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The French Are Revolting. The Greeks Are Revolting. It Is About Time Too.

Society & Culture  (tags: 99%, Global 99%, Europe, France, Greece, Central Banks, IMF, European Union, Revolution, Global 99% )

- 2570 days ago -
Both countries held elections Sunday that were in effect referendums on the current European economic strategy, and in both countries voters turned two thumbs down.


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Fiona O (562)
Monday May 7, 2012, 7:41 pm
Needless to say, that’s not what you heard from the usual suspects in the run-up to the elections. It was actually kind of funny to see the apostles of orthodoxy trying to portray the cautious, mild-mannered François Hollande as a figure of menace. He is “rather dangerous,” declared The Economist, which observed that he “genuinely believes in the need to create a fairer society.” Quelle horreur!

The Greeks may even consider leaving the European Union.

Austerity is not going to be accepted.

Fiona O (562)
Monday May 7, 2012, 7:46 pm
This article is a soul stirring good read. Ireland, Iceland. The world is rebelling and evolving. We are all in this together.

"One answer — an answer that makes more sense than almost anyone in Europe is willing to admit — would be to break up the euro, Europe’s common currency. Europe wouldn’t be in this fix if Greece still had its drachma, Spain its peseta, Ireland its punt, and so on, because Greece and Spain would have what they now lack: a quick way to restore cost-competitiveness and boost exports, namely devaluation.

As a counterpoint to Ireland’s sad story, consider the case of Iceland, which was ground zero for the financial crisis but was able to respond by devaluing its currency, the krona (and also had the courage to let its banks fail and default on their debts). Sure enough, Iceland is experiencing the recovery Ireland was supposed to have, but hasn’t.

Susan L (150)
Monday May 7, 2012, 10:12 pm
Great story, Betsy! Iceland had the right idea, and it WORKED! Now, MAYBE, people in the USA AND around the world will recognize it too.

Past Member (0)
Monday May 7, 2012, 10:47 pm
Can't read the article, you have to have an 'account' and log in.

Calliope S (47)
Monday May 7, 2012, 11:00 pm
I can't send you a green star ((too soon after the last one I sent you!) for this posting on current affairs in Europe! Bee this is an excellent one and we are seeing some election results that although expected, never before has there been such "upsets" with the usual favourites (two large parties)taking a real beating!! People have simply had enough!! I am on my way to work now but given time I would like to write a few things regarding this posting. At first glance I was wondering why I was so revolting!!! lol lol

divergent r (309)
Monday May 7, 2012, 11:05 pm
it's sad when you have to resort to drastic measures to live in a healthy existence.
Thanks for the article. Not surprised

Lynn S (235)
Monday May 7, 2012, 11:07 pm
If one route doesn’t work, as clearly the austerity only plan doesn’t, then it is time to try something else, something bold. A more balanced approach is due — heavier taxes on the rich who benefit the most from the austerity.

I am not so sure that a worldwide 'let the banks fail' is such a good thing because look what happened in the dirty 30's --- individuals like you and me lost all their money. And certainly, money itself ceased to have much value for the average person. Having Iceland take that tact worked for them, but don't forget that they were only one country. I'm not saying it won't work, just that I am very leary of it on a big scale.

One thing that MUST happen is that governments must stand up to the corporate and billionaire bullies and put in place fair taxation policies. I also think that it would help for countries to coördinate such policies to help prevent the billionaires and banksters from moving all their funds to more hospitable tax havens, like the Caymans.

When I think about the Arab Spring, I think of people fighting for certain freedoms, but I also think of people fighting for economic security. Now I think North America and Europe are in the midst of their own "Spring" which is more economic in nature. Although I must admit that with the Republican/Teabaggers and their wars on women, immigrants and the poor, disenfranchising voters etc, it is also becoming a fight for rights that are being stripped away.

This is the same article that TomCat posted under "European Voters are Rejecting Republican Policy" today. Krugman is excellent.


Cam V (417)
Monday May 7, 2012, 11:26 pm
It was the socialists in France that got them into the fiscal mess they are now in! How can absolute stupidity be described as a 'revolt'? Absolute stupidty that is only going to lead to the fiscal collapse of their country. Surely you would give Americans credit for being smarter than the Europeans? I do .....

Cam V (417)
Monday May 7, 2012, 11:27 pm
This story is a good example of what countries should not be doing ....

Michael Carney (217)
Monday May 7, 2012, 11:51 pm
Thanks Betsy, very interesting...

Eternal G (734)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 12:04 am
We, this family, were very very pleased with the outcomes and indeed... about time!!!

Pogle S (88)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 12:17 am
Break it all up I say! It would certainly throw a spanner in the works as far as the New World Order is concerned!

Peace Monger (185)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 12:36 am
The people of France & Greece has spoken, nay shouted with their votes. The austerity measures being enacted by govts are not working, nor do they serve the greater populous; however, they do seem to serve the corp$ quite nicely.
I applaud France & Greece for taking a stance against the powers which seek to make cuts to services while profiting those at the top.


mary f (200)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 1:37 am
i am so glad someone is doing something i hope our voters do the same

Norm C (74)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 1:41 am
Cam, Your grasp of history is deplorable. Your grasp of economics is nonexistent. Stick to what you know. Whatever that is.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 2:09 am
When people say "let the banks fail", I don't think they mean ler depositors lose their money, especially not the ordinary people, but let the fat shareholders lose their capital. They profited from "speculation" in the good years, so why shouldn't they lose in the bad years?

Joe R (190)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 4:11 am
Great. It's about time they discontinue with a failing policy and try something else. Thanks Betsy.

Craig Pittman (52)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 6:59 am
Big businss was given a free reign for years. Look what they did with it! They've had their day in the sun.
It's about time for North Americans to stand up and declare, "enough is enough".

Victoria P (110)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 7:00 am
Thank-you Betsy~♥

Past Member (0)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 7:16 am
Thanks Betsy, great story.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 7:23 am
we are change
life has value beyond measure
Peace and Love

Fiona O (562)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 7:44 am
Cam, the socialists have not held power in France since 1981. The Socialist president of France, Mitterand, was not a big spender. But your knee jerk reactionary comments are not a matter of not knowing, they seem to be more a matter of not respecting the people with whom you are debating.

Thank you, everyone, for the great comments.

Mary F., I want to see Ireland prosperous and happy.

Calliope, I can easily picture you wondering why does Betsy thinks the "Greeks (me) are revolting" LOL, my friend.

Zen, I am really sorry you ran into a log in problem. I do not think I have a membership. I do not know what is going on with your getting to the site.

OK, North America, look east and learn.

TomCat S (125)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 9:39 am
Great minds fall in the same ditch, Bee! ;-)
That article was the basis for one of my articles yesterday.

Michela M (3964)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 10:22 am

Nicole W (646)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 10:36 am
noted and shared

Vicky P (476)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 10:40 am
yeah..but the Greeks also let in a far right wing guy, and it doesn't look too good.

Cecily P (4)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 10:41 am
Thanks for the info!

Lois Jordan (63)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 11:10 am
My 1st thought when I read this was that I hope they get the change they voted for. It seems that Germany carries a lot of clout in the EU, and Merkel commands a lot of authority. I didn't realize that before. I remember all the violence in France some time back--the gov't didn't respond by further taxing the wealthiest; it was more austerity. The Daily Show had a funny comment last night--noting that Germany couldn't win WWII with violence, but decades later, they have taken over the European monetary system. The only thing that might help is for the people to continue to rise up in protest and demand higher taxes on the 1%. We all know that this is no longer "trickle down"'s become "trickle up" with gov't taking more and more from those of us who can least afford it. Maybe we should begin to frame our conversations that way.

Elizabeth P (99)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 11:29 am
Noted, good read. Thank you.

Ellen m (215)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 12:10 pm
Thanks for a very informative article Betsy..
Europe is starting to look like a big line of Dominoes!

Cynthia Davis (340)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 12:18 pm
Cam, you really don't know anything about history. In many situations, austerity programs were implemented by countries that were previously under dictatorial regimes, leading to the citizens being forced to repay the debts of their oppressors. This has been tried all over Europe and it isn't working. It was tried by President Regan....called "the trickle down theory" didn't work and he end up raising taxes. Republicans right now in this country are trying to push austerity on Americans by taking away form social programs that the people need rather then tax the very wealthy the same as they tax the middle class. We will not stand for it. That's why we OCCUPY ALL OVER THE WORLD. I don't know why you can't seem to get that it's really quite simple.

Criage Lynnette Althage (25)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 12:29 pm
I am happy about their election results symbolically, however will these Socialist elected leaders be able to override the conservative right wing parliaments? It seems doubtful, however I do hope this does send a message to the people to continue fighting to oust the reactionary ruling class ideas. And Cam you are as delusional as they come, you need to realize the ideas of which you attempt to promote are against your own class interests.

Cynthia Davis (340)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 12:32 pm
Republicans voted down the Buffet rule that would have fairly taxed the very wealthy but they want to do away with a program called Meal on Wheels that feeds the disabled elderly. That's a classical example of austerity.

M B (62)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 2:11 pm
France has a socialist now, good for them. For the world leader however it's most important that Far Right doesn't get a chance. They are dangerous scum, the world doesn't need. All they do is to get US into another war, because (their)" terrorism"justify's that.

Terrie W (798)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 2:16 pm
Just dewin my little Socilist chair dance here.....(Why yes, I AM so happy for Greece and France!!!!!) Now, if we could only do it here!

Terrie W (798)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 2:16 pm
um, that's Socialist.....dang keyboard.

Trudy Killa (125)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 4:07 pm
Now we in the US have a very important election coming up. It will be interesting to see how the people of this country decide how we will live & to whom the power will be given- the people or the fat corporations and the fundamentalist extremists who want to have an anti law for everything & take away rights that were fought for & won for the rights of the people. I hope that we to in the end can say we won!

Mary T (178)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 6:00 pm
Great post Betsy I seen this on last nights news, I hope the American people wake up and do the same, I wish Iceland the best, Sick of the republicans trying to take away from the middle and lower class people to give to the rich.

Bianca D (87)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 7:35 pm
Yeah! Let's all be revolting.

Susanne R (236)
Tuesday May 8, 2012, 10:30 pm
I wish that every American citizen who was taken in by the tea party would read this article! The thing about austerity measures is that they're proposed and passed by the wealthy (or the legislators they've bought and paid for), but they always hurt those who are already hurting.

I was amused but not surprised when I read that the "apostles of orthodoxy were trying to portray the cautious, mild-mannered François Hollande as a figure of menace." He is “rather dangerous,” declared The Economist, which observed that he “genuinely believes in the need to create a fairer society.”

Believing in the need to create a fairer society makes Froncois Hollande "rather dangerous" and a "figure of menace"? Sounds as though France's "apostles of orthodoxy" have sunk to the level of the GOP!

Quanta Kiran (67)
Wednesday May 9, 2012, 3:14 am

Mr. & Mrs. Terr c (147)
Wednesday May 9, 2012, 9:24 am
Why is it always The People who are at fault... when the crises was in fact perpetrated by the wealthy/powerful? Here in the USA our economy for the past 65 yrs. was based on Credit to enable consumer to purchase goods and services... but greed took over producing a house bubble and collapse that sent shock waves around the world.

Carmen S (611)
Wednesday May 9, 2012, 10:24 am
Thanks Betsy, people do seem to be waking up and taking action.

Jonjon Hoy (146)
Wednesday May 9, 2012, 4:51 pm
This is a world wide chain effect that has effects millions around the world. As the old saying, things will get worse before it gets better.

Dee C (229)
Friday May 11, 2012, 3:58 pm
Great article Besty..
Duly noted..

Jabi Yeonnmin (164)
Monday May 14, 2012, 8:45 am
Thank you for sharing this.
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