Daily Archives: 28/10/2011

Graffiti in Athens 02

"Rage"

Politicians! At ease!

An unprecedented thing took place today in Greece’s second biggest city, Thessaloniki. For the first time a military parade was cancelled. It was the military parade for the celebration of the 28th of October National Day (the so-called Ohi Day that signalled Greece’s resistance to the Axis in WW II). Hundreds of people gathered near the VIP stand, where the Head of State President Karolos Papoulias and the Minister of Defense Panos Beglitis were seated, and booed them. Among other slogans they were called as traitors, a political manifestation that becomes more and more popular in the past couple of years.

This is a short video of the moment when the Greek President decided to leave the VIP stand.

Moments before he departed from the VIP stand, Karolos Papoulias said “Who can call me a traitor? I fought the Nazis when I was 15 years old. I regret that they chose such a day to demonstrate. They should be ashamed”.

The group of protesters was composed by public employees, members of Syriza political party and other leftist groups, indignant Greeks and several fans of Iraklis FC (who have been protesting for weeks against the relegation of their team to the Fourth Division).

Some parts of the parade managed to walk through the gathered crowd but the military part of the parade was cancelled.

In Athens, the High School students’ parade was also a target of civil irritation. The City of Athens’ Brass Band paraded with black ribbon on their instruments whilst some students decided to turn their head opposite from the VIP stand when they were passing by it. The Mayor of Athens, Giorgos Kaminis, said that he will take disciplinary action against the members of the municipality’s band.

In the central Greek city of Trikala one man managed to evade the policemen, approached the local PASOK MP Christos Magoufis and punched him.

According to cretalive.gr, similar reactions took place in cities of the island of Crete. In the island’s capital, Heraklion, citizens threw eggs towards the VIP stand and the local MPs were escorted to the nearby building of the Prefecture.

Greece is one of the last countries in the European Union that is still holding military parades during its National Days of 25 March (Independence from the Ottoman Empire) and 28 October (Resistance against the Axis powers). Last year the Ministry of Defense has estimated the cost of such events. Here’s the analysis:

Cost of the 25th March parade: 840.000€
Cost of the 28th October parade: 430.000€

Ohi

Today is a national holiday. It’s the so-called “Ohi day” (the day of “No”) which is what Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas said to the Italian ambassador on the 28th October 1940 when he asked to let Italian troops occupy Greece. This was how Greece entered WW II and for many Greeks this day is a symbol of independence. It was a tragic irony that the EU deal about the Greek haircut came more or less on this day. And of course this couldn’t go unnoticed by Greek newspapers which, almost in their entirety, used metaphors joking about the proudly negative “Ohi” of the 1940s and the embarrassingly affirmative “Ne” (yes) of 2011. There has also been some war-related rhetoric while the most popular Ta Nea and Eleftherotypia newspapers maintained their pro-government stance by using boring “the haircut’s next day scenario” front pages which eventually didn’t let them make it to this post.

Eleftheros Typos

Title: They said YES to Merkel

Subtitle: Papandreou-Venizelos subordinated to the German attack

Dimokratia

Title: Defeat brings disaster

Subtitle: Greece returns to the Stone Age in a state of occupation

Ethnos

Title: What’s hidden behind the “YES” of 27 October

Aggelioforos

Title: The last chance

Avriani

Title: Banks surrendered to foreigners for a pittance

Subtitle: Greek people is strangled for the next 10 years – Public property is on sale

Estia

Title: Today’s supplement: the 28 October 1950 issue

Subtitle: Ten years after the historic “Ohi”

Supplement’s title: The fruits of “Ohi”

Printed on the day of the haircut

I always thought it was interesting to see and compare the newspaper front pages in a specific day of a great event. So here are a selection of what the most popular newspapers printed in their front pages on the day the Greek haircut was announced.

Eleftherotypia

Title: German tank brings a new Memorandum (a term by which the troika sponsored round of measures have been known)

Subtitle: The Merkel Doctrine: new measures and constant supervision

Vradini

Title: Haircut of national dignity

Subtitle: Greece under custody

Ethnos

Title: The great night of Brussels for banks and supervision

Aggelioforos

Title: Eurozone-Greece: carrot and stick

Eleftheros Tipos

Title: 50% haircut: night long battle between Merkel and the banks

Subtitle: The French and the Germans were deciding while Papandreou was watching

Dimokratia

Title: The government of Memoranda has exhausted all its tricks and is dragged to the ballot box; Elections on the 4th of December

Subtitle: Greece under foreign administration and with even more poverty

Avriani

Title: The Tsolakoglou government has accepted the permanent occupation by the troika

Subtitle: Treacherous submission of the Germans’ puppets

(Georgios Tsolakoglou was a Greek military officer who became the first Prime Minister of the Greek collaborationist government during the Axis Occupation in 1941-1942)