On the Greek “Vote of No Confidence” – Is the Parliament Relevant ?
November 18, 2013

Did the Greek No Confidence debate, much discussed last week, make any difference ? Is the Parliament at this stage relevant, or not ?

The relevance of any parliament depends on the democratic functioning (or non-functioning) of society. The figure out how healthy or sick our democracy is, we need to ask our politicians 5 questions:

1. What Power Have You Got?
2. Where Did You Get It From?
3. In Whose Interests Do You Exercise It?
4. To Whom Are You Accountable?
5. How Do We Get Rid Of You?

Sadly enough, the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety by “competent” politicians in parliament) by menacing it with an endless litany of fears (the economy, public safety, health, wellbeing, education, immigration, emigration, etc) all of them at the same time imaginary and designed with an agenda in mind that is not in the interest of that very same populace.

Parliament, in a non-functioning democracy (which is unfortunately what we all have allowed ourselves to be bullied into) is merely an instrument for creating that endless litany of alarmist fears while it is simultaneously a measure of how successful the system is in keeping the populace alarmed.

Votes like the one the Greek parliament held over the weekend serve one purpose only. They provide the party leaders with a gauge to measure their own popularity and that of their party. They provide a platform for individual politicians to publicly brown-nose the party leader, and for the party leader to publicly admonish the individual politician in case he/she doesn’t brown-nose said party leader with sufficient enthusiasm.
Theodora Tzakri, the PASOK MP who voted with SYRIZA against the government is an example of this real functionality of parliament. After two years of helping the Greek government rubberstamp troika dictat, send to them by email, she suddenly developed a social conscience, claiming her voters put her in parliament to help make a difference. The cracks are getting wider in the Greek government coalition, and it is only a matter of time before Samaras joins the likes of Papandreou, Ahern and Blair on the international lecture circuit. I am convinced that this suddenly acquired social conscience by Tzakri has a lot more to do with trying to secure her re-election to the next parliament than it has to do with concern for the voters or Greece. I’ve always been weary of people wearing €500 worth of shoes or £700 worth of silk shirts claiming concern for the “impoverished” people…

Parliament has been reduced to a platform hijacked by society’s leading psychopaths to allow their public grand standing and help secure their personal wealth and power. It has become an instrument for the elite to force the populace in to paying the cost of keeping the elite in its self-proclaimed rightful position and maintain the wealth of the very same elite. Unless parliament is taken back by the people and returned to being an instrument for the people, it is and will indeed remain irrelevant in terms of democracy. In terms of being an elitist instrument of public oppression, parliaments everywhere are highly relevant.

Ephilant 18th November 2013

The Periphery As Testing Ground for Social Destruction
September 25, 2013

The “Untouchables”, the internal Greek police investigating the Greek police have raided 3 police stations in Athens, and further raids are planned in other cities. High ranking police officers have resigned, others are suspended and many are “under investigation”. Investigations resulting from analysis of the mobile phone records of Giorgos Poupakias have exposed a strict chain of command within Golden Dawn, involving MPs. These investigations confirm allegations made previously, but left unproven after police inaction.

On the face of it, it would seem that they are getting tough on Golden Dawn, after the killing of Pavlos Fyssas. Don’t be fooled.  The murder of Pavlos was engineered, to create the “right” conditions for a government -lead coup  A contradiction in kind, but then, it is Greece. The main purpose of all this is not to curb Golden Dawn, the main purpose is to firmly establish the corrupt international political and financial elite as the “saviours” of not just a country, but a world in free-fall (Created by those same “saviours”).

At the behest of their powerful international puppet-masters, the corrupt corporate and political elite of the place I call home have once again managed to create violent chaos, with the inherent promise of the “responsible centre”(PASOK and ND) being the only possible answer to the problem and the only ones that can provide the solution. The solution is being put forward as the only way to prevent the complete polarization of the people of Greece between far left and far right. The bad boys are ΣΥΡΙΖΑ and Golden Dawn.

ΣΥΡΙΖΑ is the natural opposite of capitalist policies. Golden Dawn is the result of capitalist policies. The capitalist policies are the root of this deliberate polarization.  The very “raison d’etre” for Golden Dawn was created by 30 years of PASOK and ND mismanagement, nothing else. They served their purpose well, and have now become surplus to requirements. In military jargon, the government “actions” resulting in the loss of Golden Dawn is nothing short of Golden Dawn’s death from “friendly fire”.

The bottom line is, we all better vote correct next time around, or else…

The vote will be soon. Samaras will try and prevent it from happening before January, because that is when he takes over the EU Presidency, in Europe. And Samaras wants that on his CV. He has worked hard and manipulated a lot to get this far, he’s not going to let that slip if he can help it. And Europe won’t let him.

Next time around, it is almost certainly going to be PM Tsipras in Greece. Can you imagine the bad Alex calling the shots in Europe? Merkel & Friends would be beside themselves, not to mention their puppet masters. All those years of false promises, careful manipulation, corruption, bribery (sorry lobbying) etc., and then to end up with somebody like Tsipras at the helm? Unthinkable!

The fascism Greece, and Europe, should be afraid of, really afraid of, is not the fascism of Golden Dawn, BNP, Front National, etc. The real danger comes from Government Fascism throughout Europe, in the shape of the hijacked EU. The real danger is the fascism of International Finance. Greek government has quietly used Golden Dawn to deflect public attention from the real issues by focussing the attention of the public on false issues like “the immigrants” and forcing the attention of ΣΥΡΙΖΑ away from government onto the threat of rising fascism. By doing so, they created the time and leeway they needed to put the EU dictated fascist policies in place, under the watchful eye of the EU bullyboys and enforcers known as the Troika. Golden Dawn has now served its purpose. When they were busy killing and maiming immigrants, neither Greek nor EU government cared.

After all, government was instrumental in spreading the myth that the immigrant was solely to blame for the problems of the Greek people, and the people of Europe in general. The odd dead immigrant here and there was acceptable because it was simply a natural consequence of being the scape goat. No better way to stop this out of control insanity called Golden Dawn than by blaming them for the murder of a Greek. A left-wing Greek at that, it just helps to deflect the left wing attention away from capitalism, which is the real fascism at work. The PASOK-ND machine has fine-tuned Sinclair’s statement that Fascism equals Capitalism + Murder. The revised version of the axiom now reads Capitalism = Fascism +  The  Politically Correct Murder.

The murder of Pavlos, rightfully or wrongfully blamed on Golden Dawn, was the wrong murder, and has reduced the Golden Dawn vote down to half, virtually over-night.  Keeping the pressure up, with high profile acts like raids on police stations (Which will establish the links, whether they actually exist or not) or the sacking of dispensable high ranking officers will reduce that vote further, and come next election they will most likely not have enough votes to enter parliament. There will almost certainly be laws in place to prevent Golden Dawn from re-entering the parliament, just to make sure. This can be done because Golden Dawn is a government engineered entity.  Their compatriots in nationalistic idiocy, Independent Greeks, are at this stage a non-entity. So is DIMAR. KKE is holding its own at 5 % or so, which makes for democracy demanded, but largely anecdotal opposition. This leaves ΣΥΡΙΖΑ to deal with.

Banning ΣΥΡΙΖΑ by law would be counter-productive because it is a naturally existing opposite. Attempting such a ban would also give the game away. Here, different measures are needed. When the time is right, the “hoodies” and “anarchists” will appear on the streets of Athens again, maybe burn down a bankrupt bank or two and kill some employees for good effect. This strategy of tension has been well rehearsed and fine-tuned.

Over the last 30 years, the PASOK-ND machine has mastered the politics oftension down to its smallest detail. They have learned to apply J.P Faye’s “Horseshoe Theory” and are doing so with great effect, masking the violent nature of the ultimate fascist policies they are enforcing on behalf of the real masters, International Finance. The whole operation is being directed by the Troika, who are once again visiting Greece to “evaluate” the progress of “The Program”.

A similar, although less violent (so far) tactic is being followed in France with the targeting of Marine LePen by the forces of “Law and Order”. Yes, she should indeed be targeted, as should all the other forms Fascism. Fascism is nothing short of the modern day version of the Greek myth of the Lernaean Hydra.  Golden Dawn, Front National, BNP, but also the notoriously fascist DIAS (motorized police in Greece), the organized football hooligan gangs in the UK,  are just some of the many heads of the Hydra.

Simply chopping off those heads only ensures two more grow back, as the myth tells us. In order to permanently stop this monster from rising up out of its hell-hole nest and growing more heads, the nest must be destroyed and the hole must be plugged. This is done through education and investment in people rather than investment in profit, for the sole purpose of more profit. Until that becomes government and EU policy, nothing will change and things will get worse, far worse. Altering the way in which one manipulates a situation does not remove the manipulation. It simply adjusts its effectiveness and in itself serves as a very effective way of masking the true reasons for the manipulation itself.

The stick behind the door, or the elephant in the room if you like, is the military. The Greek military have made it perfectly clear that they will not tolerate “political interference”, like what is happening with the police force right now. IOW, as long as the elite stays loyal to the army, the elite will be left play government, line their pockets, fleece the people, and remain their corrupt selves. Should things get that bad that the elite turn on the army, or lose the next elections, a military “intervention”, Egypt style, is not unthinkable.  A little known, or little published, fact is that NATO have quietly been closing all their bases in the Mediterranean, and are moving them all to Greece. On Crete alone this has increased US military personnel with a good few highly trained “units”.

While the people on the island struggle to heat their homes, schools and offices, the military build a stock pile of millions of gallons of fuel for “emergency purposes”. All this has a lot more to do with Greece than it has to do with Syria, Egypt, Iran,Israel and all the other reasons quoted. Greece is not just a testing ground for the less palatable neo-liberal tactics, it is a vital component in the “Endlösung”, the creation of the economic wasteland necessary to protect the neo-liberal heartland of the experiment called EU, and to provide the source of cheap labour that will allow this experiment to compete with existing cheap labour markets like
China and India. For that is the ultimate intention.

The EU’s industrial superiority has been severely eroded by the cheap labour economies of China and India. Economies that, by the way, have been seriously criticised by the EU for using the very low-wage, purely profit driven policies the EU itself is now enforcing on the periphery of Europe. If Europe wants to hang on to its industrial base and stop China and India from taking over, it needs to compete on their terms, with cheap energy and cheap labour. Greece will supply both, willingly or otherwise…

The EU periphery is the test lab for the powers who have hijacked the EU and are turning it into a vehicle of neo-liberal economics and consequent social destruction. Each country in that periphery is a test tube in which a different experiment is conducted. Greece test reactions to high levelsof unemployment and loss of national identity, Ireland hands over energy resources to Shell and test reactions to loss of energy authonomy, etc. Each country has its own “speciality”, all have different levels of poverty inflicted on them and the reactions are being studied. The EU even publishes the statistics of these studies in the form of unemployment figures, poverty levels, housing details, etc.

The people of the peripheral countries are the guinea pigs for different policy scenarios.  Tsipras has stated as much in Greece, but also on his visits to Spain, France, Germany, etc.    He has very recently warned the German workers that they too are very much in danger of being sacrificed to please the God of Profit.   That is why he is the “most dangerous politician” and will be stopped, at any cost. The current happenings in Greece are part of that cost…

Ephilant   25.9.2013

Europe on Austerity’s Knife-Edge – How Long is this Going On For ? Forever ?
October 17, 2012

As of 15/10/2012 we see yet another few days of unfinished business, in the ongoing “Troika vs. Greece” sparring match. Greek political “leaders” are walking a very fine line. On the one hand the politicians need to be seen to please the Troika, on the other hand, they can’t afford to alienate themselves any further from the Greek people. Greece’s political leaders tell us that if they can’t get agreement with and from the Troika, Greece will not get the next 30 billion tranche of the bailout, and the country will be bankrupt. We’ve heard that three times so far, and each time, without any apparent agreement with the Troika, money has magically appeared from somewhere, and things stumble along again for a few months. Then we are told we will bankrupt again, and magically, money appears….

Conflicting pressures on politicians, to say the least.   The latest opinion poll will no doubt have frightened both Greek politicians and their European handlers like never before. It indicates a serious political polarization in Greece; with a 48% majority intending to vote SYRIZA should an election be held tomorrow, while the far right Chrysi Avgi holds its ground.   Evangelos Venizelos, leader of Pasok, has special reason to worry. Despite his defiant rhetoric, the party is on the slippery slope and is polling less than 10%. This downward trend is now pointing to the serious possibility of the once mighty Pasok polling around 5% or less, with a very real danger of the party not even reaching the required 3% of the vote to claim representation in the parliament.

Under this pressure, popular stances need to be taken, and both Venizelos and Kouvelis have started opposing various Troika demands, resulting in the announcement on 15/10/2012 by the Greek Finance minister Yiannis Stournaras that talks with the Troika will continue after the EU Summit.   At the same time, some 20 Greek government MPs have made it clear that they will not support the measures demanded by the Troika in terms of 15,000 immediate redundancies in the civil service and complete abandoning of all the provisions currently enshrined in the various labour laws to protect the basic rights of the Greek workers. More and more international voices are echoing the idea that Greece will indeed need not only more time, but also more money. And the question is being asked in Greece and across the EU

“How long is this going to go on? Forever?”

In order to answer that question one has to understand what is really going on in Europe. Let’s make one thing very clear from the outset. Despite all the talk of Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and others being “bailed-out”, nothing could be further from the truth. Neither Greece, nor Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia or any of the current or future “bailout programs” are intended or designed to bail out the respective countries to which they are allocated.   In simple terms, the so called bailout allocated to these countries is in reality the amount of internationally held bank debt these countries have been “volunteered” to clear. This can be understood by looking back at the financial developments of the last 15 years or so.  Around 1995, the “Home owners’ market” came into the sights of financial houses. Home owners in general have no other corporate exposure, and their only means of investing and “creating wealth” is by investing in their houses. It was therefor in the interest of the financial institutions to have as many home owners as possible. Millions of people did however not fit the traditional “safe borrower” profile, and needed to be brought into the “home owners’ market” some other way. Subprime lending, a system of high risk, high interest lending, often more correctly referred to as predatory lending, was born.

And then something strange happened. In an effort to reduce the high risk element of this kind of reckless lending, while keeping the high interest component, financial houses started repackaging loans, and selling packaged debt to each other. This was a completely new, and as we now know, very dangerous development. Rather than debt backed up with bricks and mortar, or government guarantees, or something with value at least, we now had people investing in debt backed up by debt, backed up by debt, backed up … The perceived value of this debt was seen as wealth “locked in” to the debt, which would be released upon settlement of the debt.

The financial world embarked on an insane orgy of buying and selling debt, the amounts involved became ever larger, fooling themselves and everybody else into thinking that they were “creating wealth”. In reality, all they were doing was creating a phenomenal amount of unsecured, and unsecurable debt. In order to maintain the momentum, and create more POTENTIAL wealth, enormous amounts of cheap money were released in to fragile economic systems like the whole Southern periphery of Europe, officially enabling those economies to import product from the export oriented Northern European economies. In reality, all the banks were doing was increasing the amount of debt they owned, and still believing that the wealth locked into that debt would at some stage make it all worth the risk. Believing their own hype, the financial madmen of the day started investing heavily in the very Ponzi scheme they devised, buying the debt they created, creating more debt, and the vicious circle became an ever faster turning merry-go-round of buying and selling debt. Essentially, it was always the same debt, simple repackaged and re-priced, and made more expensive. In other words, more debt created from existing debt. And it was only a matter of time before the whole thing would come to a crashing halt.

The collapse of Lehman bank was the trigger for the financial master minds of the world to try and safeguard their insane investments. The banking crisis hit, and with it the most fragile economies went into a downward spiral. Of course, local corruption and manipulation by “interested parties” only helped to make a bad situation worse. Debt could not be paid, wealth locked into that debt could not be realized, and the very rich were not happy in seeing a possibility of not getting what they think is their God given right to get, yet more money. Lehman bank had shown them just how much they stood to lose, and they were not going to let this happen on a world wide scale. Banks holding debt, or in their sick minds “Potential Wealth” could not be left go ever again, no matter what the cost.

The fact that they brought this upon themselves is an inconvenient little side note. There is of course also the very real consequence to the larger economies in Europe, who were only too happy to supply cheap money to fuel their own export-based economy, would end up holding the debt they created. So a firewall needed to be erected that would prevent “contagion”. And somebody had to pay for this. To use the words of the late Brian Lenihan “We were bounced into a program”.

But this was not just in Ireland. The same treatment was dished out to Portugal and Greece. The method used to stop “contagion” is the bailout mechanism. Every cent of bailout money “given” to the various countries goes straight back to the so called lenders, with a handsome 7% interest in this case Greece, for the privilege of having their respective countries used in what is nothing short of a gigantic money laundering operation. The system was invented by the so called lenders, and is operated by the EU through the ECB, EMS, etc. According to those in charge of the plan, the firewall guarding against contagion is now in place. But more money is needed. A second firewall must be erected. This firewall is to guard against bank insolvency. Joe Soap must cough up even more money to fund this, so Spain and soon enough Italy will get “bounced into a program” to provide the extra cash. Meaning, Joe Soap in the various countries has everything, including his very livelihood stolen of him through “austerity” in order to safeguard the solvency of the banks, and thus realize the wealth locked into the debt created by those very same banks.

When Poul Thomsen, the IMF representative assigned to the “Greek case”, admits that the IMF got it wrong, he does not mean they got it wrong in the sense that they are sorry for leaning too hard on Greek Joe Soap and pushing him into levels of poverty not even experienced during the Nazi occupation of the country. What he does mean is that they are sorry for leaning on Greek Joe Soap so heavily that they endangered the possibility of recovering the wealth locked into Greece’s allocated slice of international bank debt. There is,no apology to Greek, Irish or whatever Joe Soap. In fact, they couldn’t care less about Joe Soap.

The problem the financial gangsters are facing is that, until this second firewall is in place, not only does the situation get worse by the day, the merry-go-round, of which the likes of Greece, Ireland, Portugal are fixed components, must be kept turning, and the debt contained in this merry-go-round must keep going round. Buying bonds, selling sovereign paper, propping up banks, whatever, it must be kept moving between ALL the components making up the merry-go-round. The money stolen out of pockets of Europe’s Joe Soap ensures this, while it reduces the bank debt slowly, or looking at it another way increases the bank’s wealth.

If one element is allowed to drop out, through sovereign bankruptcy, or Euro-exit, the merry-go-round suddenly becomes a deadly game of musical chairs, and the last one standing picks up an enormous bill. By the nature of things, that last one will be the stronger components in the merry-go-round. And instead of realizing the potential wealth held in all this debt, they will be left holding the debt. That is the real reason behind the bailout/austerity scam. Joe Soap is being made pay for the debt mountain created by the corrupt and often criminal bankers, on behalf of the richest 5% of the world population. Once this scam is seen to be working, they will want yet more again, this time encouraged by the knowledge that Joe Soap will pay, willingly or otherwise.

How long will this go on for? The answer is very simple, until Joe Soap says, and means, enough. No sooner. Joe Soap would be a wise man to say enough now. If he waits till the second firewall is ready, the whole Southern Periphery and Ireland will be dropped like a hot potato, and Joe Soap will be left wondering what happened, and how long it is going to go on for…

Ephilant  16 October 2012   Greece

Greek students protest against the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the EU

Greece – The Death of A Nation
February 6, 2012

I had to go to Athens last week, which is something I don’t like doing anymore.    This once vibrant city, oozing with life, hope, and excitement has the scent of death coming from its very soul.    As if I needed a reminder, I went past the Olympic Park. Back in 2004 it became the symbol of everything Greece aspired to be.    God, we even got load of medals in those games, we had arrived!    Greece stood proud amongst the other nations, looking into a bright future, equal and shoulder to shoulder with its partners in the EU.    The symbol of our prosperity paints a sad picture today.    Totally unused because of the high operational costs involved, the Olympic stadium, once home to cheering crowds and heroic deeds, is now a mass of flaking paint, rotting wood, padlocks, security fences and barbed wire.    And, perfectly on cue to accentuate my thoughts, a homeless family shuffles past, on their way to nowhere.    What happened?

As is proven throughout history, the rot once again started from within. Incompetence, corruption, bribery and greed took hold of the political elite, was fed by the business elite, and the perfect recipe for disaster was being served up.    But that is nothing different from elsewhere in Europe.    Banks collapsed, bailouts are arranged, foreign leaders started interfering in internal affairs for self-serving reasons, but again, that is nothing different from elsewhere in Europe.   Why is it that Greece, throughout its history, has to excel in the drama and catch the eye of the world?   And then I realized, it’s because it is Greece.   Cradle of democracy, home of the greatest thinkers, physicians and scientists of antiquity, fiercely independent, feared fighters when they have to, gentle and soft whenever they can, and so much more.    Greece is being made an example of, to stop it from becoming the example.

The people of Greece have an inborn, healthy disrespect for anything and everybody that tries to control them, including their own government.    In conjunction with the “leading lights” of Europe, a barbaric and inhumane program of austerity is now being imposed on the people of this country, designed not to solve their problems, but to kill their spirit.    The program of austerity makes absolutely no economic or social sense, but is nevertheless imposed and viciously pursued by our own puppet government, on behalf of their masters in Europe.

The only reason this brutally insane program of austerity is being pursued with such unrelenting vigour is to make an example of the Greek people, so that others wouldn’t find the courage to stand up and say enough.    And the price being paid by the people of Greece is enormous.    People are literally dying in the streets of our cities.    Charity workers say that the most cited reason for people seeking their help is “hunger”.    Charities in Athens, previously engaged in dealing with alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence etc, are now almost exclusively engaged in looking after abandoned children.    The social fabric, once the glue that held this country together against all odds, is being ripped apart by hunger and poverty.    Hundreds of homeless people wander through the streets of Athens.    Mothers abandon their children in the hope that somebody will have the means to look after them, suicide is rampant, and social injustice the norm of the day.   “Greece needs to get it’s house in order” European leaders shout at us.    How do you get a house in order when the occupants of the house are being kicked about?

What you are looking at is not the result of an economic downturn or even a recession.    What you are seeing is the calculated result of a highly organized program to bring a people to its knees.   What you are not seeing is the human cost of this exercise.    TV news does show the fat cats around the table in Davos, discussing “the situation”. No fear of bumping into a homeless, hungry human being there, is there?    They broadcast interviews with Merkel and her puppy Sarkozy, gallantly stating that Greece will not be let go, while behind closed doors they insist on the most brutal program of austerity being made even more inhumane.    TV happily shows the “self appointed anarchists”, “hooligans” and “agitators” demonstrating in Athens.    It’s on TV, it has to be true.

They will however not show you the desperate people roaming the streets for food, or the farmers in Northern Greece handing out free food in the cities.    Did you see the two children who arrived on our island a few days ago after 8 days on the road, alone, with only a few stale sandwiches to keep them going (the last food their mother had for them before she walked out of their lives)?    Did they show you the 76 year old man who froze to death last night, in the back of an abandoned car?    The people say he had worked all his life to help build a better Greece for his children and grandchildren.    The foreign, Swiss they say, owner of the house he lived in put him out last month, because he couldn’t pay the rent anymore….

The human cost of a dying political and financial system is being counted in front of the world’s eyes.    And the question is not “how much?”. The real question is “who’s next?”

Ephilant  6.2. 2012

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