Sunday, 4 December 2016
Open letter by Mikis Theodorakis to Tsipras 03/12/2016.
Comrade Alexis, I must admit, you are the craftiest. The greatest bloke in Greece since -450 BC until today. You do whatever you want without any accountability. You get your personal plane, fill up it with friends and girlfriends and go to Cuba and this costs upwards of €300,000. Whilst the suckers at home on €300 per month in the best case try to make ends meet.
Anything that takes your fancy, speeches in Revolution Square where Fidel spoke like an authentic and real revolutionary when he rose against Capitalism-Imperialism. You eat in buffets (€600 for a meal paid for by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with your minions). The fun, the parties, whilst Greek suckers sit in queues for pensions, electricity bills, banks, hospitals, council tax bills and above all austerity and more austerity. You play the rebel and when you get back, redo what have you have said and become the boy that makes Merkels Obama and Junquers errands, whilst criticising them in Havana attempting to hoodwink intelligent Greek people, as you decided to rule people without fans and pride , who play at being a government.
Mikis also allegedly said Ari's Velouhiotis catchphrase.
We will meet where they skin animals ie threatening Alexis with a peoples lynching
Tuesday, 15 November 2016
And Met the Local Syriza ANEL-Clowns
A cavalcade made up of many black limousines, hundreds of agents in a show made for a mass media spectacle of an Emperor visiting his colony, when in reality we are witnessing a dramatic end of Empire to a bankrupt banana republic which is run by clowns which still have the audacity to call themselves Left. It's been a long time anyway since Tsipras was demonstrating against the last American Emperor that visited Athens in the 1990s. Now Obamas visit had all the hallmarks of a Syriza event one that people are used to, riot police everywhere, roadblocks, tear gas and the police fighting ....themselves (black clad hooded 'anarchists') creating massive traffic jams everywhere and the usual 'riots' in central Athens around the Polytechnic and Exarchia.
What was the purpose of Obamas visit? According to Syriza to support Greece in its fight of reducing the foreign debt burden which doesnt allow it to borrow more to get back to where it left off. To support Syriza in its housing and feeding alleged refugees. To support Syriza in alleviating poverty in Greece.
The fact that US imperialism via the vehicle of the IMF and its US puppets ex PM Papandreou and his partner in crime in the Greek statistics agency ELSTAT Mr Georgiou, fabricated Greece's budget deficit so the IMF could arrive and regulate Euro-Dollar fluctuations after the 2008 Wall St Crash, is hidden by Syriza and ignored. Its as if they govern a nation with no history and no present and that what they present in public is actually what they are discussing.
Tsipras praised Obama and Merkel. Obama has saved the American economy (hence 50m are on food stamps!) and Merkel is saving Europe (by collapsing it!). You couldn't find a more ridiculous politician who says one thing and does the exact opposite.
Tsipras alleged we have turned the corner growth has returned unemployment has been reduced when at the same time the Greek TUCs research department Ine GSEE claims official unemployment is at 30.8% and that doesn't include the 500k that have emigrated since 2010. We have heard this nonsense so many times before its a joke to even bother repeating it.
Obamas agenda was probably Cyprus. Having failed to get Cyprus agreement with the Annan plan and the subsequent ultra mysterious crash of a Cypriot airliner Obama is returning with a newer identical version to keep the island divided so the British Akrotiri airbase remains at their disposal.
The demos were marginally small, less than 15k split equally between KKE and ex Syriza assorted leftists. There was riot police everywhere and they marched on different roads being blocked by riot police and police buses parked in the middle of the road so no one could get to Sindagma Sq. Syriza jokers on tv shows in the morning alleged no change would occur in US foreign policy and the same jokers were alleging Trump wouldn't win.
As a servile American Tsipras whose father worked with the US backed military junta got a pat on the head for spending 2% of the state budget in an era of savage austerity for NATO and for housing and feeding tens of thousands they labelled refugees whilst Greeks scavenge in dustbins to eke out a living if they have no source of income...
Wednesday, 2 November 2016
British Trade Union Solidarity and Greece Aiding Reaction Then and Now Part Three:Daily Worker on Labour Government push for Greek Civil War 1946
Russians push in security council for peaceful resolution of Greek and Indonesian conflicts stoked up by British imperialism. At the same time it is reported that the Labour Government is sending arms to Greek royalist rebels
At the time British imperialism was involved in a life and death struggle in maintaining its colonies from Indonesia, Greece, India. They sold the usual mythology that if they leave massacres would occur. The Greek TUC demanded the British Labour Government takes its troops out of Greece. No such luck. They oversaw the bloody civil war to destroy the Left for a generation.
Bevin representing the Labour government in the UNs Security Council turns the whole charade into an anti-soviet diatribe, proving always that the Labour Party since the 1920's is anti-soviet to its core, whilst the Russians were trying to create a climate for peace, but to no avail. The Labour government was hellbent on appearing to out-Churchill himself.
British Army gets involved in trying to control collapsing Empire from India to Egypt to Greece. Just like the French lost Vietnam and put their emphasis next on Algeria, the Brits put their emphasis on Greece, but lost India.
Fake elections are announced in Greece under the backdrop of militarism and the rise of a PM who had worked openly for Hitlers 3rd Reich. Labour Government does everything in its power to support them. At the same time a union clampdown in Cyprus by the British occupation of the island.
Cold war starts proper with the Brits threatening Russia when they have so many open fronts. Sabre rattling from Churchill who only experienced defeats for when he came upon the world, Britain controlled almost one quarter of the worlds land mass and by the time he left, the British Empire was no more than a mere shell, an adjunct to the rising American Empire.
A new dictatorship rises in Greece, backed supported and promoted by the British Labour government. Left wing newspapers shut down, killing galore and imprisonments. By 1947 thousands were languishing in gaols courtesy of the Labour government. Daily Worker reports on the military crackdown and terrorism unleashed.
Sunday, 23 October 2016
Interview with Nikos Koundouros
Koundouros studied painting and sculpture at the Athens School of Fine Arts. During the war he was a member of the left-wing resistance movement EAM-ELAS, and because of this was subsequently exiled to the Makronissos prison island. At the age of 28 he decided to follow a career in cinematography. He started his career as a director of the film Magiki Polis(1954), where he combined his neorealism influences with his own artistic viewpoint. He cast Thanasis Veggos, who he had met at Makronissos, as one of the characters in Magiki Polis. After the release of his complex and innovative film O Drakos, he found acceptance as a prominent artist in Greece and Europe, and acquired important awards in various international and Greek film festivals. His 1963 film Young Aphrodites won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 13th Berlin International Film Festival. In 1985 he was a member of the jury at the 14th Moscow International Film Festival.
He awaits for me in the garden of his house in Mets and is dressed as always in black. He walks slowly the result of the attack he had in house last October where four migrants robbed him and just missed killing him.
But Nikos Koundouros shows and feels like a rock. He doesn’t hide his rage, is sorry for his country being led to its present state but is ready even today to fight. But without a gun, as he did in EAM but with a new film.
Question: A few months ago you lived a horrific adventure in your otherwise adventurous life. First of all how do you feel today?
“Like a rock. My sides of course take months to heel, at least 7-8 but deep down I am happy I went through the torment.
Question: Why would someone feel happy for almost dying?
“The event forced me to see reality. I had a ridiculous sensitivity and generosity with the entrance or in reality the invasion of foreigners into Greece.
I used to argue we are children of this earth, let the world arrive in Greece, to get better, to feel secure, to eat, to drink Greek water. From the moment of the event forget all these teenage stupidities.
Four animals, four barbarians who screamed and stank wore masks and made me see the reality.
Question: What will you not forget about that night?
“When they said don’t hold him, choke the queer” said the only one who spoke in broken Greek. Me gay? Ok about choking me but where does the queer fit in? From that night onwards a stream of thoughts started in my mind about getting rid of all the migrants. It’s not correct and also from the point of view of social behaviour for it to open its legs like a whore. 1.4m migrants in the country? 15% of the population? How can this number be assimilated? But it has occurred. These are the consequences of the inferiority complex the Greeks have. Blame the governments. The Germans should have an inferiority complex not us.”
Question: What is specific to this even that makes you feel that way?
“They didn’t just want to rob. They wanted to kill. Another man further down the road they strangled with a pillow. I just was lucky to survive. They held the pillow to my face and I managed to breathe from the side. I saw revenge which was racial, class, social, national however you want to define it. It was pure hatred. As what they wanted to get they had already. I gave it to them. I went to my safe and gave them what was inside. They went into a house which for them was the Louvre and I took them directly to the safe and gave them what they wanted. From the stress I couldn’t remember the number of the safe and I made a mistake. They banged my head with steel. One two three times. For 15 days my face was black from the dried blood”
Question: Did you manage to meet a migrant after the even? If so what happened?
“After the event I was found to be a passenger in a car of a lawyer friend. A Pakistani came to clean the windows. My friend says ‘No’. I who had passed through what I had, said give something to the young man.
My friend gave him a coin. The Pakistani man looks at it and throws it back at us. I jumped out as if I was 18 years old, I grabbed him from the collar and dragged him with such hatred back to the car and told him find it. From behind the people saw the picture of a white man treating the poor Pakistani as if he were a dog. The picture that I gave was that the white race was mistreating a Pakistani dog. But the opposite had happened. Misunderstanding is part of life”
Question: It must be strange for a man who has seen so much: Occupation, Civil War executions, exile in Makronisos…
“I could have characterised the event as a bad instance in life but I would have debased it then. It wasn’t like the tram which hit me on the street which was my fault. Its was a by product of a status quo that exists in all of Greece. The humiliation of a nation to the point of it not being able to walk in the whole of Greece without its heart pumping that something bad may happen. As the police inspector who found me then told me “Athens is an unguarded city where hatred, fear and the unpredictable may occur”. Whoever can do whatever and accept anything. The police according to his own words can do very little even less in apprehending let alone prosecuting these events. Bad events occurred to the Greek nation after the Italian invasion, after the guerrilla war, after the victory of the Right, after Makronisos. All these events marked the bad fate of the Greek. Maybe fate one day will bring us a better life, freedom”
Question: Greece has held up all these years…
“It was held by the blood from some who faced death head on. What had they done? They had betrayed the country. But the betray the country dailys. Today MPs betray it, people with much money, they sell it out those degenerates who have managed our national funds – PASOKs Tzohatsopoulos for instance. We all know them. Today Greeks are degraded and with their heads bowed under. Only a terrible famine which is above all peoples heads will turn fear into panic and force people onto the streets. Did you see what happened in England. We will do the same, there is no other way out. With the call ‘Down with the Barbarians’. The financiers, Ms Merkel they are the barbarians. What are we guilty of? You might say that there isn’t a single person in a democratic society who is not guilty. Why are you at fault? Why am I at fault? There is this terrific generalisation. We all ate at the same table. What did you get to have or I? The Greek people aren’t participants by their very nature. Not only did the people not eat but they never had the possibility to eat under the tutelage of the democratic governments whether they were called New Democracy or PASOK. The terrorists of the people is the state. Who is more of a terrorist today than Mr Papakonstantinou (ex PASOKs finance Minister)? A poor person that takes up a gun and kills another poor person? It’s a game. The terrorists today aren’t something invisible. The terrorist has a name a surname a tax number. They have everything”
Question: What does a Greek artist do with this impasse?
“Its not easy being Greek in this period. Either you have to retreat home and basically observe things or if you want to take part in things you must become a name under control. Not of the police or power, but your neighbours, your brothers, history which surrounds you. You must always be accountable. My resistance was always to make films which weren’t for enjoyment but which wanted to document the unjust martyrdom of a peoples who were destined for a better fate. That is what I will do with my next film called the ‘Ship’
Nikos Koundouros father refused his three children joining the fascist youth of Metaxas. “We paid for that for years” the director states, “then came the war, the Occupation, hunger, in every corner we saw dead people or even piles of them. From the age of 17 I was in EAM in the armed Byron group. All these things aren’t easy for a teenager who grew up differently and existed whilst growing up. It was natural then to create a view from a young child who the only thing that was left for him was to take the gun and go to the mountains or be subjugated. Nothing else” The latter option didn’t fit in with Nikos Koundouros and his brothers.
The director laments Riga Ferraio (youth wing of EDA -1960s KKE) “Greeks refuse to be subjugated. I don’t know about today but when Greeks refused to be subjugated and humiliated the zero of a passive life. They preferred the most tough process even to come face to face with death.
Today death is a form of luxury. You see it in every hospital with three nurses round you and you bed pan to ensure your body isn’t humiliated. Its not the same as being face to face with a firing squad…
The night before the execution of Belogiannis the party (KKE) asked me to look after his wife in a car outside the Kallithea prisons so as to hear the noise of five-six bullets. All of these events you cannot forget and become part of your life. You adapt and you never take these things out of you”.
“The ‘Ship’ is a plan which was born from some strange truths’” states Nikos Koundouros with respect to his latest fil which is about to be produced. It will be in English and with unknown actors. “Two years ago we found out that a ship as black as Hell which was carrying wheat rested somewhere in the seas of the Ionian and after that it went towards Israel which as is well known produces nothing. Later we learnt that it didn’t have wheat but the latest war materials and in the same period of time the new attacks were occurring against Palestinians by Israelis.
All of these events were reported in the papers but were ignored. Koundouros took the journalistic reports and turned it into a film with the friendly cooperation of two writers. In the meantime the film will be added with other events also true.
“In two buildings one in Crete and one in the Pelloponnese, different characters collect girls from Eastern Europe and promise them work but turn them into prostitutes. There is a also a masonic lodge, middle men between Americans and Israelis”
On stage now is Theofilos Tsafos who is a common criminal who has been trained to denigrate human existence starting from himself. First he burns his own heart. After that heartless he tries to find victims to complete his Secret Mission. His hands become murderous weapons and he finally strangles the only love of his life during an erotic act. This play is being played by the Mihalis Kakogiannis foundation and it was written 38 years ago and it hasn’t been played and it was written in London during the Junta where Koundouros was exiled. The story for this play was inspired by real events which I had read from newspapers from that era. “It interested me, I researched it well and wrote it. I was then much more young as I believe that that work for its era contained a part of resistance”
Friday, 21 October 2016
Greece’s Neoliberal Wolves In Anti-Austerity Sheep’s Clothing
Far from representing truly alternative voices, three Syriza leaders crafted empty public images as anti-austerity renegades and champions of democracy and justice.
By Michael Nevradakis @dialogosmedia | October 19, 2016
Protesters against new austerity measures hold a placard depicting Labour Minister George Katrougalos as the movie character Edward Scissorhands during a protest outside Zappeion Hall in Athens, Friday, Sept. 16, 2016. The placard reads in Greek”Katrougalos Scissorhands”.
ATHENS — (Analysis) In January of 2015, opponents of neoliberalism and the harsh policies of economic austerity rejoiced at the electoral victory of Syriza in the Greek parliamentary elections.
Touted as the “first-time left,” the new Syriza-led government was portrayed as a “would-be savior” for Greece. It was further hailed as the regime that would reverse the country’s fortunes and stand up to the demands of Greece’s lenders in the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund–the trio collectively known as the “troika.”
Flash forward to today: One year after ignoring the result of a referendum which rejected further austerity measures proposed by Greek lenders, the Syriza-led government is enforcing the dictates the third memorandum, an even more onerous austerity agreement agreed to in August 2015. In the interim, further legislation has been passed which has ceded control over the entirety of Greece’s publicly-owned assets for 99 years and relinquished the sovereign parliamentary right to pass legislation on key budgetary and economic issues.
The end results of these agreements and the new austerity plan which has followed have been catastrophic. Already-battered pensions have been further slashed by as much as 50 percent or more. The port of Piraeus, 14 profitable regional airports, the national railway system, and the prime site of Athens’ former international airport have been sold off to foreign investors at bargain-basement prices and privatized. The sell-off of Greece’s municipal water utilities, which Syriza officials at one time claimed would occur “over our dead body,” is the next in line to be completed. Further, automatic budget cuts lurk ominously ahead, to be implemented automatically if Greece does not meet its troika-imposed fiscal targets.
After a long period of dormancy, lulled by the promise of a government that was purportedly engaged in hard negotiations with Greece’s lenders, the people of Greece have roared back to life. Air traffic controllers recently staged a wildcat strike, walking off from their jobs in protest of the privatization of Greece’s airports–a process slated to be expanded to the remaining facilities in which the Greek state still owns a share. With nothing left to lose, pensioners have taken to the streets to protest the virtual elimination of their already meager pensions.
A protester chants anti austerity slogans during a demonstration in central Athens, on Friday, May 6, 2016.
While back in January of 2015, the world celebrated as the “saviors” in Syriza removed barricades around the Hellenic Parliament and promised to dissolve the violent, corrupt riot police, nowadays the Syriza government prefers to unleash the very same riot police on elderly, impoverished protesters, who are also targeted with generous sprays of tear gas. Instead of tearing up the memorandum and austerity agreements, as had been promised prior to January of 2015 by current Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and other Syriza officials, Syriza officials now express regret that the word “memorandum” has been “demonized.”
Within Greece at least, the hero worship previously afforded Syriza has transformed into a wide-ranging sentiment in which many citizens and voters now openly support “anyone but Syriza.” In such a climate, voters have once again begun searching in earnest for a new “savior” to rescue Greece from its death spiral of austerity, hopelessness, and crippling economic depression. Several such political personalities loom large in the imaginations of many voters, including “radical” economist and former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, former speaker of the Hellenic Parliament and founder of the “Course of Freedom” party Zoe Konstantopoulou, and former energy minister and founder of the Popular Unity party Panagiotis Lafazanis.
Do these personalities represent a true hope for change and optimism? Or are they merely the next in line to follow Syriza’s footsteps in promising radical change but delivering continued austerity instead? Their respective backgrounds and actions while in positions of power reveal the likely answer.
Yanis Varoufakis: Radically promoting austerity
Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis attends a news conference about the launch of a new left-wing pan-Europe political movement called ‘Democracy in Europe Movement 2025’ in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (Photo: Markus Schreiber/AP)
Yanis Varoufakis has crafted a reputation for being a “radical,” “anti-austerity” renegade economist who is unafraid to break conventions and tackle the status quo.
However, his record–particularly during his time as Greece’s finance minister from January to July 2015–tells a different story.
In his early days as Syriza’s finance minister, Varoufakis entered negotiations at the February 2015 Eurogroup summit proposing the continuation of 70 percent of previously implemented austerity measures for an additional six months. He refused to raise the possibility of a eurozone departure for Greece, not even as a “plan B” or a negotiation tactic. The 70 percent proposed by Varoufakis ultimately became an agreement for the continuation of 100 percent of the existing austerity measures for four additional months. Varoufakis, in his usual style, described the agreement as an exemplar of “creative ambiguity,” while suggesting that the troika now be referred to as the “institutions” instead.
In these early days of the “first-time left” government, Varoufakis hired Wall Street firm Lazard to advise the Greek finance ministry. This is the same firm which advised the government of George Papandreou (whom Varoufakis advised for six years) on the signing of the first memorandum agreement in 2010, the government of unelected technocrat Lucas Papademos on the introduction of further austerity in 2012, and the previous New Democracy-PASOK coalition government on the privatization of public assets.
Varoufakis’ “radical” rhetoric continued when he repeatedly stated, as finance minister, that Greece’s debt was legal and would be repaid “ad infinitum,” even while a parliamentary committee which was purportedly investigating the legality of this very same debt was in session.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Varoufakis stated that he would “squeeze blood out of stone” in order to repay the IMF, while in another interview, Varoufakis stated that he sought to develop good relations with Christine Lagarde and the IMF, which holds views that he said he personally agreed with. In an interview with Australia’s ABC, Varoufakis further stated that even if the government wanted to proceed with the “Grexit,” it was unable to mint its own currency, claiming that Greece’s mint was destroyed when the country joined the eurozone. In reality, Greece’s mint is still operational; it’s where €10 notes are printed today.
Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, explains why he thinks Brexit could trigger dire economic consequences for the European Union.
Watch Yanis Varoufakis explain why he thinks Brexit could trigger dire economic consequences for the European Union:
As finance minister, Varoufakis tapped Elena Panaritis as Greece’s representative to the IMF. This is the same Panaritis who was a former World Bank official and who was the architect of the catastrophic “Fuji Shock” policies implemented in Peru under the regime of the now-jailed Alberto Fujimori.
These policies drove millions of Peruvians into poverty, resulted in price increases of up to 8,000 percent on basic goods, and led to the privatization of hundreds of public assets. Later, as a member of parliament with PASOK, Panaritis voted in favor of austerity and the memorandum agreements. In turn, Varoufakis, as finance minister, stated that previously implemented privatizations would not be rescinded and that he supported the privatization of public airports and harbors “under certain conditions.” He also spoke out favorably of the so-called “investments” of China’s COSCO, including the privatization of the port of Piraeus, describing this as a “positive development” for Greece.
Forging ahead in the spring of 2015, Varoufakis, in his capacity as finance minister, oversaw the implementation of a governmental decree which confiscated the cash reserves of the entirety of the Greek public sector. Later ratified by parliament, including Varoufakis’ vote, the decree authorized the payment of the May 2015 installment of Greece’s loans to the IMF with the confiscated funds. This action was then followed up by a 47-page proposal crafted by the finance ministry under Varoufakis’ watch as part of supposedly “fierce” negotiations with the troika. That proposal foresaw €8 billion in new austerity measures, including a perpetually increasing primary budget surplus (which would mean more cuts in order to maintain a surplus in a sinking economy) and the privatization of major public assets.
At around this time, Varoufakis presented a proposal for the introduction of a parallel currency, similar to the IOUs that had been issued by the state of California in 2009. He also announced the impending implementation of capital controls in the form of weekly limits on withdrawals from domestic bank accounts. These capital controls remain in place today and have significantly crippled the Greek economy, particularly small and medium-sized businesses which have been stripped of access to their own capital.
This set the stage for the July 5, 2015 referendum which was scheduled soon thereafter. Varoufakis did not present any proposals to the people of Greece nor give any indication of what the government’s plan would be should the “no” vote against austerity prevail, as it ultimately did. Following his resignation from his post as finance minister–a well-timed move which allowed him to make a heroic exit in time to avoid the forthcoming trainwreck, Varoufakis was absent from the parliamentary vote which ultimately authorized Prime Minister Tsipras to make a deal with the country’s lenders. Varoufakis did publicly state, however, that had he voted in parliament, he would have voted to give Tsipras authorization to reach an agreement—authorization which led to the third, and harshest, memorandum agreement for Greece.
Other highlights of Varoufakis’ tenure include his vote for corrupt conservative former New Democracy minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos as president of the Hellenic Republic, his asinine plan to hire tourists as “tax snitches” to report on cases of tax evasion, his high praise for Margaret Thatcher, and his statements calling for Greeks to lead an “austere existence” while he posed alongside his wife for a photoshoot at his luxury residence in Athens with a view of the Acropolis and a table set with a rich lunch spread.
Yanis Varoufakis poses with his wife on a terrace of the his luxury family villa Danae in Athens,
A scion of a family of wealthy Greek industrialists, Varoufakis is comfortable mingling with a crowd far removed from the “leftist” rhetoric he supposedly embodies. In January of 2015, just prior to that month’s elections, Varoufakis’ new book in Athens was presented by television talking head Babis Papadimitriou, infamous for proposing that the conservative New Democracy consider a future governing coalition with a “more serious” Golden Dawn, Greece’s far-right party.
This is the same Varoufakis who is now poised to “save Europe from itself” through his new pan-European “pro-democracy” movement, DiEM25. The movement claims to have a plan to “reform” EU institutions, yet ignores the deeply undemocratic, authoritarian foundations upon which it has been constructed. And it further refuses to raise the specter of abolishing the grossly neoliberal European common currency project or to advocate for the bloc’s weaker economies to depart from the eurozone, including Greece.
Zoe Konstantopoulou: Charting a new course or more of the same?
Zoe Konstantopoulou acknowledges the supporters during a pre-election rally, in central Athens, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015.
Even more so than Yanis Varoufakis, the political figure who has been presented as a beacon of hope and change in Greece in recent months is Zoe Konstantopoulou, president of the Hellenic Parliament during the first Syriza-led government of January to August 2015. Like Varoufakis, she stems from a prominent family: Her father, Nikos Konstantopoulos, had been the head of Syriza’s predecessor party, Synaspismos, while her mother, Lina Alexiou, is the acting president of the (essentially defunct) National Committee for Radio and Television, a rough equivalent of the United States’ FCC.
As president of the Hellenic Parliament, Konstantopoulou (via the same mass media which was purportedly battling her at every turn) engineered an image of a fierce champion of law and justice. This perception was formulated both as a result of the establishment of a parliamentary commission to audit Greece’s debt—overseen by Konstantopoulou—and by seemingly not being afraid to speak out against the male-dominated Greek political establishment.
The devil is in the details, however, and many of the details of Konstantopoulou’s tenure were overlooked. The debt audit commission began its investigation in parallel with statements repeatedly being made by Yanis Varoufakis, Prime Minister Tsipras, other Syriza government ministers, and even the newly-elected president of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, promising that Greece’s debt would be repaid in full.
Watch Zoe Konstantopoulou speak out against the Greek government’s agreement with the European troika regarding the political and economic countermeasures to the Greek government-debt crisis:
The otherwise outspoken Konstantopoulou did not respond to these statements, nor did she address actions such as the implementation of a decree to confiscate the cash reserves of the Greek public sector for the purpose of repaying an IMF loan installment. In fact, Konstantopoulou voted for Pavlopoulos in the parliamentary vote to confirm him as the Hellenic Republic’s president, just as she voted to confirm all of the austerity bills passed by the Syriza-led government during its initial term in power.
Far from speaking out, Konstantopoulou publicly stated in May 2015 that Syriza’s pre-election promises to “tear apart the austerity agreements” were a mere “figure of speech.” These are hardly the actions of a dynamic anti-austerity advocate of justice, and neither was her show of support in favor of the Tsipras government following the betrayal of the July 5, 2015 referendum result which rejected the lenders’ austerity proposals. Instead of speaking out against the government or resigning from her post–even at that late moment, even following the passage of the third and harshest memorandum agreement to date, Konstantopoulou continued to publicly support Tsipras and the Syriza-led government, just as she, as president of parliament, never suspended parliamentary debate as further austerity bills were being debated. Konstantopoulou courageously voted “present” (as opposed to “no”) in the parliamentary vote ratifying the third memorandum agreement. The public proclamations of support for the Tsipras government only ceased when Konstantopoulou and other Syriza “renegades” were informed that they would not be included on the ballot for the September 2015 snap parliamentary elections.
This tenure has apparently served as the perfect preparation for Konstantopoulou to now swoop in and save the day for Greece and its people. This past spring, she announced the establishment of the Course of Freedom political party, which promises to deliver an end to austerity and to chart a course for a “plan B” for the country—a plan, however, which does not encompass a departure from the eurozone or the European Union, but instead proposes a parallel domestic currency in circulation alongside the euro and the likely formation of a two-tiered economy of “haves” and “have nots.”
Panagiotis Lafazanis: Hardly a fresh face
Panagiotis Lafazanis, former energy minister and head of the left-wing Popular Unity party, flashes the victory sign during a pre-election rally, in central Athens, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015.
Panagiotis Lafazanis is no stranger to the political landscape. An old mainstay of the Greek “left,” Lafazanis has passed through Greece’s Communist Party (KKE), Syriza’s predecessor party Synaspismos, and Syriza prior to founding the Popular Unity political party ahead of the September 2015 elections.
In the first Syriza-led government of January to August 2015, a particularly sensitive time for such issues in Greece, Lafazanis served as energy and environment minister. His portfolio encompassed the issue of the controversial and environmentally damaging gold-mining activities in Skouries in northern Greece, as well as the potential privatization of Greece’s largest water utilities. Syriza, prior to being elected, campaigned heavily against the activities in Skouries and against the privatization of water utilities, which Tsipras had once said would occur “over our dead body.”
While Lafazanis did suspend two licenses issued to the operators of the Skouries mine, the Canadian-owned Barrick Gold Corp., gold mining activity in the region continued, as did the government’s talks with Suez and other foreign corporations which are interested in buying up Greek water utilities. Lafazanis delivered mixed messages, stating his opposition to the mining activities while referencing Greece’s “commitments” to its investors. Like Yanis Varoufakis and Zoe Konstantopoulou, Lafazanis voted in favor of the election of Prokopis Pavlopoulos as president of the Hellenic Republic; he also voted yes for all of the austerity bills presented by the Syriza-led government leading up to the July 5, 2015 referendum.
Like Konstantopoulou, Lafazanis also continued to support the Syriza-led government even after the betrayal of the July 5, 2015 referendum outcome. This support continued until Lafazanis, like Konstantopoulou, was not included on the Syriza ballot for the September 2015 snap elections. It was at this time that Lafazanis hastily announced the formation of Popular Unity, a purportedly anti-austerity party which essentially regurgitated the old Syriza promises from prior to its initial elections, while presenting mixed messages regarding its stance on a “Grexit” and whether Greece should remain in the eurozone or return to a domestic currency.
Discovering the savior within
A supporter of the communist-affiliated union PAME takes part in an anti-austerity rally in front of the parliament in Athens, Monday, Oct. 17, 2016.
Far from representing truly alternative voices, Yanis Varoufakis, Zoe Konstantopoulou, and PanagiotisLafazanis have acted as political opportunists. They’ve crafted a public image as anti-austerity renegades and champions of democracy and justice, even as their real actions while in a position of power and authority belied that empty rhetoric.
This matches Syriza’s ascension to power and its current ludicrous efforts to pass off the harsh austerity and privatization regime that they are enforcing as an example of “leftist” politics and a triumph of “social justice.” It is absurd to believe that political figures who voted for and justified the policies that they are supposedly denouncing, are capable of delivering on those same promises.
Instead of placing all their hopes with the next establishment-anointed political savior or an official electoral process, Greek voters have a golden opportunity to make their voices heard and demand real change. Each day is a chance to call for an end to stifling austerity and privatizations that are further crippling the domestic economy, the much-needed reform of Greece’s corrupt justice system and collapsing educational and health care systems, and a departure from the European Union and the eurozone, two institutions which have been so destructive for Greece, its people, and its economy.
Even as more and more rumors circulating in Greece of impending snap parliamentary elections, the time has come for the people of Greece to become their own saviors rather than place their homes with tired, discredited political retreads.
British Trade Union Solidarity and Greece: Aiding Reaction Then and Now Part Two
The Daily Worker, Churchill and the Labour/TUC war time coalition government
General Scobie with leaders of ELAS signing a truce agreement
During the final months of 1944 agreements were made between the departing Germans from Hitler’s occupation of Greece and the British. It has been reported since that Zahariadis (pre- war leader of the KKE) was brought to Greece by British airplanes having been held as a prisoner of war in Germany. British imperialists realizing that the partisan armies were strong in Russia, Yugoslavia, Greece and Italy and that this could have an impact in the post war situation and the geostrategic position of Greece in particular in relation to its sea, had to ensure that they remained in the Western sphere of influence.
Britain was in a race against time and could not create a new de-nazified political class so they just openly collaborated with the old by continuing where Hitler left off. Propping up the black marketeers on a local level, propping up the local quislings who had gone round attacking any and all resistance to the Third Reich and doing everything in their political power in bringing about the disarmament of the partisans. Churchill launched a full scale attack on workers in Athens and Piraeus using the RAF during the December events of 1944, creating fear and loathing to the armed masses, that they would get no justice for the years of Hitlers brutal occupation. He unearthed anti-communist generals from the past (General Plastiras) to provisionally run the anti-communist roadshow and create the right climate and conditions for a new civil war.
In this he could not of course have done it alone if he didn’t have the (dis)honourable help from his coalition partners in the Labour Party, the TUC and the KKE (which led the Greek partisans) in particular when the KKE agreed to disarm and its partisan guerilla leader Aris Velouhiotis went along with it for the sake of party unity (but was subsequently expelled and branded a traitor). The British TUC covered for Churchill blatantly by creating the image that the ELAS partisans were bloodthirsty extremists who would kill in the most abysmal way its opponents. Illuminating are the eye-witness reports of British soldiers and even RAF crew inside the pages of the Daily Worker who refuted this Goebells like propaganda. Many shop stewards from the engineering factories around London at the time lobbied Parliament to expose Churchills lies and black propaganda.
I would like to thank the Marx Memorial Library for making these pages of the Daily Worker accessible so people can read on their own what was written at the time and realise that within each union movement there are always people who stand on the right side of history not defending corporate lies, imperialism and outright gangsterism…
Daily Worker and Greece Album
Wednesday, 19 October 2016
When it initially started most people assumed the media narrative regarding Syrian ‘refugees’ was real. The reason wasn’t that they believed it but essentially since the fall of the Soviet Union all mainstream political parties run the same political line. Even the alleged right wing populists such as Golden Dawn have abandoned the area (Ag. Panteleomonas Central Athens) that brought them to national prominence and gone on to new pastures waiting for electoral victories, not a struggle for power on the streets.
The big waves of alleged migrants as written in a series of articles in the beginning of this book came in through Turkey and by boats from Libya etc. The Syriza government unleashed its paid NGO’s to lead a campaign of closing down migrant hotspots that had been set up by the previous governments of New Democracy as allegedly they were set up to hold migrants as captives. This was all a show to pretend they were closing them in order then to open around 80 up and down the country. Now they are talking of opening two migrant detention centres for those that get involved in outright gangsterism ie gang rapes, child rapes and body part selling.
Syriza has received EU money to house and feed all these migrants and instead of spending it has utilized the resources of the Greek state (army conscripts and army catering to deliver the food) and has pocketed the difference. Scandals have already emerged to that effect where blood relatives are given lucrative contracts for this process. Thousands of jobs have also been advertised to work on these migrant camps and of course Syriza NGOs and affiliates will have first priority. This isn’t solely about work but a globalist NWO calling.
Shipowners moved in on a new profitable business shipping over tens upon tens of thousands from the islands to Greece and they found it extremely lucrative as they were according to reports paid a lot more for their journeys out of government coffers. After all this is a shipowners government and always has been since the mid-1960s when the corporates became embedded as part of the Greek state, all else like Parliamentary politics is just for show for the masses like the X factor.
Illuminating was the case of Odysseas Voudouris from the Migration Ministry who had the post called the General Secretary of First Arrivals and Registration as if we are dealing with the concierge of a luxury hotel who resigned after falling out with Mr Mouzalas Minister of Migration and the argument is over who spends what and where when dealing with the migrant wave. It was later revealed that ‘EU’ money in relation to migration would go 75% to NGOs and only 25% to the Greek state and to tap these funds Syriza members placed bids to get contracts like the daughter of the regional governor of Serres Mr Tapas despite the fact that she had no relationship to catering whatsoever, but having secured the contract she could subcontract it getting a hefty commission of which some would appear as legal and the other under the table (has been the norm of Greek ministerial contracts since time immemorial).
We will now look at a few of the islands in the Aegean and how the situation has developed and how reaction and resistance has progressed. (Kos, Lesvos, Crete)
In Kos they landed thousands of migrant blow ins and the actual refugees are few and far between. Most migrants claim they are from anywhere and in Lesvos in the centre migrants have held up banners saying ‘we will destroy the island’. No one arrests them, crimes are committed and none are prosecuted for anything. This capitalist anarchy inevitably leads to power vacuums and in almost every island after the first year Greeks have started to mobilise against the presence of migrants. The mass media of disinformation will not report any instances of resistance only reaction. They will promote all areas where they will show Greeks opening their houses looking after a distressed child but not show anything else, people being robbed mugged or raped. Bosses seek to replace and displace millions of Europeans.
Avramopoulos EU Commissioner had eggs thrown at them, Mayor of Lesvos said we won’t hold elections, Kammenos Defence Minister had eggs thrown at them. No Greek or EU politician gets an easy ride on the Aegean islands any more. Illuminating is the fact that people said if no one is reacting then the government will get away with murder and manage to ensure that Greeks become a minority in their own country and an unlimited number of new arrivals come and no resistance occurs. Yet Kos set the stage of conflict and resistance, an island which has the fourth highest number of tourists but did not really have any militant past. People protested peacefully against the hotspot and the Syriza government reacted over the top sending in riot police from afar as Athens to crack heads open which they dutifully did. Problem is island communities are small and everyone knows each others business and their relationships with politics and the people organized themselves to counterattack back and they did. In one instance when the riot police was held up in a hotel the hotel came under a sustained attack by people using ship flares and according to reports the head of the police called for the army commander on the island to intervene but he refused.
These developments from Kos which occurred during the first six months of 2016 have now spread to Chios and Lesvos and there have been large gatherings of people with Greek flags demonstrating on the streets.
Now one cannot call the migrants illegal as allegedly no one is …illegal. In other words anyone who happens to find themselves in Greece has a right to be there allegedly by international conventions so the rights of sovereignty of nation states no longer applies as no measures can be taken to defend the population at large, imperialist humanitarianism has promoted the alleged refugee crisis to shift vast populations from various regions at whim. There are villages in Greece which are surrounded by thousands of illegal migrants and if they aren’t funded to survive at a basic level then conflict will arise and has arisen that may take on the form of a desperate population crushed under the IMF austerity in conflict with migrants in general. This wont be the first or last time as the ruling classes no longer have any allegiance to their own populations under globalization. Most work has gone offshore and now they are just involved in bringing on shore labour. The capitalist class owns the media, the NGO’s and the political parties lock stock and barrel. What they don’t own are the masses.