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"Macedonia will always be Greek" – Mikis Theodorakis' epic speech

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I am not ashamed, unlike the genocidal leaders who rule us, to remain loyal to the holy values of our forefathers who taught us love and sacrifice for our country. A country which respects and loves all the countries on earth. Yes I am a patriot and an internationalist, and at the same time I reject and fight fascism in all its forms and in particular in its most deceitful and dangerous form, fascism with a “leftist” orientation.

My dear Greeks… brothers… fascists, Nazis, terrorists, anarchists, thugs. You have learned of course that the patriots that govern us alongside their sidekicks, the leftists were collecting signatures and yesterday threw paint on my house, soo as to not allow me to speak here to the dominant peoples. So as to not speak to you with straight words, patriotic ones, fiery ones as I learnt all my life and as you taught me dominant Greek nation. To speak and act in all my life with every sacrifice and thankfulness for this. This morning I received a poetic collection from Thessaloniki and one section asserts that spirit, the brain develops with Thales, Thucydides, Protagoras, the tragic artists, the daring of Themistocles and Kolokotronis.
I dedicate my speech to Theodoros Kolokotronis
Friends and followers, I register my speech to the Greek who liberated us from the Ottoman dynasty and who died like today, the 4th of February 1843, Theodoros Kolokotronis.
I am not ashamed, unlike the genocidal leaders who rule us, to remain loyal to the holy values of our forefathers who taught us love and sacrifice for our country. A country which respects and loves all the countries on earth. Yes I am a patriot and an internationalist, and at the same time I reject and fight fascism in all its forms and in particular in its most deceitful and dangerous form, fascism with a “leftist” orientation. Such as the one with the small groups of extremists who are just pure, cowardly terrorists.
We are governed and were governed by minority governments
Such as those who govern us today and who are destroying the country, hidden behind the electoral alchemies of politicians, who are the byproducts of a system that is biting us and hurting us as it is dying. It knows is and that is why it is even more dangerous.
In a difficult time for our country, where dark clouds are gathering around us, we are being called to confront, united as never before, these new threats.
The forgers of Skopje
Skopje using the name Macedonia and transforming historical events to a point of being ridiculous, are attempting in reality to extend their borders against us for the creation of the so-called “Aegean Macedonia.”
This aim functions for decades now as a basic national goal of the neighboring country, and a generation of Skopje’s citizens have been brought up with the idea that they are the direct descendants and relatives of Phillip, King of the Macedons, and Alexander the Great.
With a colossal propaganda they achieved to lead astray in this historical ridiculousness a number of countries, aided by the stance of Greece and those responsible who didn’t make a simple attempt in the eyes of foreigners to criticize this monstrous falsification of history.

We have reached the unfortunate position where it affects us as a peoples and where we are forced to apologize for our patriotism.

We must recognize that it is also our responsibility the fact that we allowed, for so many decades, Skopje’s citizens to accept the ideas I just referred to, so that it appears futile or even unjust to ask from them to change their name which has become one with themselves. We have reached the unfortunate position where it affects us as a peoples and where we are forced to apologize for our patriotism.
Our conscience does not allow us to agree
We cannot agree with this falsification of history, as we then become co-accomplices with the powers that openly aim against our territorial integrity.
What can we do? We must recognize our mistakes and our responsibilities towards the neighboring peoples.
The only solution in my opinion is for us to allow Skopje’s citizens to believe in their national myth and for us concurrently to remain loyal and irreconcilable to the Greekness of Macedonia. We must never agree that there exists another fake Macedonia. For if we do that, it’s as if we want to gouge out our own eyes with our own hands.
1992
The council of political leaders in 1992 decided upon a national policy where a name in which in no way the word Macedonia would exist with geographic or other distinctions, i.e. no “Upper” or “Lower” and worse yet “New Macedonia,” as it erases the historic Greek Macedonia and announces a successor with another peoples in the area.
If we retreat from this position, this will have disastrous results for the future of our country.
Next aim: the dissolution of Greece
If we retreat this time from our position for the name, it’s as if we are fully opening our borders to those who threaten us in such an open and vulgar way from their own constitution. We are obliged to be vigilant for the defense of our national inviolability, taking into account there are strong foreign forces which have the aim to further balkanise the Balkans.
The case of Yugoslavia is still fresh. The next victim will be our country.
Dark clouds threaten us and every day that passes they become more evident. If we give in to the open provocation of Skopje without them having resigned from the main aim of their national and political line to become members of NATO and the EU with our own vote so as to threaten us from an even stronger position we will then be worthy of our fate.
If we retreat, we open the doors wide open to impose once and for all a tragic historical lie with unknown consequences for our country.
The so-called Zaev concessions, taking us for fools
The famous “concessions” of Mr. Zaev [prime minister of FYROM] and others regarding the name is just drinking the Kool Aid, sly efforts which could only be directed towards a nation of servile idiots. For us it is a shame to still even discussing this, as the name of their airports and their highways is their own exclusive prerogative to be changed back again immediately after they achieve their aims. Truly does the Skopjian prime minister believe we are such idiots? Or so ready to lower our pants?
I apologize for using this phrase. But it is the only one which can become understandable by all the foreigners and our own lot who believe that because they have led us with all the economic measures to the last step of evil, that we have forgotten our history, identity, and our fundamental characteristics.

We will stand on our feet and not recognize them
It’s not the first time that everyone around us believes that the Greek has been transformed into a slave, but he is rising up again. We are always a peaceful nation who desired peaceful and friendly co-existence with our neighboring peoples. In parallel, we must also understand that across from us there exists a deep state which conspires with other international forces against the independence of our country.
For this reason we must not harbor any illusions and we must take all the necessary measures which will guarantee the defense of our country.
Here I must add that the situation of maintaining the status quo and peaceful coexistence should be considered our final concession in the face of hard reality. In essence, we have nothing to lose.
Without Greece’s approval, Skopje will never become Macedonia.The fact that there are countries that recognize Skopje with the name Macedonia, ignoring the fact that they are embarrassing themselves in the face of historical reality is of no concern to us, as it is only our decision and our decision alone that can historically legalize and irrevocably judge this issue.
It is only us Greeks who can give or not give the right to Skopje to build a future via the name Macedonia, an undisputed from any viewpoint, historical and cultural ownership of Hellenism. To explain it more simply they require Greece’s agreement so as to be thought of as real Macedonians and not fake ones, paper ones which they are today.
As we are refusing to gouge our eyes out in order to be loved by America, NATO and the EU, we can continue living our lives as we did so many years. But that implies that we must refuse every other retreat. For however long the people of Skopje threaten us with their territorial propaganda claims, their unacceptable constitution, the alleged Macedonian symbols and their squares full of alleged depictions of Alexander the Great, we as a responsible nation who are the inheritors of a great history will continue the policy of peaceful coexistence, but we will do whatever is in our power to not give our consent for them to become members of the EU and NATO.
Only with a referendum can we legalize any signature
In this crucial moment, where we face the possibility to be led into a state of national tragedy, I believe that the responsibility for making a decision does not lie with any government. Not just a minority government such as today’s, but even a government that had popular backing. Not even Parliament itself.
What is the solution? A referendum?
For us the position of the Greek people on this specific issue is so clear, firm and self-explanatory, that no referendum is required. However, if a government ever considers placing a signature of our country to whatever name, either single or composite, which will include the word Macedonia, there is no doubt that it is obliged to consult with the Greek people. In this event, a referendum is necessary, as it is only Greek citizens have the right to make such a decision. We, as Greek citizens who do not seek to be passive observers at the time when our country is confronting such crucial problems which may impact us for many decades to come.
In this instance that the government dares to place a signature on such a decision, I urge all the MPs who have the right to call for a referendum for such a national issue, to table the relative discussion in Parliament and to fully support this demand.
Epilogue
Dear friends and patriots,
In all my life I fought for the unity of the Greek people. I believe fully that we should confront this great issue united, with one fist. And I do believe we are united. Irrespective of our disagreements, we are all patriots.

Today, Greeks united are issuing their response from Syntagma Square. Macedonia is one, and it is and will always remain Greek. Long live the Greek people!

When someone supports the rights of his country and people, this isn’t nationalism but patriotism. Greece today, more than ever before, is in need for patriots.
Today, Greeks united are issuing their response from Syntagma Square. Macedonia is one, and it is and will always remain Greek. Long live the Greek people!
Video of Mikis Theodorakis’ speech (in Greek):


Translation originally appeared in http://imfoccupationgreece.blogspot.gr/2018/02/macedonia-will-always-be-greek-m.html and http://imfoccupationgreece.blogspot.gr/2018/02/mikis-theodorakis-macedonia-will-always.html.

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After Embarrassing Defeat, NATO, EU and the West Try to Alter Reality in Macedonia

Amidst all the faux cheer and public displays of confidence of the pro-NATO/EU crowd, a palpable sense of unease hangs in the air.

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Authored by Aleksandar Pavic via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Although the September 30, 2018 name-change referendum in Macedonia, which was supposed to set that ex-Yugoslav federal republic on a path to (certain) NATO and (blithely promised but much less certain) EU membership, failed miserably, with only 36.91% of the voters turning out, well short of the 50% + 1 necessary for it to be valid – one would never know it from the reactions of its Western proponents and impatient beneficiaries. Indeed, a new term may be needed to adequately describe the reactions of the key pillars representing the reliquiae reliquiarum of the Western-led post-Cold War unipolar moment. Fake news simply doesn’t do them justice. Fake reality anyone?

The US State Department was firmly in denial, releasing the following statement“The United States welcomes the results of the Republic of Macedonia’s September 30 referendum, in which citizens expressed their support for NATO and European Union (EU) membership by accepting the Prespa Agreement between Macedonia and Greece. The United States strongly supports the Agreement’s full implementation, which will allow Macedonia to take its rightful place in NATO and the EU, contributing to regional stability, security, and prosperity. As Macedonia’s parliament now begins deliberation on constitutional changes, we urge leaders to rise above partisan politics and seize this historic opportunity to secure a brighter future for the country as a full participant in Western institutions.”

EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn wasn’t to be outdone in his contempt for the 63% of the Macedonian “deplorables” who stayed home in order to voice their disagreement with renouncing their perceived national identity and country name (it was to become “Northern Macedonia”) in exchange for the double joy of a) becoming NATO’s cannon-fodder in its increasingly hazardous game of chicken with Russia and b) the EU’s newest debt-serfs: “Referendum in Macedonia: I congratulate those citizens who voted in today’s consultative referendum and made use of their democratic freedoms. With the very significant “yes” vote, there is broad support to the #Prespa Agreement + to the country’s #Euroatlantic path. I now expect all political leaders to respect this decision and take it forward with utmost responsibility and unity across party lines, in the interest of the country.” He was seconded the following day, in a joint statement, by Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the EU Commission.

Understandably, as the most direct public stakeholder, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was particularly (hyper)active. As the disappointing results began to roll in, Stoltenberg went into immediate damage control, tweeting“I welcome the yes vote in Macedonia referendum. I urge all political leaders & parties to engage constructively & responsibly to seize this historic opportunity. #NATO’s door is open, but all national procedures have to be completed.” He reinforced his delusional missive the next day, releasing a similar statement co-signed by EU President Donald Tusk. And the day after, during a news conference, Stoltenberg even offered lightning-quick NATO accession to the unwilling Macedonians – January 2019, to be exact – if they would just be so kind as to urgently implement the very agreement that they had just so emphatically rejected. When NATO says it promotes democratic values – it means it!

But that wasn’t the end of the “democracy mongering” surrounding what may well prove to be NATO’s, the EU’s and the rest of the end-of-history West’s Balkan Waterloo. For example, the EU Parliament’s Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, although “regretting that the turnout was less than 50%,” nevertheless hailed the referendum’s results and “call(ed) on the opposition to respect the expressed will of the majority [sic] of voters.” The Group’s leader, Udo Bullmann, while also maintaining that, somehow, a voter turnout of under 37% still represented a “majority,” additionally used the occasion to chastise Macedonia’s President for having the nerve to call for a boycott of the referendum (he committed the crimethink of referring to it as “historical suicide” during his UN General Assembly address), as well as to decry – what else? – “reports about Russian interference in the electoral process.” It goes without saying that Bullmann offered absolutely zero proof for his assertion. On the other hand, according to numerous media reports, as September 30 approached, while no high Russian official was to be seen anywhere in the vicinity, a veritable procession of Western political bigwigs made the pilgrimage to Skopje in order to reveal to the natives their “true” best interests: Sebastian Kurz“Mad Dog” Mattis, the indefatigable StoltenbergFederica MogheriniJohannes HahnAngela Merkel. No meddling there, obviously…

Speaking of Angela Merkel, she also joined her fellow Western democrats’ show of unanimous disdain for the Macedonian voters’ majority opinion, urging the country to “push ahead” with the implementation of the majority-rejected accord, citing voters’ “overwhelming support” [sic], and arguing through the mouth of her spokesman that the required 50% + 1 turnout was actually “very high,” as voter registers purportedly included many people who had long since left the country.

Coincidentally (?), the same argument was used by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, who opined that the “yes” votes cast in the referendum do, in fact, “represent the majority despite the low turnout because Macedonia does not have the 1.8 million voters entered into its electoral rolls but just 1.2 million since 300,000 people have left the country since the voter lists were last updated 20 years ago.” The fallacy of his reality-challenged claim is easily exposed if we just take a glance at the results of Macedonia’s last parliamentary elections (December 2016), in which voter turnout was just under 1.2 million (1,191,832 to be exact) or, officially, 66.79%. If we were to believe Kotzias and Merkel (who lodged no objections at the time), that would have meant that the turnout for the 2016 elections had been 99% – a figure that would make any totalitarian dictator blush with envy. On the other hand, since those elections did produce the “desired result,” enabling the current heavily pro-NATO/EU government led by Zoran Zaev to be formed, that automatically made them “valid” in the eyes of the high priests of democracy in Brussels, Berlin, London and Washington.

Needless to say, Zaev joined his Western patrons’ charade, hailing the referendum as a “democratic success,” and announcing that he would seek the Macedonian Parliament’s support to amend the constitution and get the agreement with Greece ratified (according to the so-called Prespa Agreement, the Macedonian Parliament must adopt the necessary constitutional amendments by the end of 2018) so that the Greek Parliament can do the same, which would seal the deal. However, Zaev and his Albanian political partners are currently well short of the necessary two-thirds majority (reportedly, they can count on 71 deputies, or 9 short of the needed 80), and will have to call early elections if they don’t soon succeed in securing it.

Yet, let it not go unsaid that Zaev was singing a rather different tune prior to the referendum, assuring that “citizens will make the decision,” and that Parliament would vote on the necessary constitutional changes only if the referendum is successful. But that was then, when confidence was still high that the usual combination of Western pressure, money and overwhelming domination of the media spectrum would get the job done. And then reality struck on September 30…

Still, amidst all the faux cheer and public displays of confidence of the pro-NATO/EU crowd, a palpable sense of unease hangs in the air. As a Deutsche Welle opinion piece put it, the “low voter turnout for Macedonia’s referendum is a bad starting point for the country’s future development.” And, according to DW in Serbian, a Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung commentary warned that “politicians who otherwise ceaselessly talk of democracy as a ‘special value’ should not call on the parliament in Skopje to accept the voting results.” In other words, Macedonia’s people (read – a large majority of the majority Slavic population) have “voted with their feet” and rejected the agreement, and no new parliamentary election, no matter the results, can change that unpleasant-but-immutable fact. That alone will delegitimize any Western-led effort to “manufacture consent” by ramming the agreement through the present or future Parliament – although, as we know, NATO doesn’t put too much stock in referenda anyway, while the EU is not averse to making citizens vote as many times as needed to obtain the “right” result.

But the West has lost more than just legitimacy in Macedonia – it has damaged its reputation, perhaps irretrievably. In the words of former presidential advisor Cvetin Chilimanov, “The West has humiliated us… Macedonians have rejected this media, psychological, political and propaganda aggression against the people, and that’s the tragedy of these days, that a large percentage of a people that had been genuinely oriented towards the West has changed its mind and stopped looking at the West as something democratic, something progressive and successful… That is the reason for the boycott. Pressure was applied against Macedonia, a country that had always been open to ties with the West, but which did not want to make this disgusting compromise and humiliate itself before the neighboring countries, before Western countries. We did not understand why that humiliation was needed so that we might become a member of Europe. What’s worst, perhaps that is now the thinking of a silent majority of the people, that they won’t forget this insult and this attack on Macedonia.”

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Greeks Owe A Stunning €182 Billion In Tax Arrears To The State

Greece repeatedly raised taxes during its international bailouts between 2010 and August 2018.

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Via Zerohedge


Data from the Independent Authority for Public Revenue show tax arrears totaled 182.5 billion euros ($214 billion) on Aug. 10, according to a note sent from the agency to parliament last week and seen by The Associated Press Wednesday.

“The Greek government is owed so much in tax arrears from households and companies that it could pay off more than half its massive public debts if it collected it all,” writes AP, adding “unfortunately for the government, that’s unlikely to ever happen.”

However, as KeepTalkingGreece.com reports, more than 80 billion euros of that represents interest and fines on delayed payments from debtors that include companies that have been out of business for decades.

The arrears come close to Greece’s total economic output, estimated at 184.7 billion euros ($217 billion) this year, and Greece’s total public debt is worth about 180% of these arrears.

Eurozone-member Greece repeatedly raised taxes during its international bailouts between 2010 and August 2018.

Some 3.7 million Greeks – about 60 percent of the total – are behind on tax payments, and while the EU governments have attempted to crack down on the so-called shadow economy, black market activity still thrives in Greece.

As Statista’s Niall McCarthy notesexamples of black market activity are pretty common, whether it’s a warehouse worker driving an unlicensed taxi between shifts, an electrician accepting cash payments without declaring his earnings or a simple drug deal in a shady alleyway.

However, the level of black market activity, also defined as the shadow economy, depends highly on your country of residence. Generally defined as businesses and individuals engaging in inappropriate practices without complying with certain legal obligations such as paying tax or maintaining acceptable standards of employment, the shadow economy costs governments around the world trillions of dollars every year.

According to the IMF, heavily regulated economies with weaker administration tend to have well-established shadow economies. It’s far smaller in natons with strong, well-regulated and efficient government institutions. Back in the late 1990s, this was readily apparent in former Soviet states like Georgia where the shadow economy was estimated at 64 percent of GDP.

Today, the shadow economy is booming across southern Europe, though the scale of underground activity can only be measured indirectly.

You will find more infographics at Statista.

According to a new study published by the Institute for Applied Economic Research at the University of Tübingen in Germany (IAW), Greece’s shadow economy is estimated to average 21.5 percent of GDP. In the United States, undeclared cash transactions seem to be rarer with IAW’s study placing U.S. shadow economic activity at 5.4 percent of the country’s GDP.

 

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‘Hell on Earth’: MSF doctor tells RT of rape, violence, inhumane conditions in Lesbos refugee camp

One toilet for over 70 people, rape, and mental health issues – a doctor from Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and an aid worker told RT about the dire conditions in the overcrowded Moria refugee camp in Greece.

Alex Christoforou

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Via RT


One toilet for over 70 people, rape, and mental health issues – a doctor from Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and an aid worker told RT about the dire conditions in the overcrowded Moria refugee camp in Greece.

The overcrowded camp on the island of Lesbos, built to accommodate 3,100, houses around 9,000 people. “It’s a kind of hell on Earth in Europe,” Dr. Alessandro Barberio, an MSF clinical psychiatrist, said, adding that people in the camp suffer from lack of water and medical care. “It is impossible to stay there,” he said.

According to Barberio, asylum seekers are subjected to violence “during night and day.””There is also sexual violence”which leads to “mental health issues,” he said, adding that all categories of people at the camp may be subjected to it. “There is rape against men, women and children,” and the victims of sexual violence in the camp often have nightmares and hallucinations, Barberio told RT.

Asylum seekers in Moria “are in constant fear of violence,” and these fears are not groundless, the psychiatrist said. “Such cases [of violence] take place every week.”

There is “one toilet for 72 people, one shower for 84 people. The sanitation is bad. People are suffering from bad conditions,” Michael Raeber, an aid worker at the camp, told RT. They suffer from mental health problems because they are kept for a long time in the camp, according to Raeber.

“There is no perspective, they don’t know how their case will go on, when they will ever be able to leave the island.” The camp is a “place where there is no rule of law,” with rampant violence and drug addiction among the inhabitants, Raeber said.

In its latest report, MSF, which has been working near Moria since late 2017, criticized the unprecedented health crisis in the camp – one of the biggest in Greece. About a third of the camp population consists of children, and many of them have harmed themselves, and have thought about or attempted suicide, according to the group.

Barberio was behind an MSF open letter on the state of emergency in Moria, released on Monday, in which he writes that he has never “witnessed such overwhelming numbers of people suffering from serious mental health conditions.”

Calling the camp an “island prison,” he insisted that many of his patients in the camp are unable to perform basic everyday functions, “such as sleeping, eating well, maintaining personal hygiene, and communicating.”

A number of human rights groups have strongly criticized the conditions at the camp and Greece’s “containment policy”regarding asylum seekers.

Christina Kalogirou, the regional governor of the North Aegean, which includes Lesbos, has repeatedly threatened to shut down the facility unless the government improves the conditions. On Tuesday, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said that Greece will move 2,000 asylum seekers out of the severely overcrowded camp and send them to the mainland by the end of September.

Greece, like other EU states, is experiencing the worst refugee crisis since WWII. According to International Organization for Migration estimates, 22,000 asylum seekers have arrived in Greece since the start of this year alone.

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