Archive for March, 2012

PASOK leadership struggle becomes a farce

During the week end PASOK – Panhellenic Socialist Movement – held a national Conference.

I tried to listen to Mr. Papandreou’s speech ( he spoke for more than an hour) out of simple curiosity. My conclusion is Mr. Papandreou lives in another country! He insisted that for two years he has been saving Greece from bankruptcy (!)  without mentioning that his party and himself had actually led the country into bankruptcy during their 30 year rule; no self criticism, not the slightest hint of self reproach. If a foreigner was to listen to Mr. Papandreou’s words he would think Greece is Eldorado, the perfect country with the perfect system and the happiest citizens!

On the other hand, Mr. Evangelos Venizelos, the present Minister of Finances and a candidate for the leadership of the party, appeared more down to earth, expressed his regrets for the situation of the country and stated that PASOK must rediscover its social roots and values. He would have been more convincing if he had made this speech at a non pre-electoral period, when opinion polls show PASOK below 10%!

The crucial question was not the state of the country, the suggestions for an exit from the crisis but the future leader of PASOK!!

The last, decisive, master stroke to complete the farce is that Mr. Venizelos is the ONLY candidate for the PASOK leadership!! PASOK members are urged to go and vote for him – do not ask why.. Mr. Venizelos has to prove that PASOK still has members and in addition they care!

In the following video an elderly PASOK member throws a yoghurt pack at the future leader!

Goodnight Domna Samiou

 

Domna Samiou is one of my favourite performers. Far from being a simple folk singer she was the person who opened my eyes to the genuine, uninhibited “dimotika” songs –i.e. songs of the people, literally. Having never lived in a village all the folk music I ever heard was second hand renditions imitating western style lyrics. Domna Samiou researched Greek folk music; she traveled far and wide to record Christmas Carols, wedding songs, funeral songs, songs dedicated to saints and songs dedicated to sin. Her album of traditional Carnival songs is played every year. She brought to all her performances the aroma of the genuine artist doing what he really loves and it was invigorating. She passed away tonight. Good night Domna Samiou.

Dodecanese celebration turns to a scuffle with politicians

On the 7th of March the Dodecanese islands celebrate their integration to the Greek State. This year the parade was livened with attacks against the politicians present: verbal abuse was followed by yoghurt and water bottle throwing. The incidents did not stop until the political personnel present left the parade. Eight people were arrested on the spot but only two were actually charged.

The most disturbing fact is the comments made on the social media: “Rhodes was the rehearsal. The independence day will be opening night”.

The 25th of March is Greek independence day. It marks the beginning of the revolution against the Ottoman Empire. Parades and celebrations happen all over the country. The Greek public is looking for any opportunity to express its anger and mistrust of the political elite. Independence day is a great opportunity since it embodies patriotism to its highest degree and in spite of what is said to the opposite the majority of Greeks feel threatened and slandered as a nation.
25th of March 2012 will definitely be a “special day”.

You can see a video of the Rhodes incidents on the following link:

http://tvxs.gr/news/ellada/rodos-diakopike-logo-epeisodion-i-parelasi-gia-tin-ensomatosi-tis-dodekanisoy

From tragedy to comedy – Greek government mini reshuffle

In a country that is literally going to the dogs, where people commit suicide because they are unable to pay their debts and support their families, where the PASOK(Panhellenic Socialist movement – also the majority party in the Greek Parliament) employees go to the community kitchens because they are unpaid for a few months, the Minister for the protection of the Citizen (it actually means that he is responsible for the citizens’ security, for the police force and all its branches) Mr. Christos Papoutsis resigned from his post not because of the police brutal behaviour or the recent catastrophic fires in Athens during the recent demonstrations,but because he wants to take part in the elections to be held soon for the PASOK leadership!!

Mr. Papoutsis’resignation caused today’s mini reshuffle. A reshuffle that caused a lot of speculation not so much for the “new arrivals” but for what it means in connection with the national elections that are often spoken of but not for a specific date.

Mihalis Chrysohoidis, who has already served an eight year term as Public Order Minister has moved back to his old post.

 

Ms. Anna Diamantopoulou who has had a controversial term as Education Minister has moved to the Ministry of Development.

Prof. Babiniotis - Ms.Anna Diamantopoulou

The appointment of Prof. George Babiniotis to the post of Minister of Education was a surprise. Professor Babiniotis is no politician – as he stated on his first day at the Ministry but his successful carreer as an educator augurs well for this key ministry.

The discussion on the Greek media is how much can any of the new Ministers achieve in a 30 or 60 day period. The insecurity of the situation feeds the citizens’mistrust towards the present Government.