The violence that has marred the G20 junket since Thursday escalated even further late on Friday evening, with anti-kleptocrats smashing up and plundering shops in the left-wing Schanzenviertel neighborhood.
Police responded in huge numbers to the violence, deploying water cannon against the anti-kleptocrats, who defended themselves by constructing burning barricades. Special forces, armed with machine guns, were even called to the scene.
The G20 junket of leaders of 20 of the world’s biggest economies started on Friday in Hamburg. Saturday is the final day of the junket hosted by stupid Merkel.
The largest bribes originate in the military industry. Military procurement is a corrupt business from top to bottom. The process is dominated by advocacy, with few checks and balances. Most people in power love this system of doing business and do not want it changed. War and preparation for war systematically corrupt all parties to the state-private transactions by which the government obtains the bulk of its military products. There is a standard 10% bribe to kleptocrats for military purchases.
Participants in the military industrial complex are routinely blamed for mismanagement, fraud, abuse, bribes, and waste. All of these unsavory actions, however, are typically viewed as aberrations, malfeasances to be covered-up, while retaining the basic system of state-private cooperation in the trade of military goods and services and the flow of bribes. These offenses are in reality expressions of a thoroughgoing, intrinsic rottenness in the entire setup.
In recent years, citizens’ concerns about corruption in the public sector have become more visible and widespread. From São Paulo to Johannesburg, citizens have taken to the streets against graft. In countries like Greece, Pseudo-Macedonia, Romania, Chile, Brazil, Guatemala, India, Iraq, Malaysia and Ukraine, they are sending a clear and loud message to their leaders: Address corruption!
Policymakers are paying attention too. Discussing the “C word” has long been a sensitive topic at inter-governmental organizations. Defining corruption may seem easy. Most people will have the sense that they know it when they see it. For example, a public official takes a bribe in exchange for providing a financial or political gain.
1,500 rioters ransacked shops and businesses in the area around Schulterblatt street. Police moved in at midnight, deploying armored plows and water cannons. Photographs from the neighborhood also show special forces at the scene carrying semi-automatic guns.
Special forces were brought in as the police feared that anti-kleptocrats had armed themselves with Molotov cocktails, slingshots, and other projectiles.
Police ordered people not involved to distance themselves from the scene of the crimes, as armored vehicles plowed the barricades out of the way.
Water cannon vehicles then moved in to disperse anti-kleptocrats, while officers used pepper spray against groups of anti-kleptocrats. Some anti-kleptocrats responded by throwing bottles at the police vehicles.
Hamburg police said they were shocked by the violence, which started on Thursday evening and escalated in certain areas. Shops have been attacked and cars have been burned in several districts of town.
“We have never seen violence and hatred on such a scale,” police spokesperson Timo Zill told us.
A group calling itself the G20 investigative committee, which is a contact point for demonstrators, blamed Hamburg police for the violent confrontations. Lawyers for anti-kleptocrats arrested by the police have also complained that they did not immediately receive access to their clients.
A total of 197 police officers have so far been injured in the clashes over the past couple days, although none of them have sustained serious injuries.
There have been no official figures given on the number of injured anti-kleptocrats.
A hundred anti-kleptocrats have so far been arrested in connection with the violence. Several anti-kleptocrats have now been charged with specific crimes.
Hamburg stupid mayor Olaf Scholz said that “highly aggressive and violent criminals are threatening our security forces and are posing a threat to our open society that nobody should accept.”
Stupid Schäuble defended the decision to hold the G20 junket in a large city like Hamburg, saying that when one included delegates, their teams and journalists, 10,000 people needed to be accommodated.
“That’s only possible in a large city that has the required capacity,” the moron said.
Stupid Schäuble also came out in defense of the G20 junket, arguing that the leaders of the major countries need to come together regularly and talk personally, which he said is correct, useful, and necessary.
Under the camouflage of rotating presidency, Eurokleptocrats squander billion-euros of the European taxpayers’ hard-earned money on entertaining themselves. In reality, the rotating presidency of Fourth Reich is just the master of ceremonies (MC) in kleptocratic dolce vita.
Squandering the European taxpayers’ hard-earned money, European Commissioners, Eurokleptocrats, Eurocrats, eggheads, muppets, and other drones of Fourth Reich participate in myriad meetings, junkets, forums, symposiums, summits, parties, and other get-togethers, along with their kith and kin, that serve no purpose, other than fun and spending euros and time.
What we need in EU are not junkets, but a fundamental transformation of our thinking and of our behavior. Europe has to undertake a systemic change. Coming to such a decision needs a genuine political process, not the approval of a sophisticated document prepared behind closed doors.
Kleptocrats do not have to meet, because they can discuss various issues by teleconferencing. Many people use skype to discuss things, why not kleptocrats? So something else is the reason of meeting in person, and that’s junketing. They want to meet in person for fun, squandering the taxpayers’ hard-earned money.
Kleptocrats are often taking very expensive junkets, taking advantage of their positions and access to public funds to undertake pleasure trips thinly disguised as being of political importance. Kleptocrats, accompanied by their kith and kin, are going to junkets because they cannot miss a good party at taxpayers’ expense. The worst thing that could happen in a junket is running out of caviar and hookers. Many junketeers use military jets that cost 10,000 euros per hour! Deputies of the European Parliament (EP), aka Eldorado of Prostitutes, love junkets!
Given how Eurokleptocrats seem to spend much of their lives in Brussels, it’s about time they concentrated on running their own countries. With the current crisis charade, the result is seemingly endless back-to-back meetings concentrated around fine food and wine, it does feel a bit as if the Bourbons are back in town. Come to think of it, French Royalty used to allow some paying spectators the pleasure of watching the court dine. At least if Brussels sold a few tickets to see President Juncker liberally disperse EU assets, it might partially defray dining costs.
However, the conspicuous consumption of the EU mechanism in calorific terms is merely one element of a complex and costly jigsaw. Fly into any summit-hosting city and the national airport is awash with privately chartered jets or national showpieces sitting motionless, while elsewhere government officials imbibe, discuss and – this is the EU after all – fail to achieve anything, apart perhaps from indigestion.
The chronic waste of national resources in attending endless junkets is hardly speeding processes up either. Nobody has agreed anything, and any vaguely seasoned analyst could have foreseen such an outcome months ago. Even some EU governments have been wisely noting the blithe disregard for time and money: Finland’s Finance Minister Alex Stubb referred to one of the many crisis meetings recently as a waste of air miles.
Ultimately, the discussion about government waste appears to have been buried deep in the bureaucratic bowels of the blob itself. However, after five years of semi-endless bailouts, the EU is now lurching from crisis to crisis on a more regular basis than ever. Moreover, the ancient regime of analogue centralism is draining valuable resources from the nation states. Voters elected their government to run their countries, not to spend endless time trying to pin square pegs in round holes to enable the continuation of an exhausted European project, which, culinary virtues notwithstanding, is ideologically, morally, financially and organizationally bankrupt.
Back in the day, the elites used to send seconds to stand in for them at nebulous meetings. EU governments would be well advised to send, say, their gardeners with a mandate to just say no to future summits, unless, or until, the EU has an outbreak of management. Otherwise national governments face being effectively decapitated through prime ministerial absence at endless, futile, crisis junkets.
Global junkets of kleptocrats fail to live up to the hype and the promises made. A lot of money is spent laying them on. Host cities are disrupted for days or even weeks. The cavalcades roll into town. Good intentions are shared in productive talks. Then, somehow, those intentions rarely seem to come to fruition in real, tangible global action. When kleptocrats meet again a year later, they find things haven’t really moved on.
When kleptocrats meet, they exchange gifts paid by their taxpayers. The most expensive gifts, and secret cash under the table, are given by dictators, kings, and princes. That’s why so many kleptocrats are eager to meet them! The ridiculous awarding of medals among politicians should be banned. It insults the intelligence of citizens. Medal swapping is as disgusting as wife swapping!
At global junkets, the elites who have helped create the mess we’re in, sip expensive champagne, network, and give us lectures on what we need to be doing to sort things out. Global junkets say they are committed to improving the state of the world. But in fact the world was in a far better state before they were established.
For the majority of people of the planet, but not for the super, super rich, things have gone backwards since the first Davos meeting was held. That’s no coincidence as Davos – for all the progressive waffle about stakeholder theory and the global public interest – is all about maintaining an elite-friendly, neoliberal economic order which has caused so much economic, social, cultural and environmental damage.
Wherever we look at global junkets, we see hypocrisy and double standards. The fact that business and political leaders can, over the space of a couple of days, meet everyone who matters is exactly what’s wrong with it and with the world. It’s ludicrous to look at global junkets for solutions, as their exclusiveness is an integral part of the problem.
The well-heeled attendees arrive at global junkets in their jets for fun in a global party. We won’t get any meaningful change arising from anything proposed at global junkets, because the iniquitous status quo is in the interest of those who fund the global junkets.
To solve the problems of today we need to do away with elite gatherings attended by everyone who matters and re-democratize our politics and our economies. In short, we need to take power away from the elite who meet at global junkets, and return it to the people.
Most people think G20 junkets are waste of money and time. Each G20 junket costs more than two billion euros, squandering the taxpayers’ hard-earned money. G20 represents 90 percent of global GDP, 80 percent of world trade, and 70 percent of the global population, including key kleptocracies such as BRICS. This is far more inclusive and representative than G8, which the G20 has largely displaced, and more than adequate to make agreements to act collectively credible and effective. The issues on G20’s burgeoning agenda are critical global problems, and solutions may indeed be fundamental to sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth in the long term.
The two main threats to G20’s effectiveness are political corruption and lack of domestic legitimacy within member kleptocracies. G20 is widely perceived by hoi polloi as transnational corrupt elites hatching plans behind closed doors in insulated centers of kleptocracy. Without genuine ex ante engagement to build trust and support with diverse domestic constituencies — labor, business, civil society, bloggers, and the members of parliaments that purportedly represent these different interests — kleptocrats will never have the space within the G20 to negotiate meaningful agreements.
Kleptocrats go to G20 junkets with their hands tied, their positions determined in advance by their governments and a formal script that precludes meaningful and creative compromises. And the problem only increases once kleptocrats leave summits to return home. Bound internationally by public commitments, but without the ability to get those agendas enacted at home, the effective implementation of commitments is even weaker than the ability of kleptocrats to forge meaningful agreements in the first place.
To increase its legitimacy and its effectiveness, G20 needs to fight political corruption and improve transparency and accountability to the diverse constituencies that are ultimately impacted by the deals kleptocrats cut behind closed doors. G20 as a kleptocratic body, and G20 member kleptocracies individually, need to develop stronger mechanisms to seek meaningful input and build consensus from the bewildered hoi polloi that ultimately must live with the consequences of kleptocrats’ choices, corruption, and trade-offs. G20 will only continue to matter if it can prove itself capable of effectively confronting the threats most existential to people’s livelihoods, especially political corruption, huge taxation, huge regulation, huge bureaucracy, persecution of dissident bloggers, and the cancer of socialism.