Eurogroup to consider new Greece bailout request

Published on Jul 1, 2015

The Greek request on Tuesday for a new bailout from the eurozone took the Eurogroup by surprise.

A planned conference call was put back from Wednesday morning till late afternoon.

The Eurogroup will consider Athens’ request for a new bailout of 29.1 billion euros from the eurozone’s 500 billion euro rescue fund known as the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

Some eurozone finance ministers are thought to be hostile to agreeing a new bailout when Greece could not accept the terms of the last …

Coming To America: The Hoarding Begins: Greeks Rush To Grocery Stores, Gas Stations and ATMs In Anticipation of Collapse

What happens when your country collapses to such an extent that it can no longer pay its debts, your banking system is bankrupt and the populace loses confidence in its government’s ability to mitigate the crisis?

The events taking place in Greece provide some insight and are a harbinger of things to come in America.

It was a seemingly normal Sunday — except it was anything but normal.

For many people in Athens, it was time to prepare for an approaching storm. A short walk from Plaka, a line of people waited to withdraw cash from an A.T.M., hours before the official announcement that banks would be closed starting on Monday. Some bank machines in central Athens had run out of money or were out of service, as screens blamed “technical difficulties.”

Elsewhere, some people had started hoarding gasoline and groceries. “We don’t know what the new day will bring,” said Katerina Vorreadi, who was among a group of retirees waiting in line outside the National Bank of Greece on Saturday night.

Source: New York Times

Uncertainty breeds panic and if there’s anything that will get people lining up at local venues that provide essential services like money exchange and foodstuffs, it’s the fear of not being able to acquire those items when they’re needed most.

And while some will argue that America is an advanced economy and Greece is not even on the same playing field, the fact is that as a country we are much worse off. In a country where nearly 100 million people are dependent on monthly government benefits just to survive, even a short-term financial shock could lead to widespread panic.

But how likely is such an event?

Well, according to Representative Brad Sherman, during the height of the 2008 crisis Congress was told that if taxpayer funds weren’t used to bail out the system to the tune of trillions of dollars that we would literally have tanks patrolling the streets of America.

Many of us were told in private conversations that if we voted against this bill on Monday, that the sky would fall, the market would drop two or three thousands points the first day, another couple thousand the second day, and a few members were even told that there would be martial law in America if we voted no.

House Representative Brad Sherman (D-California)
Debate on the House Floor, October 2, 2008

It was a testament to just how bad things were and how much worse they could have gotten. But more importantly, it shows just how close to the brink of total collapse our nation was… and still remains.

Just this week the Bank of International Settlements – essentially the central bank for the world’s central banks – said that governments and banks will be unable to fight the next financial crisis because they used up their ammunition fighting the last one.

Keep in mind that these are the people that essentially control the monetary policy of the entire world. And they just said that once the next set of dominoes starts tipping over they aren’t going to be able to stop it.

So the reality of the situation is that not only is this contagion soon to reach America, there will be no stopping it when it does.

In his latest article Michael Snyder of End of the American Dream warns that Americans are woefully unprepared for such a scenario.

While over 70% of people fear an economic crisis is coming, only about 3% of Americans have actually taken steps to prepare for it.

Should America be faced with the same situation as Greece, we can fully expect similar results here.


People will rush ATM’s in the hopes of getting cash, but like Greece, they’ll be met with restrictions allowing them to withdraw just $75 a day.

They’ll make their way to grocery stores hoping to buy a food supply for a week or two while things settle down, but they’ll be met with long lines and empty shelves, much like we’ve seen during previous emergencies.

greece-shelves(Greek grocery stores quickly running out of food. Picture via Zero Hedge)

And, just as we saw in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, within 72 hours of a destabilization of our systems of commerce people will be facing starvation and supply shortages.

Tess Pennington, author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, explains the four stages of a breakdown and notes that by day three, things get very dangerous:

Multiple factors contribute to societal breakdowns including failure of adequate government response, population density, citizens taking advantage of the grid being down and overwhelmed emergency response teams.

3-5 days following a disaster is the bewitching hour. During this short amount of time, the population slowly becomes a powder keg full of angry, desperate citizens. A good example is the chaos that ensued in New Orleans following the absence of action from the local government or a timely effective federal response in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In such troubled times, people were forced to fend for themselves and their families, by any means necessary. This timeline of Hurricane Katrina effectively illustrates “the breakdown,” and within three days, the citizens of New Orleans descended into anarchy, looting and murder (Source).

If this scenario isn’t bad enough, at the end of this time frame, there will be an increase in illnesses due to cramped living quarters from emergency shelters, sanitation-related illness,compromised water sources andexposure to natural elements. In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, sanitation- related epidemics became a large concern for the disaster victims. In fact, the outbreak erupted into the world’s largest cholera epidemic despite a huge international mobilization still dealing with the effects of the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake.

Source: The Anatomy of a Breakdown

We can pretend like everything is peachy and that happy times are back again. But even a precursory look at what’s happening around the world suggests that the global economy is derailing. Greece has essentially collapsed (for the fourth time in a decade) and China’s stock markets are in the midst of detonating.

The situation remains fluid, but dire, because if China and Europe go, guess who’s next?

Americans aren’t ready for it. As Michael Snyder notes in his aforementioned article, most people don’t have any emergency cash, or even a three day supply of food on hand in case something happens.

Now, consider what happens when banks shut their doors for a week like they have done in Greece. Next, imagine a scenario where confidence in the U.S. dollar is lost and foreign creditors pull out.

The result is an intense, almost immediate collapse of the system as we have come to know it. When the debt bubble bursts, notes analyst Greg Mannarino, millions of people could die:

Millions upon millions of people are going to die on a world-wide scale when the debt bubble bursts. And I’m saying when not if…

When resources become more and more scarce we’re going to see countries at war with each other. People will be scrambling… in a worst case scenario… doing everything that they can to survive… to provide for their family and for themselves.

We could be wrong, of course. But what if we’re not?

Courtesy of

Major counter-terrorism exercise in London


Simulation terror attack has been six months in the planning

Police officers, soldiers, emergency services and intelligence officials are taking part in London’s largest counter-terrorism exercise to date.

The simulation of a terror attack has been six months in the planning.

The exercise – codenamed Strong Tower – involves 1,000 police officers at locations across the capital until Wednesday afternoon.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said it would test responses to extremists using firearms.

It comes days after 38 people were killed by a gunman in Tunisia, the majority of them British holidaymakers.

The Metropolitan Police says this week’s exercise in London is not based on any specific intelligence and is part of a long-term strategy of planning and preparing for all possible types of terror attack.

Loud noises

Scotland Yard began planning the two-day event in January and only a dozen people know the full script to ensure that the officers and other services taking part face the maximum challenge.

Senior officers say that while much of the exercise will be hidden from view, there may be occasions when the public hear loud noises or see areas being cordoned off. Scotland Yard will be posting updates about the exercise to Twitter, using the hashtag #999exercise.


The exercise was planned in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris in January
Actors have been drafted in to play injured people for the training exercise

Sir Bernard said the threat level for terrorism had been raised over the last year, making it vital “that we train and we learn”.

He said: “The reason we have exercises like today is because, obviously, we are concerned there are people planning terrorist events. We intend first of all to stop them from getting to attack. But should we not stop the terrorists in their planning, it’s essential we disrupt them in any of the attacks that may take place.”

Ch Supt Paul Rickett told the BBC it was “incredibly important” that the emergency services were prepared for this type of scenario.

“Events have told us around the world that the last thing you can be is complacent, so that is why it is important we continually respond to the emerging threat, change our tactics and we test our capability and readiness to respond,” he said.



Fire and rescue teams have a legal duty, alongside police, to prepare for civil emergencies

By Dominic Casciani, BBC home affairs correspondent

Although the nature of this “live play” exercise sounds similar to the attack in Tunisia, this event has been six months in the planning and is part of a regular programme.

The officers who came on shift this morning knew they were taking part in an exercise – but nothing about what they would be facing. Not even the “gold commander”, the senior officer making the big decisions in the operations room, will know what’s going to happen.

The exercise is influenced by what happened during two incidents: the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris and the cafe siege in Sydney.

Scotland Yard stresses that whatever happens during this exercise, it doesn’t mean they have specific intelligence that such an event could occur. But they do want to ensure they have planned for every conceivable type of incident in case it should ever come to pass.

How safe is the UK a decade after 7/7?

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Maxine de Brunner, the exercise’s director, said the aim was to test and challenge police and other agencies in an “ambitious multi-site marauding terrorist attack”.

“This exercise will be an on-going fast-paced terrorist situation and we will explore how we as London’s agencies respond,” said DAC de Brunner.

“The exercise is at the extreme end of what might happen.”

Crisis-management skills

Emergency services are under a legal duty to test their preparedness for all manner of crises from terrorism attacks to flooding.

Many counter-terrorism training exercises take place out of view around the country and the last comparable exercise of this nature was in London was in 2012.

In that exercise, the Metropolitan Police and others tested how they would respond to an attack on the London Underground involving a possible radiological or chemical device.

But while Tuesday and Wednesday’s exercise is likely to involve comparable numbers of people, it has been designed to stretch them much further by moving the incident around the city – although nobody other than the directors know exactly what is going to happen.

The agencies involved in the operation include the police, London Fire Brigade, London Ambulance Service, Transport For London, the NHS and a string of government departments who will face tests of their decision-making and crisis-management skills.

Eurogroup refuses to extend bailout program to Greece

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (Reuters / Paul Hanna)

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (Reuters / Paul Hanna)

The Eurogroup has refused to extend the bailout program to Greece, rejecting PM Alexis Tsipras’ latest request for a new bailout, Finnish Finance Minister Alexander Stubb said at Tuesday’s teleconference.

The Eurogroup rejected two of the three terms proposed by the Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras, Stubb added.

A third request, for a credit from the ESM, could be considered separately from the emergency procedures currently being used, he said in a tweet.

“Eurogroup ends. Letter of Tsipras includes three requests. Extension of programme or haircut not possible,” Stubb tweeted. “Request for ESM-programme is always dealt with through normal procedures.”

The Greek government on Tuesday asked for a new bailout program from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), that would cover all the country’s financial needs for the next two years, according to the government statement.

The request included a restructuring plan for Greek debt to the European Financial Stability Facility that accounts for about 63 percent of the Greece’s total debt.

Greece’s attitude towards the eurozone and its partners needs to change before a new bailout program can be agreed upon, said Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem on Tuesday after an emergency conference call between the eurozone’s finance ministers.

“The political stance of the Greek government doesn’t appear to have changed,” he said.

The ministers will hold another conference call on Wednesday morning to discuss Greece’s new proposals, he said. However, he cautioned that all requests made by Greece would only be considered after any referendum called by the country’s government and a new bailout program might require tougher conditions than previously stipulated.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Greek government said it will continue negotiations with the Troika in order to seek a “viable” agreement within the eurozone. Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said the country would not meet the IMF payment deadline.

Tsipras said the country is going to face “pressing financial problems” in the second half of 2015 and for all of 2016. This is because Greece hasn’t yet received the last €7.2 billion installment of the second bailout package, and the country didn’t have an access to the international markets. He added that capital controls imposed on Monday were inevitable as emergency assistance to the banks known as ELA was frozen at €89 billion.


Afterthe June deadline to repay €1.6 billion to the IMFexpires at 6 pm Washington time today, the IMF will classify Greece as being“in arrears”, which is seen as being virtually the same as default.

Over the weekend Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced a referendum for July 5, when Greeks would vote whether to accept the latest proposals from the international creditors.

The decision to hold a referendum does not mean an end but the continuation of negotiations with the creditors for more favorable conditions for the Greek people, the statement added.

READ MORE: Greece, eurozone officials agree to extend bailout by 4 months

Some of the top EU policymakers including the European Commission President Jan-Claude Junker said on Monday that a referendum ‘No’ vote would mean a ‘Yes’ vote for the country’ exit from the eurozone.

However, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Tuesday Greece can maintain its membership in the eurozone even if the nation votes against austerity reforms on July 5. He said the European Central Bank (ECB) would do everything to protect the euro in case Greece refuses to make concessions during a private meeting with lawmakers in Berlin, media reported.

Debt crisis: Will Greece exit euro? LIVE UPDATES

News bloopers: CNN mistakes dildos, butt plugs for ISIS flag at London gay pride parade

Published on Jun 30, 2015

LONDON — CNN’s coverage of the London Pride Parade following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage will go down in news blooper history.

CNN contributor Lucy Pawle thought she spotted an ISIS flag at the march and was able to snap a picture. The problem was that it was actually an ISIS flag parody that contained a collection of handdrawn dildos and butt plugs in place of Arabic characters.

Did the folks at CNN really have trouble telling the difference between sex toys and Arabic? Or is ISIS now recruiting homosexuals to blow themselves up in the name of terror?

CNN eventually took down the video, but not before somebody snagged a copy of it to live forever on the internet.


Declares mass migration good economically and socially


Following a meeting with Pope Francis, the boss of Goldman-Sachs International and Bilderberg attendee Peter Sutherland said European countries have not taken their “fair share” of refugees from African countries and Syria.

Sutherland told RTÉ radio 240,000 immigrants flooding into Europe each year is not an economic burden on countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom.

On the contrary, he said, a quarter million or more immigrants a year represents an economic and social benefit for Europe, Britain and Ireland.

“Governments have to lead by giving the positive news that migrants are good for a community, economically and every other way rather than constantly expressing them as a burden because they are not really a burden,” Sutherland said. “Within a very short period of time they contribute positively to the community in which they live.”

Sutherland cited studies he said demonstrate the economic benefits of mass migration into Europe from Africa and elsewhere.

Migrants Cost Europe Billions

A report by University College London, however, found that migrants in fact represent a huge economic drain on host countries.

According to the study, non-European migrants living in Britain have drained public finances by almost £120 billion since 1995.

The situation is similar in Germany, by far Europe’s most prosperous and productive nation.

In December, the president of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research, Hans-Werner Sinn, contradicted a study carried out by the Bertelsmann Foundation that concluded each immigrant to the country contributed 22 billion euros ($26,863) to the welfare state in 2012.

Sinn told Frankfurter Allgemeine that in fact “on the net balance sheet, immigration cost the state more in social costs and other issues than it brings in through taxes and social contributions.”

“Faced with this situation, we should finally begin a non-ideological debate on immigration policy which is not driven by the quest for political correctness,” he added.

Despite numerous studies showing the negative economic and social impact of mass migration on Germany and Europe, the European Union, the political establishment and the corporate media are in favor of it.

“Uncontrolled, unskilled Third World immigration is the economics of the madhouse, yet respectable politicians like Herr Schaeuble (Finance Minister) in Germany support it and, until recently, virtually the whole British political establishment  were gung-ho for it, and still would be were it not for Nigel Farage,” writes Vincent Cooper.

Failed Multicultrualism

Contrary to proclamations by Sutherland, Schaeuble, and the political establishment in Europe, the mass migration of Muslims into a largely Christian Europe has resulted in a serious social crisis.

“Europe’s high youth unemployment rate and limited economic mobility has long been cited as a major factor for young people becoming radicalized and joining terrorist organizations like the Islamic State militant groups,” writes Howard Koplowitz .

He cites German Chancellor Angela Merkel who once supported the idea of multiculturalism in Germany.

“We kidded ourselves a while. We said: ‘[Immigrants] won’t stay, sometime they will be gone,’ but this isn’t reality,” she said, according to the BBC. “And of course, the approach [to build] a multicultural [society] and to live side by side and to enjoy each other … has failed, utterly failed.”