Ecuadorian people’s victory against Moreno, IMF

Ecuadorians in London, England on Friday demanding the lifting of emergency powers in Ecuador after the killing of protesters by government forces – the Ecuadorian people have won a resounding victory

From daily News Line in Britain:

Ecuador revolutionary victory! Moreno forced to cancel IMF loan!

15th October 2019

ECUADOR’S President Lenin Moreno has been forced to back down and cancel the country’s IMF loan after the revolutionary uprising sweeping the country won a historic victory.

Massive marches, fierce clashes with the police and action by the working class have taken place for nearly two weeks, paralysing the economy and forcing Moreno and his government to flee the capital Quito and move the government to the second city of Guayaquil.

The victory was announced just before 10.00pm local time on Sunday.

Moreno will now withdraw the International Monetary Fund (IMF) package that triggered a sharp rise in the price of gasoline and diesel by removing subsidies. The crippling debt meant savage austerity, job cuts and steep hikes in food and fuel.

The uprising, headed by indigenous leaders, held a live nationally broadcast ‘negotiating session’ with Moreno, during which the president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nations, Jaime Vargas, demanded the immediate cancellation of Moreno’s October 1st decree ending fuel subsidies.

‘This isn’t a demand of the indigenous people, it’s the demand of the country,’ Vargas said. ‘We haven’t come to form negotiating commissions.’

A joint statement said the government had withdrawn the order removing the fuel subsidies.

‘With this agreement, the mobilisations … across Ecuador are terminated and we commit ourselves to restoring peace in the country,’ it said.

Government official Juan Sebastián Roldán said talks to start drafting a new law would start immediately.

Seven people died during the protests, more than 1,300 were injured, and 1,152 detained, according to official figures.

Protesters also took dozens of officers hostage in various locations throughout the country.

Indigenous-led protests have toppled three presidents in the past few decades.

But it was President Moreno himself who sparked the uprising by ending the $1.3bn (£1bn) annual fuel subsidy, claiming it was no longer affordable, and causing fuel prices to rocket by over 300%.

Moreno’s government sacked thousands of public sector workers, slashed public spending and removed the fuel subsidy, all as part of a loan deal agreed with the IMF in March, which allowed Ecuador to borrow $4.2bn (£3.4bn).

Ecuadorian Trump-IMF puppet president runs away

This 8 October 2019 video says about itself:

Ecuador: Indigenous activists block roads to protest Moreno’s economic package

Indigenous activists blocked several streets in Quito on Monday, demonstrating their rejection of the economic package announced by Lenin Moreno’s government.

Footage shows the activists from indigenous communities in the Guangopolo area east of Quito blocking roads with rocks, stones, tree trunks and barricades.

“Our comrades are coming from the south, from the north, from the centre; from the east and, [with them] comes the seizure of Quito. Comrades and [I give you] a suggestion, get water and food supplies,” said indigenous leader Sebastián Correa, adding, “we are willing to give our life.”

Streets surrounding the civic centre of the locality also remain without commercial activity, blocked off by fences and barbed wire. …

Ecuador is experiencing a wave of protests triggered by the announcement of the so-called ‘paquetazo’, a series of economic adjustment measures including the elimination of fuel subsidies. These measures, which are set to increase gasoline prices, reduce the salaries of public employees and raise taxes for some companies, have been met by protests across Ecuador. President Moreno has declared a 60-day state of emergency.

By Andrea Lobo:

Ecuador’s president retreats from capital in face of growing mass protests

9 October 2019

In the face of a continuing strike and a mass indigenous mobilization against annIMF-dictated austerity package, Ecuador’s President Lenín Moreno moved his government from the capital of Quito to the coastal city of Guayaquil, where he is now directing a police-state crackdown.

This retreat from Ecuador’s Andean capital, unprecedented in the country’s history, is a measure of the intensity of social and political unrest as Ecuador enters a second week of demonstrations against the draconian austerity program unveiled by the Moreno government on October 1.

On Tuesday, indigenous demonstrators marched through the streets of Quito and occupied the national congress as well as other government buildings.

Late on Tuesday, Moreno decreed a partial curfew near “strategic zones” like government buildings, which will be overseen by the armed forces. Heavily armed troops have been deployed to the streets of Quito, deploying razor-wire barricades to block protesters.

The government has responded to the resistance with increasingly dictatorial measures. It has suspended the right to assembly and strike and deployed the military after declaring a state of exception last Wednesday. Emergency rule was ratified by the Supreme Court, despite reducing it from 60 to 30 days. The repression has resulted in one death, the wounding of dozens of demonstrators attacked with rubber bullets, tear gas and baton charges, along with 570 arrests. Several detainees, including the leader of the taxi drivers’ union, face three-year sentences for “paralyzing public services”.

Schools have remained closed since Thursday. There were roadblocks Tuesday in 17 of the 24 provinces. On Sunday, a demonstrator named Raúl Chilpe was killed by a driver attempting to run over a roadblock in the Azuay province.

On Monday, Moreno said he would not “turn back” on his decisions and portrayed the protests as “looting, vandalism and violence” aimed at “destabilizing the government.” He alleged—without providing a shred of evidence—that the mass protests had been instigated and financed by his predecessor Rafael Correa

of whom Moreno during his election campaign promised to continue the leftist policies, before Moreno took a U-turn towards Donald Trump and the IMF, once elected

and Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

Moreno’s chief of staff, Juan Sebastián Roldán, contradicted his boss, declaring: “What is happening and what may happen is the sole and exclusive responsibility of the indigenous leaders who have lost control of the situation.”

Across the eastern and southern provinces, indigenous protesters have captured several military and police convoys, with at least one group of 50 soldiers and five policemen held prisoner until Monday, when they were freed. The oil ministry reported that three state-owned PetroAmazonas oilfields in the northeastern provinces had been “occupied by people not related to the operation,” leading to a 12 percent fall in national production.

Workers, students and indigenous communities have mobilized massively in roadblocks and during the nationwide strike last Thursday and Friday, demanding an immediate end to austerity and the resignation of the Moreno government.

On the other hand, despite claiming to reject any talks with Moreno until the austerity package is cancelled, the organizations leading the protests—most prominently the trade union confederation United Workers Front (FUT), the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities (CONAIE) and the … Popular Front—are appealing for intermittent, “gradual” protests and “national unity”.

Dictated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as part of a $4.2 billion loan agreement approved in February, the most severe measure is the elimination of $1.3 billion in fuel subsidies, which have resulted in the more than doubling of gas and diesel prices. This in turn has triggered a spiraling of prices of basic necessities.

The decision to scrap the fuel subsidies—which even the most right-wing governments had shied away from for the last four decades—marks a new stage in the efforts of the Ecuadorian ruling class to ingratiate itself with US and European capital. The international banks and financial institutions have persistently demanded the elimination of the subsidies. …

A June 2019 study by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) found that the greatest beneficiaries of the subsidies were oil companies and the businesses in general; however, their elimination will cut the incomes of the poorest 40 percent of the population by 4.5 to 5 percent. The proceeds extracted through the intensification of poverty and hunger will be channeled to Wall Street as well as wealthy bondholders within Ecuador itself.

Other diktats of globalized finance announced by Moreno on October 1 include cuts to tariffs and taxes on certain imports, a labor reform to facilitate “flexible” contracts, a 20 percent wage cut for new-hires in the public sector and a reduction from 30 to 15 yearly vacation days. This comes on top of the firing of 20,000 public employees that has been carried out since May 2017.

The austerity drive and the accompanying authoritarian forms of rule fundamentally express the turn by the Ecuadorian ruling class to US imperialism in response to the deepening crisis of Ecuador’s economy and global capitalism.

Washington has already signaled its desire that Moreno make no concessions and use whatever force necessary to suppress the mass protest movement. Michael G. Kozak, assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere, tweeted Monday: “We recognize the difficult decisions that the Government of Ecuador has taken to advance good governance & establish the basis for sustainable economic growth.”

“The US is monitoring recent developments in Ecuador carefully” he added. Indicting the mass social opposition and providing a green light for murderous repression, he said, “We reject violence as a form of political protest.”

The turn by the Ecuadorian ruling class … to US imperialism has been expressed most starkly in Quito’s treatment of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the world’s most important political prisoner. In August 2012, Assange was granted asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to escape persecution by Washington for exposing US war crimes and diplomatic intrigues.

… Moreno then gradually increased Assange’s isolation until opening the doors of Ecuador’s London embassy to a British police snatch squad last April, paving the way for his extradition to the US, where he faces espionage and conspiracy charges that carry sentences of 175 years in prison and potentially the death sentence.

Tens of thousands demonstrated in Quito against the illegal revocation of Assange’s asylum in April 2019. Three months later, the official call of a five-day national strike denounced “the rendition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States, placing his life in danger.”

These actions evidenced the massive opposition in Ecuador to the continued persecution of Assange and the recognition that the betrayal of the WikiLeaks editor is part and parcel of the Ecuadorian bourgeoisie’s growing subservience to US imperialism and its intensification of the attacks on the working class.

Previous mass protests, on the scale now being seen in Quito, have led to the ouster of governments. Moreno is hoping to avoid this fate by entrenching himself in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest and most industrialized city, and home to its most important port.

In 1997, right-wing President Abadalá Bucaram was impeached by Congress to appease mass protests against privatizations, austerity and corruption, forcing him to escape the besieged Carondelet Presidential Palace in an ambulance and flee to Panama. In 2005, President Lucio Gutiérrez resigned and had to escape from the palace in a helicopter due to mass protests over similar grievances, including his allowing the return of Bucaram to Ecuador. Protesters then prevented his plane from leaving the Quito International Airport, forcing him to seek asylum at the Brazilian embassy.

Demonstration in Trafalgar Square, London, England on Wednesday in support of the Ecuadorian uprising against President Moreno

ECUADORIAN President Lenin Moreno abandoned the capital, Quito, on Monday and fled to the coast ahead of mass demonstrations which were held yesterday. A mass uprising is underway in Ecuador following the abolition of fuel subsidies, as ordered by the International Monetary Fund (IMF): here.

Jordanian prime minister gone, absolute monarchy still there

By Jean Shaoul:

Jordan’s prime minister resigns amid massive protests against IMF-dictated austerity

5 June 2018

Jordan’s Prime Minister Hani Mulki resigned yesterday following days of anti-government protests in Amman and other major cities. The protests were against a new law lowering the income tax threshold,

Meaning that poor people now also would have to pay income tax. Meanwhile, most tax dodging is by the royal family, their ministers and cronies. When Jordanian journalists report about that tax dodging, the government has those journalists arrested.

a hike in the sales tax, and increases in the cost of fuel, electricity and water.

King Abdullah, the country’s real ruler, cancelled his planned overseas trip and appointed education minister Omar al-Razzaz, a former World Bank economist, in Mulki’s place. The king’s move follows the failure of his announcement last Friday suspending price increases until the end of the year—at a cost of $22.5 million—to assuage popular anger.

On Saturday, he called on parliament to lead a “comprehensive and reasonable national dialogue” on the new tax law, saying, “It would not be fair that the citizen alone bears the burden of financial reforms.”

Petra, one of Jordan’s news agencies, reported that legislators were set to ask Abdullah’s permission to hold an exceptional session to withdraw the changes.

Last Wednesday, 33 unions called a general strike of health care and public-sector workers—Abdullah’s key and very narrow social base—along with small towns, villages and tribal areas where the clans and indigenous minority East Bankers live. This was to protest legislative proposals aimed at increasing the proportion of income tax payers from 4.5 percent to 10 percent. The average wage, such as a teacher’s salary, is around $350 a month, or less than $5,000 a year.

This will hit families hard, because Jordan is a low-wage economy, where the median age is 22 years and it is the norm for young people to live at home with their parents until they can afford to marry. Many work at two or three jobs, if they can find them in a country with an official unemployment rate of 18 percent, a gross underestimate.

Corporation tax will rise from 35 to 40 percent. Manufacturers of food and other basic products will see their income tax rise from 24 percent to 30 percent. The new law will also criminalise tax violations, making them subject to prison terms and heavy fines.

This comes in the wake of January’s budget extending sales tax to a further 165 items, including basic products; increasing the price of fuel, electricity and water; … and increasing the cost of public transport by 9 percent.

The price of fuel has risen five times since January, while electricity bills, already phenomenally high, have risen 55 percent since February.

The removal of flour subsidies means that the price of a kilo of white bread has doubled from $0.22 to $0.45, while the price of smaller flat bread has increased by more than 67 percent.

Amman, where one-third of Jordanians live, is one of the most expensive capitals in the Arab world. Such is the hardship that there has reportedly been a 20 percent slump in sales during Ramadan, a period of peak retail demand.

These measures were the latest in a series of economic reforms following a $723 million three-year loan from the International Monetary Fund in 2016, aimed at reducing Jordan’s $40 billion public debt from about 94 percent of GDP to 77 percent by 2021.

Tens of thousands demonstrated across the country on Thursday and Friday. On Friday evening, protesters gathered outside Mulki’s office calling for the fall of the government. On Saturday, despite Abdullah’s announcement suspending price increases for fuel, electricity and water, some 200,000 took to the streets of Jordan’s towns and cities.

Social network sites were full of slogans such as “don’t touch my salary”, “a government of thieves” and “don’t steal our rights.” Strikers chanted, “We are here until we bring the downfall of the bill … This government is shameful” and “Our demands are legitimate. No, no to corruption.”

Three thousand demonstrators protested outside Mulki’s office on Saturday shouting, “Mulki should leave.”

Protests are ongoing, with a one-day general strike called for Wednesday.

The king is putting pressure on the US and his traditional supporters in the Gulf, whose funding has dried up over the last two years, to come up with the cash to prop up his tottering regime. Carved out of part of the Palestine governorate of Greater Syria, part of the former Ottoman Empire, by Britain in the aftermath of World War I, Transjordan was never a viable state. After World War II, and particularly after 1957, Washington replaced London as Jordan’s underwriter in return for its services in policing US interests in the region, suppressing the Palestinians over whom King Hussein (Abdullah’s father) ruled in both Jordan and, until 1967, East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Latterly, Jordan has provided a key staging post for US-backed operations against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.

It has become a holding pen for the region’s refugees—Palestinian, Iraqi and Syriancreated through wars in the geostrategic interests of the imperialist powers and their regional clients. As a result, Jordan’s population has soared from 5.5 million in 2003 to 9.9 million this year.

The Trump administration’s decision to cut its funding by £300 million to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, has been catastrophic. With 2 million Palestinian refugees in massive refugee camps and in cities, their needs have now to be met from Jordan’s declining resources.

Jordan also has around 650,000 UN-registered Syrian refugees, of whom some 100,000 live in camps. Most live in the towns and cities, alongside nearly a million more unregistered refugees who seek work where they can. According to Jordanian officials, the government has spent $10 billion on the refugees, with little support from either its wealthy Arab neighbours or the major powers.

Around half of the Syrian refugees are children who should be attending school. To cope, many schools are operating a two-shift system, in the morning and afternoon.

The US signed an aid package for Jordan earlier this year for $1.275 billion a year beginning in the fiscal year 2018 and ending in 2022—a $275 million annual increase over the previous three years, but this only accounts for 10 percent of Jordan’s budget.

By far the major source of income is the Gulf. But the $3.6 billion from the Gulf Cooperation Council states came to an end 18 months ago, a major cause of the current economic crisis. The increasingly close alliance being forged between the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel against Iran has left Jordan out in the cold. At the same time, President Trump’s decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has undercut Amman’s role in Jerusalem, where Abdullah has guardianship of the al-Aqsa mosque compound, and inflamed tensions in the country, more than half of whose population is of Palestinian origin.

His visit to Riyadh in December to discuss the US embassy decision was fraught with tensions, leading to the Saudi authorities detaining a Jordanian-Palestinian businessman, Sabih al Masri, who heads the Arab Bank, Jordan’s leading financial firm. Relations soured further after Abdullah attended an Organisation of Islamic Cooperation meeting where the Jerusalem embassy issue was discussed, prompting Saudi Arabia to withhold a further $250 million in promised aid. Abdullah compounded his crime by shaking hands with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation summit in Istanbul two weeks ago.

In January, Abdullah reorganised the army, “retiring” three close relatives, including his brothers, from senior positions, amid rumours of a Saudi plot to unseat Abdullah— like the attempt to fashion a more pliant government in Lebanon via Saad Hariri’s forced resignation.

This is prompting speculation that to secure the kingdom’s survival Jordan may normalise relations with Syria, entertain closer relations with Tehran, ally itself with Qatar against Saudi Arabia’s embargo, refuse to accept Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and secure new patrons, such as Turkey.

Christine Lagarde convicted, continues as IMF boss

This video says about itself:

IMF Board Response to Lagarde Conviction [that Ms Lagarde can continue as IMF boss in spite of her conviction] Reaffirms Institutional Indifference to Corruption

21 December 2016

Former financial regulator Bill Black says the case reveals how power and money protect the elite.

IMF boss convicted in fraud scandal, but not sentenced

This video says about itself:

12 December 2016

IMF chief Christine Lagarde goes on trial over ‘negligent’ £338million state payout to tycoon but insists it was ‘in the state’s interest’.

Christine Lagarde was President Nicolas Sarkozy‘s finance minister in 2008.

She approved a deal by which tycoon Bernard Tapie was given a £338m handout.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

No punishment for guilty IMF top woman Lagarde

Today, 15:44

IMF boss Christine Lagarde was found guilty by a court in Paris of negligence. But the court does not impose a penalty for Lagarde.

The case against the 60-year-old Lagarde was about a disputed payment to businessman Bernard Tapie in 2008, when Lagarde was Minister of Economic Affairs. A special court then handed Tapie 400 million euros [of taxpayers’ money], because he had allegedly been treated unfairly in an equity transaction. Later it turned out that there were links between Tapie and one of the judges.

The court has now ruled that Lagarde should have appealed against the compensation because there were suspicions of fraud already in 2008. Also Lagarde’s staff had advised to stop the payment, but she did not. That’s why she now had to stand trial for neglicence. …

Lagarde did not wait for the verdict and on Saturday was already flown back to the IMF office in Washington. Whether the judgment will affect her job is unclear. “It’s waiting now to see how the IMF board will react,” said [NOS correspondent] Renaut.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde let off scot-free after negligence conviction: here.

So, the verdict is that Ms Lagarde is guilty, but gets just a slap on the wrist. If some unemployed person would be involved in a fraud affair, not of 400 million euros, but of 400 euros, that person probably would be sentenced much more harshly than Ms Lagarde.

It reminds me of Dutch xenophobic politician Geert Wilders. Wilders was recently convicted by a Dutch court of racism; but, like Ms Lagarde, he did not have to pay a fine of a single euro and did not have to spend a single minute in jail. While some hot-headed poor young Dutch Muslim who would have insulted Dutch non-Muslims in a similar way as Wilders insulted Moroccans, other Muslims, Romanians, Poles etc. would not have come off as lightly as Wilders.

Christine Lagarde dictates more poverty in Greece

This video says about itself:

Leaks Expose IMF Chief Overruling Pro-Debt Relief IMF Negotiator

5 June 2016

Securities lawyer Dimitri Lascaris says recent leaks to the press show that IMF Chief Lagarde forced her negotiator to give up the previously stated position to insist that creditors offer debt relief to Greece.

Austerity policies do more harm than good, IMF study concludes. Economists give strong critique of neoliberal doctrine ushered in by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s: here. Unfortunately, though that is the view of IMF economists, it is not the view of IMF boss Lagarde.

Malawi workers demonstrate against IMF

This video about African music says about itself:

Seun Kuti Calls IMF Director A Witch/Malawi‘s Zomba Prison Band Nominated For Grammy

6 January 2016

Seun Kuti, CEO of Egypt 80 and son of music legend Fela Kuti expresses his feelings about IMF Chief Christine Lagarde ’s visit to Nigeria.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and Lagarde are reportedly having talks concerning the nation’s economy.

The Zomba Prison Band, made up of inmates from one of Malawi’s most congested prisons secure the country’s first Grammy nomination.

From the World Socialist Web Site today:

International Monetary Fund determines pay for civil servants in Malawi

This week civil servants in Malawi demonstrated against an inadequate 15 percent pay offer made by the government.

Placards on the demonstration spelled out demands for a 67 percent pay increase, full pay while on leave, additional hiring of staff and unbiased promotion. Workers are also demanding support for medical costs.

The government claim their pay offer is determined by the International Monetary Fund, which verifies budget spending priorities.

Greek ex-minister Varoufakis interviewed

This video from the USA says about itself:

Former Greek Finance Minister: Massive IMF Bailouts are “Ponzi Austerity” Scheme

28 April 2016

As the White House is backing calls for Greece to continue to implement widespread austerity measures, we spend the hour with former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis. Earlier this week, negotiations between Greece and international creditors hit an impasse over the bankers’ demands for extra austerity measures. The International Monetary Fund is demanding cutting Greek pensions and eliminating income-tax exemptions if Greece does not hit its budget targets.

“Cutting down pension is not reform. It’s like confusing butchery for surgery,” says Varoufakis. He served as the Syriza party’s first finance minister after the left-wing party took power in 2015, after promoting an anti-austerity platform. He is in the United States promoting his new book, “And the Weak Suffer What They Must?: Europe’s Crisis and America’s Economic Future.”

And this video says:

Yanis Varoufakis: Bailouts of Greece are Pretense for Massive Payout for German and French Banks

28 April 2016

We continue our conversation with former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis as the White House is backing calls for Greece to continue to implement widespread austerity measures, following President Obama’s meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier this week. Greece and its international creditors are once again negotiating the terms of the bailout and the extent of the austerity measures creditors can impose.

Varoufakis responds to the German government’s claim that the majority of Germans oppose giving more money to Greece, and addresses the previous bailouts. “What happened to that money? It wasn’t money for Greece. It was money for the banks,” Varoufakis says. “The Greek people took on the largest loan in human history on behalf of German and French bankers.” He notes the conditions of the loan “guaranteed our national income would shrink by one-third. So it was impossible to repay that money.” He says he opposes taking additional funds until the country’s economy is more stable.

And this video says:

“We Were Elected to Say No to the Creditors”: Varoufakis on Resigning as Greek Finance Minister

28 April 2016

The International Monetary Fund is demanding additional austerity measures from Greece if it does not hit its budget targets. It’s the latest impasse in years of fierce political clashes between Greece and international creditors. We are joined by a man who had a front-row seat to these battles: the former Greek finance minister for the anti-austerity Syriza party, Yanis Varoufakis.

In his new book, “And the Weak Suffer What They Must?: Europe’s Crisis and America’s Economic Future,” he describes how he helped lead Greece’s battle against European Central bankers and a historic referendum in which Greeks resoundingly voted down austerity. But only days after the “no” vote, he resigned.

Varoufakis elaborates on the resignation statement he issued last July, when he wrote, “Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners’, for my … ‘absence’ from its meetings; an idea that the prime minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement. For this reason I am leaving the ministry of finance today.” He famously said at the time, “I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride.”

And this video says:

Yanis Varoufakis: Europe’s “Hot Spot” Refugee Registration Centers are “Concentration Camps”

28 April 2016

We speak with former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis about the refugee crisis in Europe, and so-called “hot-spots” that are registration centers for refugees in his country. “George Orwell would be very proud of Europe and our capacity for doublespeak and creating new terms by which to hide the awful reality,” Varoufakis says. “When you see the word ‘hot spots,’ just translate it to ‘concentration camps.'” He says the Greek government has been pressured to intern the refugees fleeing war and famine, and notes the growth of right-wing parties in Europe, such as Golden Dawn.

The United States did not pressure Germany more heavily to give Greece debt relief because it needed Germany’s cooperation in higher-priority foreign policy matters, according to a former Greek finance minister: here.

EUROPEAN Council president Donald Tusk snubbed a bid by Athens yesterday for an emergency talks between euro countries on Greece’s unmanageable “bailout” programme. Mr Tusk insisted that finance officials resume talks and agree within days on “reforms” needed: here.

IMF plot for yet more poverty in Greece uncovered

This video says about itself:

Greece reacts to WikiLeaks allegations over IMF threat

3 April 2016

Greece strongly reacted on Saturday to allegations that International Monetary Fund officials were planning to threaten Athens with a Greek disorderly default this summer.

Reports say Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras convened an extraordinary meeting with ministers and his associates to discuss the issue.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

IMF out to bankrupt Greece, leak reveals

THE WikiLeaks organisation dropped a bombshell on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last Saturday when it published the transcript of a private conversation between the two IMF officials leading the negotiations with the Greek government over the country’s huge debt crisis.

In the leaked conversation between IMF Europe director Poul Thomsen and IMF head of Greece mission Delia Velculescu have been caught out discussing a plot to deliberately drive Greece into bankruptcy in the coming period in order to force the EU to bow to the IMF demand for Greek debt release and force the Greek government to speed up implementation of the full austerity programme demanded by the IMF.

Thomsen is recorded as saying: ‘What is going to bring it all to a decision point?’ before going on: ‘in the past there has been only one time when the decision has been made and then that was when they were about to run out of money seriously and default.’

Velculescu is heard later agreeing saying ‘We need an event but I don’t know what that will be.’ The ‘event’ under serious consideration appears to be for the IMF to pull out of the talks, due to resume in the next two weeks, putting a block on any bail-out money, precipitating the complete collapse of Greece.

This would lead to the Greek government being unable to pay wages, pensions or sustain any spending on health, education, welfare, while the banks would be forced to close. In other words, these two IMF leaders are plotting to drive the entire Greek working class into poverty and starvation on a scale never witnessed before.

By precipitating such a crisis they hope to force the Syriza government to accept every austerity demand demanded of it, and at the same time force the German bankers to accept the IMF position that a part of the Greek debt should be written off.

The argument between the IMF and the Germans stems from the fact that the IMF has concluded that Greece will never be able to pay off its entire debt owed to the bankers and that it is better to give a modicum of relief in order to get back the greater proportion of the debt.

The German bankers, who have most to lose, are demanding full repayment, they want their pound of flesh from the Greek working class and nothing less. Both are united in their intention that the Greek workers pay for capitalism’s crisis, not the bankers who caused it.

Alexis Tsipras, Greek prime minister, immediately wrote to IMF head, Christine Lagarde, demanding to know whether Greece could ’trust’ the IMF not to engineer his country’s bankruptcy to force austerity compliance on Greece.

Lagarde loftily dismissed this as ‘nonsense’ before going on to arrogantly complain about ‘eavesdropping’, something she clearly regards as a much more serious crime than plotting to reduce an entire country into a state of bankruptcy and smashing up the lives of millions of Greeks in the process.

Commenting on these revelations, the former Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, said: ‘It’s time to stop Greece’s fiscal waterboarding by an incompetent, misanthropic troika.’

The Greek working class and youth, unlike Tsipras, have not been cowed by the troika, with thousands of workers confronting Syriza in mass demonstrations and strikes and whole swathes of the country blockaded by farmers protesting about austerity.

See also here.

Wrong all along: Neoliberal IMF admits neoliberalism fuels inequality and hurts growth. Top International Monetary Fund researchers concede austerity, privatization & deregulation can hurt more than help: here.

Merkel, IMF and destructive austerity in Greece

Merkel, Lagarde and destructive austerity in Greece, cartoon

This cartoon shows Angela Merkel, federal chancellor of Germany, and Christine Lagarde of the International Monetary Fund preaching destructive austerity to Greece. They want Greece to dig its own grave to die in.

The austerity has proved, as economists agree, to not solve any problems; only making things worse. It meant and means no electricity for poor people, more suicides, more hungry children, more pensioners desperately looking for rotten food in garbage cans.

People intending to vote Yes in the 5 July referendum in Greece to Merkel’s and Lagarde‘s destruction would be voting for yet less electricity for poor people, for yet more suicides, for yet more hungry children, for yet more pensioners desperately looking for rotten food in garbage cans.

A Yes vote is a vote for cowardly betrayal of one’s fellow human beings. A vote for betrayal of democracy, of human decency and of solidarity. A No vote means a yes to democracy, decency, and solidarity. Solidarity, not just with fellow human beings in Greece, but also in other European Union countries where the people suffer from the moronic Thatcherist-Pinochetist-troikaite ‘voodoo economics’ (to quote United States President George HW Bush) of hunger, suicide and replacing democracy with dictatorship. In the interest of tiny super rich elites, less than 1% of people; for whose interests Merkel and Lagarde stand.