Government Collapses, Crises, and Protests Around the World

Something seems to be brewing these days, now doesn’t it?

January 12th: In Lebanon the unity government collapses:

Lebanon’s unity government has collapsed after the Hezbollah movement and its political allies resigned from the cabinet over arguments stemming from a UN investigation into the assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister, in 2005.

January 14th: In Tunisia the President has stepped down and a state of emergency has been declared:

Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali has stepped down after 23 years in power as protests over economic issues snowballed into rallies against him.

Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi has taken over as interim president, and a state of emergency has been declared.

Mr Ben Ali left Tunisia with his family, and has since arrived in Saudi Arabia, officials said.

Earlier, French media said President Nicolas Sarkozy had rejected a request for his plane to land in France.

Dozens of people have died in recent weeks as unrest has swept the country and security forces have cracked down on demonstrations over unemployment, food price rises and corruption.


The protests started after an unemployed graduate set himself on fire when police tried to prevent him from selling vegetables without a permit. He died a few weeks later.

Note what’s at the root of the outrage here: Government restrictionism in action. This is what governments do all over the world, from minimum wage legislation to union legislation to antitrust legislation, and what have you; interesting to see people wake up to the injustice of these concepts. Although I do of course realize that that’s not all that this is about. :)

January 20th: Irish government collapses:

Irish Prime Minster Brian Cowen has called an Irish election for March 11th.

Speaking to a packed parliament, Cowen stated that he was reassigning six cabinet portfolios after six of his ministers resigned.

His comments ended a day of mounting chaos in the parliament as it became clear that the Green Party were preventing the Fianna Fail party from replacing the minsters who resigned .

Opposition leader Enda Kenny of Fine Gael said he was delighted there was finally an air of finality because of the naming of an election date.

The Irish collapse of course has to be seen in light of economic difficulties coupled with political disagreements.

January 25th: “Unprecedented” protests in Egypt:

The scope of Egypt’s protests today, calling for greater freedom and downfall of strongman President Hosni Mubarak, is unprecedented.

Though tens of thousands took to the streets of Cairo in 2005 calling for democratic reform, today’s protests are far beyond the action in the capital. Reporters and activists on the scene in Cairo say there was a spirit of anger and defiance in the crowds and there were protests of varying sizes in at least a half-dozen Egyptian cities.

It will be interesting to see if other US backed dictators will soon face similar challenges across the middle east. In particular Pakistan will be interesting to watch.

In any case … what a turbulent start into the year 2011. What a close succession of government failures, collapses, and mass protests in Europe and the Middle East!

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Irish Government Collapses

Irish Central writes Irish leader Brian Cowen calls an election for March 11:

Speaking to a packed parliament, Cowen stated that he was reassigning six cabinet portfolios after six of his ministers resigned.

His comments ended a day of mounting chaos in the parliament as it became clear that the Green Party were preventing the Fianna Fail party from replacing the minsters who resigned .

Opposition leader Enda Kenny of Fine Gael said he was delighted there was finally an air of finality because of the naming of an election date.

Minister of State Conor Lenihan called for the Taoiseach’s resignation. Lenihan said that the developments over the past 24 hours meant that those who voted for a motion of confidence Cowen on Tuesday have now changed their minds. He urged senior ministers to act urgently.

The proceedings in Irish Parliament had been suspended as opposition leaders refused to move forward until Prime Minister Brian Cowen explained the six recent ministerial resignations.

Rumors of an impending collapse of the government and an immediate election were circulating as the Green Party met to decide whether they would withdraw support for the government.

Earlier today parliament was suspended after rowdy scenes. Opposition leader, Fine Gael’s Enda Kenny demanded that proceeding be suspended until Cowen could explain what was going on within the Government.

Kenny said “This is the worst government in history…This would not have happened even in the days of great dictators. It is unprecedented, what you have done.”

He continued “These are the last days of the worst government in the history of the state.”

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation Batt O’Keefe tendered his resignation this morning. Wednesday saw Mary Harney from Health, Dermot Ahern from Justice, Noel Dempsey from transport and Tony Killeen from defense all resigned. These followed the resignation of Micheal Martin from foreign affairs who resigned after a failed leadership challenge.

Kenny said that the actions of Cowen had been a “cowardly, disgraceful act” and said he was “refusing to come in here today to tell the people of his country what is happening with a Government that has imploded, with a Government that is dysfunctional, that has disintegrated, and that had let our people down”.

Similarly Eamon Gilmore, Labour party leader, said “What is happening here this morning is disrespectful of the people of this country…There is some Kind of political cynical exercise in last-minute jobbery being hatched by this Government.”

John Gormley, the Green party leader, spoke with Cowen about the resignations. The Green party are understood be by frustrated over the departures. Gormley is expect to discuss the matter later today in parliament.

The Green Party, who had asked in November that an election take place in January, yesterday said that it would take place no later than March. March 11 th has now been designated.

Unfortunately for the Irish people, this done for government has already sealed the deal on screwing their future.

Now another group of people will be voted in as a front to looting the public.

Will they have an incentive to ruffle any feathers within the EU?

I doubt it …

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Irish People Say: Default! Other Governments Go MAD – Screwing the Future

The Independent writes:

A SUBSTANTIAL majority of the Irish people wants the State to default on debts to bondholders in the country’s stricken banks, according to a Sunday Independent/Quantum Research poll.

The finding that 57 per cent favour and 43 per cent oppose default reflects a growing view among policymakers and opinion formers that the State simply cannot support the debt burden it has taken on.

The telephone poll of 500 people nationwide has also found that a majority of around two-thirds opposes the headline measures in the Government’s four-year plan.

Following Fianna Fail’s loss of the by-election in Donegal last week, the findings will add to political uncertainty as an austerity Budget approaches on December 7.

As Ireland awaited the fine details of the international bailout, which are expected tonight, it was learned last night that the Irish delegation negotiating with the EU-IMF last week raised the issue of default.

“The Europeans went completely mad,” a senior government source said.

Mad? Why? Because it’s THEIR ass that’s on the line, not the Irish’s:

Total foreign bank exposure to Ireland’s economy is $844bn, or five times the value of Ireland’s GDP or economic output. Of that, German and UK banks are Ireland’s biggest creditors, with €206bn and €224bn of exposure respectively.

To put it another way, German and British banks on their own have each extended credit to Ireland greater than Irish GDP. Which doesn’t sound altogether prudent, does it?

As for direct bank-to-bank lending, overseas banks have provided Ireland’s banks with €169bn of loans, which is also greater than Irish GDP.

Here is another illustration on Germany’s banks’ exposure to Irish and other gambles:

Screwing the Future

It is important to understand that government debt is always about screwing the future to enrich connected people in the present:

Ironically, when you look at the political stage, all you will hear in regards to “solutions” to deficits in the end, will be tax hikes. These are not solutions. They are the ultimate manifestation of the very problem at hand. They are, in fact, the precise opposite of a solution. Keep this in mind whenever you hear politicians talk about deficit solutions. Raising taxes to reduce deficits is absolutely and 100% an admission that one has completely failed to solve this deficit problem, and in fact laid the final brick that was missing in the very process of the public’s depredation via deficit spending.

Thus European governments will fight tooth and nail to raise as much money as they possibly can in exchange for promising their lenders and increased loot from increased future theft.

In this particular case it will be Irish taxpayers in the future who will foot the bill.

So long as people cling on to the fantasy of the necessity governments, all this stuff will be so completely predictable that it’s almost boring, and it will continue to go on as I have been pointing out from the very beginning of when this financial crisis started hitting Europe.

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