Monthly Archives: March 2012

Gold in Greece: corporations create civil war | ejolt.org

A battle centered on gold mines in the north of Greece is turning violent. Because of the economical crisis, corporations are ‘buying’ at almost no cost the previously public forests and water in order to collect gold. “Greek Gold S.A.”, a subsidiary of Canadian company “European Goldfields” is paying 1600 euros per citizen to people without a real job to work for them. First job: chase the protestors who want to protect their pristine forest and water resources. Just a few days ago, hundreds of employees from European Goldfield – aided by about 30 policemen – attacked their fellow neighbors citizens who tried to protect the pristine forest of Chalkidiki and water peacefully. Fifteen people were badly injured and eight had to go to hospital. One of the defenders is right now in the hospital struggling for his life. Continue reading…

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Filed under Corporations, Economism and neoliberalism, Environment, Financial crisis, Greece, Human rights

ECI participatory democracy? | Corporate Europe Observatory

The European Parliament approved last week the final deal on the European Citizens Initiative (ECI), which obliges the European Commission to consider proposals supported by the signatures of one million Europeans. The final deal is a compromise between the Commission and Council, who insisted on administrative hurdles that would have made it very difficult to collect the signatures needed, and MEPs who wanted fewer obstacles. But how much of a boost is this new instrument for democracy and citizens’ power?

Introduced as a result of the Lisbon Treaty, the Citizens’ Initiative has even been referred to as a “tool for participatory democracy”. But now that the final text on the process has been approved, it is clear that this is a wildly exaggerated claim for an instrument that merely obliges the European Commission to consider proposals that have received backing of one million signatures from at least seven Member States. Continue reading…

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Filed under Democracy, Direct and participatory democracy

The unethical corporate subversion of Britain | Occupy News Network UK

British political elites are tightly connected and subverted by multinational companies and international financiers that reap vast financial rewards, despite and even deepening the economic crisis. These corporate powers fund governments that inflict genocide, sell weapons that are used to commit human rights abuses and destroy the environment. They are motivated by maximising profits. These global companies are using their political influence to try and silence OccupyLSX in its aims to engender social justice, broader economic equality and ecological sustainability. Continue reading…

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Filed under Corporations, Corporatism, Corruption, Democracy, Occupy movement

Lobbyists, Guns and Money | NYTimes.com

What is ALEC? Despite claims that it’s nonpartisan, it’s very much a movement-conservative organization, funded by the usual suspects: the Kochs, Exxon Mobil, and so on. Unlike other such groups, however, it doesn’t just influence laws, it literally writes them, supplying fully drafted bills to state legislators. In Virginia, for example, more than 50 ALEC-written bills have been introduced, many almost word for word. And these bills often become law. Continue reading…

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Filed under Corporations, Corporatism, Corruption, Democracy

Big Pharma spends over €40 million per year lobbying in the EU, dwarfing public health NGOs | Corporate Europe Observatory

28 March 2012 – New research reveals that the pharmaceutical industry lobby is spending more than €40 million annually to influence decision making in the European Union (EU) – of which nearly half is spent by drug manufacturers on in-house lobbyists.

According to these findings, civil society organisations active on EU medicines issues, on the other hand, spend a combined €3.4 million per year. With the immense disparity between the affluence of public interest groups and the industrial lobby, it becomes even more difficult to level the policy playing field. Continue reading…

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Filed under Corporations, Corporatism, Corruption, Democracy

Automatic austerity: Ten things you need to know about the ‘Fiscal Compact’ | New Europe

On 2 March 2012, 25 EU heads of state and government signed a new treaty, which is expected to enter into force early next year.

It is the latest step in EU policy designed to tackle the economic crises. But rather than rescue floundering EU member states, it will be one more strike against social Europe. Continue reading…

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Filed under Economism and neoliberalism, Financial crisis

Denouncing the murderous attack to Greek anti-mining activists | Alternative World Water Forum

Several hundred men on the payroll of “Greek Gold S.A.”, a subsidiry of Canadian company “European Goldfields”, attacked a group of local activists that are defending the virgin forests of Chalkidiki against the construction of a mine that will irreversibly poison the land and water and destroy the future of the local community. One of the defenders is right now in the hospital struggling for his life. Continue reading…

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Filed under Civil rights, Corporations, Environment, Human rights, Water