Category Archives: Greece

Silence Hate?

The isssue of freedom of speech constantly emerges when a crisis impacts society. The economic collapse in Greece has witnessed the birth of neo-Nazi groups which blame foreigners for the calamity which impacted their nation. The Golden Dawn party blames immigrants or the Roma for whatever hit their nation. The assumption is that poor people are responsible for the collapse of stock markets, rising unemployment and impoverishment of society. Exactly how those without much money or without any influence in the stock market or business can somehow have the power to cripple an economy is among the great mysteries of life. Hate crimes are constant against minority groups in Greece since we have to blame someone for what we did.

The Council of Europe’s human rights warned the Greek government that it has failed to take action against hate groups like the Golden Dawn. Parliament has been silent as Roma or immigrants are beaten by street thugs. The European organization argues when the innocent are beaten then government has the power to restrict freedom of speech to those engaged in hate.  An interesting issue.

Nazis In Greece Again!

Among the mysteries of modern Europe is emergence of neo-Nazi parties in nations that once were invaded and destroyed by German Nazis. German Nazis murdered hundreds of thousands of Greeks and seventy years later their descendants want to dress like a Nazi and give a Nazi salute! Athens Mayor George Kaminis was handng out Easter gifts when a horde of Neo-Nazi thugs stormed in and began attacking people. They were led by MP George Germenis, a member of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party. Germenis pulled out a gun and waved it around and then threw a punch at the mayor, unfortunately, his blow his a twelve year old girl.

The Golden Dawn party hates Jews, it hates Africans, it hates Muslims, but it does not hate Nazis. Is there something wrong with Greeks holding as their model Nazis who murdered their ancestors? I await a black American organization which wants to return to the good old days when white folk had slaves!

Dawn Of New Nazis

Greece is the birthplace of what we term to be Western Democracy. A few thousand years ago intelligent men walked the streets of Athens discussing the meaning of life and what could constitute a just society. Today, Alexander Plomaritis, a member of the Golden Dawn political party, made clear to the people of Greece what should be done to immigrants in their fair land. “We are ready to open the ovens. We will turn them into soap…..to wash cars and  pavement.We will make lamps from their skins.”

Leadership of the Golden Dawn party insisted these comments were actually a joke. “These statements were stated to make people laugh” insisted Illias Kasidiaris. Golden Dawn leader, Nikos Micchaloliakos termed Adold Hitler, “a major historical figure.” Of course, he  was also responsible for the deaths of thousands of Greeks. Of course, he was only kidding.

Mitt, We Need You-In UK!

During the past election, Mitt Romney and fellow Republicans, warned the American people that to follow Obama economic ideas was the road to serfdom and poverty. Mitt insisted the solution was to cut, cut, cut, and embrace austerity as the model for ending our recession. There has been a monthly increase of new jobs averaging at least 150,000 and today’s figure for February was–198,000! However, European nations like the UK, Spain or Greece report DECLINE in the number of jobs and continual loss so that in Spain, the unemployment figure is about 24% for youth. Oh, the report also reveals that 24,000 more jobs were created in January than initially reported.

Health costs declined since the Affordable Health Act was passed. The economy is growing about 1.8% but it is  growing, not declining as in  Engand. Perhaps it is time for Mitt to head for the UK and assist the efforts of Prime Minister David Cameron to increase unemployment and make certain there is a stagnant economy.

Do Fascists Have Rights?

The Council of Europe is planning to ban right wing political parties which believe that Adolf Hitler and Nazism were just part of European culture. The ban would be directed at far-right groups which are affiliated with neo-Nazi and racist  anti-Semites who seek to rid Europe of those deemed to be undesirable. The Golden Dawn party of Greece which appears to love the old days of Fascism may be asked to leave the legislature. Hungary’s Jobbik party which recently blamed Jews for any and all problems in Europe may also be shown the door. Of course, all right wing political parties blame either Muslims or Roma for unemployment and recession.

Yes, right wing political parties are filled with ignorant nut cases. We in America have millions of such people who belong to the NRA or the Tea Party. I prefer allowing them to display ignorance and hate, eventually sound minded people will cease listening to their songs of hate.

It’s All Greek To Me

It is unfortunate that poor Mitt Romney and his Wall Street friends do not live in Greece. At least its Constitution recognizes that job creators in the field of shipping are entitled to special tax breaks. Its laws at least recognize that doctors, lawyers, engineers and other such distinguished folk are not to be treated like ordinary folk. At a time when millions of Greeks are suffering from high unemployment, loss of their homes and savings, the wealthy of Greece can still afford this wonderful Mediterranean vacations and trips to America.

Greeks are in the streets while Greeks are receiving dividends from stocks or sending their millions to another country for safety. A new study reveals that undeclared income in  Greece is about $50 billion a year, and you can bet for certain that money  is not going into savings accounts of the ordinary Greek person.A Greek lawyer told a Der Speigel writer that his firm told the government it received $500 for a case while charging their German clients about $5,000.

It is all Greek to me how wealthy folk never pay the full price. Then again, I live in America where things are not that different.

Anger Of Austerity

To those who lived during the Depression of the 1930s it is difficult wiping from our minds how poverty and lack of work warps the soul. The neighbor who got a job selling popcorn and feeds the family popcorn can not readily leave our minds. People in Greece are furious at the outcome of their economic debacle. Hundreds of youth threw fire bombs and bottles and rocks at riot police. At least 70,000 took to the streets as those without seek to  express frustration and anger at those held responsible.

The Greek people can shut down public services, they can pelt the police with whatever is in their hands, but in the end, there is need for an informed approach to what happened to a nation which went wild with speculation and allowed its economy to be controlled by the wealthy and professionals only interested in keeping their jobs.

Greece needs a balanced solution which entails reductions in wages, higher taxes(and actually collected) and also spending on infrastructure and encouragement of new business enterprises. One must curtail and spend to get out of a recession.

Is The Financial Crisis All Greek?

The people of Greece are suffering as a result of the current economic crisis which has led to demands from the European Union for austerity measures. There is no doubt German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been the leader in efforts to impose strick economic requirements that have resulted in rising unemployment and poverty for millions of Greeks. Ms. Merkel was in Athens and was greeted by thousands of demonstraters dressed in Nazi uniforms and giving Nazi salutes to pictures of Merkel dressed in a Nazi uniform. Greeks are angry at Germans bearing gifts of austerity rather than dollars.

Is Germany responsible for the Greek  problem? Of course, German banks gave loans they never should have given to  Greek banks. The fault for economic collapse lies  in  Greece as much as in Europe. Greek governments refused to make the wealthy pay taxes. Greek governments allowed the stifling bureaucratic society in which entry into occupations was restricted. We Americans are also suffering from  governments that spent and did not demand higher taxes.

Merkel is a symptom, not the cause of current economic problems in Greece. Her solutions are part right, austerity has A place, but it is not the solution.  There is need for government expenditures to stimulate the economy and enforcement of taxes on the wealthy!

The Greek Way Ain’t The Realistic Way

It is quite clear the people of Greece regard themselves as being punished because they are Greek. They are furious at Germany and other members of the European Union for insisting on drastic cuts in government expenditures in order to pay off large debts. Thousands are in the streets of all major towns demonstrating anger and hurt at demands for austerity and fiscal responsibility. About 50,000 joined a union sponsored demonstration in Athens and others are participating in strikes.

Reality is that Greece has a haphazard system of tax collection which allows most people to sort of not pay the full rate. The Greek government for years has operated on the principle that the Tooth Fairy would repay loans. The fault lies not in the European Union, but in the culture of Greece. As an American, I understand full well how one can borrow, go into debt and never confront reality.  We Americans are currently paying for our lack of reality and belief in the Tooth Fairy.

Unfortunately, the bottom line is when there is fiscal irresponsibility, the wealthy walk away with money in their pockets or at least in Switzerland. If you are in the pottery shop and break something, you own it.

Greece Is Still Greece

There was an election in Greece to determine if the people of that troubled land wanted to walk out of the European Union or remain and be broke. Several political groups urged departing the European Union, saying the heck with debts and — actually they never clearly explained what a bankrupt Greece that did not pay debts would do for money. The New Democracy Party led by Antonis Samaras pledged to remain in the EU and work out some form of economic solution.

In reality, Greece will not emerge from the current mess without Germany and other EU nations adopting the Obama approach of economic stimulus instead of economic unemployment. People need jobs, people need wages, and then people will purchase goods and pay taxes. It is time for common sense economic stimulation and an end to Republican nutty ideas of not forcing the wealthy to pay more taxes and firing people.

It is time for Europe to learn how the Great Depression ended–GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION.