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Give us more money so we can pay you?

It was headline news and divided opinions across the world. Greece had run out of money. Debts were rising and they were approaching the EU Monetary Fund for a major handout.


Would they get it? Would they be declared bankrupt? If so what would happen after that and what would be the impact on the remaining members of the Union?


“They have had it too easy!” was an opinion most frequently aired. “They need to wake up and smell the Ouzo!?”

Does anyone remember this Greek Crisis?

Despite that most onlookers expected Greece to be bailed out and indeed that is what happened. Shortly thereafter it disappeared from the headlines. But it remains a problem as once again Greece is required to introduce further austerity measures in order to satisfy the demands of those who will release the next tranche of cash. A mere $7.6 billion.


The crisis started in 2014, at which time Greece was suffering the results of a combination of overspending and under-taxing. The Greek populace had become so inured to the fact that they were entitled to an easy and tax free existence that attempts to remove this from them was akin to taking away child’s favourite toy.


There was much screaming and wailing and calls for the guilty parties to be held responsible.

Today Greece is being judged on how well it has handled the demands of its creditors and whilst plans are being formed to provide Greece with some debt relief all this is dependent on how well they have performed in the past four years.


As Christine Lagarde said to the IMF “Greece’s ability to sustain its debts must be secured for the IMF to continue participating in bailout programs.”

Julian Assange

The man behind WikiLeaks has been in self-imposed custody for nearly five years. Surviving in the grounds of the Ecuador Embassy in London since 2012

 

He is a wanted man in two countries. He is accused of rape in Sweden where other lesser charges have been withdrawn due to time limitations and of espionage in the US where many believe that he interfered with the election process that saw Donald Trump sweep all before him last year.


 

For many people, he is an enigma and could be viewed as a champion of the truth whose exposé activities are justifiable as being in the public interest.


Others see him as a disruptive force with no mandate to employ the corrupt mechanisms that enabled him to acquire access to so much private government material.


It is significant that at the height of the US election period WikiLeaks released nearly 20,000 emails from Democratic National Committee staffers.

The Greek CrisisGreek flagJulian Assange, Time magazine

On July 29, Assange admitted that the email release was timed to coincide with the start of the Democratic National Convention.


Did it have an impact?   As the emails, generally were supportive of Hilary Clinton over Bernie Saunders it would appear that they had little effect but it is possible that the mere fact that there were so many undisclosed items played a part in creating an impression that Hillary had something to hide.


Early in 2016 Mr Assange complained to the UN that he was being unlawfully detained as he could not leave the embassy for fear of being arrested.


In February 2016, the UN panel ruled in his favour, stating that he had been "arbitrarily detained", and should be allowed to walk free and compensated for his "deprivation of liberty".

Mr Assange hailed it a "significant victory" and called the decision "binding".


Whilst he would like to think that is the case, the ruling is not legally binding on the UK and the UK Foreign Office responded by saying it "changes nothing". The Metropolitan Police have said he will still be arrested if he leaves the embassy where, for now, he remains. The cost of monitoring him by the Met police meanwhile has run into tens of millions of pounds.


In 2020 the time expires on his remaining charges in Sweden and it will be interesting to see how the British Government then react?

Already served five years?  

We don’t care what the UN say?

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Article by “Tony Myles”

The Greek Crisis