Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It's the final countdown!! :(

We have been in bilingual section for four years and we have lived many experiences there with a lot of friends, teachers and classmates... maybe we won't be together again, but these moments would never been forgotten! You have been a great group of people! And you, Paqui, have been one of the best person I have ever known, maybe I don't think the same as you in some themes but you have shown a great humanity in your behavior, I think that if there were more people as you in the world, it would be a better place! THANKS!!!

Please classmates, watch the video!!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

An inspirational video

This is a video I've just watched about what education should mean for students and teachers. I hope you like it as much as I have liked it. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A year to remember

This last post is to make a review of what this school year has meant for me. At the beginning of the year I was sceptic and my expectations were rather low. I wasn't satisfied with the evolution many students had in 2nd of ESO and I feared that it would be a hard year. 30 students in the same group seemed too much and sometimes I have felt powerless in front of so many noisy people. But despite the difficulties and my initial precaution, this has been a year I will remember. I think most of you have worked a lot and I'm not only referring to the fact that you've studied for the exams, because the really productive intellectual work is the one that leaves some unforgettable remains on your minds. And I think that this has been achieved especially with projects and, in some cases, with your work on the blog. I would like to have the freedom to teach always through projects, readings, essays, text analyses...They are the best way to learn, including me. I've learned so much this year trying to answer your questions, orient your projects, satisfy your curiosity... that I have to thank you for challenging me in the same way I've tried to challenge you everyday. That's how I understand this wonderful profession: teaching is opening new paths, not only for the students, but for the teacher itself. I can't understand this job as a bureaucratic task, as a routine work. I believe in interaction, in sharing opinions, expanding knowledge, connecting new contents with the past, stopping for a while and reflecting about ideas or concepts... We've had much of this together this year and this is something that doesn't happen too often. Thank you again. 

This year has already finished and it's time to wish you the best for the future. No matter where you go or what you do, this will continue to be your place if you want to stop by and write something, ask questions, make comments, ask for help... We're not closed (neither in summer!). 

Finally, I would like to share with you some ideas to make you think about the kind of person you want to become. You can call them pieces of advice, if you prefer: 

- Respect the others if you want to gain their respect. 

- Reason and words are your best weapons. Use them anytime. Violence and revenge never bring anything else but more pain and suffering. Remember that all the wars we studied ended with peace treaties, with people obliged to sit down, talk and reach agreements. 

- Don´t forget about the past: use it to build a better future. Our progress as species will only be proved when we learn from the past and don't make the same mistakes over and over again. 

- Don´t stop asking questions: it´s the best way to learn. 

- Be curious, not nosy. 

- Be critical. Don´t believe everything people tell you and don't be conformist with what most people say. Look for the answers to your doubts and come to your own conclusions. 

- Give a hand to the people who need it, cooperate, be supportive. No one can survive alone and the progress of mankind has always been achieved uniting efforts. Remember the good results and the good time you had when you worked in groups and try to find the best of everyone you work or share your life with. 

- Don´t forget that you are human, not numbers (nor users or clients). Don´t let anyone treat you as if you were only figures on a sheet of paper. As for the marks, they´re only figures too. What will remain is what you learnt, not what the administration wrote on your school report.

- Open your mind, judge people for what they do, not for who they are or where they come from. Forget about prejudices. We, citizens of the world, all belong to the same species and share more than we could imagine. Borders, nations, flags and “races” are human inventions to divide us and justify the supremacy of the minorities over the great majority.

- Don´t keep silence before injustice. Listen to the others, but speak out loud when you think you´re right. Following the herd may seem more comfortable sometimes, but you will feel better if you don't betray your principles (even if some people say that principles won't feed you). 

- Keep in mind that, even in the worst circumstances, you can always choose how to behave or what to do. 

- Try not to be another brick in the wall. Don't be afraid of choosing a less trodden path. As Friedrich Nietzsche said , "The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

- Have a good life and share with others everything you can do to make the world a better place to live in. Be the change you wish to see in the world!

Finally, I would also include the letter a Murcian teacher of Greek called Arístides Mínguez has written at the end of this school year. He reflects very well why we, public school teachers, have to keep on fighting: 


That's all, folks! I hope to see you soon, in the corridors or in class! Have a nice summer and keep in touch if you want.

The duty of remembering and some bibliography

Today seven students have come to class and we've finished watching the documentary about Mauthausen. The last part explains what happened when the camp was freed by the USA Army. The prisoners felt that moment as a new beginning, as if a new life started for them. When the USA soldiers took the control of the camp, they discovered thousands of corpses the Nazis didn't have time to burn in the crematories. The prisoners also discovered that, while they had been starving, the warehouses of the camp were full of food. Many former prisoners died of binge eating, because their bodies couldn't assimilate the food, after such a long time of hunger and privation. The USA soldiers helped the prisoners find Ziereis, the commander of the camp, who was shot. Before dying, Ziereis said that he had no responsibility of what had been happening in Mauthausen, because "he only followed orders". 

The Spanish prisoners could also recover the photographs Anna Poitner had hidden in her house. Those pictures were decissive for the Nuremberg  Trials, where 23 prominent Nazi leaders were judged. Francisco Boix was witness for the prosecution, because the pictures he took showed what had happened in the camp and that many Nazi leaders had visited the camp. His testimony was crucial to condemn Albert Speer and Ernst Kaltenbrunner. 

File:Bundesarchiv Bild 192-029, KZ Mauthausen, Himmler, Kaltenbrunner, Ziereis.jpg

One of the pictures taken by Frabcisco Boix, where Himmler, Kaltenbrunner and Ziereis appeared

After the end of WW2, the Spanish survivors of Mauthausen couldn't come back to Spain. Seven of the men of the documentary settled down in France and Francico Comellas stayed in Austria, very close to Mauthausen. On the 16th May 1945 all the prisoners made an oath to tell the world what had happened there and committed to fight for a new world, free and just. That's why many of them joined associations and participated in conferences and went to schools to tell their story. They felt obliged to remember, to keep the memory of those who had been killed in the camp. The return to the ordinary life wasn't easy. Nightmares with the camp were common and the Spaniards also suffered the exile and oblivion, even when the dictatorship finished in Spain. Their story was ignored by all the democratic governments until very recently. The monument to the 7,000 Spanish prisoners dead in Mauthausen was built with the donations of private people. The first official recognition of the resistance of the Spanish deported was made by president Rodríguez Zapatero in 2005. Zapatero participated in the commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the end of WW2 and visited the camp. Here you have a chronicle of the ceremonies of 2010 and 2013 (this last one, very painful): 

The documentary ends with two reflections: Ramón Milà, one of the youngest prisoners, said that humanity hasn't learned from what happened in the camps and similar horrors repeated later and continue to happen. In different parts of the world, people continue to treat their peers as if they were not humans. Finally, Francisco Comellas deposited two stones of the quarry in the memorial dedicated to the Spaniards who died in Mauthausen and remembered that all they went through there had been organized by the Nazis with the cooperation of the Spanish Fascists. The oblivion of the fight of the Spaniards against the Nazis continues to exist.

Drawings made by Ramón Milà

As I said when we started to watch the documentary, only two of the 8 former Mauthausen prisoners who participated in the film are still alive.  Both, Ramón Milà and Manuel Alfonso, still live in France. Some of the others, like Josep Egea, Mariano Constante, Antoni Roig and Francisco Batiste, returned to Spain after the end of dictatorship and died here. Some of them wrote about their experiences in Mauthausen or helped to write books about the camp. Here you have a list of these books, just in case you're interested: 

CONSTANTE, Mariano, Los años rojos, Ed. Círculo de lectores, Barcelona, 2005.

- CONSTANTE, Mariano y RAZOLA, M, Triángulo azul. Los republicanos españoles en Mauthausen. Gobierno de Aragón y Amical de Mauthausen, 2008

- TORAN, Rosa,. Joan de Diego: tercer secretari a Mauthausen. Ed. 62, Barcelona, 2007

- ALFONSO ORTELLS, Manuel, De Barcelona a Mauthausen. Diez años de mi vida, (1936-1945), Editorial Memoria Viva, 2007

- BATISTE, Francisco, El sol se extinguió en Mauthausen (Vinarocenses en el infierno), Editorial Antinea, Vinaròs, 1999

- ROIG, Montserrat, Els catalans als camps nazis, Edicions 62, Barcelona,

- BASSA, David y RIBÓ, Jordi, Memòria de l´infern, Edicions 62, Barcelona,.

- TORAN, Rosa, Vida i mort dels republicans als camps nazis, Proa Edicions, Barcelona, 2002

- SERRANO I BLANQUER, David, Les dones als camps nazis, Pòrtic Edicions, Barcelona, 2003

- SERRANO I BLANQUER, David, Un català a Mauthausen. El testimoni de Francesc Comellas, Pòrtic Edicions, Barcelona, 2001

- BERMEJO, Benito, Francisco Boix, el fotógrafo de Mauthausen, RBA Editores, Barcelona, 2002

-WINGEATE PIKE, David, Españoles en el holocausto: vida y muerte de los republicanos en Mauthausen, Ed. Mondadori, Barcelona, 2003

- TORAN, Rosa, Los campos de concentración nazis. Palabras contra el olvido, Ed. Península, Barcelona, 2005

Many of these books are in Catalan, because many of the survivors of the camps came from this region, The first book to tell the story of the Spaniards in Mauthausen, Els catalans als camps nazis, was written by the journalist Montserrat Roig at the beginning of the 70's. Other historians have continued this work

I also want to recommend you some other books we´ve talked about today. They are very important books, because their authours, who also survived to the Nazi camps, made deep reflections on human nature. They are the following: 

LEVI, Primo, Trilogía de Auschwitz (Si esto es un hombre, La Tregua y Los hundidos y los salvados), Muchnik. El Aleph Editores, 2005

- FRANKL, Viktor, El hombre en busca de sentido, Ed Herder, Madrid, 2004

If you want to read any of these books, just ask them to me. I have almost all of them at home.

I would also like to say that it has been a real pleasure for me to spend almost 3 hours with you today, talking about so many interesting things. I wish we could repeat this soon. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

19th June 2013! :)

Today, in Social Sciences’ lesson, Paqui has collected the 3rd and 4th ESO books, until those who were late have come to class. She has written on the blackboard that those who had failed have to keep the Social Sciences book until the September exam. She has also written on the blackboard that she would like to speak with those students who were going to study the Bachillerato de Humanidades or Ciencias Sociales and were not going to join the Bachillerato de Excelencia today or tomorrow in the breaktime.
We have continued seeing the documentary about the concentration camp in Mauthausen, from the moment we left it the other day.
A girl asked Antonio Roig, the man who was explaining his experience to some students, if he could imagine that he would leave the concentration camp any day. Antonio Roig answered that he didn’t know when he could die, but that he always had hope, to be able to resist there. Another man who survived the camp, Francisco Comellas, explained that, when the bell rung in the morning and they opened the windows, they always saw some people who had thrown themselves to the electric fences, because they couldn’t resist the horrors of the camp. Joan de Diego also explained that the nazis blinded some prisoners, and they entertained themselves pushing the prisoners to the fences. It was really sad hearing Joan de Diego say that, although he wasn’t a believer, he asked God that those prisoners stopped suffering.

An inmate at Mauthausen hangs himself
Himmler, the head of the SS (Schutz Staffel-Security Sections) and later both Chief of German Police and Minister of the Interior, including the command of the GESTAPO (Gegeime Staatspolizei-Secret Police).   went to the Mauthausen camp. Francisco Batiste explained that, when Himmler knew that there were Spanish republicans in Mauthausen, he ordered a rise of repression against them.

Himmler inspects Mauthausen
There was another camp, dependent from Mauthausen: Gusen. Gusen was a Kommando, a fast extermination camp, where those who were weak, those who couldn’t work were sent. The reporter explained that, in one only day, 70 Spanish people died in Gusen and 3,000 more republicans in 3 months. Smilewski was the man in charge of Gusen and he was a really cruel: it’s said that he was the responsible for the frozen showers.
Dr. Krebsbach was the man in charge of the “infirmary”. These “doctors” injected Benzene to some of the prisoners of Mauthausen.
Joan de Diego worked in the office of Mauthausen: he had to do the death certificate of men who were still alive, because there were many planned deaths in the camp. He explained that the most common way of killing were the gas chambers and that most of them were carried out at the Hartheim castle.
Josep Egea explained that entering the crematorium was forbidden, but that, one day, he went there, because he was cold and that he saw something terrible: there were a lot of piled-up corpses

Francisco Boix is on the far left with a camera hanging on his chest
A student asked if they tried to escape from Mauthausen. They explained that it was very difficult to escape Mauthausen, because they didn’t know how to speak properly and didn’t have where to eat or sleep. Besides, if a prisoner was missing, the Nazis started looking for them and the civilians had to inform the Gestapo about any anomaly. They explained that there was a man, who worked in the carpentry, who escaped. This man built a box and when the lorry brought him out of the camp, he went out of it and he escaped. But the Nazis caught him and they punished the prisoner in front of the others. To mock of them, the Nazis started playing “J’attendrai ton return” (I will wait your comeback).
On the 21st June 1941, Hitler’s troops invaded the USSR. That day, in Mauthausen, all the prisoners were brought together. The Nazis pretended a disinfection. The Spaniards took advantage of this and they created the Comité Español de Resistencia. They helped themselves in order to achieve that, at least, one Spaniard could survive and tell the horrors they lived there. For that, they had to sacrifice themselves: they could give their food to those who were weaker. Manuel Alfonso explained that there was a time in which he was very weak, and two Spaniards, who were working at the service of the SS, helped him and gave him some food. I think that what they did it's really moving and these acts show that there were good people in a place where horrors were seen everyday and where humanity seems not to be. I think that that solidarity gave strength to those prisoners who were there. 
Mariano Constante was appointed office boy of the SS. Sometimes he had the “privilege” of cleaning Frank Ziereis’ house, the general in charge of Mauthausen. Constante explained that entering Ziereis’ house was even worse, because his wife and children were heartless.
As Mariano Constante, there were also some Spaniards who achieved some privileged posts in the camp, like Francisco Boix. Boix was a photographer of the camp and together with other photographers, he showed the living conditions of the Mauthausen’s way of life. The reporter explained that many of the photos showed in the documentary were from the camp’s file.

Francisco Boix
Boix and Constante worked together in order to hide some photos, so people could see how they lived in Mauthausen. Boix stole some photos and the Spaniards hid them. To take the photos out of the camp, they used the Poschacher’s company: some Spaniards who worked in the company managed to take the photos out of the camp. Anna Pointer, an antifascist Austrian woman, was a heroine, because she helped the Spaniards to hide the photos in her house. Her daughter, Leopoldine, explained that his mother, who had already died, worked near the prisoners and that, sometimes, Anna gave them some food. She was surprised of the fact that the SS, who were always looking after his mother, didn’t catch her.
Antonio Roig explained the students the most impressive moment he saw in Mauthausen: the execution of 70 people by a firing squad, the families of those who were fighting against Hitler.
But from 1942, the war turned against Hitler and after the Battle of Stalingrad, which lasted from the fall of 1942 until the winter of 1943, prisoners started having hope.
On the 30th April 1945, Hitler committed suicide; on the 5th May, Mauthausen was freed and on the 8th May, the war ended in Europe.
Before leaving Mauthausen, one of the most important tormentors of Mauthausen, Georg Bachmayer, admitted his defeat. Joan de Diego explained that before the camp was freed, Bachmayer held his hand and the general said “Good luck, Spaniard”. Then, Bachmayer went home, he killed his wife and his two children and then, he committed suicide.

And finally, four American soldiers entered and Mauthausen was freed on the 5th May 1945. Five years of torture and suffering ended. The prisoners received the freedom with hugs, happiness and cries and jumps of joy.
Francisco Comellas said that “It was a second birth for them”.
I like the point of view from which the documentary shows the aspects of the daily life of those who had to suffer the horrors of the SS, because the eight Spaniards approach oneself to the situation they lived, so with their smiles, tears... transmit to oneself their emotions, their hope.
These are some links you can visit in case someone wants to know more about this topic:

Paqui has stopped the documentary when there were five minutes left to finish the lesson. She has said that we could finish the video at home or on Friday in class. She has had a surprise for us: a video that she had made with Carlos' help. 
I really like it and I think that it's a great and perfect present of graduation!

And finally, Paqui has sent me an email today telling an idea she has had. Damian has approved Paqui's idea and he told her that there's no problem to put it into practice:
Paqui wanted to organize some cultural trips for  the students who are interested in visiting museum, exhibitions, cultural walks, natural environments, cinema in original version... The trips, at the beginning, would be one day (as when we went to Madrid), to close places as Madrid, Toledo..., but later they could be for the weekend and we could go to Granada, Córdoba, Seville, Barcelona... She has also thought about doing a long trip per year, so we could go to Berlin, London, Dublin... But this idea could also be put into force depending on our behaviour and on how many people would be interested in it (so next year we have to behave well). Paqui has also explained me that there are some teachers interested in this idea and that they have offered to help. So, are you interested in participating and be part of this idea?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Journal 17/06/13

Hello classmates, I forgot to write the journal before, sorry.

I don´t have much to say about today. For me has been a good class and funny.

Today in social sciences class Paqui has given us the corrected notebooks. Some people like Juanaco, Fernando García and me forget give the notebook to Paqui on Friday, but she´s a good person and let us give it to them today. My notebook´s mark it´s 6,5 it´s not very good but I´m happy with my mark.

Then Paqui wanted to continued watching the video of the other day, that It was good and interesting. But we prefer to see some social sciences´projects.
First we have seen the project of Alphonse XII´s reign made by Andrea, Juan, Roxana and Cristina. This project have much work, and I have like so much, becouse it has been very clear and the drawings have been very nice.
Second we have seen the project of the second republic made by Alicia, Marta and Carmen. This project is very complet and the drawings are very beatiful and you have a good pronunciation.
And finally we have seen the Franco´s dictatorship made by Javi, Gonzalo and I. With this project we have laughed much. I think that it have been funny but it don´t have many content and sometimes the pronunciations aren not good.

I think this is the last journal of the year, and I had a great time this year with you and Paqui is a great teacher :p. I don´t know what more I can say. See you tomorrow!!! ;)

Good luck to all and may the force be with you!!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Projects about Spain in the 20th-21th centuries

This post will include your projects. I'll embed them once you upload them on Youtube. The names of the students of every group appear in alphabetical order. Please, leave your comments about the other students' projects here, on the Comments' section. 


Project made by Laura Bustamante and Cristina Rodríguez de la Guía: 

Project made by Andrea Balaban, Juan Iniesta, Roxana D. Marica and Cristina Mínguez

THE 2nd REPUBLIC (1931-1936)

Project made by  Alicia Díaz- Ropero, Marta Gómez and Carmen Lucía Utrilla

Project made by Miguel Bustamante, Enrique Manzanares, Mónica P. Palasanu and Carlos Rivas


Project made by Paloma Gómez de la Cueva and Gema Ortiz

Project made by Werselio Escribano, Salva Fuentes, Fernando García (Finally!)


Project made by Fernando Marcos, Gonzalo Martínez and Javier Morales 

Project made by Laura Casero, Raquel Ortiz and Pilar Quirós

DEMOCRACY (1975-2013)

Project made by Elena Escribano, Isabel Pilar Rodríguez and María Torres:

Project made by Ángel Manuel Abad, Jesús Ignacio Morales and Enrique Pérez

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday, 14th June.

Today in the class of Social Sciences, Paqui has given us the exams and the notebooks. When we have arrived to the class we had the exams on the table, and the people who gave her the notebook the day of the exam, also had it on the table.

Then Paqui has explained us the exam. She has said that 25 people on the class had done the question A and only two students had done the question D, Paqui has said that in her opinion the easiest one was the question C because it was really short and explicit. After it she has collected the exams and the rests of the notebooks. She has also remembered that the make up exam will be on next Monday.

After this, Paqui has said that we have two options to do in class:

- Continue with Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.

- Watching a documentary about some Spanish survivors of the WW2.

We obviously have chosen to watch the documentary, but Paqui has had some problems with the projector, so Paloma and Fernandito has looked for an Informatics teacher, while we were waiting for him, Gonzalo has arrived from the doctor. Then we have started watching the video.

This video was about Mauthause a concentration camp in Austria. On this camp 140,000 people dead 7,000 of this dead were Spanish people only 2,100 people survived. This camp was freed on the 5th of May 1945, and the war ended on the 8th May.

On the video there are 8 men talking about their experience on the camp, 6 of the men have already died. They said that when the Spanish Civil War ended and they had to flee to France, Franco said that there weren't Spanish people out of Spain, so when France was invaded they were sending to Mauthause. When they arrived to Mauthause the commander of the camp Frank Ziereis ordered to some musicians play to the new prisoners Goodbye to life from Zoca’s opera. They also talk about the kapos; they were prisoners in charge of other prisoners.

I think the video was very interesting, we have to know what happened on the past to do the things better on the future. But on the other hand seeing videos like this make me feel so powerless, seeing what happened and the people couldn't did nothing to solve it, because if you thought different you were killed, but now what we have to do is learn of the mistakes of the past, in this way don't do it again.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

LAST EXAM. 12-06-2013.

Today in Social Sciences we have to do the last exam. One question --> 10 points!
Paqui gave the exam at 8:00, and the exam was:
Choose one of the following questions:
A) World War 1: The Conference of Paris, the peace treaties and the consequences of the war.
B) Russian revolutions: The 1917 revolutions, the first Bolshevik decisions of the Civil War.
C) The USSR, Lenin' s succession and Stalinism.
D) The USA: from the "Roaring Twenties" to the Great Depression and The New Deal.

I decided do the question A.
- The Conference of Paris:
32 States met in Paris to decide how the world would be after the war. The defeated powers were not allowed to attend the conference. Woodrow Wilson, the president of the USA presented a Fourteen- Point Plan for a fair peace, without revenge against the defeated. He also defended the right to self-determination for the peoples. But this document wasn't taken into account and the winners (France and Great Britain mainly) took revenge on the defeated. The right to self-determination wasn't taken into account in several cases either. The decisions made in this conference would be one of the causes of World War II.
- Treaty of Versailles:
Germany was declared the main responsible for war and received hard sanctions:
- Huge war reparations for the destruction caused in France and Belgium (31 billion dollars)
- Loss of 1/5 of their territory in Europe.
  • Alsace and Lorraine for France.
  • Schleswig for Denmark.
  • Part of Eastern Prussia and the Danzig corridor for Poland.
  • Memel for Lithuania.
  • Eupen and Malmedy to Belgium.
  • Reduction of their army to 100,000 soldiers. Their navy and air force were disbandd and military conscription was forbidden.
  • Demilitarization of the West bank of River Rhine.
  • The German colonies were given to France and the UK.
*Mandates: territories of the former Ottoman Empire which were put under the control of the league of Nations, but administered in fact by the UK (Palestine, Transjordan and Iraq) and France (Lebanon and Syria).
-Consequences of the war:
-Demographic losses: more than 16.5 million dead and 21 million wounded (one third of the casualties were civilians). The Spanish flu epidemics the number of dead.
-Economic consequences: industry and agriculture of the countries that had fought were completely destroyed. In addiction, all the countries had got into debts to pay for the war. Many of them owed money to the USA.
-Political consequences: Europe lost its position as the center of the world and was substituted by extra- European powers (USA and Japan)
Territorial consequences: disappearance of the big Empires of the 19th century, changes of borders, new countries appeared...
-Moral and psychological consequences: war horrors provoked social trauma, disillusionment, cynicism, distrust in the politicians. There were two opposite reactions: one bet for internationalism and search for peace and another one focused on militarism and violence as a way of solving problems.

During the exam, Paqui has written on the blackboard the dates to give her:
-NOTEBOOKS--> Last day on FRIDAY, 14th June.
-PROJECTS--> Final deadline--> Saturday not later than 21:00.
And the 3rd term make up-exam is on Monday, 17th June.

See you soon, BYEEEE! :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Breaking news: the Greek public TV and radio closed by government's order

This evening the Greek government has announced that the Greek public TV and radio will close tonight. The Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT: Ellinikí Radiofonía Tileórasi) will shut down immediately to save money. The government's plans are closing the corporation for at least 3 months, restructuring it with a considerable reduction of the number of workers (from the 2,700 current workers to only 700) and reopening a new and cheaper company. This decision is included in the cuts the Troika is demanding to Greece. The Greek government will have to fire 20,000 public workers until the end of 2014 and privatize all public companies they can. Yesterday the Greek government issued a decree giving the prime minister the power of closing any public company without the approval of the Parliament and this has been their first decision. Golden Dawn, the extreme-right party, has supported the decision of shutting down the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, while Syriza, the left-wing party, has defined it as a coup d' État. With this decision, Greece will be the only member of the EU without public television. 

The ERT workers have decided to shut themselves in the Radiomegaro, the main building of the Greek TV, and continue their work 24 hours per day. They have received the support of the workers of the other Greek TV companies, who have decided to go on a six- hour strike. While I'm writing this post, the television signal has disappeared, the screen is in black and the riot police are evicting the workers of the repeaters and transmitters, so that they can't continue broadcasting. There are thousands of people outside the Radiomegaro defending the public TV, but the "markets" are stronger. Or not?

I've written this post with the help of the information provided by Países en conflicto, an RNE radio program about international conflicts: 

ERT website: 


More information: 




12th June
- The workers are still resisting inside the building. They continue to give information using the signal of other private TV channels and satellites through the Internet. An indefinite strike of all the Greek media has started in support of ERT workers. Tomorrow there will be a general strike in the country to reject this decision. 

- The EBU (European Broadcasting Union. In Spanish Unión Europea de Radiodifusión) is trying to cede a satellite to the ERT, so that they continue their work and their images can be received by the population. 

- With the government´s decision, part of the Greek population is not able to watch any TV channel of receive any radio station, because the ERT was the only company whose emissions arrived to the most mountainous areas of the country.

- The government has communicated that those who persist in the protest won't perceive any compensation. 

- The public broadcasting corporation was also shut down in the past, in 1941, during the Nazi occupation. 

- The party in charge of the government is called "New Democracy". The other members of the Greek coalition of government, the PASOK (Socialist Party) and Dimar (Democratic Left) rejected to sign the presidential decision. 

- The European Commisssion has made the following statement about the Greek government's decision: 

The Commission has not sought the closure of ERT, but nor does the Commission question the Greek government's mandate to manage the public sector.

The decision of the Greek authorities should be seen in the context of the major and necessary efforts that the authorities are taking to modernize the Greek economy. Those include improving its efficiency and effectiveness of the public sector.

Language reveals ideology :(

Here you have the message by the ERT workers to the audience after the closure:

For further information you can read The Guardian updates here: 


19th June

On Monday the 17th the Greek Supreme Court of Justice ordered to reestablish all the signals of all the ERT channels, but the Greek government hasn't obeyed the order yet. The Greek government is going through a big crisis, because two out of its three member parties (PASOK and Dimar) and are against the ERT closure, but New Democracy, the party of the prime minister Samaras, continues to insist in the necessity of keeping the ERT closed and only accepts to restart the broadcasting with a reduced team of 30 workers, who will be hired for two months. At this moment, the ERT signal continues to show a test card. 

A man walks past wall art showing a television test pattern and reading "no sign


Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2013/jun/17/ert-shutdown-greek-leaders-discuss-closure

11th July

Yesterday a new State TV station started broadcasting in Greece: the EDT. A testcard, later an old Greek movie and a ticker with news were the first images seen through the former frequencies of the ERT. This new TV station is supposed to replace the ERT, closed by the government one month ago. The EDT is going to broadcast documentaries and news from agencies for about  two months, the time the government has stated they need to hire a new staff and  design a new program schedule. Meanwhile the workers of the closed ERT continue to work for free and provide their service to around 65% of the Greek territory, with the help of the satellites of the European Broadcasting Union.

Here you have more information: 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Breaking news: Big Brother is watching us

When George Orwell wrote 1984, he did it with the intention of criticizing a totalitarian system. Much of the information of the book was based on the USSR under Stalin's rule. But the news show that something similar to what Orwell imagined can happen in the so called best democracy of the world. The recent news from the USA have revealed that the government has a program to watch the citizens and record their e-mails, phone calls and all the information they want. The pretext of terrorism is constantly used to violate the freedom of the citizens. Yesterday, Edward Snowden, an ex-CIA employee explained to the British newspaper The Guardian what the NSA (National Security Agency) does with a sophisticated program called Prism. All this surveillance is made with the collaboration of phone and Internet suppliers. Apparently this doesn't only happen in the USA. Snowden has also pointed the UK. 

If you want to read further information about this scandal, here you have some links: 

Review of other leaks of information in the history of the USA: 

In 1984 the only safe place for the individuals was their inner mind. We should think about it when we use the new media to communicate. 

P.S: Be sure that we are being watched as well.

JOURNAL 10/06/2013


Today the class has started at 11:25 and some people have been late.

When we have come into the classroom, Paqui had written a table on the blackboard.

She has reminded me that It´s my turn to write the journal.

When we have started the lesson Paqui told us that the exam will have four parts.

For this reason, the table of the blackboard had four parts. We have used the table to review the whole unit. The parts of the table are:



-War of movements

-War of attrition


-End of the war

Conference of Paris:

-Who Participated


-What Happened?

-Peace treaties and consequences for losers.


-New countries

-Disintegration of the Ottoman Empire

-Creation of the League of Nations


Russia under the Tsars
1905 Revolution

1917 Revolution

-Proclamation of the Republic and the provisional government

-Kormilov´s coup d´etat

-Storming of the winter palace, negotiation with the Germans.

First Bolshevik decisions and problems:
-Civil war

-Economic solutions à war communism.
While we were reviewing , Laura and Raquel were answering to all the questions and Paqui has said that they might not to do the exam because they knew all the contents.

Economy to solve the crisis (NEP)
Lenin´s succession:

-Stalin (Socialism in only one country)

-Trotsky (Proletarian internationalism)

-Collective property

-Heavy industry



After reviewing the part of the USSR, we have started with the United States and people have started and saying that the exam would have a lot of contents if Paqui includes this point.

We have said to Paqui if she could remove the point about USA but after a long discussion she has said that it´s impossible because the exams have already been printed.
The roaring 20´s:

-Privileged position of the United States

-Consumer society

Causes of the crisis:


-Weakness of the economic system

Expansion to the World
First decisions:
-At the beginning: Nothing 

-Later: protectionism

Roosevelt’s N. Deal and results:

-The three R program

-Second depression in 1937

 That´s all I hope you like it.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

More information about the different contemporary economic schools

I've found some charts that summarize the different predominant economic schools at present:

The following are some concepts to understand the previous chart: 

Market clearing means a situation of balance in the market between supply and demand. 

Hysteresis is a term that comes from physics. In economy it refers to the fact that a simple disturbance affects the course of economy. If we are talking about unemployment, hysteresis would refer to the effects of increasing unemployment in economy. When unemployment increases, more people adapt their stardard of living, lowering their consumption levels, even if they are not unemployed. If people get used to a lower standard of living, they may not be as determined to achieve the previously desired higher living standard (they adapt their expectactions to the general situation). In addition, as more people become unemployed, it becomes more socially acceptable to be or remain unemployed. When the labor market recovers, some unemployed people may be disinterested in returning to the work force. I've found this information on the following link:  http://www.investopedia.com/terms/h/hysteresis.asp

And this one is a chart that compares Keynesian ideas with the Chicago monetary school, led by Milton Friedman: 

Source: http://econfix.wordpress.com/2010/10/15/a2-revision-keynesians-vs-monetarists/

Here you have some more links about these two economic schools: 


This family tree includes the names of the main contemporary economists and a short explanation of their main ideas. Many of them have based their work on Keynes' ideas: 

And this one in Spanish includes the main members of the Austrian school: 


If you want to read a chapter to this Cartoon Introduction to Economics, click on the image below to enlarge the text:

And this one is a link in Spanish, where you can find the biographies and main ideas of the most important economists in history: 


Friday, June 7, 2013



Hello everybody!

Today, when we have arrived to the class, Paqui had copied a scheme on the blackboard about the New Deal. The New Deal was the program of the Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt to solve the crisis of the Great Depression. He won the elections in November 1932. The New Deal was based on John Maynard Keynes' ideas.

As we saw the other day Keynes was a British economist who proposed different solutions to go out from the Great Depression. He said that the State had to intervene in economy and increase public expenses, even if this meant increasing the State deficit. The State can intervene in economy investing in public works to create jobs and reduce unemployment, and he also said that the State can intervene stimulating production and consumption and reducing stocks.

As we are studying functions in Maths, I have added an image of the aggregate demand function invented by Keynes to increase consumption and recover economy:

Then we have talked about the elections in the USA. Paqui has said that the presidential elections of the USA are celebrated every month of November of the leap years in the correspondent Tuesday between the 2nd and the 8th day of this month. Then she has explained that an American president can't be in office of the government for more than two terms (in this case term is equal to four years) in charge of the government. It was written on the Constitution after Roosevelt's term in office. He was in charge of the executive power for twelve years. As I have said before, he was elected in 1932 and he left power when he died in 1945. He was replaced by his vice-president, Harry Truman, until the next elections. Truman continued to be the president because he won those elections. Truman was in charge of the Presidency of the USA until 1953. Fernando García has asked who the next one was and Paqui has said all the men who have been the president of the USA from Truman until Obama. 

Presidents of the USA

There you can see the presidents of the USA from 1885. Maybe you remember Theodore Roosevelt (maybe you remember the Roosevelt Corollary), Wilson (he proposed the Fourteen-Point Plan to maintain peace after WW1 but his ideas weren't taken into account in many cases), Hoover (the strong defender of laissez-faire, who was in charge of the executive power before F.D.R.).

You can also see the presidents between F.D.Roosevelt and Obama. They are Truman (vice-president of Roosevelt), Eisenhower (he was a famous general and he commanded a lot of USA troops during WW2), Kennedy (he was killed when he was visiting Texas), Johnson (he replaced Kennedy and he continued, as Paqui has said, with the social reforms of F.D.Roosevelt), Nixon (he resigned because of the Watergate scandal), Gerald Ford (he appears in one chapter of The Simpsons), Jimmy Carter (he appeared on The Simpsons too), Ronald Regan (he promoted, together with Margaret Thatcher, economic liberalism, in crisis since the Great Depression. This new conception of economy was called economic new-liberalism and it consists of reducing the intervention of the State in economy. We can say that our economic system is based on their ideas and it's the cause of the new "Great Depression"). 

And finally, George H.W. Bush (he also appeared on The Simpsons), Bill Clinton (his wife is Hillary Clinton. Paqui has said that maybe she will be the next candidate of the Democratic Party in the elections of 2017), George W. Bush (his father was president too. Bush provoked a war against Iraq because he said that Iraq had nuclear weapons. Finally, the world discovered that this wasn't true. There is a very good documentary about this, it is called Fahrenheit 9/11), and Barack Obama (he is in charge of the government at this moment and he will be known as the first black president and also because he has made some social reforms like making a law of Health Care System for the poor North American people which is called with an Acronym (PPACA) too, but the opposition of the republicans and bureaucracy linked to its implementation will make its effectiveness very difficult).

Presidents from the Democratic Party (liberals) are in blue and presidents from the Republican Party (extreme-liberals and conservatives) are in red.

I think that the main features of the last presidents of the USA are interesting.

Here I have added some pictures of some of the USA presidents that appeared on The Simpsons:

Gerald Ford in The Simpsons

Jimmy Carter             George H.W. Bush 

Bill Clinton
Source: www.tumblr.com

Coming back to F.D.Roosevelt, Keynes and the New Deal, after this interval, Paqui has written on the blackboard that the New Deal was based on a Three R Program: Reform, Relief and Recovery. She has said that the Keynesian program of Roosevelt included a lot of laws to reactivate economy and improve the living conditions of the poor. They made such a big amount of agencies to recover economy, written with acronyms, that all the names together looked like an alphabet soup.

The laws they did can be divided into three groups:
-They gave subsidies to farmers who destroyed their stocks in order to reduce prices. As we saw other days, the overproduction of the Roaring Twenties gave origin to an accumulation of products that couldn't be sold. She has also said that this measure has been done in many places like Brasil. We have asked Paqui why they destroyed the stocks and they didn't give them to, for example, poor countries of Africa. She has said that the destruction of stocks was related to save the internal economies of every country adapting supply and demand. It was a period of strong protectionism. Every country focused on their own survival, tried to protect their economy and forgot about co-operative solutions. She has said that every country tried to "save their ass".
-They established minimum prices to reduce deflation.
-They created the Public Works Administration, to build big infraestructures with public money and create jobs.

-Social Security Act: pensions for retired workers and assistance for orphans and the disabled. It also created unemployment benefits.
-National Labour Relations Act, which gave the unions the right to organize and represent workers in collective bargaining.
-National minimum salary.
-Child labour was abolished.

I have asked Paqui that if giving food to the poor people can be a measure to recover economy. She has said that this was an emergency measure and that the government gave food to the poor people but they continued to have a lot of stocks.

I have also asked that if a social measure can be also a measure to recover economy. She has answered yes because spending money in consumers led to more demand, and she has said to me that she thinks that I am so liberal. I have asked because logic says that liberalism increases wealth (GDP) of a country while it increases injustices, and socialism reduces the GDP while reducing injustices. I have to answer that I'm not in favour or against any economic system. I'm only 15 years and I am learning. I want to learn as much as possible about Economics always viewing all types of points of view. Apparently, keynesian ideas are very good, but there are economists who don't like keynesian ideas and maybe they have good arguments against it. Maybe when I finish studying I will have an ideology in this topic, but now I'm a student.

Smith        Marx    Schumpeter     Keynes

We have also talked about Keynesian Zapatero's Plan E. Paqui has said that it hadn't good results because it was small and because Spain is submitted to the European Union. I think Spain mustn't have more than three percent of deficit, however, we have reached more than eleven percent. The European Central Bank and the European Union also obliged Spain to apply the austerity.

-Banking reform: strict control of banks in order to avoid another bankruptcy and government help in exchange for cheap credits to recover investment.
-Creation of the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), to supervise the Stock Exchange Market and protect investors. She has said that it is like the Comisión del Mercado de Valores in Spain.

Then, Paqui has said that during the recovery of the economy in the USA, the country suffered a small crisis because some of the New Deal decisions were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Justice. The Court argued that the Federal Government had imposed these decisions over the states. We have seen a cartoon about this. There Don Quixote (New Deal) appeared fighting against the Supreme Court (windmill).

She has also said that the government of Roosevelt left the gold standard. She has said that the idea of relating the gold reserves with the money you can print is a stupid thing, and Fernando agrees with her. This allowed the government to print money and, this have given origin to questions to Paqui about the new banknotes of five euros. She has said that they made this because the new ones are safer than the other ones. She has also explained that gold standard comes from Mercantilism and the first country to link their currency to gold was Great Britain. 

After that, we have seen another slide that explained that all the decisions of Roosevelt reduced unemployment and production recovered:


However, the crisis didn't finish until the outbreak of WW2. Paqui has said that during WW2 the USA got full employment because they sent around 16 million soldiers to fight in Europe and the Pacific and they also produced weapons and resources to help the allies.

"Greetings to the only front of the peoples who love freedom against the fascist invaders".


-Gold standard: patrón oro.
-To deepen/ to make something deeper: profundizar.
-New Deal: Nuevo reparto.
-Badge: insignia, chapa (policía).
-To relief: aliviar.
-What a relief!: ¡Qué alivio!
-Dam: pantano.
-Dammit: maldita sea.
-To leave/ abandon the gold standard: dejar el patrón oro.
-Banknote: billete de dinero.
-Purchasing power: poder adquisitivo.
-Widow: viuda.
-To merge: fusionarse.
-Saving bank: caja de ahorros.
-Alphabet soup: sopa de letras.
-Function: función.
-Full employment: pleno empleo.

That's all! Study for the exam and have a nice weekend! See you on Monday!