Category Archives: Newspapers

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.

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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!

Greek newspapers react to fascism

Here’s the reaction of Greek newspapers to the assassination of young Greek rapper Killah P by a Golden Dawn member.

eleftherotypia 20130919

“I am not going to cry, I am not going to be afraid” (lyrics from a remix by Killah P)
Eleftherotypia 19/09/2013

efsyn 20130919

We will not be afraid
Efimerida ton Syntakton (19/09/2013)

dimokratia 20130919

Fear for the worstScenery of civil war
Dimokratia (19/09/2013)

eleftheros tipos 20130919

Greece at the doorstep of the madhouse
Eleftheros Tipos (19/09/2013)

ethnos  20130919

Resist! The nazism’s monster is killing.
Ethnos (19/09/2013)

ta nea  20130919

Enough!
Ta Nea (19/09/2013)

Politicized Greek porn?

In an attempt to identify with the widespread anger in Greek society, targeted mainly against corrupt politicians, the country’s biggest porn production company has produced its latest gem, a politicized porn movie (!?!?!) where terrorists rape Ministers’ wives.

The "Impact" is already being sold at Athens' kiosks for 14,90 €

The “Impact” is already being sold at Athens’ kiosks for 14,90 € (Photo by Athensville)

The movie’s title is “Impact” (the rhyming Greek headline translates into something like “The people’s revolution upon the Minister’s wife”) and the plot, according to Sirina Productions’ website, is this.

2012. The dominant emotion of impoverished Greece is disappointment. With the movement of the indignants being blown off course, people are looking to find ways in order to defuse the anger they feel towards the politicians that betrayed them. The mode of punishment that everyone of us is dreaming varies, but we all want to it to be exemplary …

With this in mind, a group of young men create a terrorist cell and attack Ministers’ houses. They find their wives and give them a lesson they will never forget. A lesson that includes lots of spanking and even more sex. They also record their deeds and then blackmail the crook politicians. “Either you return the stolen money to the state funds or we post the videos online!”.

Here’s the trailer.
For more on the effects of the economic crisis on the Greek porn industry you can also read this (Sirens call Greeks into the porn industry).

It’s sunny in Athens today

On September 11, 1973, the sun was shining over Santiago, Chile. But the radio station was broadcasting that it was raining. This announcement was repeated and it was something that puzzled the citizens. It was later disclosed that the obviously weird message was actually a code that was announced via radio in order to signal the overthrow of the Allende government. A political storm followed…

It’s raining over Athens today. Really. I think it is one of the moodiest, more numb days I had in years. There is such a huge disappointment after yesterday’s vote. A three party government managed to collect 153 votes (they needed 151 for a majority) to pass a multi-billion euro set of austerity measures that are missing the most important element: growth. The minimum legitimisation for the most significant of bills.

Last night, the rain and tear gases have convinced the protesters to leave the center. There was a very well organised plan by the police forces to push peaceful protesters away. I left the square to find a place to breathe and on my way back I was stopped and was forbidden to pass. I showed my press card and explained that I have to return to the square to report. It didn’t mean anything to them. Police units blocked streets leading to the square in front of the Parliament and were turning people away. It’s these small things that cameras don’t show but make a big difference for people on the ground. I felt, to put it bluntly, that Greek citizens have been deprived of the right to demonstrate peacefully for as much as they want.

Today’s weather suits my numb mood. The grey sky sets a perfectly matched setting for what is to come. I thought of translating some of today’s newspapers, as I always do on important days, but I felt it was meaningless. So i’m only posting this, it’s from the front page of Ta Nea newspaper.

By Dimitris Hatzopoulos – Ta Nea newspaper

No strange messages were announced today by radio in Athens.

Greek cartoonists on Merkel’s visit

I always loved to calm fears and tensions with some sense of humour. It’s a humanising effect that is becoming more and more rare during the troubled times this country is going through. Plus, I’ve nothing against Merkel – I keep all my frustration and anger against the austerity, this type of austerity, and the lack of a way-out plan. But, that’s another, huge discussion. Here are some cartoons by Greek cartoonists on the Angela Merkel visit to Greece (I think she landed at the time of writing of this line).

By Dimitris Hatzopoulos

By Dimitris Georgopalis

Translation: Angela Merkel is holding a sign that says AUSTERITY

By Dimitris Hatzopoulos

Translation: REPENT… MERKEL IS COMING…

By Kostas Mitropoulos

Translation:

Soldier: Presnt arms!

Merkel: Are the arms German, Antonis?

By Petros Tsiolakis

Translation:

Samaras: Are the austerity measures enough, Madam?

Merkel: You are pitiless! I bleed with what you are doing.

(sing on the right has a euro-swastika symbol and writes New Occupation)

By Panos Maragos

Translation:

Merkel: What is this Paul [Thomsen of IMF]? The Greeks don’t live in slums, neither do they survive with acorn!!

Paul Thomsen (holding the troika report): The reforms are not completed yet Mrs Merkel.

Last but not list, another one of Dimtris Hatzopoulos. It’s a bit older (I think it was published a week ago) and it’s not directly linked to Angela Merkel. But I really like his style so here you have it.

By Dimitris Hatzopoulos

The ball is round

The ball is round,

the game lasts 90 minutes,

everything else is pure theory.

Josef “Sepp” Herberger
German football player  (1897-1977)

Although this blog is mostly political, I decided for a change to write something about sports and tonight’s game between Greece and Germany for the Euro 2012. This game is not only about sports anyway, despite the repeated attempts to convince us for the opposite. The way the media work, the lust for a quick joke, a symbolic cartoon or a mere parallelism to the current situation in Greece and its relation to Germany make it extremely political. Imagine the headlines, the cliches…

GERMANY KICKS GREECE OUT OF THE EURO! (there you go, I said it too)

or

[Celtic striker Georgios] SAMARAS SCORES AGAINST GERMANY!

Georgios Samaras, you see, has the same name with our new Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras. There is also a new vice Minister of Justice, Kostas Karagounis, who has the same surname with veteran mid-fielder Giorgos Karagounis.

British comedy group Monty Python were much ahead of their time.

The David vs Goliath match has offered plenty of material for the Greek sport newspapers. Here’s some examples.

Goal News 22/06/2012
“For 90 minutes there is no rich and poor nations”

Sport Day 22/06/2012
“Bankrupt them”

Protathlitis 22/06/2012
“Samaras, tear her Memorandum up”

Derby News 22/06/2012
“Molon Labe” (i.e. “Come and take them” The Ancient Greek phrase μολὼν λαβέ is a classical expression of defiance reportedly spoken by King Leonidas I in response to the Persian army’s demand that the Spartans surrender their weapons at the Battle of Thermopylae).

Metrosport 22/06/2012
“Germany raus aus der Euro!” (i.e. Germany out of the Euro!)

I’ve also come across a series of cartoons that played on the game’s political dimension.

From The Independent

By Kipper Williams for The Guardian

From the Berliner Zeitung

A hard-to-believe report even mentioned that the Greek Tourism Organization have sent a letter to all major media that will be showing the match, asking to lower the volume during the German anthem in order to reduce the effect of possible wooing from Greek fans. Angela Merkel will be present in the stadium and it seems impossible that such an embarrassment can be avoided.

Only a few hours are left for the match. I am writing this post while trying to arrange with my friends where we’ll watch it. And the introduction of this favorite German movie, Lola Rennt (Run Lola Run, 1999) came to my mind.

I guess Greece needs a lot of running if the national team would have any chances of qualifying. But let’s never forget. The ball is round. The game lasts 90 minutes. That’s a fact. Everything else is pure theory.

The Greek elections’ aftermath in the newspapers

Here’s a quick translation of today’s newspaper front pages in the aftermath of yesterday’s Greek national elections. My general impression is that the newspapers kept a low profile, in contrast with their emotional headlines in the previous days. Despite the historic changes in the Greek political scenery, the feeling is a bit numb, I guess in fear of an uncertain future.

Ethnos 07/05/2012

Headline: A vote of anger overturns the political scene

Kathimerini 07/05/2012

Headline: In search of a government

Eleftheros Tipos 07/05/2012

Headline: People’s anger, Change the Memorandum!

Vradini 07/05/2012

Headline: Austerity defeated in Greece and France

Ta Nea 07/05/2012

Headline: Nightmare of being ungoverned with new elections in the background

Adesmeftos Tipos 07/05/2012

Headline: Elections of great anger

Dimokratia 07/05/2012

Headline: Where are you heading to, Antonis (Samaras)?

Avgi 07/05/2012 (SYRIZA’s newspaper)

Headline: Left mandate

Alter(native) tv

Two weeks ago I had a coffee with a Dutch photographer who visited Athens for a photo workshop. We had a chat about what’s happening in Greece and he asked me about the story of Alter TV. I was surprised that he knew and he was surprised to find out that such things can happen are happening in a European country. A week later I visited the tv station with another Dutch journalist who is based here in Athens. Both thought that this was a story worth told and were puzzled that we Greeks don’t see it as “extremely interesting”, but rather as a normality. This is the story of Alter TV, one of the 6 private free-to-air channels in Greece.

Alter TV's offices (Photo: Kostas Kallergis)

The station is in a state that we call is “epischesi ergasias” (επίσχεση εργασίας), a phenomenon of the Greek job market I presume. So what is it? It’s something like a strike. When an employee owes several salaries to his employees, they have the right to proceed to an “epischesi ergasias”, which means that they still go to work, but are refusing to work because of the employer’s arrears. The difference with the strike is that they are not losing their wages while practicing it. They go to thei posts to show their readiness to work (though refusing to produce) and, in some cases, to protect the company’s personal (movable) property in case of bankruptcy. But let’s take the story from the beginning.

According to its employees, Alter TV got into financial trouble last year but managed to re-emerge as the second (and at times first) most popular news channel (based on the main news bulletins’ ratings). The channel is mainly owned by three men, the father and son Kouris and Kostas Giannikos who was also responsible for the day-to-day running of the place (the Kouris family had 51% of the shares, Giannikos had 25% and the rest was free floating on the market). In the past years he went on a borrowing spree, getting loans in the name of the Alter TV and then using them to create a network of sister companies which were totally depended  on Alter. A music company, Legend, which produced music CDs that were advertised solely on Alter. Modern Times was a publishing house whose books were also heavily advertised by Alter. At a time when publishing houses could not afford to advertise books on TV, Modern Times could advertise any piece of junk they wanted on prime time and see them easily in the Top-10 list. The employees of the channel were employed not only to produce the channel’s programs but a series of tv ad clips which were done for the sister companies at a dirt cheap cost. The station also sold great parts of its advertising time slots in advance without securing a constant cash flow. As a result, when the Greek financial crisis became a fact in this country the station went into trouble. The employers started owing a month’s salary at the beginning and were paying their employees at an increasingly unpredicted way. A salary after 1,5 month, another one after 2 and so on.

Right now the owners owe between 8 and 12 salaries to their employees who have been in a state of “epischesi ergasias” for more than 2 months. Kostas Giannikos left the company and focused on his other companies which also ran into financial troubles. The employees at his financial newspaper “Investor’s World” are also in a state of “epischesi ergasias” now. Alter TV’s new Board of Directors has told the employees that there is a possible investor who is willing to take over the channel but they can’t mention his name. According to their plan, out of 650 employees about one third (286 employees) will have to be laid off. They’ll get 70% of what is owed to them and will receive their compensations after 12-24 months. The ones who’ll stay will get 60% of what is owed to them, they’ll have to work for free for the coming months until the company officially enters the protection of Article 99 (Bankruptcy Law which protects about-to-bankrupt companies from creditors). Oh yes, there will also be a renegotiation (sic) of their salaries with 10%-30% cut according to their previous salaries.

The employees did not accept this proposal and are waiting for another solution. In the meantime they have been using the station’s frequency to broadcast messages against the owners, the Kouris family.

As they told us, it was their reply to a cheap and dirty propaganda war launched by the Kouris family against its own employees. This can best be depicted by a front page of Avriani newspaper (owned by the Kouris family) which, at an attempt to blame and shame the employees, gathered all salary expenses in the past two years, including the salaries of celebrity tv presenters, changed the amount to drachmas and published this:

Avriani (28-12-2011): The employees of Alter have pocketed 81.903.196.293 drachmas

Right now the employees of Alter TV are going to their offices every day. They are there to meet up with their colleagues and at the same time protect the facilities as there have been attempt by the employer and by creditors to extract part of the equipment (which, in case of bankruptcy, must be sold to fund their compensations). There has also been a widespread solidarity towards them by trade unions and single citizens, who are bringing foodstuff and other goods of need. The studio where they used to record the weather bulletins, the so-called Virtual Studio, is now turned to a warehouse where they gather all these goods.

Akrivi Kyrikou, one of Alter TV's camerawomen, shows the list of goods whic were donated to them (Photo: Kostas Kallergis)

Another studio, where cooking celebrity Vefa Alexiadou once produced her gastronomy show, is now used by the employees to cook for themselves.

Alter TV employees cook in the studio formerly used for a cooking show (Photo: Kostas Kallergis)

Apart from messages against the owner, the employees also produced a daily short news bulletin with news about their struggle, informing about other strikes (e.g. the strike at of the workers at Halyvourgia steel factory) and lately they included in their broadcasts documentaries (e.g. Aris Chatzistefanou’s Debtocracy) which have a critical point to the current Greek financial crisis, its causes and its possible solutions. Last week Alter TV’s transmitters were shut down. So all you can now see is this

Der Stürmer greek-style

Anti-German emotions are rising after yesterdays extra demands on the Greek political parties’ commitmment to the Memorandum No2 measures and Schauble’s comments. Here’s (just) three example of today’s Greek newspapers.

Dimokratia (16/02/2012)

Headline: Gas chamber

Eleftheros Tipos (16/02/2012)

Headline: Schauble’s junta

Ta Nea (16/02/2012)

Headline: What the Germans want

Der Stürmer (literally, “The Stormer;” or more accurately, “The Attacker”) was a weekly tabloid-format Nazi newspaper published by Julius Streicher from 1923 to the end of World War II in 1945. It was a significant part of the Nazi propaganda machinery and was vehemently anti-Semitic. It often ran obscene and tasteless materials such as anti-Semitic caricatures and propaganda-like accusations of blood libel, pornography, anti-Catholic, anti-capitalist and anti-“reactionary” propaganda too.

After the storm

Here’s how Greek newspapers look like after a chaotic night of crucial political decisions and extensive rioting in downtown Athens.

Ta Nea (13/02/2012)

Headline: YES by fire and tears

(NB Third photo from left, at the bottom of the front page, is famous Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis)

Ethnos (13/02/2012)

Headline: Historic “Yes” and a storm in political parties

Dimokratia (13/02/2012)

Headline: Burned!

Second headline: With 199 “yeses” Greece’s darkest night begins

Eleftheros Tipos (13/02/2012)

Headline: A night of terror inside and outside of the Parliament

Vradini (13/02/2012)

Headline: Immediate elections is the only salvation due to inconsistency between the people and the Parliament

Avriani (13/02/2012)

Headline: They should walk out before they destroy completely the country

Avgi (13/02/2012)

Headline: The Memorandum is invalid, the people has voted it down