The Serpent’s Egg hatchlings in Greece’s postmodern Great Depression

A brief history of the racist/fascist/neonazi penetration of Greece’s new ‘technocratic’ government

It will prove George Papandreou’s ugliest legacy: that his last-minute childish maneuvering to maximise his waning hold on power (while negotiating his eviction from the PM’s job), has brought into the new ‘national unity’ government four self-declared racists (some of whom are neo-Fascists and one a neo-Nazi of some renown). It is also wildly ironic: for Mr Papandreou’s best quality has traditionally been his ardent cosmopolitanism, his demonstrated anti-nationalism, a genuine commitment to minorities and a deep seated intolerance of racism. Alas, such is the lure of power, it seems, that the entry into the new government of one minister and three junior ministers representing LAOS (a small ultra-right wing party) was cynically judged as a smaller price to pay than handing more control of the new regime to Mr Papandreou’s political opponents in the two major parties – his own PASOK and New Democracy, the conservative opposition.

To non-Greeks watching breathlessly the swearing into government of the serpent’s egg latest hatchlings, these news from Greece will surely resonate terribly. As they should! For yet again a Great Depression has given fascism another twirl. And while Greece is small and ought to be irrelevant, its past has spawned great perils for the world at large. Lest we forget, the Cold War did not begin in the streets of Berlin but in the alleys of Athens back in December 1944. Greece was also one of the first countries to have established a fully fledged fascist regime after the Crash of 1929: the Metaxas dictatorship in 1936. More recently, a CIA-backed coup brought Greek fascists in power six years before General Pinochet rolled his tanks against the Presidential palace in Santiago, quite obviously inspired by the ‘success’ of his Greek brethren. Nowadays, with Greece leading the chorus of Europe’s headlong dive into a new recession, and a renewed disintegration complete with racial overtones (Germans loathing the Greeks and vice versa), it is time for the world to take note. Feeling the irony of Papandreou’s tragic end will simply not do. Progressives around the world must remain vigilant.

A brief history of LAOS

The junior member of Mr Lucas Papademos’ government is a party called LAOS. Its acronym stands for Popular Orthodox Rally but forms the Greek word for ‘People’, or the equivalent of the German ‘Volk’. Its leader is a certain Mr George Karatzaferis; a former third grade TV journalist with an eye to the benefits of appealing, via right wing populist means, to the right of the conservative party. Back in the late 1890s, when his TV career was refusing to take off in the big league channels, he shrewdly invested in a small TV channel of his own (called Telecity) which he used, American style, as his personal fiefdom. On the basis of TV rants with substantial racist overtones, he managed, unperturbed by the awful quality of his programs, to secure a small band of loyal lower class right wing viewers. Three were his weapons:

  • unrestrained attacks against the socialist party, PASOK; especially of Andreas Papandreou (George’s father)
  • an unbridled racist campaign that fanned the apprehension of a Greek society caught out by the sudden influx of immigrants, especially Albanians (following the implosion of Greece’s neighbouring country in 1991)
  • the wave of national anger and self-loathing spearheaded by the post-1991 breakup of Yugoslavia which led the southern former Yugoslav state of Macedonia to seek independence under the name Republic of Macedonia; a turn of events that unleashed mass nationalist hysteria in Greece, not confined (it must be said) to the Right of the political spectrum.

At first, Karatzaferis operated as a populist within the mainstream conservative party, New Democracy. Indeed, courtesy of his TV station and its small but loyal band of followers, he managed to get elected in Athens as a New Democracy deputy with clear majorities. Nevertheless, New Democracy’s leadership, while trying to keep him on a leash, never gave him a role in the party’s higher echelons. And when the party entered a period of intense internal divisions (as a result of PASOK’s great electoral successes in the 1990s), Karatzaferis seemed to have backed the wrong horse thus finding himself marginalised within. [His eventual parting with New Democracy came when he targeted the party's spokesman, a young handsome man that was politically close to the then New Democracy leader, insinuating unequivocally that he was gay.] At that point, Mr Karatzaferis took the bold decision to get out of New Democracy and use the combined firepower of his position as MP and of his lamentable (quality-wise) TV channel to start a new ultra-right party. The choice of acronym, LAOS, appealed to the Greek Orthodox church (the O in LAOS stands for ‘orthodox’) while his anti-immigrant rants were intended as means of bringing into the fold (a) despondent Greeks (the unemployed, the distressed petty-bourgeois etc.) and (b) assorted neo-Fascists.

Judging by the peronnel he peopled LAOS with, it would have been very easy to dismiss LAOS as a non-starter. None of them had any political kudos in mainstream politics. They comprised geriatrics who waxed lyrical about some non-existent glorious Greek past, remnants of the old Royalists (estranged since 1975 from the mainstream Right, when the latter’s leadership espoused republicanism), a small band of supporters of the 1967-1974 fascist junta and, most importantly, a small but dynamic band of younger supporters who were keen to find a political home for their explicit anti-migrant narratives (which polite society had no time for). Crucially, within this mish-mash of rightist groups lacking any serious ideological compass, two figures stand out: Mr Voridis and Mr Plevris. Two young men with an uncompromising ideological position and definite plans for LAOS.

Two examples of LAOS stalwarts

While Mr Karatzaferis is an accidental leader, and is probably not more racist than many politicians in the mainstream political parties (in the sense that he only formed LAOS when he judged that his private fortunes were better served that way, rather than by staying in mainstream New Democracy; and then gave it a racist spin to differentiate his ‘product’), this is not so for some of LAOS’ leading lights. Here are two telling examples.

Plevris is the son of the foremost postwar Greek Nazi ideologue. Please note that the use of the Nazi epithet here is not an attempt to attach a term of abuse to him. For Mr Plevris was proud of it (National Socialist was, I must admit, his preferred term, though he did not balk at being labelled Nazi). His books and publications strove to defend the ‘national socialist’ version of history, including the ardent persecution of Jews (as a natural defence of Aryan people from the Jewish conspiracy), Holocaust denial, a systematic defence of  the Nazis’ occupation of Greece etc. etc. Indeed, father Plevris had formed a number of neo-Nazi organisations after 1974 and had shown a remarkable determination to stand his neo-Nazi ground at a time when the Greek Left was resurgent and the ultra Right was in retreat. Had Mr Plevris been younger, he would have played an active role in LAOS. The next best thing, as it turned out, was that he promoted his son within the new party – the result being that Plevris Junior is now an MP. While it is important not to presume that a son must necessarily bear responsibility for his father’s views and political activities, in the case of Plevris Junior he has not questioned (at least in public) his father’s considerable legacy.

Let me now turn to a second young man, Mr Voridis, who is now a government minister (holding the Public Works portfolio). Voridis was a neo-Nazi activist with a chequered past of violence (he has been known to partake of attacks against left wing students and activists) but also a bourgeois education (he graduated from the American College of Athens, a major incubator of the Greek elite). While he is now denying that he is a Nazi, and calls himself a nationalist, not once has he renounced the essence of his anti-semitism, anti-immigrant past. He speaks well and knows how to speak to people’s anxieties, while holding back on the darker side of his putrid ideology.

LAOS’ ‘culture’

I recall, not so many years ago, that upon returning to Greece from Australia, I would try to treat my jetlag, in the morning’s wee hours, by watching Telecity, Mr Karatzaferis’ appalling TV station. It was hilarious. To this day I cannot forget a program in which some crazed rightwinger unfolded a magnificent argument which, I must admit, I had not seen coming.

He started by declaring that, though a devout Orthodox Christian, he now believed in Darwin. This captured my attention and thus I watched on. He went on and on about how the fossil record makes it clear that prior Christian objections to Darwinism could not be sustained. Though he did look and rave like a loony, he sounded eminently reasonable. Until at some point he asked: “But is there any evidence that we Greeks, the chosen people who shone a bright light upon civilisation, have evolved from apes? Is this possible, I ask you? Of course it is not!” At that point I was all ears and eyes. “What could he possibly have up his sleeve?”, I wondered.

My incredulity was deepened when the presenter began showing aerial photographs from a mountain near Athens, claiming that they revealed the existence of ancient routes, caves and tunnels. After all the evidence had been laid bare, the masterstroke came: For it was ‘clear’ to him that the puzzle had been solved: Greeks were, unlike the rest of humanity (that had indeed descended from the apes), the descendants of an Über Race of extraterrestrials. I rest my case.

The danger

Most Greeks recall ludicrous LAOS-associated narratives of the sort that I just outlined. It is natural, therefore, that many cannot take the LAOS threat seriously. In the greater scheme of Greece’s troubles, the majority feel that LAOS is a sideshow that is here today gone tomorrow. That they found themselves in government as a result of a silly tactic by Papandreou but that they will return to the margins soon after. This is dangerous claptrap. Official racism-in-power, even if this government does not last long, poisons a whole society in the long term. The serpent’s egg, once it hatches, has the capacity to spread its venom far, wide and deeply. Once unleashed, anti-semitism, as we should have known by now, does its work subterraneanly and with undiminished poise. Already, a Muslim PASOK deputy from northern Greece refused to give the new government his vote of confidence. Immediately, LAOS seized upon this in order to argue, through its opportunistic leader, that this was a good thing, as it shows that the Turkish government is unhappy about the presence of true patriots in the new Greek government. Notice how racism is forging divisions within Greek society (turning the Muslim MP into a Dreyfus-like ‘spy’ figure) and, also, creating new rifts between Greek and its neighbours after years of substantial progress in healing them (progress that is largely due to good works by George Papandreou in his previous incarnation as Greece’s Foreign Minister).

The gist

1929 ought to have taught us that two things happen after a banking-cum-debt-cum-real economy collapse: First, the common currency shrivels and dies (the Gold Standard then, the euro now). Secondly, racism raises its ugly head, gains entry into government and, before we know it, makes it impossible to find civilised means by which to tackle the Crisis. For all the talk of a technocratic pro-European government in Greece, the truth has a nasty underbelly in which the serpent’s egg has already hatched. The world better beware.

134 thoughts on “The Serpent’s Egg hatchlings in Greece’s postmodern Great Depression

  1. Varoufakis you should go and live in Agios Panteleimonas with the illegal immigrants instead of the affluent northern suburbs. Athens in not a safe place anymore because of mass illegal immigration. It is a fact that the influx of illegal immigrants has lowered the wages of unskilled workers and has greatly increased crime rates. Also, many of the illegal immigrants are muslim extremists and they pose a threat to our values and to Greek national security.

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  7. Well yes… it’ s bad, and perhaps dangerous, that LAOS is part of the new greek government. But I do not think that the rise of the right in Greece is an isolated phenomenon. It connects to the rise of fascism in Europe in general. Not only the right wing parties increase their voters all over Europe (perhaps only in Germany there is no such development simply because the Christian Democratic party represents fascists perfectly fine) but the EU creates all the necessary conditions for the right wing parties to increase their power. Since you were talking about immigration, how do you find, for example, the EU immigration law? How should one see on the one hand Merkel’s statement that Germany only wants highly educated people as immigrants in order to fill in specific positions in the country and on the other Germany’s humanitarian concerns about the state of being of immigrants in Greece? Do you think that the left has convincing solutions or have they lost their connection both to reality and people? Thus, I have the impression that it would have been much more useful to concentrate on the conditions that give rise to the right instead of simply lamenting its newly acquired privileged position. As someone that despises LAOS, I have to say that I agree with M.P. G. Psarianos. I am interested more 1. in hearing what the left has to offer and 2. in examining what went wrong in this ideological/political spectrum. Finally, I am interested in the european dimensions of this “crisis” too.

    • @europeandecadent I like what you say: “…..it would have been much more useful to concentrate on the conditions that give rise to the right instead of simply lamenting its newly acquired privileged position”…… because I am sure this is the only way to stop it (extremes).

      It is the same with diseases: if the root of the problem is not known you cannot give the right medicine. Mostly they (mainstream medicine) use something to stop the symptom of the disease, which is similar with the symptom of a alarming bad (going into extremes) development in the society.

      We live in a cosmic system which is in a constant search for a natural balance. If there is a disbalance then we name that “bad”, in the meaning of “not right”. But also too much “good” is not right.

      If there is the symptom of the rise of what we call the extreme right wing then there must have been a not normal rise on the other side.

      Also important to realize is that what we fear in the outer world we fear also in our self. Fear is related with judgements.

      We are all one (micro and macro). Also with what we dislike, or learned to dislike. There is not one single human being with just positive sides, and yes, in extreme situations the good one we think we are can change into a killer, even a Hitler.
      We are all one deep inside. We are all searching for complete oneness. The Path to reach the final Oneness is long.

      We have to keep an eye on our own self, analyse it and search for the balance there, to stay healthy in not just a physically way but also emotionally, mentally and spiritually. To take the responsibility to bring and keep ourselves in balance.
      To be harmonious.
      But that is connected with evolution, with awarenes and consciousness, deepening, development, with learning, not only rational, to get the awareness for instance Aristotle had.

      It takes more than one life to learn that. That is the reason that there are so many differences in levels of development. Because the one is harder working at the self than the other one. The one has had already more reincarnations than the other one.

      It is wonderful to have all political parties in the governement. In Netherlands this is normal. We all learn more by listening to other opinions and by having a voice, all.

      I am not afraid.
      I know myself and yes, in me is, on some moments, also an extremist. I was shocked the first time that I realized that. But I understood/understand myself:
      When I hear about new disgusting scandals in nature I can get so furious, feeling so completely frustrated and standing alone in front of the wall of power of those who rule this planet that I can find ways to punish the bad one that you would be astonished.

      But, that is extreme frustration. Hatred. Yes, I can hate, I can love.

      This planet is there because of contradictions. Lao Tzu wrote about it already thousands of years before Christ, and it is true.

      You cannot know what love is if you don’t know hatred. If you say you don’t know hatred then you lie, deny yourself, and pretend that you are holy. Or you live with masks, as the most do. I don’t say that hatred is good. It is a mood, not you. Even priests can hate, and they name it love on moments that they want to fight for that what they learned that is right or wrong.
      Even in the bible they created a violent God, who even encouraged wars. That is not God, that is hatred, “speaking”, and the person who is/was experiencing this >thinks< he hears " God" speaking.
      Their "God" killed billions of people, even Hitler was praying to God. and heared answers.
      Love is more than the other side of hatred.
      "It" is older than the concept of God.

      It helps to talk. To scream, to cry.

      It helps to listen.
      To discuss.
      To search for the reasons.
      To forgive.
      And to embrace.

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  12. I feel sorry for Greeks in Greece who have been brainwashed by the left. Anyone who expresses a hint of patriotic sentiment is branded a “fascist” and a “nazi.” Mr Varoufakis suffers from the same delusion. It is a shame that, although the leftists lost the simoritopolemos (incorrectly known as the Greek Civil War), they won the peace. Greece is in her current state largely because of the leftist / socialist policies pursued in recent decades. Note I do not call the Simoritopolemos a “civil” war because the Communists were not Greeks – they wanted to abolish Greece and install communism which is against Greece. Moreover, Mr Varoufakis’ contempt for John Howard (who he calls “awful little man”), one of Australia’s longest serving Prime Ministers, suggests just how much seething contempt he has for conservatives generally. Rest assured Mr Varoufakis, Diaspora Greeks are not deluded like our compatriots in the motherland. Regards George, Melbourne, Australia.

    • Respectfully Sir, racism is the greatest foe of patriotism. Hitler, the Greek Nazi collaborators, the white Australia policy, Laos in Greece today have damaged the homeland that they supposedly cherished. Patriotism is about love. Racism is about hatred.

    • The diatribe below is a perfect example of why the Greek state is the way it is – we have all these (seemingly) intelligent people chasing the “fascists” instead of making things work. Truly, most Greeks are brainwashed by the hard communist left. On my last trip to Greece I was shocked to see a communist flag flying proudly in Pireaus. I did not see any Nazi flags though. For the record, I hate Nazism and am Pro-Israel (but maybe the left will accuse me of being a Jewish Nazi who is oppressing the poor Muslim Arabs). Also “Patriotism is about love. Racism is about hatred.” What a ridiculous statement meant to justify the flood of illegal Third World immigrants that have flooded Greece in recent years. It is not racism to want to maintain your nation and not have every illegal interloper enter your country. But what can one expect from an author who labels one of Australia’s greatest Prime Ministers an awful little man and generally has a burning hatred for conservatives.

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  14. Here’s a question, though, and I guess the dynamics just aren’t clear to me.

    From what I understand, it seems like this right wing (ostensibly) “nationalist” government was *installed* by the (ostensibly) “cosmopolitan” EU technocrats in order to carry out the austerian demands of those same technocrats.

    I gather the technocrats believe the Greek right wing nationalists have the will to serve as iron fist, but how does that make the rightists “nationalists” and not thugs for the cosmopolitan technocracy?

    If they reign down terror exclusively on immigrants, will the technocracy be satisfied? Right now, it doesn’t look like it. In which case, at what point do we cease calling them nationalists and anti-semites and start seeing them properly as an extension of the technocracy itself, and the means through which they will work their will?

    Would *right now* be premature?

    • You got it all wrong.

      First of all, Only the prime minister could be considered a technocrat. Otherwise, this government comprises 100% politicians, the same kind of politicians that are responsible for today’s shame.

      Secondly, this is not a a right wing government either. 80% of the ministers come from the socialist party while less than 10% (4/49) come from the hardcore right-wing party. Out of these four, one is the minister of transports and the other three are deputy ministers in the departments of agriculture, defense and naval affairs.

      This means that (maybe with the exception of the defense ministry) the “thugs” are involved in second-class ministries that have very little to do with the enforcement of austerity demands to the people…

      Fortunately, this part is still the job of our every-day, deceiving, gutless politicians….

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  16. Greek Nativist is right. Voridis is not a Nazi. He is just a friend of Lepen and other eurofascists and a common thug.

    As for Plevris, he is just his fathers son. He grew up in a house where Adolf Hitler’s birthday were the second easter. It would be very interesting if any journalist ever asked him about the holocaust but this has never happened so far.

    Michaloliakos, the leader of Hrisi Aygi (Golden Dawn for the non Greeks – the prominent Nazi group in Greece) is not a Nazi either. He, along with father Plevris, is just another public servant. He is in the payroll of KYP (the Greek CIA) since the early ’80s.
    http://athens.indymedia.org/local/webcast/uploads/metafiles/ertzfzlyr.jpg
    (For the non – greeks, this is an official KYP document of Plevris and Michaloliakos salary back in december 1981).

    For more info on Greek fascists and their financing, just google “operation gladio”. The rabbithole is so damn deep…

  17. “The Germans are our friends…”
    Famous quote of actor Mr. Matsas in one old film of the fifties where he plays the role of the Greek Nazi collaborator.
    The Serpent’s eggs were and are always here. When in 1952 (if i recall well) the then Greek PM went cap in hand to Germany asking for a loan as Greece was bankrupt (again), Chancellor Adenauer agreed on the following terms:

    1. The investigation against SIEMENS (who then bribed Greek officials in order to secure contracts !!) to conclude in a manner favorable to Siemens
    2. Greek Ministry of Interior to destroy all files with information on Nazis operating in Greece and Greeks who cooperated with the Nazi regime
    3. Greece to abolish its rights for war reparations
    4. Mr. Merten, the Nazi commander of Thessaloniki, who was responsible for the killing of 28,000 Greek jews, and who was in prison undergoing trial, to serve the minimum possible sentence and return to Germany as soon as possible.

    The Greek PM complied with all except no3, where he said that he will not pursue the matter but he did not sign anything.

    This is only an example that shows even in the time where you would think that the Serpent was utterly crushed, less than a decade after the defeat of the Nazis, they were still in power, ruling and protecting their minions.

    Indeed, Mr. Karatzaferis and his lot are a laughing stock. I enjoyed personnally spending a few minutes here and there listening to the loony tunes of some of his team members. However, as Yanis said, this is dangerous.

    Nazism flourished in Germany while the Germans were, betrayed, defeated, bankrupt, unemployed and hard-pressed by English and French to pay war reparations (for the first WW). Greeks now share a lot of these feelings and it will not take long for someone to convince them that all this is “someone else’s fault”.

    And yes, i agree with a previous comment that the serpent has many heads, and not all of them sit on the “right” side, there are a lot that sit on the “left” side and lots are lurking in dark places.

    When despair turns to hatred, ugly things may happen.

    Kostis

  18. I can’t be sure about Voridis and Plevris but you are definitely not on the side of the Enlightenment. What I have read from you so far is plain name-calling without any evidence to support it! And when I simply asked for one shred of such evidence (out of the “countless” pieces according to you) I faced a wave of insults [“holocaust-denier” (!!!) in your first reply and now a “fascist” (!!!)], without – of course – being provided with any evidence. Isn’t that what fascists did in the ‘20s? Didn’t they resort to the defamation of those who considered as opponents and didn’t they avoid offering any concrete arguments for their accusations? Who is the real fascist then?

    It is obvious that you are much more comfortable in a dialogue which takes place among people who completely agree with you, who will never ask you to prove your points and if they dare to do so, then they – obviously – are neonazis/fascists/racists. This is Enlightnement Varoufakis’ style!

    • Dear Nativist. I have spent a lifetime in constant dialogue with those that disagree with me (and I with them). Nothing gives me more pleasure than to be contradicted. Where I draw the line, what I refuse to do, is to enter into a dialogue with Holocaust deniers, flat-earthers, advocates of the rights of racists and all their various echoes in different countries (including Greece). Had you asked me about evidence that Mr Le Pen or David Irving are fascists, I would have refused to engage with you. Just like I refused to engage with you on whether Plevris and Voridis are fascists. They are. And anyone who denies it is their handmaiden.

    • Well, you are angry and not polite at all. I have been very kind to you in my answer on your former comment. Speaking very calm and with a huge will to understand your point of view. You did not even take the time to react on it. You are just not willing to get rid of the negativity within you. You like it.
      You like it to be against everything and everybody what and who is/ thinks different. You are not the only one, this is the base of politics: to be different and to fight / conquer other opinions.
      Go deep inside you and find what is the reason of this. It is there. When you know it it heals.

      I have deepened my knowledge about Enlightenment. I have gone through twenty long years of a deep depression, completely without any light.
      I have been in the hell of that what is lightless.

      I have learned what Enlightenment means.
      I recognize it in people. I don’t put Yanis Varoufakis on the same level as Jesus Christ but what I admire in him is that he dares to react in a complete different way, not searching for his own success, but for results which work for the going on of humanity.
      That is a big difference.

      Just to kick against things because you like to kick and hurt does not work.
      Start to look around you, where you live, and try to bring some light there, by being kind, friendly, and searching for solutions for the problems around you.
      Be constructive.
      It will bring engliughtenment in you.
      That will radiate to all around you and will have made this sad world into a better one. You will feel that this is the only way to change the world, by changing yoiur self within. And never never ever to quit with going the path of what you say it is Enlightenment. Never.

      Nourish your mind with positivity. I think you are sick of the world. Time to heal. But start with liking it to be sick.

      To be sure that you understand what I see as Enlightenment read this from Agapi Stassinopoulos:
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/agapi-stassinopoulos/the-power-of-offering-how_b_1096055.html

  19. Karatzaferis’s name is a complete joke for someone so racist. His name comes from Turkish and has two parts: “kara” and “zafir”. “Kara” means dark or black and can imply tough or sturdy. “Zafir” ultimately comes from Arabic and means victor or successful one. All in all, a heroic name wasted on a fool.

    The fear of (and resistance against) a rightist resurgence in Europe and in Greece is justified, but some of the most heinous examples in recent times have happened outside Greece. For example, there are the various Hungarian and Italian actions against the Roma, the soft support of violent rightists in Germany against Greeks, Turks, and Yugoslavs, and of course the horrible events of the killer in Norway, which have not been adequately refuted in that region’s politics. Greek politics are deeply demoralizing, the racism of LAOS is poisonous, and PASOK’s support of LAOS is unconscionable, but another scenario is possible.

    In the first instance, the coming crisis will deeply weaken the US, which has often supported rightists of all stripes in Greece and Europe. The two main pillars of US power, Europe and the Japanese will be in deep disarray in the coming years, the latter not least due to the tragic ongoing and hidden nuclear disaster, magnitudes worse than Chernobyl, which has left embassies empty and led to talks about shifting the capital Tokyo southwards. Furthermore, the entire NATO area is in increasing social turmoil, in the Middle East, Europe, and now the US, with various occupy movements. A catastrophic collapse is highly doubtful at this point but there is no question that the current arrangement of power is on the decline, not the ascent.

    Let me also hearten the embattled by mentioning the history of the left in Greece, which survived heavy repression of its communist and socialist movements to emerge victorious by the 1970s, perhaps not coincidentally as the “Global Plan” eroded. Late PASOK is an unmitigated disaster for Greece and for Europe, but its early history deserves praise. There is still a large difference between a society such as Greece’s, in which leftist sentiments and criticisms can still spring from tongues unbidden, in their polarizing glory, and the US, for instance, which has only allowed open discussion of capitalism in the mainstream media in the last several weeks. Greeks and Europeans sometimes take for granted the developed political forms and discourse which they have achieved.

  20. Some context is seriously needed here:

    First, it was mainly due to Karatzaferis’ last-minute pressure that Papademos was finally chosen as head of this interim coalition government. Papandreou and Samaras had actually agreed to name Petsalnikos, Papandreou’s closest operative and puppet, as the new prime minister. In fact K. has been proposing Papademos since 2009 to lead such a coalition government and get Greece through the crisis. For a neo-fascist, neo-nazi, blood-sucking, baby-eating far-rightwinger he must be an overly stealthy one.

    Second, Greece is home to a proudly stalinist Communist Party (KKE) attracting 8-10% of the vote which openly declares that it is not bound by the greek costitution and acts accordingly: systematically calling for “Disobedience!” against any law that displeases them, blocking roads, ports, businesses, occupying ministries or even the Acropolis – anytime they feel like doing so.
    It is also home to another party of the radical left (SYRIZA) which directly or indirectly supports ‘political’ violence against their opponents, the police, government officials and which attracts another 5-6% of the vote. Their current leader has proudly stated his admiration for the late chairman Mao Tse-tung and has described his party’s philosophy in clear terms: “Chaos (in the streets) can be a good thing, if it leads to a ‘solution’ favoring the Left”.
    Besides the above, there is an entire subculture of the extra-parliamentary left, anarchists, anarchocommunists etc. engaging in obscene violence such as bombing churches, burning bookstores (including -17(seventeen) times- the one owned by the LAOS minister A.Georgiadis), looting and destroying public property in the universities, rioting and throwing Molotov cocktails at the police during demonstrations. They are responsible for the murder of 3 bank employees (one of them pregnant), during a demonstation in May 2010 in Athens, who had the insolence to work in a day of public strike. They are operating their main website ‘athens.indymedia’ from inside the State Technical University of Athens, proudly announcing there their deeds and taking credit for them (in other words the greek state openly sponsors far-left criminals engaging in ‘revolutionary’ activities)
    Finally Greece is home to about a dozen far-left terrorist groups some of them now defunct others still operating (ie. murdering) The most famous of them, ’17N’ (November 17th) has been responsible for the murder of 23 individuals, Greeks and foreigners alike. It was only under immense foreign pressure and assistance prior to the 2004 Olympics that the greek state reluctantly got its wits together and brought some of the 17N members to justice, althought it is widely perceived that the majority of them still remain at large.
    The point is that if greek democracy has somehow managed to survive the hordes of extremely violent and openly anti-democratic stalinists, maoists, trotskyites, anarchists, terrorists etc. that plague it, it will probably be able to also survive Karatzaferis’ non-violent (and consistently violence-abdicating) party. For in all the noise and crocodile tears about the purported far-right threat to democracy, the very real, blood-dripping, far-left threat to democracy in Greece is easily (and conveniently, among leftists) overlooked.
    If the ‘antifascists’ are those who are burning bookstores and the ‘fascists’ those whose bookstores are being burnt, then we are certainly living in post-modern times. The Serpent’s Egg hatchlings are out there, indeed; we just have to figure out who exactly is the Serpent.

    • According to me , what you wrote is a reference to what i call main stream propaganda .

    • You could not be more wrong. It was internal pressure from within PASOK that put things back on track with Papademos.

      http://www.tanea.gr/ellada/article/?aid=4671970

      Karatzaferis’ bursting out in front of the cameras like a raging Shrek only to admit some time after that he was going back again tomorrow was a badly directed show that did not convince even HIS most devoted followers.

      We all know now what the goal was, why the whole process was ridiculously delayed and why Papandreou desperately needed another day as prime minister.

      http://news.kathimerini.gr/4dcgi/_w_articles_politics_1_10/11/2011_462307

      Karatzaferis offered him that extra day (by making a fool of himself in front of the entire world) and got some ministries in return.

      THAT simple….

    • THAT nonsense, comrade Albert, and you’re actually mislinking Kathimerini where it says nothing like what you’re saying (some of us happen to read greek).
      Papademos was sworn in on November 11th, one day before ‘the extra day’ that supposedly Papandreou ‘desperately needed’, when in fact he was(is) already resigning from PASOK presidency. Karatzaferis couldn’t ‘offer’ anything beyond his loud protest to the machinations of Papandreou and Samaras who were ready to place their stooge Petsalnikos as the new prime minister.
      But anyway, comrade Albert, as you know, for us leftists attention to detail and facts is never an obligation, we can always think what we want and then distort reality to fit into our convictions.

      As for the comrades above. Yes, I can feel your plain kameraden, I’m sharing it. Imagine these people; never actually having murdered anyone, looted or destroyed someone’s property, occupied the Acropolis or the Finance ministry or even burnt a bookstore for goodness’ sake.
      The Serpent’s Egg hatchlings are threatening our bourgeois democracy, but we democratic stalinists, maoists and anarchists will be there to defend it.

  21. Dear Mr. Varoufakis,
    Although I generally like your ideas and your thinking, I cannot agree with your analysis. Perhaps it is because I am simply fed up with what has been happening in Greece for the last 20 yeats and I do not easily believe what I hear / see. For me, there has been no real difference beign governed by PASOK or NEW DEMOCRACY; they both failed completely. As far as LAOS is concerned, they simply exploited part of the right wing’s share. I do not consider them as neo-fascists or neo-nazis but only as opportunists, like the vast majority of the parliament. However, the social dangers we are facing are real and every party will now play with our fears.

  22. For any rational and educated (I don’t restrict education to its formal meaning here) person the danger that Yanis describes here may seem a bit trivial and distant, but I think this just makes it even more dangerous. The racist/fascist/nazi movements rely on their opponents regarding them as a mere nuisance and before we know it the situation goes completely out of control.

    Of course the long-term response is to educate people and promote such higher values and ideals as “Liberte-Egalite-Fraternite”. But this takes time (perhaps even a generation or maybe more) and in these darkening times we are living we cannot afford to wait.

    On the other hand, a short-term barrier could be put in place by destroying the serpent’s main argument:

    “The ‘xenoi’ steal your money”, either literally by robbing you and killing you in the street, or by stealing your job and leaving you unemployed, or by stealing your government’s money when they make use of public services (schools, hospitals, etc.).

    So we come back to the financial crisis and the solution proposed by Yani, which could stem the tides of depression and unemployment and give people a hope that although we are experiencing hard times we will be able to come through; all of us and not just the toughest ones.

    But Yani, is there still time even for the implementation of the Modest Proposal? Perhaps you should start working with other like-minded colleagues on a Plan B: A “More Modest Proposal” for what Greece can do after the dissolution of the Eurozone.

  23. Enough of this ideological debate. On Monday we begin the invasion of greater Germany.

    So I want all the troops relaxed and at high spirit.

    Why don’t you get some rolling & tumpling tonight and be ready in the morning:

  24. As expected, you chickened out when you were cornered and asked to provide one single piece of evidence (you said you had “countless”!!!) for your name-calling. Typical reaction of the pseudo-progressive elite intelligentsia! Your mentality smacks of totalitarianism and Holy Inquisition and definately not of Enlightenment.

    PS: I don’t think that either Plevris or Voridis will bother with what people like you (or me) write about them on the web. They obviously have more serious things to do (especially Voridis). But the lack of reaction (or legal action) from their part doesn’t mean that what you write is close to reality. Anyway, I had good fun blowing holes in your credibility!

    • Right. So, Voridis and Plevris are on the side of Enlightenment, too busy to sue me for defamation. And I lack credibility. Always interesting to encounter a fascist reader (doing what fascists have been doing since the 1920s) in my blog.

  25. About Plevris junior you argue that “he has never said anything to contradict his father’s views”. Has he said that he espouses these views? In that sense you could propose that Plevris junior should denounce that Plevris senior is his father and be declared an orphan in order to distance himself from his father’s views! Plevris junior has been an MP since 2007. Haven’t you come across anything from his presence in Parliament and the media to prove that he is a rabid Nazi like his father? By the way, in which other “ultra-right organizations” has Plevris junior participated? (name one).

    About Voridis you still haven’ mentioned one (1) evidence linking-him with neo-nazism or any anti-semitic quote of his. You can find plenty of Hitler’s in “Mein Kampf”. What about Voridis?

    Providing tangible evidence for your name-calling is not one of your strong points. If that isn’t mud-slinging than what is…

    • I have a suggestion for you: Let Plevris or Voridis sue me for defamation and I shall gladly then waste my time providing all the evidence in court. Meanwhile I shall spend my scarce time arguing worthy cases. Offering evidence to convince you that the Earth is not flat, that the junta was neofascist or equivalently that Voridis has a distinct neonazi past, is not one of these endeavours.

    • Hello,

      I follow your comments and Yanis’ answers. You are defending Plevris jr. very very strong, and nothing is possible to change your mind. I don’t know Plevris jr. but if it is possible: how would you describe Plevris jr? You speak about what he is NOT, but how is he, as he is really, in your opinion?

      To be the son of a father he has, is not easy, and yes, this happened with children of collaborators with the Germans in WWII also. Their life has been broken. They did not even dare to speak freely. Not openly.
      So, give the person a voice and speak about his inbeing, his thoughts, ideas.

      If you don’t know, then it is not proven that he is different as his father, but I could give him the benefit of the doubt.
      As long there is not any proof.

      About the being innocent or not:
      There are priests, believing in God, preaching about God, who rape children.
      There are peoples who have a government with politicians who make a holy vow on the book of the patriarch. But their government is cooperating with countries which are in a war and kill people. And against the law of God and Humanity.
      I read that Greece creates war weapons.
      A country what creates war weapons is as guilty for the killings, because of those weapons, as the country what buys those weapons.

      We can be intolerant to those who are intolerant concerning Jews.
      It does not work to condemn the one because the one condemns the other one.
      It is time to explain the why it is not to be tolerated.
      It is time to stop to tolerate a government to tolerate industry in the country to creaty war weapons.
      Time to throw out the disgusting killing industry.
      Save life.
      Save your dignity.
      Be worth it to get money from abroad to build up your country, Stop damaging other countruies with creating war weapons,

      If I am wrong, not well informed, let me know….
      I apologize if I am wrong about the war industry in Greece.
      But Dimas is very interested in Israel, in the connections with Israel. Why?
      Here is my comment on him, Israel and Jews. It is finally published in Athens News:
      http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/1/50465

  26. Elias Trou siad: “I would like to share my view on conspiracy theories . Join me if you like.”

    Yes I would like! I follow your thoughts and totally agree. Too bad we could not foresee the critical pieces of the puzzle in more detail BEFORE they lock into place because hindsight is always 20-20 but by then it is far too late and all the damage has been done.

    But, there are only a handful of major worldwide power players and they all know each other. This we already know. And we can find at least a couple of these people heading up the largest banks. This we know too. Look now further than Wall Street and follow the unmarked helicopters.

  27. If I understand correctly you have nothing to hold against Plevris junior except what his father has said or written. So basically he is “guilty” for being his father’s son and nothing else. As far as Voridis is concerned you accuse him of being a Nazi and an anti-semite. Can you provide us with a signle evidence of Voridis’ participation in a neo-nazi group? Can you provide us with a single anti-semitic quote? Do note that EPEN was pro-junta and not neo-nazi. Mud-slinging has always been easy…

    • >If I understand correctly you have nothing to hold against Plevris junior except what his father has said or written.

      Other than that he has never said anything to contradict his father’s views and that he has always been part and parcel of ultra-right organisations, nothing.

      >As far as Voridis is concerned you accuse him of being a Nazi and an anti-semite. Can you provide us with a signle evidence of Voridis’ participation in a neo-nazi group?

      Countless such pieces.

      >Can you provide us with a single anti-semitic quote?

      As many as I can regarding Mr Hitler’s antisemitism.

      >Do note that EPEN was pro-junta and not neo-nazi.

      EPEN was neo-fascist, as was the junta, mostly. The neo-nazi element of the junta, EPEN and now LAOS is a small but not insignificant minority.

      >Mud-slinging has always been easy…

      I see that you have learnt much from the art of Holocaust-denial: Accusing the opponents of fascism/nazism for bias, mudslinging and the like.

    • Silence in the face of openly proposed violence against others because of their ethnic, religious, sexual or other attributes can only be taken as complicity. It matters not whether the author of such Nazi ideology is your own father or brother or spouse: it means that you do not actively oppose it.

      For an interesting example, look at Saif Gadafi and how he fooled the LSE into thinking he was a progressive (although he never actively denounced his father’s actions and ideology). Try to learn from others’ mistakes…

    • I take it that you have not seen the infamous photo depicting an axe-wielding Voridis in his youth.
      Today he dismisses his past as a ‘youth folly”, but as one other blogger somewhere in the bloggosphere said ” Of course. We all took an axe and wondered the street of Academias in search of a head to split open in our youth”.
      Did we? And how young is a university student anyway?

  28. This is just a treat for Greek speakers only(sorry I don’t know how to translate Greek video).

    Nikos Lygeros is considered to be one of the top 50 IQs in the world today(Google him). Definitely a guy I want on my team. Hear what his take is on all of this:

    • Thank you Mr. Plassaras,

      It’s a really good explanation of the current situation.

      Hello Mr. Varoufakis,

      What I’ve found more interesting is the small introduction to the Greek underground-and sea-treasures.
      Instead we spend so much negative energy in finding the bad guys, I think it would be much more effective if we focus our energy in exploring the solutions to these Greek-problems, concerning this important treasures.
      It would be very interesting -for me and I think also for others- if you could say something about this.
      The past is good to learn from the mistakes and apply the lessons in solving problems of the future.

      Kind regards,

      Stella

    • My Greek is not up to coping with the video, but I did Google the name. Sorry to disillusion you, but there are several things to comment about IQ, conceptually and empirically. First, there have never been so many high IQ people in the world as now, simply by virtue of the total population compared with the past. It is far from clear to me that we have more achieving geniuses than the past — although, logically, one should expect so. Secondly, the concept of IQ has no intellectual foundations and is now considered passe. This is because IQ tests are premised on extrapolation (an unacceptable device in science), along the lines of “if you can do 50 difficult tasks in one hour, imagine what you can achieve in a lifetime”. They are also either focused on specific abilities (such as visuo-spatial, linguistic, arithmetical, etc.) or are compilations of such different tests, weighted according to the personal judgements of the test authors (!!) Thirdly, membership of MENSA seems to be dominated by non-achieving people, such as rubbish collectors, clerks, and other low skilled professions. This indicates empirically two propositions: that many people join MENSA owing to their lack of worldly success and respect; and that high IQ does not readily translate into achievement of any sort. (It is possible that a focused high IQ ability is a precondition for great success, coupled with hard work and other personal attributes: Mozart seems a likely example of that. However, it is far from clear that this is so: the jury is still out).

      BTW, in case you are wondering why I have thought so much about this, it is because in my early 20s I used to score 170+ on standard mixed IQ tests — way above the conversion scale and usually ranked as “lesser genius”. So, as an opponent of IQ as a concept, I am not fighting for my own interests (since I never thought of myself as another Isaac Newton!).

    • To Guest (xenos)

      What you say is true . Mr Lygeros talks the same things as you , as far as MENSA tests are concerned .
      What is important of Mr Lygeros are his thoughts and ideas , not his IQ.

  29. Interestingly the first two policies(or non-policies) the sole minister of LAOS pledged to support are also backed by the left (SYRIZA,KKE), namely not changing anything in the taxi licensing regime, and not placing any of the (over)redundant public workers on to a reserve status. If we search deeper we will find a lot more similarities between the radical left and right than their supporters are willing to admit. The “us or them” doctrine has been adapted a lot earlier from the Communist Party(their paper “rizospastis” consistently writes “whoever is not with us is against us”) and SYRIZA members have been accusing G-PAP of being a traitor(a peculiar accusation for a self described left wing party) and that “he will leave the parliament via helicopter”(a quote from their leader ) or face goudi(a place where once politicians were executed), a notion a lot of ultra-right wingers adopt.

    Despite the fact that your essay on LAOS is absolutely true and digging a little bit deeper will expose more hideous revelations about its members, most of our radical left also supports extreme positions, perhaps on the other side of the spectrum, but not always. Their rhetoric on several issues(especially economic liberties but also on freedom of speech) seems to be diverging yet very few seem to point that out.

    I’m certain that the threat to liberalism is not one sided and does not only come from the right. The left’s growing latent intolerance on different political positions especially libertarianism is actually more worrying.

    • Liberalism has many foes, the liberals usually ranking highly amongst them. But let’s not quip. It is extremely worrying, to me, that the perils of racism are equated with a leftwing critique and leftwing activism. Have the crematoria taught us nothing?

  30. “Give me an example of a country today , that a simple citizen has the same rights as a PM or an MP or a judge or a banker . Does a citizen have a say? ” Indeed! Yes!
    This is why protest groups around the globe are wisely holding daily discussions and re-discussing democracy. This is one good sign amid so many terrible ones. Since 9/11 Democracy has escalated downward and we see this deceleration coincide with the euro/dollar one and acceleration of the current banking messes worldwide. Is this a coincidence? Unfortunately not. With mere idiots holding all the money AND all the power, (maybe that makes them not so dumb after all) we have every reason for huge alarms. Democracy has all but lost its true meaning in our current political climate in USA as well as Europe. So which of us is running for office? Leadership is needed very badly right now, no?

  31. AT LAST an all-inclusive article in protagon about your standing on drahma debate and interest of Greece .

    Whoever watched your interviews all this time and read your post on this blog , could understand what you were saying . But segments of greek interviews here and there made it extremely difficult for someone else to understand what you were saying .

    Very well written and crisply clear .

  32. I am a Greek-American and have been watching the events in Greece from afar. I too thought of Mr. Karatzaferis as a clown. But I was quite surprised when I read in a recent survey that a rather high number of Greek people had a good opinion of him (I believe, if I am not mistaken, that it was about 1/2). I even read a few words of praise for him in the NY Times to the effect that he had put aside political ambitions and differences for the sake of unity (ha!).

    Perhaps this comes from growing up in the US, but I do not see nationalism as necessarily bad. In the US, people are very nationalistic. On the other hand, the US does use its nationalism for bad purposes. But a weaker country like Greece needs nationalism as a defense in order that stronger countries not step on it. Nationalism is what stops the Greeks from selling their islands to the highest bidder, for example. I see racism against immigrants as not being a necessary consequence of nationalistic pride.

    Regarding the issue of the Republic of Macedonia, I used to not get it. But now I think I do. Greeks are afraid that Macedonia in Greece will become another Kosovo, and that a super power will take away part of Greek land for the sake of “human rights”. I do not think that is so far-fetched, but perhaps I have been reading too many Greek blogs :) My solution, by the way, to the name dispute is to call Macedonia in Greece– Greek Macedonia or Hellenic Macedonia.

  33. I would like to share my view on conspiracy theories . Join me if you like .

    I believe that they are centers of power with agendas .
    They have a plan but they can not design everything to the last detail . Because they can’t.

    What they do though is take advantage the moment . Maybe they create some provocative “events” too , to trigger an already heated situation .

    But most importantly they take advantage of the social , political and economical circumstances .

    If you look how things turned out in the past , they may very much seem like an organized plan . But believe me , a future outcome is by no means given for granted .

    What they do? Schedule their agendas , create links with power and wait for the suitable moment .

  34. When I was in Greece in 1997 I was taken aback by the undercurrent of racism against the Albanians I encountered in some corners (e.g., a bus driver who otherwise was a good guy describing them in terrible terms) –now I know where it came from. It would be a terrible thing if such thinking were inflamed and spread.

    By the way, in the UFO/paranormal literature, it’s not that the ancient Greeks were extraterrestrials, but that they interbred with extraterrestrials. Whenever you see the epithet ‘golden-eyed’ in ancient poetry, for example, that refers to alien ancestry. Your LAOS commentator needs to get his facts straight. (Interestingly, there is historically strong connection between UFO cults and fascist/Nazi ideology, so there’s a dangerous undercurrent to that apparently silly extraterrestrial talk.)

  35. Wake up people! Things are more serious and difficult, better say the real world of the real, common people is far more difficult, than the participation of a fascist party to the greek government.
    For me is better to express my opinion to greek.
    Κύριοι, χάνετε το δάσος και βλέπετε το δέντρο. Σας ενόχλησε μόνο η συμμετοχή του ΛΑΟΣ στην κυβέρνηση και δεν σας εξοργίζει το γεγονός ότι μετά από δεκάδες χρόνια έχουμε ΔΙΟΡΙΣΜΕΝΟ ΠΡΩΘΥΠΟΥΡΓΟ (!) με ΔΙΟΡΙΣΜΕΝΗ κυβέρνηση από ΠΟΛΥ ΠαΣοΚ και ολίγη ΝΔ και ΛΑΟΣ! Αυτούς όλους ποιος του ΨΗΦΙΣΕ και ΕΞΕΛΕΞΕ για κυβέρνηση;
    Δηλαδή εσείς δεν βλέπετε αυτήν την “κοινοβουλευτική” δικτατορία που έχουμε;
    Δεν βλέπετε ότι αυτό το τρισάθλιο “πολιτικό σύστημα/οικοδόμημα” της συμφοράς που έχουμε, προκειμένου να επιμηκύνει την ευημερία του, προέβη σε αυτό το δικτατορικό επίτευγμα (;), καθώς πιστεύει ότι με το να αποφύγει την υπογραφή της δανειακής σύμβασης της 26ης Οκτ. 2011 (με το δικό του όνομα), θα καταφέρει να διασωθεί και να συνεχίσει να μακροημερεύει!
    Το γεγονός ότι καταστρέφεται ένα ολόκληρο κράτος ή τουλάχιστον 11 εκατ/ρια ανθρώπων (σε 1η φάση, διότι σε επόμενες φάσεις, βλ πανομοιότυπο σενάριο Ιταλίας κτλ και στο τέλος η Ευρώπη των λαών, της δημοκρατίας, των δικαιωμάτων του ανθρώπου κοκ) δεν ενδιαφέρει κανέναν από εσάς;
    Σαφώς και υπάρχουν λύσεις. Αρκεί να τις συζητήσουμε και να ομονοήσουμε .

    • May I remind you that the second last elected prime minister abandoned the ship when the going got tough?

      May I remind you that the last elected prime minister after sacrificing an entire country’s reputation for his chair he then (very much likely) stroke a deal with the devil in return for half a day in prime ministership?

      (…and the devil got a bunch of ministries in return…)

      If this is the quality of your so-called democratically elected leaders then a million times I will chose this “parliamentary dictatorship”….

    • Agreed !

      Most of the discussion on this blog is about what you ‘re suggesting .

      But signs of fascism in Greece are also important . What everyone should bear in mind is that Fascism is a phenomenon . It occurs when things are bad . It will feed on misery , fear and despair .
      Atrocities may happen in the name of justice and patriotism .

      We must be alert .

  36. And how to do propose that Greece handles the immigrants that arrive daily or who are already here? With pogroms? Or by processing them on offshore islands, as Australia has tried (thus turning from a civilised to a barbaric state)?

    I am assuming that you are referring to the illegal immigrants. If that is the case, then by deportiing all the illegal immigrants back from whence they came.

    On a lighter note …

    “But is there any evidence that we Greeks, the chosen people who shone a bright light upon civilisation, have evolved from apes? Is this possible, I ask you? Of course it is not!”

    LOL … hilarious. Yet, think about it for a moment. How can the Greeks be possibly descended from apes when they are the only people who “butter” their bread wih olive oil instead of vile fats like butter. Yuck. ;-)

    • “…by deportiing all the illegal immigrants back from whence they came.” Even if this leads to their torture, prosecution or starvation to death? Is this what happened to our, once proudly beheld, notion of XENIA?

    • The solution for the immigration problem of Greece would be to renege on the treaties making Greece a prison country for entrants to the EU. Denounce the agreements and open the borders letting the existing illegal immigrants go where they will. The majority of them want to go to other EU countries anyway, and with the unemployment figures reaching 20% ( illegals not counted) they have every reason to flee.

      Legalize the ones who are masochistic enough to want to stay, and close the borders better so new ones do not come. It might be good to have an advertising campaign in the countries that send the most immigrants that Greece is bankrupt and has no jobs ( tongue in cheek).

      Already Albanians go back to their villages in hordes to come again maybe in the summer. The same with Bulgarians.

  37. I do not see any reason to worry…yet. This is not a government that has emerged by elections and moreover, it is only going to stay for a fixed, pre-determined amount of time (and a short one I might add).

    True enough, the LAOS party has doubled its ratings during 2011 (according to published polls) but on the other hand so has the left wing party of SYRIZA. In my opinion, this is a natural effect: people are turning to smaller parties as a way of protesting against the two big ones and the way they handle things w.r.t the financial crisis as well as immigrant-induced criminality.

    However, it is not like people’s vote has put the Nazi’s and fascists in the government.

  38. If the economy improves and jobs open for the 800.000 people laid off from the private sector and the small percentage coming from the civil service sector, then racism cannot take root and LAOS will remain a footnote of history, because the percentage of real racists is small.

    Already though the foreign workers are harassed by locals, at least the cleaning lady who comes once in two weeks for the heavy jobs has told me that they are harassed, told to go back to their country.

    Our real problem is that the immigrants were fine when every farmer became a landlord and could order serfs around, and every woman a lady and could have cleaning help.Example: a friend of mine coming to open her summer house asked at the village close to it whether there was any woman willing to come and help her clean it up. The answer from a very nice village lady was: Greek women do not do that sort of jobs.

    That is the real problem facing us now, that manual jobs are below Greek dignity, so the olives are left to fall unpicked because the Pakistani workers cost too much and the sons and daughters have degrees from TEI and a job of sorts in the civil service.

    • Just want to comment on your last paragraph .
      Farmers are actually starving . They cannot sell their products . The cost of fertilizers and gathering cost outtakes the selling price . It doesn’t matter who will gather them . That’s the case for oil at least that i know .
      Whoever has invested in modern cultivations and products based on european investments is actually broke as we speak . The only exceptions are small co-operations between farmers that sell their products directly to foreign countries with their own contacts .

      I agree in everything else that you say .

  39. When I arrived in Greece, 5 years ago, LAOS was a marginal political element. For my friends was a group of lunatics, extremists or clowns.

    I has been really surpised how suddenly is a good member of the democratic Greek Family. I don´t know many countris where a small (5%) party with racist credentials could be a permanente member of the main TV programmes.

    Today, if you listen serious journalists, like Papachelas, is a constructive element.

    Terrible

    • They are closed to 10% now according to recent polls. But as I explain above I am not worried just yet….

    • Fair enough.

      I will worry with you about the fascists rising to power if you worry with me about the kind of “mainstream” political powers that strike deals with them.

      Maybe the REAL serpent’s egg is not the obvious choice after all….

  40. I have no desire to defend LAOS; but I do wish to point out that the extreme left in Greece – and what are KKE and Syriza if not extreme, justifying, denying responsibility for and shielding rioters and political thugs – is attracting up to 25% support in opinion polls. It was left wing thugs who murdered three bank workers in May, was it not, not LAOS? And it is Syriza and KKE, is it not, which stoke up a climate of insurrection that encourages the outrageous street violence that characterises Greek political life? Often it seems shop keepers, whose stores are regularly smashed up and looted, are regarded by the Greek left as ‘collateral damage’ in the bigger battle against the bourgeois state, plutocracy, big capital or whatever.

    I also believe that you are trying to shut down debate on issues around immigration, national identity and the existential threats to Greece’s security by branding all those who don’t share your views as ‘nationalist’, ‘racist’, ‘fascist’ and ‘Nazi’. It should be possible, for example, to believe that Turkey does and will continue to pose a major security challenge to Greece without being labelled an anti-Turk or someone who thinks Greeks are a master-race descended from extra terrestrials.

    • Is this the same “Alexandros Iannou” who is mentioned on many webpages as a political member (πολιτευτής) of LAOS, the same extreme rightwing party which you misleadingly begin by saying that you have “no desire to defend”, before.. preceding to defend it?

      I think you are, or else this is a very strange coincidence indeed. If you are not, which I doubt, then Mr Karatzaferis has lost out on one of the few far-Right articulate and multi-lingual apologists.

      Behold, ladies and gentlemen, is the modus operandi of the Far-right in Greece. Lies, deception and anti-immigrant venom.

    • To Yani’s defense, he is a professor and he likes order in the classroom; so he is right: “racism is out”.

      The problem though with political correctness is when you are being raped (like Greece is by European morony) there is no such thing as political correctness during the rape.

      You just don’t utter polite statements such “ouch, it hurts can you be a bit gentler please?” or “can you move a bit to the left, Sir? oh, that’s much better”.

      When you are fighting for your life and dignity you have a right – if not a down right obligation – for self-defense. One of the tools available is to fight racism with racism. Fire fighters do this all the time. they fight fire with fire.

    • Bad analogy Dean. Fighting racism with racism produces more racism. Always. Or as Ghandi used to say, and eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.

    • My dear friend,
      I don’t think that extremes, whether they are right or left, help somehow. However, when representatives of Laos declare that not all people are equal and that Jews manifactured the Haulocaust, or that Nazism is a good thing, in such statements how do you see any democratic element, or even room for a respected conversation?
      Please try to see the bigger picture and how people like Mr. Karatzaferis are trying to manipulate the fear of the greek people (about “inferior” foreigners who are stealing our jobs/history/nationality), instead of inviting everyone to be more researchful and read real history (not mr. Plevris’ silly propaganda).

    • Well , Mr Varoufakis expressed his own opinion .
      As you did .
      Personally i am in the middle on this subject .

      Bear in mind though , that you can not cover every aspect of a subject in a single post . There is always a compromise in order to highlight the points you want .
      Immigration is a huge one , and definitely inter-connected with other issues as well .

      But i don’t think Mr Varoufakis tries to shut down debates on his blog . He may very well choose the subject of discussion , but he posts all opinions .

      Sometimes , i have posted stupid things on his blog . I have written things that may very well be considered insulting to others . But i do respect him for posting them .

    • Alexandros said:

      “I also believe that you are trying to shut down debate on issues around immigration, national identity …”

      Do tell, Alexandros. Does this also apply to Greeks who have emigrated.
      Does there need to be a debate regarding the effect on the national identity of Canada of people like me? Does being a Greek, or an Italian, or a Ukrainian, or a German in Canada somehow undermine the national security of Canada? Please tell me so I can take action — against myself.

      Please explain, because I need to know. You see, I live in a country where 1 in 5 is foreign born and far more are second generation. What precisely is it about immigration I need to worry about? Such important matters as the numbers of churches vs mosques vs synagogues? Do I need to worry about the colour of my skin? After all, in Toronto, being white, I’d be a visible minority. Is there a cutoff to being an immigrant? Are second generation immigrants acceptable? Or do we need to wait until the third generation, having lost all the characteristics if immigrant-ness.

      Do I need to shun the cultural cornucopia. Does that mean I have to give up Indian and Vietnamese food and go back to overcooked meat with potatoes and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Does that mean Greek yogurt, which has become a food phenomenon in North America, is to be pulled off the shelves. Or do we keep all that good stuff and just send home (if they have one) the people who brought with them.

      And I need to understand the paradox of how Canada (and many other nations with high proportions of immigrants) has managed to rank in the top 10 of the Human Development Index for the last few decades — in spite of all these immigrants. Clearly there must be some ingenious indigenous people who’ve managed to overcome us immigrants and still made Canada so great.

      So let’s do what you suggest, Alexandros. Let’s have this debate. Let’s not rely on Yani’s charactisations. Tell us what you think so we can judge.

    • Firstly, I am not the Alexandros Ioannou John Becher thinks I am; so, John, I’m afraid you’ve wasted your breath. Really, a staunch supporter of LAOS following – admiring and learning from – the writings of Professor Varoufakis? I don’t think so.

      I also believe the comparison between Greece and Canada doesn’t stand up… for many reasons. For a start, there’s no such thing as a Canadian ethnicity, is there, so being a Canadian or becoming a Canadian is far less problematic, though I suspect that even in wonderful Canada there is still racism and racial tension. In fact, it’s probably fair to say that Canada – like the USA – was established on the basis of a genocide – of Native Americans, and I wonder how they feel about the rosy picture you paint of Canadian values and society. Indeed, wasn’t long ago (1970s) when Native American women were being subject to forcible sterilisation in Canada, was it?

      I would also suggest to you that your country’s official ideology of multiculturalism is in fact designed not to respect and recognise difference but to trick immigrants into becoming assimilated. (I’m sure I saw in an interview YV gave on Canadian TV, the presenter starting the discussion by showing Canadian viewers a global map and pointing out where Greece was! Ah, the beauties of ‘cultural cornucopia’!)

      And, no, I wouldn’t want to see Greek ethnicity – in Greece – turned into just one of many, many ethnicities and, no, I don’t believe it’s wrong to say that one culture – say, Greek – is more ‘worthy’ than another culture, if by ‘worthy’ we mean tends to freedom, democracy, creativity and progress.

      And, finally, on a point Yani makes above about not having learned anything from the crematoria. I would add that we should also learn from the gulags and the killing fields. KKE still has a statue of Lenin adorning its HQ. Lenin! I think it would be possible to make a strong case that Lenin was one of the 20th century’s greatest criminals – equivalent to Hitler.

    • To Kanellos .

      Although i agree with you . I just want to suggest to you another parameter, food for thought . The analogy between Canada and Greece is not exactly valid .
      There is strong evidence that there is an organized plan to “put” great number of immigrants in Greece .
      In some respect , there is really an issue here which demands a certain consideration in terms of national security .

      I am not suggesting a certain solution . But it is really is an issue !

    • To Dean Plassaras

      I think you have to watch Mr Lygeros interviews more closely . If Mr Lygeros stands very strong in one thing ,that is fighting crimes against humanity .
      He has consumed much effort in bringing upfront and creating awareness on genocides : Armenians , Pontiac , kurdish etc.
      And if you come to think about it , the idea of creating a homogeneous state (total absurd , unrealistic and against nature of things) is behind fascism as well .
      If we Greeks want to protect our identity , cultural values and the concept of hellenism , our first priority is to fight against fascism and racism .

      If we don’t fight such things , basically there is no point fighting at all , because that’s what we want to protect . If we deduct such values from hellenism , then there is no point being Greek .

      What i am saying is not idealistic or romantic . It’s historic .
      At least we Greeks , as victims of such atrocities , we should know better .

    • Just to be fair to you in terms of where i stand .
      I definitely recognize the problem as extremely important .

      Though , i tend to a solution like seriously analyze the problem , come up with serious data and evidence and then come up with a creative plan on how to deal with it .
      What i am saying is not a solution , but is a way towards finding a solution . But we don’t really stand a chance in finding an effective solution unless we do that .
      So far , the only thing that has been done is : exploited for political purposes .

    • i want to share with you to links very strongly related to this matter . I don’t completely agree with them , but it’s food for thought .

      It was a symposium with subject “Η κρίση του πολιτισμού και η αναζήτηση της υπέρβασης της ”

      Mr Giannaras and Mr Zouraris were some of the main speakers and if you listen closely , it’s very related to what we are discussing about .

      Mr Zouraris talked about ¨Πολυπολιτισμικότητα και ελληνική ταυτότητα”

      And Mr Giannaras ” Ανήκωμεν εις την δύση?”

      http://vimeo.com/21362501

      http://vimeo.com/21289506

      I am sorry about foreign people here . But believe me , we as Greeks have trouble as well understanding Mr Zouraris :)

    • Alexandros,

      1. You’re probaly confusing Lenin with Stalin. Look it up.
      2. Is any culture static and eternal? Isn’t what we perceive as Greek culture or tradition a mix of diverse influences that have accumulated during very long and obscure historical processes?
      3. Is Greek culture as we experienced in our childhood (I’m 40) still alive today? And, if not, what was its agent of destruction or transformation? Immigrants, or postmodern spectacular capitalism -in its Greek version of the last 20 years?
      5. I have my doubts as to who burned Marfin in May 2010 and to what purpose. If you ask yourself the simple question asked by all fictional detectives in the case of an unsolved crime (who benefited?), you may start to doubt too.
      6. The Greek Communist Party in particular is the shield of the Greek liberal democracy to the left (see what happened in the last demonstrations). To call them extremists is a serious misreading of the political landscape.
      7. SYRIZA’s agenda, at the present situation, is no more extreme than our host’s (YV) is. They’re trying to save capitalism and EU from themselves, so to speak. As for the “shielding” of rioters, they certainly didn’t stop the police from finding the Marfin killers (see #5, above).
      8. Immigrants were necessary for the development and growth of greek capitalism in the last twenty years. Now they’re just a “problem” (I wouldn’t be so sure they’re not still needed around, though). Enter LAOS.

  41. As an extraterrestrial Greek  I should at least get a TV show on Telecity.
    Seriously: at first glance most of the LAOS members look only like people who desperately want to be on TV (Lord knows there are plenty of them around). So I’m one of many who did not take Karatzaferis and his party seriously.
    However, after all this time and after having listened to them speak I have come to detect the danger behind the joke: LAOS members try to appeal to the masses by saying things that everybody agrees with, while simultaneously trying to hide their true intentions behind their words. They are using people’s problems and their desperation and disillusionment; they’re using the mess the political system has created to lure people in. So if you’re not careful, educated, or sober enough you might fall into the trap of agreeing with them.
    However, their greatest slip-up is right there in their name “Orthodox”.
    Is being Greek defined by the orthodox religion? Definitely not.

    • The reason that people can be influenced and manipulated is: bad education. Education is worldwide a part of the unilateral development of children, just brainwork. They don’t learn to listen really, critically, to react on what they hear, and to reflect on what they hear. They learn to follow up what is in books. Without without learning to have an opinion, and to share it. To discuss about a different opinion. To learn to listen to another’s opinion without losing the own point of view. To respect another’s opinion.
      They learn to keep silent. Children learn how to create good results for studying, but they don’t know how it feels to hold the hand of another child. They learn to use the head, not the heart.
      Finally they are adults, brainwashed, and just repeating what they learned.
      Robots.

      There are children with a lower intelligence, and they feel already from the early years of their development, that they are not as good as the others. That creates envy, jealousy, anger, fear, loss of selftrust.
      Mostly they don’t have such good jobs and don’t feel good in the “lesser” jobs, because in each society the higher educated are more wanted and respected.

      There is the egg of another snake, called materialism. Materialism is more than the love for matter. It is also there in scientific research for what are, for instance, feelings, and deeper: for what is so subtle that it is not possible to measure it with the instruments science knows on the moment. Therefore dead is dead, and soul does not exist.
      Consciousness is for the most a theory, and their thinking is the only control, truth and knowledge, and acknowledged as science. That makes them to dangerous people, killers of progress, of evolution. The reason for the lack of Ethics, the lack of Ethos, the lack of Empathy, the lack of Love.
      It should be forbidden that people without any Emotional Intelligence could be a teacher, a politician, a scientist.

      Education, in and for all human levels, to develop creativity, communication, self awareness, mental intelligence, emotional intelligence, physical strength and health is the only way to avoid that people can be manipulated and foolished. The only way to stop nazism, racism, war, chaos, cruelty, hatred, aggression.

      Education is also here in this blog. I appreciate it very much to have the possibility to learn more about the complexity of the Greek society, Europe, politics, and so on, so thank you Yanis Varoufakis, for your excellent lectures.

      Education is also here in the comments. I learn from everybody.
      Thank you all.

  42. But Yani:

    Apart from the “never racism” credo, I am not sure you give justice to Papandreou.

    He went to Brussels and he SPECIFICALLY asked Merkozy to give a final and satisfactory solution to Greece’s and Europe’s uncertainty.

    Instead the Brussels clowns gave him another half measure that does not do the job.

    What is he the guy to do? Swallow it and get used to it?

    Of course he would want to put it to the people. Actually the referendum was a clear sign of ineptitude of Euro-policy as crafted by Berlin amateurs.

    And then you and others say that he failed, pushed out, miscalculated and similar generalizations.

    I’ll tell you who failed. The Merkozy nonsense failed and continues to fail, that’s who.

    The true enemy is not internal Greek politics. The true enemy is an uncontrollable string of European stupidity. And if you think this is racist, then line up the Euro-racists so that I can ram it down their throats the same way they are doing it to my beloved country.

    War begets war!

    • OOPS!

      Dean,

      Greeks are known for their (impossible) wars. I think we are in it in our element.
      Greece has spent a lot to bay (useless) war-machines; time we start using something… να πιάσουν και τόπο τα λεφτα μας? (just kidding!)

      But, I am against to this kind of absolutely and radical war-nonsense.
      We must work together -with our stupid heads- and make sure that we soon get out of here.
      Yes, because if we were not such idiots, the people and politicians, then we were not so far into problems and such a trouble!

      Let’s get to work, clean up the mess!

    • I agree that Merkozy is really the problem but …

      How can you expect someone who has been pushed to power
      to implement such a plan .

      I also commented here ,when that fiasco took place ,that the idea was
      in the right direction but failed for two reasons :

      1)His party had other priorities … so he was not backed up towards it .
      2)it was miserably implemented

      Don’t think of even defend Papandreou . When he was elected , he had the chance to change things and instead he surrendered from the very first moment .

      (change things = there was a moment when greek people realized what was happening , that everyone was willing to support him , change all together . There were people asking for receipts and accusing tax evaders and then realized that people in power were continuing the raid on public assets )

      In order to carry out such a strategic move , you must have all greek people supporting you . After all these lies and inconsistencies for two years now , he was destined to fail mostly for internal reasons .

      That was the reason Mr Varoufakis was proposing him to go to Syntagma square and ask for support . That was his only chance to succeeding it . I honestly believe it . It was not romantic . It was realistic.

  43. You should answer the question you pose to christoskontos about what to do with the 1mio undocumented who are already here and the 100k more who arrive each year. What exactly is your proposal ? Carry on or perhaps for native Greeks to leave and make room for them ? Cheap shots about pogroms won’t do…

    • I have already answered the question, as a migration specialist too. It is not reasonable to ask an economic theorist how to manage immigration, but I can assure you that the Greek state and politicians have no interest in following expert advice or (apparently) in recognising their obligations in protecting vulnerable persons.

      And it is not 100,000 arriving a year: don’t repeat the propaganda from Pasok, ND, Laos and Chryssi Avgi. The official recorded figure (from FRONTEX) of detected irregular arrivals in Greece vary between 7,000 and 20,000 each quarter over the last 3 years — with a current annual total of about 53,000. Moreover, 130,000 people were issued with expulsion orders in 2010; the backlog of some 60,000 asylum applications was met with a mere 3,455 decisions of which 105 were positive.

      Incidentally, the propaganda figure of 120,000 illegal migrants per year is something that I personally have attacked the Greek state for, and they refuse to stop their lies. That figure is the sum of arrests of third country nationals without correct documentation — mostly in Athens — along with detected arrivals at the borders (mostly land borders over the last year). About 40% of them are Albanians and the figure is blatantly fraudulent.

    • People who defend illegal immigration should put their money where their mouth is — pay for it out of their own pockets. Otherwise ….

    • The problem with this is that immigration has always enriched, on average, the receiving country. Always! In this sense, I am quite happy to pay for it, since the aggregated cost is… negative. As for whether it is illegal or not, this simply depends on the laws of the land. Had we had a decent process in place for welcoming migrants, they would all be legal. To put differently, all migrants into Greece, since 1989, were initially illegal. And yet they have enriched this country (turning, gradually, into legal migrants as the Greek state legalised them).

  44. Sometimes i feel that the greatest ally of all those far right wing cretins is the left. They do everything possible in their political strategic arena, to boost their opponents “success”. Far-right wing parties are authentic, we know, they know everybody knows what they are. Leftist- maybe with the exception of communists- suffer from inconsistencies, both in their communication and their agenda. Not to mention the diaspora of how to implement each agenda.

    Do not forget that, at least Papandreou, first looked at the left wing parties for support. Even before the crisis. Unless left wing do not want to co-operate with PASOK, or each other, even let’s say with ND, with whom they expect to co-operate ?? With the ghost of Marx or the shroud of Bakunin ? But i forgot. There is a dreamland out there.

    • Behold the “virtuous” non-partisan supporters of the Middle road between the “cretinous” Right and the “cretinous” Left, giving us lessons on how poor George Papandreou looked long and hard to the Left before settling on the Far Right for alliances! What a joke!

      You forget how consistently PASOK and its media outlets have helped boost LAOS’s popularity, almost since its inception. PASOK and LAOS were long since in collusion before formalizing their affair a few days ago.

      Why do you leave all this out, I wonder? I would wager that you, sir, are either a member of PASOK or someone benefiting from it.

    • @Steve comments relying on biases, frivolously misinterpreting the arguments of others, and engaging on the games of dubbing are not worthwhile. Go and play somewhere else, sir !

  45. I am a Greek-Australian, and I have been visiting Greece annualy now for eight years. I am shocked by the amout of people that I speak too who seem to advocate a “Junta” option, as they eel the current political elite have swindled their future. This is sad, sadly I have noticed even with my own distant family that they feel no fiscal responsibility for Greece national sport; tax evasion. This last visit in January, I started thinking to myself that Greece should not accept more immigration, and the current illegal immigrants need to move on. I say this, because I eel its inhumane that Greece, thinks she can take care of children and families with deep trauma of war and political suffering (atleast compared to Australia). When Australia post-war accepted our families, they had social services, lingustic training and most important of all plenty of work and a good health care system. Greece does not have the services to assist its own people, and from I see only the Greek Orthodox Church and some small foundations do any social work.

    • And how to do propose that Greece handles the immigrants that arrive daily or who are already here? With pogroms? Or by processing them on offshore islands, as Australia has tried (thus turning from a civilised to a barbaric state)?

    • Christo: Greece has legal obligations under international law and EU law to handle “mixed flows” of unauthorised migration of various types. In practice, this means processing applications for asylum quickly and fairly, protecting the human rights and needs of those people (especially minors and pregnant women) and granting asylum status to those entitled to it, other humanitarian statuses to other categories, and deporting via the readmission protocols with Pakistan and Turkey (amongst others) those who have no legal claims.

      Of course, this costs money and Europe knows this and is prepared to fund much (if not all) of it. However, the stark reality is that even when the Greek state had plenty of money to waste on corrupt practices, useless state jobs and naked corruption, it spent nothing on refugees and asylum-seekers and did nothing to put in place a modern policy of managing its borders, as required by law. The problem is less with finance and rather more with the corrupt and illegal practices of Greek politicians and the Greek state.

      Now that there is a fiscal crisis, then it looks like a convenient excuse for the neo-Nazis to deny basic human rights and even to murder immigrants in Greece. The country is descending into a horrible Third World mess.

    • Australias “pacific solution” is a disgrace and shame and I wouldn’t advocate that as a solution. I really don’t think Greece on its own can handle a problem which in essence is an EU issue. I dont have the answer to be honest. I feel sorry for the immigrants that suffer daily in Greece with no assistance and live in unacceptable circumstances.

    • To Guest(xenos)

      I don’t want to defend how greek governments made use of european aids but …

      I think you have european procedures and common sense in too much high esteem . Brussels don’t really care about the immigrants in Greece as long as they are not their problem .

  46. I am a Greek citizen and I follow, and share, your point of view about the crisis for some time now. If this article proves to be as right as the ones about the European economic crisis we are doomed…

    • Greece is doomed because Greeks, apart from their own self interests, don’t give a hoot about their country.

      Greek communists, fascists, leftists, rightists, centrists, atheists, religionists … you name it — they ALL don’t pay their taxes!

    • To last Greek

      Have you ever heard the term social contract . Justice in taxes?

      Even now , the list with the grand tax evaders is concealed . They are chasing helpless people . Let alone tax immunity of super rich people .

      Does greek people see anything in return ? By constitution a tax has to be compensatory . Were you aware of that?

      In other countries this social contracts still exist . And even in other countries , the more unjust a tax system becomes , the higher the tax evasion will be . It’s economic theory .

      And the people that really made a huge profit out of it is a small percentage of greek population . It’s not 50% for God’s sake . It’s probably a 20% or less .

      What about the corrupted political system who boosted this mentality for its own interest . AND NO , greek politicians are not like greek people . They are families supporting interests , guided by image makers , hugely exposed in mass media .

      You can not put in the same place a mother asking a job for his child with the politician , abusing his authority , to hire indirectly someone in order to get re-elected IN ORDER TO SERVE OTHER INTERESTS .

      Is it the same thing as a relative of a patient , worried about the health of his close people to succumb to a “doctor” extra needs . It’s a transaction . Are they both ethically at the same level ?

      It’s a totally different situation someone who’s in need and someone who’s abusing his authority for selfish purposes .

      If they were jobs in Greece , there would be no need for people asking such favors from politicians .

      And i have never did such a thing my self or my family . I always try to create and produce things and follow my own route . Even if it’s not fair to me , i can understand this mentality .

      And most importantly , that’s not the main reason why Greece is in this situation at this moment . Get informed people !

  47. Do you economists swear to an oath when you get your degree?
    A civil engineer has legal duties and liabilities if a structure he/she built falls .
    A doctor the same (Fortunately they don’t build houses) .

    As it turns out , economists have a saying upon the life or death of people as well .
    Why don’t they have any legal consequence?

    Hmmm , but then again , they are consultants , are they not? Why then Papadimos has an immunity as member of ECB ?
    Ohh , politicians have too ! Hmmmm .
    Papadimos has double immunity now i suppose .
    Does Papakonstantinou have an immunity? I guess he will take a post in ECB next .

    What’s wrong with people having immunity against austerity measures as well?

    I want someone to say that we Greeks evade our problems and blame others !
    If we do that , european elite has a PhD on it . They blame extra-terrestrials for their problems and i don’t mean Greeks by that !

    • On behalf of the extraterrestrial community: We didn’t do it! It wasn’t us!

      However, greek economists do take an oath and a very solemn one at that, when they graduata from University.

      I don’t know about foreign university graduates though,

    • I didn’t know about the oath . Just wondered :)

      Like your nickname , i think i ll change mine too !

      I think in ten year , the next big tax free evasion paradise would not be Cayman islands , Cyprus , Lihtenstain or Switzerland , but maybe a star in Andromeda .

      Don’t answer me that tax officials don’t have the means to go there to check !
      Because they can’t go to Cayman islands either !

  48. Yanis, great post, especially for foreign readers of your blog. I have one objection though: one might get the impression, reading your article, that the ascendance of LAOS in power was an unexpected result of Papandreou’s tacticisms. Alas, I fear that it’s more than that. I remind you:
    - last year’s pogrom against immigrants in the centre of Athens, that was carried out by the neonazis of Chryssi Avgi (Golden Dawn) and was “neutrally” presented -if not endorsed- by the mainstream media,
    - the daily presence of LAOS’ representatives in all private TV channels, dispropotionally to its electoral power
    - that LAOS was maybe the only parliamentary ally of PASOK at the imposition of the blindly catastrophic austerity dictated by our “partners”, Papandreou’s no.2 Pangalos had called LAOS “the only responsible political power in the country”.
    So no, Yani, I’m afraid that LAOS’ inclusion in the government (of doubtful constitutional legality anyhow) did not happen by accident; it is part of the plan of the powers-that-be in Greece for the handling of the crisis.
    Winter is coming.

    • I don’t think there’s an organized plan, in the sense of a conspiracy, to get LAOS increased credibility on the part of the powers-that-be. If LAOS gets a lot of air time, and if it has ministers in the current government, it’s because its main players (Karatzaferis, Georgiadis, Voridis, Plevris) are pushy and obnoxious. Greece’s other parties, the leftist ones included, are so preoccupied with their own numbers that they allowed this travesty to happen. As for Pangalos giving LAOS a pat on the back, no one takes Pangalos seriously. But then again, no one took LAOS seriously…

    • Conspiracy theories suggest that Karatsaferis is blackmailing his way up by using the connections of Korantis who used to be chief of secret intelligence in Greece .
      In additions , there are many rumors in blogs about his efforts to trying to establish connections with jewish centers of power .

    • One is sure: Yes, the article is great, and again: too much to assimilate it at once. A lot new insights are entering my life, and yes, I longed for them, A lot of dust has been created not only by the politicians, but also by the media. I added a comment in “Athens News” about the Greek media in this article: “Dimas: Stop being down on Greece” http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/1/50465
      but that comment has never been published. I wrote about the influence of the Greek media itself, have been also critical about Dimas, the why for the connection (his will) from Greece with Israel.
      There is censorship. All kinds of political involved journalists and editors in chief are ruling the media.
      But I am an optimist. I (want to) believe that it all belongs to the growing and unfolding awareness of and in Greeks, Europeans, Worldcitizens. It is still a loooong way to go though, but “So what!?” It is worth it.

    • I don’t think it was a conspiracy. Just circumstance. Let us not forget that the ALL parties were invited in. Some chose not to enter, some chose to ‘seize the day’.
      For it is just a day, I think (and hope).
      Let us not get carried away in doomsday scenarios. Also let us not forget that the left wing parties are in effect advocating (or at the very least inferring to) a type of USSR junta (for what was applied communism but an extreme totalitarian regime) and they have been in parliament for ages (and even in government for a brief period of time-remember the furor then?).
      So no, I don’t believe racism will prosper in Greece. I don’t think Greeks are racist.
      They are just scared. For an immigration problem there is and to deny it is burying one’s head in the sand. Greece does not have the resources to deal with such an inflow the way Germany etc. dealt with Greek immigrants back in the day. So in fact it is an IMMIGRATION problem, not an IMMIGRANT one.
      At it’s heart it is a problem of poverty, ghetto – forming and high criminality rates that result from uncontrolled immigration. How to solve it is another matter. But it definitely should not involve pogroms etc. However, the longer it is left unaddressed, the more people’s fear will lead them to extreme measures and beliefs,

  49. Karatzaferis and his party LAOS are fairly inconsequential players in Greek politics. What is more odd that the “left-field” politics of such minority party, is the position of the actual Greek left which is nothing more than a fractionalized cacophony of the politics of self-interest with zero experience in actual governance.

    No one has asked the Greek left ideologues to self-segregate and self-isolate, yet this is precisely what they have done. Their only contribution is constant discourse, refusal to participate and the undermining of every effort to reach national consensus.

    Under such climate, the Greek left can hardly blame the far right for gaining visibility at its expense.

    I can assure you that the practical effect of LAOS’ new found ascendancy is close to zero. This is the theater of impressions; nonetheless it is almost a self-absorbed position to covet thy enemy just because you decided to do nothing.

    • The rise of self-confirmed racists in government is never inconsequential. Never! Even if they disappear from the government benches soon, their poisonous racism will penetrate much deeper into the body politic.

    • Mr. Plassaras, για χαρα σου,

      I’m from a small village and we do not know so much.

      1) Can you explain to me what do you exactly mean by “national consensus” In what?
      Ideology, boundaries, sovereignty, power, values ​​and norms, law, constitution, freedom, free spreking, national future, life, life dreams?
      Or
      “National Consensus” against what? Troica demands?

      2) Why should someone ask the left ideologues, when they are free to decide and choose and when they are responsible for their actions?

      But, I’d prefer them as participants in a national cooperation!

      Regarding the visibility of the right at the expense of the left, we have still to see that in the future!

      Σας χαιρετω / with friendly greetings,

      Stella

  50. What’s even more disturbing is that in the rest of the EU ultra-right wing populists are even chosen into government.
    In Greece, LAOS gets only a small amount of votes by the Greeks. Possibly even the smallest percentage in comparison with other ultra-right parties in EU countries and LAOS is now in government only because of pure ‘luck’.

    In other EU countries (i.e. the Netherlands and Finland) ultra-right has been granted so much votes by their electorate that they have the power to take part of the government, or support the minority government.

    Usually supported by the lower class and less educated part of society, these parties act as if they have a solution for their problems. Not knowing that their solutions will only make things worse.

  51. Dear Yanni,
    There is indeed a pattern here. One wonders on the degree of coincidence. Even if one rejects the idea of a planned evolution, still interested “entities” certainly do capitalize on them. The only defense is informing – educating the public with emphasis on the younger generation. It is time that the intellectual capital of both Greece and Europe even the world would start to realize the importance of their role in developing the worlds future. You are an excellent example and I hope that others will follow suit.

  52. Yanis
    You should also remind readers that, when the Nazis entered government initially they were a small minority party, while their leader, a certain Adolf Hitler, went through the motions, again initially, of adhering to protocol. The rest, if you’ll pardon my cliche, is history. I’ve always been afraid of Karatzaferis. If a clown like Hitler can gain control of one of Europe’s most industrially advanced countries, one like Karatzaferis can indeed wreak havoc.

  53. Yanis, your blog today gives me chills. As you probably know, Telecity sounds too much like Fox “News” in the USA owned/operated by Rupert Murdoch and his political minions who often go by the name of “Tea Party” these days. This “party”, with its illogical facts, racism, and attack on all the evil-doers: “liberals and socialists and communists” (who are all one and the same enemy) and spreads venom like peanut butter and jelly through the land. Just watch their coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement to see if you need to pinch yourself. As per the Tea Party, OWS is out to destroy American Thanksgiving (of all blessed things!) It is unfortunately not at all funny as ordinary people, with extra-ordinary economic problems, become ripe for propaganda of all kinds. Then they become inspired to elect these lunatics. A quick look a the US debt crisis play out in Congress will reveal the damage a few people can do, even when vastly outnumbered. ENORMOUS sigh here as we watch European “leaders” fan the flames of certain disaster. One wonders what is the real plan behind the so-called plan?

  54. As a non-Greek, I quite like this idea of Greeks as being descended from extra-terrestrials! Seriously, though, I do agree that Papandreou’s (and Pasok’s) desperate cling to power has badly damaged Greece with the creation of an unelected government that is not even a proper coalition. Strangely, the Greek population seems quite tolerant of this — presumably, because they are so disillusioned with the two main parties and therefore with the Greek version of democracy.

    • A quick comment

      That’s exactly why this trend is dangerous .

      Everybody laugh at those ridiculous assertions but neglect the
      fact that there is an increasingly portion of population that believes in them . They are not feeding on common sense and logic but on anger and despair .

      Nazis absurd theories by any standard , were “efficiently” implemented .

      The first step of Fascism is to deny a group of people their human identity and thus human rights .

      One way is to declare your self superior , thus lifting a level higher than common people . In that way , you are not hurting people , you are hurting an inferior race .

      The other way is to assign inferior characteristics to a group of people . Origin is a good “candidate” for that .

      Let’s not forget PIIGS acronym which became PIGS very quickly .
      That way , it’s easier to justify fierce actions taken upon them . Take into account that human brain does not employ scrutiny in all assumptions . It mostly works in subconscious level .

      That’s why an alert state is definitely required .

    • I’m afraid I can’t agree with this:
      “Seriously, though, I do agree that Papandreou’s (and Pasok’s) desperate cling to power has badly damaged Greece with the creation of an unelected government that is not even a proper coalition.

      How can you call a PM and a government “clinging” to power when he had an absolute majority in Parliament and won a confidence vote the very same night he was resigned?

      He had all the legitimacy to govern. Sure, he wasn’t too good at it partly because of his incapacity and partly because of the special circumstances.

      The creation of the unelected government and the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of Samaras who’s the ultimate opportunist.

    • I am afraid you are not well informed. Papandreou was pushed. He did not jump. When he returned from Brussels, after the 26th October agreement, he found out that he no longer commanded a majority among his Parliamentary Party. This is why he thought of the referendum strategy. Once it backfires, his future was doomed. The confidence vote that was given to him affter that was given only on condition that he would resign forthwith in favour of a national unity government which would, in PASOK stalwarts’ eyes, allow them to share the blame with Samara’s ND. The latter was forced, kicking and screaming, to participate in the coalition government, knowing all of the above. PASOK and ND thus created a monster whose sole purpose was to concur with the 25th October agreement; an agreement that cannot be implemented.

    • Democracy is a concept and it requires many other things apart from elections .
      It requires that all people are equal when subject to law . Does this happen?
      It requires that every person has equal portion of saying to decisions . Does this happen?

      As a professor of philosophy in Greece , Giannaras says , Democracy is a sport . Some communities throughout history have achieved high scores in this sport .

      It requires a high level of education , strong involvement of every citizen into politics and strong commitment to the concept common good . The word idiot has greek roots and it was referred to the one that cares more about his personal interests than the interests of their community.

      The logic behind that is that if a community prospers , even people with idiotic interests will prosper too . On the contrary , if the community does not prosper , then all citizens , even the ones with idiotic interests will have a hard time .

      Democracy is not a real estate . Greeks are acknowledged as the ones that they invented it but this does not mean that they will always live under democratic principles . It takes effort and struggle in order to keep it .

      Give me an example of a country today , that a simple citizen has the same rights as a PM or an MP or a judge or a banker . Does a citizen have a say?

      Why european officials have immunity and european authorities are under confidential restrictions and are not subject to legal control ?

      European countries are not democratic just because they declare themselves as such . Let alone that they are countries that they have still kings .

      Democratic principles have meaning only when the essence of it is applied . Let’s talk about the role of mass media and how much free time has an average european to get himself involved into politics .

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