Ambassador Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos on the Greek economic crisis: could this Greek Tragedy lead to civil war?


Published on December 17th 2012

By Barbara Van Haute

Editorial Note:  Of all the nations experiencing traumatic economic difficulties during the course of the current Great Recession, Greece has suffered the most adverse consequences.  The country’s five year economic problems have been longer and deeper than that of any developed country.  In fact, Greece has gone through a catastrophic depression otherwise unknown in the West.

The  standard of living has dropped drastically; unemployment has reached 26%; the debt to GDP ratio  is over 180%; the country’s “fiscal cliff” is looming bankruptcy;  social spending and the “safety net” have been eviscerated; while demonstrations and riots target both domestic debt reduction measures and the financial institutions  of the European Union power brokers. In response, the European Union Συνέχεια

Money Aplenty for Politicians: Let the rest eak cake


Another €10 million dished out to Greek political parties

They got paid once for the upcoming elections by voting an amendment in the late hours of the night at the beginning of April. Not satisfied with the necks they sucked on the first time, the Greek vampire politicians are set to obtain extra funding to the tune of €10 million. Whatever the case may be, it was a contingency measure, you see.

The first time round, MPs voted to divert funds from debt installments owed to banks in order to finance political parties in view of the elections of May 6. The official explanation for the extra cash was  «in order to secure the conditions for continuity of political parties in the national elections.»

Yes, people were outraged, but who gives a cowpat over at the IMF or the European Commission? We Συνέχεια

Parliament, MPs, the President of Greece: The Trinity of Shame Foreign Headlines Exalt


(William Hogarth’s The Orgy)

Members of Parliament in Greece are continuing the farce they call austerity measures, aka cutbacks. At a time when Greeks are called upon to pay property tax for the third time (they already pay two on a bi-monthly basis) with a further three announced this year, when civil servant income has been lowered (often rightly so in some cases) and pensioners who receive €550 a month are subjected to a further decrease in a pension that will not enable them to pay rent, medication or fuel for central heating this winter, MPs seem to live in a world of their own.

Backed by fervent support from the media nationally and internationally which has given rise to the image of the Greek who refuses to fess up to tax evasion all these years and pay the price, Parliament has passed the new budget for 2012 which hardly touches MPs’ salaries. Although slight pay cuts – which were proportionately insignificant in relation to the cuts average citizens suffered – were effected in 2011, that is where things stayed for 2012. In fact, the precise state of affairs is shocking. While the world lauds the government for its efforts to restitute Greece’s image by cutting salaries, wages, pensions, subsidies and perks in a country that never had a welfare system that worked, Greeks are protesting because they know better.

Last year’s MP expense budget covered:

a) compensation: Yes, compensation as they call it, because what they are doing is a favor to all  Greeks, that is why they need to be compensated rather than receive a salary like those lucky enough to hold Συνέχεια

European Democracy (Athens, 506 B.C. — Athens, 2011 A.D.)


Post image for European Democracy (Athens, 506 B.C. — Athens, 2011 A.D.)

European democracy is dead. It was executed in plain daylight on June 29, by a lone hitman thought to be in service of the European financial mafia. Συνέχεια

Dozens of MPs seek wage hikes


 A total of 284 legal suits have been lodged since 2008 by MPs

The amount sought by MPs seeking salary hikes is estimated at 70 million euros.

Just a few days after it emerged that several former MPs suing for retroactive pensions had dropped their claims following a public and political outcry at such claims being made during a period of austerity, Kathimerini has learned that dozens more deputies have lodged legal appeals over the past few years seeking salary hikes.

According to sources, a total of 284 legal suits have been lodged with the Athens Court of First Instance since 2008 by MPs demanding that their salaries be increased to the level of Supreme Court judges. The value of each deputy’s claims is in the region of 250,000 euros, the sources said. The overall amount sought is estimated at 70 million euros. Συνέχεια

Greek opposition sets demands as EU/IMF verdict nears


By Harry Papachristou and Renee Maltezou

ATHENS | Mon May 30, 2011 7:55am EDT

(Reuters) – Greece’s conservative opposition demanded tax cuts on Monday as the price for a consensus deal with the Socialist government on imposing yet more austerity, a major condition for getting further aid from the EU and IMF.

Conservative leader Antonis Samaras called for a flat 15 percent corporate tax and rejected government plans for hiking taxes to tackle Greece’s budget deficit and please fiscal inspectors mulling the next, key tranche of a 110 billion euro bailout. Συνέχεια

‘Indignants’ gather in Syntagma for European-wide protest


In greater numbers than on any night since the protests began earlier this week, the ‘Indigants’ kept the date made via Facebook and other social networking sites on Sunday, descending upon Syntagma Square for yet another sit-down demonstration against severe austerity cuts. This night they were joined by protesters in Milan’s Piazza del Duomo, Champs Elysee in Paris and another 100 cities of Europe that held simultaneous peaceful demonstrations. Συνέχεια