2015

In fact, this could be classified as a default, as any other failure to pay its debt on time. This could trigger a cross-default on Greece's multibillion-dollar commitments to the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF). The IMF cannot issue new loans the country, which has arrears.

The question now is what’s next for the country’s financial system, the people and its membership in the Eurozone.

On Tuesday Greece asked the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) that includes all of the 19 Eurozone members for a new bailout that’ll cover the country’s financial needs during the next 2 years.

The Eurogroup refused to extend the bailout program to Greece, rejecting Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ latest request for a new bailout, Finnish Finance Minister Alexander Stubb said on Tuesday.


The Greek government on Tuesday asked for a new bailout program from ESM that would cover all its financial needs for the next two years. The request included a restructuring plan for Greece’s debt to the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), which accounts for about 63 percent of the country’s total debt.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday that her country will not consider a third bailout for Greece before a referendum in Greece on July 5 takes place, various media outlets have reported.

On June 5 Greece invoked a 1970s IMF rule that allowed it to bundle all of its €1.6 billion payments due June into one, thus avoiding immediate default. However, it failed to pay even under these conditions.

Greece is also due to pay €6.6 billion to the ECB in July and August.

The ECB has already turned down the Greek call for expanding €89 billion emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) to Greece by €6 billion to tackle deposit flight. This resulted in closing banks for a week and limiting withdrawals to €60 a day.

The Greek government led by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras came to power aiming to end austerity measures, and has repeatedly said its goal is to stay within the euro.

On Saturday, the government announced a national referendum on the creditors’ offer to the country.

Even if the referendum is not on Greece leaving the Eurozone, many leading European politicians have said that a “No” answer would be a refusal to stay with Europe.

Voting “No” would mean a suicide for Greece, said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker Monday. However, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Tuesday Greece can maintain its membership in the Eurozone even if the nation votes against austerity reforms this Sunday.




Greece Becomes First Developed Country To Default To The IMF

30 June 2015

Faced with almost impossible choices...


And just as promised earlier in the weekGreece has now passed the midnight deadline for repayment of the €1.6 billion bundled loans due to the IMF and in thus in default
As AP reports,

Greece's international bailout formally expires, country loses access to existing financing.

Yes we are fully aware that using the pejorative term 'default' makes us members of the ignorati, but what else do you call it when you fail to pay back a contracted debt in a timely fashion? (and don't say 'arrears') Anything else is semantics.
  • *IMF SAYS GREECE FAILED TO MAKE PAYMENT DUE TUESDAY
  • *IMF TO CONSIDER GREEK REQUEST FOR PAYMENT DELAY IN DUE COURSE
  • *IMF BOARD INFORMED THAT GREECE IS NOW IN ARREARS
This is the first time an advanced economy has defaulted to The IMF and is by far the largest default The IMF has ever faced.
Below is the full list of countries who are (ahem Zimbabwe) or have been in "protracted arrears" to the IMF in the past. Greece is now officially on this list.

What happens next:

And therefore Greece is poised between remaining a member of the eurozone or leaving it. In fact, as WSJ's Stephen Fidler explains, there are five possible future currency arrangements for Greece. Here they are...







1. Greece stays in the eurozone: This is the option likely to cause the smallest short-term disruption to the Greek economy.  The Greek central bank would retain access to liquidity from the European Central Bank, and the Greek banks would stay on life support. This looks increasingly likely to be accompanied by some kind of further negotiated debt relief. To get it, Greece would almost certainly have to agree to more conditions of the sort successive Greek governments have found it hard to accept.
2. Greece keeps the euro, but sits outside the eurozone: Jacob Funk Kierkegaard of the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington calls this the “Montenegro option” and argues this is the most likely outcome should Greece exit the eurozone.  This would not be “a new drachma, but Montenegro—i.e. Greece becomes just another relatively poor unilaterally euroized non-EU Balkan economy,” he writes here. In some ways, this would be the worst of all worlds because Greece would lose access to the ECB. Countries using a foreign currency as legal tender have no access to a lender-of-last-resort, which means that every bank liquidity crisis becomes a solvency crisis. They therefore tend to have stunted domestic financial sectors — which almost every academic study shows is bad for growth — or have a banking system owned by foreigners, which exports the lender-of-last resort role to other countries’ central banks. (Mexico didn’t adopt the dollar after the 1994-95 financial crisis — but in order to avoid an undue shrinkage of its banking sector, it allowed most of its banks to be bought by foreigners.)
3. A currency board: In this case, Greece would create a new currency but lock it to the euro  – as Estonia did with the German mark in 1992 after it gained independence from the Soviet Union. The amount of new drachmas in circulation would be limited by the size of Greece’s international reserves: about $5.8 billion at the last count. Advocates argue that this would impose discipline on the Greeks — poor economic policies lead to an outflow of reserves and therefore of the domestic monetary base, which pushes up drachma interest rates, while good policies have the reverse effect. The drawback is that again the central bank is limited in its lender-of-last resort powers because it cannot create money freely. It also imposes discipline that, for now, may make it look unappetizing to Greece’s current rulers. It’s not much talked about, has a few enthusiastic and long-standing cheerleaders, but is a theoretical possibility. Here’s Steve Hanke arguing in favor.
4. A dual systemHere the drachma and the euro would circulate side-by-side. This has many historical precedents going back centuries. In practice, a dual system is likely to emerge when the Greek government runs out of euros and has to pay its domestic bills in government IOUs. The IOUs could at some future date be redeemed in euros, or could be eventually redeemed in drachmas, but they would initially be euro-denominated obligations of the government that would have a lesser value in the public mind than euro notes or coins. This state of affairs could continue for a long time, but there is an economic tendency called Gresham’s Law: ”Bad money chases out good.” Over time, euros would disappear from circulation because people would hoard them as a store of value  – and people would spend the government IOUs. De facto, the drachma, whether or not it would so be called, would become the main means of exchange.
5. The new drachmaThe move to the new drachma may well not come with a bang, but gradually — as described in 4 above. But an eventual formal switch of the currency would give Greece control over its own monetary policy.  However, a new currency — which would likely float against the euro and other major currencies — would likely create enormous short-term disruption, not least because a heavy devaluation would follow and the banks would in effect be insolvent. Longer-term, it could be a motor for future growth of the Greek economy — because it would stimulate demand for Greek exports by lowering in real-terms the price of goods and services produced in Greece.  Longer term, the effects of a devaluation depends on the quality of economic policies that accompany it. It will create inflation, by increasing the costs of imports. One important issue is how much the government raises wages and pensions to compensate for higher inflation. The more domestic wages and pensions are allowed to rise, the less impact the devaluation will have in simulating Greek exports longer term and the lower the benefits to economic growth.

Place your bets.


Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The Greek crisis: Athens Is Being Blackmailed

My ire is directed at the 1%-ers in this country that have aligned themselves with the most extreme right-wing agenda of the Empire.

Listen for a moment to this arsehole....



This headlines says everything about the propaganda line in this country. We are not allowed to think that small countries should follow their own national interests.

Greece accused of egotism in walking away from debt talks


First the version from the NZ Herald.

Crisis-ready Europe urges Tsipras to step back from brink

Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras promised to return "dignity" to the people and reject budget cuts imposed by creditors. Photo / AP
Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras promised to return "dignity" to the people and reject budget cuts imposed by creditors. Photo / AP

30 July, 2015

European leaders are raising pressure on Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to 're-engage', saying it's up to his government to step back from the brink and stay in the euro.

With Greece under capital controls and banks closed, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande offered no concessions beyond saying that they remained open to talks, even after the referendum on the European Union's aid proposal planned for July 5. European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said the "whole planet" would view a "no" vote as Greece turning its back on Europe.


"Vi

Leaders were emboldened by a measured investor response to a weekend of turmoil as Tsipras' government took emergency steps to avert the collapse of Greece's financial system. While his decision to hold a ballot increased the risk of Greece exiting the euro, evidence of contagion elsewhere was limited, reducing his leverage over credдtors.

"Europe can cope with such crises much, much better today because it has taken precautions," Merkel said in a speech in Berlin on Monday.
The euro erased its losses after earlier dropping to a near one-month low against the dollar, and traded 0.3 per cent higher at $1.1204 as of 7:00 p.m. in Berlin. European equities sank, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index down 2.7 per cent, while bond yields jumped in Italy, Spain and Portugal.

A crowd of 12,000 gathered in Syntagma Square to call for a ''no'' vote against the EU proposals. Photo / AP  A crowd of 12,000 gathered in Syntagma Square to call for a ''no'' vote against the EU proposals. Photo / AP

Those countries have all suffered bond panics since 2010 on concern they could slide into a Greek-style crisis. Their leaders moved to assuage concerns about contagion.

Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan took to Twitter to reassure followers about his country's direct exposure.

Greece's problems show "the difference between the serious policies and those policies which aren't very serious," Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said at a news conference.

In Athens, people have taken to the streets. A crowd of 12,000 gathered in the centrally-located Syntagma Square late on Monday to call for a ''no'' vote against the EU proposals, according to police estimates. Banners were displayed in front of the parliament building. One read: "Our lives do not belong to the credдtors."

Greece has also become another thing for old Cold War foes to disagree on. Russia weighed in, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he understood Tsipras' actions. The United States instead is urging the Greeks to do what they must to stay in the 19-member currency bloc.

"We've long made clear that we expect the Greeks to keep their commitments," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said on Monday.

European leaders sought to reach out to the Greek people while offering Tsipras's government little leeway after he broke off negotiations over future bailout aid at the last-minute on Friday. Tsipras, who promised to return "dignity" to the people and reject budget cuts imposed by creditors, appealed for "calm" after weekend-long queues at ATMs and gas stations.

Elderly people, who usually get their pensions at the end of the month, wait outside a closed bank in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki. Photo / APElderly people, who usually get their pensions at the end of the month, wait outside a closed bank in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki. Photo / AP

The prime minister's efforts to shield the poorest Greeks from the effects of his decision are already starting to unravel. Twelve hours after issuing the capital controls decree, the government revoked a provision in the law exempting pension payments from the 60-euro (NZ$98) daily limit on bank withdrawals.

The about-face came as industry officials warned that the move to waive limits for pensions would have soaked up much of the system's remaining liquidity and highlights the hurdles Tsipras still has to overcome to reach the July 5 vote.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister who leads meetings of his euro-area counterparts, said he regrets that the Greeks walked away.

"But they've chosen their path and we cannot interfere," he told reporters in The Hague.

- Bloomberg


EU's Juncker feels 'betrayed' by Greece situation!!!  

Max Keiser, whom I would trust a hundred times over Bloomberg reporting through the NZ Herald says it how it is - especailly about the EU's Juncker


From the Guardian - 

Germany, France and Italy joined the European commission in insisting that Sunday’s poll is about continued eurozone membership

Greek debt line: Banks close, ATM lines mount & IMF payment looms



The chief of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has made a last-ditch effort to keep Greece from leaving the Euro. He said that the creditors' terms are not - quote - "stupid austerity" and that the Greek people should "not commit suicide out of fear of death" in the upcoming referendum on those terms, on July 5th. Mr. Juncker also repeatedly pointed out that he's not the one to blame for putting the country on the brink of financial ruin and now let's head to Athens, where the people are anxiously following the news from Brussels. RT's Peter Oliver and Harry Fear have more on the ongoing Greek crisis.

And Zero Hedge....

Greece Will Default To IMF Tomorrow, Government Official Says



29 June, 2015


Earlier today, as the exchange between Greece and its creditors got increasingly belligerent, Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas told public broadcaster Eesti Rahvusringhaaling in interview that a possible Greek decision to leave euro area wouldn’t soften stance of other EU countries and that Greece’s debt would still remain outstanding and creditors would expect this money back."

"If Greece leaves, the value of their new national currency would decline very fast, so their solvency would still worsen further. They will either have to cut spending or improve their tax revenues. There are no other options."

So did this latest antagonism change the Greek mind? According to a flash headline by the WSJ released moments ago, not all. In fact, Greece just made it official that it would default to the IMF in just over 24 hours.
Greece won't pay IMF tranche due Tuesday, government official says http://t.co/xnCG6c6baX
WSJ Breaking News (@WSJbreakingnews) June 29, 2015

More:





Greece won’t make a debt repayment to the International Monetary Fund due Tuesday, a senior Greek government official said Monday.
Earlier this month, Greece had notified the IMF it plans to bundle its loan repayments falling due this month into one payment of around 1.6 billion euros ($1.7 billion), which is due Tuesday. 
The IMF has said that Greece will immediately be in arrears if it fails to make the debt repayment.

So, as per game theory, the Greek plan - at least until the social mood turns very ugly - remains just one:


The problem is what happens then...
Greek bank chief: "Few billions left, so we are OK until next Mo or Tue BUT if no deal, there will be no money left” http://t.co/2ZyO2Bcd6l
Pieter Cleppe (@pietercleppe) June 29, 2015

Having told the citizens of Greece that the European leaders will not kick them out of Europe because "the cost of throwing them out is too high, enormous," it appears Greek PM Tspiras has another plan to ensure - no matter what the outcome of the forthcoming referendum - that there is no actual Grexit. As The Telegraph reports, Greece has threatened to seek a court injunction against the EU institutions, saying "we are taking advice and will certainly consider an injunction at the European Court of Justice. The EU treaties make no provision for euro exit and we refuse to accept it. Our membership is not negotiable."

Speaking earlier Tsipras stated:

*TSIPRAS: REFERENDUM PROVIDES STRONGER NEGOTIATING POSITION
*TSIPRAS: CREDITORS’ PLAN IS NOT TO THROW COUNTRY OUT OF EURO
*TSIPRAS: COST OF THROWING COUNTRY OUT OF EURO AREA IS ENORMOUS
*TSIPRAS: GREECE WILL NOT BE THROWN OUT OF EURO, COST TOO GREAT



Greek Supermarkets Begin To Resemble Those Of Venezuela




......As we noted yesterday, in clear rejection of Tsipras' plea for calm, the Greek population stormed (now empty) ATMs, grocery stores and gas stations as they scrambled to obtain, or convert, paper currency into tangible products.

This morning, the NYT picked up on the realization that for Greece ATM runs were last week's story. Now, it's all about the "Supermarket Sweep"... and hoarding. To wit:




Beside the lines at A.T.M.s, people were also lining up at gas stations and in grocery stories. In the small town of Spata, outside Athens, residents had stripped grocery shelves bare by Saturday night. The local Shell station had run out of regular unleaded and had only premium gasoline to sell. “Doom,” the gas attendant responded, when asked to describe the mood.
The frenzy at gas stations across the country prompted Greece’s largest refiner to issue a statement assuring that there would be enough supply...

And this is how Athens is slowly starting to look like Caracas.
On Monday supermarket shelves in #Athens emptying as Greeks stock up for coming days #Greece#Grexit #Greferendum pic.twitter.com/q61PVM17d9
Julia Damianova (@JuDamianova) June 29, 2015







This is what is out from Wikileaks on the French economy.

French Economy In "Dire Straits", "Worse Than Anyone CanImagine", Leaked NSA Cable Reveals


Earlier today Wikileaks released a new batch of NSA intercepts among which one in particular stands out: an intercepted communication which reveals that then French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici believes the French economic situation was far worse, as of mid-2012, than perceived.

The Russian media - Sputnik...


Head of Bundestag Committee on European Union Affairs predicts that Germany could lose billions of euros if Greece goes bankrupt

Pepe Escobar


Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras allows the Greek people to decide their own fate via a democratic referendum. That’s enough to send the troika – the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Commission (EC), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - into a paroxysm of rage. Here, in a nutshell, is everything one needs to know about the EU “dream”.

And two other sources



IMF’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde finally found the needed strength to express her view on Greece’s Referendum. Speaking to BBC, Lagarde said that next Sunday (July 5th) referendum will not be valid as the creditors’ proposal and program end on June 30h.



Greece’s creditors hope that by unleashing chaos, they can bring the country to its knees ahead of Sunday's referendum. Greeks must not give in