Voices from Russia

Thursday, 12 March 2015

SYRIZA to Keep Paying Clergy Salaries



On Thursday, the government said there are no plans for the state to stop paying clergy salaries, adding that the Church of Greece also pays its fair share of taxes. Alternate Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas said when questioned about whether taxpayers would continue to cover clergy salaries, “There’s no such issue”. Mardas commented after meeting Archbishop Ieronymos Liapis of Athens, the First Hierarch of the Church of Greece. Vladyki Ieronymos said, “The paying of clergy wages is the reciprocal duty of the state as the Church has handed over its property to the state as part of this arrangement. The Church is taxed properly; maybe, even more than some other bodies”. The General Secretary for Religious Affairs, Georgios Kalantzis, issued a statement backing up Ieronymos on both issues. He said that the state reduced clergy salaries during the crisis by the same amount as other public-sector workers and that the Church pays taxes on revenues and property like other organisations. He added that only places of worship, and sites used for charitable work, such as retirement homes and soup kitchens, are exempt from property tax.

5 March 2015




Monday, 5 January 2015

Die Linke Slams Merkel Government… Accuses It of Blackmailing Greece

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo. Greece's Golgotha. 2012


Bernd Riexinger, co-leader of Die Linke, accused the Merkel government of blackmailing Athens and of deliberate attempts to destabilise the situation in Greece. His comments followed an article in Der Spiegel stating that Bundeskanzlerin Merkel and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble no longer ruled out the possibility crisis-stricken Greece might leave the Eurozone. Riexinger said in an interview to Handelsblatt-online, “With this lack of tact, the government may set off a bomb that may aggravate the crisis in Greece. This kind of open blackmail destabilises the situation in the run-up to elections”. He argued that such media releases might trigger massive withdrawal of cash by retail clients form bank accounts. Riexinger said, “That’s organised irresponsibility”. Der Spiegel quoted government sources as saying that the German authorities believed that Athens’ withdrawal from the Eurozone would be almost inevitable if Greece halted the policy of austerity and public spending cuts after the upcoming 25 January parliamentary election.

5 January 2015



Tuesday, 9 April 2013

May Day Labour Day Holiday in Greece Moved to 7 May to Help Struggling Store Owners

00 Unknown  Artist. 1 May. The Day of International Labour Solidarity. 1980s


The Labour Ministry agreed that the May Day Labour Day holiday would be on Tuesday, 7 May. The change came after a request by store owners, who feared that they’d lose vital business if May Day were on 1 May, which is also the Wednesday before Orthodox Easter. Traders hope that they’d see an upturn in the number of customers visiting their shops ahead of the Easter holidays. Therefore, the holiday would be on a day when stores would close anyway, due to the Easter break. Only businesses that work on Sundays or during public holidays would be able to operate normally on 7 May.

8 April 2013



Sunday, 7 October 2012

Greek leader Warns “We’re Going to Run Out of Money Next Month”


Yesterday, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras warned that his country’s coffers would run dry by November unless international lenders disbursed a vital 31.5 billion euro (1.28 trillion Roubles. 41 billion USD. 25.5 billion UK Pounds) loan instalment soon. Samaras invoked a comparison with the Weimar Republic in Germany before the Second World War, warning of “chaos” in Greece if his coalition government failed and democracy collapsed. Mr Samaras told reporters, “The government’s giving a fight on all sides for the credibility and salvation of this country so the people’s sacrifices don’t go to waste”.

Athens and its debt inspectors are still trying to hash out new spending cuts to help speed up the release of the next round of bailout funds. Amid this uncertainty, Mr Samaras highlighted the consequences of a Greek exit from the euro, warning it would be “a total disaster” and could prove “very destabilising” for Europe, saying that once one member country left, the international markets would probably target the next “weakest link”. Samaras pointed up that this would prove “painful for everybody and could prove fatal for many”. Athens is grappling with the worst financial crisis of its modern history with one in four people out of a job and the country’s recession predicted to continue for a sixth year. In Athens, international lenders continue to delay the release of the loans. Gerry Rice, a spokesman from the IMF, said the lending organisation would not hand out its portion of cash unless it gauged the viability of Greece’s debt as being sustainable or other lenders filled a financing gap in the bailout.

In an interview published yesterday with the German newspaper Handelsblatt, Mr Samaras warned that the cohesion of Greek society was being “endangered by rising unemployment, as was Germany towards the end of the Weimar Republic”. Such grim conditions are fertile ground for the rise of extremism. Support for the extreme-right Golden Dawn party has soared, and the Prime Minister warned in the interview that Greek democracy is “facing perhaps its greatest challenge”. Society, he went on, was threatened by extreme left-wing populists and “the rise of a right-wing extremist, one might say fascist, neo-Nazi party. People know that this government means Greece’s last chance. We’ll make it. If we fail, chaos awaits us”. He also outlined solutions, including the recapitalisation of Greece’s banks directly from a European fund to avoid further debt piling onto the country, noting, “The European Central Bank, which owns Greek government debt, could declare itself happy with lower interest… or agree to a rollover when these bonds are due”. So far, EU officials have adamantly rejected this.

A German government spokesman announced yesterday that Chancellor Angela Merkel would go to Athens on Monday to show support for reform efforts. However, many Greeks blame Germany’s insistence on austerity for their hardship, and the left-wing SYRIZA party urged unions to protest against the German leader. Union leaders said, “Workers, pensioners and unemployed people can take no more of the EU’s punitive policies”. Nevertheless, a German statement stressed that it wants Greece to stay in the euro bloc, albeit while pushing ahead with painful reforms. Since Greece received its first bailout in May 2010, it’s repeatedly slashed incomes, increased taxes, and raised retirement ages.

6 October 2012

Nathalie Savaricas

Independent (London UK)


Editor’s Note:

“Reform” means pain (and downright penury) for working people and retirees so that the McMansion filth can party on without a care. That’s the policy of the US Republican Party, too… it intends to slam its boot-heel hard into the faces of the most vulnerable Americans so that the Affluent Effluent can profit whilst kids starve. That’s objectively evil… a vote for the Republican Party (or any of its foreign analogues) is a vote for undisguised greed, malevolence, and wickedness. The Republicans worship Almighty Mammon… and God did say, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”. If you shill for the GOP, you’re my enemy… full stop… I’ll do whatever I can to defeat your criminal ideology and stop its malicious grasping any way that I can. Yes… our immortal souls DO depend on it…


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