(See Alex Christoforou's video commentary inside.) Why did Ukrainian President Zelensky appear before the Greek Parliament, with a Nazi soldier from Ukraine's Azov Batallion? Have Ukrainian Nazis grown tired of fighting a hopeless war in the background, while Zelenski is lionised, and now seek the limelight and recognition for their sacrifices? Zelensky described the soldiers appearing with him as courageous, noting the Greek origins of one of them.
Updates 4 Jul 15 from RT: Pro-Greece rallies STORYMAP: How the world is expressing solidarity with anti-austerity campaign, 'No more looting': Thousands rally across EU to express solidarity with Greece, From historic vote' for Greece's Syriza to #Greferendum : INTERACTIVE TIMELINE
Update July 6, 2015: The 'NO' vote has won, 62%: 38%!The 11:00PM ABC news last night reported large rallies for a 'No' vote at today's referendum in Greece. Rallies in Greece in support of a 'Yes' vote were considerably smaller. Rallies by Greek Australians also featured in the report. In spite of the fact that further austerity and privatisation that could only be ended with a 'No' vote, would be disastrous for the Greek people, the organisers of the Australian rallies chose not to advocate 'No' vote. Instead, the rallies are taking a neutral stance ostensibly in solidarity with Greece.
Reports of rallies in Australia and Greece can be found on the ABC News site. 1 Included below, in this article, are two embedded videos of rallies of Greeks in support of a 'No' vote against the IMF bailout conditions. Both were uploaded on 3 July 2015. The first, from the RT YouTube channel, is of length 3:28 minutes. (The fact that this video is only in Greek and has no English sub-titles does little to detract from its value for English audiences.) The second, from ThePressProject video channel is of length 10:30 minutes. It has been dubbed over by an English interpreter.
'OXI, OXI!': Tens of thousands chant 'No' to bailout conditions as Tsipras addresses crowd
Alexis Tsipras speaks to the Greek people before the Greferendum
In the speech, although Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras tells the crowd that democracy will have triumphed regardless of whether the 'No' vote or the 'Yes' vote wins on Sunday, he contradicts this by also implying that a yes vote would be a surrender.
As explained by Tsipras, and as shown elsewhere, a majority 'Yes' vote, far from being a triumph of democracy, would signify a surrender to the demands of the IMF for ruinous austerity and privatisation of publicly owned assets in return for temporary relief from the interest payments on an illegitimate loan. That loan from the IMF was taken out on behalf of of the Greek people, with neither their consent nor the consent of the then opposition Syriza Party, by a previous corrupt PASOK government.
Other stories about the referendum include: Thousands attend Greek solidarity protest in Dublin as Greece prepares for polls (4/7/15) | Irish Examiner, Greece's referendum shows you can have too much democracy [?!!] (4/7/15) | Quartz. See also list of earlier stories here.
#fn1" id="fn1">1.#txt1"> ↑ I was #comment-259576">advised by 'J-D' on johnQuiggin.com, where the report of large rallies for a 'No' vote can be found, Greek debt crisis: Prime minister Alexis Tsipras demands debt write-off, 'grace period' for repayments as rival rallies fill streets, can be found on the ABC News web-site.
Previously published (2/7/15) by Paul Craig Roberts.
Updates, 4 Jul 2015: Tsipras calls for 'No' vote in referendum on creditors’ demands | PressTV, 'No more looting': Thousands rally across EU to express solidarity with Greece | RT, 'No' and 'Yes' bailout referendum rallies gather thousands in Athens | RT, Greece – Risk of False-flagging Greece into Submission and Chaos? by Peter Koenig | Global Research, Could Greek resistance bring down the EU? (1/7/15) by Prof. John Quiggin | ABC The Drum, Greece and Other Musings On July 4th by Paul Craig Roberts, Greek Press Accused of Spinning Preliminary Poll Results as Yes Vote | Sputnik News.
James Galbraith, a professor at the University of Texas, explains what is at stake this Sunday. This is an important article. Because of the presstitute Western press, Americans, Europeans, Canadians, and Australians have no comprehension that their own liberty, or what little remains of it, is dependent on this vote. If the Greek people accept the conditions given to them in the ultimatum from the IMF, European Union, and European Central Bank, an ultimatum supported by Washington, the precedent will be established that the greed of the One Percent prevails over the sovereignty of peoples.
There is a massive Western propaganda campaign to make Greeks fearful and to use this fear to manipulate a Greek vote against their own government and in favor of the Global One Percent.
James K. Galbraith
Greece is heading toward a referendum on Sunday on which the future of the country and its elected government will depend, and with the fate of the Euro and the European Union also in the balance. At present writing, Greece has missed a payment to the IMF, negotiations have broken off, and the great and good are writing off the Greek government and calling for a "Yes" vote, accepting the creditors' terms for "reform," in order to "save the Euro." In all of these judgments, they are, not for the first time, mistaken.
To understand the bitter fight, it helps first to realize that the leaders of today's Europe are shallow, cloistered people, preoccupied with their local politics and unequipped, morally or intellectually, to cope with a continental problem. This is true of Angela Merkel in Germany, of François Hollande in France, and it is true also of Christine Lagarde at the IMF. In particular North Europe's leaders have not felt the crisis and do not know the economics, and in both respects they are the direct opposite of the Greeks.
For the North Europeans, the professionals at the "institutions" set the terms, and there is only possible outcome: to conform. The allowed negotiation was of one type only: more concessions by the Greek side. Any delay, any objection, could be seen only as posturing. Posturing is normal of course; politicians expect it. But to his fellow finance ministers the idea that the Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis was not posturing did not occur. When Varoufakis would not stop, their response was loathing and character assassination.
Contrary to some uninformed commentary, the Greek government knew from the beginning that it faced fierce hostility from Spain, Portugal and Ireland, deep suspicion from the mainstream left in France and Italy, implacable obstruction from Germany and the IMF, destabilization from the European Central Bank. But for a long time, these points were not proved internally. There are influential persons close to Tsipras who did not believe it. There are others who felt that, in the end, Greece would have to take what it could get. So Tsipras adopted a policy of giving ground. He let the accommodation caucus negotiate. And as they came back with concession after concession, he winced and agreed.
Ultimately, the Greek government found that it had to bow to the creditors' demands for a large and permanent primary surplus target. This was a hard blow; it meant accepting the austerity that the government had been elected to reject. But the Greeks did insist on the right to determine the form of austerity, and that form would be mainly to raise taxes on the wealthiest Greeks and on business profits. At least the proposal protected Greece's poorest pensioners from further devastating cuts, and it did not surrender on fundamental labor rights.
The creditors rejected even this. They insisted on austerity and also on dictating its precise shape. In this they made clear that they would not treat Greece as they have any other European country. The creditors tabled a take-it-or-leave-it offer that they knew Tsipras could not accept. Tsipras was on the line in any case. He decided to take his chances with a vote.
The stunned and furious reaction of the European leaders was, possibly, not entirely inauthentic. Perhaps they did not realize they were dealing with something not seen in Europe for some years: a political leader. Alexis Tsipras has only been on the international stage for a few months. He is brash, but charming. It would be easy for those as sheltered as Europe's present leaders to fail to figure him out – to fail to realize that like Varoufakis, Tsipras meant what he said.
Faced with Tsipras's decision to call a referendum, Merkel and her Deputy Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, Hollande of France and David Cameron of Britain – and shamefully also Italy's Matteo Renzi – all sent direct messages to the Greek people, that they would really be voting on membership in the Euro. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker went further, to say it would be a vote on membership in the European Union. It was an orchestrated threat: surrender or else.
In fact, neither the Euro nor the EU is at issue. The plain language of the referendum states that the vote is about the creditors' terms. The threat to expel Greece is an obvious bluff. There is no legal way to eject Greece from the Eurozone or the EU. The referendum is actually, and obviously, on the survival of the elected government in Greece. The European leaders know this, and they are trying now to ensure that Tsipras falls.
What does Tsipras gain by a "no" vote? Apart from political survival, only this: it is his way of proving, once for all, that he cannot yield to the conditions being demanded. So then the onus will be back on the creditors, and if they choose to destroy a European country, the crime will on their hands for all to see.
That said, there is no guarantee that Tsipras will win on Sunday. In the January elections, his party only won forty percent; now he needs a majority. Fear and confusion abound. The Greeks are, in effect, voting for a choice of unknowns, which can never be a sure thing.
If the Greeks vote "no", there is obvious uncertainty over the economic future. Perhaps the banks will stay shut, the deposits will be lost and the creditors will carry through their threats. The uncertainty is amplified, unavoidably, by the fact that the government cannot campaign to stay in the Euro and also explain how it would handle the trauma of being forced out. If there have been preparations, they are a well-kept secret so far.
If the Greeks vote "yes", on the other hand, the uncertainty is political. SYRIZA may split and its government may fall. What then? There is no credible alternative government in Greece. Moreover, it is hard to think that any government formed to accept the surrender and deepen the depression would last very long.
And it seems certain that after a "Yes", a surrender, and a deeper depression, the official Opposition would no longer be the pro-European Left that is today's government in Greece. Europe will have destroyed that. The new Opposition, and someday the government, will be either a Left or a Right party opposed to the Euro and to the Union. It could be Golden Dawn, the nazi party. The lesson of Greece also will not be lost on Oppositions elsewhere, including the rising far right in France.
The irony of the case is that the true hope – the only hope – for Europe lies in a "No" vote on Sunday, followed by renewed negotiations and a better deal. "Yes" is a vote for fear, against dignity and independence. Fear is powerful – but dignity and independence have a way of coming back.
- Negotiations have stalled because Greece's creditors (a) refused to reduce our un-payable public debt and (b) insisted that it should be repaid 'parametrically' by the weakest members of our society, their children and their grandchildren
- The IMF, the United States' government, many other governments around the globe, and most independent economists believe — along with us — that the debt must be restructured.
- The Eurogroup had previously (November 2012) conceded that the debt ought to be restructured but is refusing to commit to a debt restructure
- Since the announcement of the referendum, official Europe has sent signals that they are ready to discuss debt restructuring. These signals show that official Europe too would vote NO on its own 'final' offer.
- Greece will stay in the euro. Deposits in Greece's banks are safe. Creditors have chosen the strategy of blackmail based on bank closures. The current impasse is due to this choice by the creditors and not by the Greek government discontinuing the negotiations or any Greek thoughts of Grexit and devaluation. Greece's place in the Eurozone and in the European Union is non-negotiable.
- The future demands a proud Greece within the Eurozone and at the heart of Europe. This future demands that Greeks say a big NO on Sunday, that we stay in the Euro Area, and that, with the power vested upon us by that NO, we renegotiate Greece's public debt as well as the distribution of burdens between the haves and the have nots.
#appendix" id="appendix">Appendix: Other articles about Greece's default on IMF loan repayment
New York Times Warns Greece to Accept Endless Depression –Because Default Might Be Painful (26/6/15) | Global Research, Greece's exit from eurozone may be best choice: UK PM (27/6/15) | RT, Troika Intends Starving Greece Into Economic Submission (28/6/15) by Stephen Lendman | Global Research, On Greece and Europe: What is Called "Negotiation" is a Demand for Total Surrender (28/6/15) | Global Research, Greek Parliament Authorizes Referendum on Bailout Program (28/6/15) | Sputnik News, ?Eleventh hour deal on Greek debt still feasible – Juncker (29/6/15) |RT, "Greece Should Go Bankrupt, Get It Over and Start It Over" (29/6/15) | Global Research, Varoufakis threatens EU with court as Greek default looms – RT Business (30/6/15) | RT, European Leaders Dictate Terms for Greece (3/7/15) | WSWS/Global Research
Previously published (27/6/15) on PressTV as Tsipras calls for referendum on creditors' bailout demands.This article also includes embedded video Greece to hold nationwide referendum on the country's future on July 5. See also , That which you were never told about Greece (23/2/15) by Aléxis Tsípras | Voltaire, Greece to hold national referendum on debt deal - PM (27/6/15 - with video) | RT and other alternate and mainstream reports.
People in Greece will vote in a referendum on whether their government should agree to international creditors' demands in return for a bailout to the debt-ridden country, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says.
The plebiscite will be held on July 5, Tsipras said in a televised speech early on Saturday, adding that he had already informed Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and the largest opposition party, the conservative New Democracy party, about the plan.
"The Greek people are sovereign to decide," Tsipras said, emphasizing, "With national unity and composure we will take the decisions that we deserve."
Greece's troika of international lenders - the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - offered a €12-billion ($13.4-billion) extension of the current bailout deal to Athens on Friday on the condition that the cash-strapped country accepts the list of austerity reforms under a new agreement between the two sides.
The five-month extension to the bailout would be the third since last December. The creditors want Tsipras' government to accept key reforms on pensions and value-added tax (VAT).
"These proposals, which clearly violate the European rules and the basic rights to work, equality and dignity show that the purpose of some of the partners and institutions was not a viable agreement for all parties, but possibly the humiliation of an entire people," Tsipras said in his speech.
The creditors will also disburse the first €1.8 billion ($2 billion) in aid to help Greece avoid defaulting on its debt to the IMF if the country's lawmakers approve the reforms required by the lenders.
Greece received two bailout packages in 2010 and 2012 worth a total of €240 billion ($272 billion) from its creditors following its 2009 economic crisis, in return for implementing harsh austerity measures.
According to the terms of the bailout deal, Greece should make a €1.6-billion ($1.79 billion) payment to the IMF at the end of this month.
There are concerns that Greece may go bankrupt and have to leave the eurozone if a deal is not clinched by the end of June.
#video" id="video">Appendix 1: Greece to hold nationwide referendum on the country's future on July 5 (26/6/15) | RT
#OtherReports" id="OtherReports">Appendix 2: Other media reports
Alternate media: Stifling Growth in Greece: The Austerity Regime Continues (24/6/15) | Global Research, Greek Journalists "Trained by the IMF" in Washington to Spin Stories in Favor of the IMF and the European Commission (27/6/15) | Global Research, Syriza: Plunder, Pillage and Prostration: How the 'Hard Left' Embraces the Policies of the Hard Righ (27/6/15) | Global Research, European Leaders Dictate Terms for Greece (27/6/15) | , 'This road of austerity is spiral of death' – Greek minister (27/6/15) | RT - Op-Edge, What Greece's Creditors Should Know (27/6/15) | Global Research.
Mainstream media: Greece crisis live: shock referendum throws bail-out future into chaos ahead of crunch Brussels meeting (27/6/15) | The Telegraph, Greece's bailout referendum risks exit from euro (26/6/15) | CNN, The seven stages of Greece's debt tragedy (26/6/15) | The Guardian,Greece Divided on Bailout Referendum (27/6/15) | WSJ (behind paywall), Europe strikes back: It seems to be trying to push Greece out of the euro (25/6/15) | Washington Post, Germany says surprise Greek referendum plan shuts door on negotiations (27/6/15) | The Star, Greece is doomed (27/6/15) | Vox, Greece Debt Crisis: Lines Form at ATMs as PM Seeks Referendum on Bailout (27/6/15) | NBC, Greek debt crisis: ECB faces monumental decisions (27/6/15) | BBC, Greece's Tsipras summons cabinet as debt deadline nears (27/6/15) | Reuters.
In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss the impossible demand from the Greek voters that both austerity ends and that they remain in the euro as currently arranged. They also look at a parallel “future-tax” crypto currency as a possible answer to Greece’s problems. In the second half, Max interviews Liam Halligan, editor-at-large at BNE.eu and columnist at the Telegraph, about the latest on the unpayable debt crisis in Greece. Liam suggests a Grexit will happen but that Greece won’t be the first European nation to leave the euro.