Voices from Russia

Monday, 14 May 2012

Greek Coalition Government Talks Yield no Fruit

This is a many-layered cartoon… if you know your ancient Greek mythology (dust off your Golden Bough, kids) and anything at all about the Aeneid. Obviously, Eurocoönte is a satire based on the figure of the Trojan priest Laocoön. He attempted to warn the Trojans about the gift horse left by the Greeks. Athena sent serpents to crush him to death, which they duly did. The imagery is from the famous sculpture Laocoön and his Sons. Virgil has him speaking the famous lines Equo ne credite, Teucri / Quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentes, or “Do not trust the Horse, Trojans / Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks even bearing gifts”. This is the source of the cliché, “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts”. 


On Sunday, the first round of talks between Greek President Karolos Papoulias and political party leaders on the formation of a coalition government following last week’s general elections ended without a deal. Papoulias summoned the leaders of the top three parties in the 6 May polls for one-on-one meetings after all of them failed to reach a deal over the past week following elections that produced no clear winner. Most observers see the talks as a last-ditch effort to form a cabinet and avoid a second round of polls, which analysts warn may endanger Greece’s membership in the Eurozone.

Disagreements over Greece’s bailout deal were the main obstacle to reaching an agreement on a new government. Centre-right neoliberal New Democracy (ND) chief Antonis Samaras and socialist PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos back the plan, but Alexis Tsipras, who leads the radical left coalition SYRIZArefused to join any government that doesn’t reject the harsh austerity measures imposed in return for billions of Euros in international rescue loans. Samaras, whose party was just two seats short of a governing majority, told journalists after the talks, “Deliberations will continue”. However, Tsipras, whose SYRIZA coalition came second in the elections, appeared uncompromising, saying, “For the sake of our responsibility before our fatherland, we won‘t become accomplices in a crime being committed against Greek society”.

Late on Sunday, Papoulias also conferred with leaders of the other four parties that won seats in the new legislature in his presidential mansion in central Athens. Panos Kammenos, leader of the national conservative Independent Greeks, was the first to see the president, followed by Aleka Papariga of the communist KKE, then, Nikolaos Michaloliakos of the neo-fascist Golden Dawn. The last party leader to meet Papulias was Democratic Left chief Fotis Kouvelis. He quoted the president as saying during their talks that “there’s still been no opportunity to form a government”. Kouvelis proposed forming a national unity government with a two-year term that would enable Athens to renegotiate some tough austerity terms with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

If the Greek party leaders fail to come to an accord, the President would dissolve the newly-elected parliament and hold another election in mid-June, which analysts warn could strengthen the standing of the anti-austerity coalition and, therefore, threaten Greece’s Eurozone membership. On Thursday, European Commission President José Manuel Durão Barroso added his voice to warnings that the Commission could force Greece to leave the Eurozone if it didn’t fulfil its financial obligations to the EU.

14 May 2012



Editor’s Note:

You can also see elements of William Jennings Bryan‘s Cross of Gold speech in the cartoon posted above… Laocoön’s being crushed to death by the DOLLAR… NOT the Euro. That’s to say, the culprit’s not social spending… it’s the Neoliberal Pro-One Percent apparat and their bankster paymasters who’ve been regnant since the early ’80s. As Bryan said:

We’ve petitioned, and our petitions have been scorned; we’ve entreated, and our entreaties have been disregarded; we’ve begged, and they’ve mocked when our calamity came. We beg no longer; we entreat no more; we petition no more. We defy them! … We’ll answer their demand for a gold standard by saying to them, “You shall not press down upon the brow of labour this crown of thorns; you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold”.

This is what SYRIZA’s saying, nothing more, but nothing less, either. The affluent effluent’s three-decade free ride on the backs of the working people is about to hit the solid rock of ordinary people’s refusal to subsidise the One Percent’s unending rapacity and leeching greed any further. Look at the McMansions in a gated community near you. It’s not only the affluent effluent’s grasping appetite that’s corrupted our society… they’ve brought evil into all sectors of our lives (using the rhetoric of “individual freedom”).

Reflect on this… George Zimmerman killed an unarmed teen, and it took WEEKS for him to be charged… a black woman fired a gun to discourage an abusive husband (she did NOT hit him), but she received 20 years in the slam… both in the state of Florida. The real law in the state of Florida appears to say that only right-wing whites can “stand their ground” (Zimmerman’s no “Hispanic“… he’s Cuban, which means that he’s a hard righwinger)… but “niggers” had best not even try to defend themselves against attackers… that’s the message that Florida’s sending the nation. That’s how evil and perverted the “conservatives” in the West have become. To think that they wrap themselves up in filthy rags purporting to be “patriotism” and “religion”… what stinking hypocrisy and blasphemy. Thank God for Alexis Tsipras!



Sunday, 13 May 2012

Greek Leftists Refuse To Participate In Government

The Cat’s in the European Cradle…

Avital Alter



The corporate media isn’t telling you that there’s a “but” in the Greek austerity plan… all the austerity “pain” falls on the working people who didn’t benefit from the nutter loans made by the Greek government. On the other hand, the Greek affluent effluent, who were the only gainers, got no penalty or “austerity” at all. They intend to ride out the crisis by stamping unmercifully on the faces of the Greek working class… just as the US Republican Party wants to do here.


State television reported that Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the radical left coalition SYRIZA, stated that his party wouldn’t participate in any Greek coalition government. Greek President Karolos Papoulias held talks on Sunday to form a government  after the leaders of the three major parties consistently rejected to form a cabinet. In the 6 May parliamentary elections, supporters and opponents of austerity policies in exchange for the EU and IMF loans won approximately the same share of votes, no one faction can form a government. Tsipras told the leaders of the centre-right New Democracy and the centre-left PASOK, “You’re asking us to support a mistaken course of action. You need legitimacy… you don’t have it now, and we won’t give it to you”.

SYRIZA strongly opposes the loan agreement with the EU and the IMF, whilst New Democracy and PASOK support this agreement. Tsipras accused his opponents of wanting to form a three-party government with a small moderate leftist party, the Democratic Left, which broke from SYRIZA about two years ago. Observers expect Papoulias to hold talks Sunday evening with leaders of four small parties in parliament, including the KKE (Communists), the neo-fascist Golden Dawn, the Democratic Left, and the rightwing Independent Greeks {national conservatives, NOT money-grubbing pro-business Neoliberal slimers like Western “conservatives”: editor}.

13 May 2012

Aleksei Bogdanovsky



A Note for Orthodox Christians:

The “austerity” plan is evil and against all the teaching of the Church, and the Church of Greece opposes it. I’ll not mince my words… if you vote for the Republican Party this year, you vote for an anti-Christian ideology of greed and hubris that’s all the more horrid for dressing itself up in make-believe tawdry “Christian” vesture. I shall not be coy… the clergy who support the Republican rightwing are wrong… the convert elements who trumpet the lies of the rightwing media are wrong… I’ll stand against them, even if I stand alone… and I confide to you, I’m NOT… ponder that if you will…


Saturday, 12 May 2012

Greek President May Announce New Parliament Vote If Last-Minute Coalition Talks Fail


State television reported that Greek President Karolos Papoulias would hold consultations on Sunday with Greek political leaders in an attempt to make a final try to form a coalition government. Greece had held its first general election since the onset of the debt crisis in late 2009, which prompted the Greek authorities to implement deeply unpopular austerity measures in exchange for bailout funds from the EU and the IMF to stave off sovereign default. The first two places in the 6 May parliamentary election went to centre-right New Democracy and radical leftist SYRIZA. They both failed to form a coalition government. Third place-finisher centre-left PASOK, led by Evangelos Venizelos, also refused to take the presidential mandate to form a coalition, citing unwillingness from SYRIZA to join the coalition. If the leading Greek political parties and the president fail to come to an accord, Papoulias will have to announce another parliamentary election.

12 May 2012



Friday, 11 May 2012

The Leader of PASOK Refused To Form a Government in Greece… Early Elections Probable

A 77-year-old-man committed suicide in front of the parliament buildings… he said that he could be a burden to his children or he could “eat garbage”. THAT’S what “austerity” means, kids… that’s the ugly scabrous reality of it all. It’s the Republican Party’s panacea for the USA, too… I say, “Fuck the banksters, fuck their political whores, and, most of all, fuck their oligarch paymasters”… there’s no “nice” way of putting it… a vote for the GOP is a vote for throwing our parents on the scrap heap. Please, excuse me, as I hurl…


On Friday, in a live national TV broadcast, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos refused the mandate to form a government, paving the way for a new round of elections. He said the reason was that the SYRIZA leftist coalition refused to participate in the government, saying, “SYRIZA‘s participation (in the cabinet) is a necessity”. On Saturday, Venizelos will inform President Karolos Papoulias of the impossibility of forming a government. PASOK is the third political bloc to fail to form a cabinet. Now, under the constitution, the President must convene a council of the leaders of the parliamentary parties, and if this measure doesn’t produce a result, he must dissolve the parliament elected on 6 May and call new elections for next month.

Venizelos received the mandate only after the centre-right New Democracy and the radical Left SYRIZA tried to form broad coalitions , but failed… the leftists said that they weren’t going to abandon their position. Speaking on state television, Alexis Tsipras, the leader of SYRIZA, said, “Mr Venizelos’ proposal envisaged the creation of a broad-based government with our participation, to implement his policy vis-à-vis creditors. SYRIZA refused this offer, as the Greek people have spoken at the ballot box”.

Meanwhile, lenders warned Greece that it must fulfil its obligation to reduce spending , or they threatened Greece with expulsion from the EurozoneDie Zeit quoted German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble as saying that Europe can cope with a possible withdrawal of Greece from the Eurozone. He said, “Over the past two years we’ve learned a lot and were able to build protective mechanisms”. On Friday, international rating agency Fitch Ratings warned that it intends to put the ratings of all countries in the Eurozone under review for downgrade if Greece leaves the monetary union due to a political crisis, or because of its failure to meet its financial obligations to its creditors.

11 May 2012

Aleksei Bogdanovsky



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