Griechenland taumelt in die nächste Krise – im Sommer ist Zahltag für den Schuldnerstaat, und die Kassen sind leer. Der linke Premier Alexis Tsipras ist mittlerweile so unbeliebt wie seine Vorgänger und sieht sich einer wachsenden Opposition gegenüber, angeführt unter anderem von der sozialpatriotischen Vereinigten Volksfront (EPAM). Wir baten ihren Vorsitzenden um ein Interview.
Joshua Tartakovsky: Die Europäische Union und der Internationale Währungsfonds kontrollieren Griechenland und vor allem dessen Finanzen. Wie ist die aktuelle Lage?
Dimitris Kazakis: Zur Zeit kommen mehr Menschen von rechts zu unserer Partei. Sie suchen nach einer patriotischen Organisation, die gegen das Besatzungsregime dieses Landes kämpft. Heutzutage spürt das jeder. Natürlich sind wir nicht unter militärischer Besatzung, aber wir sind unter Besatzung. Unser Staat ist nicht unser Staat, noch nicht einmal formell. Wir haben Fremde, die alles kontrollieren. Es gibt keine Möglichkeit, dass griechische Staatsbürger Schutz und Gerechtigkeit von einer dieser Institutionen erwarten dürfen…mehr
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Dimitris Kazakis: “The Soros Agenda is to Destroy the Identity of Our People”
DK (Dimitris Kazakis): Right now we have more people coming [to EPAM] from the Right, looking for a patriotic organization, that can fight to overthrow the occupation regime of this country. Nowadays everybody feels that we are under occupation. Of course, we are not under a military occupation but we are under occupation. Our state is not our state even formally. In every department of our state you will find foreign emissaries controlling everything. So we have four independent authorities that were created by the Europeans that control everything. For example, we have TAIPED – the independent authority of privatization of the public utilities and public assets. Another independent authority is the General Secretariat Of Public Revenue – the president of this independent authority is Dutch. And another independent authority is the one that gives money to the systemic banks. And the fourth is the new fund, created by the Syriza government, that will control the big utilities of the public, for example electric energy. And of course all kinds of assets that were part and parcel of the Greek Republic. Everything will go to this particular fund. So the laws that created these independent authorities say that you cannot go back. You cannot introduce another law that will take back what you gave to these independent authorities. So we don’t have a constitution. We have laws that we cannot take them back. We have foreigners that control everything. There is no way Greek citizens can find protection in the justice system or in any other institution in Greece. We are under occupation. And everything comes down to the simple truth that they want everything. They want the whole country. IMF in their last report on the debt gave spectacular data about the tax collection system in Greece. They say that in 2015, 55% could not pay their taxes to their tax collection system – the IRS – here in Greece.
JT (Joshua Tartakovsky): They are avoiding taxes?
DK: No. They cannot pay any taxes because they do not have enough income. So the conclusion of the IMF is that we have a huge avoidance of tax-paying citizens so you have to reduce the basis of the income that is not obliged to pay taxes, and of course put more taxes on the citizens. That would create…more
Mr. Chrysanthopoulos, you’ve been a Director General of EU Affairs and Director of the Direction in charge of Third Pillar and Schengen issues in Greece, also Ambassador of Greece in Yerevan, Warsaw and Ottawa. You are one of the important persons, who have worked a lot for the Greek membership in the EU and the country’s future in the Union. Today you want Greece to break up with the EU. Why? What’s happened?
Greece joined the EU for three reasons. The first was to guarantee democracy in a country that had come out from a seven year dictatorship. The second was to get some kind of protection from Turkey that had invaded Cyprus in 1974 and that was also raising the issue that some Greek islands belonged to Turkey. The third reason was to achieve the economic development of Greece. (more…)
Effective March 14th the President and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece signed a presidential decree to remove the title of ‘Ambassador Ad Honorem’ from former Greek Ambassador to Canada Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos. In Greece, the title ‘Ad Honorem’ is awarded to retired diplomats in recognition of their long-standing and exemplary service to their country.
Ambassador Chrysanthopoulos quite rightly rejects the validity of this decision. Personally speaking, I commend him for ‘just saying no’. No one, not even an outspoken child, should be expected to humbly accept unfair treatment.
The question that arises is why both the foreign affairs ministry and President Papoulias would decide to strip the ambassador of a well earned title when the Minister gave Mr. Chrysanthopoulos high public praise on the Foreign Affairs website for his long standing service to Greece and his work as Secretary General of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization just 9 months ago.
Although the decree contains no reason for this decision, confidential government sources have informed Ambassador Chrysanthopoulos that the decision was based on the outcome of a December 2012 international interview that he gave. (more…)
In December, Millstone published my interview with former Greek Ambassador to Canada, Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos. The interview was initiated because I was curious about the impact of financial austerity policies on a struggling populace and Greece was the most obvious place to look for evidence.
I published the Ambassador’s responses verbatim. I believe the overall content of his answers gave us a clear understanding of just how and why Greek society, and perhaps culture, was changing as a result of the long standing economic crisis. For almost six weeks, the interview seemed to be an interesting analysis but just one of many opinion pieces on the Greek crisis, consigned to the loyal readership of Millstone News with perhaps the occasional outside foray from Ottawa.
However, this was simply the calm before the storm. Greek bloggers and newspapers started picking up the interview around February 1st. Within a week, the article’s publication proved to have ripple effects beyond what I could have ever imagined. The European interest has focused on the Ambassador’s comment about a private security firm, ACADEMI (yes, the organization is officially spelled in all caps and, ironically for this story, is consciously modeled on the Greek philosopher Plato’s Academy), formerly Blackwater, being hired to protect the Greek Parliament from civil unrest. Based on virtual ‘hit’ statistics, the interview has been read by at least 2000 people in Greece alone. Ambassador Chrysanthopoulos also received numerous requests for interviews from the Greek, German and British media to confirm some of his statements. [For readers interested in more observations from the Ambassador, check the German media source ‘heise online’ for February 7th.] (more…)