U.N.’s Post-2015 Development Agenda Under Fire

By Thalif Deen

UNITED NATIONS, July 2015 (IPS) – The U.N.’s highly ambitious post-2015 development agenda, which is expected to be finalised shortly, has come fire even before it could get off the ground.

A global network of civil society organisations (CSOs), under the banner United Nations Major Groups (UNMG), has warned that the agenda, which includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “lacks urgency, a clear implementation strategy and accountability.”

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Greece-EU: humiliating defeats and pyrrhic victories

Alberto Rabilotta* – Alai

28/07/2015It is very curious that the political leadership of the European Union (EU) and their traditional spokespersons, the politicians, economists and the mainstream press that for decades have sustained and defended this project, have not joyfully saluted, with statements of confidence, that the irreversible order has been maintained with the humiliating defeat inflicted on the government and people of Greece.

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Revolting World

Robert J. Burrowes*

There is much that is revolting about the current world and Andre Vltchek, Christopher Black and Peter Koenig are well placed to document it, which they have done in their new book ‘The World Order and Revolution! Essays from the Resistance’. http://badak-merah.weebly.com/the-world-order-and-revolution.html

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Why Greece’s Lenders Need to Suffer

Adam Davidson* – The New York Times

There is definitive proof, for anyone willing to look, that Greece is not solely or even primarily responsible for its own financial crisis. The proof is not especially exciting: It is a single bond, with the identification code GR0133004177. But a consideration of this bond should end, permanently, any discussion of Greece’s crisis as a moral failing on the part of the Greeks.

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Greece Isn’t a Morality Tale

By Mark Buchanan* – Bloomberg

One of the more troubling elements of the recent drama over Greece’s debt was the urge by many to see a deficiency of national character, rather than euro-zone economics, as the problem. Right-leaning opinion, not only in Germany but around the world, put the trouble down to Greek corruption and, worse, laziness: The bad people of Greece retire too early and produce less per capita than the European average, despite working longer hours.

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A problem called Germany

Boaventura de Sousa Santos*

Europe’s biggest problem is Germany, not Greece. Just over two years ago (May, 2013) I published a piece entitled “The German Diktat”, in which I listed the justifications given by Germany at the beginning of the First World War for its atrocities against Belgium, a small country that had refused to go along with Germany’s bellicose plans.

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Greece, the Sacrificial Lamb

By JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ*

ATHENS — AS the Greek crisis proceeds to its next stage, Germany, Greece and the triumvirate of the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission (now better known as the troika) have all faced serious criticism. While there is plenty of blame to share, we shouldn’t lose sight of what is really going on. I’ve been watching this Greek tragedy closely for five years, engaged with those on all sides. Having spent the last week in Athens talking to ordinary citizens, young and old, as well as current and past officials, I’ve come to the view that this is about far more than just Greece and the euro.

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The Syriza Syndrome and Italy’s Political Establishment

By Frederika Randall – The Nation

Why doesn’t Italy, with its strong left-wing traditions, have a Podemos like Spain?

Rome—Italians were anything but indifferent this spring when the Syriza government in Greece decided to defy the dogma of European austerity. Syriza’s natural allies here, those to the left of the Partito Democratico (PD), were exuberant: At last there was going to be a real battle against the neoliberal consensus.

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Faith Leaders Issue Global “Call to Conscience” on Climate

By A. D. McKenzie

PARIS, Jul 24 2015 (IPS) – “We received a garden as our home, and we must not turn it into a wilderness for our children.”

These words by Cardinal Peter Turkson summed up the appeal launched by dozens of religious leaders and “moral” thinkers at the Summit of Conscience for the Climate, a one-day gathering in Paris earlier this week aimed at mobilising action ahead of the next United Nations climate change conference (COP 21) scheduled to take place in the French capital in just over four months.

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Fatal tests

Boaventura de Sousa Santos*

Europe has become a laboratory of the future. What is being tested there should be cause for concern for all democrats and particularly for everyone on the left. Two experiments are currently underway in this laboratory – and hence supposedly controlled – environment. The first experiment is a stress test on democracy, its guiding hypothesis being as follows: a strong country’s democratic will can undemocratically trump the democratic will of a weak country without making a dent in the normalcy of Europe’s political life.

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THE HIDDEN TRUTHS BEHIND THE GREEK DRAMA

By Roberto Savio*

Greece was the civilization where drama and farce were established as forms of theatre. The negotiations with the Eurozone were a drama for the Greek people, and a farce for the European leaders. In fact, it is a dramatic for all, that this brings to an end of the most radical dream after the Second World War. Let us see why. It will be a little long, but without examining a little history it is impossible to understand how we came to this situation.

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Love and hate between Greece and the west

Tony Barber – Financial Times

In 2010, the year of their nation’s first €110bn international rescue, plenty of Greeks understood that the state and citizenry had lived for decades beyond their means. The medicine of austerity and economic reform would be bitter, but it had to be swallowed. The paramount need, as for earlier generations of Greeks, was to stay on the path of modernisation and a European identity.

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The Turkish Enigma

George Friedman* – Geopolitical Weekly

In my “Net Assessment of the World,” I argued that four major segments of the European and Asian landmass were in crisis: Europe, Russia, the Middle East (from the Levant to Iran) and China. Each crisis was different; each was at a different stage of development. Collectively the crises threatened to destabilize the Eurasian landmass, the Eastern Hemisphere, and potentially generate a global crisis. They do not have to merge into a single crisis to be dangerous.

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Raising of Cuban flag in Washington signals restoration of US-Cuba relations

Paul Lewis – The Guardian

Foreign minister conducts ceremony during his first trip to the US

Bruno Rodríguez: embargo must end and Guantánamo must be returned

Washington – Diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba have been officially restored, with Cuba’s foreign minister taking the hugely symbolic step of raising his country’s flag at a newly designated embassy in Washington later on Monday.

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Europe’s Impossible Dream

Paul Krugman – The New York Times

There’s a bit of a lull in the news from Europe, but the underlying situation is as terrible as ever. Greece is experiencing a slump worse than the Great Depression, and nothing happening now offers hope of recovery. Spain has been hailed as a success story, because its economy is finally growing — but it still has 22 percent unemployment. And there is an arc of stagnation across the continent’s top: Finland is experiencing a depression comparable to that in southern Europe, and Denmark and the Netherlands are also doing very badly.

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ECB Joins IMF In Call For Greek Debt Cut, Schaeuble Shoots It Down (Again)

Submitted by Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge
Despite earlier commenting that Greek debt sustainability is hard without a write off, German FinMin Schaeuble just told German lawmakers bluntly that there will be no Greek debt cut. What is problematic for Merkel and her minions is that Mario Draghi just confirmed what The IMF has been ‘secretly’ leaking – that it is “uncontroversial that Greek debt relief is necessary.” As this confusion reigns, The Eurogroup has issued a statement “welcoming the adoption by the Greek parliament” of the measures imposed upon the Greek people to drive them further into depression.

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