The planet is suffering from high fever and its thermometer can be found in Greenland. In this vast land of ice which is now melting at a great speed (248 cubic kilometres of snow each year) all that we hear on the news and read about in the newspapers constitutes the everyday life of its few inhabitants.
The Inuit, better known to us as Eskimos, watch helpless as their life changes dramatically and their Arctic civilization receives what is probably the worst blow in its centuries long, frozen history. Traditionally hunters and fishermen, they watch as their pray disappears and their moving about becomes more and more dangerous due to the fragile ice and the unexpected weather changes.
The creators of this penetrating documentary spent weeks in isolated communities in Greenland, recording the life of the native Inuit. They also present new climate research results, more pessimistic than ever, while uncovering the new and regrettable “el dorado” of oil companies who are preparing to drill for black gold in the planet’s most vulnerable area.
Rosia Montana is a village of 4,000 inhabitants, nestled in a green valley in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania, with a 2000-year-long history. Its underground holds a treasure, namely Europe’s largest gold deposit! There are, on the whole, 240 tons of gold, which the Canadian company Gabriel Resources plans to exploit by constructing Europe’s largest opencast gold mine in the area.
The historically high prices of this precious metal make this investment particularly profitable for the company. On the other side, the Romanian state believes that, during this period of global economic crisis, this project will bring development, workplaces and immediate profits of 4 billion dollars.
Despite all this, there are some determined inhabitants, who have been resisting for years, and who believe that Rosia Montana’s true treasure is not its gold. If the realization of the mine requires the residents’ relocation, the environment’s pollution and the destruction of Rosia Montana’s ancient cultural inheritance, who is the one to decide if all this is worth the sacrifice?
The exploitation of the country’s mineral wealth is projected as the most reasonable solution to deal with the economic crisis that plagues Greece. The Greek state has ceded its mining rights over 31.700 ha of land in northern Halkidiki, a region rich in gold, copper and other metals, to the Canadian multinational company Eldorado Gold. However, many of the region’s inhabitants, who have been resisting the construction of a goldmine for years, claim that this investment will cause irreparable damage to the environment and the benefits will be fewer than the losses.
“Cassandra’s Treasure” presents a detailed picture of the modern Greek state before and during the crisis period.
The Arctic Ocean spreads across 14 million square kilometers and conceals 25% of the global oil and natural gas reserves. As the ices melt, bays, marine areas and islands that had been long forgotten suddenly find themselves in the spotlight of the international agenda.
Five arctic states, Russia, Canada, Norway, Denmark and the US, lay claim to a piece of the Arctic Pole and, of course, to the largest share of the treasure. This is a new-age western film on the Wild North, which explores the economic and geostrategic facts of the Great Arctic Game that has just begun.
It was an unprecedented occurrence in world history. Nowhere and never in well-governed democratic states, had the public broadcaster been silenced in such a manner that was characterized as “autocratic” and “undemocratic”.
Within five hours, on the evening of June 11, 2013, the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras turned off the switches of ERT, Greece’s public broadcaster, after 75 years of continuous operation. Both TV and radio frequencies fell silent, making screens broadcast black and the FM to buzz.
The closure of ERT was an unheard-of political act that shocked Greek citizens bringing back memories from the dark period of the dictatorship. It also caused a fierce international outrage from all around the world.
Why did the public broadcaster have to die?
Today, stem cells are virtually presented as a panache, a “miraculous” biological material of the human body which can cure a great number of diseases, from leukemia to Alzheimer’s disease. Big enterprises in most countries of the world are encouraging parents to privately store their children’s stem cells, and pay so as to ensure their future as well as that of the family. Where is the line between wishful thinking and reality drawn?
For almost two decades, Ireland had been a global model of neoliberal development. A test lab to legitimize its application, with the country's cheap and specialized labor force as the guinea pig. The government, banks and constructors were intoxicated by the nectar of money, dragging along with them the reflexes of the entire social tissue. The “Celtic Tiger”, as the Irish economy was named, was openhandedly promising prosperity to a society that has historically suffered from poverty, immigration and unemployment. And it was doing just fine, as it seemed!
However, after years of impressive growth rates, the country has suddenly and roughly landed in the arms of the European support mechanism and the IMF. It now finds itself in the same position as Greece and Portugal, albeit for different reasons which, nevertheless, caused the same result: from being at the top, a true model to be followed, Ireland suddenly woke up on the brink of bankruptcy.