Oct 062015

Translated by Michael Nevradakis, 99GetSmart


In the photo above, seven members of the “I Don’t Pay Movement” are pictured holding their case files. All seven members have had charges filed against them, either by the multinational corporations which operate Greece’s highway system, or by their state-employed collaborators, such as “anonymous” traffic police officers and other officials. Many of these cases were filed under the watch of the SYRIZA-Independent Greeks coalition government. Two of these cases will be held this month. One case, involving our member Makis Damoulianos, will be heard on October 9 in the city of Larissa. The other case, involving Vasilis Papadopoulos, will be heard on October 30 in Patra. Both men are facing the identical charge of destroying a tollgate. Another case will be heard in December, in which our member, Dimitris Peinoudis, is facing charges simply because he “dared” to stand up to a state official, in the case where charges were filed by the anonymous traffic cop.


Nov 202013

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart



If you still are confused why the U.S. economy is completely stuck in the mud, look no further than the parasites of Washington D.C

Ever since I started writing about what is happening in the world around me, my primary theme has been that the root cancer at the core of the U.S., and indeed global economy, is cronyism and an absence of the rule of law when it comes to oligarchs. In the U.S., this cronyism is best described as an insidious relationship between large multi-national corporations and big government to funnel all of the wealth and resources of the nation to themselves at the expense of everyone else. In a genuine free market defined by heightened competition and governed by an equal application of the rule of law to all, the 0.1% does not aggregate all of a nation’s wealth. This sort of thing only happens in crony capitalism, which is basically nothing more than complete and total insider deals to aggregate newly created money into the hands of the few.

The following profile of Washington D.C.’s so-called “boom” from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch pretty much tells you all you need to know. While I think the tone of the article is absurd considering this is no “economic boom,” but merely parasitic wealth extraction on a unprecedented scale, it is still quite telling. It is no coincidence that as D.C. has grown wealthier, the nation has become much, much poorer. Key excerpts below:

The avalanche of cash that made Washington rich in the last decade has transformed the culture of a once staid capital and created a new wave of well-heeled insiders.

The winners in the new Washington are not just the former senators, party consiglieri and four-star generals who have always profited from their connections. Now they are also the former bureaucrats, accountants and staff officers for whom unimagined riches are suddenly possible. They are the entrepreneurs attracted to the capital by its aura of prosperity and its super-educated workforce. They are the lawyers, lobbyists and executives who work for companies that barely had a presence in Washington before the boom.

At the same time, big companies realized that a few million spent shaping legislation could produce windfall profits. They nearly doubled the cash they poured into the capital. […]

READ @ http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2013/11/19/how-washington-d-c-is-sucking-the-life-out-of-america/



By Michael Snyder, Activist Postz


How many lies can one president tell and still retain any credibility?

What you are about to see is absolutely astounding. It is a long list of important promises that Barack Obama has broken since he has been president. If he had only told a few lies, perhaps the American people would be willing to overlook that.

After all, pretty much all of our politicians our liars. Unfortunately, many of the lies that Obama has told appear to have been quite cold-hearted in nature. For example, Barack Obama repeatedly made the promise that “you will be able to keep your health care plan” under Obamacare. But now we are learning that he knew that this was a lie all along. Not only that, the Democrats in Congress knew that this was a lie all along too. In fact, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat, said the following when she was asked about Obama’s promise to the American people recently: “He should’ve just been specific. No, we all knew.” You can see video of her making this statement right here. The truth is that they all knew that millions upon millions of Americans would lose their current health care policies under Obamacare. They deliberately lied just so that they could get the law passed.

And of course this is far from the only major lie that Obama has told in recent years. The following is a list of 23 famous Obama quotes that turned out to be broken promises or cold-hearted lies…

#1 “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”

#2 “My administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government.” […]

READ @ http://www.activistpost.com/2013/11/23-obama-quotes-that-turned-out-to-be.html



By Pamela Duncan, Irish Times

Bernadette McAliskey speaking at the Marzism 2013 at the Teachers Club, Parenell Square, Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Bernadette McAliskey speaking at the Marzism 2013 at the Teachers Club, Parenell Square, Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

[…] Migration myths

“This is our narrative: that we leave our country and in leaving it we have enriched every society to which we have gone. So is the logic, therefore, not that the people coming to our society will bring that diversity, that skill, that new dynamic and perspective that would enrich our society?” she said.

“The best thing we could do on this very small island, North and South, is commit ourselves to end racism in this generation and if we did you would never hear immigration controls mentioned again.”

Ms McAliskey said racism needed to be challenged.

“It was the same when we had to take on anti-feminist, anti-women language, you have to challenge it wherever it is. You have to ask people to explain themselves.”

She said racism needed to be addressed through education in the same way as we educated children on bullying.

READ @ http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/immigration-control-a-false-conversation-that-is-really-about-racism-says-bernadette-mcaliskey-1.1598267#.UoqxZ-Q57jY.facebook



By Andrew Kreig, News From Underground

Roger Shuler, blogger @ Legal Schnauzer, indefinitely detained in Alabama.

Roger Shuler, blogger @ Legal Schnauzer, indefinitely detained in Alabama on bogus charges.

Alabama authorities paraded a shackled liberal pundit into court to denounce him Nov. 14 for recent news coverage about his jailing. Then defendant Roger Shuler was forced to defend his writing while bound and without a lawyer.

Shuler is a 56-year-old commentator jailed on contempt of court charges Oct. 23 arising out of a libel suit. He published columns alleging a sex scandal involving Robert Riley, Jr., a wealthy, politically powerful GOP attorney whose father served two terms as Alabama’s governor.

Nov. 19 Update:  Shuler, who writes under the name Legal Schnauzer, remained jailed indefinitely without bond. His wife provided two mind-boggling accounts of his hearing, most notably in Nov. 14 Court Hearing in Legal Schnauzer First Amendment Case Results in “Final Order.” In it, she relates that the judge has decided the libel case with essentially no input from the defendant and has vowed to keep him in jail forever unless he arranges destruction of what the judge determined were false news reports. More details are below.

Shuler reports on Deep South legal affairs via his Legal Schnauzer blog, whose columns are sometimes widely republished on other progressive sites.

He often breaks stories about ordinary litigants unfairly treated in the courts. Also, he writes about financial corruption involving taxpayer dollars, illicit sex among conspirators and their minions, and cover-ups that are intended to uphold the family values image regarded as especially necessary for election success in his region.

Shuler’s most frequent targets are Republicans in the legal and political system. But he has repeatedly pilloried at least two of his state’s major Democrats. One was former Congressman and gubernatorial nominee Artur Davis. Another was former U.S. Attorney Douglas Jones, who was co-counsel with Riley in leading a class action that won a $700 million fraud judgment. […]

READ @ http://www.justice-integrity.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=588:alabama-kangaroo-court-parades-liberal-commentator-in-chains-continues-jailing&catid=21&Itemid=114



By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon / Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon / Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Last week, I ran a quick post in this space (“Chase’s Twitter Gambit Devolves into All-Time PR Fiasco“) on the epic Twitter fail that was JP Morgan Chase’s planned #AskJPM online Q&A. For those who missed it, this was that outstanding Too-Big-To-Fail marketing idea where Chase expected readers to tweet in in search of career advice – only to take a massive faceplant as Twitter exploded with profane, abusive and in many cases inspiringly funny “questions.” (“Would you rather negotiate with 1 horse-sized Eric Holder, or 100 duck-sized Eric Holders?” was my favorite.)

As an afterthought, I asked readers to send in haikus on the theme of Chase’s PR gambit. To the author of the best poem I promised a Jamie Dimon “Greedy Bastard” t-shirt. I honestly didn’t expect so many outstanding submissions. There were so many good ones, in fact, that in the end I couldn’t settle on just one winner – there will be two, in the end. But before I get to those, I should give props to some very honorable mentions.

First, all praise is due to those who actually honored the literary spirit of the haiku. Many of us less-civilized Americans, myself included, just went straight for a crude 17-syllable dick joke and didn’t bother with the form too much. The one I put on Twitter read as follows:

Ask Chase anything!
Public replies: blow us, you
Cheap gangster fuckwads.

READ @ http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/the-winners-of-the-chase-twitter-fail-haiku-contest-20131119



Source: youtube

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IZzkbSqvXo

Jun 232013

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

From StopCartel Newsdesk:

It is the first time the two major factions of the new regime are trying to live together in the most shameless manner, openly before the eyes of the People. Democracy and PASOK, have for the first time, shown their true face and the political essence of the so-called “post-dictatorship”

The faces of Greek traitors: Venizelos and Samaras

Venizelos and Samaras

The tragicomic political developments in the government camp , which sparked the case of ERT , continues unabated after the formal, but not substantial withdrawal of Tourism Services .

The New Democracy and PASOK , seeking now not only a new framework for cooperation , but also a reshuffle of the government scheme that will enable them to impart an artificial fake note “progressivism” and “renewal” in the hope that such things will extend even and for a few months , they remain in power .

It is therefore expected,  the two “mnimoniakes” factions that first time in the years of the new regime will live together without another government partner , engage in an ‘orgy’ contacts, fermentation and classification , in an attempt to appease as soon as possible , concerns of lenders and the European Union on political developments .

Amidst such, bleak landscape , the tripartite government turns into bipartisan , even pretending he is determined to exhaust the four years . A contingency in which one no longer believes , as the country has entered irreversibly on track elections .Elections, which will require a great social majority in order to put an end to austerity and the destruction of the place for aprogressive way out of the current crisis with socialist horizon.

The revision of the terms of the loan agreement that enhance the recession appears to be the main objective of the program agreement SW-PASOK, which process the partisan staffs.

In fact it is the first time that the two major factions of the new regime are trying to live together without other partners.

The new programming agreement have undertaken to formulate the Chrisanthos Lazaridis from ND and Paris Koukoulopoulos by PASOK.

The text will refer and institutional issues to be resolved, such as corruption, the fight against political money, the “breaking” of large regions, but the “hard” issues of anti-racism law and the immigration issue.

The pursuit of partisan staffs is later than T riti have completed their discussions and the final version is to the offices of Antonis Samaras and Evangelos Venizelos.

SYRIZA: Scaling of extreme austerity mnimoniakis 

“The New Democracy and PASOK looking for a new framework agreement and a new government scheme that will escalate toextreme mnimoniaki policy of austerity and authoritarianism , “said SYRIZA.

“With increasing their social isolation and their political obsolescence , as they become more plainly the impasses mnimoniakis policy, both seem more determined to dismantle every social right and every public good ‘, highlighted the announcement of Koumoundouros.

Moreover, the position that “the current government is much weaker” expressed MP SYRIZA Dimitris Stratoulis , speaking to T / T Mega.

Still appreciate that the new government scheme ‘ will apply the same mnimoniaki policy and applies it worse “and that” in September will be forced de facto to discuss new measures and new memorandum. ”

At the same time, Mr. Stratoulis not exclude the possibility to file SYRIZA censure.

As he said, “we will see in the coming days is a weapon we have in mind. When used should be effective. ”

KKE: signaled an escalation of aggression against the people

“Changes in the government scheme and the new programming agreement SW – PASOK, with the connivance of Tourism Services , mark the escalation of aggression against the people and workers, through the new unpopular measures in the offing, “observes the KKE .

In a statement stating that ” the people have a wealth of experience to find that it can not be pinned their hopes on the control of his own harsh reality, in various disguises government or any other government that bows to capitalistic “one-way” and the EU. ”


StopCartel TV broadcasts LIVE from Athens @ http://www.livestream.com/stopcarteltvgr

StopCartel blog in Greek and English @ http://stopcartelnews.blogspot.gr

Jun 202013

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

The unprecedented decision by the government to shut down ERT – the Greek Public Broadcaster has been a heavy blow for all. Both me and my colleagues, journalists and technicians, we ran immediately at the ERT Broadcasting Center. Since the beginning, every day we are recording what we see. We just edited quickly nine minutes to not erase from our memory what happened the first day. This is our way to react. We will continue as much as we can.

This is a rough cut sequence, part of the feature-length documentary that we are filming since the beginning of the crisis, for the last three years. It is called “AGORÁ – From Democracy to the Market” and it is an international co-production of major TV networks. AGORÁ will be released in April 2014.

Best Regards
Yorgos Avgeropoulos
Documentary Filmmaker
Author & Director of Exandas Documentary Series

Main Credits:

Written & Directed by Yorgos Avgeropoulos
Producers: Yorgos Avgeropoulos, Anastasia Skoubri
Picture: Yiannis Avgeropoulos, Anna Prokou
Music: Yiannis Paxevanis
Production Manager: Anastasia Skoubri
Editing: Anna prokou, Vasilis Magos
Researchers: Georgia Anagnou, Achilleas Kouremenos, Andreas Vagias
A Small Planet production © 2013-2014 smallplanet.gr

VIDEO @ https://vimeo.com/68637086

Jun 182013

Photography by Giorgos Panagakis, 99GetSmart

Thousands of people outside ERT all day to show their support

Thousands of people outside ERT all day to show their support

The front entrance of ERT at night

The front entrance of ERT at night

A protester wearing a t-shirt that reads, "ERT BELONGS TO THE PEOPLE".

A protester wearing a t-shirt that reads, “ERT BELONGS TO THE PEOPLE”.

A child's sign says, "No one should be unemployed."

A child’s sign says, “No one should be unemployed.”

"ERT will be their graves!"

“ERT will be their graves!”

A message of solidarity between Greeks and Turks is expressed in a banner

A message of solidarity between Greeks and Turks is expressed in a banner

A banner at the entrance of ERT says that ERT and Taksim Square have a lot in common.

A banner at the entrance of ERT says that ERT and Taksim Square have a lot in common.

A giant banner in the front of ERT building with the image of the famous Greek composer, Mikis Theodorakis.

A giant banner in the front of ERT building with the image of the famous Greek composer, Mikis Theodorakis.

A musician playing violin in support of ERT employees.

A musician playing violin in support of ERT employees.

Musicians playing music at the demonstration in support of ERT.

Musicians playing music at the demonstration in support of ERT.

Protest sign made by a Greek child

Protest sign made by a Greek child

Jun 132013

Posted by SnakeArbusto, 99GetSmart

Greek unions organised a 24 hour strike in support of ERT - Photo by Giorgos Panagakis

Greek unions organized a 24 hour strike in support of ERT – Photo by Giorgos Panagakis

“No Signal.” That was the last message to be broadcast on June 11 at 11:00 PM (local time) by the Greek public broadcasting network ERT. Broadcasting has ended. The radical – and unprecedented – measure was taken without forewarning just as the leaders of Greece’s “Troika” creditors (EU-ECB-IMF) are in Athens.

Public broadcasting belongs to the many government entities that were to be restructured or merged under the Memorandum of Understanding between Greece and its lenders. According to the unions, in closing ERT, the government is meeting the objective imposed on it by Greece’s creditors – eliminating 2,000 public-sector jobs by the end of June – with one stroke of the pen. It is justifying its decision by citing low ratings for the public radio stations and television channels, and also their lack of financial resources, in particular from advertising.

The government did say that the public entity would re-open someday in another form, with a drastically reduced workforce. Government spokesman Simos Kédikoglou revealed the details of a proposed law on the creation of a “new Greek radio, Internet, and television” to be called Nerit S.A. and which would begin operation by the end of August, with 1,200 employees. In the meantime, the current workforce of 2,656 will receive compensation and will be allowed to apply for jobs with the new company.

“They’re saying they’ll re-open in September. But in Greece, nothing’s more permanent than ‘temporary’,” ERT radio General Manager Dimitris Papadimitriou observed.

An explosive economic measure 

The unions have called on Greeks to take to the streets to protest the shutdown. The protest is supported by certain personalities in Greek public life who are dependent on Greece’s public broadcasting – starting with Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens, Primate of the Greek Church, who immediately joined the movement along with the majority of the priests. “It has to be understood that only public television and radio broadcast the Mass on Sunday morning, every day of Holy Week, the week before Easter, at Christmas and on August 15 (the feast of the Dormition or Assumption). It provided hope and comfort for those among the faithful who are unable to go to church, as well as to Greeks living abroad. Remember that there are as many Greeks abroad as in Greece itself, and the Mass broadcast was a little piece of Greece for them,” the Archbishop said.

Orthodox Catholicism is the state religion in Greece, and 90% of the country’s population, according to official figures, is Orthodox. Religious broadcasts are carried on all four public channels, including the international one.

Greeks in Venezuela, the USA, and Japan called with messages of support for the personnel. One of them said on the air, just before programming was shut down, that the national public network was the only way for him not to forget the language of his native country and be able to observe religious celebrations in his home.

Several hundred persons were still assembled late Wednesday afternoon in front of ERT’s headquarters in Athens’s northeastern suburbs. A solidarity concert was planned for Wednesday evening.

Sophie Rosenzweig / ARTE Journal

Translated by SnakeArbusto

Status of Greek public broadcasting:

ERT in figuresIts history goes back to the 1950s. With 35 broadcasting locations, ERT reaches the most remote corners of the Greek Aegean islands and employs nearly 2,700 persons, including some 680 journalists and 200 musicians and singers.ERT, via its international Greek-language radio frequency and the ERT World channel, provides a vital link to a country whose language is spoken by more than seven million diaspora Greeks scattered around the world from Egypt to Australia and including the United States.


Edition spéciale : ARTE Journal diffusé en grec:

ERT: On the Edge:

Thousands of Greek showing solidarity outside the ERT building in Athens:

Published: Wed. Jun 12 12:00:00 CEST 2013



ERT shutdown: Greeks say “This is junta!” @ http://stopcartelnews.blogspot.com.es/2013/06/ert-shutdown-greeks-say-this-is-junta.html

Feb 062013

Posted by Elias Theodoroupolos, 99GetSmart

On Tuesday evening, for the second time in two weeks, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras invoked emergency civil mobilization orders – which have only been used ten times since the fall of the ruling military junta in 1974 – effectively ending a seven-day dock worker’s strike. Early Wednesday morning, dock workers were forced to end the strike under threat of prison and loss of their jobs.

BCaGuqrCYAE3j0A.jpg large

The workers went on strike over wage cuts and because they have not been paid for six months. The government-of-the-regime says they cannot pay the workers because of the crisis, however, Members of Parliament and Parliament workers enjoy exemption from pay cuts and are paid promptly.

Early Wednesday morning, the notorious rioting Greek police were dispatched in huge numbers at the port of Piraeus in order to keep the strikers away from boats taking on passengers and cargo.

limani apergia

Supporters of striking ferrymen marched through the port of Piraeus, a day after the government threatened arrests and jail time if the dock workers did not get back to work.


The civil servants union ADEDY stated:

“The government must know that the systematic undermining of union and labor laws violate the country’s constitution and international and European agreements that protect workers’ rights.” ADEDY described the measure as an “anti-democratic practice of criminalizing labor and strike action.”

The President of the Panhellenic Commercial Sailors’ Union, Antonis Dalakogoergos said that strong arm tactics by the state will not work:

“If the government thinks that by trying to criminalize our battle through measures of terror – such as issuing an order – it will resolve the issue of the seamen and workers in general, it is fooling itself.”

From Euronews:

Dec 112012

This Is Your Future 2

Doctor Kosmopoulos & The Destruction Of Greek Medicine

Iddhis Bing, 99GetSmart

Giogos Kosmopoulos, the surgeon who was profiled in the first article in this series, is one of the founders of Stop Cartel tv, by means of which he tirelessly alerts the world to what is going on in Greece. After taking early retirement this year from Agios Savas hospital in Athens, he received pension benefits for six months, when they suddenly stopped. He then opened a private practice, which proved impossible to sustain. Attempting to be reinstated within the Greek healthcare system, he has so far only been offered one post, in a rural area in the western Peloponnese, which he refused. He and his family now face eminent eviction from their home of 14 years.

As of Tuesday morning, December 11, the eviction is scheduled to proceed. The Kosmopoulos family have locked themselves in their apartment on Delphon Street, in Glyfada, refusing to allow access to bailiffs or police. Supporters are present in front of his building to try to stop the eviction with non-violent civil disobedience. Doctor Kosmopoulos has begun live streaming. You can watch events as they unfold on Stop Cartel.

If the eviction proceeds, the only present option for Doctor Kosmopoulos and his wife is a squat in Exarchia. Kosmopoulos has said that this is a last resort to keep his family off the streets.

Perhaps the most devastating critique of what is happening in Greece today was delivered by Dimitris Christoulas, a 77-year-old pensioner.

“I see no other solution than this dignified end to my life so I don’t find myself fishing through garbage cans for sustenance,” the retired pharmacist wrote on April 4.

Christoulas then walked from his home to Syntagma Square in Central Athens and blew his brains out with a revolver.

The media, if it covered the story at all, used the words quoted above. But was that all he wrote? Here is the full text:

“The Tsolakoglou has annihilated all traces for my survival, which was based on a very dignified pension that I alone paid for 35 years with no help from the state. And since my advanced age does not allow me a way of dynamically reacting (although if a fellow Greek were to grab a Kalashnikov, I would be right behind him), I see no other solution than this dignified end to my life, so I don’t find myself fishing through garbage cans for sustenance. I believe that young people with no future will one day take up arms and hang the traitors of this country at Syntagma square, just like Italians did to Mussolini in 1945.″

The Tsolakoglou was the Greek collaborationist government during World War II.

Christoulas was hardly a lonely old pensioner in reduced circumstances.

In Greece, whose suicide rates have historically been among the world’s lowest, Christoulas has become a symbol of the pain the country is suffering at the hands of the Troika.

At the end of 2011, according to statistics, the act of taking one’s life increased an astounding 40%.1 It has continued unabated this year and has in all likelihood got worse.

On Monday, April 30, a 38-year-old geology lecturer hanged himself from a lamp post in the capital, and on the same day a 35-year-old priest jumped to his death off his balcony in northern Greece. On Wednesday, May 2, a 23-year-old student shot himself in the head. This was four days before the country’s national elections on May 6.2

Partial statistics for July 16 are no less grim: a businessman and father of three hanged himself in his shop on the island of Crete; a 49-year-old man from Patras was found by his son, also hanged. On July 25, a 79-year-old man in the southern Peloponnese hanged himself with a cable tied to an olive tree. On August 3, a 31-year-old man shot himself to death at his home near Olympia. On August 5, a 15-year-old boy hanged himself in Pieria. On August 6, a 60-year-old former footballer set himself on fire in Chalcis, and died. And so the lonely list goes on and on.

The truly efficient modern army no longer invades its weakest neighbor but creates the conditions whereby the people in that country take their own lives. In Greece, people are getting the hint. Some of them, pushed too close to the edge, don’t plan on sticking around to see what else the Troika has in mind for them.

The Greek healthcare system is being hollowed out from within. Earlier this month (December, 2012) Benoît Vitkine published an article in France’s Le Monde, from which the following quotes are taken.4

“In Thessaloniki’s 13 hospitals, doctors are ‘playing God,’ according to Leta Zotaki, director of radiology at Kilkis Hospital. ‘When we start running out of x-ray films, we have to decide who needs to be examined first; we trade with other hospitals or ask the patients to pay for the film,’ the trade unionist explains. Zotaki saw her 4,000 euro monthly salary cut in half. Her night shift hours have not been paid since May.”

“There is a shortage of everything at hospitals: latex gloves, cold pads, reagents for blood tests and catheters. […] Doctors who are leaving – who have either retired, or left for private hospitals or abroad – are not being replaced: in Kilkis, the number of doctors has gone from 160 to 125.”

“Since 2009, public spending allocated to the healthcare system has seen a 32% drop. […] As the unemployment rate has increased (+25% in November) the number of contributors has fallen,” inevitably putting further strains on hospitals ability to deliver both care and medicine.

According to the article in Le Monde, “Public healthcare, which had already undergone a 40% budget cut between 2007 and 2009, entered the crisis in a very fragile state. In order to balance its budget, patients were asked to pay a new five-euro fee for every consultation (raised to 25 euros in the new budget), and a variable financial contribution to medical fees. On top of which Greeks sometimes have to pay a fakelaki, a bribe that goes in the doctor’s pocket and allows them to jump the queue.”

“Unemployed persons lose medical coverage a year after their job ends, and then must pay medical expenses themselves. In most cases, they don’t go to the doctor. They wait for the situation to worsen so they can go directly to an emergency room at the public hospital. ER admissions have tripled. Intensive care units are also overwhelmed: between 30 and 40 people are denied access to these units every day, according to trade unions.”

“Despina Ioanidou, 48, who has been unemployed for eight years, often goes to the local chapter of Doctors of the World to get drugs for her back pain and depression. ‘I have just enough money to pay for electricity and food, so how could I afford to see a doctor or even go to hospital?’ she asks.”

“Doctors at this makeshift clinic are seeing new diseases, some of them due to child malnutrition. Everywhere in the country, old diseases, such as malaria and tuberculosis, are making a comeback.”

These conditions are being found in Greece, a full member of the EU, and not in a war-torn country in what is called the Third World. Or to put it another way, the Troika, in their great benevolence, is replicating the Third World within its own borders. Vitkine goes on to report that “According to the Pan-Hellenic Pharmaceutical Association (PFS), 300 prescription drugs have become nearly impossible to get – a particularly worrying situation for heart disease and cancer patients. Pharmaceutical companies are threatening to stop supplying the drugs altogether. In November, Merck announced it would stop supplying anti-cancer drug Erbitux to hospitals behind on payment.” Merck’s profits in 2011 were 6.272 billion in U.S. dollars.5

I leave the last word to a doctor cited in Vitkine’s article. Stavros Baroutis is an administrator at Agios-Dimitrious in downtown Thessaloniki. “The cuts are so violent; the purge is done in such a way that we are killing the system without reforming it.”

Iddhis Bing

1 http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/18/greek-woes-suicide-rate-highest

2 http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/28/us-greece-election-suicide-idUSBRE83R08N20120428

3 http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/economic-crisis-triggers-wave-of-suicides-in-greece-a-850129.html

4 See translated version here: http://www.worldcrunch.com/culture-society/postcard-from-the-edge-inside-the-dramatic-collapse-of-greece-039-s-heathcare-system/thessaloniki-medical-drugs-hospitals-god/c3s10308/

5 Merck’s revenue for 2011 was 48.047 bn USD, with a net income of 6.272 bn USD. Source: Merck’s 10-K filing with the IRS.


Part 1: THIS IS YOUR FUTURE – Fast track evictions rampant in Greece: http://99getsmart.com/this-is-your-future/

Jul 312012


StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the July 30, 2012 broadcast 

By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart

– The steelworkers from the Hellenic Halyvourgias Steel Mill in Aspropyrgos held a general assembly of their union on Friday, 27 July and Saturday, 28 July and voted to officially terminate their nine-month strike. One hundred fifty workers were reported present. 107 voted to end the strike, while 14 voted against and 29 abstained.

The workers voted to strike last October, protesting layoffs, cuts in working hours and a decrease in pay to 500 euros ($615) per month. The heroic nine-month strike was interrupted at 5:30 a.m. on Friday, 20 July, in a brutal raid by rioting police, who were working in the interest of a private owner, Nikos Manesis.

Again, during the early morning hours on Monday, 23 July, the Greek rioting police used chemical weapons to disperse a group of striking steelworkers gathered outside the gates of the mill. The workers were there to protest the reopening of the steel mill.

Supporters of the steelworkers, who quickly organized an impressive rally – 10,000 people gathered in Omonia Square and marched to Syntagma Square on Monday (23 July) evening – were stunned at the decision to end the strike.

The details are still unclear, but it appears that the strike has ended without any of the steelworkers’ demands being met. Longtime supporters feel that the struggle of the steelworkers represents the larger struggle for workers’ rights in Greece and that this was not their decision to make alone. Supporters feel an especially deep disappointment that the strike seems to have ended without any gains for Greek society.

Kritios Katsionis, an MP from the Communist Party, asks “What are the demands from the union now?” He also responded to the steelworkers’ supporters, who are asking “Who is giving orders to whom?”

The arrangement with the government was that once the strike ended, the rioting police would be removed from the steel mill because there would be no reason for their presence. The Minister of Justice said that the rioting police would be removed by Monday morning. But despite promises from the government, the rioting police remain on guard.

According to Mr. Katsionis, industrialist Nikos Manesis, a private citizen and the owner of the Hellenic Halyvourgias Steel Mill, is giving direct orders to the Greek government, who then pass down his orders to the rioting police. Manesis has instructed the government to leave the rioting police at the steel mill, in order to marginalize the workers.The rioting police were also instructed, by Manesis, to let the workers into the factory one by one, in a show of control.

The government continues to insist that it had acted upon the wishes of the workers, while the radical-Left main opposition party SYRIZA and the Communist Party condemned the police action.


– “When it becomes serious, you have to lie.” –  Jean Claude Juncker, May 2011.

From Suddeutsche Zeitung:

“No time to lose”: The chairman of the €-group feels that a crucial point in the debt crisis has been reached. Jean-Claude Juncker supports plans by ECB chief Draghi for the purchase of government bonds – and says that Germany is partly to blame for the crisis. Berlin treats the euro area “as a branch,” Juncker said, and that “chatter about the withdrawal of Greece” is not helpful.

Juncker confirmed that the euro countries are preparing together with the bailout fund EFSF and the European Central Bank to buy government bonds from struggling countries if necessary. Because there is no doubt, he said, that “It is still necessary to decide exactly what we will do and when.” This depends “on developments in the next few days and on how fast we have to react.”

Except that Germany’s Finance Minister “denied plans for a new aid program for Spain, according to newspaper Welt am Sonntag, after the media reported European Union leaders aim for Spanish government bond purchases by the European rescue fund and the European Central Bank.”

Tyler Durden, from zerohedge, summarizes:

i) since the head of the Eurogroup is back to outright refuting what Germany said a day earlier, Europe is once again back to Plan B – lying, which means things are again on the verge of an all-out collapse, and a plunge in the EURUSD (which, as a reminder, is precisely what the German export industry wants more than anything), and

ii) just as at the June 29 summit, beggars are again hoping they can be choosers, and force Germany – by way of a full-blown media onslaught in which they represent a vague possibility as a certain outcome, and thus have already set expectations about 5% higher than they it would be otherwise – to succumb to the will of the beggars, and allow full-blown debt monetization.

In conclusion, here are excerpts from a Spiegel magazine interview with Mr. Juncker, highlighting his hilarious attempts to justify his lies:

SPIEGEL: Mr. Prime Minister, you are a Christian Democrat and a Catholic, which is why we want to talk to you about the Ten Commandments.

Juncker: I already have an idea of what you are getting at.

SPIEGEL: Are you familiar with the Eighth Commandment?

Juncker: Of course. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

SPIEGEL: Apparently you don’t take it very seriously. More than two weeks ago, you denied a  report by SPIEGEL ONLINE about a secret meeting of several European Union finance ministers to discuss the situation in Greece, even though the official limousines were already pulling up in Luxembourg.

Juncker: The most important commandment is not to inflict harm on others. Although it isn’t stated quite that way in the Ten Commandments, it follows from them. The finance ministers of several Euro Group nations had agreed to meet on Friday with the president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Jean-Claude Trichet. Because the financial markets in Europe were still open and trading was still underway on Wall Street, we had to deny the existence of the meeting. Otherwise the rate of the euro against the dollar, which had already fallen as a result of your report, would have plunged disastrously.

SPIEGEL: With this false denial, you not only harmed your own credibility, but that of European financial policy as well.

Juncker: And it didn’t exactly enhance the credibility of SPIEGEL ONLINE to disseminate the false report that we were meeting in Luxembourg to discuss Greece’s withdrawal from the monetary union.

SPIEGEL: Forgive us for saying so, but SPIEGEL ONLINE had obtained information to that effect from government sources, as well as a working document prepared specifically for this meeting for the German finance minister.

Juncker: It is not unusual for finance ministers to have documents with them that contain all of the issues being discussed in public. And the question of Greece’s withdrawal from the monetary union is certainly being discussed in public. But that’s a far cry from saying that the issue is on the agenda of a meeting. As a result, I had to be all the more careful to ensure that no unnecessary turbulence would occur in the markets.

SPIEGEL: Are you saying that, as a finance minister in the age of global capital markets, you cannot tell people the truth?

Juncker: I do not have a ready answer to your question. My main concern is to protect people from detriment. That’s why I feel practically compelled to make sure that no dangerous rumors begin to circulate. I’m certainly not going to go to confession because of a false denial. God understands more about the financial markets than many who write about them.

SPIEGEL: When secret meetings are held and the truth isn’t always being told, people get the impression that there must be something wrong with this Europe.

Juncker: People understand perfectly well that politicians have to discuss sensitive issues behind closed doors. I had 10 seconds to decide how to react to the report in SPIEGEL ONLINE. Let us say, hypothetically, that I had said: “Okay, we are having a meeting, but I’m not going to tell you what we intend to talk about.” That would have triggered a tsunami in the financial markets. Instead, I chose to produce a small wave of outrage over a white lie.

SPIEGEL: Nevertheless, we’d like to try aiming for the truth.


– Of the 11.5€ billion to be cut from Greece’s budget, employees, pensioners and patients are scheduled for 5€ billion in cuts. Some of the proposed measures include:

A cap for pensions: maximum pension would be 2,000-2,200 euro

Pensions: A 5% cut for pensions 1,000-1,400€. A 10% cut for pensions over 1,400€. The cut will be applied to the total amount, for those receiving more than one pension.

Allowances, Social Benefits: More than 89 social and welfare benefits will be given according to income and social criteria. Only the unemployment allowance and EKAS (a welfare benefit for low pensioners) are “untouched’’ by the measures, even though a very low-income cap was set and applied last year for EKAS.

There have been some rumors that there will be cuts to unemployment allowance for seasonal workers (agriculture, tourism), but this has not been confirmed.

Lump sum: There will be a lump-sum cut of 22.67% for civil servants, and a total of 40% in cuts for insurance funds that pay a higher lump sum than the employees’ contributions.

Healthcare: Maximum annual spending per insured patient will be 1,500€! This amount includes expenditures covered by insurance funds for prescription medicine, 2 check ups per year and 1 hospital stay.

If this amount is exhausted before the year’s end, patients will have to pay 10€  per visit to a doctor and 15% of the daily cost for a hospital stay.


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Apr 042012

Today, 4th of April 2012, at 9:00 am, a 77 year old retired pharmacist shot himself in the middle of Syntagma Square. In his suicide note he wrote:

“The Government of Occupied Forces nullified any traces of my own survival, and because I cannot prove my right, I cannot find another reaction to struggle, except from a decent end, before I start searching for my food in garbage”.

“This was a symbolic suicide. If it hadn΄t happened here, in the square, in front of parliament, no one would notice,” said one bystander, who declined to give his name but heard the shots from across the square.

Right now, there are calls circulating for a peaceful gathering tonight on Syntagma Square at 18:00. Also, demonstrations are called all over the country and the slogan “We won’t let Capitalism kill us” is being raised everywhere.

This is the suicide note left behind by the man who ended his life at Syntagma Square this morning…

“The occupation government of Tsolakoglou* literally annihilated any possibility of my survival, which was based on a decent pension for which 35 years, I was paying (without any state aid).

I am of an age which does not give me the possibility of individual dynamic response (but of course I cannot rule out the possibility that if one Greek picked up a kalashnikov, I would  follow), I cannot find any other solution than a decent end, before I start searching the trash for food.

I believe that the young people without a future, will one day take up arms and in Syntagma  Square, they will hang the national traitors upside down, as the Italians did to Mussolini in 1945 (Piazza Poreto in Milan)”.

Another translation of the suicide note from the Athens News:

“The Tsolakoglou government has annihilated all traces for my survival, which was based on a very dignified pension that I alone paid for 35 years with no help from the state. And since my advanced age does not allow me a way of dynamically reacting (although if a fellow Greek were to grab a Kalashnikov, I would be right behind him), I see no other solution than this dignified end to my life, so I don’t find myself fishing through garbage cans for my sustenance. I believe that young people with no future, will one day take up arms and hang the traitors of this country at Syntagma Square, just like the Italians did to Mussolini in 1945″ (Source: The Athens News)





UPDATE III: A beautiful eulogy by Dimitris Christoulas’s daughter:

My father’s handwritten not left on room for misinterpretation. He has been a leftist activist throughout his life, a selfless visionary.

This specific act of his ending is a conscious political act, entirely consistent with his beliefs and actions during his lifetime. In our country, Greece, they are killing the self-evident.

For some, for ‘the stubborn children of the chimera”, in such a situation, suicide seems to be the obvious act, not as a getaway, but as an awakening scream.

For this reason, it (the suicide) takes on another meaning, the meaning of that song we first sang together, at the concert of our beloved Mikis (Theodorakis), in 1975, the song we always sang at our own celebrations and for our own dead … Go to sleep father and I am heading to my brothers and sisters with your voice.

This is the only thing you were dreaming for the youth and I think you’ve accomplished it. At the site where you left, there is a not of a youth: “The name of the dead today is Democracy … But it’s 11 million of us that are still alive and our name is Resistance.”