By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The globalized economy is not working for most people of the world. International trade agreements and new government structures like the European Union serve corporate power and put the people and planet aside to ensure profits continue to come first. They undermine democracy and national sovereignty, leaving people feeling more powerless. By pushing austerity and commodification of public services, people are now more economically insecure with less wealth and lower incomes. The response of many is anger. Some protest austerity, others blame people of a different skin color, heritage or ethnicity. The surprise vote in the UK to leave the European Union is the latest, and perhaps the biggest, example of the blowback economic and political elites are getting for their actions. Brexit shows we have our work to do to educate people that this is not about racism and anger at ethnic groups, but is really the battle between the people and the elites. It is a conflict over whether we the people will have the power to decide our futures, whether we can create a fair economy that serves more than the 1% and whether we can act in ways that are consistent with the needs of the environmental crisis we face.
European Central Bank
By C J Polychroniou in TruthOut. Negotiations between Greece and its official creditors - the European Commission, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Central Bank - are currently in renewed deadlock. Yet, only a few days ago, in the Euro summit on Monday, June 22, all indications were that Europe’s political beasts and the "criminal IMF" were ready to accept thelatest capitulation on the part of the Greek leftist government, which, since coming to power in late January, has spent a lot of time doing nothing more than "yelling, kicking and screaming" against austerity and the bailout program (and treating senior-level EU officials with disdain in public as part of its well-orchestrated populist theatrics) while at the same time seeking to assure Greece’s euro partners that it is committed to keeping the country in the euro area and that it would fulfill all its obligations to the creditors.
By Anastasios Papapostolou for Greek Reporter. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced that Greece will hold a referendum on July 5 to ask the Greek people if they approve of a bailout deal with the country’s creditors. In a nationally televised address after midnight Friday in Athens, Tsipras announced the July 5 vote and excoriated a take it-or-leave it offer as a violation of European Union rules and “common decency”. “After five months of tough negotiations, our partners unfortunately resorted to a proposal-ultimatum to the Greek people,” Tsipras said. “I call on the Greek people to rule on the blackmailing ultimatum asking us to accept a strict and humiliating austerity without end and without prospect.” He said German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi have been informed of the plan, and he’ll request an extension of Greece’s existing bailout, due to end June 30, by a few days to permit the vote without having to introduce capital controls in the Greek banks.
Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, has been attacked by a protester during his regular press conference. A woman jumped on the table where Mr Draghi was sat at the start of his interest rate press conference on Wednesday, yelling: "End ECB dictatorship". A similar phrase was written on the woman's t-shirt. The woman - who is thought to be named Josephine Witt, a political activist - dropped a shower of confetti and papers over the ECB president, who was taken by surprise. The woman has been arrested, though no-one was hurt and Mr Draghi, who was escorted from the room for a brief period, was seen smiling after the incident occurred. Mr Draghi even extended the hour-long press conference by ten minutes. "What I suggest is that we make up for the time we lost, so we can stay 10 minutes more," he told reporters.
Several police cars have been set on fire, with windows being smashed and demonstrators throwing stones at police ahead of the massive demonstration on Wednesday. Authorities say at least one officer has been injured by a stone hurled by an activist, near the city's opera house. Up to 350 people were detained by police. Organizers have accused the police of sparking the violence, saying they set up a "civil war type scenario" to provoke demonstrators. "This is not what Blockupy planned," spokesman Hendrik Wester said. Video footage has shown riot police running through the city, with at least one protester being dragged away.