Category Archives: Media

Hitchcock, Twitter and the Holy Spirit

This is a photo Alexis Tsipras releasing a bird. The photo was taken on the day of the Epiphany (6/1/15). The bird symbolises the Holy Spirit.

Tsipras Epiphany

SYRIZA is often attacked by Ne Democracy MPs of being a bunch of atheists which is why the photo quickly made a certain impression. During the past few months SYRIZA has been trying to play down these (otherwise non-political) accusations by visiting monasteries, religious leaders and even the Pope. Outgoing PM Antonis Samaras has even said some days ago that if SYRIZA wins the religious icons that decorate almost every public building, from ministries to schools, will be removed.

The photo of Tsipras releasing the bird was used as a poster for an online event where Tsipras answered questions via Twitter.

Tsipras twitter

And this is a cartoon by Dimitris Hantzopoulos (TA NEA daily). It combines all of the above with Hitchcock’s legendary movie “The Birds”.

Hatzopoulos Tsipras birds

-Mr Hitchcock, one of these birds is the Holy Spirit. What are the rest? -It doesn’t matter, my boy. The important thing is the suspense.

Grey-haired men pestering children

The Greek political parties have started broadcasting their political ads and thought it might be interesting to translate some of them for (fun) you.

New Democracy (ruling party) has produced three videos so far. The first one is a desperate (in terms of acting, at least) attempt to show Antonis Samaras close to the younger generation (the majority of ND’s voters are above their 40s or even 50s).

The reference to the stadium is one more cheap attempt to attract votes of supporters of AEK Athens football club. They have been asking for a new stadium for more than a decade now and New Democracy is promising to make their dream too. I loved two details in this video.

The first one is that our PM indirectly admits that Greece, the country he has been governing for the past 2,5 years, is not a normal and serious country yet.

The second one is a symbolism. Greek youth faces unprecedented high unemployment and Samaras tells them “keep on training and we will keep on working”. I hope this was not some sort of subliminal message.

Their second video is even more ridiculous and desperate to use anything that happens in order to demonise SYRIZA. In this video New Democracy plays the security card in the same way it has adopted scare-mongering as its main strategy not only to win the 2012 elections (I can still remember them saying that we will be queuing for bread if SYRIZA won) but to control reactions and unrest during their administration. Samaras goes as far as using (again) the Charlie Hebdo story in order to stress his alignment with the “Fortress Europe” approach.

Their third video is an ode to individualism. A working man, insecure and alone, is having his thoughts about Greece.

He is scared he will lose his job if SYRIZA wins. This is how they want people to think. Just keep on xeroxing and shut the fuck up.

SYRIZA tried to play around with more positive words. Lots of crisis porn footage, the usual lock somewhere and a wind of change somewhere in between. Big nice words like dignity and justice that verify the vagueness of what they want to do.

Another video by SYRIZA is this.

It reminded me of an older ad produced by PASOK, the ailing coalition partner of New Democracy. Papandreou and Tsipras get prepared to address the crowd, they walk from the backstage to the main scene like Rocky Balboa was heading to face his opponents. Lots of former PASOK politicians have jumped to SYRIZA in the meantime and there are more and more people calling SYRIZA as the new PASOK. So this similarity looks even funnier now.

And last but not least, the video of Independent Greeks. I decided to translate it because it’s funny, despite the fact that the party might not manage to gain any seats at the Parliament after the elections. Their only hope is to reach the 3% threshold, gain 5-10 seats and be invited by SYRIZA to govern together.

As Greek satirical site Luben.tv put it “Why on earth do you keep showing us grey-haired men caressing children?”

The airborne battalion of anarchists

This is how ANT1 TV reported the riots that took place in the Exarchia district of Athens on 6/12/14. The journalist, Yorgos Karaivaz, have surpassed Nobelist poets and imagined himself in one of the fiercest battlegrounds of human history. Enjoy the description and ponder the reasons why a nationwide TV station would go this low to describe in this way an otherwise pretty simple news story.

The one-eyed Antichrist of Islam is here…

No, this is not a joke. This is the front page of a national daily newspaper from Greece. You can read some more about Eleftheri Ora here: Why is such a newspaper allowed to exist?. In the meantime, here’s the translation of the title:

The Jihadis are spreading the news: the one-eyed Antichrist of Islam is here.

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And, yes, they unashamedly describe these photos as “real”.

Same old shit

Lots of you have asked me why I haven’t been writing any more in the past three or four (or five?) months of this blog’s hibernation. My answer is “same old shit”. Like this one.

It’s been a bit more than a year since the government decided to suddenly close down ERT, the public broadcaster. One of the main arguments was that the government wanted to create something new, a new broadcaster without the political dependencies of the past. Today they have proved (once more) what a big fat lie that was. So here’s the story.

There’s this journalist and anchorman called Nikos Evaggelatos. NERIT, which is the brave new sister of the old corrupt ERT, announced today that it’s hiring him for a news show. Credible Typologies blog wrote that initially NERIT’s BoD was a bit wary of the deal because (wait for it…) New Democracy approved him but PASOK (New Democracy’s government partner) didn’t! 

The happy end was announced today with PASOK’s acquiescence, God knows in exchange for what.

But who is Nikos Evaggelatos and why would a newly-born broadcaster hoping to gain back its lost credibility and the society’s trust, hire him?

Evangelatos

He is one of those journalists for who Wikipedians dedicate a special, not so honorary, paragraph titled “Problems of deontology”.

In 1998 Nikos Evaggelatos forgot that he was an anchorman for SKAI TV’s news bulletin and was self-proclaimed negotiator when he started talking live on TV with Sorin Matei, a Romanian fugitive who was holding a hostage. His negotiating skills, together with those of the then leadership of the Greek Police, were bad enough to get the hostage killed. BBC and Channel 4 have made documentaries about this case. Evaggelatos went back to journalism. 

In 2001, during the bombing of Afghanistan, Evaggelatos was the main anchorman and News Director of Tempo TV. He aired a show which he called “In the camps of the Taliban” claiming that his team managed to get access to these camps. In fact, it was later proved that they never visited these camps. They never managed to enter Afghanistan either. They were so naive that they thought they could film places in Pakistan and sell them for the Afghan warzone. I still remember the shot of a Coca-Cola ad in that report – despite how few things I knew about Afghanistan back then, I was aware that they’d never have the evil drink sold on the streets.

Apart from the case above, he has been suspended from the Athens Journalists’ Union three more times. For involving someone’s name in the case of November 17 terrorist organisation, for using an actor in what was a fake interview and for accepting to star in a commercial advertisement (a practice prohibited by journalists’ unions in Greece).

And the funniest thing? During the discussions about his new job, I read that he proposed to work without pay. In exchange, he wanted to advertise his (and his wife’s) websites through NERIT. Can you imagine NERIT, with its own news portal, advertising another news portal?

Instead of the epilogue, check this out – another reason for the government’s decision to close down ERT was that it was loss making. Typologies blog published today its budget for 2013. Guess what. It was still making profit!

So, “same old shit” as I said. May we have a nice (and warm) winter!

 

The age of Doom is coming

It has been approximately 2 years since the last time I posted something under the category The Daily Threat Show. I was writing back then about SYRIZA’s ghost:

It’s true that SYRIZA has been a bit confusing as to what exactly they are going to do if they were to form a government. The party, an until recently small leftist party composed of different fractions that tolerated different opinions within the Left, has seen several of its members announcing contradicting promises. Its ennemies, PASOK and New Democracy basically, have used this to their favor. They started a huge campaign to discredit SYRIZA by reminding us on a daily basis of what would happen if SYRIZA comes to power. The EU has followed suit and here we are now, having daily predictions of a post-apocalyptic, Armageddon-style Greece if SYRIZA wins the elections.

The daily threats have returned together with the elections for the European Parliament. The government has been trying to remind its citizens that the future is uncertain should they dare to for SYRIZA. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has repeatedly warned us during the past 2 weeks about the instability that will haunt this country of SYRIZA wins the elections. The government’s vice chairman and coalition partner, Evangelos Venizelos, has even threatened that he will step down from the coalition [which would cause its collapse] if his party will not get enough votes. And then, let chaos reign this country.

So here’s a series of screenshots from the news bulletin of ANT1 TV and a rough translation of the super titles. Oh, by the way, these fearful messages are not dispersed throughout the week, they are all from the very same news bulletin. Imagine the horror one can feel after watching news like this. And, yes, imagine what he will vote tomorrow.

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Screenshot collage produced by Jungle Report

From top left to bottom right:

1. The overthrow that SYRIZA preaches could lead to prolonged instability.

2. A political “accident” (a reference to Samaras who has said that a SYRIZA victory would be a political “accident” for the country) by a loose vote (ie less cohesion for New Democracy voters who might want to vote SYRIZA out of protest) could bring catastrophe.

3. All those who want stability and not [national] elections should show it at the ballot box.

4. The discouragement of investors [by a potential SYRIZA victory] would drive the economy backwards and will cancel the people’s sacrifices.

5. The political instability could block all the beneficiary decisions for our country.

6. Tsipras’ goal to overthrow the government can be achieved if things stay as they are and the undecided voters will not vote for New Democracy or PASOK.

7. A loose vote could suffocate the domestic economy.

8. Currency fluidity and the discussion for a new haircut would freeze and the country will be again a month before going bankrupt.

9. The political instability will trigger centrifugal tendencies to many MPs.

 

Coup d’ Easter

Here’s the recent front page of nationalist newspaper Stohos (16/4/14). It announces a double celebration this Easter. A Ressurection and a Revolution.

647-1

It calls people to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection on Sunday 20 April and the “Revolution” on Monday 21 April.

On April 21st 1967 the colonels imposed a dictatorship in Greece via a tank-driven coup d’ etat. It lasted for 7 years and was one of the darkest moments in Greece’s modern History (see here for more).

Below is an abstract from the Greek Constitution.

Article 14 (On Press Freedom) – Paragraph 3

The seizure of newspapers and other publications before or after circulation is prohibited. Seizure by order of the public prosecutor shall be allowed exceptionally after circulation and in case of:

c) a publication which discloses information on the composition, equipment and set-up of the armed forces or the fortifications of the country or which aims at the violent overthrow of the regime or is directed against the territorial integrity of the State.

Now see the Stohos front page again and wonder with me why this publication is allowed to call for a, practically, new dictatorship.

Happy Easter!

The Greek Abu Ghraib

CCTV footage has emerged from Nigrita Prison in northern Greece where Albanian inmate Ilie Kareli was tortured to death last month.

The video, made available to Kathimerini.gr on Thursday, shows Kareli being escorted by guards into a waiting room after arriving at the prison and then being led to his cell, apparently bruised and half-undressed. Kareli died a few hours later as a result of a chest injury.

He was allegedly beaten by a number of guards while waiting to be shown to his cell at Nigrita.

The video also contains stills of Kareli bearing visible signs of abuse on his face, back and arms.

Seven guards from the facility were given extra time on Wednesday to prepare their defense on charges of torturing Kareli to death, a day after seven of their colleagues were remanded in custody in connection with the same affair.

Source: ekathimerini.com

There is life after austerity

samargouria

The guy in the photo (right) is Angel Gurría, general secretary of OECD. When he last met Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras (left) last November he congratulated him for managing to bring Greece in the top position, internationally, of the list with the countries carrying out structural reforms.

These reforms were supposed to improve the way the Greek economy functions but also to rationalise the Greek public sector. Last summer, the Greek government had decided to suddenly close down ERT, the Greek Radio & TV Broadcasting company. The idea of firing all of a sudden around 2,500 employees was that ERT was a corrupt and expensive public organisation. At the beginning there was absolutely no plan – after the huge public pressure and uproar that ERT closure’s caused, the government announced that there would be a new state broadcaster created soon. It would more efficient than ERT, cheaper and more transparent.

Almost a year later, a few days ago, Eleftherotypia newspaper published the cost of a show that is now being broadcasted by NERIT, ERT’s kitsch and unpopular successor. It’s a new version of a show about tourism (that used to exist during ERT), trying to convince Greeks to spend their summer (money) in Greece rather than abroad. As if there is enough income distributed in the society for international plane tickets. Anyway, back to the show, here’s its budget.

nerit-spatali

On the left column you can see the people hired for the show (by specialty) and on the right you can see their payment (for the 2-month period which this contract is valid for). In the country where the minimum wage is down to around 500 euros per month, there is a journalist who will be paid 5.208 euros for reading the text messages that viewers send to the show. Out of the 11 people that will compose the journalistic part of the team, two will be handling the social media, each also paid 5.208 euros for these two months. The same will be the payment for the person who will be responsible to call and book the guests of the show while the editor-in-chief of the show will receive 8.060 euros. For two fucking months! That’s efficiency and rationalisation of ERT’s costs.

And if you want to compare with ERT’s already high wages [compared to the rest of the media market] the guest-booker in the old version of the show (at ERT) was earning about 30% less than the current NERIT’s payment.

As for increased transparency, these people have been hired without a some kind of competition, no job vacancy announcement, no evaluation of applicants.

A vicious circle, creating worst monsters than the ones we had in a supposed attempt to modernise, to get improved, to restructure [sic].

venizelos gurria

Back in his December 2013 visit, Angel Gurría had also met Evangelos Venizelos, the Frank Underwood of the Greek political scene. After the many congrats for Greece’s obediency, the OECD general secretary told him a sibyllic ‘There’s life after debt” which kept me wondering what the hell he was trying to say.

I get it now. There is indeed going to be life after the austerity. Those who get paid 5.000 euros for reading text messages will survive. The rest will have to emigrate abroad. Those who can afford their basic medication will survive. Unlike the woman in Lesvos who died last week [inside the local hospital!!!] simply because she couldn’t afford her medicines for hypertension.

There will be more international congratulations for this government and for these policies that cause such collateral damage. The elections are approaching and Samaras has invited everybody to congratulate him so that Greeks can be convinced that we’re on the right track, that we are exiting the crisis. Angela Merkel will be the next one with her visit planned in the coming days. Others will surely follow. They should all feel responsible if this vicious circle continues.

Why is such a newspaper allowed to exist?

I’ve been thinking for quite some time now to start posting the front pages of what is probably the shittiest newspaper in Greece. It’s called Eleftheri Ora (Free Time?) and it’s the single most antisemitic, conspiracy-loving, anti-immigration, nationalist piece of toilet paper circulating in Greek news stands. It has a very low circulation (maybe some hundreds) but, still, it is there in its effort to spread all kinds of bullshit ideology, urban legend, conspiracy theories and general crap.

Today’s cover made me finally start this column in my blog where I shall be posting their front pages so that you can see what kind of newspaper Eleftheri Ora is. I will be using the same comment at the end of every post about this newspaper, “Why is such a newspaper allowed to exist?” since such a paper would be banned or fined to death in probably all the countries of Europe. I’m not really into banning things, I am the romantic guy who believes that an educated society can reject racist ideology or stupid antisemitism. But Greece, like the rest of EU, has the relevant laws that would forbid a paper like this to be published, hence the question; Why is such a newspaper allowed to exist?

eleftheri ora 20130131

Today’s front page (on the top) has a headline saying “All young Greek women who had sex with Albanians are at risk for cervical cancer – 75% of Albanians examined had Hepatitis!!!”

From now on, I shall place all posts on Eleftheri Ora under the category tag “WTF” which can also be found on the menu bar.