PM Samaras: “Two tourists for every Greek”

July 25, 2014

Many puzzle about what Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ meaningful and mysterious oracle. He said that there will be “two tourists for every Greek”. What did the Prime Minister had in mind? Some wondered whether every Greek will have to host two tourists at home. Others  corrected the sentence stressing that Samaras should have said “Two (female) tourists for every Greek (male).” One proposed that every Greek would have two tourists as souvenir of the wide world and another one got scared that he may have to come up to for the tourists’ expenses. Α third Greek asked whether we can choose among the 20 million tourists or they will be assigned to every Greek per lottery. And a fourth one said, he would order a French cook.

But my granny, as wise woman at her 95, came much closer: “We will have the tourists work for us”, she heralded.

Indeed. PM Samaras said exactly:

“The economy will go better, stability in Greece is very important when there are so many turbulence outbreaks around us, tourism today-that will reach 20 million, that is two tourists for every Greekwill give liquidity to the economy and things will get better. Therefore, I’m really optimistic and I want Greek people to be aware of this optimism. I do not say this out of the blue.”

Samaras made this weighty statement on the occasion of the anniversary of democracy restoration, July 24th 1094.

Then they all went and celebrated the anniversary of democracy restoration but the President of the Republic did not host the fine party as he did in previous years. In fact since 2013, the President of the Republic does not host a democracy restoration party, because the country is poor and we have debts. And there are many people out there who cannot buy food or pay their bills – and debts. But I honestly hope that these people have internet or tv, so they can get the message of the PM and be aware his  optimism. With or without “two tourists”.


Take the Poll: should the Crocodile of Crete be caught?

July 11, 2014

Operation “get the crocodile” is reportedly ready. A huge trap with a I-hope-not-living chicken will be placed at the shore of the Potami Dam lake in the Prefecture of Rethymnon. Then the experts will be lurking to see the crocodile sliding inside the trap to eat the chicken. The experts will close the trap door, take the mysterious crocodile in captivity and transfer him somewhere …safe. Like in Attikon Park in Athens that has been under the attack of animal activists due to the dolphin sin captivity.

crocodile trap

The mysterious crocodile was spotted last week in Crete and ever since the experts puzzle how the reptile landed in a Cretan lake. As the island in Southern Greece is far away from being consider as
the natural tropical environment” for a crocodile, it is more than certain that the crocodile was bought to be kept as ‘pet’ and was released by his owner when he grew older, longer and hungrier.

The experts want to capture him as soon as possible, they have installed surveillance cameras in hope to identify the spots where the crocodile spends his time.

Fences have been set and signs warn tourists. Swimming in the lake has been banned even though the lake was not what we could call a popular destination for swimming.

Now the crucial question:

should the crocodile be captured and transferred?


should he enjoy the rest of his life free in the Potami Dam Lake?

Take the poll, please!



Golden Dawn spokesman remanded in pretrial custody

July 10, 2014

One by one the MPs of  neo-Nazi Golden Dawn find themselves behind bars – in pretrial custody. The spokesman of the party, MP Ilias Kasiadiaris, was remanded in pretrial custody on Thursday, on charges of illegal weapons possessions with the intent to supply a criminal organization.

Kasidiaris claimed that the weapons were two hunting rifles belonging to his father.

However according to the reasoning of the special magistrates investigating the Golden Dawn, the rifles were converted into shotguns.

In their 24-page reasoning, the magistrates decided to send Kasidiaris in Korydallos prison until his trial due to “his violent character” and “on suspicion of committing new offenses.”

As expected Kasidiaris swore at the judiciary, the government and the journalists calling them “tramps” and “snitches”.

In October 2013, when short after the murder of rapper Petros Fyssas, police and judiciary hit the big blow against Golden Dawn, Kasidiaris was granted conditional release on the charges for belonging and running a criminal organization. He was released on bail.

So far, nine MPs from Golden Dawn – party leader Michaloliakos included – are in pretrial custody.

In June 2012 parliamentary elections, GD elected 18 deputies. 3 of them resigned from the party and distanced themselves however they did not escape charges.

Gd elected 3 MEP in the European Palriament elections of May 2014.


What? Surgeon in public hospital arrested for ‘fakelaki’? Not possible…

July 10, 2014

Ι am afraid there is no cure for this country and the people. Greek media report that police arrested a heart surgeon and department chief at one of Athens biggest public hospitals for demanding bribe for a surgery. A famous fakelaki of 500 euro. The patient informed the police and the story ended in the surgeon’s arrest and suspension from duty. He faces felony charges.

“The surgeon was caught in flagranti with the marked banknotes on him, He kept a book with notes of money he had received and distributed [to other doctors] as well.”

In the report of state TV NERIT, a citizen said that “if the doctors receiving good salaries they couldn’t ask for bribes and we wouldn’t give.”

To tell you the truth nobody is surprised. The practice of public hospital doctors to demand from patients black money in an envelope -therefore the name ‘fakelaki’, i.e. little envelope – is as old as the public hospitals and the public services.

Four years of economic crisis, over-taxation and reforms in Greek hospitals have changed nothing. At least. they changed nothing in the deep-rooted mentality of bribe and corruption among the public servants.

The good news is that the tariffs for fakelaki were decreased due to the crisis – but that could be just a rumor….

A 59-year-old heart surgeon and department chief at one of Athens’s biggest public hospitals, Evangelismos, has been arrested after demanding that a patient pay him 1,500 euros for surgery that had been deemed life-saving, police reported on Thursday.

According to the unnamed male patient who filed the complaint, he had been rushed to the hospital after suffering a heart attack and was told he needed immediate surgery.

The surgeon, who headed the department where the patient was being treated, demanded 1,500 euros for the surgery to go ahead, according to the report. When the patient appeared reluctant to pay up, the surgeon allegedly threatened to have him discharged without performing the procedure.

After some negotiation, the doctor agreed to an upfront payment of 500 euros in order to schedule the surgery at once. A relative of the patient delivered the money in marked notes after the police became involved. (ekathimerini)

The investigation also found that the same doctor had demanded money from another patient in May.

Greek politics survey: SYRIZA 21.5%, ND 19.8%, GD 8.5%…

July 10, 2014

Main opposition party left-wing SYRIZA leads with 21.5% and is followed by Samaras’ Nea Dimocratia with 19.8%. Third party remains extreme-right Golden Dawn with 8.5% although most of its MPs are in custody.

The public opinion survey was conducted by MRB among 2,000 respondents and during 25. June – 4. July 2014.

SYRIZA 21.5%

ND 19.8%

Golden Dawn 8.5%

To Potami 6.5%


KKE 5.1%

Independent Greeks 3.8%

Democratic Left 1.3%

Other party 7.1%

Undecided  19.9%

It is interesting that coalition government party PASOK does not appear under this name in the poll but under ELIA the name it used during the EU elections of May.

Another interesting finding is that Alexis Tsipras gains % in the question “Who do you consider as the most appropriate Prime Minister for the country:

Antonis Samaras 38.7%

Alexis Tsipras 33.9%

Neither – Nor: 22%

Full survey here



Greece’s unemployment alive and kicking with 27.3% in April14

July 10, 2014

Unemployment in Greece remain high with 27.3% in April 2014. according to latest press release of Greek Statistics Authority (ELSTAT). To tell you the truth I am totally confused about this data. First of all I remember, the ELSTAT unemployment rate was 26.8% in March 2014 but in this latest review it is given as 27.3%. Unfortunately as my website is currently down, but I double checked the data and titles googling “keeptalkinggreece unemployment.”

Furthermost I just saw on state NERIT broadcast, the unemployment rates of May 2014. “Unemployment remained the same  in May with 27.3% – April also 27.3%”.  Whereby ELSTAT has not published the May rates yet!

OK, OK. I should not rely on Greek Statistics. OK. I just post it for the record…. lol


Greek Politics: Democratic Left is falling apart

July 10, 2014

Former junior partner of Samaras’ coalition government Democratic Left (DIMAR) is falling apart. An MP resigned Thursday morning, short time later the part board expelled prominent MP Dimitris Psarianos. when he refused to support DIMAR for a referendum for the sale of so-called “Little DEH”, that is the privatization of 30% of Greek Public Power Company.  An hour later another prominent member of DIMAR central committee had submitted his resignation. The number of seats DIMAR hold now in the Parliament is down to 11.

Democratic Left suffered a major blow at the European Parliament elections and managed to gain just 1.23%.

The party that served as junior coalition government partner 2012-2013. The party managed to survive the closure of state broadcaster ERT but the rather confused policies of party chairman Fotis Koyvelis have left many party members in anger and criticis from the inner of the party blame Kouvelis for not clear policies.

After the EU elections Kouvelis had submitted his resignation from the party chairmanship but the board of central committee turned the resignation down.

Why do we care about Democratic Left? Because its falling apart would increase parties of the left and center-left like PASOK/ELIA, SYRIZa and To Potami.


Athens: stones and tear gas as protesters commemorate teenager boy killed by policeman

December 6, 2013

Minor incidents between school students and riot police occurred on Friday in downtown Athens during a protest march to commemorate the killing of teenager boy Alexandros Grigoropoulos by a policeman in 2008.

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fired tear gas via @dromografos

Outside the Athens university, when the protest started, students hurled stones and oranges against riot police squads, while the latter fired tear gas.

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Riot police surrounded students outside Athens university (pict @MakisSinodinos)

A little earlier at nearby Korai Square, a group of 30 protesters wearing hoods attacked with fists and kicks a small group of traffic policemen. One policeman suffer minor injuries in the face.

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nonchalant  pict by @dromografos

An unknown number of detentions have taken place.

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Banner: “We live for today, we struggle for tomorrow”

In Aegaleo suburb of  Piraeus, a group hurled molotov cocktails against the local police station.

Another protest is to be launched at 6 p.m. on Friday with a march to Greek Parliament at Syntagma Square. Metro stations <Syntagma>, <Panepistimio> and <Evaggelismos> are closed to passengers as of 10 a.m. by police order.

more pictures and updates see in Twitter #6dgr

Two people burn to death due to fires in their homes

December 6, 2013

The winter and the harsh austerity measures claimed three more victims in Greece of loan agreements and heating prices the majority cannot afford. A 85-year-old woman was burned to death when a fire broke out in the 25-sqm shanty home she was living in Aspropyrgos. Media report that most probably a spark from a make-shift fire-place set her mattress on fire. she was found burned on her bed. The woman was living  on a small pension of 300 euro.

In another incident in Piraeus, the owner of a hotel was burned to death. He was found in a small studio built on the roof of the hotel. The mans was probably used the studio as his home. the fire broke out while the  man was sleeping, he died upon his transfer to the hospital.

In Toumpa suburb of Thessaloniki, a woman, 50, was lucky to be absent when a fire broke in the apartment she was living. The fire most probably broke out from a lit candle, as she was living without electricity and on meals from charity soup kitchen.

If we, Greeks, won’t die because of the shortages in health care, the lack of insurance and the high cost of self-participation, we will most probably burned alive or get poisoned from our make-shift stoves and the candles we light to brighten up our nights without electricity.

Falling asleep in front of the fire-place, hulled with several  blankets in a icy-cold home, dazed by the lethal fumes of carbon monoxide...

Scared by the many fire incidents since the beginning of the winter 2013,  the government plans to stop power cuts to vulnerable groups of the society due to outstanding bills. And here I say, this is not the solution. Then the debts will keep dragging the people to bills they will never be able to pay back.

ΤΗΕ solution is to decrease the prices in electricity with the many extra fees that make power unaffordable, to lower taxes in heating oil, to equal prices of natural gas to those as in the rest in Europe.

PS So happy to be able to inhale again the smog coming from the fire places

R.I.P Nelson Mandela – His life in seven minutes

December 6, 2013

Οne of the most emblematic political figures of our modern world passed away at the age of 95. Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa, the international icon of the struggle against racial oppression, the statesman who spent 27 years in prison…

Millions of words can be written about his life and his work. The Wall Street Journal summarized them in a video of seven minutes.

The Eiffel Tower has been lit up in the colors of the South African flag to grieve over Nelson Mandela’s death.

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via @GoogleEarthPics


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