Greece Exits its Bailout but Remains Shackled by Debt and Austerity

This week, the Greek government of Alexis Tsipras announced with great fanfare that Greece had exited its bailout and that it had regained, finally, the freedom to pursue its own economic and social policies.

But is this true?

For The Real News, I spoke yesterday to former Syriza MP Costas Lapavitsas. Costas Lapavitsas is currently a Professor of Economics at the University of London. In 2015, after Prime Minister Tsipras disregarded the historic result of a Greek referendum on austerity, Professor Lapavitsas defected from Syriza to the newly formed Popular Unity Party.

As he explains in this interview, despite Greece’s official exit from the bailout, the Greek government will remain shackled by debt and austerity for years to come. Moreover, the structure of Greece’s economy has not fundamentally changed, but its productive capacity has been severely degraded by austerity.

Our conversation can be seen and heard here:

https://therealnews.com/stories/greece-exits-its-bailout-but-remains-shackled-by-debt-and-austerity

 

If Trump’s G7 Antics Prove Anything, It’s That Canada Must Become Less Dependent on U.S. Trade

On The Real News, I discuss with Sharmini Peries Canada’s excessive dependence on trade with the United States and the pressing need for Canada to diversify its trading relationships.

Sharmini and I also discuss Doug Ford’s reckless plan to withdraw Ontario from a cap-and-trade program with California and Quebec.

My conversation with Sharmini can be seen here:

https://therealnews.com/stories/trudeau-imposes-retaliatory-trade-tariffs-against-the-u-s

Forced Privatization of The Greek Port of Piraeus, One Year Later

For The Real News, I speak with with Giorgos Gogos, general Secretary of the Dockworkers Union at the Port of Piraeus in Greece.

As Giorgos explains, the Troika of Greece’s creditors forced the privatization of 67% of the massive Port of Piraeus. The purchase price amounted to a pittance.

As a result, the most secure and lucrative state asset in Greece, which could have generated ongoing revenue to ease Greece’s crushing debt load, is now under the control of Chinese shipping company Cosco.

My interview of Mr. Gogos can be seen here:

http://therealnews.com/t2/story:20691:Forced-Privatization-of-The-Greek-Port-of-Piraeus%2C-One-Year-Later.

For Ordinary Greeks, Has Greece’s Battered Economy Turned the Corner?

This is my first report for The Real News on my current trip to Greece. At the gates of the Athens Polytechnic, site of the November 1973 uprising against a U.S.-backed military junta, we ask people living in Athens to respond to Greek government suggestions that Greece’s austerity-battered economy is improving.

Quote of note: “What the government is talking about is that people got used to the idea of being poor. That’s very different from saying that things are getting better. The thing is that this whole thing happened obviously for them to manage to keep wages as low as possible. And they’ve obviously managed to do that. The minimum wage now is, I think, 540 euros a month, and there’s no way someone could live in Athens with this amount of money in his pocket. And this is especially hard on young people and older people. These are the people who’ve been hit more than anybody else from this situation.”

My report can be seen here:

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=20260

G20 Protestors Call for An Alternative To the Neoliberal Order

On the Real News, I speak to Professor Patrick Bond about the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. Professor Bond was in Hamburg throughout the summit and discusses the suppression of peaceful protest by German authorities and the complete absence of any concrete agreements at the G20 summit to address the climate crisis or grotesque inequalities around the world. My interview of Professor Bond can be watched here:

http://therealnews.com/t2/story:19510:G20-Protestors-Call-for-An-Alternative-To-the-Neoliberal-Order

Trump’s Corporate Funded Climate Study Gets it Wrong

In explaining his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, Donald Trump cited highly dubious economic predictions from National Economic Research Associates (NERA), a U.S.-based consulting firm with a long history of pandering to right-wing causes. In this report for The Real News, I discuss NERA and Trump’s rationale for withdrawing from the Paris accord with Steve Horn of DeSmogBlog:

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=767&Itemid=74&jumival=19298.