Glezos

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

British Trade Union Solidarity and Greece Part Four The Case of the Greek Solidarity Committee






Neoliberal Syriza Roadshow

The close connection of associated and assorted disparate leftists with each other and the top echelons of the British trade union bureaucracy is well known and runs deep and has done for decades and does not really require documenting. A small group of people were present in Greece during 2012 from the UK (including the author of this piece) responding to a call made by the Spitha movement of Theodorakis about creating a solidarity movement with Greece. The origins of the British involvement were the Unite trade union, the Stop the War campaign, ex-Union chiefs like Paul Mackney and Labourite councillors alongside journalists like Paul Mason. The original aim was to publicise the Greeks fight against austerity, provide medical aid to much needed Greek hospitals ravaged by the IMF and to group together activists in the UK and Greece to publicise the situation of austerity.



This same group of people became uncritical bedfellows of the neoliberal Syriza roadshow and have now fully degenerated into open supporters of the mass labour displacement of the Greek population by the mass importation of alleged refugees and the creation of ‘migrant hotspots’ all over Greece. They are now doing what their forebearers in the trade union movement did many decades ago, allying themselves openly with imperialist policies, no questions asked. Illuminating is the fact that they have fellow traveller trade unionist leaders who do all in their power to scab on their members back home, but who go to Greece to show ‘solidarity’ with people like Papandreou (who instigated the IMF genocide programme) like the leader of TSSA Manuel Cortes. Corbyn also arrived in Athens to take his photo op with Tsipras at the area which had protests for refuse dumping in Keratea. It has to be noted that Syriza refused to go there and only turned up when PASOK lost a battle by the concerned citizens who refused to agree to their area becoming a dumping site.


Manuel Cortes TSSA President, Varoufakis, Clive Lewis MP

In the summer of 2015 when Syriza was already in power hey spent time justifying Syrizas neoliberal agenda by alleging ‘This is a Coup’ as Tsipras was in a 17hour negotiating meeting with the Eurogroup, (he looked fresh faced when they interviewed him in the morning mind you!) they then spent time promoting pro-EU Varoufakis roadshow and now their only concern is how many migrants should arrive in Greece, be fed and housed whilst ignoring the plight of Syriza’s austerity on people: pension cuts, farmers strikes and blockades, migrants looting and disrupting peoples lives in the Aegean islands.

It’s no coincidence that the British TUC which has never once written a retraction in its despicable role during WW2 when it openly collaborated with Nazi Greek collaborators now has statements in support of… ‘solidarity with Greece’. What they mean by solidarity is solidarity with the banksters, the Euro, the EU, the London based hedge funds etc. That is all the British TUC, the Labour Party and its associated bedfellows in Greek solidarity are concerned about.



British Parliament
One of the first meetings organised in the British Parliament regarding Greek austerity was attended by one Syriza MP Samos Samoilides and a Syriza trade union rep George Harissis. They were rounded upon by Dianne Abbot and despite not being in government were asked how migrants were being treated by the government. Not how can a small country cope with an endless number of arrivals. Nor any questions regarding hospital closures as Dianne Abbots official position at the time was Shadow Health spokesperson. Syriza MP did say we are a small country and it’s very difficult to cope with all influxes but we want and seek a humane treatment for all new arrivals (by implication inhumane for Greek citizens!)

In another meeting once Syriza was in power it became clear their official position would be one of defending promoting and extending austerity in areas which had not been reached before. This meeting was organised by a Labour MP John Cruddas with the new finance ministry (current) member Euclid Tsakalotos (it is ironic his uncle was in charge of the British-American financed Greek civil war General Tsakalotos) and it isn’t lost on people that having handed over unpaid mortgage funds (by the millions of unemployed) to foreign funds Tsakalotos is attempting to evict tens of thousands of Greeks from their properties and create a homeless army, whilst at the same time using state funds to house and feed thousands of surplus labourers to displace Greeks fully and irreversibly for the current demands of globalism.

The globalism of the British labour movements organised sections is so deeply entrenched and so anti-Greek that they participated in a well organised global charade of labelling the retro fascist pro-EU, pro-Euro Golden Dawn clowns as the new Hitlers of Greece, precisely to prepare the groundwork to stop all resistance to the illegal occupation of Greece, by German imperialism, NATO and Soros sponsored NGO’s. But as with all these pseudo globalist attempts they always never take into account the wishes and desires of the local populations.
Despite allegedly setting up Greek solidarity on the words of Theodorakis and Glezos, both of them have been sidelined and never heard of since and in particular Glezos statements on migrants presence in Greece which despite being translated into English would never be re-circulated only because it doesn’t fit in with the globalism of the (anti) Greek ‘Solidarity’ Committee.

But then again why would it. Glezos had a real life fighting fascism not promoting it, having been imprisoned for it not basking in some bureaucrats wage or pension. Recently during the second election for Corbyn at the subsequent Labour Party conference Greek ‘solidarity’ invited a London based Syriza spokesperson Marina Prentoulis to waffle about the ‘debt’ and you guessed it…. Fighting austerity! By implementing the 3rd MoU or how the recent privatisations of Ports, Regional airports, Trains, Electricity and Water company are progressing. Syriza like the Heineken advert states reaches the (privatised) parts other (parties eg ND or PASOK) can’t. A few days later from this ‘dynamic’ meeting, Greek pensioners were teargassed for marching…




The most right wing Labourite MPs like Clive (I love NATO) Lewis and Tottenham Harvard boy the MP David (I love the EU) Lammy have tried to be associated with… Greek solidarity. One flew to Athens and had his photo taken infront of migrants in Piraeus port looking sad they weren’t all housed and fed by the Greek taxpayer whilst the other hanged around Soros boy Varoufakis and Papandreou. Why wouldn’t you. It raises your fake anti-austerity profile and your globalist pseudo-humanitarianism

All together now…they all met in 2015 after Papandreou had brought in the IMF in 2010 and inaugurated the economic genocide programme on Greeks leading to 30k suicides and 2m unemployed and 600k emigres.

True to form British ‘trade union solidarity’ has a (dis)honourable tradition, of supporting quislings of both the 3rd and 4th Reich. As such it should come with a warning like the one on cigarette packets ‘Danger to Health’ avoid at all costs as before you know it they may have displaced and replaced you and sold you off to the highest bidder.
José de Sousa Saramago, the Portuguese writer and recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Literature. Though written about twenty years ago it remains universally up to date:

“Privatize everything, privatize the sea and the sky, privatize justice and the law, privatize the passing cloud, privatize the dream, especially if it’s during the day and open eyed. And finally, for the embellishment of so many privatizations, privatize the State, surrender once and for all their exploitation to private companies through international share offerings. There lies the salvation of the world… and, while you’re at it, privatize your whore mothers.”
Cadernos de Lanzarote (1994)

VN Gelis

October 5th 2016

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Open Letter by Mikis Theodorakis to Alex Tsipras On Cuban Trip


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.

Abridged version
Mikis also allegedly said Ari's Velouhiotis catchphrase.
We will meet where they skin animals ie threatening Alexis with a peoples lynching
Translators note
VN Gelis

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

When the Obama Circus came to Town



And Met the Local Syriza ANEL-Clowns
Eyewitness Report


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.

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipOPxCppDG1hPk1tzTTIVzK3D7tbhGGGcBIAlhxSLFTTIy4cH0yXiTHolwFT2nSt0Q?key=UjNRTWozSTJTTDRNQjhPM3ZrZXdEckE0TGVOejFR

Sunday, 23 October 2016

‘Greece Should Not Open its Legs as a Whore to Let in All Migrants’



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.[1] 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.[2] In 1985 he was a member of the jury at the 14th Moscow International Film Festival.[3]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikos_Koundouros

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”

2011

http://www.tovima.gr/culture/article/?aid=393433


Friday, 21 October 2016

Greece’s Neoliberal Wolves In Anti-Austerity Sheep’s Clothing


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



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
https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipOPxCppDG1hPk1tzTTIVzK3D7tbhGGGcBIAlhxSLFTTIy4cH0yXiTHolwFT2nSt0Q?key=UjNRTWozSTJTTDRNQjhPM3ZrZXdEckE0TGVOejFR

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

One Year On: Reaction and Resistance to Migrant Hotspots in Greece Part One




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)

Kos
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.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

New Book ....Mass Replacement Migration





Coming to a Country Near You..
The Example of Greece
Authored by VN Gelis

This is a marxist explanation regarding neoliberal globalisation and its offshoot mass replacement migration and how it is used and abused by global corporations in the way it affects Greece. Many eyewitness reports and historical analysis of the subject.


Publication Date:
Oct 15 2016
ISBN/EAN13:
1539083667 / 9781539083665
Page Count:
258

Thursday, 13 October 2016

32billion Euro the Cost of (Illegal) Migrants in Greece




Greeces Foreign Minister Kotzias stated in Germany last year:
For another time in an interview in Suddentsche Kotzias mentioned waves of illegal migrants towards Greece and that if there is a collapse of Greece “Millions of migrants will start coming towards Europe and no one knows what will occur”
Previously the ex-minister of (Illegal) Migration Chrostodopoulou stated in Parapolitika 90.1 that the “aim of the Ministry is to register all those that are present on Greek territory and according to some information we are dealing with 200k people”
How many illegal immigrants are in Greece therefore? That is why Syriza made a big emphasis on open migrant centres. So no one knows who is here and who isn’t, who is coming and who is going.

According to Eurostat there were around 900k migrants who lived in 2009 in Greece who represented around 8.1% of the population. In 2011 once again based on official statistics ( ie those who stayed somewhere and they remained to be counted) Eurostat stated there are 1.2million people ie 11.1% of the population. In two years we had a 355k people increase.
Now four years later officially and unofficially how many foreigners do we have in Greece?

Why are they coming to our country?
Let us clarify that the lie regurgitated by the ‘solidarity’ brigade with refugees who want to maintain the NGOs with state money is the myth that illegal migration is linked to war zones or social problems etc. This is pure nonsense.
In the 1990’s decade Greece received no migration waves from war zones next to it in Serbia and Bosnia and in our days we aren’t really getting a mass wave of Iraquis, or Libyans or even Syrians. Wars aren’t directly related to migration waves as noted that in WW2 no Greeks went to Turkey, or French to Spain, or Danish to Sweden etc. The Korean war provoke mass migration towards Japan, Taiwan etc and the war in Iran-Iraq in the 1980s decade didn’t lead to a mass wave to Europe as the the 2006 war in Lebanon didn’t provoke one either or the 1967-73 Arab wars with Isarael.
As with the economic haemorrhage as expressed in Greece by the numbers of the Bank of Greece we see that Euro12 Billion leaves annually to go abroad by the migrants in Greece.
(http://www.bankofgreece.gr/…/externalsec…/balance/basic.aspx )

9 Billion Euros annual cost for loss of taxes and national insurance premiums by the black market in trade which is solely a function of (illegal) migrants.
2.7billion Euros the cost of hospitalisation regarding the uninsured illegal migrants. If one adds the visits to private health care centres that work with the state sector hospitals then this cost increases to 5-6.5 billion Euros (according to the the ex-Health Minister of PASOK Loverdos)
1.5billion Euros is the cost of policing the illegal migrants (these figures were provided by the Ministry of Internal Affairs regarding the extra cost for policing and everyone knows in Greek gaols the overwhelming majority are migrants)
7.5billion Euros is the income from the illegal trade of migrants and if we add the shops that are forced to close the amounts which the state is losing is unbelievable)…
Thus only the direct immediate economic cost of illegal immigration comes to the astronomic amount of 32billion Euros. The indirect economic cost (eg. increased cost of protecting borders) cannot be accounted for.
To have a measure of comparison based once more on ELSTATS (Greek Statistics Agencys) figures the deficit of the budget for 2012 where we were dragged into the 2nd MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) was around 25billion Euros.
By working backwards then the bosses have used the budget deficit to impose vast cuts and the mass importation of labour to extenuate the gaps in the budget so they are getting the best of both worlds massively reduced labour costs and vastly reduced social labour costs turning Greece into the first Asian country in Europe…


Τα Βασικά Μεγέθη του Ισοζυγίου Πληρωμών
Οι βασικές κατηγορίες συναλλαγών που περιέχει το ισοζύγιο πληρωμών είναι αυτές των αγαθών, των υπηρεσιών, των πρωτογενών εισοδημάτων, των δευτερογενών εισοδημάτων (πρώην τρεχουσών μεταβιβάσεων), των κεφαλαίων (πρώην μεταβιβάσεων κεφαλαίου) και των χρηματοοικονομικών συναλλαγών. Το άθροισμα των ισοζ...
BANKOFGREECE.GR

Friday, 7 October 2016

British Trade Union Solidarity and Greece: Aiding Reaction Then and Now Part One


Walter Citrine is in the middle











"When you leave the people to die on the streets, to be psychologically and physically destroyed and then you assert at the right time you will carry out a national liberation struggle, then you are a conscious liar and a collaborator of the enemy. Its like saying you will put coffins infront to fight" (Dimitris Glinos 'What is and what does EAM want? Athens 1942

The historical roots of today’s neoliberal globalists
Whenever British trade-unions have been involved in solidarity and Greece invariably they have served reactionary causes which are related to the political issues of the day. Despite the recent promotion of Greek solidarity via the TUC, Unite and trade union locals the reality is they have promoted a neoliberal agenda and are now seeking the globalist occupation of Greece by what are labelled ‘refugees’ but in reality are part of the 4th Reichs replacement of domestic labour via the tool of mass migration.

German Occupation of Greece
During the brutal occupation of Greece and the eventual armed resistance by Greeks creating a partisan army of 100k strong when the German front was going to fall as with other areas of the planet, Greece was to belong somewhere. In Churchills discussions with Stalin, Greece ‘fell’ to the West ie the superpowers handed over to where they agreed irrespective of the desires of the nation. Thus decisions were taken to disarm the Greek partisans which occurred in the Varkiza Accords by Theonas leader of the KKE, to then participate in a government of national unity. The leader of the Greek partisans Aris Velouhiotis disagreed but abided by party unity, without personally disarming.

During the occupation and whilst the German front was imploding a Russian army detachment left Bulgaria to pass on the message from Stalin that Greece would belong to the West. From a Russian point of view having been weakened significantly to the point of dissolution by the German imperialist war machine securing a peace which would allow it to recover was in its interests, but those interests weren’t necessarily the interests of Greece for that decision sealed its fate and all decisions taken subsequently by the leaders of the KKE were to serve the West, a policy which they have dutifully adhered to until today.

The problem Churchill had was how to disarm the Left, ensure the Left made no demands on society and no retributions were taken against the nazi collaborators. What pushed Churchill in this direction was the fact that tunnels which were in existence had partisans going under them all the way to where Churchill was staying (Grande Bretagne Hotel, Sindagma Sq) and as recent reports by Manolis Glezos have stated, they had dynamite under the hotel and were ready and willing to blow it up but an order was given and they stepped back. On the back of this Churchill organised the December events in Athens where they British Army and Greek nazi collaborationists shot an unarmed demonstration and many died.

This caused ruptures in the British Parliament as Churchill was still in coalition with the Labour Party and in order to minimise the issue they flew out the head of the British TUC on a delegation to meet with Greek ‘trade union leaders’, the opposition and to report back. There was no real substance to the delegation other than to alibi Churchill and cover for his pro-Nazi collaborationist leanings and the fact that he was preparing a civil war to crush the Greek Left for a generation, which is precisely what he did. When the coalition fell the Labour Party continued and started the Greek civil war proper and ran it until the end of 1947 when they handed over the reigns to US imperialism. Those were in leadership positions in the TUC (Walter Citrine) and the Labour Party (Bevin) at the time were real pieces of work having gone to the bourgeois courts in 1939 against the British Communist Party’s daily paper (Daily Worker) and won a judgement against them, for daring to tell the truth about the TUC supporting the imperialist war effort and wanting and seeking wage restraint on behalf of the bosses thus changing the nature of the trade union movement into open lieutenant dogs of capital. Below is a recently translated document from the historical archives in Greece





TUC Delegation in Greece: ‘Red Atrocities’ or the Greek Katyn

Introduction
The streets of Athens and suburbs hadn’t dried up from being awash in blood from the heroes, children of the people that fell to the barbarity of the occupiers and their collaborators. The road to Kessariani was filled by the blood from the first days of last May. In Kallithea, Kokkinia, Dourgouti and Kolono the fascist barbarities were fresh. German quislings had filled up all the sewers with bodies as we witnessed them floating past every now and again in particular by the General Police headquarters. Hangings witnessed by our brothers happened before our very eyes. German collaborators were baptised ‘national heroes’ inside the courts provoking the population and the worst black marketeers, rapacious to the end showed off their wealth made by the blood of our children protected by the Germans.

All of this element who are traitors to our nation, of crime and tyranny are the same people who organised the fascist coup of December and they attacked the peole of Athens with foreign weapons, fighting alongside the German quislings. These are the same cliques that have no intention of leaving the people alone and they continue quiet to hound with the most violent attacks on the patriots, those who fought for Greece and in order to hide their crimes and erase from peoples memory their violent acts, they found a method worthy of their cause. They tried to present a series of crimes which allegedly were created by EAM so as to cover their crimes with a black cloak.. This is the deeper meaning of the propaganda with corpses post-December events. All the circles of local and foreign reaction up until Sir Citrine arrived were mobilised to globally propagate about the “deadly crimes of EAM”. Thus they attacked the heroic struggle carried out by the Greek people for their Independence and their Nation and Freedom and on the other hand they covered up their countless crimes, those which were carried out in the December days and the dark days of slavery. They concealed, thought they concealed them, but the blood that flowed was equivalent to a river and cannot be hidden.

Irrespective about this, it is time to be told the truth regarding the world renowned ‘crimes’ of EAM.
It is true that in our times the whole of the people, the real, the true, the much tortured people of Athens and Piraeus fought a valiant battle and uneven struggle, it is true that there were executions, either from being indignant in seeing that traitors remained unpunished and they regained their weapons. Any objective observer would understand inside the fire and brimstone of a severe conflict these would be unavoidable and there would be no means for them to not occur however much actions such as this damaged the peoples struggle.

But no executions occurred as presented by those who unearthed corpses and none of the vicious and disgusting acts occurred as presented by the organisers of the anti-popular campaign
Proving this truth is the purpose of this document. To show to every objective person the mastery with which these vicious stories, of torture, limb removals, blinding eyes and other such indescribably crimes were magnified. Proof of this will be demonstrated with indisputable facts. We invite whoever doesn’t believe our account to make their own investigations and cross reference what we say. The task of defaming every just struggle for the Greek nation must be uncovered. The truth can sometimes be blurry, but in the end shines more bright…

“How was the blasphemous campaign organised
The resistance of the armed population of Athens and Piraeus lasted for 30 days. In these 30 days there wasn’t one time when the suburbs of Athens and Piraeus weren’t attacked by planes, by cannons, by tanks. Thousands were its victims. They were buried in gardens, outside Churches, on sidewalks, in fields. When ELAS retreated and the British came all these countless bodies were unburied and put on trucks. They were found in Peristeri or Kipseli or the Turkmountains cut up without eyes and ears. Relatives were called to receive the bodies of the ‘citizens butchered by ELAS’ citizens. So for the mythology to work better they circulated that those who were killed by the ELAS partisans would gain a pension whilst those who were killed by accident (ie by planes, canons, tanks etc) would receive nothing. Thus everybody had an interest in appearing to show that his victim was a result of ELAS partisans. Newspapers were filled with names of butchered citizens and foreign correspondents and Sir Walter Citrine were called to witness at first hand the barbarities of ELAS. Thus the slanderous campaign was more successful.
If there was an honest person who didn’t want to become an organ of the traitorous clique abusers – despite all the promises for a pension – they then threatened them with the label of being a member of the KKE! ‘They need hanging’ was the response by those who unearthed the bodies of dead victims and trying to promote them for political gain.
But it wasn’t simply this: Whole units were organised which unearthed the bodies cut their eyes and their body parts and then showcased them so the ‘barbarity’ of the ELASites would be revealed. It’s the most heinous crime which only the people that collaborated with the Germans, the dishonourable students of the SS could think and put into action.
These are the means they used. Now for evidence we provide a list of events that confirm what has been said above. It’s impossible to write down all we have verified. But they are enough to give a final answer to the classical sycophants.
(A full list follows of Greeks known and how they died and where- translators note!)
We are dealing with Sir Walter Citrine who came to Greece allegedly to be involved with trade union unity. He became the main megaphone of the anti-EAM sycophantic campaign. The above give an answer to this gentleman. But let us see what was written regarding his role in the ‘Daily Worker’ of London in the issue 9th February 1945.

“The report by the delegation of British Trade Unions in Greece was based by evidence provided by Greek enemies of EAM, by the British Administration and British soldiers with immediate contact with the delegation itself … At the Press Conference where Walter Citrine where he explained in detail parts of his report we found the new facts:

1. That mass arrests occurred of citizens in houses where sharp shooters functioned. The delegation must accept that there is a number of victims of innocent citizens that exist caught by the Plastiras government.
2. The delegation does not directly condemn ELAS that have murdered those whose bodies were found in Peristeri at the end of January.
3. The identity of those executed are unknown to the delegation”

This was promised by Sir Walter Citrine to the representatives of the press so he can clarify his report, thus indirectly allowing the world the impression that ELAS committed these atrocities.
This is how Tribune answers (magazine of the Labour Party) regarding the stance taken by Sir Walter Citrine in Greece (23rd March 1945)
“Recently Sir Walter Citrine gave a report on Greece in the best fashion as propaganda material for Mr Churchill and the Tories for a long time”
Sir Walter Citrine arrived in Greece to justify the most violent intervention in our internal affairs. But the British people who have respected the struggles of our peoples haven’t fallen victim to this sycophancy with whatever dead bodies they unearth and whatever machinations are done with them…
Published by EAM 1945


Below is a large excerpt from an old deceased comrade Bill Hunter who knew a few things regarding Greece unlike todays know all know-nothings… regarding the Labour Party’s imperialist role.
POST-WAR BETRAYAL

In the closing stages of the war Bevin supported completely the attempts of British imperialism to establish the old pre-war corrupt, dictatorial and imperialist regimes in Europe and Asia. He played his most despicable role in assisting Churchill and the British ruling class in Greece.
The Greek organisation EAM — a coalition of seven parties including the Liberals and the Communist Party — had the mass support of Greek workers and peasants. ELAS, its military organisation, was the main resistance to the German occupation. The mass of the people were opposed to the return of the monarchy and the pre-war dictatorship. Eighty-five per cent of the Greek army had been interned by the British in Egypt because of its support for EAM.
British capitalism was determined to re-impose the rule of Greek landowners and capitalists under King George of the Hellenes. The British Military Government demanded the disarming of ELAS. Workers and peasants refused to give up their weapons while royalist officers retained their arms. In Athens on December 3rd 1944 there was a peaceful demonstration in support if EAM and in protest at royalist demonstrations in the previous days. The demonstration was led by women and children. British troops fired into the head of the march and killed 15 and wounded 148. A General Strike broke out throughout Athens.

In Britain, the rank and file of the trade union movement reacted with anger. Civil war began in Greece. A section of Ghurka troops in the British army deserted to ELAS. The Observer prophesied ‘serious labour trouble’ and said that even if victory over ELAS was won it ‘might break the coalition’. Bevin and other labour bureaucrats worked might and main to prevent a condemnation of the coalition government being passed at the special Labour Party conference which was to be held later in December.

Bullock in his biography of Bevin writes:

To avoid the danger of the party conference passing a direct vote of censure on the Government and its labour members, the NEC put forward a resolution calling for an armistice, without delay and the resumption of talks to establish a Provisional National Government in Greece.

Bevin lined up the block votes to carry the resolution and Bullock remarks that Churchill never forgot the debt he owed Bevin for this.
The Soviet bureaucracy pressurised the Greek Communist Party to accept an armistice. Churchill had visited Moscow the previous October and got the assurance from Stalin that Greece would be in Britain’s sphere of influence.
Fifty thousand British troops remained in Greece. Workers and peasants were disarmed. By 1947 there were 14,000 Greek political prisoners living on the penal islands, half starved, without sufficient fuel, bedding and water. Court martials were working continuously, sentencing to death civilians as well as soldiers.
It was Bevin’s ‘belief that foreign and defence policy, unlike domestic policy, should not be a matter for party politics’ wrote Bullock in The Observer of March 8th in an article on Bevin. Bevin clearly put the imperialist content of this belief at the special Labour Party conference of 1944, when he supported the repression in Greece.
‘The British Empire’ he said, ‘whether we like it or not, cannot abandon its position in the Mediterranean. It is impossible for it to do so.’
It was the rapidly growing hostility to capitalist policies that ejected Bevin and the other labour leaders out of the War Cabinet. Eden, in his memoirs, reports a conversation with Bevin in June 1944 about continuing the coalition in the immediate post war period. The growing opposition to the political truce and to foreign and domestic policy of the Government and the massive desire for a change made it impossible for Bevin to fight for his plan of a continuation of the coalition.

When the Labour Party swept the polls in July 1945, Bevin became Foreign Minister. Attlee appointed him at the suggestion of George VI. Mark Stephens tells us that Bevin was very intimate with King George VI. Is this supposed to impress T&G members? Stephens quotes the king, writing to his brother about the new Labour Government: ‘My new government is not too easy and the people are rather difficult to talk to. Bevin is very good and tells me everything that is going on.’
We find here that the ‘tough’ trade union leader who, we are told, was a champion of ‘his people’, has a deep and essential servility to the rulers of society and their institutions. The Jimmy Thomases and the Ernie Bevins love to drop an aitch in front of the monarch — but as one of his most loyal, hand-kissing subjects. The same loyalty and attention, of course, is not given to their trade union members. It would be quite against British tradition and constitution for workers to expect their representatives to treat them like they treat the rich, unelected monarch, and tell them ‘everything that is going on’ in the Government!

For a decade after the war ‘Bevinism’ was a dirty word in the British labour movement. Bevin was the arch defender of the interests of British imperialism and the alliance with America’s rulers. He was one of the leading protagonists of the cold war.

SAVING CAPITALISM

Bevin is reported to have said during the war that he wanted to see a ‘Peoples’ Peace’. But what sort of peace did he and the labour leaders fight for? With their help and that of the Stalinists in Europe the revolutionary wave after the war was defeated, workers and peasants disarmed and the old capitalist rulers firmly re-established. With those betrayals the choice of socialism or barbarism gained a new dimension — for the capitalism they saved now developed nuclear weapons. Bevin and Co. saw their task at the end of the war to maintain the basic capitalist imperialist relations existing in Britain and the Empire at the beginning of the war. Any role for the ‘peoples’ interests’ in the peace came about when imperialism was forced to retreat before the strength in struggle of the colonial people and the working class.

There is the myth that the participation of Bevin in the war-time government and the presence of trade union leaders in war-time government committees represented a big step in the upward climb of trade unions to a powerful place in society. Here, things are turned on their heads. Bevin did not represent the working class in the council chambers of capitalism. He represented capitalism inside the trade unions. In his forward in Mark Stephen’s book, Moss Evans declares:
‘Ernest Bevin both developed and exercised power on behalf of ordinary working people for a long time.’ The truth is that Ernest Bevin exercised powerr which came from the working class, but he exercised it on behalf of the capitalist class. That is the meaning of what Bullock tells us when he writes that in the War Cabinet Bevin put ‘loyalty to the coalition before party interest, to the anger of not a few members of the Labour Party’




Monday, 26 September 2016

1945 British TUC Delegation in Greece: ‘Red Atrocities’ or the Greek Katyn?





Introduction

The streets of Athens and suburbs hadn’t dried up from being awash in blood from the heroes, children of the people that fell to the barbarity of the occupiers and their collaborators. The road to Kessariani was filled by the blood from the first days of last May. In Kallithea, Kokkinia, Dourgouti and Kolono the fascist barbarities were fresh. German quislings had filled up all the sewers with bodies as we witnessed them floating past every now and again in particular by the General Police headquarters. Hangings witnessed by our brothers happened before our very eyes. German collaborators were baptised ‘national heroes’ inside the courts provoking the population and the worst black marketeers, rapacious to the end showed off their wealth made by the blood of our children protected by the Germans.

All of this element who are traitors to our nation, of crime and tyranny are the same people who organised the fascist coup of December and they attacked the peole of Athens with foreign weapons, fighting alongside the German quislings. These are the same cliques that have no intention of leaving the people alone and they continue quiet to hound with the most violent attacks on the patriots, those who fought for Greece and in order to hide their crimes and erase from peoples memory their violent acts, they found a method worthy of their cause. They tried to present a series of crimes which allegedly were created by EAM so as to cover their crimes with a black cloak.. This is the deeper meaning of the propaganda with corpses post-December events. All the circles of local and foreign reaction up until Sir Citrine arrived were mobilised to globally propagate about the “deadly crimes of EAM”. Thus they attacked the heroic struggle carried out by the Greek people for their Independence and their Nation and Freedom and on the other hand they covered up their countless crimes, those which were carried out in the December days and the dark days of slavery. They concealed, thought they concealed them, but the blood that flowed was equivalent to a river and cannot be hidden.

Irrespective about this, it is time to be told the truth regarding the world renowned ‘crimes’ of EAM.
It is true that in our times the whole of the people, the real, the true, the much tortured people of Athens and Piraeus fought a valiant battle and uneven struggle, it is true that there were executions, either from being indignant in seeing that traitors remained unpunished and they regained their weapons. Any objective observer would understand inside the fire and brimstone of a severe conflict these would be unavoidable and there would be no means for them to not occur however much actions such as this damaged the peoples struggle.

But no executions occurred as presented by those who unearthed corpses and none of the vicious and disgusting acts occurred as presented by the organisers of the anti-popular campaign
Proving this truth is the purpose of this document. To show to every objective person the mastery with which these vicious stories, of torture, limb removals, blinding eyes and other such indescribably crimes were magnified. Proof of this will be demonstrated with indisputable facts. We invite whoever doesn’t believe our account to make their own investigations and cross reference what we say. The task of defaming every just struggle for the Greek nation must be uncovered. The truth can sometimes be blurry, but in the end shines more bright…
“How was the blasphemous campaign organised
The resistance of the armed population of Athens and Piraeus lasted for 30 days. In these 30 days there wasn’t one time when the suburbs of Athens and Piraeus weren’t attacked by planes, by cannons, by tanks. Thousands were its victims. They were buried in gardens, outside Churches, on sidewalks, in fields. When ELAS retreated and the British came all these countless bodies were unburied and put on trucks. They were found in Peristeri or Kipseli or the Turkmountains cut up without eyes and ears. Relatives were called to receive the bodies of the ‘citizens butchered by ELAS’ citizens. So for the mythology to work better they circulated that those who were killed by the ELAS partisans would gain a pension whilst those who were killed by accident (ie by planes, canons, tanks etc) would receive nothing. Thus everybody had an interest in appearing to show that his victim was a result of ELAS partisans. Newspapers were filled with names of butchered citizens and foreign correspondents and Sir Walter Citrine were called to witness at first hand the barbarities of ELAS. Thus the slanderous campaign was more successful.
If there was an honest person who didn’t want to become an organ of the traitorous clique abusers – despite all the promises for a pension – they then threatened them with the label of being a member of the KKE! ‘They need hanging’ was the response by those who unearthed the bodies of dead victims and trying to promote them for political gain.
But it wasn’t simply this: Whole units were organised which unearthed the bodies cut their eyes and their body parts and then showcased them so the ‘barbarity’ of the ELASites would be revealed. It’s the most heinous crime which only the people that collaborated with the Germans, the dishonourable students of the SS could think and put into action.
These are the means they used. Now for evidence we provide a list of events that confirm what has been said above. It’s impossible to write down all we have verified. But they are enough to give a final answer to the classical sycophants.
(A full list follows of Greeks known and how they died and where- translators note!)
We are dealing with Sir Walter Citrine who came to Greece allegedly to be involved with trade union unity. He became the main megaphone of the anti-EAM sycophantic campaign. The above give an answer to this gentleman. But let us see what was written regarding his role in the ‘Daily Worker’ of London in the issue 9th February 1945.
“The report by the delegation of British Trade Unions in Greece was based by evidence provided by Greek enemies of EAM, by the British Administration and British soldiers with immediate contact with the delegation itself … At the Press Conference where Walter Citrine where he explained in detail parts of his report we found the new facts:
1. That mass arrests occurred of citizens in houses where sharp shooters functioned. The delegation must accept that there is a number of victims of innocent citizens that exist caught by the Plastiras government.
2. The delegation does not directly condemn ELAS that have murdered those whose bodies were found in Peristeri at the end of January.
3. The identity of those executed are unknown to the delegation”

This was promised by Sir Walter Citrine to the representatives of the press so he can clarify his report, thus indirectly allowing the world the impression that ELAS committed these atrocities.
This is how Tribune answers (magazine of the Labour Party) regarding the stance taken by Sir Walter Citrine in Greece (23rd March 1945)
“Recently Sir Walter Citrine gave a report on Greece in the best fashion as propaganda material for Mr Churchill and the Tories for a long time”
Sir Walter Citrine arrived in Greece to justify the most violent intervention in our internal affairs. But the British people who have respected the struggles of our peoples haven’t fallen victim to this sycophancy with whatever dead bodies they unearth and whatever machinations are done with them…
Published by EAM 1945

Monday, 12 September 2016

In A Mess Of Corruption & Neoliberal Austerity, Syriza Sells Greece Out To The Highest Bidders


In A Mess Of Corruption & Neoliberal Austerity, Syriza Sells Greece Out To The Highest Bidders
Rather than casting off the shackles of the EU, eurozone and IMF, the Syriza-led Greek government favors the ‘oligarchs’ it once vowed to tear down and doubles down on austerity measures, leaving Greek people to suffer through a modern colonial nightmare.



By Michael Nevradakis @dialogosmedia | September 12, 2016

FILE - In this Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015 file photo, a man walks past street art depicting Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Athens, Greece. Tsipras' decision to sign off on a bailout led to many in his left-wing Syriza party to quit in protest.
FILE – In this Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015 file photo, a man walks past street art depicting Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Athens, Greece. Tsipras’ decision to sign off on a bailout led to many in his left-wing Syriza party to quit in protest.

ATHENS — (Analysis) Stories of human suffering continue to multiply in present-day Greece, which is loosely governed by the “first time left” government of Syriza and more directly by the European institutions and the International Monetary Fund.

In the city of Patra, an elderly woman whose only source of income is her severely battered pension, from which she supports her two grandchildren, had her electricity service cut in the presence of a police SWAT team, despite her reliance on an oxygen concentrator to live. Her son was arrested for protesting the action and brought before a prosecutor.

Police in the city of Katerini, implementing the government’s crusade against purported “tax evaders” to the letter, arrested a father of three, whose spouse is unemployed, for selling pastries on the street without a license, fining him €5,000 ($5,627) for the infraction. The man is well-known in his community for donating his unsold pastries to local children and a local home for seniors at the end of each day.

I’ve also heard the story of an impoverished cancer patient in Thessaloniki, who, according to the eyes of the law, was another one of those lazy, corrupt Greeks guilty of dipping their hands too deeply into the public trough. Her meal card which allowed her to eat at a local soup kitchen was revoked, simply because she was concurrently receiving state aid for being a cancer patient.

On the island of Samos, a short distance from the Turkish coast, uniformed German police freely patrol the streets of the main town, Vathi, purportedly on the lookout for refugees, while German coast guard boats sit docked in the harbor. A few kilometers away, in the mountain village of Manolates, residents and shopkeepers listen to Turkish music on the radio—as no reception of Greek broadcasters was possible.

Finally, in my own neighborhood in Athens, 17 out of 22 storefronts lie vacant in a three-block stretch, “for rent” signs fading slowly from view. A once-beautiful park and playground lies vacant, entrances chained shut, while overgrown weeds cover this former piece of urban green space.

None of these stories are likely to make it into Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ forthcoming state of the union speech at the Thessaloniki Trade Fair. The prime minister is much more likely to tell us that unemployment has purportedly decreased, that Greece has emerged from recession (just as it supposedly did in 2014), that industrial production has dramatically increased, that the country is returning to economic growth, and that it is pursuing closer defense and military ties with the United States and NATO.



Syriza-led Greek state strips itself of sovereignty
Reality, however, is much more grim. In May, without parliamentary debate, the Syriza-led government passed a 7,500 page omnibus bill that transferred control over Greece’s public assets to a fund controlled by the European Stability Mechanism for the next 99 years.

These assets include airports, harbors, public beaches and coastline, and natural resources.

Earlier this year, 14 profitable regional airports were sold to the German publicly-owned corporation Fraport, while a majority stake in the port of Piraeus, one of the largest ports in Europe, was sold to Chinese-owned Cosco for €365 million—equal to 15 days’ worth of debt repayments—while its facilities alone are valued at more than €5 billion. The national railway, TRAINOSE, including all infrastructure and trains, was sold to Italy’s Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiane for a mere €45 million, with the company’s debt was written off as part of the sale. The site of the former international airport of Athens, once slated to become Europe’s largest urban park, was sold to a consortium of investors from Greece, China, and the United Arab Emirates, led by the Latsis family of Greek shipping tycoons, who plan to construct luxury resorts and shopping malls on the site.

In May, Syriza’s cabinet presented plans to sell a 49-percent stake in the water utilities of Athens and Thessaloniki, plus 18 additional privatizations instead of the nine initially agreed to with creditors in the third memorandum. Prior to being elected in January 2015, Syriza promised to put an end to the privatization of public assets, and it vowed not to privatize water in its September 2015 platform.

Nevertheless, the Syriza government has committed to completing the privatization of numerous key assets, including the natural gas utility and the state’s stake in Athens’ Eleftherios Venizelos international airport, by November.

Also as part of the omnibus bill, the Greek parliament rendered itself voteless, as the legislation annuls the role of parliament to create a national budget or pass tax legislation. In earlier legislation, the government had agreed to submit all pending bills to the group of lenders known as the “troika” (European Commission, European Central Bank, and the IMF) for approval, reminiscent of the German Reichstag’s willful relinquishment of legislative power to then-Chancellor Adolf Hitler in 1933.



Taxes skyrocket and Greeks are unable to pay
Further illustrating just how much sovereignty has been stripped from the Greek state, the omnibus legislation also foresees the activation of automatic spending cuts, including salaries, without any parliamentary intervention if Greece fails to achieve targets for a primary surplus. In order to attain a primary surplus, spending has already been slashed dramatically, furthering the spiral of austerity Tsipras had once promised to end with “one law and one article.”

Instead of austerity being abolished with one law and one article, Greek citizens have a new, crippling tax avalanche to look forward to beginning this autumn. On Aug. 29, this year’s unified property tax (ENFIA) was sent out to all property owners, with seven in ten businesses facing an increase this year. This is the same tax which members of the Syriza-Independent Greeks coalition government had denounced prior to being elected, claiming it was unconstitutional, promising to repeal it once in office, and instructing citizens on how to avoid paying it.

Once Syriza and the Independent Greeks came to power, however, payment of the ENFIA was described by the government as a “patriotic duty.”

Meanwhile, the Greek government is preparing to introduce a nationwide “asset registry” for taxation purposes, in which citizens will be obliged to declare not only their incomes and real estate, but everything from jewelry to family heirlooms, and even the amount of cash in their possession. This Orwellian measure will be supplemented by a national transaction registry, where essentially every bank transaction and purchase from each citizen will be tracked. Within five years, owners of homes and commercial buildings will be required to hire civil engineers to submit detailed blueprints and videos of their structures in order obtain a “structural identification” certificate—or risk steep fines or demolition.

These new taxes and measures are set to be enforced despite the growing inability of citizens and businesses to pay. The first half of 2016 saw a €1 billion shortfall in the collection of the value-added tax, while €272 million worth of income taxes for this year—about 25 percent of total expected revenue—remains unpaid. This is not due to a purported culture of “tax evasion,” but due to declining incomes and a general inability to pay.

Evidence of citizens’ inability to pay abounds. Deposits in Greece’s shattered banking system declined by €160 million in July alone. The number of employed people not being paid has reached 1 million, and 500,000 Greeks are paid less than €412 per month for their labor.

Eurostat figures from the fourth quarter of 2015 show that just 4.3 percent of the unemployed in Greece were able to find jobs. Greek families, who once took pride in passing property down from generation to generation, leading to the highest rate of homeownership in Europe, now find themselves rejecting inheritances from deceased relatives in record numbers, due to the tremendous tax burden.



Further fueling the oncoming storm, the Syriza government has committed to sweeping home foreclosures and auctions this autumn, while confiscations of funds from ever-dwindling bank accounts for unpaid debts to the state continue unabated. The government estimates it will collect over €2 billion from these confiscations by the end of the year.

In the meantime, the omnibus bill passed in May lowered the basic pension to a paltry €345-384 per month, while the value-added tax on many basic goods, including necessities like soap, was hiked to 24 percent. Following the initial slashing of basic pensions by up to 48 percent in June, aid for poor families and the disabled has been slashed almost in half beginning with this month’s payments.

Supplementary pensions for 150,000 recipients have been cut further, by as much as 38 percent, with further reductions slated for October. In response to the cuts, Giorgos Katrougalos, the labor minister who participated in the 2011 protests of the anti-austerity “indignants,” stated that the new system will “protect all Greeks from poverty,” adding that had pensions not been reduced, they would not be issued at all. Not convinced, pensioners have already begun to protest outside government ministries.

Meanwhile, the number of households which qualify for subsidized heating oil has been cut in half, the fuel and oil tax has once again been hiked, co-payments on prescription drugs covered by public insurance funds have been raised by 25 percent, while suffering small businesses have been further burdened by an increase in their tax rate from 26 percent to 29 percent. In a recent televised interview, Syriza MP Hara Kafantari stated that “the days where a shop owner was his own boss are over.” This perhaps helps explain why Greece’s burgeoning startup scene is being driven out amid Syriza’s excessive and unpredictable taxation.



Broadcasting licensing process rife with corruption
Syriza’s recent licensing bid for national television broadcasters is emblematic of its reign in office thus far. Diaploki is a Greek word which perfectly sums up the triangle of corruption and interplay between major political and business interests and the state. One of Syriza’s numerous pre-election pledges was to rout the “oligarchs” who control the media and much of the economy and put an end to this diaploki.

On Sept. 1, the Syriza-led government triumphantly claimed to have fulfilled this promise through the completion of the auctioning process for four licenses for national “general-interest” television stations. This announcement was accompanied by claims that “fairness” and “rule of law” had been “restored” after 27 years of “lawlessness” on the Greek airwaves (broadcasters have up until now been operating under a framework of provisional legality).

In Greece, the rabbit hole of diaploki runs deep—and this has not changed in the slightest during Syriza’s reign. The bidding process was both farcical and inhuman: The bidders were said to have been locked in isolated rooms in the headquarters of the Greek Secretariat for Press and Media, without any ability to communicate with each other or with the outside world for 70 hours, purportedly to ensure a “clean” bidding process.

In reality, though, the process was rife with illegalities, contradictions, inconsistencies, and absurdities, and it completely lacked transparency. It has also put six of Greece’s eight largest private television broadcasters in danger of being forced off the airwaves by the year’s end, including the top station in the ratings, Alpha TV.

Most significantly, perhaps, is the fact that the licensing process was conducted by the government itself, instead of by Greece’s independent licensing body for broadcasters, the National Commission for Radio-Television (NCRTV), which has remained defunct for most of the past year. This contradicts both the Greek constitution and European regulations which call for licensing processes to be conducted by independent bodies. The bid was based on the false premise that there were only enough frequencies available to license four national privately-owned broadcasters—two frequencies with two HD outlets each.

This claim is contradicted by the hundreds of digital stations broadcasting in Italian cities and the multiple HD channels per frequency on Britain’s Freeview service.

Further, while the government has repeatedly hinted that licenses for national “thematic” (special-interest stations) will be issued, it has not stated when this will happen, how many licenses will be issued, or through which process.

This immediately contradicts the government’s claim that, aside from technical reasons, the number of national general-interest licenses was limited to four due to the limited size of the Greek advertising market and the purported desire to ensure economically “viable” licensees.

How could bidders gauge their viability and bid accordingly, without knowing what the future marketplace will look like?

Adding to the confusion, upon completion of the licensing process, the government announced that it is pushing back the licensing process for “thematic” stations indefinitely and intends to instead focus next on the licensing of regional broadcasters through a similar process which would put most of Greece’s 100-plus regional stations at risk of being forced off the air. Already having been battered by the economic crisis, these regional stations would be unable to afford the steep cost of participating in the bidding process.

Following this, thematic licenses may be issued on a national basis, while similar licensing procedures for radio have been forewarned.

The licensing process also does not include any criteria whatsoever for the quality of programming, for balanced news presentation, or for public service programming. The only criterion which mattered was money, and with a limited amount of licenses being issued, the cost of each license was artificially driven upward, ensuring only the deepest of deep pockets–oligarchs, in other words–could participate.

It also ensured that should this licensing process be finalized and not legally struck down, Greece might just become the first country where fewer television stations will remain on the air in the digital era, instead of more.



Once out to fight the ‘oligarchs,’ Syriza’s given them TV stations instead
Syriza has repeatedly promised to “clean up” the airwaves and end diaploki. But just who are the oligarchs who successfully bid for licenses? Two of them, Giannis Alafouzos and Theodoros Kyriakou, own incumbent broadcasters Skai TV and Antenna TV, respectively. These two stations led the vociferous “pro-yes” media brigade prior to the July 2015 referendum.

Alafouzos, a shipowner, was found to be in possession of over €50 million in undeclared funds and had his assets frozen last month, pending an investigation for tax evasion. One of Skai’s main commentators, Bambis Papadimitriou, is notorious for having suggested that the previous conservative government of New Democracy could benefit from forming a coalition with a “serious” Golden Dawn, Greece’s far-right party.

Antenna TV, like Skai, is owned by a family of shipping and oil magnates. Antenna Group’s investments span multiple industries and over a dozen countries, while the station’s founder, Minos Kyriakou, has had his share of legal troubles in the past, including a jail sentence for illegal structures constructed in the resort region of Porto Heli (this sentence was later appealed down to a fine). Antenna, like Skai, also vehemently supported the pro-austerity “yes” vote in the 2015 referendum, likening the “yes” versus “no” option to a choice between being like Europe or “becoming Zimbabwe.”

The cases of the other two licensees, neither of whom are currently in possession of a television station, are even more egregious. One of the winning bidders is Vaggelis Marinakis, a shipping mogul and football magnate, who is facing at least five criminal investigations on charges ranging from match-fixing to directing a criminal organization.

Marinakis is also said to have been involved in the case of the “Noor 1,” a ship which Greek authorities found to be transporting 2.1 tons of heroin and which may be linked to Marinakis through close associates of his. Marinakis is a city councilman in Piraeus, while his right-hand man from the Olympiacos football club, Yannis Moralis, is mayor. Together, they exert control over the municipal radio station of Piraeus, Kanali 1. On Tuesday, prosecutors in Greece recommended that Marinakis be jailed pending trial on charges of match-fixing.

But perhaps the most flagrant case of all is that of Christos Kalogritsas, a former publisher-turned-construction magnate, and his son, Ioannis-Vladimiros Kalogritsas. Christos Kalogritsas’ construction firm, Toxotis S.A., is the recipient of numerous state contracts issued by the Syriza-led government for public works projects throughout Greece.

Toxotis S.A. recently purchased Medousa, a competing construction firm. It was formerly known as Tsipras ATE and owned by Pavlos Tsipras, father of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Christos Kalogritsas and his wife are currently facing civil and criminal charges for an alleged €51 million in unpaid taxes, while employees at Toxotis S.A. have previously gone on strike over six months of unpaid wages. The Kalogritsas family also owns significant shares in Attica Bank, one of the banks which has been repeatedly recapitalized by Greek taxpayers.

It is from Attica Bank that Ioannis-Vladimiros Kalogritsas provided a letter of guarantee worth €3 million in order to participate in the television licensing bid. This letter was submitted past the deadline set by the government for participation in the bid, but was nevertheless accepted.

Additionally, Christos Kalogritsas has close ties to current defense minister, Panos Kammenos; the current minister of infrastructure, transport and networks, Christos Spirtzis (whose ministry oversees public works projects and matters pertaining to broadcast frequency allocation); and celebrity television personality Nikos Evaggelatos. Kalogritsas is also said to maintain a “brotherly” friendship with current minister of state, Nikos Pappas, who oversaw the television licensing process. He is also a primary shareholder of polling firm GPO, one of the many Greek polling firms which receives state funding and which has repeatedly produced grossly inaccurate public opinion and exit poll results.

Further adding to the web of corruption, both Marinakis and the Kalogritsas family are represented by the attorney Giannis Mantzouranis. Mantzouranis also happened to represent the Greek state in the recent television licensing process. Clearly, conflicts of interest are not a concern for Syriza. In the late 1980s, Mantzouranis had been jailed as part of the wide-ranging Koskotas money-laundering scandal.

He is also one of the attorneys of investigative journalist-turned-Syriza cheerleader Kostas Vaxevanis, who through his involvement in the HellasNet network of regional television stations, stands to be one of the beneficiaries of any bid for regional TV licenses.



Diaploki is safe with Syriza in power
While Syriza is making triumphant claims of “restoring rule of law” in the television landscape, its own party-owned radio station, Sto Kokkino, went on the air illegally in 2005 after purchasing the frequency of a radio station that went unlicensed during a 2001 bid (when, again, there were claims that there was “no room” for more stations). The station in question, NRG 105.5 FM, which is under the same ownership as Athens’ Kiss FM, had illegally returned to the airwaves.

In 2006 and 2007, Sto Kokkino was shut down by authorities for broadcasting without a license, but the New Democracy government under Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis later passed a law which legalized party-owned broadcast stations, permitting them to operate without a license. Sto Kokkino was therefore “legalized.”

Meanwhile, Syriza continues to enforce a law passed by the previous conservative government which allows broadcast stations classified as “news” stations to switch classifications to “non-news,” but which does not provide the same privilege to “non-news” stations which wish to switch to news programming, thus creating a closed broadcast news marketplace. Sto Kokkino’s subsidiary stations throughout Greece violate this rule, but rather than changing the law and creating a level playing field, as Syriza is claiming to be doing now with the television licensing process, it keeps this blatantly undemocratic law as is and simply violates it for its own ends.

All of this has taken place while the NCRTV remains defunct, with no frequency table having been publicized for television stations, and with 1,000-2,000 employees in the television sector facing unemployment if their stations are forced to close. This would also create a restricted and highly centralized and controlled television market. Prime Minister Tsipras, in a recent speech celebrating the opening of a new stretch of highway (constructed by Toxotis S.A.), promised to turn over the €246 million in revenue from the licensing bid “to the poor.”

Of course, this assumes that money, which would be paid in three annual installments and only if the stations are profitable, is ever paid. Even so, EU officials have already stated that it will go toward Greece’s commitments to its lenders, not to the impoverished. They’ve also questioned the licensing process itself.

Tsipras also omitted from his speech the loss of tax receipts and insurance fund contributions from the six stations slated to shut down, and the combined €700 million in debts they owe to Greek banks, which would likely go unpaid if they go off the air and be thrust upon the shoulders of Greek taxpayers instead via yet another recapitalization.

Make no mistake: Syriza’s “efforts” are not just contained to broadcast licensing. Syriza intends to create a state-run body to allocate advertising across media outlets, retaining a 30-percent commission for the state. Earlier in the year, government spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili announced the government’s intention to “restore order to the internet,” beginning with the creation of a registry of online news outlets and blogs. Registration was mandatory for all outlets which wished to be considered for state advertising expenditures—an easy way for any government to pay its way into the hearts of media owners.

Another way is through patronage, as in the case of Giorgos Christoforidis, publisher of the (once) anti-austerity newspaper To Xoni and former candidate for parliament with the Independent Greeks. Christoforidis was appointed to a post in the government’s press office while continuing to publish To Xoni.



Is it the new left or the old right? Who can tell?
In the meantime, the Syriza-led government continues to operate with stunning arrogance and insensitivity. Proclamations are made for the “record” number of tourists visiting Greece—even while most tourist resort towns lay idle during the tourist season. In Samos, patrolled by German police, there were not many refugees in sight—nor many tourists. The vice president of the Syriza government, Giannis Dragasakis, has stated that it was a mistake for Syriza to have “demonized” the word “memorandum.”

Syriza MP Makis Balaouras recently claimed that “austerity is not in Syriza’s DNA.” Economist Rania Antonopoulou, who holds the ironic portfolio of “alternate minister for combating unemployment,” recently wrote in the Syriza-owned Avgi newspaper that “the third memorandum has strengthened Greece’s position.” Nikos Xydakis, the foreign minister, recently said that Greece has renounced much of its national sovereignty. In a “let ‘em eat cake” moment, Deputy Minister for Social Solidarity Theano Fotiou remarked that “stuffed peppers could feed an entire family.” The start of the football season has been postponed, purportedly to stamp out corruption stemming from the same “oligarchs” who received television licenses.

Defense Minister Panos Kammenos has proposed the construction of a NATO base in the southern Aegean island of Karpathos, while German-owned Fraport is preparing to install a new €13 per passenger tax at the regional airports it now controls. Over the summer, the government proudly proclaimed the “loosening” of stifling capital controls—as the restriction on bank withdrawals was changed from a €420 weekly limit, to an €840 cap every two weeks. Do the math. Schools go without janitorial staffs, university restrooms without toilet paper.

All of this while there is nary a thought of departing the eurozone or following the example of British voters and waving goodbye to the EU. The signs were there about Syriza, its neoliberal tendencies, and the ensuing betrayal of its pre-election promises. Some warned about Syriza again, and again, and again, but those warnings fell on deaf ears.

Most of the world celebrated Syriza’s victory in January 2015, while “leftist” media outlets and commentators ranging from Democracy Now! to Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, and others, have long forgotten about Greece or have excused away Syriza’s betrayal as simply the result of being “bullied” and “blackmailed” by the EU—which Greece must nevertheless remain a part of at “all costs.”

In this modern-day debt colony the “leftist” government has demonstrated an astonishing arrogance in not only violating its pre-election promises and July 2015 referendum result, and agreeing to a third—and the most onerous to date—austerity program, but also continuing to pretend that it is acting in a “leftist” and “progressive” manner.

All the while, it’s keeping Greece firmly shackled to the chains of the EU, eurozone, and IMF, while the Greek people seemingly have lost their pluck, devoid of any fight, resigned to their EU shackles