July 31, 2014

What a Structual Economic Breakdown Looks Like — Greece May 2010-June 2012

greek-america-flag

Don't think this cannot happen in America if we don't get our fiscal house in order. Νέο ντοκιμαντέρ - Αθήνα: Κοινωνική κατάρρευση - Ελληνική υπότιτλοι Dr Dimitris Dalakoglou explains the social meltdown which took place in Greece between May 2010 & June 2012 that is on going. This film contains videos and photos shot on the streets, often containing violence and paints a portrait of widespread economic hardship endured by a cities inhabitants. This film is part of an ongoing research project, which looks at the rapid structural changes which Greece is undergoing. Athens: Social Meltdown - Greek subtitles Produced & Directed by Ross Domoney Interview: Dimitris Dalakoglou Filmed, Photographed & Edited by Ross Domoney Ed. The filmaker grants permission for redistribution. The copyright notice on each frame is only to prevent publication of individual images without attribution. … [Read more...]

Is Greece European?

Greeks rioting at Syntagma Square

I lived in Greece a while back and have returned five or six times since. The problems that caused Greece's economic collapse were evident even back in the mid-1990s and like all Greeks, I learned how to play the system in order to survive. We really had no other option. Getting around the rules was necessary if you didn't want to throw all your money and time away. For example, when I first arrived I was told to go to this office and the next to pay what amounted to tribute. If you paid, you got a stamp. People warned me about this so I asked a friend who was a notary public to stamp and sign every page of every document I needed before I left. It was nonsense and I knew it but I wanted to be prepared. The first few days I was reluctant not to play by the rules because I did not know what the rules were. But I found out soon enough. I went to one office and paid around $25, got the stamp and then was told to go to the next office. The trouble was that the next office was in … [Read more...]

48.1% In Greece Do Not Believe in the Resurrection

greece-unbelief

HT: Mystagogy According to a poll done by Κάπα Research published in the Sunday Vema, essential Orthodox teachings like the resurrection of Christ are being abandoned.When asked "Do you believe in the resurrection of the dead?" there appears to be a drop of 10 points since the 2008 poll. 51.3% stated 'yes' and 'probably yes' then, while 41.8% answered to the same thing this year, with 26.5% indicating "yes and 15.3% "probably yes". Contrast this with 48.1% who said 'no' and 'probably not', while 10.1% replied "do not know" or "no answer".A similar trend is seen to the question '"Do you think that in recent year Greeks believe in the divine?", where only 28.8% said "the same as before" and 18.9% "more" and 46.1% "less".Regarding Easter, people were asked to complete the sentence "For you personally, Easter is ..." 36% said "a period of religious devotion" and 11.1% "a chance to go to church". In contrast, 42.5% said "a chance to return to their manners and customs" and 39.9% said "a … [Read more...]

Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds

Vatopedi Monastery

Source: Vanity Fair As Wall Street hangs on the question “Will Greece default?,” the author heads for riot-stricken Athens, and for the mysterious Vatopaidi monastery, which brought down the last government, laying bare the country’s economic insanity. But beyond a $1.2 trillion debt (roughly a quarter-million dollars for each working adult), there is a more frightening deficit. After systematically looting their own treasury, in a breathtaking binge of tax evasion, bribery, and creative accounting spurred on by Goldman Sachs, Greeks are sure of one thing: they can’t trust their fellow Greeks. Read the entire article on the Vanity Fair website. … [Read more...]

On the ‘edge of the abyss’

Acton Institute

By John Couretas on the Acton blog: From the Greek daily Kathimerini: Witnesses said that protestors marching past the building ignored the bank employees’ cries for help and that a handful even shouted anti-capitalist slogans. [ ... ] It took a statement from President Karolos Papoulias to best sum up Greece’s dire situation and the frustration that many people are feeling with the political system. “Our country has reached the edge of the abyss,” he said. “It is everybody’s responsibility that we do not take the step toward the drop. Responsibility is proved in action, not in words. History will judge us all.” From columnist Alexis Papachelas, in the same paper: Now we have an intelligentsia that is hooked on patron-client exchanges and mediocrity, and a political establishment whose biggest concern is keeping its piece of the pie safe. On the flipside of the same coin we have a culture of protest in which anything goes and which tries to justify every “accident,” like … [Read more...]

Greece as Political Time Bomb

David P. Goldman posted this today on First Things's blog First Thought.  He describes the economic situation in Greece and sketches out some of the social causes and possible outcomes.  In my heart I want what I read here to not be true--but I suspect my hopes are misplaced. In Christ, +Fr Gregory On Feb. 12, I posted this item at my "Inner Workings" blog at Asia Times and on the Spengler blog at First Things: Although Greece is an EC member, its finances and political system have the character of a banana republic. EC membership, though, enabled Greece to borrow far more money than any banana republic, such that the country's debt-to-GDP ratio is about triple that of Argentina just before the latter's bankruptcy in 2000. And because Greece is an EC member, the size and adumbrations of a bankruptcy would be much, much larger than that of any Latin American country. Earlier I had assumed that we were watching a negotiation: Brussels would shout "Never!," the Greeks … [Read more...]

Battle looming over icons and prayers in Greek schools

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MbEL-C7ypU[/youtube] The head of the Greek Orthodox Church has warned the country's new socialist government that it faces a major battle over removing religious symbols from schools. The European Court in Strasbourg has ordered Italy to take down crucifixes from its classrooms, and Greece's Justice Minister has acknowledged that it may have to follow suit. From Lamia in Central Greece, Malcolm Brabant reports. "This is a major battle of faith, which is just beginning," he says. From Moscow, December 21 (RIA Novosti): Europe's future unthinkable without Christianity - Patriarch Kirill The future of the European continent is impossible without taking into account its Christian heritage, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church said Monday. "People who attached great significance to European cultural and religious identity as an important element of pan-European wellbeing were among the EU originators," Patriarch Kirill of Moscow … [Read more...]

Greek Socialists Seeking ‘Diaspora’ Talent

Sworn in

A roundup of news in the wake of the Socialists' return to power in Greece: Greek Orthodox Archbishop Demetrios congratulated George Papandreou on his election victory in Greece. The Archbishop wished him success in his “manifold work for the benefit of the homeland and the Greeks abroad.” "Diplomats," dismayed at rising xenophobia and nationalism, cheered Papandreou's victory: A self-described "diaspora Greek" who was born in the US, Papandreou is conspicuously cosmopolitan. As president of Socialist International, the world grouping of leftwing parties, he has campaigned for minority rights and the decriminalisation of drugs ... "Our biggest challenge is to regain the confidence of the Greek people who have lost their faith in politics and in what Greece can do," he told the Observer. "One of the reasons this government failed was because it had no credibility after the amazing corruption we have seen in the last year. I am a socialist, but I am very … [Read more...]

Wild Fires and Church Bells

From the Telegraph: Around 1,000 firefighters and soldiers were able to take advantage of a lull in strong winds that had fanned the blaze for four days to bring some of the areas under control. The high winds were expected to ease further on Tuesday, Greece's National Weather Service said, although the risk of flare-ups remained. The government faced accusations that its handling of the wild fires, which broke out on Friday and swept through suburbs on the capital's northern and eastern flank, was "criminal negligence". Terrified homeowners described how they had begged for help from firefighters and local authorities but were forced to flee their houses when no assistance arrived. Many were reduced to fighting the blazes with garden hoses and even tree branches. But the government defended its handling of the fires, blaming extremely strong winds for their intensity. A spokesman said firefighters' efforts had been "extraordinary" and that it was a tribute to … [Read more...]

Report: Turkey to reopen Halki Seminary

Turkish newspapers say a deal is in the works. Will there be reciprocity from Greece? When President Obama was in Turkey, there were reports that "the recognition by Greek authorities of muftis in Thrace and financial support for Muslim schools might prompt a Turkish rethink on the Halki school." Here is the story from Hurriyet, the Turkish newspaper: ANKARA - The Halki seminary on the island of Heybeliada is to be reopened, Culture Minister Ertuğrul Günay said, adding that they are searching for a formula to integrate the Orthodox theological school into Turkey’s university system. "Although we have not finalized a decision in the Cabinet, my personal impression is that we are going to open the seminary," said Günay, speaking on Kanal 24 television over the weekend. Recalling that the functioning of the Halki seminary is not compatible with the Turkish university system, Günay maintained that work is underway to find a formula for its status. He explained that the question … [Read more...]

Turkish film ‘Guz Sancisi’ sheds light on 1955 Istanbul pogrom

For the first time, a Turkish film has taken a serious look at the anti-Greek riots in Istanbul on Sept. 6-7, 1955, a horrific mob attack that triggered the rapid decline of the Greek Christian community -- at the time numbering some 120,000 to 135,000 people. Widespread destruction was wreaked on homes, businesses and Greek Orthodox Church property. Businesses and homes owned by Armenians and Jews were also targeted. An article in Today's Zaman, a Turkish paper, describes the film "Güz Sancısı," or "The Pain of Autumn," as a love story of Behçet and Elena, a Turkish man and a Greek woman, set against the tension that culminated in the real-life destruction of 5,300 businesses and houses owned by Greeks, Armenians and Jews. The paper, citing distributor Özen Film, said that more than 500,000 people have seen the film since its release in March. Visit the official site here. The producers of "The Pain of Autumn" say the film about the 1955 pogrom ... ... is a result of an … [Read more...]

Greece: No Faith in Ourselves

Writing for the Foreign Policy Research Institute on Dec. 19, Cornelia A. Tsakiridou rightly points to the breakdown of the rule of law as one of the most deplorable outcomes of these riots. Tsakiridou is Associate Professor and Director of the Diplomat-in-Residence Program at La Salle University. The spectacle of young people (and assorted criminals, leftwing extremists, and self-proclaimed anarchists) on a smash-and-burn spree wrapping themselves in the mantle of justice, martyrdom, and victimhood is only rivaled by that of a government incapable of making a clear and effective distinction between political grievance and thuggery, lawlessness and the rule of law. Despite attempts in the national and international press (among them Le Monde and The Guardian) to give a deeper dimension to the Greek riots and to offer a mix of elaborate psychological and sociological explanations, the truth may actually be rather plain. The riots happened because the legal … [Read more...]