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AltAusterity Digest #16 September 28-October 4, 2017

This week in Austerity News:

Oct 06, 2017

In a follow-up to his piece “Puerto Rico Needs Massive Emergency Aid Now—and an End to Austerity”, Ed Morales discusses how the rebuilding project is a battle against austerity. As Puerto Rico has tried to rebuild, bondholders have attempted to cash-in on the disaster proposing a solution akin to an interest rate swap. There is also growing speculation that the lagging repairs to the electrical grid are being used in an attempt to privatize production.

The Finance Secretary of Wales has said he was unable to inject more money into health because of the UK government's "flawed and foolish policies of austerity". Public sector wages have been frozen or capped at a 1% annual increase rise since 2010, but in a controversial move, the Tories announced that police and prison officers would be getting a better-than-1% pay increase. However, the value of extra NHS funding – £450m over two years – has been critiqued by health experts as being less than the service needs.

The extra pay to police and prison security seem fitting considering Greater Manchester Police drafted in 1,000 extra officers as part of a £2m operation for the Conservative conference security. Approximately 30.000 people took to the streets to protest Brexit and the Government’s austerity policies. The anti-austerity protest was organized by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity and called for the end of Theresa May’s time in power.

Greece has named Riccardo Lambiris as the new chief executive of its privatization agency, tasked with selling state assets as a condition of Greece’s bailout. Lambiris has a background in business and investment banking, working for Rockwell Gold and the Mergers and Acquisitions department of HSBC Bank for Greece and Cyprus. Privatizations have been internationally mandated since 2010, but so far they have reaped only 4.4 billion euros ($5.17 billion).

That's it for this week's Digest! Check back next Friday morning for another edition, or subscribe to our newsletter for a weekly roundup. We'll also Tweet each time we add new content, so you can keep up with our work @AltAusterity and join the #altausterity conversation!