Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has invited the heads of Southern European countries to discuss a new alliance against the EU’s tough austerity policy.

A conference is expected to be held in Athens on September 9 attended by France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, and Malta. The talks will continue during Tsipras’ visit to Rome, where he plans to attend a meeting of European Socialists.

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Major EU nations including France, Italy and Spain are clubbing together to form a new alliance with the aim of wrestling back economic power from the German leader.

Mediterranean economies have been devastated by an EU-wide policy of austerity enforced from Berlin, which has led to massive youth unemployment and soaring poverty.

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The summer of 2016 turns out to be another summer of discontent for Greek pensioners and wage earners who see their incomes slashed, as a new round of austerity begins after the imposition of the new bailout program measures.

It was exactly the same time last year (June 28) when Greeks found that the banks were closed and capital controls were imposed, continuing through today. This year, the end of June found wage earners and pensioners fuming or despairing in front of the ATM when they saw that their bank balances where lower than anticipated. And for hundreds of thousands of pensioners, the amounts were significantly less, even 48 percent lower in some cases.

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Summer in Greece has always provided a temporary sense of relief, as tourism receipts bring much needed revenue into the coffers of a bankrupt government. Summer also allows many Greek citizens to simply forget, for a month or two, the misery they endure while under EU rule.

This summer, Greek pensioners and state employees will most likely take to the hot Athens streets in protest, rather than enjoy their summer break by the crystal blue Aegean waters.

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Cuba is drastically cutting electricity, imports and investment, as well as reducing fuel consumption by 28 percent through the end of the year, its economy minister said on Friday in a closed-door speech to the National Assembly published by official media on Saturday.

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