Democracy vs Mythology: The Battle in Syntagma Square

I have never been more desperate to explain and more hopeful for your understanding of any single fact than this: The protests in Greece concern all of you directly.

What is going on in Athens at the moment is resistance against an invasion; an invasion as brutal as that against Poland in 1939. The invading army wears suits instead of uniforms and holds laptops instead of guns, but make no mistake – the attack on our sovereignty is as violent and thorough. Private wealth interests are dictating policy to a sovereign nation, which is expressly and directly against its national interest. Ignore it at your peril. Say to yourselves, if you wish, that perhaps it will stop there. That perhaps the bailiffs will not go after the Portugal and Ireland next. And then Spain and the UK. But it is already beginning to happen. This is why you cannot afford to ignore these events. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Investors skeptical on record Greek bailout

Financial markets reacted skeptically on Monday to a record 110 billion euro ($146 billion) EU/IMF bailout for Greece, with investors expressing doubts whether it would solve the euro zone’s debt crisis.

Despite Sunday’s agreement by European finance ministers on an unprecedented three-year loan package, the euro fell as markets questioned the ability of the Greek government to push through new austerity measures pledged in exchange for aid and worried other euro states may be vulnerable.

In contrast to the euphoria that greeted past IMF rescues, Greek bond yields eased only slightly compared to benchmark German bunds, falling back to levels reached 10 days ago before last week’s market panic over a possible Greek default.

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Greece readies austerity measures, markets steady

Greece readied severe austerity measures Thursday to secure a multi-billion euro aid package needed to avoid default, providing relief to financial markets but drawing threats of a mighty battle from Greek unions.

A union official said the International Monetary Fund had asked debt-ladden Greece to raise sales taxes, scrap salary bonuses amounting to two extra months of pay in the public sector and accept a three-year pay freeze.

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Euro ministers discuss Greek standby aid planning

Euro zone finance ministers discussed the mechanics of a financial rescue for Greece on Monday but gave few details of their standby planning as Athens tries to fix its public finances alone.

The rescue would be the first for the monetary union that created the euro in 1999 and the Greek government has been pressing European capitals to go beyond a vague political pledge of support for the debt-stricken country.

«We will discuss several options this evening … to find a solution if one is needed,» said Jean-Claude Juncker, prime minister of Luxembourg and chairman of the talks in Brussels.

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Turkey prepares to join EU in a building confiscated from the Orthodox

Unbelievable but true: the headquarters of the Secretariat for the entry of Turkey into the European Union is a building confiscated from the Orthodox Christian community in the 90s. The building is located in Istanbul, in the well-known area of Ortakoy, under the first bridge over the Bosphorus.

Before the seizure, the building was used as a primary school for children of the minority Orthodox in Ortakoy. Here, once lived a thriving Orthodox community, now non-existent because of past purges against minorities, executed by the «secular» Turkish State.

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Russian Orthodox Church thinks of creating pro-Orthodox group in European Parliament

Brussels,  Interfax – Archpriest Antony Ilyin, acting representative of the Moscow patriarchate in European international organizations, has called for the creation of a group promoting Orthodox values in the European Parliament.

«The creation by Orthodox parliamentarians of a group promoting orthodox values in the agenda of the European parliament of the new convocation and in the socio-political life of the EU in general is an ambitious, but a realistic task,» Fr. Antony told Interfax-Religion.

Several parliamentarians, including Tatyana Zhdanok (Latvia) and Slavi Binev (Bulgaria) have reached an agreement to coordinate their efforts in their direction if they get re-elected.

The priest also recalled the position of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on the contribution of the Orthodox civilization to the future of Europe.

«The project of European integration began as a Western project, but it can no longer continue as purely Western, especially after the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU, and also taking into account the 8 million Russian diaspora in the EU countries, which is culturally connected to Russian Orthodox traditions,» Fr. Antony said.