Bird’s Eye: …and the jackboots go on. Economic hardship rarely brings out the best in any group, and Europe today, despite its Nobel Peace Prize, is an example. As various bodies of bankers fight, the UK joins those protesting austerity. Do look at the Guardian’s interactive timeline, which offers a remarkable amount of knowledge in an interactive format that simply couldn’t happen in a non-computer medium.
The eurozone and the International Monetary Fund are locked in their worst showdown of Europe’s three-year sovereign debt crisis, engaged in a dangerous game of brinkmanship over how to respond to a Greek bailout that is threatening to go off the rails.
The IMF, it is understood in Brussels, is insisting that Greece’s eurozone creditors and the European Central Bank write down or write off up to €30bn (£24bn) in Greek debt to close a funding gap in the Greek rescue plan which may need to be extended by two years.
The showdown between the eurozone and the IMF is being described as eyeball-to-eyeball, a shouting match, and a contest to see who will blink first. It is expected to come to a head next month. The IMF is demanding that the eurozone and the ECB resort to a new policy of Official Sector Involvement (OSI), meaning a write down or write-off of Greek debt to its official creditors – a move that the ECB and the German government are resisting fiercely.
* Eurozone Crisis: Three Years Of Pain – Interactive Timeline The Guardian
A fascinating summary of three years of history, and the interactive part is unique in my experience.
* “David Cameron is Clueless”: Ed Miliband The Independent
Nurses, firefighters, teachers and prison officers joined over 150,000 protesters today in huge demonstrations against the Government, loudly cheering calls for a 24-hour general strike. Union officials and politicians, including Labour leader Ed Miliband, bitterly attacked the coalition’s spending cuts, accusing ministers of being more interested in supporting millionaires than ordinary workers.
The events in London, Glasgow and Belfast passed off peacefully, although activists from the Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) group staged a sit-in and cut off traffic close to Hyde Park in the capital. The TUC said the turnout was better than expected and sent a strong message to the Government about the unpopularity of its policies.
* Greece Today: A Fascist Party In Full Cry Mail Online
Dressed in black shirts with faces hidden by helmets, ten men on motorbikes came to find him on a Saturday, after darkness fell.
Finding the door bolted at his home in a pot-holed Athens side street, they smashed the windows, broke in and trashed the place. Then, their dirty work done, the neo-Nazi gang roared away into the hot evening. It had taken less than a minute for them to sound an ugly warning that foreigners were not welcome in Greece….So dangerous are the streets for foreigners that the U.S. State Department has sent out a warning to dark-skinned American visitors that they must be careful of their safety when they leave their hotels.
A shocking internet video shows leaders of the anti-immigrant Far-Right Golden Dawn party — which has 18 MPs — marching into an ethnic street market at Rafina, an hour’s drive from Athens, destroying the stalls with wooden clubs and scattering the merchandise to the ground.