Voices from Russia

Monday, 22 June 2015

Several Thousand Rally in Athens Against Austerity

00 a rowdy greek monk at anti-austerity protest. 220615

Rowdy Greek Orthodox monk rabble-rousin’ in front of the Hellenic Parliament Building… what the IMF and the neoliberal “conservatives” want is objectively evil… so, like St Antony the Great, the monks are coming forward to lend their voices to the opposition to the crapitalist bloodsuckers

******

00 Patriarch kirill. Alexis Tsipras. moscow 02. 10.04.15

Tsipras gets on well with Church figures… here he is with HH… those who say otherwise are lying CIA dogs like Radio Liberty and the New York Times…they lie to get people to support rightwing pro-oligarch fantasies

******

00 Greece. Athens. anti-austerity. 180615

Mellow Greek Orthodox priest taking part in anti-austerity protest in front of the Hellenic Parliament building

******

00 Tsipras. Greece. St Petersburg. 210615

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras speaks with Greek expatriates near the statue of Graf Ioannis Antonios Kapodistrias, the Russian-born founder of the modern Greek state, in St Petersburg

______________________________

On Sunday, thousands of people rallied in front of the Hellenic Parliament in Athens, urging Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to resist pressure from international creditors to accept more austerity in exchange for unlocking billions of Euros in bailout funds. The demonstration by supporters of Tsipras’s ruling SYRIZA party and others opposed to the Euro was the second anti-Euro rally in a week in central Athens and came a day before a vital summit meeting in Brussels to try to break a deadlock that left Greece on the brink of default. Singing, waving Greek flags and banners with slogans such as “No to the Euro”, “The People won’t be blackmailed”, and “The country’s not for sale”, several thousand people filled the street in front of parliament. 65-year-old former teacher Yiota Kananakari said, “They want to humiliate us, why else do they insist on all these measures? We won’t tolerate it anymore”. With speculation over Greece’s future in the Euro intensifying, a counter-rally urging the country to remain in the single currency occurred last week, with another scheduled for Monday.

Like earlier anti-austerity and pro-euro rallies over the past week, Sunday’s demonstration was far smaller than the mass protests of tens of thousands that filled Syntagma Square in central Athens at other points during the crisis. Opinion polls show broad support for Greece remaining in the Euro, but there’s also been deep resentment at the cuts to pensions and wages imposed on Greece during years of recession that left an unemployment rate of more than 25 percent. 65-year-old pensioner Fotis Mavroudis said, “The people said no to the measures and the lenders must understand this, they must listen to us. How can someone get by on 400 Euros (24,370 Roubles. 2,817 Renminbi. 28,820 INR. 454 USD. 559 CAD. 587 AUD. 287 UK Pounds) a month, with all these taxes, with all the bills we have to pay?”

After a weekend spent with close aides working out Greece’s proposals to lenders, Tsipras is due to meet the heads of the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and International Monetary Fund, the main creditors, before a broader meeting of Eurozone leaders on Monday. Officials say that he’s ready to make concessions in some areas but resisted cuts to pensions that lenders demanded to shore up Greece’s battered public finances. Greece needs a deal to unlock bailout funds frozen during months of wrangling before a 30 June deadline when a 1.6 billion Euro (97.48 billion Roubles. 11.27 billion Renminbi. 115.17 billion INR. 1.82 billion USD. 2.24 billion CAD. 2.35 billion AUD. 1.15 billion UK Pounds) payment to the IMF falls due. If it fails to meet that payment, it risks losing ECB support that its banking system relies on to continue operating. However, even before the 30 June deadline falls due, the stability of the banking system could face pressure unless a deal is reached with withdrawals reaching more than 1 billion Euros (61 billion Roubles. 7.05 billion Renminbi. 72 billion INR. 1.14 billion USD. 1.4 billion CAD. 1.47 billion AUD. 717 million UK Pounds) a day by the end of last week.

21 June 2015

Reuters

http://www.todayonline.com/world/several-thousand-rally-athens-against-austerity

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Russia and Greece… This Move Could Change History’s Course Before Our Very Eyes

00 russia-greece. 25.04.15

______________________________

Editor:

This is a rare Western analysis that mentions the Orthodox angle. It’s a good read. I suggest that you read it twice… it’s a good sober wake-me-up to all the shit spouted by Psaki and Harf and seconded on CNN and Fox (and in Reuters and the NY Times). Russia’s day as leader of Eurasia is coming… that’s why Washington is so desperate… it wants to derail it. I don’t think that’s in the cards…

The emphasis is kept as it was in the original post.

BMD

******

It’s becoming more clear by the day that Greece has just about reached the end of the road. Several months ago, I wrote that SYRIZA’s election victory in Greece was a game changer for European nations, and the EU project in particular. Then, it seemed to me that it wasn’t just the rhetoric of SYRIZA (especially, of its financial minister, Varoufakis) that was an utterly different strain… but their strategy itself, which indicated that this wasn’t just politics as usual. Whether one agrees with them or not, these folks really mean many of the things they say. Recently, though, the government in Athens was in quite a pinch, cash-wise. In fact, early April’s IMF payment was particularly a narrow escape, as they owed roughly 500 million USD (25.4 billion Roubles. 3.1 billion Renminbi. 31.89 billion INR. 609 million CAD. 639 million AUD. 460 million Euros. 329.3 million UK Pounds) in one lump sum. However, after “borrowing” everything not nailed down (including pension funds), they made that large IMF payment… barely. “Ya see, Watchman? Everyone freaked out over the 9 April IMF payment, but Greece paid its creditors on time, so there’s nothing else to worry about!” Really? You think so? Then, there’s the slightest possibility you’ll wanna take a look at this…

******

00 what greece owes and when. 25.04.15

______________________________

That, my friend, is what we call, “running the gauntlet!” I mean, good grief! Just when you avert one debt blow, two more colossal blows come from behind! Let’s put it this way… if this ugly line of payments was a four-course meal, then, April’s payments are just the appetizer and salad! May is really the main course, and June is dessert! Now that things are coming to a head, the government in Athens is attempting to put in some capital control measures, to try to centralise the nation’s banking funds. In response, the ECB and Troika are busy putting the final icing on their majestic “Mistake Cake”, as they tighten the screws on collateral rules in Greece. In other words, the end of the line is here, they must make a historic decision, and soon. The Greek banking system is out of funds, and Athens has exhausted all other options within the EU. I guess it’s time for SYRIZA to call it a day, accept whatever horrific terms the Troika draws up for them, and resign themselves to being a provincial outpost of Brussels, right? Wrong!

The Ace Card

Notice that I merely said “all options within the EU”, because there are a growing number of options outside of it. You may remember that 10 weeks ago, I wrote a piece about Greece’s “wild card”, which Brussels was very nervous about. That wild card question was this… What scenarios, agreements, or treaties did Greece and Russia discuss or draw up? Well, we’ve now begun to have some answers to that all-important question, brothers… and they’re game-changers! I’ve always believed that SYRIZA’s hard rhetoric wasn’t just tough talk, but that their confidence stemmed from their preparations they’d been making with Russia for years. This is why the hardline strategy of Brussels and Germany came up so short in the Greek talks, and why DC’s hardline strategy of Russian sanctions failed. The countries of earth now have multiple financing options. The IMF and DC are no longer the only places where they can turn to for solutions! In fact, it is now very likely that Moscow will offer over 5 billion USD (254 billion Roubles. 31 billion Renminbi. 318.9 billion INR. 6.09 billion CAD. 6.39 billion AUD. 4.6 billion Euros. 3.293 billion UK Pounds) worth of advance payments to Greece, in exchange for greenlighting Russian natural gas pipelines through its country!

Why Russia Might Consider the Advance

“Watchman, I don’t get it, why would Russia give Athens a 5 billion USD advance payment? Isn’t that just throwing good money after bad at this point?” Noooooo, friend, it isn’t at all. Let me explain. If they give an advance payment to Greece, Greece will use it to meet the next 2 months’ worth of crucial debt instalments. Whilst Greece’s larger debt problem would still be there, this would still set off a likely chain reaction of events:

  • Firstly, the “Turk Stream” gas pipeline will be a lock.A transit line, which would guarantee Russian energy hegemony and dominance, would keep Europe on the hook to Russian gas, and would ensure constant streams of income from Europe for decades to come.
  • Russia would gain yet another valuable ally within the EU, to counter any future progress on sanctions against it. SYRIZA already gave the EU some difficulty over this issue in their last meeting (likely a shot across the bow). An agreement to veto or block any future aggression against Russia could be part of the agreement.
  • Russia would gain a valuable trade partner, as they import a great deal of agricultural produce from the Peloponnese. Do you think that Greeks, who now trust Moscow more than Brussels, have looked longingly at a membership within a trade bloc like the Eurasian Economic Union? You know they have.

Yes, all this is good, but Russia would get something else even more valuable than all that.  Two months ago, I was the first person (and almost the sole person) to bring up a consideration that no one else considered: the religious consideration. Remember, I predicted that the real hidden danger to Brussels was that Moscow would use the obstinate actions of the Troika to drive a wedge between Catholic Europe and Orthodox Europe. That, my friends, was always, always, the biggest threat… and bless me, if that’s not exactly what’s happened! If Russia extends this advance payment, they’d finally have an influential foothold within the Orthodox Christian community, in a geostrategically important space on the European mainland!

We already know that Greece and Russia have talked about establishing a military base within the Greek islands. For crying out loud, if that wasn’t enough, there’s now even talk of Russia providing Greece with S-300 SAM systems! This is the extent to which Greece distrusts NATO and Brussels. “Watchman, isn’t that going a bit too far? I mean the thought that NATO or Europe would bomb a European country for taking a different approach is beyond the pale!” Brother, tell that to the Orthodox Serbs, whose lands NATO viciously bombed and partitioned during those “peaceful Clinton years!” Believe me, this left a quite a bitter taste within the Orthodox world, and they still hold it against NATO and DC to this day. Greece knows NATO is treacherous and murderous, and both they and Moscow are keen to keep another “Belgrade Bombing” from ever repeating. Putin’s job in all this has been wayyyyyy too easy, as all he’s had to do is sit back, and let the banksters do all his work for him. As of late, he’s become quite active though in stepping and creating a long-term symbiotic relationship with Orthodox countries, and his latest details of this plan takes the cake. Take a look at this:

*****

00 russian gas projects

______________________________

Do you see that brothers? That picture is an inspired move! Putin is doing what I thought he’d do… he’s keeping the proposed line for “Turk Stream” entirely within the Orthodox heartland of Europe for as long as possible. This line would cut through Serbia and Macedonia, and reach all the way up into central Europe, and connect with Russia’s key new strategic partner… Hungary! Amazing. This would reunite Russia and Orthodox Europe in ways that would’ve been unimaginable 20 years ago. All this will increase Eurasia’s foothold in Europe, and diminish DC’s and Brussels’ influence. To think… he can acquire all this and more for a measly investment of 5 billion bucks! It’d be the deal of a lifetime for both Moscow and Athens. No question, Moscow wants to do this, but at this point, it’s really up to Athens. Oh! There’s one more important thing that this 5 billion dollar advance payment would buy both China and Russia… time!

Remember, if Greece refuses to back down, and “defaults within the EU”, a strategy that Varoufakis laid out in disturbingly interesting detail several years ago… then, Europe’s banking system is toast, as it’d trigger credit default swap payouts. When that occurs, the banking system in Europe may have mere weeks left… then, chaos would spread here to the States. In other words, a Grexit spells the likely end of the world monetary system. The question left is… are China and Russia “ready” for this to occur yet? Do they have all the gold reserves they want? Is their alternate SWIFT system ready for primetime? Have they forged the treaties and alliances they want? Have they adequately reduced their exposure to US Dollars? Brothers, I don’t have the answers to these questions, but I bring them up, because if the BRICS aren’t yet ready for the Reset to occur, every month they can buy for a few billion dollars is invaluable to them.

Conclusion

The growing “pivot to Russia” is becoming a stronger reality each day. The geniuses in Brussels dreamed of establishing a political union atop a monetary one (the latter established as a honey trap to establish the former). They dreamed of a “United States of Europe”, and overran the wills of sovereign peoples in several nations to bring it this far. However, the arrogant manner in which the Troika dictated to Greece ensured that the battle for Greek hearts and minds was lost. There were never any good options for Brussels here, but refusing to budge even the slightest bit on Greek debt amounts and repayments was the worst move they could have possibly made. These blunders aren’t just big, they’re history-altering.

The scenario I predicted of a growing influence of Moscow within the European Orthodox world is really taking off. Why wouldn’t it though? Europe has been cruel to the Orthodox world for decades. From the NATO bombing and partitioning of Serbia, to Cypriot bail-ins, to hardliner austerity in Greece, to threats and pressure on Bulgaria to kill off South Stream… everything the West has done drives the entire Orthodox world back into Russia’s arms… and more importantly… it’s brought the great Eurasian dream one step closer to its eventual reality. The Brussels line, of “Pay us or get out”… has failed. 

Everyone in DC and the EU continues to act as if they’re the only game in town. Not only are they not the only game in town, but they’re the lamest game in town. Brussels continues to offer the Greeks humiliation, austerity, and hopelessness. Whereas Moscow is offering trade, military treaties, gas transit income, and gas price reductions. Guess which one is winning? They forced Greece to cough up or auction off vast amounts of its cultural treasures and assets. They’re on the cusp of making a historic turning toward parts East. When and if they do… every Orthodox nation will follow their lead. Brussels has everything to lose, whereas Athens has already lost everything. Whether Greece defaults or leaves the EU, every scenario will now benefit the BRICS and Eurasia, and hurt Europe’s banksters. For 5 years, the Troika bled every drop they could from Greece. That process was self-defeating, and now Greece’s cash reserves have gone stone-dry. Yet, remarkably, the Troika continues to want more blood! Someone shoulda reminded the banksters… you can’t get blood from a stone.

22 April 2015

The Wealth Watchman

http://thewealthwatchman.com/were-watching-history-change-course-before-our-very-eyes/

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

If the Church Takes a Political Position, It Wouldn’t be the Church: Patriarch Kirill and Greek PM Tsipras have Cordial Meeting at the Danilov Monastery in Moscow

00 Patriarch kirill. Alexis Tsipras. moscow 01. 10.04.15

******

00 Patriarch kirill. Alexis Tsipras. moscow 02. 10.04.15

******

00 Patriarch kirill. Alexis Tsipras. moscow 03. 10.04.15

In this photo, the Blunder looks glum (after all, he kisses the asses of the West, the papists, Free Marketeers, the Affluent Effluent, and oligarchs… being made to sit across from a Red must gall him)… note that Mark Golovkov is there as HH’s commissar… is Alfeyev on the way out? We’ll have to see… it’s an ecclesiastical “Lenin’s Tomb” moment

______________________________

Editor:

Our Holy Patriarch said:

Exorbitant greed seeks enrichment by any means, it pursues material goods, it creates money ‘out of thin air’, and it separates money and material wealth from labour and from the actual values… such an economy can function only for a very short time, and only for a restricted circle of people… it’s doomed to crisis.

All those who advocate allying the Church with the US Republican Party are against Christ and His Church; they advocate allying the Church with those who follow the Religion of the Antichrist (“Evangelicalism” is NOT Christian… as a visit to any of their “services” should convince any real Christian). You can follow HH or you can follow Rand Paul, Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and all the other scurvy GOP theomachists. That’s the choice you have… there’s no other. I shall follow HH and not the Republican greedsters… I’m NOT alone… I’m remembering seeing a plurality of Obama bumper stickers in the St T’s car park at the Pilgrimage. After all HH said that the Church could have nothing to do with extremist forces… the contemporary Republican Party is certainly that. Ponder that…

BMD

******

Yesterday, Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias met with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in the Patriarchal Synodal residence in the Danilov Monastery. Welcoming Prime Minister Tsipras, Patriarch Kirill congratulated his guest on his election victory, “You got a lot of popular support, for you gave expression to hopes for a positive change in the life of the Greek people. You entered politics as a man of intrepid beliefs and you’ve remained faithful to the choices that you made at the beginning of your political career. Many in Greece support your stance”. Talking about the Church’s relation to politics, His Holiness noted, “If at some point the Church would take one or another political position, it’d cease to be the Church for all people. I say this not in terms of some theoretical assumptions, it’s from our historical experience. The Russian Orthodox Church has had a difficult path, building relationships with governments that often held very different political beliefs. If the Church remains faithful to the principles laid down in the Gospel, by its very nature, it’s open to possible coöperation with all political forces, except for extremist elements”. Patriarch Kirill pointed up that a number of ideas usually attributed to the political left are also important for the Church, “Primary, of course, is the idea of ​​social justice. If the Church no longer insists on the need for social justice, it departs from very important principles. The Christian worldview isn’t a political idea, it’s a moral one”.

On the other hand, His Holiness stated that historical experience shows that it’s impossible to achieve social justice using purely political or economic means, “The USSR did much to establish social justice. It aimed all the power of a superpower… economics, politics, science, art, sports… at achieving this goal. However, it didn’t do it. Why not? Because it ignored a very important factor, without which one can’t achieve social justice… the moral and spiritual foundation of the human person. In no case should you repeat this mistake, one that we made it in my country”. Patriarch Kirill noted that the destruction of spiritual and moral foundations of human life shouldn’t accompany the struggle for social justice, “A person can be fair only when there is a firm inclination in his soul to do so. Moreover, I really hope that you and your government would do everything possible to develop the idea of ​​social justice for the benefit of the Greek people, to maintain and preserve the spiritual and moral foundations of the life of your people”.

His Holiness observed that special ties connect Russia and Greece… a majority of Greeks and a majority of Russians are Orthodox Christians, “No politician can ignore this spiritual dimension, common to both Greeks and Russians”. Vladyki Kirill stated that Russians sincerely empathise with the Greeks due to the difficult economic situation in their country, “With your assuming office as Hellenic Prime Minister, Greeks hope for a clear-cut development of the social sphere with a new economic strategy. Once again, from our point of view, I want to say that socially oriented politics are fully justified, the state should put the service of humanity and its welfare as its main goal”. His Holiness said that what’s going on today in the Greek economy is directly related to the global economic crisis, but along with various material factors, moral issues lie at the heart of this crisis, “Exorbitant greed seeks enrichment by any means, it pursues material goods, it creates money ‘out of thin air’, and it separates money and material wealth from labour and from the actual values… such an economy can function only for a very short time, and only for a restricted circle of people… it’s doomed to crisis”.

During the meeting, Patriarch Kirill spoke about the economic sanctions imposed against Russia, “We have a good proverb… ‘There’s no difficulty without good’. We had to go through this experience to realise the necessity of self-reliance. In Russia today, many people have started to invest in real production; I hope that we’d be able to make full use of the opportunities offered to our industry and agriculture because of this situation. Nevertheless, in principle, these sanctions are unjust and illegal; in my view, they only complicate the global economic situation, because not only do they reduce Russia’s economic possibilities, they also limit its participation in the global economy. Therefore, not only Russia loses from these sanctions, but also its partners abroad. We welcome your position on the issue of sanctions”.

His Holiness emphasised that Russian and Greek Orthodox Christians have close fraternal relations, “Recently, pilgrimages have begun to play a very important role. You know, thousands of pilgrims from Russia visit Greece today, and, in contrast to ‘beach tourists’, they visit Greece, not only in the summer, but also in the so-called dead tourist season. In addition to the spiritual factor, pilgrimage has an economic dimension. Unfortunately, because of straitened economic conditions, Russians aren’t visiting foreign countries, but I think that it doesn’t greatly affect pilgrimages to Greece. Mount Athos is a special channel of communication between Russia and Greece. Russian interaction with Athos has always had an important spiritual and cultural dimension. Next year, will be the 1,000th anniversary of the Russian presence on Mount Athos, and I hope to attend this celebration, along with the head of the Greek government. Talking about the Russian presence on Athos, we mean not only Russians in the modern sense of the word, but Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Moldovans… all those Orthodox who make up the Russian Orthodox Church”.

Today, there are about a million immigrants from Russia and the former USSR in Greece, Vladyki Kirill noted, “The majority of these people have good memories of Russia. I had the opportunity to meet with them, to feel the warmth of their hearts when I visited Greece”. During the meeting, His Holiness spoke about the catastrophic situation of Christians in the Middle East. “Today, the Christian population is either destroyed or expelled; one sees destroyed churches. The Middle East region can become a religious monolith… with Christianity squeezed out. This is a civilisational catastrophe, because Christians have always lived in the Middle East, and the disappearance of the Christian population will have very dangerous consequences, including political ones”. He thought that to stop the lawlessness against Christians requires the joint efforts of all who are aware of the danger of this situation.

For its part, Tsipras emphasised that Christian values ​​are important, including for people who have leftist political views, “We’re moving along parallel paths, we advocate many identical values on a very large common space. In our time, when a crisis of values develops along with the economic crisis, spiritual and moral foundations are particularly important”. Tsipras also stressed the importance of the public service of the Russian Orthodox Church, “I admit that the close relationship between our nations lie in their common spiritual traditions and religious beliefs held by the majority of the general population of our countries. We share a common history and a common struggle. Relations between the Russian Church and the Church of Greece are traditionally good. We reached agreement on the development of coöperation in the cultural, educational, and religious spheres during our visit. Thus, a major contribution to the development of relations between our peoples would be to expand pilgrimage by Russians in Greece, and by Greeks in Russia. Athos is a significant part of the Greek spiritual inheritance; it has a special role in the development of Greek Orthodoxy. Monks on Athos come from all corners of the earth, so, it’s also a world spiritual heritage. The preservation of our spiritual and cultural heritage is a priority for the Greek government. We share concerns about the fate of the Christian population in the Middle East and North Africa. We’re ready to support any decision that will change the situation of Christians in the Middle East”.

The sides exchanged gifts.

10 April 2015

Russkaya Narodnaya Liniya

http://ruskline.ru/news_rl/2015/04/10/esli_cerkov_budet_zanimat_tu_ili_inuyu_politicheskuyu_poziciyu_to_perestanet_byt_cerkovyu/

Thursday, 12 March 2015

SYRIZA to Keep Paying Clergy Salaries

greek-choir-masters-of-the-singing-art

______________________________

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

Kathimerini

http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite1_1_05/03/2015_547931

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.