Famous for standing up to the FBI, Ögmundur Jónasson spoke to Katoikos about whistleblower protection, countering the rise of populism and Iceland’s unique approach to the financial crisis.
The fight about Greece’s bailout deal that is taking place within the Eurozone and the EU is not just about the sums of money that Greece may or may not get, and the reforms that it may or may not implement in return. There is a deeper fight about the nature of the European project and even the soul of Europe that cannot be ignored.
By Deniz Torcu
The image that has started to go viral in social media amongst Greek users is simple, yet strong enough to explain the stand of the majority. It says a clear “NO”, however the rejection is composed of the sentence “YES TO THE EURO”. My recent trip to Athens was a clear depiction of how devastated the country really is. The once busy neighbourhoods filled with restaurants, cafés and shops are now being replaced by two yellow signs that mark the desperation of the people: “for rent” and “for sale”, appearing side by side.
On Monday, 22 June, there was yet another Eurogroup meeting in Brussels concerning the Greek crisis. But like many previous attempts to reach an agreement, a conclusive decision was again postponed. Meanwhile, in the Greek capital, Athens, people are anxiously waiting for an answer. It is becoming evident that Greece should not have joined the euro the time it did but it is too late to change that. Ordinary citizens suffer and the country is on the brink of collapse, or social unrest. It is clear that European elites must reach some compromise, not for the sake of SYRIZA, but for the people of Greece.
The tremendous policy over the future of Greece is heating up. The Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, has submitted a proposal to break the current impasse in the negotiations, and the creditors have sent him their own proposal to unlock the funds and avoid Greece’s suspension of payments. In return, the government in Athens would have to face tough demands to reform the pension system and the labour market. The creditors’ agreement was cooked up last night in Berlin during the mini summit between German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker, ECB president Mario Draghi
By Christos Mouzeviris
Ever since the victory of Syriza and the formation of the current Greek government, the country found itself on the spotlight of the European and global media. Speculations on a potential Grexit, combined with scathing attacks against Syriza’s policies and leadership became common. But is solely Greece, all which is wrong in Europe and the euro-zone? Perhaps the reality is very different if we examine some facts.
By Georgios X. Protopapas
The negotiations between the Greek government and Greece’s European creditors have become unpredictable, while the Greek economy remains stagnant and the state desperately needs cash to avoid default. Athens has two choices: to make compromises in order to receive bailout funds or to decide a rupture with Brussels. In addition, the government in Athens is playing the “card” of Russia as an alternative to European pressures and as part of a new, multi-level foreign policy.