Clientelism, our new Deputy Minister

The government appointed a new Deputy Minister, his name Giorgos Georgantas. One might wonder why the crumbling government chose him, out of all their options, for the position of Deputy Minister of Education.

In civilized countries, a politician like Georgantas would have quit politics since the publication of the video that follows. In Greece, these politicians, not only they get away with it morally unpunished, but they are rewarded. Because these politcians, low-key in Athens but very active in their constituencies, are the cornerstone of Greek clientelism.

See the video from a local meeting back in 2012, just before the elections that brought New Democracy to power. Giorgos Georgantas speaks to fellow New Democracy members from the region of Kilkis in northern Greece. He gives them directions to increase their pressure to all the citizens who have benefited (sic) by New Democracy.

Yes, this guy is a Minister now.

And he was rewarded for his services to the party.

There is a high possibility that we will have elections in the next three months.

You can imagine what this guy will be doing in the run up to these elections.

At the end of the day, I should’t complain, at least some people will have a job for some months.

Syriza and other disasters: 10 top scaremongering quotes

A list of the top 10 scaremongering quotes compiled by The Frog blog about the prospect of leftist anti-bailout party, Syriza, winning the next elections in Greece

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1. ”…Lending to the country will cease!”

“Markets are reacting to the prospect of a Syriza victory, owing to its lead in the polls. They’re saying ‘guys, if you are going to hold elections in three months and make Syriza the government, we are informing you that we do not want to lend the country any money”.
Health Minister Makis Voridis

2. “…there won’t be a single euro left in the banks”

“If [Syriza) are ever given the chance [to govern], which they won’t be, then the money will leave the banks, there won’t be a euro left”.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras

3. “…Not one euro will remain in the banks (I, at least, will take my money abroad)”

In imitation of the prime minister, one ‘usual suspect’ took the issue a bit further:
“Syriza’s secret agenda is the drachma. So, if the government falls not one euro will remain in the banks”.
New Democracy lawmaker Adonis Georgiadis

Bonus: He went on to say that he would ‘take out’  his bank deposits before Syriza even forms a government.

“I’m not going to let [Giorgos] Varemenos (Syriza MP and a former journalist) take my money,” he added during a TV debate with the Syriza MP.

After the general outcry that followed, Georgiadis, without taking back what he said about a bank run, admitted that he should have been ‘less raw’ in his remarks, but insisted that it would be like “people were committing suicide” if Syriza won the elections.

4. ”… ATMs would shut down”

“If he [Alexis Tsipras] plays tough guy in Europe, it won’t be long before ATM machines shut down in Greece, just like they did in Cyprus”.
Government spokesperson Sofia Voultepsi

5. “…Pensions will be lost!”

“If [Syriza’s declarations are implemented], I assure Greek pensioners that their worst nightmare will be become a reality when they go to the bank and do not get their pension
Labour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis

6. “…Mayhem will ensue”

“The markets are doing what they are doing to us because of the hint that Syriza will come. If it comes, then mayhem will ensue”.
Development Minister Nikos Dendias

7. “…We will return to the drachma in one week!”

If [Alexis Tsipras] does what he said at the Thessaloniki Trade Fair, we will be back to the drachma in a week”.
New Democracy lawmaker Adonis Georgiadis (he deserved another mention in the top 10)

8. “…the country will fall apart in 48 hours!”

“If Syriza becomes [the country’s] first party, the country will fall apart, no matter how many hands of elders Mr Tsipras kisses and how many foreigners he hangs out with”.
Former deputy prime minister and prominent Pasok member Theodoros Pangalos

Bonus: Pasok’s historic member voted for New Democracy so that Syriza would not win in the elections.

9. “…Lafazanis’ image will adorn the new 1,000 drachma note!”

“ [If Syriza wins the elections], two options are available. The country will either beg its creditors for an even harsher memorandum or it will return to the drachma to the great satisfaction of Mr Lafazanis (a Syriza MP), whose image will most likely adorn the new 1,000 drachma note”.
Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis    

10. “…they will burn and kill!”
“There will be so much hunger and stench that all those jumping up and down about the smiling boy Tsipras, who shakes it up before the Pope, or Dourou, will be on the streets and will burn and will kills”.
Former deputy prime minister and prominent Pasok member Theodoros Pangalos Deservedly tops the list

Originally appeared in Greek on thefrog.gr – translate by The Press Project

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”.

Countdown to free wifi nationwide in Greece begins

Just a quick note on why I’m about to cancel my contract with my internet provider… (post reblogged from A Gael in Greece blog)

A Gael in Greece

Images like this replacing the flame with a wifi signal in New Democracy's old logo appeared on social media following Antonis Samaras' 2013 promise Images like this replacing the flame with a wifi signal in New Democracy’s old logo appeared on social media following Antonis Samaras’ 2013 promise

It was 4 November 2013. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras had granted a rare media interview and was clear and emphatic when asked by his interlocutor, Mega TV’s Yiannis Pretenteris, “what hope could the government give to young people?”

“Today, I can promise that we will have in Greece free wireless wifi internet, in all of Greece, in a year,” Samaras said.

When Pretenteris interjected to tell Samaras that he would need to follow through on this, Samaras replied confidently that he wouldn’t have said if he couldn’t do it.

“It will happen! And I’ve looked into it, in order to say it,” he added.

View original post 188 more words

Latuff for Loukanikos

In 2010 Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff drew a cartoon about Loukanikos, the Greek riot dog whose fame was about to take off.

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Last week it was made known that the cute street dog had passed away. The news flooded the Greek social media with sadness and even newspapers like The Guardian hosted a canine obituary. Carlos Latuff drew one more cartoon about Loukanikos.

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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.