European Parliament Bans Single-Use Plastics in Historic Vote

For the Real News, I speak to Dr. Jonathan Latham about the European Parliament’s historic decision to adopt a broad ban on single-use plastics.

As Dr. Latham explains in our interview, the crisis of plastics pollutions in the oceans has become so severe that 95% of table salt contains plastic:

https://therealnews.com/stories/european-parliament-bans-single-use-plastics-in-historic-vote. 

Canada’s Eldorado Gold Demands 850 Million Euros From The Greek State

On my recent trip to Greece, I travelled to the Halkidiki region of northern Greece to see the Skouries open pit gold mine of Canadian miner Eldorado Gold. Standing at the edge of the mine, I spoke to Maria Kadoglou of Mining Watch Greece about fierce, local opposition to the mine and attempts by Eldorado to extract 850 million euros from the Greek State after the company was forced to suspend mining operations.

My report from the Skouries mine can be seen and heard here:

https://therealnews.com/stories/canadian-miner-eldorado-gold-demands-850-million-euros-from-greek-state.

The is the second of two field reports that I have done on the Skouries mine. In the first report, I covered the commencement of a trial in Thessaloniki, Greece against 21 local environmental defenders who are accused of committing criminal offences at the Skouries mine. That report can be seen here: https://therealnews.com/stories/greek-state-prosecutes-21-environmental-defenders-for-opposition-to-eldorado-gold-mine.

Resistance to the Skouries mine was featured in the Avi Lewis / Naomi Klein documentary, This Changes Everything.

 

 

Greek State Prosecutes 21 Environmental Defenders For Their Opposition To Eldorado Gold’s Skouries Mine

Eldorado Gold’s Skouries mine, situated in a pristine forest in the Halkidiki region of Greece, is, in many ways, a case study in how Canadian extractive corporations enrich their executives and shareholders by ruthlessly externalizing and imposing the costs of their profit-taking activities on local populations.

Earlier this month, I visited the courthouse in Thessaloniki, Greece to attend the first day of a trial in which 21 local activists who oppose this mine are being charged with a range of serious offences, including operating a criminal organization.

While at the Thessaloniki courthouse, I interviewed defence lawyer Vasilis Tzimourtos, who is acting for 9 of the 21 accused activists.

Mr. Tzimourtos argued that, not only is the state’s case against his clients devoid of evidence, but his clients are ordinary citizens who are being persecuted by the Greek authorities for having protected their families and their fellow citizens from the environmental depredations of this mine.

My report on the Skouries criminal trial and my interview of Mr. Tzimourtos can be seen and listened to here:

https://therealnews.com/stories/greek-state-prosecutes-21-environmental-defenders-for-opposition-to-eldorado-gold-mine

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

 

Greece’s Government and Creditors Downplay Austerity’s Contribution to ‘National Tragedy’ Wildfires.

For , I speak to Greek filmmaker and journalist Aris Chatzistefanou about austerity’s role in the devastation caused by wildfires near Athens last month.

According to Aris, the -led government of Alexis Tsipras is downplaying austerity’s degradation of Greece’s ability to manage catastrophes.

My conversation with Aris can be seen here:

https://therealnews.com/stories/the-roots-of-greeces-wildfire-crisis-climate-change-austerity-and-historical-neglect

Hope is Rising that the Greek Crisis Will be Overcome

For The Real News, I speak to Professor Aristides Baltas, a former member of the Syriza cabinet in Greece.

Professor Baltas talks about his experience in Greek politics, Greece’s relationship to the Trump administration, and Greece’s efforts to recover the Parthenon Marbles from Britain.

My interview of Professor Baltas can be seen here:

http://therealnews.com/t2/story:20801:Hope-is-Rising-that-the-Greek-Crisis-Will-be-Overcome

 

 

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.