In exchange for providing Greece with a multibillion bailout package, the European Union demanded the implementation of a massive program of privatisation, which means that Greek state assets like ports and airports are going to be sold. The purpose of this privatisation plan is to reduce Greece’s level of debt, i.e. pay back the Troika (EU, ECB and IMF). The creators of Debtocracy, a documentary addressing the beginnings of the current global economic crisis, the non-viability of the Euro and its contribution to economic situation in Greece, compellingly analyse the dramatic shifting of state assets to private hands in their latest documentary called Catastroika. Catastroika is a crowdfunded documentary that has placed privatisation in developed countries in a historical perspective, and provides a warning against the negative impacts of privatisation of state assets.
Leading up to International Women’s Day, European Union (EU) justice commissioner Viviane Reding announced that she is considering enforcing a quota to break the glass ceiling and increase the participation of women in the boardrooms of European companies. This suggestion has stirred debate about the possible downsides of such a quota, especially in comparison with voluntary targets that aim to increase gender equality in European big business.
Sexist objections include platitudes such as the board meeting having to end at three o’clock because the CEO must pick up the children from school, half of the board of directors having synchronised menstrual cycles causing the top of the company to be instable, and CFO’s only being available on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Obviously, there are also serious objections to the quota. Hypothetically, a quota could mean that women that are insufficiently qualified will become members of boards, merely to meet the numbers prescribed by the European Union. This would not only make these women token board members, but it would also mean that a potentially sufficiently qualified male would be denied a job that he would be more suitable for. And would an emancipated woman really want a job that has been created thanks to a job quota? Wouldn’t she be regarded as merely having made it into the board room due to EU regulation? Continue reading Smashing the Glass Ceiling: Getting Women into European Boardrooms