Tag Archives: Greece

Samaras’ best time for sex

An outtake from PM Antonis Samaras’ 2012 campaign with New Democracy was leaked yesterday evening and it quickly flooded Greek Facebook & Twitter users. In it, Samaras discloses what’s the best time of the day for sex.

The fact that the video makes the otherwise strict and distant Greek politician look more human has raised suspicions that the video was not leaked by accident but on purpose.

The Greek Prime Minister prefers having sex in the morning but, unfortunately for him, most young people do it at nights…

New Democracy’s electoral base is mainly composed by older generations. I remember going to their main pre-election rally in June 2012 and almost 80% of the people there were more than 50 years old.

Which is why one of the jokes around, about why Antonis Samaras’ party hasn’t made up its mind yet on whether they will have an outdoors rally in Athens, is that they are afraid that the elders will catch a cold and won’t go to vote for their party.

Politicized antidepressants

A friend was diagnosed with depression. His doctor gave him a prescription with some pills. One of them is called Cipralex (some read this as Tsipralex which sounds a lot like the name of SYRIZA’s leader, Alexis Tsipras).

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The irony is that the pharmaceutical company that produces these pills [Lundbeck, Denmark] has a starfish for its logo. Looks like a red star to me.

I think the Greek PM Antonis Samaras has been taking too many of these pills and kind of lost it with his pre-election rhetoric. His last scaremongering bit: “The Greeks want to remain in Europe and do not want to move to North Korea because Syriza wants to”. ROFL

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Photo courtesy of The Press Project

 

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.

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”.

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.

 

Goodbye Greece

Another young Greek emigrating abroad. This one goes to Italy. For a better life. For more opportunities. Or simply, for an opportunity.

This was his last Facebook status update from a Greek IP address. He says: Goodbye Greece. And this farewell might not just be on geographical terms.

Yiannis Karageorgos

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

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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.

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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].

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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.

Baltakos Gate

Here’s a video that is expected [or should] cause tremors in the Greek political scene. Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris leaked this video today where he secretly filmed a discussion with cabinet secretary Takis Baltakos.

During the conversation, Baltakos can he heard saying that there was no evidence to substantiate the crackdown on Golden Dawn following Fyssas’ fatal stabbing by a Golden Dawn supporter last September.

He says that Justice Minister Haralambos Athanassiou and Interior Minister Nikos Dendias appealed to the chief prosecutor at the Supreme Court, Efterpi Goutzamani, a so-called devout Christian, that Golden Dawn were “pagans, idolaters, Nazis and opposed to Christianity”.

Baltakos also said that the crackdown on Golden Dawn was to stop the party drawing support from New Democracy.

Some initial conclusions:

  1. The Samaras administration has secret channels of communication with Golden Dawn.
  2. Prime Minister Samaras has appointed the Supreme Court Prosecutor simply because she comes from a nearby village.
  3. This otherwise independent prosecutor is paying back favors.
  4. Ministers of the Samaras administration can order arrests by picking up the phone.
  5. A case can be “put in the archive” with a short 30 minute investigative committee at the parliament.
  6. There’s no one to turn to if someone wants to file a claim for corruption against the current administration.

This is probably going to create an avalanche of events so stay tuned. By the time I managed to subtitle the video Baltakos has resigned but, in a modern functioning democracy, both Athanasiou and Dendias should resign too. If not Samaras himself too!

As to who is Takis Baltakos, I copy below some facts from EnetEnglish.

Takis Baltakos was appointed by Antonis Samaras to the key political position of government general secretary in June 2012.

He has been identified with the most rightwing section of New Democracy, and is said to have “led opposition” to proposals crackdown on neonazi Golden Dawn.

In December 2012, he told the head of the National Commission for Human Rights, Kostis Papaioannou, that “he doesn’t care, in his capacity as a representative of the government and New Democracy, about the committee’s work and human rights, nor about the country’s international obligations”. Papaioannou was presenting his annual report to the government. He said Baltakos opened it at a chapter on racist violence and threw it on the table, saying, “We are not interested in the human rights of foreigners.”

In 2013, he is alleged to have said that cooperation between New Democracy and Golden Dawn in future elections was “undesirable but not an unlikely possibility”.

In May 2013, it was reported that he was one of the key officials involved in holding up an antiracism bill on the grounds that it could “potentially cause problems”. The bill would have outlawed incitement against people because of their race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation, and impose jail sentences of up to six years on offenders”.

Baltakos was a leading voice against moving against Golden Dawn, up to September 2013, when the government was pushed into taken action after the murder of Pavlos Fyssas. According to the Wall Street Journal, Baltakos said that a crackdown “would backfire, winning the party sympathy from voters disgusted with the establishment and alienating conservative constituencies such as the army and church.”

Last week, he said he has been an “anticommunist” all his life and that the Greek left has “plagued” the country since 1942, the year it took up arms against the occupying Nazis.

Rejecting cannibalism

I saw this poster today. On the wall outside my neighborhood’s Unemployment Office. It was full of young people and as I was arriving there a dark, stony feeling was felt in my stomach. Approaching the entrance, this poster made me feel better. No matter how desperate some people can get, they won’t turn to each other. The poster says (in free translation from a Greek colloquial expression):

We are hungry! And we don’t plan to eat each other!

poster hunger