BTS 3/12/10: Greece; Economy; Inti-Illimani

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Greece is bankrupt, and the EU has decided to manage its path to recovery with bailouts and austerity. Many Greeks think it is being treated like a protectorate as draconian measures are imposed. The population has responded with street demonstrations, two general strikes, and continuing protests. Californians should take note: unlike the EU, the US federal government has offered neither bailouts -- nor austerity measures. Savas Michael Matsas, cancer radiologist, philosopher and political activist joins us from Greece to report from the streets.

We then talk to Michael Hudson, Distinguished Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, who says if you think Greece is in dire economic straits heading down, you ought to look at Latvia, – he joins us for a revealing insight into troubles in the Euro zone, the proliferating examples of debt peonage from Chile to Europe and even here at home as individual, state and national sectors of the economy are drowning in debt. Michael Hudson will be in a panel with me at the Left Forum next weekend in NYC – and we’ll ask him to preview his talk titled “The Final State of Finance Capitalism: From pension fund capitalism to bubbles to bailouts to the coming Oligarchic Decade of Foreclosure.”

And finally on tonight’s BTS, we are very fortunate to talk with the extraordinary Chilean musicians from Inti Illimani. They are playing a benefit concert tonight in Los Angeles – to celebrate the LA Unified School District’s renewed charter for the Los Angeles Academy of Arts & Enterprise. Since this concert was planned the 8.8 earthquake intervened and LAAEE is sharing the proceeds to donate to the Chile Earthquake Relief fund. We are fortunate to catch up with this historic Chilean musical group who have become Chile’s ambassadors of cultural expression with their unique sound “forged with passion and poetry .. a mantra for peace in the world. ”They are still around thanks to being on tour in Europe at the time of the 1973 coup that killed President Allende’s Popular Unity government and inaugurated the brutal dictatorship of Pinochet.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Savas Michael Matsas is an MD, philosopher, writer, and activist with the Greek Workers Revolutionary Party. He has written many books and articles, in English you can find his writing in Lenin Reloaded: Toward a Politics of Truth (Verso).

2. Michael Hudson is a former Wall Street economist specializing in the balance of payments and real estate at the Chase Manhattan Bank (now JPMorgan Chase & Co.), Arthur Andersen, and later at the Hudson Institute (no relation). In 1990 he helped established the world's first sovereign debt fund for Scudder Stevens & Clark. Dr. Hudson was Dennis Kucinich's Chief Economic Advisor in the recent Democratic primary presidential campaign, and has advised the U.S., Canadian, Mexican and Latvian governments, as well as the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). A Distinguished Research Professor at University of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC), he is the author of many books, including Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (new ed., Pluto Press, 2002)

3. Inti Illimani is an instrumental and vocal Latin American folk music ensemble from Chile. The group was formed in 1967 by a group of university students and it acquired widespread popularity in Chile for their song Venceremos (We shall win!) which became the anthem of the Popular Unity government of Salvador Allende. At the moment of the September 11, 1973 Chilean coup they were on tour in Europe and were unable to return to their country where their music was proscribed by the ruling military junta. In Europe their music took on a multifarious character, incorporating elements of European baroque and other traditional music forms to their rich and colourful Latin American rhythms - creating a distinctive fusion of modern world music. They are perhaps the best internationally known members of the nueva canción movement.