Monti Calls for EU Summit to Confront Populism

Italian Premier Mario Monti on Saturday proposed a special European summit to confront growing populism in the face of the continent’s financial crisis. “We are in a dangerous phase,” Monti said on the sidelines of the Ambrosetti Forum on Lake Como after meeting with European Union Council President Herman van Rompuy. He said a divisive … Continue reading

The extremism of Greece’s centre ground

Golden Dawn has become a useful tool in the hands of those who try to equate neo-Nazism with the anti-bailout movement. by Aris Chatzistefanou Walter Benjamin once said that “every fascism is an index of a failed revolution”. In that sense, the election of 21 members of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn to the Greek parliament could … Continue reading

For Sale: Greek Government Assets — Slightly Used

Greece is trying to raise cash by reviving an ambitious program to privatize state assets. The country’s lenders, which include the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, hope the sell-off will cut the country’s enormous debt. But Antonis Tsifis, who runs a betting shop in a working-class neighborhood in Athens, is upset that the … Continue reading

Michael Noonan: I’m willing to overrule Finance officials and release ECB letter on bailout

FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan says he is willing to overrule civil servants in his department and release a letter from the ECB which forced Ireland into a bailout. Mr Noonan was speaking in Limerick this morning, and said it “would be appropriate” for him to publish the letter, despite his department previously refusing to release it under … Continue reading

It’s not rhetoric to draw parallels with Nazism

by LAURIE PENNY Actual fascists in actual black shirts are waving swastikas and murdering ethnic minorities in Athens. “After the immigrants, you’re next.” That’s what was written on flyers that appeared this week in the gay clubbing district of Athens. As violence against immigrants and ethnic minorities escalates across Greece, supporters of the ultra-right Golden Dawn … Continue reading

Protesting Italian miner slashes wrist on television

(Reuters) – A Sardinian miner slashed his wrist in front of television cameras on Wednesday as some 100 fellow workers stayed barricaded underground in a campaign to keep Italy’s only coal pit open. “We cannot take it any more. We cannot! We cannot!” Stefano Meletti, 49, shouted to reporters in a dark chamber of the … Continue reading

Spetses, the tycoons’ playground where gulf between rich and poor grows wider

by Vanessa Thorpe On a jetty alongside the town beach a loud phone call disturbs the peace of a handful of Spetses residents lying in the sun before taking their daily swim – one free pleasure that is still available to all. A rich weekender from Athens booms ostentatiously into his mobile, directing a man … Continue reading

The Greek patient returns for more help

by BEN CHU The Greek begging bowl is being brandished, once again, in European capitals. The leader of the country’s coalition government, Antonis Samaras, wants Athens to be given more time to fulfil the conditions of its IMF/EU bailout. Under the agreement’s present terms, Athens is required to reduce its budget deficit, which stood at 9.3 … Continue reading

Greece must bring an end to racist and xenophobic attacks

The Greek authorities must do more to prevent racist and xenophobic attacks and fully investigate those that occur, Amnesty International said following the fatal stabbing of an Iraqi man amid a rise in xenophobic attacks. The 19-year-old died in hospital on Sunday after being repeatedly stabbed near an unofficial mosque in Anaxagora Street in central … Continue reading

Serb government tightens grip on central bank despite EU, IMF warning

BELGRADE (Reuters) – Serbia’s Socialist-led government stepped up control over the central bank in the struggling ex-Yugoslav republic on Saturday, ignoring IMF criticism and a warning that the move would hurt its bid to join the European Union. Parliament adopted amendments to the law on the National Bank of Serbia, as the government seeks to … Continue reading