Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart
* HALKIDIKI: WHERE NEITHER NUMBERS NOR PEOPLE THRIVE
By Leonidas Oikonomakis, RoarMag
“Come and invest in Greece! Don’t worry about those rebellious local communities; we will safeguard your investments, all in the name of development!”
[…] In Halkidiki, and especially in the area of Kassandra mines, it has been known since ancient times that there’s gold and copper. In 1996, the Canadian company TVXS submitted a plan to mine the gold and copper, yet the citizens of the area reacted, took the case to court on the basis that a huge-scale mining process would heavily affect the forest and the surrounding areas of enormous environmental beauty, and they won the case.
The court at the time decided that the protection of the environment was beyond any capital profit. The company went bankrupt, of course did not remunerate its workers, who on their behalf started long hunger strikes pressuring the government to do something for them. In the area, mining activity is the largest single-sector source of employment.
The government, in 2003, came up with the solution: it would sell the right of mining the Forest of Skouries and its two preexisting mines as well as the nearby areas (covering an area of 317.000 square meters in total) to a company that was created just three days before the deal, Hellas Gold. And it would do so for only 11 million euros (it is estimated that in the area there is gold worth 6 billion euros and copper worth the same — the mines are worth 12 billion euros in total).
Hellas Gold itself was created with an initial capital of 60.000 euros (!), which was invested by Bobolas’ AKTOR (35%) and the Canadian Eldorado Gold (30%). Yet, three days later the Greek state buys the mines from TVXS for 11 million euros, and on the same day, without any open competition process, sells it to Hellas Gold for the same amount of money. Of course, the money the Greek state received went for the remunerations of the workers of TVXS, therefore the Greek state took the responsibility to pay the money a foreign company was owning to its workers.
Today, 95% of the investment belongs to Eldorado Gold and 5% to AKTOR (Bobolas, who is the owner of AKTOR is also the owner of several media outlets in Greece, including a TV channel, newspapers, etc.). […]
* Η ΣΙΩΠΗ ΜΑΣ, Ο ΧΡΥΣΟΣ ΤΟΥΣ – OUR SILENCE, THEIR GOLD
OUR SILENCE… THEIR GOLD: Video of the Open Coordinative of Thessaloniki against the goldmines that was first screened in an event of counter-information at Aristotelous Square in the city of Thessaloniki (April 26, 2012) —press cc button to enable English subtitles (trans. by Contra Info)
The testimonies of the residents of Halkidiki are excerpts from the research film Treasure Hunt (2007) @ http://youtube.com/watch?v=V6mIv7YU4x4
* “BURNOUT” SWISS EXHIBIT SHOWS GREEK CRISIS
By Christina Flora, Greek Reporter
The depth of the Greek economic crisis is being displayed in Switzerland, thanks to a photography exhibition by Dimitris Michalakis at Zurich’s Coalmine Gallery .
According to Enetenglish, Burnout derives from the psychology’s field. “Burnout means ‘occupational exhaustion’. The crisis has given the elite a golden opportunity to impoverish the working class and wipe out the middle class, forgetting that the wealth we all enjoy is produced by workers. We live in a system that has everything, but not for everyone,” the photographer said. […]
* WRITING THE UNWRITTEN HANDBOOK: ANTI-FASCISM AND NEIGHBORHOOD RESISTANCE IN ATHENS
By Joshua Stephens, Truthout
Last spring, I was invited to give a handful of talks in Athens and Thessaloniki on the Occupy movement. Not long after I returned to New York City, it was revealed that the Greek neo-Nazi party, Golden Dawn – now the country’s third-largest, with the electoral backing of half the country’s police force – had established something of a diplomatic mission, setting up offices in Montreal, Sydney and smack in my backyard in the Queens neighborhood of Astoria. A swift organizing effort kicked off in response, and Golden Dawn backers were promptly stripped of their office space in a local Greek community center, but not before they managed to solicit donations of money and clothing from local businesses “for struggling Greek families.” So I returned to Athens to check in with anti-fascist organizers about the work happening in Astoria, and to get feedback about how to better synchronize our efforts.
Even more cartoonish than Golden Dawn’s well-publicized, thuggish petulance (both in and outside of parliament) are its attempts to position itself as a salve to Greece’s austerity woes at the grassroots level. Free food distribution has been set up in parks à la Food Not Bombs, with the caveat of being “for Greeks only.” Despite little evidence of support or participation from medical practitioners (indeed, doctors have collectively refused to withhold treatment from immigrants), the party recently announced its own health project: the laughably titled Doctors With Borders. However little substance there may be to these projects, and however cynical, the public relations effect is real. Golden Dawn markets the notion that its opposition to austerity extends beyond merely scapegoating immigrants, homosexuals and others; the party presents itself as a tangible antidote to the country’s suffering and the government’s seeming determination to worsen it at the behest of international lenders.
Students of post-WWI Germany likely see little new in Golden Dawn’s strategy. Fascism has historically emerged from the splintered beams of economic wreckage and failed states, mobilizing widespread anxieties, circulating a currency of idealized national identity as a buffer against shame and defeat. What’s less well-understood in Greece’s case is that Golden Dawn has set about this process, in part, by aping efforts on the other end of the political spectrum, dating back to the winter of 2008, when the police murder of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos sparked riots across the country. […]