Not sure if this has made it’s way over to Ireland yet but it’s one of the biggest stories of the day here in Germany. [Greek Finance Minister Yanis] Varofakis took part in a political debate Sunday last on ARD (German state broadcaster) with the German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. During the debate a video was showing of Varofakis giving a lecture from two years back, in which he gave the middle finger to Germany.
Varofakis denied this immediately and said that the video had been doctored. As you can imagine the German press, especially the more right leaning, had a mini field day with this, as it basically played into there ‘good fur nothin’ Greeks’ image there trying to spread at the minute. But today a slight spanner was thrown in the works.
A video released this morning by Jan Böhmermann, the host of Neon Magazine on ZDF (basically the RTE 2 of Germany), claims that he manipulated the video and posted it on the internet himself…they go to great lengths to show them manipulating the video, they even took the shadow detail into account. No one actually knows if Böhmermann is making this all up himself, or if he’s actually telling the truth. But as far as satire goes, it’s none too bad now!!!
PS. Giving the middle finger in German is called “jdm. den Stinkefinger zeigen”, which literally translates as showing someone the stinky finger…
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and finance minister Yanis Varoufakis
Germany and its allies are ready to let Greece leave the euro unless Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accepts the conditions required to extend his country’s financial support, according to Malta’s finance minister, Edward Scicluna.
Greece’s creditors are cranking up the pressure on Tsipras as he seeks a deal to prevent his country defaulting on its obligations as early as next month. By bowing to German demands, the premier risks a domestic backlash from voters and party members whom he’s promised an end to austerity.
As Greece heads toward 11th-hour funding talks with its euro-area membership on the line, bondholders are surprisingly sanguine about its failure so far to secure a deal.
Forget the strategists at Commerzbank AG who say there’s a 50 percent chance it’ll leave the currency bloc, and those at Barclays Plc who put the exit risk higher even than in the 2012 debt crisis. The Bloomberg Greece Sovereign Bond Index shows those with money at stake aren’t seeing a significant increase in the chances of a euro-zone departure….
Germany has rejected Greece’s application to extend its loan agreement and renegotiate the terms of its bailout, raising the very real threat of Athens running out of money in the coming weeks.
The Berlin government said on Thursday that Greece’s application for a six-month extension of its loan and a renegotiation of some its terms was “no substantial solution.”
Moments ago Bloomberg blasted a headline which has to be validated by other members of the European Commission as well as Merkel and the other Germans (and may well be refuted, considering this is Europe), which said that:Commission To propose Six Month Exension – sources So did Greece just win the first round of its stand off with Brussels? It remains to be confirmed, but congratulations to Greece if indeed it caused Merkel and the ECB to fold….
Maria Karagianni, a member of Syriza’s youth wing, at breakfast meeting hosted by Communities Against Water Charges in North Dublin at Edenmore, Dublin on Saturday.
“What we have learnt from the campaign is, never give up, it can be done, don’t give in to those who will try to discourage you, build as many alliances as you can..
“Then what happens is the mainstream media will try to attack the movement. The mainstream media is generally controlled by the elites in society who fear genuine grassroots movements of working people. They will always try to undermine movements resisting austerity. In Greece, you could have a rally with 10,000 people and it will not be in the news.”
Maria Karagianni, said when mainstream media failed to cover the protests, people turned to social media and covered their protests themselves. “Social media has been very important,” she said.
The anti-water charges campaign was “inspirational” to the Greek people, she said.
“It is so impressive. It is a genuinely working class movement that challenged the narrative that everything is good in Ireland and everyone is happy.”
From left: Moira Murphy Community against water charges, Richard Mc Aleavey Greek solidarity, Gerard Kennark from Community against water charges, Cat Inglis from Community against water charges, Maria Karagianni and Nyoman Tzouvla Syriza acivists, Ronan Burtenshaw from Greek solidarity.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble and Yanis Varoufakis today
Greece’s new finance minister has urged Germany to help end the “gross indignity” of the Greek debt crisis. Yanis Varoufakis said “too much time, hopes, lives” had been wasted by Greece’s forced austerity programme….