Marxist Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was among the few leaders representing EU at an hours-long event commemorating the life of the bloody dictator Fidel Castro in Cuba, praising the brutal tyrant as an international symbol of struggle and resistance who inspired political and social changes in Latin America.
Bloody dictator Fidel Castro, 90, died on Friday. On Tuesday, the Communist Party announced an act of the masses in which Castro’s ashes were paraded on the streets of Havana, and VIP leftist guests harangued a crowd forced to participate in the mandatory mourning ceremony for hours.
In addition to Tsipras, a bevy of leftist Latin American leaders – Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro, Bolivian president Evo Morales, Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa, among others – spoke at the ceremony. Tsipras’ perspective was unique in that he represented a European Union member nation, though his statements more strongly resembled those issued by the aforementioned illiberal heads of state.
“Castro was an international symbol of struggle and resistance whose example inspired popular struggle across the world for independence, freedom, justice, and dignity,” Tsipras told the crowd in Greek (the Cuban government provided a translator who spoke in Spanish after Tsipras had completed each sentence). Praising Castro as a “great twentieth century revolutionary,” Tsipras called him “the Fidel of the poor, the humble, the oppressed, and those who never surrender.”
“Your Fidel, our Fidel, the Fidel that belongs to all the corners of the planet, who belongs to history,” he told the crowd.
Tsipras added that he was proud to represent “the Greek people, a people who lives in a corner of the world very far from you, but very close to the values for which you have struggled and continue to struggle.” “Perhaps we in Europe cannot imagine the difficulties that you have to endure, but we have our own oppressive forces, the inhuman logic of the rules of the market in neo-liberalism,” he added.
“We Greeks are fighting our own struggle for justice and dignity… and in this struggle we will always have Fidel’s example before us, in our victories and in our defeats, in our conquests and our compromises,” he continued. “Just like the Cuban people, in the critical moments of its history, the Greek people have not wavered in standing up and struggling against powerful adversaries to demand its independence, its dignity and rights.”
“Freedom or death, was the slogan of the 1821 Greek revolution,” Tsipras said in Greek, “Patria o muerte [motherland or death] was the slogan of the Cuban revolution of 1959,” he said in Spanish.
In his lifetime, the communist government published statements by Fidel Castro praising Tsipras as an “esteemed colleague” when his party, the Radical Coalition of the Left (Syriza), took over Greece. Tsipras, who named one of his sons after the communist mass murderer Ernesto “Che” Guevara, has always expressed sympathy for the communist regime. Since being elected, however, Tsipras has exacerbated the Greek debt crisis by refusing to pay back Greece’s debt the European Union, before ultimately imposing austerity measures on the country to prevent a bankruptcy, a move that branded him a traitor before the eyes of many leftists.
Watch Tsipras’ remarks via the leftist Telesur outlet (in Greek with simultaneous Spanish translation) below:
Miserable Greeks always have to choose the less of two VAT-monger evils, this time extremely corrupt New Democracy and incompetent leftist Syriza. The Greek state has always cheated its subjects, and the Greek diaspora took place because of the state’s failure and corruption. There is a VAT revolt in Greece. The government pressures the consumers to ask for receipts. But the consumers get 25% discount if they do not demand receipts. Greeks consider their government as their #1 enemy to be avoided and boycotted in any way possible. Greeks exchange tips on friendly shops which do not impose VAT. Paying a quarter of the price less makes a big difference.
NO DEAD CAT BOUNCE
There is no dead cat bounce of the Greek economy. You just cannot shoot a basket case! So, you pretend Greece has basically achieved the objectives of the reforms required by its creditors. Pretending and extending is the prevalent game of VAT-monger EU! Kicking the Greek can is the favorite sport of VAT-monger Eurogroup!
VALUE ADDED TAX REVOLT
VAT-struck Greeks go abroad in order to compete on a level playing field, without bribes, kleptocracy, kangaroo justice, police brutality, huge bureaucracy, huge taxation, and 24% VAT. According to the Quadriga of the International Monetary Fund, the VAT-monger European Commission, the European Central Bank, and European Stability Mechanism the preparation for the next batch of Greek reforms did not progress as much as it should have.
VALUE ADDED TAX BLEEDS GREEKS
Many Greeks are infuriated that VAT-monger Tsipras doesn’t give a damn about the refugee crisis, reinforcing a growing feeling that he is out of touch. VAT-monger Syriza has been weakened by corruption scandals. Ministers fail to include many properties in their declaration of assets. VAT-monger Graecokleptocrats have appointed many kith and kin to senior public-sector jobs. Taxes are rising, VAT stays at 24%, and unemployment remains at 25%. Capital controls, including a measure limiting bank withdrawals to €420 a week, are still in place. Nevertheless, salaries and fringe benefits of Graecokleptocrats skyrocket. VAT-struck people suffer, but VAT-monger Graecokleptocrats along with their kith and kin enjoy dolce vita in huge luxury.
All this has created a backlash against VAT-monger Tsipras. Around the country farmers, his former allies, have blocked main roads with their tractors. VAT-monger Syriza flags have been set alight. VAT-struck lawyers, doctors, pensioners, and engineers have taken to the streets to protest against a planned pension reform, and truck drivers are threatening to do the same.
VAT IS A VERY GOOD REASON FOR GREECE TO SECEDE FROM FOURTH REICH NOW!
Investing in Greece is a sure way to lose money. Bureaucracy, taxation, and political corruption are out of this world. VAT is 24%, public employees demand bribes to do their job, the justice system is not functioning at all with court cases postponed infinite times for more than six years, policemen are brutal beasts and liars, and politicians are bribe collectors.
Greek economic ills are rooted in the huge political corruption and the values and beliefs of Greek society. Greece’s public sector is rife with clientelism to gain votes and cronyism to gain favors – far more so than in other parts of Europe. Maximum pensions for public employees relative to wages are nearly twice as high as in Spain; the VAT-monger government favors business elites with tax-free status; and some state employees draw their salaries without actually turning up for work.
VAT IS THE CACOTHANASIA OF GREECE
Most MPs of Pasok and New Democracy took huge bribes from Siemens. But a judicial ring is behind many postponements of Siemens trials. Some judges are in cahoots with the major opposition party New Democracy. The impasse in the trial has led the government to suspect a judicial ring linked to major opposition party New Democracy is operating to stall proceedings. New Democracy wants elections before the Pandora Box of Siemens opens up with 200 names of MPs from Pasok and New Democracy. Mitsotakis, a suspect in the Siemens scandal, underlines that this government had demonstrated a monumental ineptitude in implementing the memorandum it had signed on to and in dealing with the refugee crisis.
Greeks now have a terrible choice, super-corrupt New Democracy or super-stupid Syriza. Recent polls show New Democracy will win next elections, which shows that Greeks tend to recycle their kleptocrats. This is a live Greek tragicomedy!
VAT SHACKLES GREEK BUSINESS AND ROBS GREEKS
There are serious ills in the private sector, too – notably, the pervasive influence of vested interests and the country’s business and political elites. Insiders receive subsidies and contracts, and outsiders find it hard to break in. Astoundingly, young VAT-struck Greek entrepreneurs reportedly fear to incorporate their firms in Greece, lest others use false documents to take away their companies. Greece is one of the hardest places in Europe to start a business. The result is that competition for market share is weak and there are few firms with new ideas.
The stunted system springs from Greece’s corporatist values, which emphasize huge political corruption, social protection, solidarity instead of competition, and discomfort with uncontrolled change. These values are a recipe for a static VAT-monger economy and stultified careers.
Indeed, Greece’s labor productivity (GDP per worker) is only 72% of the level in the UK and Italy, and a mere 57.7% of that in Germany. And surveys indicate that mean life satisfaction in Greece is far below that found in the wealthiest EU countries. Corporatism impoverishes the less advantaged. EU data on poverty rates put Greece at 21.4% – far higher than the mean EU15 rate of 16.7%.
VAT ACHILLES HEEL OF GREECE
The truth is that Greece needs more than just debt restructuring or even debt relief. If young VAT-struck Greeks are to have a future in their own country, they and their elders need to develop the attitudes and institutions that constitute an inclusive modern economy – which means shedding their corporatist values.
VAT-monger Europe, for its part, must think beyond the necessary reforms of Greece’s pension system, tax regime, and collective-bargaining arrangements. While Greece has reached the heights of corporatism, the control of a state or organization by large interest groups, Italy and France are not far behind – and not far behind them is Germany. All of Europe, not just Greece, must rethink its VAT-monger economic philosophy.
Greece constantly accumulates new debt, piling it up on already non-viable debt, pretending that it has solved the crisis, the debt deflationary spiral is enhanced, and the country becomes unreformable. It is something VAT-monger Graecokleptocrats have not managed to address.
The political situation in Greece is very toxic. You have a VAT-monger economic system in free fall. Lenders and creditors are imposing upon Greece new loans under the conditions that will ensure that they will not get their money back! No politician, however skilled he might be, can survive the VAT-monger economic implosion which drags down along with it the political system. There must be an end to extending and pretending.
Greek justice is completely fucked up. Trials are postponed more than ten times, stretching up to more than seven years. Nobody cares and nobody gives a damn, unless you either have political connections or bribe somebody. Everybody is considered guilty, and everybody is treated like a bad animal. This is no Europe, this is worse than Uganda!
Greek Mafia is the colloquial term used to refer to various organized crime elements originating from Greece. Indigenous organized criminal groups are well-entrenched in the largest Greek urban centers, particularly in Athens, protected by the widespread political corruption. Outside of the domestic Greek criminal organizations the Sicilian mafia, Camorra, the Albanian, Russian and Georgian mafia groups have been operating in Greece in collaboration with the domestic criminal syndicates. In the United States, ethnic Greek organized crime groups include the Philadelphia Greek Mob and Velentzas crime family.
Greek crime bosses are locally described as νονοί της νύχτας Godfathers of the night. Largely operating as owners of nightclubs, Greek crime groups are able to operate their illegal businesses under the protection of extremely corrupt politicians, judiciary, and bishops. In contrast to the Sicilian mafia or the Albanian mafia, Greek criminal groups follow the same structure organized gangs have within the French Milieu or the Penose in the Netherlands. Domestically, they are largely smaller organized crime cells, sometimes family-based in touch with political families and churches, who collaborate but from time to time also feud with one another.
There are close to 217 known domestic crime lords operating in Greece, closely related to politicians, judges, prosecutors, and bishops. Internationally, the smuggling and racketeering practices have a larger reach, and are not necessarily based on Greek nationals alone. With the need to infiltrate and manipulate multiple types of businesses in order to successfully smuggle internationally, more often than not such organizations resemble professional international cartels rather than traditional organized crime groups.
A substantial amount of Greek organized crime groups are centered in Athens in cahoots with kleptocrats and judiciary. However, many other organized groups operate throughout other cities, and even villages. Criminal clans can have their origins from all over Greece and most political parties. Mafia groups in the bigger cities are especially involved in racketeering, the illegal smuggling of oil, money laundering, weapon and drug trafficking, buying jury and judges, as well as trading votes.
Greece is not democracy, but kleptocracy, the infamous Graecokleptocracy. The Greek parliament, the grand brothel of kleptocracy on Syntagma Square, is full of thieves, the infamous Graecokleptocrats. Diogenes could not find one honest Greek MP. Most Greek MPs are crooks!
The Greek political parties are mafias. The leader of a party has dictatorial powers like the godfather of Cosa Nostra. He does whatever he wishes, and he can dismiss any MP any moment without real reason. MPs enjoy parliamentary immunity, committing crimes with impunity.
Two Greek mafias, Pasok and New Democracy, have destroyed Greece, robbing the Treasury, churning pension funds, and receiving myriad huge bribes. Pasok is the most corrupt political party on planet Earth. Pasok introduced all stupid laws of immunity and impunity of MPs and ministers of government. Chryse Pege, Golden Source, is the most infamous mafia of the Greek Orthodox Church, organized by the late archbishop Christodoulos. The corrupt Church of Greece greatly contributes to the moral decline of Greek society. Nevertheless, religion is protected by lèse–majesté!
The barbarity and corruption of Greek bishops is beyond imagination, heavily involved in skulduggery, orgies, trial rigging, drug and antiquities smuggling, money washing, robberies, inheritance dirty games, election manipulation, and so it goes. Bishop Ambrosios of Kalavryta, godfather of Chryse Pege Golden Source mafia, blasted Education Minister Nikos Filis over his decision to replace the current religious studies from the school curriculum with a lesson on comparative world religions. During his speech at Church, Ambrosios pleaded to Jesus that Fili’s arm would rot before he signed the decree! Ambrosios also had a few words for those not fasting by eating meat. He said he hoped the meat would turn to poison and puncture their stomach!
Criminal groups on the Greek mainland have also profited from the activities of corrupt officials, MPs, and judges. Arms, narcotics, and illegal oil are smuggled by Greek criminal organizations, often in collaboration with Albanian or Russian mafia groups, from local seaports to important destination centers such as the docks of Naples or Antwerp. Outside of the urban centers, the island of Crete is known for having regional family-based crime clans involved in the cultivating and trafficking of marijuana on a domestic as well as an international level. Kidnapping and weapon trafficking are activities of choice as well, often collaborating with the Albanian mafia. An example is the village Zoniana which is a known ground zero for Cretan drug lords. In general, Greek organized crime groups are active on the Greek mainland, as well as in other parts of Europe.
Activity is mainly focused upon the areas of licensure, buying justice and legislature, cigarette smuggling, and the trafficking of marijuana, hashish, and weapons. European cities are deeply affected by Greek organized crime in the form of robbing EU funds and narcotics smuggling. Recently, under pressure from the European union, Greece, and numerous other European countries, have stepped up their war on smuggling, making numerous arrests and otherwise disabling the organizations in collaboration with European law enforcement agencies.