By Richard Cottrell
Contributing writer for End the Lie
With media eyes mostly trained on Syria, the slow motion destruction of Greece, a fully-fledged EU member state, goes largely unremarked in the corporate sheets.
Whenever it does appear, the lazy hirelings who pose as journalists these days reserve their ink for ‘mobs’, ‘thugs’ and ‘hooligan anarchists’ terrorizing those saintly guardians of law and order, the infamous ranks of the Greek police and riot squads whose reputation is if anything far worse than street gangs roaming pre-war German cities. Persons, including children and the elderly, beaten and tortured in police stations, murdered by active duty policemen on the streets, are such depressingly familiar events that Greeks have learned to keep a respectable distance from the guardians of law and order.
Greek policemen famously do not keep the peace as much as break it on an appropriately heroic scale alongside cohorts from the Deep State. These agencies are between them responsible for the majority of the violence at public demonstrations against the Troika-imposed choking of Greeks and their economy.
The Greek word for this is skevoria, a deception or illusion manufactured for a specific aim. In this case to portray the calm serenity at the wheel of the ship of state of one Antonis Samaras, the Quisling puppet premier handing his countrymen to the wolves of the global world order, while he champions the thieves and racketeers whose sins – theft, wholesale corruption, tax evasion on an Olympian scale – go scot free.
All over Greece there are people eking out a living on rock bottom incomes, pensions and wages slashed to the bone for instant export of the ‘savings’ to Wall Street and the European Central Bank. Children are hungry. Homeless numbers are rising. Pensioners rummage garbage bins for something to eat. Rents go unpaid. The country is suffering an epidemic of suicides by those who can’t bring themselves to endure further punishment for the sin of being alive. Small companies are on the verge of extinction. What a bitter irony it is that but for the opportunist, renascent black-clad neo-fascist Samaritans of the Golden Dawn movement (presently running third in the polls) going around with their mobile canteens and free food hand outs, there would be many more personal tragedies.
When that kind of fly lands on the cowpat, there is trouble coming in a country which endured nothing but chronic instability, revolutions, insurrections, wars and incompetent looters occupying the highest offices of state throughout all of two centuries of independence from the Ottoman Empire.
In response, Angela Merkel, that clearly plump and well fed goose that roosts in the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, surveys the teeming Greek concentration camp with an icy stare and congratulates Greeks on their pains and anguished suffering in the struggle to right the economy. This is chillingly close to the ‘arbeit macht frei’ – ‘labour means freedom’ – banner that adorned notorious German detention camps such as Auschwitz in WW2. Frau Merkel should not smart at such comparisons. She is entirely responsible given her patronizing and insensitive dismissals of the vast bulk of Greeks who did nothing to invite this nightmare into their homes, while the privileged castes accustomed to pillaging the country for ever and a day continue looting and feathering their secret overseas nests with the proceeds.
I for one find myself entirely in sympathy with the claims that Germany herself should ‘bail out’ the Greeks by paying full compensation for the ravages of Nazi invasion and occupation of 1941-45. This is another reason why the German Chancellor – who recently spent all of six heavily guarded hours in Athens, sublimely indifferent it appears to the roars of protest outside the embattled government quarters – should carefully consider her responses to the fast deteriorating situation in Greece.
Germany’s relationship with Greece is under the greatest strain since the last war. Although it is not widely appreciated, the Germany occupation was directly responsible for inciting the Greek civil war of 1946-49 during which the damage inflicted on the country’s fabric –and her people – exceeded the heel of the Nazis. The Greek conflict was the largest civil rebellion on European soil since the Spanish upheavals of the late 30s.
Many Greeks indeed feel that they are being forced into submission by an economic holocaust, while themselves dismissed by the trumpeters of Der Spiegel, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the UK Daily Mail, a short list, as scroungers and layabouts – second class Europeans. Greeks actually work much longer hours for far lower pay than Germans. From this we learn that Frau Merkel has a deficient grasp of history and present-day facts with her insistence that Greeks should bring themselves to obey the dictates of large foreign powers, in order to be cleansed and sanitized by continuing membership of the European club of nations. Greeks feel they are again by crushed by an occupation power, not precisely Germany itself but the sprawling European Union whose chief dynamic engine is recognized as Germany. The EU and its fellow members of the Troika, the IMF and the German-based European Central Bank, are understandably viewed by swelling numbers of Greeks as an enlargement of former German might.
This stunning illustration of psychological disconnect between Merkel’s personal struggle – the one to secure her own gleaming entry in the history books as the latter-day Jeanne D’Arc who rescued Europe and the euro – cast alongside the epic sacrifice of the Greeks thrown to the bonfires of globalism illustrates how quickly the country is fast slipping into total societal breakdown. The mood and temper of the nation has snapped, sending hundreds of thousands into the streets, yet it is commonplace in for the tsakia (the rich upper crust warming themselves at roaring winter hearths) to report miserly incomes while stacking millions in secret foreign hideaways. Miraculously, tax officers are blind to owners of fine mansions and yachts apparently living on zero income.
A few prize heads have gone to the guillotine, including one spectacular example of a former top socialist minister embroiled in a typical corruption scandal involving German submarines purchased for the Greek navy. In reality retribution is rare, except for headline purely cosmetic exposures. When the Prefect of Thessaloniki, Panagiotis Psomiadis, was accused of taking a million euro handshake for huge public works investments that never left the drawing board, he received divine absolution from one of the highest princes of Greek politics, New Democracy leader (and current premier) Samaris. He cheerfully made his bosom ally campaign chief for all of northern Greece in the closely fought May general election, despite media claims that Psomiadis also had ties to mafia loan sharks.
Several famous lists are doing the rounds in Athens apparently listing scores of such tax-averse millionaire cheats, broadly dubbed the Lagarde List, after the current IMF queen, Christine Lagarde, who allegedly got the information from her in-house spies. (A nice irony by the way: like all the ornaments of the global order, she is not required herself pay a single cent of tax on her rather substantial salary).
Well, aside from one very eminent black kettle singling out all the others who simply follow her example, the only response from the Samaris-led government was to deny the existence of the list – or lists -altogether. They were alleged to repose in the state treasury office, from whence air they were air brushed to eternity. The number of black listed names is a guestimate, but is said to range from fifty or sixty to some fifty thousand on a series of documents: the latter would make more sense in the Greek climate. So here we have the perfect example of the institutionalized corruption which wracks Greece. On the one hand, the crooks and cheats who bank their funds abroad and enjoy shelter by the state: on other the twisted politocracy which shields generous contributors to party funds.
For this and suchlike practices old men and women root about in garbage to find something edible, in a country which is naturally a splendid larder of good food. If Greeks see themselves as confined in a concentration camp is it any surprise? While the wobbly governing coalition argued with the bailiffs how much more could be purloined from the wages of schoolteachers, doctors, nurses, workers at state owned companies – – many of whom have not been paid for half a year and more – the wealthiest of Greeks continued shipping money abroad through long established secret channels (well known to the Bank of Greece incidentally) without so much as a slap on the wrist.
Every time there are protests in the streets by unpaid workers, pensioners, health and educational professionals, the Quisling Samaris resorts to the law and order routine, tarring those whose lives have been stolen – and in many cases ruined – as hooligans and anarchists. The chief law breaking community in Greece is the self-replicating mandarin caste of which Samaris himself is such a prominent chieftain.
I have been writing about Greece and her politics since in the early 80’s, when Greece was on the doorstep of joining the EU. I wrote a report for the European Parliament which described the Greek establishment as institutionally corrupted from top to bottom. Not one of her institutions – government, courts, public services, banks – was visibly in a fit state to survive the shock. Events have proved me spot on. Greeks themselves, holding bitter memories of the cruel Greek military junta ruling over their heads from 1967 to 1974 at the behest of the Western camp, longed for a fresh dimension that might introduce the tonic of sound government under the protection of the European democratic umbrella.
Naturally the old ingrained channels of corruption remained entrenched. Reversing the misrule of centuries proved perfectly impossible. For its part the EU system connived by levering Greece into the newly-born euro with the aid of the usual suspects in Wall Street cooking the books. A certain Lukas Papademos (honors grad Boston Fed, Goldman Sachs, Trilateral Commission – inconvenient trivia house-cleaned from Wikipedia) was in charge at the Greek central bank during this chicanery – his eyes wide shut by hardly any co-incidence – subsequently elevated as the EU-installed techno-dictator who handed the Troika the keys to Greece. Of Papademos, the man who buried the true extent of Greek debt, and is therefore the author of the present crisis, it may be truly said that here is a yet another Goldman Sachs clone who sold his countryfolk to the vandals. This is treason knocking on the door.
The Greek state is thoroughly crippled. Normality has ceased to exist. Universities for a time closed after their funds were looted by the Troika. There are now an average forty patients for every single over-worked nurse in Greek hospitals, long run down as these institutions are, decrepit and devoid of many modern facilities and equipment. Nationwide general strikes inflict paralysis. US style home foreclosures are cheerfully advocated by government MP’s, the funds to be sent to overseas creditors. These are the economics of the holocaust. The upper crust and the politocracy have clinics in Switzerland, France, Sweden, the United+ States to ease their aches and pains. At home effective treatments for cancers and other serious diseases are under such pressure they are breaking down, a holocaust which condemns many unfortunates to early deaths.
The only cure the government offers is more running-on-the-spot economics to raise additional debt by increased borrowing from the ECB. In return, the incumbent government must dismantle all remaining elements of the Greek state, virtually all social protections and security. Viewed from Frankfurt, Berlin and Washington, we are talking beggar my neighbor, the deliberate destruction and castration of a sovereign state.
When Angela Merkel went on her famous awayaday flip to Athens to demonstrate ‘solidarity with the Greek people’ she did not meet a single genuine Greek aside from charmed insiders working the system. The empress was not to appear before her subjects; on the nervous advice of a government which itself is a remote cornice of the system.
The important is question is where all this will lead in terms of rising temperatures among the populace. In 1967, the government was overthrown by NATO and western intelligence agencies on a matter of fairly remote direct concern to the majority of Greeks. At issue was the question of Greece adopting neutrality by quitting NATO. An imminent general election, which threatened to return a centralist pro-neutrality government, was abruptly cancelled when a troop of obscure junior officers owing allegiance to NATO’s secret Gladio soldiers grabbed power in a dawn coup.
Note the chime with current affairs. The issue this time around is the question is in or out of the euro, ‘out’ also implying leaving the EU into the bargain. The rising power in the land is Syriza, the largest new force to enter the Greek political universe since WW1. Syriza is a popular front spanning much of the political left, led by a charismatic, photogenic newcomer called Alexis Tsipris. Like 1967, a fresh election if the current coalition falls (which is not unlikely) would likely return Syriza (Coalition of the Radical Left) )as the governing force, This of course is unthinkable to the globalista, as with the threat of Greece dumping NATO 45 years ago.
The sheer potency of Syriza, number two force in the Vouli, the Greek parliament, has utterly destroyed Pasok, the politically bankrupt, nominally socialist force, integral member of the old boys’ brigade which so long burgled the country. Pasok is close to bottoming out below the 5% baseline to elect MP’s and as a junior member of the coalition, may well jump ship to save itself from total extinction.
The Greek electoral system is rigged towards majority governments by excluding unwelcome newcomers. Thus the party first to breast the tape automatically wins a bonus of 50 ‘free’ seats, to which of course Tsipris and his friends would be entitled. Routinely derided by the usual lame brained media hacks as a rag bag of ‘extremists’ and ‘neo-communists’ Syriza actually favors staying in the EU – and the euro too, if the terms concerning the latter can be agreed. ‘Agreed’ means of course abandoning the hated austerity program.
And that means invoking the D word – standing for the awful specter of Default.
The prospect of a fresh start Greece surviving an Icelandic type default would set off an earthquake across the EU, inevitably inspiring copy cat tactics in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, even the Netherlands, thus the unraveling of the EU itself. The entire landscape of European fiscal, monetary and banking union would lie in ruins, not a prospect to be lightly entertained in the brooding Troika capitals. So the Greeks will be forced to eat their greens, even at the price of another military seizure of power. Alternatively a ‘quasi-constitutional’ coup achieved by suspending parliament ‘for the duration of the crisis’ with the backing of the army.
The usual pretext can always be found, deep state synthetic terrorism designed to usher in a state of chaos (assisted by the Golden Dawn organization, which looks the perfect vehicle for the job). This would justify ‘firm action’ in the name of public order. I am inclined to suspect that by forcing ever more impossible demands on the Greeks, the ground work for such a snatch of democracy is already under way.
Allowing for population differentials and among the NATO powers, Greece has the largest numbers in uniform aside from Turkey and the US. All those idle hands would love some ‘real’ work to do. It may well be coming their way. If the record of the previous junta is any guide, Greeks could be in for a harrowing time.
Richard Cottrell is a writer, journalist and former European MP (Conservative).
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