Greece, the cradle of Democracy? That was a looong time ago! I am sure that if our ancestors could see the situation today, they would surely be ashamed of us. Greece, today, is the worst example of non democratic “western type democracy” a deeply corrupt and rotten state, where a strange and unique complex of bankers, stockbrockers, bent politicians, bribed superior judges and (worst of all) priests-monks who behave like unhesitating businessmen, rule the country by looting every day more and more of public property, leaving more than 1/3 of the greek people in poverty.
Just trying to write some things that could explain to our foreing friends what lead to this general explosion, here in Greece, in a few words. The cold blooded murder of a 15 year old student, Alexis, by some pigs- cops was only the spark
Let me start with some numbers, trying to avoid a “sentimental” aproach. In the last elections, New Democracy (ND), a central right party, won by 41,83%, that through an unfair electoral system, gives a majority of 152 members in the greek parliament. But, counting also the persentage of abstence, the invalid and “white” votes, the real persentage of ND in the last elections was 30,25 %. That means that this government has the aproval of less than 1/3 of the greek citizens, that means that less of 1/3 of the greek population rules. Don't let me misunderstood, the same thing happened with the “others”, the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), a socialdemocrat party,that ruled this country before. Do you call this “Democracy”?
INDEPENDENT COUNTRY OR A PROTECTORATE?
Just two cases proving that Greece is a “banana republic” both happened in the last 4 years. First of all, the discovery (by accident) of a wide network of spies, that used one of the major mobile telephony networks of Greece, listening to the telephone calls of hundreds of greek civilian, including the discussions of the Prime Minister (!!!). The “telecomunications center” of the “listeners” was found, very close to the American Embassy in Athens. Noone was found guilty, noone was punished, there was just a man, an employee of the mobile phone company, who had found something “strange”, was found dead. He “commited suicide”, they said!
Second case, a group on British secret agents, kidnapped dozens of Pakistani immigrants in the centre of Athens. The Greek Minister of Public Order, didn't know a thing (!?). Nobody punished once again.
The Greek people, have a strong sense of dignity and, most important a collective memory and don't tolerate, things like that. They remember very well the role of Great Britain in the years before and during the Civil War, especially in the “|Dekemvriana” (December 1944) and also their role in the tragedy of Cyprus. The Greek people remember very well the role of the American government in the Military Junta (1967-1974), and in Cyprus, as well (I wonder, will ever Henry Kissinger, sit on the bench?).
RICH AND POOR
The last years, the gap between rich and poor is getting bigger and bigger. More that 1/3 of the greek population, has severe problems in surving. The prices of the basic goods are almost equal as the other European countries, while the salaries are on the half of the salaries of the European citizens. There is a whole generation, called the “Generation of 700 Euros” (the minimum salary is 680 Euros), young people that after years of studies and years of unemployment, they finally find a job with the minimum salary, and they see a black future in front of them, while at the same time, the see the banks making huuuge profits year after year. The greek banks, have double loan Rate interest than the European average. And not, just that, the Greek Government, in order to back them, during this global economic crisis, is giving to the bankers a “bonus” of 28.000.000.000 Euros! Do you still wonder, why banks are among the main “targets” of those protesting, fighting (and destroying) out there in the streets?
POLITICAL SCANDALS AND STATE-RELIGION “CONNECTION”
During the years of PASOK government the greek people were used in economic-political scandals. New Democracy, took power, with main “slogan” , the fight against corruption, promising transparency, modesty and humillity (now if it isn't a joke, then what?). They managed to create as many scandals as “the others” in half the time!!! They are even worse!!! Scandals in the Ministry of Culture, with the General Secretary of the ministry attempting suicide, scandals concerning bribed superior judges (that a few months later, decided for themselves to double their salaries) and last but not least, the greatest scandal of them all, concerning the Vatopedi Monastery in the “holy mountain of Athos (Aghion Oros), with half a dozen of ministers from both governments of New Democracy and PASOK involved, the greatest loot in the greek history. A monastery transformed into the largest Real Estate Agency in Greece (probably even in Europe), and monks and priests becoming bankers, brokers and home selling agents, selling the property of the Greek State, (which is the property of the Greek people).
IMPORTANT NOTE. Τhe minister involved in the scandal of the Ministry of Culture, is also involved in the scandal of the monastery, “through” his wife, who is the notary of the Monastery. He is the same minister that admited, having created an “Off Shore” company, in order to avoid paying his taxes in the Greek State!!! It may be legal, but is it moral???
The relationship between the Greek Orthodox Church and the state is a whole chapter. The Greek Church owns almost half the country, half of its territory, since the years of the Ottoman empire! The Sultan in order to maintain good relationships with the priests (that always had a huge influence on greek people) kept conceiding grounds to the monasteries. And today the monasteries use 200-300 years old “contracts” with the Sultan, maintining huge properties, leaving their “believers” in poverty. Another aspect, is the constitutional connection between State and Religion! Did you know that the Constitution declares as “Official” Religion of the State, the Christian Orthodoxy!!! Does it happen in any other developed country of the western world? As far as I know, it only happens in some islamic countries. And not just that! The majority of the articles of the Constitution can be reformed, except of the “Foundamental” articles. Well the one that declares our “Official” religion is among the “Foundamental” and cannot be reformed!
PUT IN JAIL EVERY MONK, PRIEST AND POLITICIAN INVOLVED IN THE SCANDAL OF VATOPEDI MONASTERY! NATIONALIZE ALL GREEK CHURCH'S PROPERTY AND GIVE IT TO THE GREEK PEOPLE! “DISCONNECT” RELIGION AND STATE! CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION!
THE JUSTICE SYSTEM AND THE VIOLENT ARBITRARINESS OF THE POLICE
One of the main reasons that lead tens of thousands of people in the streets, is that they don't trust the system of justice in Greece, not only because judges are involved in the scandals (see above), but also because they have a strange idea about “equality of rights”. One example: When a member of the terrorist organisation “17th of November” was arrested, after having a detonator exploding in his hands (Be careful, I am not saying that he was innocent, he was found guilty and now doing time in prison), he was interrogated in the hospital a couple of days after the explosion, almost blind with the fingers of his hand amputeed, and under the infuence of heavy drugs! The General Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, who attemted suicide after the scandal came up(at least, he had the guts!), but survived, was interrogated about after 5 months in hospital! It's not just that! People know very well that the violent behaviour of the cops is never punished (and I can remember, at least 4 examples, in the last year)!
The police, now that's the story! First of all, I have to say that Greece must be among the countries with the largest persentage of cops per civilian! Most of them are appointed in the “frame” of a “salesman-client” relationship between the politicians and the citizens, established by a sick political system! The citizens say to the politicians: “Me and my whole family, will vote for you if you find a job for my son/daughter” or even worse the politician says : “Vote for me, and I 'll take good care of your son/daughter”. This is what here in Greece is called “rusfeti” (surely our Turk friends could explain better the meaning of the word). Most of the cops, are totally useless persons who are uncapable of finding a decent, peaceful job, practically unlettered, totally untrained for the job, that suddenly, because of the political “friends” of daddy, find themselves with a weapon in their hands, with an authority that makes them feel like Inspector Callaghan! They are proud of being the “houndogs” of the rich, they are the “bosses” in the neighborhoods and they have the right to shoot in cold blood a 15 year old child, beating till death a studend, torturing dozens of poor immigrants on a daily basis! DEAR COPS, DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR AND FIND A DECENT JOB, WHY DON'T YOU BECOME DUSTMEN AND BE REALLY USEFUL TO THE SOCIETY?
BREAKING THE “UNWRITTEN” LAWS OF STREET FIGHTING
Not many have thought another aspect. Till now, there were some “unwritten” laws, in street fighting between the cops and the protesters! The one side, was using dangerous chemical gases (prohibited in war, by the Geneva Treaty!), helmets, shields, rubber bullets and electoshock guns! The other side, was using stones, Molotov cocktails and masks!There was some kind of “balance” in the “weaponry” of both sides. By shooting in cold blood, the rules have changed. The anarchists in their reunions, strongly debated about the use of guns (believe me, they, too, have guns, mostly stolen from cops or after invasions in police stations), about killing cops as retaliation, but, thank God, they finally decided to “obey” to the previous “law”, although “broken” by the cops. Can you imagine what would have happened otherwise?
About the anarchists, the “Known-unknown” wearing masks. It is true that sometimes 500-1000 anarchists have provoked riots in the streets of Athens (although many times “behind” the masks are hidden undercover cops), but this is not the case! Tens of thousands of people in each and every Greek town went out on the streets. This was a general and spontaneous uprising! I even saw, 70 year old ladies throughing flower pots (!) from the balconies on the fourth or fifth floor against the cops! Every reaction is fully justified, when an innocent 15 year old child is murdered, and cannot be compared with the centre of Athens and other greek towns in flames. There is a war going on out there and has “collateral damages”. You don't mind this term when the Americans kill thousands of innocent civilians, women and children in Iraq, Afganistan or Serbia, does it bother you now that we are talking about banks and shops? Those who saw their shops in flames should be compensated immediately by the Greek government, the real responsible for this situation. I am really afraid that this is not the last time that we see such things, and that Greece is not the last country where we see such reaction, as France wasn't the last country 3 years ago! If it takes the whole country in flames in order to have hope for a better tomorrow, for a new beginning, then, let there be ashes!
ABOYT THE “IMAGE” OF GREECE
There are some people saying that these riots are “embarassing” and affecting the “image” of Greece in the “outside” world. That's bulls**t! I am very proud of these images that show to the world that Greeks still have the courage to fight for their rights, to fight for a better future! LONG LIVE THE DISOBEDIENT, FIGHTING AND REBELLIOUS SPIRIT OF THE GREEKS!
bema, JLG, coco, ciakgiak, portmanndominic, tamal_28, g_panakia, clio, barrufeto_77, ymrk, vasilpro, brandstaetter, valentinos, npecanhuk, ChrisJ, dareco, Kielia, Longroute, jonathan_hart, CatherineD, lightsensor, Felip, Colombiana, gepall, LamCam, Emile, chrkont, syrus_persia, iro, chiaretta, jimkok77, NickPavlakis has marked this note useful
Critiques | Translate
pollod (0) 2008-12-10 5:56
OMG! The city of gold! nice job. Guess you did some post-processing job here but anyways well done. Did you use any filters?
the best luck!
bema (26425) 2008-12-10 6:05
a big and important note....
and also a very brilliant picture..
take care, Yassou Bernd
JLG (2086) 2008-12-10 6:08
au moins une partie du peuple Grec a le courage de ce revolter pas comme le reste de l'europe
suis tout a fait d'accord avec ta derniere phrase
au sujet de la photo
Athenes au propre comme au figuré est en feu
ciakgiak (30433) 2008-12-10 6:13
Hello my friend,
Notes truly impressive and very important, as important is your image, one of those who leave without words, so beautiful are colors and sharpness.
A beloved greeting.
coco (30439) 2008-12-10 6:18
La foto es todo un espectáculo... como la nota y la situación actual.
Aunque sólo uno de los tres es realmente agradable de ver.
Lo que pasa en Grecia no daña su imagen. Daña la imagen de Grecia las causas de la violencia.
No hay que equivocarse cuando se señala con el dedo.
Mucho podría escribirse sobre esto. Es cierto que en todos los países pasan cosas "feas" que se esconden... pero hay casos que realmente son muy graves. Y créeme que siento mucha rabia por lo que pasa.
Decir esto y que espero que estéis todos bien (el plural va dirigido a toda la gente que conozco de Grecia).
Ta leme, file mou.
PD: ¿qué tengo que hacer para conseguir fotos como ésta (además de volver otra vez)?
portmanndominic (2400) 2008-12-10 6:20
Irakli Geia sou
useful and important note more than your picture
the two is very good
thanks to you
tamal_28 (67) 2008-12-10 6:20
Your photograph and comments are complementing each other. wonderfull job.
g_panakia (4031) 2008-12-10 6:33
xeimarros...etsi opws prepei na ginetai kaneis se tetoies periptwseis...symfwnw me thn topo8ethsh sou kai kratw to "FIGHTING AND REBELLIOUS SPIRIT OF THE GREEKS" (to "banana republic" epishs htan eksairetiko!)
h photo einai yperoxh!!! o ouranos kai h akropolh me tis xryses apoxrwseis fernoun sto myalo mou ola ayta pou exoume diavasei gia to xryso aiwna tou Periklh, th xrysh opws thn apokaloun epoxh ths A8hnas!
liviu (600) 2008-12-10 6:36
I like your fire in the sky and I I hate the fire on Athen's streets!
I never espect this can happened in Greece!
clio (27961) 2008-12-10 7:04
Geia sou Hrakli,
I told you this morning my position. Many things are alike at the moment in Greece, in Italy and in France (I speak about these three countries because it are the ones that I better know ) but probably that these problems also meet themselves somewhere else.
I hope that the European are finally going to wake up and to react against the abolition of all that their ancestors had gained at the price of long revolts and sufferings. I greet the Greek people who is the first one to react and I hope not the last one.
I would like that the Acropolis, the place of the invention of the Democracy, can again shine on the World as on your photo.
barrufeto_77 (28886) 2008-12-10 7:24
Desde luego, tu nota no pasa insensible. LA verdad es que es lamentable lo que puede llegar a hacer el dinero en muchos casos. Y lo del pobre chaval ya fue lamentable. Por Dios, 15 años joder!
Sobre la foto, con el texto invita a algo que suele ser difícil y raro de ver: pensar...
Un abrazo tio!
amaryllis (37039) 2008-12-10 8:03
une photo superbe malgré tout ce qui se passe, certes comme un feu qui ne veut pas s'éteindre et c'est grave lorsque nous voyoins celà au travers des médias; je suis d'accord avec ta position dans la reflexion et j'espère que tout celà va s'arranger et que très vite des positions vont être prises pour que celà cesse
celà n'enlève rien au charme de ta photo mais avec un peu de tristesse car nous ne sommes pas insensible à tout celà et que l'on voit bien que celà chauffe partout en Europe mêm dans le monde
bonne soirée à toi
Dragut (14) 2008-12-10 8:25
where is the time of Agora........Well done your note. And we 're sorry for Alexis. Sorry for poeple who suffer under.
vasilpro (41661) 2008-12-10 8:38
Πραγματικά θυμίζει την πόλη που ο Περικλής δημιούργησε στο χρυσό αιώνα του, η θαυμάσια αυτή φωτογραφία σου.
mesutilgim (96772) 2008-12-10 9:07
Dear Hercules, my dear friend,
I am now 66 and I have seen this movie many times in my country ! Nobody can notice how quick things may change and it's allways like a kid who losts his most beloved toy ; as long as it is in his property, he never knows it's value. But once, if he losts it !!
Such is the democracy !
İt's quite normal, that you will get some negative critics as well, but your entry carries a great message; both photographically and with the wonderfull text which accompanies it.
TFS and best regards
brandstaetter (15915) 2008-12-10 9:25
thanks for the note, reading what newspapers don´t write, I understand the situation much better now.
What about the foundation of a new political party ? Maybe a better way... the Austrian green party was founded also during a conflict with establishment and police..
Nothing to write about the picture with this sad background.
valentinos (453) 2008-12-10 11:30
that is a good example to those people, who shouted for ND and the change. I do not take political part here, but your text is so well written. unfortunately most of the other greeks are blind and behave like in your text. photo is genial. with my best wishes, valentinos
ChrisJ (117199) 2008-12-10 14:34
Despite the volatile & corrupt social situation, Athens is still a beautiful city, as demonstrated here. A marvellous sunset, with good warm colours, & excellent sharpness. Tfs!
dareco (17134) 2008-12-10 15:22
You really are such a pro at this type of photography, it blows my mind!!!! :) Great work once again, love the lighting and colors! TFS
Flavia (10352) 2008-12-10 17:57
Your picture speaks the same as your note. The red tones make us realy think that the country is burning.
Kielia (24077) 2008-12-11 10:03
thank you so much for this evocative note! It is accompanying one of your most beautiful compositions. The burning sky is a very strong symbol. Unfortunately many political leader all over the world are lacking the competences to cope with crises.
AROBN54 (11475) 2008-12-11 10:04
Very powerful note, Hercules, as well as the photo.
Greece is not alone - we Americans have suffered the same arrogance from our corrupt politicians, the thieving of our national lands and treasury, scandals that have been thrown in our faces and no one ever paid any price for. I have wondered at times if they didn't want us to take to the streets so they'd have an excuse to crush our system as we know it. We believe now there is hope, but..... that has yet to be seen. I pray you and your country might find some reason to hope also. Take good care,
Longroute (19396) 2008-12-11 11:47
When the consciences are asleep and the cheaters prevail there must be an upheaval to shake it off. Sooner or later it had to come. Your photo seems to express that Athens is on fire!
It's good to see that there are so many people who are not sleeping.
gilou530 (34) 2008-12-11 12:48
ouf la note chargée, une autre vue de nuit qui nous laisse bien réconnaitre l'acropole des couleurs plus dorées dans ce cadrage
jonathan_hart (21276) 2008-12-11 13:51
beautiful golden photo, almost like lava in fusion, it's as hot as the situation
we don't have the same stories, but the list of facts that could help to qualify France as a Banana Republic are numerous too. for the moment, the attention is focused on the Greeks, but I'm afraid that all those facts that destroy democracy will lead to very dark days. the long note help me to understand a little bit more. in the French mass media, they are not giving deep analysis, just telling the recent facts, (...) well.
CatherineD (4864) 2008-12-11 14:01
"Αγώνας, ρήξη, ανατροπή, η ιστορία γράφεται με ανυπακοή."
Congratulations my friend for this very good note and for the red and glorious Athens of your photo! I wish I could be there on these days and meet the youth people, talking with them in the streets of Athens, Thessaloniki or Patras... I'm sure they will learn a lot from this events, even from the provocations from the "koukouloforoi". I'm always surprise by the great maturity of the Greek youths. The most important for them is to keep their unity and pave the way for another society... not only in Greece!
lightsensor (757) 2008-12-12 3:50
thanks for this golden color sunset photo. it shows the beauti of this amazing country. the wide angle and the light control is prefect. the detail of it is sharp as well. nice catch!
Felip (3907) 2008-12-12 9:44
Toda mi vida desde que tengo uso de razón y algo de conocimientos acerca de história del mundo, he mantenido que, posiblemente el episodio mas importante para el hombre haya sido el referente a la Revolución Francesa, en el que el pueblo, harto de tanta pobreza, tanta corrupción, y tanta opresión por parte de sus "dignísimos" mandatarios, sale a la calle, ya no con ganas de sangre, sino con ganas de libertad y de justícia. Ahora la situación en Grecia es bastante delicada, y la toma violenta de las calles atenienses por parte delos estudiantes, la encuentro positiva y necesaria (aunque me cueste discusiones bizantinas con mi hijo...algo increíble de entender!), solo cuando el pueblo toma las calles podemos conservar la esperanza de un cambio!...Espero que lo puedas ver en tu amado país Hercules!
Te deseo un (en la medida de lo posible) buen fín de semana!
Colombiana (2955) 2008-12-12 14:50
Esta foto esa increible; los colores tienen fuego. Por tus notas entiendo porque escogiste esta foto con colores de incendio! Una forma bella y valida de expresar con imagenes lo que se siente. Que bueno que disfrutamos de ese derecho.
Te mando un saludo cordial,
gepall (1836) 2008-12-13 3:20
Απλά καταπληκτική και θεαματικότατη καταγραφή της Αθήνας.
LamCam (3603) 2008-12-13 14:51
I read your note carefully - I know that there has been serious discontent in Greece for some time.The Greek people certainly deserve to be in a much, much better situation than the one you describe. I hope that these recent events may be the beginning of real and lasting changes for the better.
Your photo is certainly well chosen to convey the heat of the feelings expressed, and recalls the fires of a different kind in 2007 - which also raised much controversy, rumour and criticism of goverment action.
Seen purely as a photographic image, this scene shows Athens at its most spectacular -
aadilj (18102) 2008-12-15 1:13
Hi hercules, this is absolutely fantastic. Such vibrant burning hues, such vivid textures and superb photography. I love the balance and the pov. great work indeed...and lovely long and informative note
Emile (20352) 2008-12-19 6:05
La verdad que yo pensé que había visitado esta excelente foto tuya y había dejado una nota, parece que no fue así. Yo creo y lo creí en ese momento que lo mas importante era tu nota que nos explicabas lo que estaba pasando en Grecia. Espero que la situación en estos momentos este mas tranquila.
Muy buena foto nocturna con una vista panorámica de Atenas con un magnifico cielo y muy buenos colores. Gran iluminacion y buen marco.
chrkont (4005) 2008-12-19 16:27
Ηρακλή, τώρα βρήκα τον χρόνο και διάβασα όλο το κείμενό σου.
Νομίζω ήταν απαραίτητη αυτή η κατατοπιστική ενημέρωση των φίλους μας στο εξωτερικό, γιατί μάλλον νομίζουν ότι η Ελλάδα είναι μόνο παραλίες και μουσακάς.
Συγχαρητήρια γιατί φτάνεις το μαχαίρι στο κόκκαλο, με τον αίτημα για αλλαγή του συντάγματος.
Δυνατή κραυγή και η φωτογραφία σου, με την οποία συνοδεύεις άριστα το κείμενο.
syrus_persia (2270) 2008-12-27 22:52
Great view and strong colours.
Very nice image.
NickPavlakis (562) 2009-03-18 0:57
Iraklh, diavasa ola ayta pou egrapses. Poly tairiasta logia, ola aytonohta ektos apo ekeinous pou tous aforoun. H aganakthsh apolyta dikaiologhmenh olwn mas, nai isws einai "ftagmena skandala" pali, alla poios noiazetai? Mas skotwnoun siga siga kai mas pairnoun ta osa me kopo apokthsame, pas strato kai den exeis to dikaiwma na peis oxi an o stratos xrhsimopoih8ei apo thn ka8e kyvernhsh gia epektatikous polemous kai anieres energeies, to idio kanoun kai oi astynomikoi, mono pou tous kanoun plysh egefalou KANONIKOTATH!!!
Enas filos pou phgainame mazi sxoleio kai eimastan kaloi filoi perase se sxolh astyfylakwn h kati tetoio mesa apo panelladikes e3etaseis, ekana na ton dw 1-1,5 xrono kai molis eidw8hkame arxise na kanei parathrhseis stous ypoloipous filous mas gia to "nomo" kai to "systhma". Mas elege "8a sas paw mesa giati odhgeite xwris kranos, an exete diplwma" kai ayto se ena xwrio 150 katoikwn (to kalokairi) poy ta mhxanakia ta xrhsimopoioysan gia na pane sta xwrafia tous oi katoikoi. Akoma mas ekane epidei3h pws syllamvanetai enas kakopoios pernwntas mas ta xeria pisw apo thn plath me tropo akrivws opws "eprepe".
Exasa pasa idea, tou eipame ta asteiakia na ta kanei me tous filous tou tous astymomikous giati edw eimaste vlaxoi kai den ta katalavainoume. Ekopsa ta polla pare-dwse alla elpizw ayto to paidi mia mera na katalavei ti tou exoun kanei kai na parei apostaseis. Ypoti8etai oti prostatevoun tous polites den tous xeiragwgoun oute kanoun tous afentes (ayth einai douleia twn politikwn :-S). Polla mporoume na poume apo dw alla 8a xaramisoume allh mia fora ta logia mas.
Den 3erw an phges sthn ek8esh Photovision, alla 8a htan wraia na ta legame, eixame mazeytei polloi mazi kai o Stelios (steliosk). 8a ta 3anapoume, eimai 8aymasths ths douleias sou an kai den exw poly xrono na vriskomai pantou!!!
Gia th sygekrimenh fwtografia thn exeis frontisei poly omorfa kai thn ekanes tairiasth me to klima pou epikratei (akoma kai twra) stis psyxes twn a8hnaiwn kai oxi mono...
- Copyright: Hercules Milas (Cretense) (68703)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2008-12-07
- Categories: Nature, Architecture
- Camera: Canon 1Ds Mark III, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM
- Exposure: f/11, 6 seconds
- Details: Tripod: Yes
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): "My" Sunsets & Sunrises, ***YOUR FAVOURITES (BY 4 TE MEMBERS AT LEAST)***, Acropolis v2 - Best visual, A Walk in Athens [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2008-12-10 5:52
- Favorites: 5 [view]