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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Greek leader to reject EU's austerity

PM Alexis Tsipras to lay out plans for ending austerity


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Tsipras Proclaims End to Austerity

ATHENS — Greece’s prime minister has presented his newly-elected government’s policy statement to lawmakers, proclaiming an end to the era of austerity and “five years of bailout barbarity.” Insisting on a “bridge agreement” that would give Greece and its creditors time to negotiate a new debt deal much more favorable to the country by June, […] The post Tsipras Proclaims End to Austerity appeared first on The National Herald.


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Greek prime minister not backing down

Greek authorities would also reinstate at the end of the year the so-called 13th pension for retirees earning less than 700 euros a month, Tsipras said.


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Greek PM: I'll make good on campaign pledges

Speaking before the parliament Sunday, he said that the Greek people had not given him authority to negotiate an extension and that he would seek a ...


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Greek Leader Tsipras Pledges to Press Ahead on Undoing Austerity Measures

The Greek government also has said that it wants to change the terms of its funding agreement, which require the new leftist government to adhere to ...


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Greek leaders stick to anti-austerity stand

New Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was to lay out his radical left-wing government's policies in a speech later on Sunday, firmly rejecting any ...


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Former Fed Chair Greenspan Predicts Greece Will Leave Euro

Greece will eventually be forced to leave the eurozone and switch to a new currency, former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan told the BBC.


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT time.com

Defiant Tsipras Vows to Reverse Greek Bailout Measures

“It is the irrevocable decision of our government to honor the mandate of the Greek people and negotiate an end to the European Union’s austerity,” Tsipras said in an address to lawmakers marking the start of a three-day debate on his government’s policy platform. Tsipras, who came close to tears at one point during his speech Sunday evening in Athens, also said he would ask for World War II ...


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Greece just set up a huge clash with EU leaders

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's new leftist prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, said on Sunday he would not accept an extension to Greece's current bailout, ...


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Greece has 'moral obligation' to claim German WWII reparations: PM

Greece had "a moral obligation to our people, to history, to all European peoples who fought and gave their blood against Nazism," he said in a key ...


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Alan Greenspan predicts Greek exit from eurozone inevitable

Fred LambertLONDON, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Alan Greenspan said a Greek exit from the Eurozone was inevitable, since the country wants to re-negotiate its bailout in the face of stiff opposition.


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European Social democracy: A further enlargement?

by  Monnet Matters The post-Soviet era offered new opportunities to social democracy in Europe. The former Communist parties were very soon converted into social democratic parties and they joined the SD family. This occurred mainly in Central and East Europe, but it was also the case in some European Union member states. For instance, European social democracy found new members in many governments and played an important role in the first democratisation and privatisation period. The former ‘Nomenklatura’ men became respected socialists and reliable partners in the EU integration of the former Communist countries. While this happened in the Eastern part of Europe, social democracy was assisting the Southern part of Europe in another way. It is the former powerful Italian Communist Party that is the real ancestor of today’s ruling Democratic Party. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, to some extent, is a political descendant of the famous communist leader Enrico Berlinguer. In the 1990s and during the 2000s, social democracy played a role in the process of European enlargement and in the leadership of member states of the EU.   By participating in government or assuming the role of the opposition, it has played a leading role in the European enlargement and integration for the past 20 years. This important and active role assumed by European social democracy made it co-responsible for the crisis in Europe. Social democratic parties everywhere in the EU had to participate in the implementation of austerity policies. This is what ultimately created a gap between social democratic parties and their electoral basis and dissociated large parts of the working and middle class populations. It is no secret that inside the social democratic parties there is an ever greater discussion concerning the abandoned social policies and the need for a new turn in their policies, marked by greater social sensibility. Many socialist leaders are now looking for a new way to come out of their long cooperation with liberals and Christian democrats. In this new environment in the European social democratic family, the electoral victory of Syriza in Greece could be a ‘golden opportunity’. Since 2010, Syriza followed a trajectory which led the Greek party from a leftist group to a mature reformist party. It became what the Centre Left had tried for 20 years.  This means Syriza, with its positions today is very close to European social democracy. In favour of this is the fact that during the past few years a considerable number of former Pasok people joined the party. In addition, many of the leftists who were elected in 2012 didn’t manage to get re-elected. The Greek electoral body sent to parliament mainly people with a clear centre-left approach to politics. The difference is that since the Greek ruling party has a radical background and its evolution to what it is today was a gradual one, it is fresher than the old social democratic parties. The fact that Syriza has never participated in any government also means it is not spoiled by governing practices and habits. Independently of how fast the evolution of Syriza towards the Centre Left will be, it will be a one-way march to the other side and European social democracy will be ready to search again for its socially sensitive past.


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Greece's prime minister proclaims end to austerity in new government's policy statement

by  Associated Press Greek premier proclaims end to austerity in policy statement Associated Press - 8 February 2015 14:59-05:00 ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's prime minister has presented his newly-elected government's policy statement to lawmakers, proclaiming an end to the era of austerity and "five years of bailout barbarity." Insisting on a "bridge agreement" that would give Greece and its creditors time to negotiate a new debt deal much more favorable to the country by June, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras appeared to insist on an approach that got short shrift from EU partners in a series of meeting that Tsipras himself, and his finance ministers, had with European officials this past week. Tsipras emphasized measures to provide for the poor and to clash with vested interests. But raising the minimum wage to pre-crisis levels was postponed until 2016. Greek lawmakers will debate the policy statement and hold a confidence vote at midnight Tuesday. News Topics: Business, General news, Government and politics, Government policy People, Places and Companies: Alexis Tsipras, Greece, Western Europe, Europe Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Make the euro work for all or get rid of it

The founders of the EU wanted to ensure that through mutual dependency and support wars that led to so much devastation in the first part of the 20th century could no longer happen, while allowing Europe to continue as a force on the world stage with the rise of continental powers such as China and India. Such fundamental principles of common cause will be totally undermined if the eurozone powerhouses, as Nils Pratley terms them (5 February), continue to demand austerity from Greece, regardless of the economic and social consequences or the democratic will of its people.The reason most of the British favour retaining EU membership is trade. Countries like the UK not in the eurozone already sit on the sidelines as the European economy stagnates. However, if the eurozone “powerhouses” continue to bully Greece and punish its electorate for daring to vote against austerity – or worse, force a Greek exit from the euro or even the EU – how long will it be before eurosceptic voices suggest that a simple free trade area such as Efta is the best way to ensure that national sovereignty and European democracy are sustained? The break up of the EU will follow. A monetary union without a fiscal union was always a step too far. Now eurozone countries should either make it work for all the countries or accept it is a failure and get rid of it. JD Budden Exmouth, Devon Continue reading...


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Germany v Greece is a fight to the death, a cultural and economic clash of wills

Berlin’s attitude to Syriza looks condescending, the Greek popular mood is verging on a national revolt – and there is little sign of either side backing downLast week, after the European Central Bank staged its coup against the Greek banks, forcing them to rely on emergency assistance, I asked a friend in Athens whether there’d been a rise in anti-German sentiment. “Hard to say,” he replied. “It has been running at such a fever pitch recently that it would be difficult for it to get any higher.”Hellenic culture, of course, has a unique relationship with Germany. The Greek-American comedian Yannis Pappas, whose alter-ego Mr Panos parodies the “lazy Greek” stereotype, responded to the ECB’s move with an instant video blog. With cruel humour, it evoked the high death toll among German paratroopers landing on Crete in 1941. And it went viral. Continue reading...


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Greece's Tsipras rejects EU bailout, proposes 'bridge program'

Alexis Tsipras, Greece's new prime minister, has said he does not want to extend the European Union's bailout deal. Athens needs a 'bridge program' until a new deal is finalized, Tsipras told parliament.


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Athens-EU clash bodes ill for all sides

The new Greek government looks set to reject EU proposals for an extension of the bailout program and stick to its own proposal for a bridging agreement to keep the state functioning for a few months until a much-anticipated, final agreement is in place. The SYRIZA-led government is unwilling to sign an agreement, requiring major concessions relative to the leftist party’s program and this likely sets the stage for a confrontation with the EU. The government’s policy program is key but it is unlikely to satisfy the lenders’ demands. Therefore, we expect events to unfold fast with the ECB having the last word.


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'The bailout failed': Greek PM sets up clash with EU leaders

Europe's future depends on the success of a Greek deal ... Over the past week, Greek officials have laid out what they see as a transitional plan to ...


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Greek Premier Proclaims End to Austerity in Policy Statement

Greece's prime minister proclaims end to austerity in new government's policy statement


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Investors incur losses of more than 4.5 bln

Major foreign investors in Greece have incurred losses of more than 4.5 billion euros in total from the drop of asset values in their Greek portfolios. This concerns significant institutional investors who believed in the Greek effort and supported it, but are now seeing their investments vanish.


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Russia is getting military bases in an EU state

Cyprus has offered Russia to have air and navy bases on its territory. Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades announced that the country is ready to host Russian aviation and naval bases. The official agreement on military cooperation between the two nations is expected be signed on February 25, 2015, according to Lenta.ru. "There is an old [defense] agreement, which should be renewed as is. At the same time, some additional services will be provided in the same way as we do with other countries, such as, for example, with France and Germany," Nicos Anastasiades said. "Cyprus and Russia have traditionally had good relations, and this is not subject to change." Cyprus' announcement comes after Russia expressed interest in having a military base in Cyprus in late January, according to the Global Post and Greek Reporter. Notably, Cyprus is one of the 28-member states in the EU, which have been imposing sanctions on Russia over the past year in response to the actions in Ukraine.  And just like Greece has recently caused a stir by complicating the process of extending sanctions on Russia, Cyprus, too, just voiced some opposition to the additional sanctions on Russia, adding that many EU members share that opinion. "We want to avoid further deterioration of relations between Russia and the European Union," the Cypriot president reportedly said. So military cooperation between Cyprus and Russia is yet another red flag for the EU. Presumably, the Russian Air Force will use the airbase "Andreas Papandreou," along with the international airport of Paphos in the southwest of the island, approximately 50 kilometers from the air base of the British Royal Air Force "Akrotiri." Additionally, the Russian navy will be able to permanently use the base of Limassol, according to Lenta.Ru. "The Limassol port borders on the British air base of Akrotiri which serves NATO operations and is also an important hub in the electronic military surveillance system of the alliance," according to the Global Post. Given Russia and Cyprus' shady economic relationship over the last two decades (ever since the fall of the USSR), perhaps this isn't all that surprising. Russia Today reports that "Russians have transferred over $30 billion (around $1 trillion roubles) to Cyprus over the past twenty years, according to a study published by a group of economists from Russia, Finland and Canada." In 2013, during the Cypriot financial crisis, analysts estimated that over a third of bank deposits in Cyprus may have had Russian origin, and reportedly, many Russian companies are registered on the island. Some reports even went as far as saying that Cyprus has become “a major money laundering machine for Russian criminals” back in 2013. Even today, Russia's current economic problems are reportedly further dragging down Cyprus. "Russia's presence in the economy has been a huge supporting factor. Its footprint is everywhere from tourism to real estate, so it is worth monitoring the impact," said Michael Florentiades, chief economist and head of investment research at XM.com, an online financial services company in Limassol. Naturally, Russia's heavy-duty financial involvement in a EU state "raised concerns among the island country's Western allies" over the past few years, according to Euractiv. But the most alarming Russia-Cyprus dalliance came during the height of the Cypriot financial crisis when Cyprus was reportedly negotiating with Russia for a bailout in 2013. The EU was particularly nervous about this because there was speculation that Russia might ask for a naval port and access to the country's gas reserves in return. Ultimately, however, Cyprus opted for a "€10 billion bailout agreed with the troika, in return for closing the country’s second largest bank Laiki, and imposing a one-time levy on all uninsured deposits, including those held by foreign citizens." On top of all of that, it's notable that Russia made some major moves in the Mediterranean recently. In mid-January, Russia announced that it will shift all its natural gas flows to Europe via Turkey, instead of Ukraine."Our European partners have been informed of this and now their task is to create the necessary gas transport infrastructure from the Greek and Turkish border," the head of Gazprom Alexei Miller said in a statement. Additionally, Russia and Greece's new government have taken initiatives to explore their military and economic relationship (for example, here, here, and here). In fact, the new Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras even stated in early February: "Greece and Cyprus can become a bridge of peace and cooperation between the EU and Russia." So this part of the world could soon become very interesting — and a huge pain for Europe.SEE ALSO: Putin-backed rebels just made a huge move under Europe's nose Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: What Happened When A Bunch Of Young Boys Were Told To Hit A Girl


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Columns: Can't pay or won't pay – The Greek gamble

Much as expected, Syriza has won the Greek election and formed a government in partnership with an ideologically opposite right-wing party.


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Undeclared assets may be confiscated

The government is planning stiff penalties for tax dodgers, which could even include the confiscation of assets in Greece and abroad that have not been declared to authorities.


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Greece does not want bailout extension but bridge programme: Tsipras

Athens (AFP) - New Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Sunday that Greece did not want an extension of its bailout but a "bridge programme" which would buy the country time to negotiate a new deal."Greece wants to service its debt. If our peers want so too, they are invited to come to the table of dialogue so we can discuss how to make it viable," he said in a key policy speech to parliament.He also stressed "the government's unshakeable decision to honour all our pre-elect promises."Join the conversation about this story »


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Greek PM Tsipras sets up another EU clash, refuses bailout extension

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's new leftist prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, said on Sunday he would not accept an extension to Greece's current bailout, setting up a clash with EU leaders - who want him to do just that - at a summit on Thursday.


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The world should listen to Greece's big idea about debt

Relations between Greece and its euro-zone rescuers reached a new low on Feb. 5. Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister, announced that he ...


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Greece to Unveil Economic Policy Ahead of Key European Union Talks

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will unveil a high-stakes economic programme today ahead of a key meeting with eurozone finance ministers this week when Athens will push for a new debt deal with i...


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Tsipras pledges to deal with the wounds of austerity

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Sunday that was sticking to his campaign pledges, including giving free food and electricity to those who suffered from austerity. He also announced a series of cuts to politicians' benefits such as banning ...


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Tsipras outlines government plan – LIVE

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras unveils his government programme to parliament.


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Greece says no to bailout extension, but pledges to honour its debt

NEW GREEK PRIME Minister Alexis Tsipras said Athens did not want an extension of its bailout but insisted on the need for a “bridge programme” which would buy the country time to negotiate a new deal. “The new government is not justified in asking ...


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The bailout failed — Greek Prime Minister

Athens: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Sunday dismissed his country's European Union and International Monetary Fund bailout and said he ...


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Greek FinMin Varoufakis Urges ‘New Deal’ for Europe, Financed by EIB

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, in an interview with Italy’s RAI 3 public television to be aired on Sunday evening, underlined that “the Greece’s government will suggest a New Deal for Europe, like US President Roosevelt had done. A New Deal for Europe that will be financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB), increasing the funds already allocated by 10 times.” Varoufakis said in the interview that important Italian institution officials have told him “they stand in solidarity with our country but they cannot tell the truth because Italy is also at risk of going bankrupt and they fear of possible consequences on behalf of Germany.” “The entire Europe is covered in a cloud of fear. We are at risk of becoming worse than the former Soviet Union,” he said, adding that “we, the Greeks, don’t have the monopoly on the truth. What we can do, for the rest of Europe and for Italy in particular, is to open a small door to the truth. We cannot find the truth on our own, but we can open a door and move so that you can join us. This way, we will be able to leave the darkness of present austerity and enter into the light of a European rational and sober discussion.” “It is all about ideas and proposals that concern the entire Europe, because we, the Greeks, don’t think that we have the right to ask for ourselves anything that will not be in effect for the Italians, the Portuguese or the Irish as well. Sooner or later, Chancellor Merkel will have to explain why she does not approve our proposals,” Varoufakis said. (source: ama-mpa)


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Greek Deputy Defense Minister Calls for Immediate End of Violence in Ukraine

Greek Deputy Defense Minister Kostas Isichos called for an immediate end to the “continuously escalating violence” in Ukraine, announcing that there are plans for Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias to visit Moscow, Kiev and possibly Mariupol, where the presence of Ukrainians of Greek origin is strong. In an interview on Greek radio on Saturday, he said that the Ukrainian government is held hostage by Euro-Atlantic rationales adding, however, that the Franco-German initiative can have positive aspects if military operations cease, even temporarily, particularly in the region around Mariupol where there are an estimated 100,000 Ukrainians of Greek origin. Referring to the stepping up of EU sanctions against Russia which, in turn, responded with increased countermeasures against the EU, he said that it is an extremely dangerous path, adding that Greece supports efforts for rapprochement between the two sides. Commenting on the relations between Turkey and Israel, he underlined that Greece should not only keep a balance but, at the same time, should be a pillar of stability and peace for the two sides and the greater region. On the relations between Greece and Cyprus, he said that very close cooperation between the two countries is emerging in regards to their strategy aimed at disengaging or easing as much as possible the increased supervision sought by the partners, so that both countries can enter an economic growth path. He clarified that there are big differences between the two countries, both economic and geopolitical, as well as regarding the agreements with the partners, but despite this, the governments of Greece and Cyprus will closely cooperate on the level of summit meetings where they can join forces on many issues. Referring to the fight against the jihadists and what Greece will do if the United States requests its assistance, he said that Greece will very carefully examine its role in the fight against the jihadists, which is a necessary process by all countries. On the demands that could be made by the United States in the fight against the jihadists, he observed that “it is the international community, many countries, who are interested in fighting against this plague. Therefore, our cooperation with all the countries, in the West and the East, against this threat is a very important factor.” (source: ana-mpa)


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Greece needs bridge loan, not bailout

Greece cannot service its huge debt and will seek a bridge loan rather than an extension of its bailout, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said.


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Tsipras Says Greece Seeks Bridge Accord Until June

Alexis Tsipras, Greece's prime minister, front center, stands alongside Giannis Dragasakis, Greece's deputy prime minister, ahead of the swearing-in ...


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Scenarios on Greece’s Current Position

Greece is in the center of media attention across the world this week. Reuters published an article on the possible scenarios that may play out over the next days and Thursday’s EU summit. The week will begin with the G20 Finance Ministers’ meeting and will end with the European Union leaders’ summit that will determine Greece’s fate. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is scheduled to participate in his first ever EU summit on Thursday, February 12, after he failed to win the support of other Eurozone leaders in regards to Greece’s debt and austerity negotiations. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, February 11, the Eurogroup Finance Ministers will meet in order to pave the road. “The Eurozone’s position has not shifted despite a Greek charm offensive,” noted Reuters. “As things stand, we consider the most likely outcome to be a Eurogroup offer of a new third program,” said Deutsche Bank strategist George Saravelos. “At the same time, such an offer is very likely to be attached to strict conditions.” According to Reuters, no one wants to question the monetary union’s durability by letting Greece exit the Eurozone. However, Tsipras will have to compromise and settle for much less than he promised before the elections. He may even have to change his position on the bailout program extension in order to win some time. “The most realistic way forward is to… extend the duration of the program for another couple of months or half a year, thus allowing also more time for negotiation,” European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis told Reuters.


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Austrian Chancellor: Grexit Option Must be Eliminated

“We should save Greece and Europe from a Grexit option,” Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann underlined in a newspaper interview ahead of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras‘ visit on Monday. In the interview to be published on the Sunday issue of Austrian newspaper “Kurier,” Faymann said that he is against a debt write-off but in favor of negotiations on technical loan terms, giving Greece more room in the future to exit the crisis. Responding to a question on the telephone communication he had with the Greek Prime Minister last Wednesday, he said that Tsipras wants to have the opportunity to propose the way in which Greece will meet its obligations toward institutions and its EU partners. On whether he believes Greece will be rescued or there will be a Grexit, the Austrian Chancellor said “it depends on the way PM Tsipras wishes to implement his reform plans,” adding that “we should save Greece and Europe from a Grexit.” (source: ana-mpa)


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PM Tsipras reveals Gov’t policy program- Live blog from Athens

Under immense pressure but his Euro-zone partners, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is to reveal the policy program of the SYRIZA-Independent Greeks coalition government. Greek media have been reporting earlier Sunday, that the Greek coalition does not intend to bow to EZ-pressure to stick to strict austerity and the commitments […]


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The Many Faces of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is an actor of some talent. To the revolutionary leaders in Tahrir Square, and to the youth leaders he met, he was the general who told them the army was on their side. To Egypt's first democratically elected president, he was the religiously observant officer, whose hands shook when told he would replace Mohammed Tantawi as commander-in-chief. To liberals like Mohammed elBaradei, Sisi was the man who would get rid of Morsi and hand over power to a civilian government. To America, Europe and Israel, he was a westerner. To Nasserites, an Arab nationalist. But sometime, somewhere, Sisi would be caught without a script, off-mic, revealing his real thoughts and personality. This has now happened in a series of leaks of recorded conversations of his senior officials. In earlier leaks, they were allegedly recorded giving instructions on what Egyptian TV anchors should say about Sisi's candidacy for the presidency. They appeared to be tampering with a high profile court case of four police officers involved in the killing of 37 detainees en route to prison. On Saturday night the most significant of the leaks was broadcast, as they concerned conversations about Egypt's Gulf donors. When the Turkey-based Egyptian satellite TV channel Mekameleen broadcast the audio recordings, the satellite link was jammed. The contents came out on YouTube. In one excerpt allegedly recorded about a year ago, Sisi, Mahmoud Higazi, who was then head of military intelligence and now head of the army, and Brigadier General Abbas Kamil, the manager of Sisi's office, were talking about asking Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait for $10 billion each. They discussed how the money was to be transferred -- not into the coffers of the state, or the central bank, but surreptitiously in small amounts to bank accounts used by the Egyptian Army. The translated excerpt reads: Sisi: Look, you tell him that we need 10 to be deposited in the army's account. 10 what? Kamil: Into the army's account. Sisi: These 10, when we succeed will be worked for what? For the state. We want another ten like them from the UAE and we want from Kuwait another ten like them. That is in addition to the two pennies [Egyptian expression for small amounts of money] to be deposited in the Central Bank and to complement the account of 2014. Kamil: (Laughter) Sisi: What are you laughing at? Kamil: (Still laughing) He'll pass out. Sisi: What? Kamil: He'll pass out. (laughs) Sisi: They have money like rice [meaning too much]. Kamil: I know, Sir. Sisi: The Americans [tell them] this figure is this ... like this. In another recording, Kamil is allegedly telling a Saudi official, Fahad al-Askar, an aide to Khalid al-Tuwaijri, then Secretary General of the Saudi Royal Court, that the Egyptian military army council will back Sisi's bid for the presidency. This was as the meeting itself was taking place. The tone is contemptuous. In a third recording, Kamil describes his key Gulf donors as "half-states" who should "pay up" because they "are living a fancy life and have piles of money." Kamil said Kuwait owes Cairo for sending 35,000 troops to the coalition against Baghdad after Iraq's invasion in 1990. Egypt should have demanded the money then. These recordings cannot be independently verified and they were leaked to a satellite station in Turkey that is pro-Morsi. The satellite channel is so confident that these voices are genuine that they having them tested by international voice recognition experts. Coming on top of what has already been published from Saudi sources about the links between Sisi's office and Tuwaijri, the weight of evidence leads one to conclude they are genuine. Coming just weeks before an international donors conference in which the same Gulf States are expected to cough up billions of dollars more, the leaks are timely. They allegedly show Sisi diverting money meant for the reconstruction of the state into the Egyptian Army's coffers. And they beg the question: Where has all this money gone? The donor's conference in Sharm el Sheikh is key. A $4.8 billion loan from the IMF has fallen through twice over its insistence that Egypt reform subsidies which account for one-third of its budget. Without the money from donors, money from the IMF looks less likely. Sisi has had the begging bowl out several times already. The last occasion was for a $8.5 billion project to dig a second Suez Canal in the hope of doubling annual revenue of $5 billion by 2023. Dredging work on the grandiose scheme started in January, but already there has been one collapse in a precipitation basin and there are rumours that companies might be considering pulling out. Sisi got this money from small investors to whom he promised large and swift returns. Egypt's budget is running at an annual deficit of around 10 to 11 percent. It has been given more than $33 billion by the Gulf States, which is one-third of the current budget, and still the budget continues to shrink. Not unlike the dredging works of the Suez Canal, money pours in and the grand project of rebuilding the shattered state continues to sink into the sand. The latest leaks were intended, however, for another audience. King Salman has already turfed out the characters involved in Sisi's cozy ring. But Saudi Arabia has yet to declare its policy on Egypt. Will the kingdom to continue to bankroll a corrupt Egyptian army? For how much longer will Saudi Arabia see the Egyptian army as a stabilizing force, when instability in the country is growing? Will it keep on funding unconditionally? Already calls demanding accountability for the money Tuwaijri gave Sisi are making themselves heard. In a series of tweets, Prince Saud Bin Seif Al-Nasr, the grandson of the late King Saud Bin Abdulaziz claimed that $20 billion was stolen and divided between Al-Tuwaijri and the Egyptian generals. Despite the billions "showered on Egyptian generals like rain," no single problem has been resolved. "The Egyptians are still suffering from electricity, gas and bread crises. It is clear that the gang headed by him [Al-Tuwaijri] stole the money with the Egyptian generals," Al-Nasr tweeted. The international scene already looks different to what it was for Sisi just one year ago. Saudi Arabia is under new management, and one that has kept its contacts with Turkey and Qatar, Sisi's avowed enemies. Greece is, too. The alliance Egypt was trying to build with Greece and Israel also looks in tatters. Greece's new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, is on the other side on that particular divide. Sisi has presented many faces to his bosses, his people and his former allies. Just maybe, more of them might be seeing his real face today.


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All Grexit needs is a few more bad weeks

Athens and its creditors have only days to decide how Greece survives the next four months


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Greek PM Tsipras says EU bailout failed, rejects extension

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Sunday dismissed his country's European Union and International Monetary Fund bailout and said he would not ask EU leaders for an extension.


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'Britain steps up plans for possible Greek exit from EU'

The British finance minister says the UK government is stepping up its contingency plans for a possible Greek exit from the eurozone. Treasury chief ...


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Greek Exit From Euro Seen by Greenspan as Just a Matter of Time

(Bloomberg) -- Greece's exit from the euro is just a matter of time because no one wants to risk lending money to the country any more, according to ...


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Greece has exposed the economic Achilles heel

Wikimedia CommonsGreece has merely exposed the fatal flaw of the modern economy, it's Achilles Heel (to stay with the Greek motif), which is that, by definition, a system suffering from too much debt cannot pay it back. The new Greek political party, known ...


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Greek finance minister says euro will collapse if Greece exits

ROME (Reuters) - If Greece is forced out of the euro zone, other countries will inevitably follow and the currency bloc will collapse, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said on Sunday. Greece's new ...


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Varoufakis urges 'New Deal' for Europe, financed by European Investment Bank

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis in an interview on Italy's Rai 3 public television “Presa Diretta” talk show, to be aired on Sunday evening, underlined that “the Greek government will suggest a New Deal for Europe, like US President ...


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Turkey’s PM says AKP will not succumb to ‘Jewish lobby’

PM Davuto─člu has said gov't will not succumb to the Jewish lobby, the Armenian lobby or the lobby of the Turkish-Greek minority


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Greece’s anti-austerity plan to be phased in to placate creditors

Prime minister Alexis Tsipras to prioritise easing of humanitarian crisis but will introduce measures graduallyGreece’s new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, is poised to unveil his anti-austerity government programme to parliament, amid indications he will compromise on some measures to placate international creditors.Two weeks after storming to power, the far left has prepared a policy statement officials say will prioritise easing the humanitarian crisis wrought by years of austerity. Continue reading...


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Greece premier Tsipras to outline radical left-wing government-policy track

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (front) and Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis (right) at Greece's parliament in Athens on February 6, 2015. Tsipras ...


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The Nonsense Varoufakis Brought To Germany

New Greek Finance Minister Yannis Varoufakis is certainly an eloquent, intelligent man. But does he have any common sense? The post The Nonsense Varoufakis Brought To Germany appeared first on The National Herald.


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