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#UN welcomes #Greferendum: “A State’s sovereignty cannot be trumped by outside actors”

by @Piratenpartij

Some leaders have expressed dissatisfaction with the idea of holding a referendum in Greece, wrote UN experts on June 30, 2015

Why? they ask, adding that  “Referenda are in the best traditions of democratic governance.”

It is disappointing that the IMF and the EU have failed to reach a solution that does not require additional retrogressive austerity measures

Any agreement that would require such a violation of human rights and customary   international law is contra bonos mores and hence null and void pursuant to Art. 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

 

30 June 2015

GENEVA ( (Issued as received) –– Two United Nations human rights experts today welcomed the holding of a referendum in Greece to decide by democratic process the path to follow to solve the Greek economic crisis without deterioration in the human rights situation.

The UN Independent Experts on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, Alfred de Zayas, and on human rights and international solidarity, Virginia Dandan, stressed that there is much more at stake than debt repayment obligations, echoing a warning* issued earlier this month by the UN Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky.

“All human rights institutions and mechanisms should welcome the Greek referendum as an eloquent expression of the self-determination of the Greek people in conformity with article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and in pursuance of article 25 ICCPR on public participation. Indeed, a democratic and equitable international order requires participation by all concerned stakeholders in decision-making and respect for due process, which can best be achieved through international solidarity and a human rights approach to the solution of all problems, including financial crises.

It is disappointing that the IMF and the EU have failed to reach a solution that does not require additional retrogressive austerity measures. Some leaders have expressed dissatisfaction with the idea of holding a referendum in Greece. Why? Referenda are in the best traditions of democratic governance.

No one can expect the Prime Minister of Greece to renounce the commitments he made to the people who elected him with a clear mandate to negotiate a fair solution that does not dismantle Greek democracy and lead to further unemployment and social misery. Capitulating to an ultimatum imposing further austerity measures on the Greek population would be incompatible with the democratic trust placed on the Greek Prime Minister by the electorate.

By nature, every State has the responsibility to protect the welfare of all persons living under its jurisdiction. This encompasses fiscal and budgetary sovereignty and regulatory space which cannot be trumped by outside actors, whether States, inter-governmental organizations or creditors.

Article 103 of the UN Charter stipulates that the Charter provisions prevail over all other treaties, therefore no treaty or loan agreement can force a country to violate the civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights of its population, nor can a loan agreement negate the sovereignty of a State. Any agreement that would require such a violation of human rights and customary international law is contra bonos mores and hence null and void pursuant to Art. 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

A democratic and equitable international order requires a commercial and financial regime that facilitates the realization of all human rights. Inter-governmental organizations must foster and under no conditions hinder the achievement of the plenitude of human rights.

Foreign debt is no excuse to derogate from or violate human rights or to cause retrogression in contravention of articles 2 and 5 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

In 2013, the Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights stated that the policy austerity measures adopted to secure additional financing from the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank had pushed the Greek economy into recession and generally undermined the enjoyment of human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights.

This is the moment for the international community to demonstrate solidarity with the people of Greece, to respect their democratic will as expressed in a referendum, to proactively help them out of this financial crisis, which finds a major cause in the financial meltdown of 2007-08, for which Greece bears no responsibility.

Indeed, democracy means self-determination, and self-determination often calls for referenda – also in Greece.”

 

Europe’s helping hand to Greece for five years, wrote Nobel Laureate in Economics Joseph Stiglitz the same critical day, June 30,in Huffington Post  has been  far different from what one might have expected if there was even a bit of humanity, of European solidarity.

“There was sometimes an element of neo-colonialism: the old White Europeans once again telling their former colonies what to do. More often than not, the policies didn’t work as they were supposed to. There were huge discrepancies between what the Western experts expected and what actually happened.

Somehow, one expected something better of Greece’s Eurozone “partner.” But the demands were every bit as intrusive, and the policies and models were every bit as flawed. The disparity between what the Troika thought would happen and what has emerged has been striking — and not because Greece didn’t do what it was supposed to, but because it did, and the models were very, very flawed. ”

On Sunday’s Referrendum in Greece , conludes Nobelist Stiglitz, both choices could lead to even worse social disruptions, calling, though, the Yes, “austerity and depression without end”.  But while with one of them there is some hope, he says, with the other there is not.

 

(*) Read the statement by the UN Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights (2 June 2015) – “Greek crisis: Human rights should not stop at doors of international institutions, says UN expert”:

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They say we won. Also, they confess the #GreekFiasco

 

They say we won. Also, they confess the #GreekFiasco.

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@yanisvaroufakis publishes on air Greece’s proposals and asks the world to judge them …

@yanisvaroufakis publishes on air Greece's proposals and asks the world to judge them ...

@yanisvaroufakis publishes on air Greece’s proposals and asks the world to judge them ….

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Such a hard rock with the West…. while @atsipras departs to Russia

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Athens, metro area, Monastiraki square

(The Endgame in Greece..?)

PARIS – After months of wrangling, the showdown between Greece and its European creditors has come down to a standoff over pensions and taxes. Greece is refusing to acquiesce to demands by its creditors that it cut payments to the elderly and raise the value-added tax on their medicine and electricity.

Europe’s demands – ostensibly aimed at ensuring that Greece can service its foreign debt – are petulant, naive, and fundamentally self-destructive. In rejecting them, the Greeks are not playing games; they are trying to stay alive.

Greece’s GDP, moreover, has shrunk by 25% since the start of the crisis in 2009. Its government is insolvent. Many of its citizens are hungry. Conditions in Greece today are reminiscent of those in Germany in 1933. Of course, the European Union need not fear the rise of a Greek Hitler, not only because it could easily crush such a regime, but also – and more important – because Greece’s democracy has proved impressively mature throughout the crisis wrote on June 16 the Projet Syndicate

by @jodigraphics15 Greece’s GDP, moreover, has shrunk by 25% since the start of the crisis in 2009. Its government is insolvent. Many of its citizens are hungry, wrote the same day the Project Syndicate

Conditions in Greece today are reminiscent of those in Germany in 1933. Of course, the European Union need not fear the rise of a Greek Hitler, not only because it could easily crush such a regime, but also – and more important – because Greece’s democracy has proved impressively mature throughout the crisis wrote on June 16 the Projet Syndicate

Jack Lew called Athens : US urged compromise after Tsipras “attack” to IMF

Cover Page Greece by Guardian June 17, 2015

Cover Page Greece by Guardian June 17, 2015

By his personal intervention in the mountaining Greek crisis Tuesday night, and after Alexis Tsipras speech , US Treasury secretary Jack Lew called the Greek Prime Minister to urge him to reach a realistic compromise, under urgent time, the Guardian reported

In a statement, the Treasury revealed that Lew told Tsipras that the Greek people, and the global economy, would suffer if Athens can’t reach a deal with creditors, wrote Guardian

It added:

“Lew underscored the urgency of Greece making a serious move to reach a pragmatic compromise with its creditors.”

Last month, Lew told an audience in London that all sides should “double down” their efforts to get a deal fast.

(L-R) Luxembourg's Prime Minister and Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker, IMF President Christine Lagarde, Germany's Deputy Finance Minister Joerg Asmussen and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble talk at the start of an Euro zone finance ministers' meeting in Brussels October 21, 2011. The European Union has agreed that around 100 billion euros (87 billion pounds) is needed to recapitalise the European banking system, but splits remain before a high-profile summit Sunday over how to strengthen the euro zone's bailout fund.       REUTERS/Thierry Roge (BELGIUM - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS)

Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker, IMF President Christine Lagarde, Germany’s Deputy Finance Minister Joerg Asmussen and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble talk at the start of an Euro zone finance ministers’ meeting in Brussels October 21, 2011. REUTERS/Thierry Roge

 “Responsibility, criminal, has the IMF…”

It was just hours earlier, on Tuesday that the Greek PM, talking on the Parliamentary Commitee of of his party, had said that the International Monetary Fund  has “criminal responsibility” for Greece’s debt crisis and called on the country’s European creditors to assess the IMF’s policies.

“The time has come for the IMF’s proposals to be judged not just by us but especially by Europe,” Tsipras told his parliamentary group, two days after the failure of debt talks of the Greek delegation in Brussles with the IMF and the European Union

“Right now, what dominates is the IMF’s harsh views on tough measures, and Europe’s on denying any discussion over debt viability,”

Tsipras said, adding:

“The fixation on cuts… is most likely part of a political plan… to humiliate an entire people that has suffered in the past five years through no fault of its own,”

“The time has come for the IMF’s proposals to be judged in public.. .by Europe,” he told the MPs of his radical left Syriza party, the Guardian had commented

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PM Tsipras: ‘We submitted a sustainable proposal. Creditors want to humiliate Greece’

  By the ANA/MPA update:  Tuesday June 16, 2015 17:25
After four months of intensive negotiations, Greece had submitted a proposal that could have been the basis for a sustainable and socially acceptable agreement, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told SYRIZA’s Parliamentary group on Tuesday.
Instead of a reply, the creditors responded with a five-page document that ignored the preceding negotiations, he added.
He said the institutions were demanding high fiscal targets and refusing to accept the equivalent measures proposed by the Greek side. “This insistence on a programme of cuts that has failed and measures that cannot be accepted is not only wrong, it most likely serves political ends and a plan to humiliate not just the government but the Greek people,” he said.
He also accused the previous New Democracy-PASOK government of setting up “a minefield” to sabotage the present government’s efforts. “We knew that it would not be a walk in the park and that there would be no grace period for us. We threw ourselves into the battle when we were up against a minefield, from the previous government that was seeking a ‘left parenthesis’.”
In a brief review of the government’s work, the prime minister stressed that every decision was a great battle against the memorandum regime. “We intend to continue along these lines so that at the end of our four years we will dismantle the memorandum regime,” he said. Tsipras said the Greek side had repeatedly made clear that the agreement reached could not be a continuation of memorandum policies, of austerity and recession that brought only problems to the country.
Noting that the government would complete its fifth month in power within a few days, he said the party had faced an extremely difficult situation from the start and had managed to get the country to stand on its feet, in spite of the difficulties, taking measures to address the humanitarian crisis and to help those with overdue debts.
He also said the mandate given to the Greek government from the people was not one of “creative ambiguity” but a clear mandate to end policies of austerity in the country after five years of harsh measures that had hugely increased social inequality. 
 
“We will continue to the end with the same calmness and sobriety and determination to find a solution, not just an agreement. We will continue, therefore, to work for a solution,” he said. He stressed that the final agreement must include specific and binding clauses for dealing with the country’s financing problem, which became worse during the five-year memorandum period, with exclusive responsibility on the part of the institutions for this outcome.
 
Tsipras said that the government was obliged to strive for an agreement that will have clear redistributive elements, will not burden wager earners and pensioners further and will place part of the burden on those that had not paid their share for the exit from the crisis.
 
At the same time, he added, it must be an agreement that did not extend the uncertainty but ended the discussion on the notorious Grexit once and for all.
“Who pays taxes in this country is exclusively the Greek government’s job. The time has come at last for the oligarchy and not working people to pay for the crisis. Not wage earners, not pensioners. Not the self-employed,” he said.
 
Despite a clamour of hostile statements in recent days, there are still forces in Europe that recognise the mistakes and understand how critical the situation is, forces working to find a just solution, and these are the forces that must prevail, Tsipras said.
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White House on the same day, (June 16) urged Greece and lenders to close a deal quickly

  Tuesday June16, 2016 ANA/MPA
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, also, on Tuesday 16/06, expressed his optimism that Greece and its creditors will reach a deal and market instability will be avoided.
Asked on the course of the negotiations between Athens and the EU institutions, Earnest said that Washington is optimistic over a positive outcome because all partners participating in the negotiations are aware of the importance of reaching a deal.
“We have clear positions, namely that the Greek people have faced prolonged difficulties and have taken difficult but important steps to pave the way for a sustainable economic recovery.
The Greek government and its international partners need to work quickly to finalize a credible reform program that can lay the groundwork for long-term growth within the eurozone,” he underlined.
Asked to comment on US president’s statement last week that the Greek people will have to proceed to tougher policy choices and that the burden will be borne by the Greek government, Earnest replied that
both sides should engage in talks that will lead to a compromise deal.
“We have stressed the importance for the Greek government to move forward on critical structural reforms. And I know that this is what Greece’s creditors are waiting for. And I think, any final agreement will require a commitment on this basis. But ultimately this is something that all sides need to work on.”

CHI6QKxW8AAToDoτσιπραςWho is the liar?

Juncker accused Alexis Tsipras’s administration of misleading voters about proposals he had made to help solve the country’s debt crisis.

As Reuters announced,  just after Prime Minister’s speech on Parliamentary commitee on Tusday, the president of the European Commission declared

“I don’t care about the Greek government, I do care about the Greek people,” he said noting that many “are suffering more than others in the European Union” from efforts to reduce debts.

“The debate in Greece and outside Greece would be easier if the Greek government would tell exactly what the Commission … is really proposing. I am blaming the Greeks (for telling) things to the Greek public which are not consistent with what I’ve told the Greek prime minister.”

The Greek govt  answered acutely, and published, later, the lenders’ proposal script

On that , it is obvious indeed, as the Greek media comment during the last 24h, that the institutions, had asked for pensions cuts and higher electricity bills, as the Greek PM had said. Besides, Greeks voted Tsipras for talking clearly to the people, after five ( at least constant years of lies nad communication chaos .

164693_600“We never said it was the view of the Commission, or of Mr Juncker personally,” said the statement referring to the cash-for-reforms proposal that Juncker handed prime minister Alexis Tsipras last week.

The proposal was made by the three institutions (and was handed by Jean Claude Juncker)

The govt statement- that came as an answer, to Jean Claude Junckers’ accusations of misinterprenting the proposal or misinterprenting him-, characterised  “positive” the fact that the EU chief had made, even by that way, clear, that he, too, disagrees with several of the proposal’s aspects.

“The Greek government has submitted proposals with measures that fully cover the fiscal gap, transferring the burden from the weakest social classes as well as suggesting a reduction in defense spending.”

Departure Ready to St. Petesburg

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and other foreign leaders in the framework of the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, the president’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday. “A working meeting has been scheduled with Alexis Tsipras on Friday, June 19, on the sidelines of the Forum,” he stated. The Kremlin’s spokesman, according to ITAR-TASS, said that Putin will also have working meetings with other foreign leaders who will attend the Forum, including Vice Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China Wang Yang, President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev, Prime Minister of Mongolia Chimed Saikhanbileg.

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Come down to the plazas, Alexis…

Angela Merkel sucking Alexis’ ( and Greece’s) blood on Drakoula role, by Peter Brooks, Sunday June 15, 2015

Come down to the plazas, Alexis….

A Brave New Deal for #Greece… blooming after midnight. Alexis “said it Greek” @tsipras_eu

CHMzk3NUYAA4xIwA big smile, a face relieved , three main sentences, in Greek, and a thank you to reporters was Alexis Tsipras close up after an all-or-nothing fight form the Greek side on the eurotalks table, that sent smiles to Greece, and a hopeful message to the world. Europe, finally, is a solidatrity continent as it comes out, and justice, social justice, has not left this continent yet .

  The talks were in very good and positive climate as always,

said to the Press the Greek PM at 1.00 early morning time of Thursday June 11, obviously exhausted, but apparently relieved.

We decided to intensify the efforts, the remaining differences to be bridged, as to move further in the coming period to a solution. The political leadership of Europe seems to understand that we have to get to a viable solution, and give the opportunity to Greece to return by social cohesion and security to development by a sustainable dept.

To a perspective that would bring security and stability back, not only for Greece but for the whole Europe

Few minutes earlier, sources of  Maximos Mansion commented:

“The three leaders agreed to intensify the process of bridging the remaining differences in order to early achieve an agreement allowing Greece to return to growth with social cohesion and sustainable debt ”

A German government spokesman said after Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Francois Hollande reviewed the state of the talks with Tsipras that the meeting took place in a constructive atmosphere.

The spokesman said in a statement:

“It was agreed unanimously that the talks between the Greek government and the institutions (IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank) should be pursued with great intensity,”

Tsipras left the building without commenting. International media reporters asked him for a que in English. But it was obvious that the Greek Prime, after a non-stop augmenting stress exhausting day, could barely stand more pf  the world’s lights on his face .

The talks have been deadlocked over Greece’s rejection of the creditors’ demands for cuts in pensions and unpopular labour market reforms as conditions for releasing frozen bailout funds.

As the Athens Agency had wroten on Wednesdy the Greek government is requesting an extension of the current loan agreement by nine months to ensure the funding of the Greek economy

According to the sources, the request includes funds from the European part of the current programme, the money from the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF) and a debt exchange between ESM and the European Central Bank. The aim is to restart the Greek economy and end uncertainty.
If these requests are met, the Greek side is willing to discuss the primary surplus targets, but nothing has been finalized yet, the same sources said. Discussions are continuing in every direction and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ meetings in Brussels aim at reaching a deal.
Today Alexis Tsipras is meeting Jean Clude Juncker , who wellcomed him in Brussels after all with a warm hug
CHI6QKxW8AAToDo
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The Siemens huge bribery scandal is not closed. Called to testify to the Parliamentary Commisison the #Froget-it-Yiannis Yiannis

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Parliament president to ask BoG governor to testify to Parliament on Siemens settlement

Last update: 23:20

ANA – MPA — Parliament President Zoi Konstantopoulou on Monday said she plans to summon Bank of Greece governor Yannis Stournaras, a former Greek finance minister, to testify before Parliament’s Institutions and Transparency Committee in connection with the Siemens case, so that he might brief MPs on an out-of-court settlement between the Greek state and the German multinational that he had signed as minister.

Konstantopoulou said that she questioned the validity of the settlement, given that it was signed in August 2012 when the country “was in such a dire position that I do not think anyone had the authority to waive such claims.”
She noted that a Parliamentary inquiry had reached a conclusion that the damage to the state as a result of Siemens’ actions was a minimum of two billion euros and that, as a result of the settlement signed by Stournaras, the Greek state had given up the overwhelming part of these financial claims in an agreement that she called “shameful and damaging” to Greece’s interests.
Her positions were attacked by MPs in the opposition, who pointed out, among others, that Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis had cited the difficulty of cancelling the out-of-court settlement since its implementation had already begun.
Greece, check back the Past …..