Friday, 15 December 2017

Dendias Minister of Interior Confronted by Greek Citizens on Discussion Programme 2014

Dendias Minister of Interior Confronted by Greek Citizens on Discussion Programme 2014

Part One
Citizen Marios: I will differentiate myself from the official line that exists on terrorism. Terrorism existed in the first 75 odd years of the 19th century. They who carried it out realised that nothing worked with this method that no one could expect anything from the killing of people high up and slowly but surely it ended. Terrorism re-emerged once more in the Western World.

Reporter Hatzinikolaou: Let us not have a history lesson as we are opening up a whole can of worms…get to the question. We cant just a have a history lesson we will become a literary circle.

Marios: I believe terrorism is controlled and directed by the secret services.

Reporter: That is a view and you are stating that terrorism is being directed.

Marios: Why is it being directed? For what reason? We have reached the point that when people hit the streets we have police everywhere armed and this no longer makes an impression on anyone. They consider it normal.

Reporter: Are you now saying we are a police state?

Marios: We are a police controlled state. It didn’t really start from the military junta. It isn’t either a coincidence. One could justify some of these actions. (Editor Terrorist attacks) It started in 1976 essentially after the murder of the American Wells. So as to get the CIA off the hook. Then we have the second symptom that the arch torturer of the police under the Junta Mallios is murdered. One could argue that one of his victims bumped him off. But a bit later Babalis doorbell was rang they speak to him on the phone before and he goes downstairs to open the door in his robe and they bump him off. I can also remind people of the infamous case of Savvas Xiros (Editors note – 17th November fame). A lawyer stated that what concerns him is that Xiros had gone to the scene of the alleged explosion (Editors note – bomb went off in his hand) with all his ID information, all the information of the secret hideouts, numbers of members of 17th November…

Reporter: You need to finish

Marios: One last comment from a previous Interior Ministor to Mr Dendias a document I have with me. Valirakis MP PASOK said the following “the only ‘evidence’ we have of the alleged left wing origin of 17th November are the leaflets it produced (Editors note – they were dumped inside a dustbin of Eleftherotipia papers). As long as the Greek secret service isn’t a nation state based unit the country will be victim to blackmail from terrorism. We must not forget the recent reports by the State Department and the US Congress regarding terrorism in Greece. As long as the Greek secret service has open doors to the US intelligence service, as long as we accept illegal activities of the CIA and other foreign secret service agencies in Greece as long as we try to legalise these activities with special laws our national safety will be up in the air” Valirakis.

Part Two
Minister Dendias: I am responding to the first citizen (Editors note – not Marios) the known danger which threatens us a society wrong economic measures, wrong political choices etc. we are attempting to compare two single events which aren’t related eg. terrorism and political choices. In the same line even if they are not the same and comparing it with the worst political choices taken. That shouldn’t occur. If we want to fight the threat of terrorism we have to be clear as a society that violence is of another league if we are taking away human life. If Greek society doesn’t take this into account we will be suffering what we are suffering now. Terrorism doesn’t threaten the powerful.

Reporter: The citizen before us stated I am not frightened of Xiros but Stournaras (Editors note central bankster of Greece)
Minister Dendias; What is the citizen stating? I am frightened of want, frightened of the crisis, I am frightened of the economic crisis. Rhetorical question. Does the possibility exist for economic development for a country that is a victim of terrorism? For whatever reason one judges in their own conscience that someone is reactionary and must be shot. Will anyone come to invest in this country? Who will come to the country if we cant reduce mass unemployment, the big battle as we have more than 50% of the youth unemployed, if we have no investments in the country we are condemned. Can we have investments under a regime suffering from terrorism? They can go wherever they want? Why should they come from here?

Reporter: The other citizen stated that terrorism is being run from the secret services… (Editors Note Dendia laughs) but what was read regarding the statements from the ex-Interior Minister of Greece Valirakis are important
Minister Dendias: Scenarios exist all the time, in Greece we love conspiracy theories, we have to get beyond this we have to go forward make another step. We mustn’t sit here and work out who did what and why? I can add if something is illegal many things can occur. We as a state we have an ultimate duty to confront terrorism to fight it and defeat it. Making analysis of such an issue does not help us.

Citizen Konstantinos: I am not young, I am listening to you for so long here.

Reporter Hatzinikolaou: Please hold the microphone close to you

Konstantinou: I am gobsmacked by your responses for so long here. You are bluffing, being demagogic and not responding to the questions asked.

Reporter: Instead of making comments, can you try to ask a question

Konstantinou: If the Minister is not going to answer is there a point? The friend from the back said…
Reporter: I need to stop you there, I need to tell you something if you allow me…
Konstantinou: Of course speak your mind

Reporter: You have every right to judge make comments on the Minister but for the show it is more crucial to speak directly about what you want to ask

Konstantinou: I will. What I am talking about is the essence.

Reporter: I heard three characterisations, demagoguery, bluffing, populist. I don’t want characterisations, I want you to get to the point.
Konstantinou: I will explain. The Minister stated they are an elected and legal government. That doesn’t stand. They got a 50MPs bonus, they stole the vote of the Greek people, they govern with Presidential decrees which don’t even pass Parliamentary procedure. In the first elections that occurred we had 40% abstention, then we had 46% abstention in the second elections and we found 115.000 new people voting electronically. We can no longer count how many voted in each district, they are no longer published. You are a government comprising 12% of the population, you are a Quisling government, you execute Merkel’s decisions, the new 4th Reich you are implementing Hitlers programme economically incinerating the Greek people. We have had 7,000 suicides, murders, you are morally responsible and you come here to tell us what?
That terrorism is real! There is no left wing or right wing terrorism. It is state sponsored terrorism. It belongs to the state, so it has police everywhere, so it can intervene when it wants to and create the theory of the ‘two extremes’ in the last period with Pavlos Fissas where allegedly Pavlos Rupakias killed him..

Reporter: What does this alleged killing of Fissas by Rupakias mean?

Konstantinos: The msm stated Rupakias got an order from Golden Dawn to go kill Fissas in Koralis street in full public view? Does that sound logical. Would someone go into a public square in full public view, with no gloves so evidence can exist and stab someone openly?

Reporter: There were witnesses.

Konstantinos: Witnesses, now that is a joke. 30 policemen were protecting the area and the murder. You are now laughing. All of these are conspiracy scenarios like the Twin Towers that were allegedly brought down by the Taliban..

Reporter: Leave the Twin Towers out of this…

Konstantinos: Like the friend above said when they took the hit out on Babalis (Junta era torturer- Editor) in Amfialis street 10 people knocked on his door and one man was armed as stated by his sister in Apogevmatini newspaper, they said Nikos come down it’s the police, just like Kounfontinas (17th November fame) was in the Greek secret service who was driving round American special forces who once having carried out their dirty deeds were driven back to the US Embassy and Koufontinas was allowed to circulate freely. Where are you selling this terrorist bullshit scenarios to? Yourselves? The Greek people? You should be ashamed of yourselves.
Reporter: Lets go for a small break to calm down and respond.

Reporter: I have hundreds of messages that what was said about Fissas and how he was murdered. This show is free for people to speak their mind. Two issues regarding areas the police were going to investigate the reporter who was made deaf from police noise bombs dropped on demonstrators the colleague was covering demos Manolis Kipreos and police violence against a photoreporter and whether measures will be investigated.

Minister Dendias: I only know of the first person and I have re-started an investigation.

Reporter: People think this is a coverup.

Minister Dendias: Previously the police rep stated that for small issues let alone big ones police have been prosecuted. I don’t say that I have all the information I don’t even believe I am the official representative of the Greek police I am the political manager of the Greek police. I will only state when the official bodies of the state find an issue of responsibility they will pay.
Editors Note: No answers to previous citizens concern only that he was threatened during the break.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Greek Fake Terrorist Trials: ELA - The Big Conspiracy

A Kanas was one of a few found guilty and charged on 11.10.2004 for 1174 years prison for allegedly participating in terrorist activities from 1974 in the so-called Revolutionary Popular Struggle organisation which ran parallel to the 17th November... Was subsequenlty released when the sham trials collapsed...

Aggelatos Kanas

The Big Conspiracy

The Current Frauds and the Modern Collaborators like Tsigaridas

I decided to produce this Information Bulletin so people can learn various things regarding the 2nd act of the trial theatre from the 7th February at the 3rd Circuit Court in Athens. Events which are being hidden from the Greek people.

Most journalists and newspapers stopped dealing with what is known as the ELA trial as it no longer sells. They pretend it no longer exists, they surpass it, they don’t write anything, they act the like there is no event and they bypass it. They only will report something that aids the prosecution.

Truth and reality is totally different. Due to the representation and declarations they have revealed that the web of lies and the creation of this Big Conspiracy they are all trying to hide saving the lost cause.

That is why the supporters of the prosecution, the judiciary, the solidarity movement, the journalists and the MSM have created a coalition and are attempting to hide from people reality. That this trial is a CONSPIRACY based on evidence that is sponsored, fake witnesses and fake members of ELA as is the main culprit the casino gambler Tsigaridas.

In reality the journalists and their papers have transformed themselves into adjuncts and implementers of the main directing centre of made up conspiracies and fake trials.

The ELA fake terrorist trial

The eras change, the public prosecutors no longer base a charge sheet solely with the manufactured and funded witnesses and pseudo witnesses and neither on the loud alleged members of the organisations that carry out violence. This they did in the past, in the last few decades they have reformed the manner in which they set CONSPIRACIES and TRIALS. A charge sheet is no longer based solely by the prosecuting state. Basically members of such an organisation (ie terrorist) even if they don’t have any actual members who are willing to collaborate or be manufactured as in the case of Tsigaridas.

If we have a look at Italy we will see that not only from the members of organisations we had the appearance of modern collaborators who achieved reduced sentences, without openly speaking in courts against their compatriots, but only indirectly.

Their stance in court was a by product of collaboration and agreement with the prosecutors. They were asked for one thing and one thing only. To not doubt in court the charge sheet against the others on trial. To not condemn it, to not fight it, to remain silent confirming it indirectly. Or when they mention certain words they do it in such a manner that they support the prosecutors charge sheet. In return as noted previously they got reduced sentences in contrast with all the others who condemned the trials who ended up rotting in prison.

They supported the prosecutors with their position, their silence, the indirect but clear references to the quiet collaboration in the manufactured conspiracies, their quiet acquiescence in these manufactured conspiracies, their indirect support for the prosecutors with phrases like its ‘my honour and my judgement, to not respond’! These words these phrases aren’t simply Tsigaridas and they have been heard in other trials and these allegedly from the point of view of the alleged revolutionary, the militant not the open agent provocateur who used to be the members and who stated openly in court what the police gave them to read whether it was real or false.

These modern agent provocateurs don’t go to prison and if they do they are released immediately. Also during their arrest and for as long as the trials continue and all their allied collaborators who praise their deeds and glorify them. From that alone one understands that the modern collaborator when his own enemy publisices him in all manner of ways that he is a militant revolutionary so as to not appear as a common crook like Tsigaridas is.

Its never happened before in history the prosecuting bodies and the whole panoply of the state to glorify someone who allegedly took up arms against it to overthrow it. Everywhere and always they slagged em off, attacked them, vilified them. Thats what happened in our country after WW2. Only after half a century had passed was there some recognition from some quarters. Your enemy always attacks you. For if they praise you for the average person that means that they support your actions that you did well and take up arms. Therefore there is another reason they raise your profile something else is occurring.

The authorities when they realised that behind the leftist phraseology there is a crook a bankrupt big hotel owner, an addicted gambler who lives in the casino, horse racing, card playing clubs etc they rubbed their hands with glee. They cut a deal. You will ‘ with honour and ‘responsibility’ accept the charge sheet, leave everything else to us, the united centre of fake terrorism. We will set up trials and countertrials, we will put you ‘inside’ for 2-3 months to confuse the waters and in return in the specific case of Tsigarida, we will re adjust the debts of the hotel in Kalymnos which has a 250 bed capacity.

-On 17th February 2005 I made a statement and placed certain essential questions. This statement I have repeated many times over without Tsigaridas himself ever responding and neither from any of his supporters. I am repeating it here:
The previous trial-farce and this one which follows the previous one if Mr Tsigaridas hadn’t undertaken ‘spontaneously’ to accept the political responsibility so as to have all the subsequent trials.

Someone who is a member of an organisation that practices violence (blows up cars, buildings and people) when they participate in the activities and its violent actions and not when they read about these violent actions in the papers (as Tsigaridas repeatedly has stated in court and in response to his police interviews).

Then they aren’t a member but a reader a con artist.
Therefore he was either a member of ELA and participated in activities and he lies that he read all this from the press or he wasn’t a member and he is lying stating he participated.

In both instances he is a liar and untrustworthy and holds this position until the court case occurs and three people are charged for a crime that requires Tsigaridas cooperation.

Tsigaridas supporters circulates that this trial but also the previous one is based on the known false witness and manufactured in hindsight member of ELA Kiriakidou and in various other manufactured pseudo witnesses.

This is a lie as their case is crude and well known to the Greek nation.

These trials are based on one and only witness who in order to support that must make it appear from the side of the militant-revolutionary and not on behalf of the prosecuting powers.

As this gentleman is a core base of support to those who manufactured this ridiculous web of deceipt, for whom no such trial could be based and could not be based. All together the united supporters of the prosecutors agenda try to save Tsigaridas from not imploding. Everyone supports him, all praise him as he has offered invaluable services to the state mechanisms that created this Big Conspiracy.

-The Solidarity Movement, in otherwords they who self-declare themselves as a movement (for which all the leaders, cadres, followers etc don’t surpass 50 people) in order to have political support and an echo in public, support the open and modern collaborators of the establishment. They have been doing this for years from the era they shouted ‘hands off the militant Kristalli’. Today they themselves shout ‘hands off the militant Tsigaridas’.

These people, these supporters of the crook Tsigaridas not only are base but also ahistorical. It is now known that various revolutionaries of 1821 done deals ie secret agreements with the Turks, with whom they fought. Whoever doubts it let them look at the recent book of Kosti Papagiorgi ‘The Lids’ which refers to these cases. To some of them history absolved them, to others it condemned them. Today we aren’t going to deal with the massive questions which emerge from the dubious relevance of various individuals who don’t even touch the soles of the militants of 1821. At the same time when the whole world knows we are dealing with fake militants.

That is why no serious individual will end up with any of them. Even if they do by accident once they realise what they have done they will make a run for it. That is why they remain the same number of people, we see them one whole lifetime. All of these people for the Greek nation are nobodys, everyone knows they are part of the prosecuting authorities that is why they ignore them detest them.

All of these clowns in the name of the mass movement are allegedly interested in the Solidarity Movement and those imprisoned-gaoled. So as to achieve this they put everything in one big bag: agents provocateurs, supporters, prison finks, open and modern collaborators they all sign common statements make announcements and declare unity, economic support, collaboration and solidarity with the imprisoned.

I have repeated many times before and will do so again that with all those Pimps and foremen of the ‘solidarity’ movement for prisoners I never had a relationship and neither do I want to.

-If Tsigaridas was what he said he was he must have taken part in some struggles in the 1960’s decade, during the dictatorship but also after the period of the restoration of democracy and he would have brought at least one witness to court to say two words. But where could he find such a witness? In the casino? The dog track? In the card playing associations or in his hotel businesses? To which it is well known that such businesses are a fundamental support of the social regime for which the crook Tsigaridas allegedly wanted to overthrow!

The three who came cannot be taken into account as they are trained professional witnesses who have undertaken this role in a series of these types of trials in the last years and they have an analogous political character.

The old and well known cadre and founding member of the Committee of Defence of Social and Political Rights one of the self-declared collectives of the Solidarity Movement Kostas Folias had condemned and revealed that from 1996 via the top agent Apostolos Vavilis that the secret services had come close to him for him to become a collaborator – agent.

I am asking: All these who are touted as leaders of the Solidarity Movements and a few of this clique weren’t called by the sercret services to give heaven and earth to these same secret services? In other words to collaborate grassing comrades and to play the role of the Trojan Horses inside circles of the ‘movement’?

They only called Mr Kostas Folias for a ‘friendly chat’? He is the only one who has the morality and the honour to condemn it openly and immediately the event took place. Read the ‘IOS’ page of the Saturday Eleftherotipia on 12.2.2005. All the others that were called what type of conversation did they hold? What did they agree?

These gentleman circulate that with the line of defence which I am following I am bothering my co-prisoners. If that is so why don’t my co-prisoners condemn me?

To the only people I am damaging are the leaders of the Solidariy Movement and the modern collaborators with the establishment prosecutions who with their practice, their statements have revealed their role.

These gentlemen because they cant frighten me and control me start to defame me, they circulate that with my defensive line that I admit that I am guilty. This is the know goebellistic tactic which doesn’t wash with me. They need to go elsewhere!

Dear solidarity supporters on who decides the defence line of a condemned person is a fundamental issue of principles which does not allow any form of deviation for whoever has the most minimal relationship with the left and the popular movement.

The well known stalinoagentprovocateur tactic you are following, in other words character assassination then blackmail shows you have no relationship with the left. You are working for others I have stated it many times before and most people realise it. On your own you have revealed your role!

I would like to thank all those who for 2.5 years have supported me morally and materially and have supported with your statements to the prosecuting authorities, your signatures on statements of support and your interest.

The most simple means of support for me is to circulate and to distribute this Information Bulletin. Everywhere in the whole world.

Koridallos Prison, Big Saturday 30th April 2005
Aggelatos Emmanouel Kanas

Friday, 1 December 2017

Greek SWP the 'Workers Party' of the Ruling Class

I have dealt with the SWP many times before in particular in its positions taken on Syria and Ukraine. In other words in supporting the imperialist interventions in countries which had some leaderships which were an obstacle to the Western Empire. These positions were combined with direct mobilisations for the removal of the Embassy of Syria from our country.

A position which contributed in adopting imperialist interventions which led to slaughter in both countries and thousands of dead. That which we have led in the dark has been the leading cadres of the SWP, those that directed the organisation in Greece.

They who hide behind Petros Konstantinou who receives all the limelight and all the attacks. Few had noticed the existence of Panos Garganas and Leandros Bolaris and with this article it is a clear opportunity to realise understand them.

Supremo Panos Garganas Leader of Greek SWP

Panos Garganas is a son of the previous big businessman of the Flour Industry in Thrace and MP in Evros during the 1953-1963 with ERE (3rd Reich Quislings of the Right) Christos Garganas. He has a brother and a sister and his sister married Ioannis Ouzounopoulos from another family in the flour industry in Easter and Western Thrace. One can find information regarding the company here

The other brother is the well known big banker who was Greece’s central banker in the era we adopted the Euro Nikos Garganas.

Nikos Gargana’s was Greece’s central banker from June 2002 till June 2008 at the same period he was a member of the General Council of the European Central Bank. In the same period he was with PM Simitis who trapped the Greek people and put them into the Euro. More information is to be found here

Panos Garganas now appears to have no relationship with his family. In a local paper in Thrace he appears like they are two different people who are involved in diametric opposite worldviews whereby Nikos Garganas is in the high society of the Bank of Greece whilst his brother Panos is on the streets against globalisation.

Panos Garganas is maybe the Che Guevara of Greece?

He grew up in a big bourgeois family and ‘left’ everything to join the struggle. In the struggle for the defence of the working class whose interests he defended supporting Maidan in the Ukraine and then refusing to support Donbass and also supporting all the anti-regime organisations in Syria for the overthrow of Assad.

The revolutionary Gargana had supported PASOK in at least two confirmed cases. In 1993 and 1996 with Simitis as leader. They have also made statements in support of Andreas Papandreou.

‘PASOK without Illusions’

Where we see the two brothers allegedly having a different direction find enough common ground to be united in a common struggle for the rise of PASOK to the Government.

In particular Simits PASOK where fate turned Nikos Garganas to play a decisive role in the entrance of Greece in the Euro and thus the people from the common currency to be in competition with powers like Germany.

Leandros Bolaris

The historian Leandros Bolaris is a leading cadre of the members of the SWP and a journalist for their paper ‘Workers Solidarity’ and he also writes for the magazine ‘socialism from Below’. Fate played a difficult game for Leandros as he ended up in a different camp to his sister Maria Bolari who is founding member of DEA (Internationalist Labour Left)

DEA and SWP originated from a split of OSE (Organisation of Socialist Revolution) and thus both siblings ended up being on different sides of the struggle and giving their all to the ‘defence of working class interests’.

A defence of the working class which they cannot sense as based on a publication regarding how much they are worth Maria Bolari has a cash estate of Euro 500,000.

A defence of the working class in Suria and the Ukraine and historically with the counterrevolution in Hungary. History does not end there and close to these two are various workers of the Party. Various individulas whose economic health isn’t reported on but only their professional activity and their practice in the struggle.

Party members like Petros Konstantinou who give their all for the imposition of imperialism and the rise of fascism in our country. In reality not workers but bourgeois who are in total harmony with imperialist plans and there is no end in the hypocracy which we say with their hypocritical condemnation of Greek Nationalism but their support to Erdogan and the Turkish nationalist DEP which has close relationships with the Grey Wolves.

KEERFA member burning the Greek flag with other agent provocateurs…

Bourgeois imperialist voices who not only support and promote the symbols of KEERFA in provocative manoeuvres of the burning of the Greek flag which will bring about many reactions.

This is what SWP and KEERFA are the ‘Labour Party’ of the Bourgeoisie and the close circle of Simitis. Characters that have a specific role and that is the imposition of Imperialism from below. The role of Golden Dawn from the Left, the role of the PARAMILITARY state…

Christofors Triantifillos

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Dimitris Psarras A Chosen Individual of the Israeli Embassy

Dimitrios Psarras for all those that don’t know him is one of the article writers of the journalistic team Ios (Virus) at the ex-Eleftherotipia newspaper. On behalf of Israel this genetleman has adopted the Zionist agenda and the imposition of Zionist aims on our country.

People like Psarras use Antifascism or more precisely alleged antifascism as it is advance by Zionist centres. This antifascism remains only as a means of condeminig the Nazis of Golden Dawn and is being used as a mirror to advance and cover for the crimes of the greatest fascistic statelet in the world, Israel.

This pseudo antifascism is being utilised for another reason. So as to disorientate, turning the eyes away from the interests of those in power which are under threat. Always the fixed and systemic game amongst these centres and the fascists of Golden Dawn which has as a main aim the rise of fascism in Greece.

This same individual has undertaken to organise and direct various groups like XYZ Contagion who via the wider Left create systematic propaganda for the interests of Israhell repeating imperialist propaganda.
Alongside his endless writing he is attempting to corrupt traditions (like the burning of Judas) as it bothers the Israeli Embassy or they are trying to pin racial motives to the Communists who are fighting the crimes of Israel, which is portrays alongside the fascists.

Psarras isn’t a coincidental character and its no coincidence no one has criticised him for years. This gentleman from the fake anti-fascist credential he has acquired (like Konstantinou and Kourkoulos of KEERFA fame) to direct and coordinate those below. The same joker was found recently alongside Petros Konstantinou as a representative of the whole of the Antifascist Movement in the office of the Ministry of Defence and the Citizen so as to ask for help of the Police.

Another element that reveals the hypocracy of people like Psarras is that whilst they declare to be Antifascists they consequently cover and hide the agreements which the Neonazis made with the Zionist movement for the transfer of the Jewish population to Palestine whilst Germany had already started pogroms against the Jews. They cover up the activity of military groups like the Lehi (Stern) gang who fought on the side of the SS against the Brits in Palestine for the case of the ‘liberation of Israel’. They use the Jewish Holocaust to cover up for their bosses incensing the hundreds of thousands of Jewish victims of the Nazi so as to futher the interests of Zionism…

Why is all this being said now?
The paramilitary state of Greek which acts also from the Left has a face and has names whom we understand fully well. We know them precisely and we aren’t frightened of them however many threats they make on us and however many attempts they try to silence us. Our class consciousness and our Antifascist-Antiimperialist struggle does not allow us to make one foot back.. We have decided to do what is necessary to clear the way of the cleansing from the paramilitary state. This state is already in retreat and is attempting to gather its forces. Nothing is like it was in the past and slowly or surely they will be removed from political movements.

Christoforos Triantafillos

Monday, 20 November 2017

Eyewitness Report-On the Flooding of Mandras in Athens Greece

A. On the Dead
There must be a few hundred – with conservative estimates. When we will get the full number is an issue.
In a thousand cars, which were quashed the declaration that 19 died only appears as a funny joke as those that disappeared 19 which we know personally.

B. Responsibilities
1. The current Council
In other floods and under other conditions we would attack the local Council for criminal irresponsibility. But under today’s conditions the mistakes and omissions which weigh on the council aren’t founded – I am referring to the current council, not those that went on before it. I could actually congratulate it with the passion it showed in these difficult times. Many times it raised its voice to the ludicrous representative from Syrizas Regional Administrators who came to police the manner and the distribution of help. The latter tried to impose a bureaucratic process, which was lacking all essence and in many ways slowed down the whole process. Its no coincidence the PM Tsipras didn’t risk entering Mandra but like a thief visited for communication reasons from a distance of at least one km. I must admit that the army of the region wasn’t solely Syriza who shone in their absence but the jackboots of various NGO’s when help arrived from various unknown quarters and tried to take control of it for no practical reason forcing the residents to rebel against them. We don’t need aid by force like Papadopoulos Junta, so as to support the anniversary. So as to not be misunderstood the Mayor we have is politically supported by PASOK who in the past wasn’t what could have been better. Could have been worse.

2. Regional Administration
Criminal responsibility. They must answer they and the previous people as they never explained and they never actualised any plan to take the water away which of course no Mayor on their own could carry out. When the rise of the water reaches three meters in height no drainage can cope with such a deluge and we aren’t talking about a simple flow but something the size of three rivers having acquired flow and power when they entered the city of Mandras. In the last fifty years we also had deaths and victims but the previous floods bear no relationship with the last Armageddon.

3. Greek State
Criminal irresponsibility by the Region, but clearly better than the Greek state, which allowed, if it didn’t provoke itself the ‘phenomenon’. That which the conspiracists call HAARP. Explaining it more bluntly, the war against the Greek Nation and the peoples the world over via ‘natural’ catastrophes. For so long and on a daily basis the continuously spray the atmosphere. Now will those who don’t believe it after such a large destruction which occurs by some non-believers that how on earth can we have such a large destruction when we have never had anything similar in the area before in history. The conspiracists therefore are right.

It would be rudeness to the dead, to mention like so many others the reasons for the concretisation of the underwater streams, the town planning of the area, the bribery of government officials and planning offices, the unbridled profit of local developers etc.
These are well known and common knowledge. Whoever uses this do it deliberately to disorientate the people from the determining factors which provoked the destruction…

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Will the EU Collapse like ex USSR? Transcript on Interview On Moscow Radio

Part 3 cut short due to time constraints
What’s the driving force behind the recent trend of regional assertiveness in Western Europe, be it in Catalonia, Northern Italy, and even Flanders, and how much of a threat does this pose to the EU’s current structure?

The EU project in a nutshell is an attempt to create a capitalist United States of Europe and has been in the making decades now since the 1950’s when they signed the Treaty of Rome. The purpose of its existence is a new Big Business Empire based on constant expansion, the utilisation of differing economic zones, mass cheap labour importation and the constant threats directly or indirectly by NATO or EU sponsored break up of nations as in the case of Ukraine or secessionist reaction as in the break up of ex-Yugoslavia. Original bourgeois nationalism was progressive forging nation states and erasing the landed aristocracy. Current secessionist movements as referred to your question are on the whole reactionary as they do not question either the existence of the Euro, the EU or NATO. On the contrary they demand even closer ties with the EU eg. the SNP, or what occurred with Slovenia and Croatia. There are no real reasons for the break up of nation states other than to weaken them and rule over them, they become easier to control and manage once broken up into self-conflicting parts. Its characteristic that Catalan nationalism for instance hasn’t been labeled racist, xenophobic etc but has been marketed as anti-fascist heirs to the Popular Front against Franco and the unity of Spain as being the real threat. Who is kidding who? Who gained from the Brussels sponsored break up of Yugoslavia? Not its peoples, not the world as it became a launchpad for what was to come globally, NATO expansion, wars for oil and population transfers (such as those of the Serbs who suddenly lost all their civil rights and became internal refugees in their own country).

For many decades the EU had a policy of an EU for the Regions. On 10th October on the day Catalonia launched suspended independence or as I would characterize it suspended EU/NATO dependence a new official post was granted to the new President of the EU for Regions Karl-Heinz Lambertz. The purpose is to take power away from national governments. EU regional policy provides funds for projects enacted by local officials at a regional level, largely bypassing national governments. It represents one of the key tools of EU governance attracting more than one third of the EUs overall budget. So in answering your question, the EU doesn’t consider these secessionist moves as a threat to its structure but actively indirectly encourages them.
There have been think tank reports written in the past about the need for the EU to transform from a bloc of nation-states to one of federalized regions, so what’s your take on this policy proposal, and do you think that the current processes that we’re observing are a step in that direction?

There are currently 28 nation states that make up the EU encompassing 500m people, 19 countries are in the Euro and 9 have national currencies. The scale of the project is so great that if it is achieved, it cannot but become an Orwellian nightmare taking into account the rich history of the nations that go back as in the case of Greece thousands of years. The emergence of the 2007/8 US financial crisis and its deflection in the Euro crisis subsequently created a mass turn away from the EU and its institutions in particular in Club Med countries and as a consequence of the crash there, the same occurred in the UK which became a recipient of millions of unemployed from other countries forcing a BREXIT referendum. Overtly pro-EU political parties started to lose political ground in almost all EU nation states we just need to mention the recent French Presidential elections where the electorate was split almost 50/50. The fake refugee crisis when Merkel ordered millions of newcomers to arrive in the EU as part of the UNs Replacement Migration agenda, put in a nail in the actual coffin of the EU project in peoples consciousness.

Under the above circumstances EU centralization to create a political union on top of the economic union (which hasn’t fully matured as 9 countries have a national currency) proceeds at great political cost without mainstream social support now in three out of the four core countries (Britain, France, Italy).

So the EUs response to the crisis of its legitimacy is forging a two tier EU ie more centralization at the EU level and increasing diversity at the regional level and these are parts of a single development, ie the weakening of the nation states. The policy is designed to destabilize member nations, the better to impose a pan- European structure. Let’s not forget the attempts at creating two Englands with the referendums for a Northern Parliament under Tony Blair in 2004 which was rejected by the electorate by 80%. Similar in form to the recent consultative referendums in Northern Italy with the aim of breaking Italy apart under the guise of regional autonomy based on who pays more to the central budget. Over 40 regional issues are in existence in the current EU. In Greece for instance talk of secessionist movements have been in existence for Crete and Thrace, but actual causes of existence for secession are non-existent.

By stoking internal disputes inside many of its member states as in the case of Catalonia and the Spanish government the EU then sits back and watches as the conflict erupts and drags on.

Overall, what are the chances that the EU will avoid repeating the fate of the USSR and still remain together in some shape or another, no matter how dramatically reformed, or are the centrifugal forces that have already been unleashed uncontrollable and irreversible?

In an ideal world where the weight of social economic, cultural history and the existence of nation states had been surpassed by higher forms of economic re-organisation ie where the needs of consumers were paramount as opposed to the needs of corporations, then the financial behemoth that is the UK, the agricultural behemoth of France and the manufacturing behemoth of Germany would work in harmony as if a single country and unite to raise all the periphery of nations that comprise the EU to a basic minimum standard, we wouldn’t have the variations we have where Bulgarias minimum wage is 1/15th of Luxemburgs, or the infrastructure of Rumania is a few decades behind everyone elses.

From the moment the UK was booted out of the ERM by Soros financial terrorism in the early 1990’s which is wholly ironic as he became a proponent in later life of all things EU, the EU is doomed to fail. Its attempt at constant expansion, the push for Turkish entry in the 2000 decade and its subsequent failure, the push for Ukrainian entry in the 2010 decade and failure, the stalling of countries joining the Euro (last being Lithuania in 2015) we are in a stasis, a political dead end, an impasse.
Currency unions in history of which there have been many in general fail if the part does not feel that it is being raised by the whole. Since joining the EU in 1981 and the Euro two decades later Greece has become an empty shell. Half the population lives from hand to mouth and 500,000 people have emigrated. The EU’s answer is automation, the break up of existing full time jobs into part time and the flooding of areas with migrants, in other words a full frontal assault to destroy not only any last vestiges of national sovereignty but to erase national culture in its entirety, creating a Hobessian hell on earth.

Without constant expansion, the EU has started going inwards as it is now focused on pseudo secessionist movements, Brexit , constant mass migrant flows and anti-Russian pro NATO nonsense. The sooner it starts to physically break apart the better for all humanity and what started as Grexit ie. the mass movement against the systemic pro-EU parties that was sold down the river by the fake lefts of Syriza, is continuing with the issues over Brexit which essentially highlights the end of the EU despite and contrary to the concessionary and conciliatory nature of the Tory PM Theresa May. This new two tier EU will not work in the place of the original version, it’s just window dressing or embalming before the burial.

Monday, 9 October 2017

How to become a Greek Oligarch in 7 Easy Steps...

ATHENS, GREECE — Greece is a country that is famously known for its strong tradition in the maritime sector, and for its many wealthy shipowners. Names such as Onassis and Latsis have become globally known and are synonymous with great wealth and with a playboy lifestyle of mingling with the rich and famous.

Greece is also a country whose language boasts a particularly rich and diverse vocabulary. There is seemingly a Greek word for anything and everything, and one such word is “diaploki.” A uniquely Greek word, diaploki neatly sums up the specific relationship and interplay that has developed in Greece among successive governments, politicians, and big-business and media magnates.

Prior to the initial election of the purportedly “radical leftist” SYRIZA party in Greece’s parliamentary elections of January 2015, one of the party’s main campaign promises was that it would “crush” Greece’s oligarchs, who hold preeminent positions in the country’s media landscape and in such key sectors as energy, infrastructure, insurance, and of course shipping.

After SYRIZA’s election, though, an about-face quickly followed across multiple fronts, including its stance towards Greece’s oligarchs. Today, instead of “crushing” them, it is actively favoring them. Following last year’s botched television licensing attempt, in which SYRIZA was apparently going to “crush” the oligarchs by auctioning off an artificially limited number of television licenses to the very deepest pockets — in other words, those of the oligarchs — SYRIZA is trying again. It is now planning to auction off television as well as radio licenses to the highest bidders — with no provision for any non-profit, non-commercial or community broadcasters of any kind.

A new breed of corruption and “diaploki”
CEO of media conglomerate 24 Media, Dimitris Maris (left) and Soviet-born businessman and former United Russia MP, Ivan Savvidis. (Right)
CEO of media conglomerate 24 Media, Dimitris Maris (left) and Soviet-born businessman and former United Russia MP, Ivan Savvidis. (Right)
Amongst those who are flourishing under the reign of the SYRIZA-led coalition government, however, are not just the “old guard” of shipowner-oligarchs, such as Giannis Alafouzos (owner of Skai TV and Radio and Greece’s neoliberal newspaper of record, Kathimerini), the Kyriakou family (owners of the Antenna Media Group, including national broadcaster ANT1 Television), or the Vardinogiannis family (owners of national broadcaster Star Channel and extensive media and publishing interests). Now there is a new breed of businessmen-oligarchs who have risen to prominence under the SYRIZA regime, oligarchs who have quickly amassed holdings in the mass media and other industries, and who have access to and the ear of the current government and its personnel.

Two of Greece’s most notorious nouveau-oligarchs are Dimitris Maris and Ivan Savvidis. Maris is the CEO of one of Greece’s fastest-growing media conglomerates, 24 Media, which boasts a portfolio of numerous print, radio, and online properties. Savvidis is a Soviet-born businessman and former member of the Russian parliament, who has turned his sights on his purported country of origin, Greece — amassing there, in recent years, significant business holdings across several sectors.

Using these two nouveau-oligarchs as examples, the following steps will describe exactly how one can become a Greek oligarch — and obtain the privileges and power that this position of status affords.

Step one: Build a business profile

In order to gain a foothold in the country’s political and economic system, the first decisive step for any budding oligarch-to-be is to construct a profile as a seemingly legitimate — or successful, at any rate — businessman.

In the case of Dimitris Maris, this successful — even if its legitimacy is arguable — business is none other than online gambling, as he is a shareholder in, one of Greece’s and Europe’s largest online gambling and sports betting operations. Founded in 2007 and based in Malta under the corporate umbrella of “Gambling Malta Ltd.,” is said to be operating in Greece with a “temporary” license (not unlike the country’s television and radio broadcast stations).

At the same time that the SYRIZA-led government is going as far as to confiscate pocket change from the already decimated bank accounts of newly impoverished Greek citizens, seizing monies owed in “back taxes,” and a few dozen other online gambling services operate in Greece with “temporary” licenses issued to offshore corporations, generating over 1 billion euros in revenue that is entirely tax-free. Indeed, in late 2016, allegations emerged that was being probed by prosecutors in Greece for tax evasion totaling over 35 million euros.

Nevertheless, continues to operate — and, as will be seen, Maris’ business empire has expanded beyond online gambling to the online- and mass-media landscape.

Ivan Savvidis took a somewhat different route to the top: he first became a Russian oligarch, before spreading his business and financial empire to Greece. Born in the former Soviet Union in what is now Georgia, Savvidis was employed in the Don State Tobacco Company in various positions. Following the collapse of the USSR, the company was privatized and Savvidis somehow emerged as its general manager. By 2012, he had entered the Forbes list of the wealthiest Russians in the world.

It was around this time that Savvidis expanded his business activity to crisis-hit Greece – a peculiar choice at face value, in light of the country’s economic instability and uncertain future, and also because there is some doubt as to whether Savvidis had ever visited or spent much time in Greece prior to this decade. As will be detailed below, his current business holdings in Greece – all acquired within the past few years – include media outlets, major infrastructural assets, tourist properties, tobacco, and soft drinks.

Step two: Purchase a sports team

Sports is politics and, in Greece, owning a sports club is a surefire way to snag power, influence, and a legion of fanatic supporters. All of Greece’s major football and basketball teams are owned by wealthy oligarchs, competing with each other both on and off the playing field.

Much more so than in North America, one’s affiliation with a sports team in Greece is treated with an almost religious fervor. This degree of support typically extends to the team’s management, ownership, and president, particularly when the team is playing well. In Greece, each major team is also affiliated with one or more sports newspapers (which have lost less of their circulation than the political press) and websites. These outlets provide not only “partisan” reporting of the team’s doings, but also full coverage of all of the owner’s other business activities. In this way, through ownership of these teams, the oligarchs in control inherit a ready-made “fan” base that will identify with and support all of the owner’s activities – support that is blindly reinforced in the athletic press.

Maris is the founder of 24 Media, which is the umbrella corporation of his various media endeavors and whose corporate website is only in English. One of Maris’ first media properties was the online portal, a site that — despite having been established later than other such websites in Greece, and lacking the “name brand” of the existing sports media outlets — has nevertheless managed in a short time to become perhaps the preeminent sports news website in the country.

Maris’ sports media holdings are buffered by, a sports and lifestyle website that was bought out by 24 Media, and by radio station Sport 24 Radio, broadcasting in Athens and networked with stations throughout Greece. This, of course, is in addition to his aforementioned activity in the sports betting sector.

Savvidis followed the more traditional route, beginning in Russia, where between 2002 and 2005 he was the chairman of the FC Rostov football club, and since 2005 has been chairman of FC SKA Rostov-on-Don. In 2012 his presence in the sports world expanded to Greece, following the purchase of one of Greece’s major football clubs, PAOK FC. Having paid off the previously struggling club’s debts and enjoying the support of the pro-PAOK sports media of Thessaloniki, the city where the team is based, Savvidis inherited an immediate and automatically loyal fan base through his takeover of PAOK.

More recently, Savvidis has forayed into the world of Greece’s sports media, purchasing sports portal SDNA, while it is rumored that he is in the market to purchase another, more prominent sports website.

An additional bonus that comes from having control of or influence over the sports media is this: in Greece, such media outlets are well aware that their target audience, primarily younger adult males, are often unemployed or underemployed and wholly miserable and dissatisfied with their lives amidst the economic crisis. Largely apolitical, and wholly awestruck by the glitzy stadiums and high priced superstars of the foreign football leagues that they invariably follow, they do not miss an opportunity to put down Greece for all of its real or perceived shortcomings.

Related | Greece: A (Basket) Case Study In Savage Globalization

In turn, the sports media caters to this sentiment. For instance, one of 24 Media’s properties is the website, which exclusively targets young men with glamorous stories about life in “civilized” countries and heaps of sensationalist “only in Greece” stories — which are invariably negative. These stories are then heavily cross-promoted across 24 Media’s sports portals.

Step three: Establish or purchase media outlets

Once you’ve become a nationally known and perhaps notorious figure through your activity in the sports world, the next step is to enter the day-to-day lives of all Greeks through the purchase of or establishment of one or more mass media outlets. Having already inherited a base of popular support via the ownership of a sports club, the next step – ownership of mainstream, general-interest media and news outlets – affords oligarchs even more power and influence.

“Diaploki,” as mentioned earlier, refers to the corrupt interplay of politicians and the owners of major industries and the media. In Greece, a country that boasts a plethora of media outlets, most newspapers and broadcast stations are not profitable. Indeed, they are not necessarily intended to be profitable. The real value that they provide to their oligarch owners stems from the influence that these channels afford them. This encompasses influence over public opinion, cross-promotion of their own business and sporting activities and holdings, and, perhaps most significantly of all, influence over and pressure on politicians and the government of the day.

An old adage of those seeking or exerting influence in Greece was (and largely remains) “give me a [public works] contract or I’ll open a newspaper” – insinuating that the “dirty laundry” of the government or specific political figures would then “leak.” With most oligarchs entrenched in the construction sector, their co-owned media outlets have traditionally been employed for the purposes of pressuring governments for lucrative public contracts of all sorts. This tactic has been successful and continues to the present day, even with the supposedly left-wing SYRIZA-led government that at one time was pledging to keep the oligarchs in check.

In a sense, Maris breaks with this tradition. He did not develop, and as of yet has not turned to, holdings in sectors such as construction, banking, insurance, or heavy industry. His media properties began to grow largely in parallel with his activity in the sports gambling sector. Starting small, with a small number of online outlets such as and, the 24 Media empire has dramatically grown during the years of SYRIZA’s governance of Greece.

In part, 24 Media’s strategy has been to import brand names from the United States, including launching the Greek versions of the Huffington Post, Dailymotion, and Following these intermediate footsteps, though, 24 Media has recently taken the big leap into radio — first through its launch of Sport 24 Radio and then, earlier this year, through the launch of news radio station “Radiofono 24/7” in the cities of Athens, Thessaloniki, Patra and Volos, with a network of affiliated stations in other parts of Greece.

Maris also expanded into the world of print in a rather peculiar fashion, through his ownership and management of the “populist-right” newspaper Dimokratia. Though, as will be shown below, Maris’ media outlets are staunchly pro-SYRIZA, Dimokratia maintains a populist-right facade while “protecting” SYRIZA and attacking its main parliamentary opposition.

In turn, SYRIZA, which at one time campaigned for social justice, looks the other way while 24 Media has earned a reputation among journalists for not insuring employees and for forcing unpaid overtime.

Aside from his influence over pro-PAOK sports media outlets, Savvidis’ first somewhat clumsy foray into the media landscape came through his participation in last year’s unconstitutional television licensing bid, touted by SYRIZA as a centerpiece in its “fight” against the oligarchs, but in which an artificially low (four) number of nationwide television licenses was auctioned off to the very highest bidders — oligarchs, in other words.

Related | Syriza Sells Greece Out To The Highest Bidders

This licensing bid was struck down in late 2016 by Greece’s Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, while Greece’s existing television stations are on the air under a regime of temporary legality.

In this bidding process, Savvidis did not initially emerge as one of the four highest bidders, but after one of the winning bidders was disqualified, Savvidis inherited that license with the fifth-highest bid. Savvidis, however, did not actually own or operate a television station, television studios, or any other similar media property. This detail temporarily became moot when the bidding process for these licenses was overturned.

Savvidis re-emerged into the media forefront in Greece this year, initially through his purchase of 19 percent of the shares of the heavily indebted and struggling Mega Channel, formerly a powerhouse in Greece’s television landscape. Along with this purchase, Savvidis also obtained the Ethnos tabloid newspaper and the Imerisia financial newspaper. This buying spree concluded – for now at least – with the purchase of 100 percent of national television broadcaster Epsilon TV in August.

In turn, management of Savvidis’ new press holdings, Ethnos and Imerisia, was quickly handed over to — who else? — Maris’ 24 Media, a coming full circle of sorts for these two budding oligarchs.

Step four: Use these media outlets as partisan propaganda organs

Savvidis and Maris have more in common than just their management deal regarding the Ethnos and Imerisia newspapers. Both of these oligarchs are unabashedly and fanatically pro-SYRIZA, as evidenced by the political stance maintained by their respective media properties.

This was apparent, for instance, upon the return of Ethnos to newsstands on September 16, following an absence of many months and under the new management of Savvidis and 24 Media.

Ethnos front page on the day of its relaunch - September 16, 2017.
The Ethnos front page on relaunch day, September 16, 2017.
The main front page headline of the relaunched Ethnos boasted, in large letters, of Greece’s “RETURN” to normality and its emergence out of the economic crisis under the stewardship of SYRIZA. This return to normalcy, crowed Ethnos, will be accompanied by foreign investments and by social benefits.

This banner headline was further accompanied by a front page editorial touting Greece’s turn “from fear to hope.” These headlines are, of course, laughable in light of the continued crisis Greece finds itself in and the austerity commitments the SYRIZA-led government has signed up for all the way through to 2060.

Indeed, all the outlets operated by 24 Media are notorious in Greece for their largely pro-SYRIZA tilt. On September 14 — with the SYRIZA-led government basking in the aftermath of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ triumphant State of the Union speech in Thessaloniki and French President Emmanuel Macron’s official visit to Greece — news of a “relatively small” oil spill in the Saronic Gulf, off the Athenian coastline, finally made its way into the news — even though the spill had occurred on September 10 — as the oil from the spill finally began to wash up on Athens’ shores.

For, though, this environmental disaster played second-fiddle to an exultant story about the SYRIZA government’s fruitful efforts to bolster relations with Italy and form a “southern European front.” On the front page of the relaunched Ethnos, the oil spill story was buried in the bottom right corner, accompanied by a headline that was a play on a famous Greek proverb insinuating that the uproar over the spill was an overreaction.

The front page on the afternoon of September 14, 2017. The story of the oil spill in the Saronic Gulf is downplayed, the headline concerns the SYRIZA-led government’s efforts to bolster relations with Italy and create a “Southern European front.”
The front page on the afternoon of September 14, 2017. The story of the oil spill in the Saronic Gulf is downplayed, the headline concerns the SYRIZA-led government’s efforts to bolster relations with Italy and create a “Southern European front.”
Such is the traditional modus operandi of media outlets in Greece: aside from exerting pressure upon governments and politicians for economic favors, these outlets are also used to shamelessly promote specific parties and particular political figures. Media outlets that “play ball” with the government of the day accordingly are afforded favors that go beyond lucrative contracts for their owners. For instance, state advertising expenditures traditionally were generously doled out not on the basis of circulation figures and audience size, but based on partisan favoritism. This practice continues today, even if outlays have dropped as a result of the crisis.

Therefore, it should come as no shock that Dimitris Maris is the founder and newly re-elected president of the Union of Online Publishers of Greece. Why is this significant? One of the highly touted initiatives of the current SYRIZA-led government is the formation of a “registry of online media outlets.” Maris, via the aforementioned Union, lobbied hard for the establishment of this registry, the primary purpose of which seems to be none other than establishing a formal structure for the allocation of state advertising monies to the online media. Those online outlets most favorable to the current government (such as 24 Media) stand to benefit the most, at least in the short term. Once again, diaploki comes full circle in Greece.

Step five: Leverage your influence to further expand your business empire

So you’ve gotten past your “entrepreneurial” stage. You’ve entered the sports world and made your presence felt in the media industry. And thanks to all of this, you have the government and key politicians in your pocket. What now? It’s time to put all that sweat and hard work to good use by leveraging your existing holdings and, even more so, your influence over the political system and over public opinion, to fatten up your business empire.

Maris has, for now at least, largely focused on feeding his online gambling operation,, which has begun sponsoring sports teams and entire leagues. For instance, is this season’s sponsor for Greece’s professional basketball league, one of the top leagues in Europe and home to perennial European powerhouses Olympiacos and Panathinaikos. And once again coming full circle, Maris’ is this season’s sponsor for Savvidis’ PAOK football club.

Savvidis, however, is quite the seasoned business figure. He got his start in the tobacco industry of the former Soviet Union – “taking over” a state-owned company that was privatized following the USSR’s collapse. This company then bought out Greek tobacco firm SEKAP, based in the northern Greek city of Xanthi, in 2013. That same year, Savvidis also took over management of the historic Macedonia Palace Hotel, with a prime location on the Thessaloniki waterfront. Earlier this year, Savvidis also took a controlling ownership share in Greek mineral water bottler Souroti. In another confluence of business and sports, Souroti is this season’s sponsor for the Greek soccer league, in which PAOK participates. And as reported by Maris’, Savvidis launched a private aviation firm, Northern Wings, earlier in 2017.

Perhaps the centerpiece of Savvidis’ recent “investments” in Greece, however, derived from the privatization of the port of Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest port. Thessaloniki serves as a strategic gateway to the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region, via the port’s road and rail connections to the north and the coast-to-coast Egnatia motorway linking Italy (via a ferry terminal) with Turkey.

The sell-off of Thessaloniki’s port is part of a package of privatizations imposed by Greece’s lenders in the “troika”—consisting of the European Commission, European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund—as part of their so-called “bailout” packages for Greece. These privatizations are faithfully being implemented by the SYRIZA-led government, which prior to its election had campaigned against the selling off of publicly-owned assets, infrastructure, services, and utilities.

And who purchased the port of Thessaloniki? You can probably see where this is going. The port’s new owner is a consortium consisting of the German private-equity firm Deutsche Invest Equity Partners, Terminal Link of France, and Belterra Investments, owned by none other than … Ivan Savvidis. In other words, Savvidis, openly a SYRIZA supporter, is one of the main buyers of a critical piece of national infrastructure being privatized by the SYRIZA-led government at the behest of its European and international lenders – despite pre-election promises to abolish such privatizations!

Put differently, it pays to cozy up to the government in charge — which will ensure that leveraging the assets you’ve worked so hard as an oligarch to attain pays dividends, in more ways than one. “Radical leftist” rhetoric is merely for the consumption of the gullible voting public. Privatizations (now euphemistically referred to as “investments”) and business deals are for the big boys in suits (with or without ties).

Step six: Cultivate a public image

Now that you, as a full-fledged Greek oligarch, have established firm footing in the business world, it’s time to cultivate that public image. Ownership of a sports team and control over major media outlets is no longer enough. Positive public relations and a sterling public image are absolute necessities at this point to keep the whole operation running smoothly.

In building his profile, Savvidis has sought to tug at the hearts and emotions of the community of Pontic Greeks, whose roots hail from the Black Sea region. Among his other positions, Savvidis is president of the Federation of Greek Communities of Russia, president of the Association of Greeks of Russia, coordinator of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad of the Former Soviet Union, deeply involved with the Greek and Russian Orthodox churches, and a regular visitor to the autonomous Orthodox monastic community of Agion Oros.

For his apparent contributions to the cause of the Pontic Greeks, a community that faced genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Turks between 1914 and 1922, Savvidis was named grand marshal of New York City’s Greek Independence Day Parade in March 2017. More significantly, while Savvidis is no longer a member of the Russian parliament, since 2012 he has been a member of Presidential Council on International Relations of the Russian Federation. A promotion, one could say, for his exemplary work. It doesn’t hurt that Vladimir Putin had long been eyeing investments for Russian firms in Greece.

Maris, like Savvidis, has also looked outward. For instance, Maris and 24 Media have sought to foster “synergies” with the Hellenic Initiative, a Greek-American organization based in New York City, one of many non-profits that developed, around the time the economic crisis began in Greece, to “assist” in Greece’s “recovery.”

Former president Bill Clinton spoke at the Hellenic Initiative’s October 2013 banquet, while Maris and other executives and journalists from 24 Media and its outlets spoke at the 2017 Delphi Economic Forum, a mind-numbing conclave with a speaker list reading like a globalist Who’s Who. Included were the Hellenic Initiative’s executive director, Mark Arey, as well as countless politicians, journalists, academics, business figures and representatives of establishment “think tanks,” every last one of which could accurately be described as pro-EU, pro-euro, pro-austerity — in a word: neoliberal.

To be more specific, what kind of crowd can you mingle with once you’ve made your way up the stepladder and established yourself as a bona fide Greek oligarch? A review of the Delphi speaker list reveals the many possibilities. These include:

High-ranking members of the current SYRIZA-led government that once claimed to be “anti-establishment.”
Politicians from former Greek governments who were largely responsible for laying the foundations for the present-day economic crisis (and some of whom have gone on to lofty posts in the EU or international NGOs).
Politicians from almost every “opposition” party represented in the Greek Parliament — all of whom though, notwithstanding their “opposition,” maintain the same pro-EU, pro-euro, pro-austerity stance.
Academics and representatives of various think tanks, whose body of work also belies a definite pro-EU, pro-euro, pro-austerity stance.
Representatives from such institutions as NATO, the World Bank, the European Central Bank, the Trilateral Commission, and Stratfor.
Executives from state-owned utilities, which are purportedly fiercely resisting privatization but mingling with those who wish to privatize.
Scandal-ridden current and former members of Greece’s regulatory body for broadcasters, as well as the government ministers overseeing this “independent” body.
EU favorites such as the former non-elected prime minister of Greece, Lucas Papademos, and the former non-elected prime minister of Italy, Mario Monti; central bankers from various countries; and representatives from various well-connected NGOs.
And, last but not least, establishment journalists at media outlets that (surprise!) are also pro-austerity, pro-euro and pro-EU in their entirety. This impounds a full slate of journalists and executives from 24 Media, including a former government minister with the “center-left” Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), Petros Efthimiou, who is now acting as executive adviser for 24 Media.

Many of these same speakers were also present at the 2017 Thessaloniki Forum. Also present? Ivan Savvidis. Who else? Representatives of, you guessed it, 24 Media! In turn, Maris attended the Northern Lights Summit in Finland (covered here by the Greek edition of the Huffington Post) earlier this year, a conclave with a stated agenda of “saving open societies and free markets” and featuring a full slate of current and past politicians, central bankers, prominent journalists, and corporate CEOs.

As is painfully (or pleasantly, depending on your point of view) evident, membership in the club of Greek oligarchs has many perks and benefits!

Step seven: Hold down the fort

You’ve made it. You’re mingling with politicians, foreign ambassadors, representatives of the EU and World Bank and NATO, and prominent journalists who gladly will do your bidding. What’s next for a Greek oligarch?

Toe the line. Hold down the fort. Don’t make waves. And make sure to strike the perfect balance between keeping the government of the day in check, and being favorable and even deferential towards it when necessary.

One way to accomplish this is to bring them on board with you, as with the previously noted example of Petros Efthimiou, formerly of PASOK (as is much of SYRIZA’s cabinet). Laudatory headlines, as seen in the aforementioned examples of Ethnos and, are sure to score some brownie points as well.

Another way to accomplish this is through fluff interviews and profile pieces where no difficult or remotely controversial questions are posed, as seen in this recent example where Greece’s general secretary of press and communication, Lefteris Kretsos, batted softball questions, about the government’s renewed efforts to move ahead with the auctioning of television and radio licenses, out of the park. The interview, broadcast on the Maris-owned radio station Radiofono 24/7 — itself operating in violation of Greek law (unjust as it is) prohibiting news programming on a registered non-news station — was hosted by Kostas Arvanitis, formerly general manager of the SYRIZA-owned radio station Sto Kokkino.

As seen before with the issue of 24 Media’s uninsured workers and questionable labor practices, obeying the law is optional once you’ve reached this stage. It should further be noted that Radiofono 24/7’s sister station in Thessaloniki, also classified as a non-news station, went on the air on an FM frequency previously owned by SYRIZA.

On the flip side, as a self-respecting oligarch with a media empire at your disposal, you won’t waste all your airtime, column inches, or pixels only on promoting favorable governments and politicians. You now have in your hands a virtually unlimited opportunity for unchecked self-promotion without any worries about criticism or formalities such as objectivity.

Looking for a media outlet to write up a profile of yourself describing you as a “game changer” in the media sector? Look no further than your very own media outlets. Need to promote your football team’s superstar? Simply prominently emblazon the interview on the front page of your own newspaper, Ethnos. True, this is an unusual move for an Athens-based paper, as PAOK’s fan base is largely in Thessaloniki and northern Greece — and in constant rivalry with the “Athens-centric” establishment — but who cares? You’re the boss!

Need to promote your newly-purchased newspaper, as in the case of Ethnos? Look no further than a friend and partner, as seen in this write-up for the aforementioned Ethnos interview. After all, what are friends and business partners for?

There you have it, easy as pie. Just follow these seven simple steps and you, too, can become a Greek oligarch!

Top photo | Ivan Savvidis poses for an Instagram photo.

By Mihalis Nevradakis