G8 in Northern Ireland and the RBS privatisation – 13 June 2013

We speak about the G8 summit in Northern Ireland and the imminent privatisation of RBS.

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The G8 is meeting in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, on 17 and 18 June. There is a massive security operation with 7,000 police officers, surveillance drones and the threat of shutting off mobile networks.

The security operation is costing £50 million – money that could be well spent boosting the economy of Northern Ireland. Fake storefronts have been painted in Enniskillen to make the town look prosperous at a time when austerity is strangling the economy.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has expressed concern at the scale of the security operation, and have called in human rights observers to monitor the situation. They feel that there is a strong likelihood that the right to protest will be severely repressed.

RBS CEO Stephen Hester has been forced out by George Osborne, in preparation for the privatisation of the bank ahead of the next general election. No lessons have been learned from the financial crisis, and the cost has been borne by tax payers, and by the 40,000 RBS workers who have lost their jobs while senior executives enjoyed massive payouts. Read Seumas Milne’s excellent article on how this would defraud the public.

Greek workers are on general strike today, and journalist and broadcast unions from around the world have joined in protests against the closure of the Greek public broadcaster ERT. The NUJ and BECTU held protests at the Greek embassy in London.

Sign the Avaaz petition against the closure of ERT.

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