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PRESS RELEASE


Support Demos Begin Wednesday for Greece’s Battle with Banks

Feb. 9, 2015 (EIRNS)—After the Greek president’s and finance minister’s lucid statements this weekend of Greece’s demand to end the Troika bankers’ austerity and begin widescale investment in employment in Europe, demonstrations are called to support Greece against the banks’ hard line.

The Party of the European Left group of parties within the European Parliament, which includes the governing Syriza party in Greece, called for demonstrations around Europe from Feb. 11 (the day of the Eurogroup finance ministers’ meeting on Greece’s proposal) through Feb. 17. Its head signed a statement issued just two weeks ago (Jan. 25) in support of Greece, calling for a "European Glass-Steagall Act" and new credit for development in the form of a new lender of last resort to nations, rather than to banks (the European Central Bank).

Their Feb. 8 call accuses the ECB of cutting off credit to Greek banks and government to create panic, and says:

"I call all the forces that refuse austerity and the blackmail of the debt to amplify the popular pressure in the different countries of the EU on their government, on central banks and on the ECB by multiplying solidarity actions throughout Europe on February the 11th, the day of the extraordinary meeting of the Eurogroup. The mobilization should keep on all over the week from February 11-17; during the European Council on February 12 and 13, until the Eurogroup of February 17."

On the eve of the G20 finance ministers’ meeting in Istanbul which started Monday, many banks had their "research departments" put out notes forecasting systemic impacts if Greece is forced to leave the Eurozone, something no one in the Greek government has suggested. The real Wall Street fears being reflected, are of a derivatives blowout if Greece debt is significantly written down. But the banks forecast:

The euro going immediately to 90 cents if Greece is forced out, with Swiss and Austrian bank failures (Morgan Stanley);

Other countries quickly following Greece out (Citigroup);

Multiple countries exiting the euro and runs on major European banks (a UBS Group special report issued Sunday).

U.S. President Obama on Feb. 8 issued a contentless statement, "urging compromise" between Eurozone leaders and Greece. Typical of its duplicity was Obama’s CNN interview Feb. 7, in which he talked of a "limit to austerity", but then indicated it hadn’t been reached in his view: "They probably don’t need to do an enormous amount of additional fiscal adjustment; they need to hold on to the gains from the reforms they’ve already made...." This is exactly the austerity disaster the Greek government insists on reversing.

At the G20 Istanbul meeting. The one opening to sanity was French Finance Minister Michel Sapin’s comment to Reuters:

"I think there is flexibility to find a short-term solution that would give Greece financing while a longer-term program for the country is hashed out."