Tag Archives: SYRIZA

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?”

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).

cipralex-filmtabl-20-mg-98-stk-800x800

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

kim21420489786

Photo courtesy of The Press Project

 

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

godzillasyriza1415175526

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 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.

10414457_10152214799738043_173225157267480314_n

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.

 

You can’t be serious!

Two opinion polls were published yesterday (one by Public Issue and one by Pulse). Both had two notable changes.

1. SYRIZA was around 1% ahead of New Democracy

2. Golden Dawn was the other party with an increase, it scored some 13%-13,5% (NB it got 7 % in the 2012 elections)

The neo Nazi party is now stabilised in the third position and many people wonder… What the fuck?

I was speaking with a foreign correspondent here in Athens about these polls and she was telling me that most polling companies (which are not the most trustworthy institutions in this country) tend to play down the actual ratings of Golden Dawn in order to avoid the furore. She also told me that the actual ratings of Golden Dawn were rather closer to 16%. But still, one could say, they are too small and no one would cooperate with them in government.

No one? Well, just the other day, Babis Papadimitriou, a presenter of SKAI TV and a longtime supporter of all austerity measures since the beginning of the Greek economic crisis (with whatever this may mean about his political affiliation), threw the idea. “If SYRIZA can discuss the possibility of a coalition with the Communist Party, why couldn’t New Democracy discuss the possibility of a Conservative cooperation with a more serious (sic) Golden Dawn?”

I am not sure what exactly he meant by “more serious” but it seems that he at least recognises the fact the neo nazi party has had a pretty indecent behaviour so far, linked to all sorts of abuses, racist violence, populist rhetoric and foul language inside the parliament. He indeed admitted it in a later TV show. But can they become serious, Mpampis? Are you serious?

In any case, speaking of seriousness, there has been a more serious aspect in the afore mentioned opinion polls that few media have highlighted, or even discussed. It’s the qualitative analysis of the party ratings in specific age groups. According to the Pulse poll, Golden Dawn was the second party in the age groups of 18-29 and of 30-44. It makes you think that Greece is lucky to have an ageing population with more old people than young ones, that births have dropped by 10% this year according to some reports yesterday, that younger people are less inclined to be bothered to vote and that older people still tend to vote the same party that once hired them or gave them a good pension. All these, otherwise negative characteristics, are saving this country from becoming officially fascist.

I got a very dark feeling in my guts when I saw this table. Check for yourself and tell me how you feel.

Pulse Age Groups

The colours (from left to right) represent New Democracy, SYRIZA, PASOK, Independent Greeks, Golden Dawn, Democratic Left, Communist Party, Other party. Blank vote/Invalid vote/abstention, Undecided voters.

And when you try to describe to people, in and outside Greece, about what is to come in the near future, they read your blog posts or look at you, with a puzzled face, and say: You can’t be serious!

Ocean’s Thirty Six

This could be the beginning of series of huge scandals. The Greek Economic Crime Unit (SDOE) has been investigating for quite some time now 36 political figures (current or former MPs and Ministers) for their incomes, properties and assets. The “list of the 32”, as it was initially called, has been kept secret. Until now.

Ocean’s Three Hundred

Web portal zougla.gr has published the list of the investigated MPs causing tremors in the already fragile Greek political scene. In this list there are 36 names and one political think tank. In addition, Here are the names and their current or former posts where they served (the order is random).

Panos Kammenos, head of the Independent Greeks Party

Nikitas Kaklamanis, New Democracy MP and former Mayor of Athens

Athanasios Nakos, vice-chairman of the Greek Parliament

George Voulgarakis, former Minister of Culture, of Public Order and of Maritime Affairs (New Democracy)

Mihalis Liapis, former Minister of Transport (New Democracy)

Aris Spiliotopoulos, New Democracy MP and former Minister of Tourism

Mihalis Karchimakis, former Secretary of PASOK’s National Council

Spilios Spiliotopoulos, former New Democracy MP

Nikos Konstantopoulos, former head of SYRIZA

Elisavet Vozenberg, former New Democracy MP

George Orfanos, New Democracy, former Deputy Minister for Sports (during the Olympic Games)

-Marina Chrysoveloni, Independent Greeks MP

Giannos Papantoniou, former Minister of Finance and of Defence (PASOK)

Antonis Mpezas, New Democracy MP

Nikos Tagaras, New Democracy MP and former Corinth regional governor

Panagiotis Fasoulas, former basketball player, PASOK MP and Mayor of Piraeus

Elpida Tsouri, former PASOK MP and Deputy Minister for Fisheries

Filippos Fountis, candidate MP with Green Party

Alexandros Voulgaris, former PASOK MP

Leonidas Tzanis, former Deputy Minister of Interior (PASOK)

Ioannis Anthopoulos, former Deputy Minister of Education (PASOK)

Anastasios Mantelis, former Minister of Transport (PASOK)

Ioannis Sbokos, former General Secretary of the Ministry of Defence

Apostolos Fotiadis, former Deputy Minister of Finance (PASOK)

Fevronia Patrianakou, New Democracy MP

Nikolaos Andrianopoulos, former General Secretary of the Ministry of Finance (New Democracy)

Akis Tsochatzopoulos, former Minister of Defence (PASOK-already in jail awaiting trial)

Fotis Arvanitis, former PASOK MP

Dimitris Apostolakis, former Minister of Defence (PASOK)

Christos Verelis, former Minister of Transport (PASOK)

Konstantinos Liaskos, former Minister of Environment

Christos Zahopoulos, former General Secretary of the Ministry of Culture (New Democracy)

Petros Mantouvalos, lawyer and former New Democracy MP

Mihalis Halkidis, former New Democracy MP

George Patoulis, Mayor of Marousi district (northern Athens)

Konstantinos Karamanlis Foundation, New Democracy think tank investigated for mismanagement