The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing

"Gay Weddings"

Sorry people, I don’t have time to comment but this is just… I’m at a loss for words. Please note the quotation marks

From Christian Today

A court in Greece has overturned the country’s first “homosexual weddings”, which took place last year as a result of a legal loophole.

Greek civil law does not specify the gender of a couple who intend to get married. As a result a gay and a lesbian couple tried to get married last year on the island of Tilos, despite warnings of criminal charges from officials.

However a public prosecutor from the island of Rhodes took the case to court and argued that neither the constitution nor the law refers to same-sex marriage. The prosecutor asked the court to cancel the weddings.

Vassilis Hirdaris, the defendant’s lawyer said, “The court said the weddings were invalid … We will appeal within May … but I fear the appeal court’s decision won’t be different, considering how conservative Greek courts are.”

Hirdaris added that the couples wanted to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights if their appeal was unsuccessful.

The “marriages” were strongly criticised by the Orthodox Church in Greece, which performs around 90 per cent of weddings in Greece. The Greek Justice ministry also declared the “weddings” illegal.

Technorati Tags: , , , tilos

43 Comments

  1. Stassa
    May 8, 2009    

    Ah yes. That court decision seems to have been made in direct contravention of any sense of Greek law, which (I’m told by actual lawyers) specifies that “what is not prohibited is allowed”.

    Meaning, since there is no mention to a “man and a woman” in Greek marriage law, like the article says, or any prohibition to a marriage between two men or two women, then it is perfectly legal to do so.

    Unfortunately, though the case may go to Strasbourg eventually, I don’t expect anything will actually change. On the one hand the Greek state is notorious for ignoring European directives and not giving a damn about ECHR decisions. On the other hand, the lgbt community itself is rather lukewarm towards this issue.

  2. Stassa
    May 8, 2009    

    Btw, I must apologise yet again. I’m afraid some of us threw a bit of a wild party in your blog while you were away.

    It wasn’t me who set fire to the sofa, I swear! ::scowl::

  3. Michael Scowcroft
    May 8, 2009    

    I gotta hold my hands up for my part in the sofa burning episode – i was fanning the flames do a degree – but i’m not taking all the blame.. 😉

  4. Panayote Dimitras
    May 9, 2009    

    Oh again I lost a long message on all that as when one makes an error it is not saved for correction!

    Anyway in brief.

    1. A same sex couple sent through GHM an application to ECHR against the discriminatory cohabitation contract law

    2. The reasoning of the Rodos judgment had a positive element: it recognized that the Greek law and the UN and ECHR conventions do not expressly limit the right ti marriage to different sex couples.

    3. This makes the eventual case before ECHR for the Tilos marriages easier as indeed right now an identical French case (court annulled same sex marriage registered by municipality)is being heard by the Court that is ready to reconsider its own article 12 (on marriage!

  5. May 10, 2009    

    -sigh- yes, well. surprise. at least taking it to the greater European Court of Human Rights is an option…does that y’know ever do anything..?

  6. Panayote Dimitras
    May 10, 2009    

    fyi

    After ECHR judgments in LGBT cases Ireland – Austria – Cyprus and probably other countries too changes their law and/or practice

  7. May 10, 2009    

    Hey, just discovered this website today actually: http://www.whiteknot.org — seems relevant, though based in the US

    Greece has the advantage of not having legislation against gay marriage already in place, I hope it works out for the better rather than using cases like this to CREATE negative legislation against. Maybe they should just keep their nose out of other people’s business and let people be happy, unlike we do in the states.

    Keep writing for rights.

  8. Travlos Konstantinos
    May 11, 2009    

    Judicial precedent does not hold in Greece, nor can the courts interpret freely the constitution. Only the Parliament can make a law that defines marriage as a man and wife. And even then , a parliamentary law can be overturned by another parliamentary law. Only a constitutional amendment can really hold. but for that you need a constitutional assembly, which no greek government is going to call.

    What is going to happen is that various municipalities and courts will make different decisions concerning civil marriages between homosexuals. At some point the parliament. probably in order to teach an overzealous archbishop a lesson, will pass a law put the definition of marriage at it’s disposal. Remember for good or for bad in Greece, parliament and the government are god. The church can be forced to bend the knee (As in the case of the ID), the municipalities, and ultimately the courts. Not necessarily democratic, but it is a fact.

  9. May 11, 2009    

    I don’t know if you heard about the attack on Saturday night by Golden Dawn, but I read about it here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8042409.stm

    Thought you might be interested in posting a response — I wrote about it in my blog as well.

  10. Ramona
    May 11, 2009    

    HAHAHA!

    Michael Scowcroft go ahead! I love your comments; you’ve been ridiculing the spineless creatures (sons and daughters of every slimy kind of lackey and stoolpigeon the Greeks had the mischance of tolerating…) herein non-stop. Keep it up! Really entertaining.

  11. May 11, 2009    

    I get the feeling this is mostly about the Church Almightly getting irritated at anything that exists their cash-flow. They can’t bar all civil marriages (though God knows they’d love that), so they pick a weak target – gay marriage. You can’t die, be born or get married without the church getting involved in Greece, and of course they collect nice sums of cash along the way. Just ask the priest at my godson’s baptism who rolled up in a shiny new 4×4. If more gay marriages/civil marriages take place, this threatens their income! They want the monopoly on ALL life’s important events in Greece. The majority of rational Greeks feel now that, but what can be done when the Church has its tentacles so deep in the system??

  12. Xenos
    May 25, 2009    

    As usual, the Greek state proving beyond a doubt that Greece does not belong in Europe. The day that human rights take precedence over the corrupted priests and political mafia is the day that Greece will show that it was not a massive mistake to have been allowed into the EU in 1981. I do not think I (or any of you) will live to see that day.

  13. Michael Scowcroft
    May 26, 2009    

    As usual, the resident racist Xenos rears his ugly head on this blog to insinuate that southern European culture is somehow “not European”. You said you wouldn’t post here anymore, have you no sense of honour whatsoever?

    Please allow me to unravel the twisted reasoning of fellow Brits such as Xenos. Racist expats like Xenos demand that “third world” countries such as Portugal and Greece shouldn’t be allowed in Europe because they are “not developed enough” – these kind of racists think that lazy Greeks and sweaty Portuguese are “too low down the evolutionary scale” to belong to a club in which their countryfolk are also members. Even though your average Brit HATES the EU and Europe in general, they cannot bare to think that they share the same club with Sweaty Spics, Dirty Degos, and Greasy Greeks.

    British racists such as Xenos do not want southern Europeans in the EU, not because they believe human rights issues in these countries do not meet the European standard but because these racists don’t believe that anglo-saxons i.e. France, Germany and Britain should be funding the development of the poorer EU countries through their taxes.

    Racist and xenophobic British attitudes are often disguised in simple sentences such as “southern Europeans do not meet the EU standard”. What he really means is: “southern European savages should not be in the same club as us civilised Brits, we should not be equated or associated with these neanderthals in any way “.
    In fact, this was my first thought when i came across DD’s blog, i thought the blog title THIS IS NOT MY COUNTRY suggested “THIS IS NOT MY COUNTRY, I’M BRITISH AND I DON’T WANT TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH THESE PEOPLE AND THEIR PRIMITIVE CULTURE”.
    I immediately recognised that there was a tinge of british racist sentiment in the blog title (especially when i discovered that DD was a Brit ex-pat) but DD has since explained that the blog title was inspired from a song and has nothing to do with elevating herself above the native population in any way….

  14. Xenos
    May 27, 2009    

    As usual, ignorant self-opionated people who do not even live in or know anything about Greece seem to think that they have the moral high ground. As usual, the rest of us can tell them to f**k off and mind their own countries and businesses.

  15. Michael Scowcroft
    May 27, 2009    

    You can tell me to f**k off but i’m not going anywhere :)

    You’ve avoided this blog ever since your racism was exposed. You’re the one who’s effed off – you’ve limited yourself to fleeting appearances and monosyllabic vulgarities. What a shame. You used to be such a prolific racist in here.

    Just like the immigrants in the UK, i’m here to stay, much to the racists dismay 😉

  16. Michael Scowcroft
    May 27, 2009    

    Maria, it was very interesting to read your experiences – I wish more people were as forthcoming with their experiences on this blog (instead of hiding behind multiple identities and launching offensive diatribes and racist generalisations against southern Europeans under the cover of anonymity).

    I don’t think anyone in here can suggest that the Islamophobia in Greece or southern Europe is anywhere near the hatred of Muslims in Britain and America.

    The proof is in the pudding: if you ask any Arab or Muslim about which countries he thinks are most fervently Islamophobic, the answer will be US, Israel and the UK.
    In terms of Islamophobia and mistreatment of Muslims, the southern European countries such as Portugal, Greece, Spain and Italy will come very low down on the list.
    In fact, anti-Muslim skirmishes such as those seen in Greece pale into insignificance when compared to the broader crimes against Muslims which the US and Britain have committed throughout history and continue to commit to this day (Afghanistan/Iraq). I’m not trying to minimise the totally unnacceptable behaviour of far-right extremists in Greece but let’s put things in perspective.
    We Brits and Americans are hated in the Arab/Muslim world. I don’t think countries like Greece attract anywhere near the same hatred from the Arab world.

    So we have to put Islamophobia in Greece and southern Europe into perspective – anti-Muslim sentiment by extremists in countries such as Greece is relatively few and far between and is a drop in the ocean compared to the state-sponsored misery which my country has inflicted on the Middle East and wider Muslim world.

    In the recent Islamophobia Awards, conducted by the Islamic Human Rights Commission in London, there were no “awards” for islamophobia given to southern European countries. The awards for the most virulent forms of Islamophobia and muslim mistreatment went to American and British institutions, authorities and figureheads.

    Most Islamophobic Media: Winner
    Fox Network News (closely followed by british newspapers)

    Most Islamophobic British Politician:
    Joint-Winners
    Nick Griffen & David Blunkett:
    “Muslims are the biggest problem at present, for several reasons, because they have the highest birth rate, which means their communities need living space – that’s what the ethnic cleansing is about. They have political corruption in their own countries, and when they have a chance to get council places they are there for graft. Most important of all is that Islam is an aggressive religion.”

    Most Islamophobic International Politician: Winner
    Ariel Sharon, Israeli Prime Minister
    “I don’t know something called International Principles. I vow that I’ll burn every Palestinian child (that) will be born in this area. The Palestinian women and child is more dangerous than the man, because the Palestinian child’s existence infers that generations will go on, but the man causes limited danger. I vow that if I was just an Israeli civilian and I met a Palestinian I would burn him and I would make him suffer before killing him. With one hit I’ve killed 750 Palestinians (in Rafah in 1956). I wanted to encourage my soldiers by raping Arabic girls as the Palestinian woman is a slave for Jews, and we do whatever we want to her and nobody tells us what we shall do but we tell others what they shall do.”
    In an interview with General Ouze Merham, when questioned about the loss of Zionist soldiers during the massacres of Rafah and Khan Yunis in 1956.

    Most Islamophobic Media Personality: Winner
    Melanie Phillips, Daily Mail columnist
    “We have a fifth column in our midst… Thousands of alienated young Muslims, most of them born and bred here but who regard themselves as an army within, are waiting for an opportunity to help to destroy the society that sustains them. We now stare into the abyss, aghast. “
    The Sunday Times article ‘Britain ignores the angry Muslims within at its peril’ 4 Nov 2001

    Islamophobe of the Year: Winner
    George Bush Jnr, President of the USA
    “Over time it’s going to be important for nations to know they will be held accountable for inactivity … You’re either with us or against us in the fight against terror”
    “Bush says it is time for action”,
    6 Nov 2001, cnn.com

    Not one southern European award winner on the list. Not even a nominee. If we really want to know who the worst Islamophobes are, we only have to ask any Arab/Muslim in the street. Even the Muslims in Greece would place America, Israel and Britain way ahead of Greece in the list of islamophobic states. And that’s saying something considering the difficulties and discrimination they’ve obviously faced in Greece.

  17. Michael Scowcroft
    May 27, 2009    

    ^This should be in the ‘Muslims in Athens’ thread. Sorry about that.

  18. Xenos
    May 27, 2009    

    DD: Along with several other people you know personally, we are not happy that British political correctness is being imposed on this blog by an idiot who does not even live in Greece or know anything AT ALL about it. It is your responsibility to police the blog, and stop the obnoxious comments from fake do-gooders.

  19. Michael Scowcroft
    May 27, 2009    

    ^the latest cowardly ultimatum. Doesn’t your lameness have limits? DD already told you she champions free speech. if you don’t like it, you can f**k off (to use your vocabulary)

    The last time you threatened DD with blackmail and ultimatums it ended up in DD calling your bluff and you having to leave this blog with your tail between your legs. But you didn’t have the decency or honour to keep to your word and refrain from posting here, like you said you would.
    Unlike you, i don’t mind opposing viewpoints on this blog, I’m quite happy to challenge and debate people with different opinions – you are quite obviously frightened to engage with me, making constant pleas for sympathy from DD and asking her to ban me.

    Instead of constantly whining, moaning and swearing at people, why don’t you engage with people in a civilised and constructive way?

    Lame and pathetic are the best words to describe your numerous attempts to have me banned. In fact, pathetic and lame describe all bigots like you :)

  20. May 27, 2009    

    Hey Everyone,
    I’ve been following this thread of comments in my e-mail, and honestly, you should all take another look at what you’ve posted so far. This isn’t a debate about gay marriage or (however it came up, “Islamophobia”) it is everyone insulting one another.
    Everyone has a different perspective, and you are only reducing the points you’ve made by using petty insults.
    Unless you are a muslim, I don’t think you can speak for muslims around the world — many broad generalizations have been made in this thread that lump Muslims in Greece with Muslims in America and Britian as if they were the same place. Each Muslim, just as each Brit, American, or Greek has his or her own experience. Lets not degrade those experiences by suggesting that we know who is the ‘most racist’ and include everyone from that place.
    Any act of racism or “Islamophobia” is unjust, regardless of its origin, and saying that America is more racist than Greece does not change the fact that Greece still does not have an official mosque in its country’s capitol city, or the atrocities that took place in Guantanamo or anywhere else.
    Everyone has made mistakes that we all pay for now, living in a world filled with hatred and degradation.
    As far as I can tell, you all are only contributing to that hate by fighting amongst yourselves.

  21. May 27, 2009    

    DD: Along with several other people you know personally, we are not happy that British political correctness is being imposed on this blog by an idiot who does not even live in Greece or know anything AT ALL about it. It is your responsibility to police the blog, and stop the obnoxious comments from fake do-gooders.

    I haven’t had any other complaints from people I know personally, please ask them to contact me by email. I am resisting having to “police” my blog. That’s not what it’s about. As far as I can see, this is an argument between you and Michael. I don’t like it and it’s boring for the rest of us but you are grown-ups. Deal with it. Seriously.

    Perhaps you can both take a deep breath and think other ways of engaging. One of you could perhaps be more understanding about how Greece has problems that don’t need to be constantly compared to Britain and one of you can stop generalising about an entire population. Maybe that would help ? Seriously.

  22. Xenos
    May 28, 2009    

    Sorry to disagree, Amber, but some people posting here have no experiences or knowledge at all, just political propaganda and obsessive viewpoints. I am amazed that DD just doesn;t get it, but I will ask others to express their opinions on this issue directly to her.

  23. Xenos
    May 28, 2009    

    And by the way, DD, although I understand your concerns about commenting on Greek society, this was not the case here. It is very clear that Greece is consistently in breach of EU and ECHR laws and couldnt care less. You have only to ask your colleagues in Helsinki Watch to hear this too. I do not expect to be attacked as “racist” by an idiot who knows nothing of Greece, of law or indeed of racism but seeks to impose his personal political views on me and others. There is no compromise to be made, so stop your British fence-sitting and decide what your blog is for. Is it for informed discussion of Greece or not?

  24. May 28, 2009    

    The enlightened part of free speech is that DD can, and should, post her own opinions and experiences on her blog. Being British and living in Greece allows DD to simply have an outsiders perspective… and who are you to say what she does and does not know? She has cited several news sources on each of her postings about the issues she discusses. She is entitled to her opinion based on her readings.
    Perhaps your own posts could be more informed, rather than simply pointing out the supposed flaws of others. Your posts here have not been any more productive than those you criticize.

  25. Xenos
    May 28, 2009    

    Amber: I have no problem with people generally expressing their opinions, and certainly not with DD doing so! However, there is a big difference between expressing your opinion and calling other people racist simply because they disagree with you. Even when we had genuine Greek racists here, years ago, I think I did not actually use this word against them. Name-calling is unproductive and unacceptable, but even more so when the name-caller knows nothing of the country or culture in question, and has a “hobby” of poking his nose into others’ blogs.

  26. May 28, 2009    

    And by the way, DD, although I understand your concerns about commenting on Greek society, this was not the case here. It is very clear that Greece is consistently in breach of EU and ECHR laws and couldnt care less. You have only to ask your colleagues in Helsinki Watch to hear this too. I do not expect to be attacked as “racist” by an idiot who knows nothing of Greece, of law or indeed of racism but seeks to impose his personal political views on me and others. There is no compromise to be made, so stop your British fence-sitting and decide what your blog is for. Is it for informed discussion of Greece or not?

    What I am annoyed (angry) about is that I continually talk about the government, institutions, authorities, organisations of Greece NOT the people. And you AND others continually bring it back to the Greek people. And I have to defend myself (and you all) against criticism that I don’t like Greek people.

    No one knows this blog (AND comments over four years) as well as I do so please don’t patronise or say you are not guilty of the things you deny.

    I do not expect to be attacked as “racist” by an idiot who knows nothing of Greece, of law or indeed of racism but seeks to impose his personal political views on me and others. There is no compromise to be made, so stop your British fence-sitting and decide what your blog is for. Is it for informed discussion of Greece or not?

    OK. I get it. What I experience as difficult ethical questions, you see as British fence-sitting. OK. Glad you haven’t see the hundreds of comments that I have deleted and the people I have banned! My blog is what it is. Right here, right now. Like it or not. Seriously running out of patience.

  27. Xenos
    May 28, 2009    

    Well, if you are saying that all of these problems with the Greek state institutions are NOTHING to do with the Greek people, then you are wrong. It would be a mistake to blame 100% of the population, of course, and I have never done so. But the fact is that the Greek population never protests about corruption, fraud, serious human rights abuses and continues to vote for the politicians responsible. Of course, I have Greek friends who do not support this shit, but I (and they) recognise that they are a small minority. The country could not survive if the Greek people did not support its state institutions, however passively.

  28. Xenos
    May 28, 2009    

    I think I agree with most of that, Konstantine — other than the extent of people demonstrating against corruption. This is a very recent sort of action — to my knowledge — and reflects the parlous state of the Greek economy more than basic principles. Historically, the Greek people were very keen on corruption — getting jobs for which they were not qualified, bribes for doing jobs they were already being paid for, etc etc.

    Of course, DD’s point is that anyone (even Greeks) who comments on these and other problems, is accused of being anti-Greek. This is the “system’s way” of avoiding any discussion of the real issues, and is cycnically practised by those who know very well what they are doing, and also by those who have been indocrinated into thinking like that. Any foreigner who has been in Greece for more than a couple of years should know this pitiful thing by now, and it is not worth commenting on.

    In terms of political choice — yes, there is an option. A protest outside the Vouli on election day, about the corruption of ND and Pasok. Make a new protest party, do something instead of this passive complacency that characterises Greek political life. Even spoiling the ballot paper would be something — imagine the effect on politicians if, say, 30% of ballot papers were deliberately spoiled!

  29. pj
    May 29, 2009    

    That’s a fascinating analysis, Konstantine (albeit a depressing one for those of us who live here). One question about spoiled ballot papers: is it not the case that these are counted as votes for the winning party? So a protest vote against could actually end up being a vote for a government.

  30. Michael Scowcroft
    May 29, 2009    

    Xenos,

    I am very surprised that the Greek contributors in here did not comment on your assertion that “Greek population never protests about politics and abuses of power” (only Konstantinos briefly pulled you up on it) – Forgive me, but hasn’t Greece been rocked with weeks of violent protests for this very thing? Protests in Greece have been plastered all over BBC and Reuters news services, in case you haven’t noticed.

    Although the recent protests were ostensibly against police brutality against and abuse of power, many commentators have described the riots as an as expression of deeper concerns such as a widespread feeling of frustration in the younger generation about specific economic problems of the country (partly as a result of the global economic crisis), a rising unemployment rate among the young generation and a perception of general inefficiency and corruption in Greek state institutions.
    How can you say that the Greek people do not protest their state institutions when they pelted their police force with stones for weeks on end? Do we Brits have the guts to do anything like that? No, we sit back and get shafted – there is no sense of “community” in Britain – whenever a police man abuses their power we are indiciduals. in Britain, we take “their sh*t”” as you put it. (I’m not just bringing up Britain to show Britain in a worse light than Greece, i’m just expressing my views about the lack of solidarity protest in Britian).
    Did we see protests in Britain when our police killed Ian Tomlinson? Greeks took to the streets in solidarity and demanded justice when one of their citizens was murdered by the police. What did we do when this happened:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/video/2009/apr/21/g20-ian-tomlinson-new-video

    Far from your the observation that Greeks don’t protest, i think that the Greeks and the French are the most ready to pick up placards and take to the streets in a revolution-style protest whenever they disagree with government practices or policies. I could be wrong but that is the impression i got over the past year or so from reading/watching the news. In fact, the French even protested against the New Year:
    The protesters began to chant: “No to 2008!”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6222153.stm

  31. Michael Scowcroft
    May 29, 2009    

    I have no problem with people expressing their opinions but when you make offensive generalisations such as Greeks have a peasant mentality and they are are beggars by nature and they are are homophobic just because of fact of being born Greek, then i’m sorry that’s offensive to me as a human being, and i have to pull you up on it.

  32. Michael Scowcroft
    May 29, 2009    

    ^ And they’re some of your ‘nicer’ comments – there are more more examples of outright bigotry…let me know and i’ll dig them up…

  33. Michael Scowcroft
    May 29, 2009    

    Amber,

    I’m pretty sure that if you asked a Muslim in Greece “Which country is most responsible for the mistreatment of Muslims around the world” they will not say “Greece”. They will say Israel, USA and Britain because by and large, we have been responsible for some of the most horrific treatment of muslims around the world.
    The non-provision of a mosque in Athens and the desecration of the Koran by a policeman are unacceptable and should rightly be condemnded but if we compare them to the atrocities and killings we’ve perpetrated against Muslims, they pale into insignificance – i’m not trying to minimise or deflect attention from the problems in Greece, it’s just the honest truth.

    I realize this blog is about Greece but we cannot ignore the human catastrophes and human rights violations against Muslims which our countries are responsible for.

    It’s a damning indictment of our countries treatment of muslims that even after all the hardships they’ve endured in Greece, a Muslim in Greece will STILL consider your country (USA) and mine (UK) much more hated in the muslim world than Greece. There can be no greater measure of our countries’ Islamophobia than that.

    Muslims around the world HATE our countries and this is the most damning indictment we can have, so let’s not pretend that a group of far-right extremists in Greece will ever compare to the vitriol we attract for our Islamophobic policies under the guise of the “war on terror”.

    Americans and Brits preaching to Greeks about the treatment of Muslims in Greece is like being told to sit up straight by the hunch back of Notre Dame.

  34. Michael Scowcroft
    May 29, 2009    

    Historically, the Greek people were very keen on corruption — getting jobs for which they were not qualified, bribes for doing jobs they were already being paid for, etc etc

    Sorry, but that is just another crude and offensive generalisation by our resident bigot. To suggest that Greeks are “keen” on corruption is yet another malicious and wholly unnacceptable characterisation of a group of people. What an utterly disgusting racist gobshite you are.

    “Fraud” and “corruption” are two similar moral and legal outrages. Can you imagine if someone on this blog said: “Nigerians are particularly keen on fraud”? This would be rightly identified as offensive but Xenos is seemingly unaffected by these strikingly obvious and offensive generalisations. Bigots don’t bat an eyelid to these kinds of stereotypes.

  35. Michael Scowcroft
    May 29, 2009    

    “Greek people were very keen on corruption — getting jobs for which they were not qualified, bribes for doing jobs they were already being paid for, etc etc.”

    True, but again in the toil of life can you disparage people for trying to use the system to make a better life for them? SHort sighted yes. That weird? Only by anglo-saxon standards.

    Konstantinos,

    Don’t be fooled into thinking that “being on the take” is uniquely a Greek or southern European problem. We Brits like to show Spaniards, Portuguese and Italians as being constantly on the take – it’s a racist stereotype.
    You shouldn’t be influenced by the opinions of bigots like Xenos into thinking that people from “P.I.G.S.” countries have a genetic pre-disposition for having their snouts in the trough.

    The recent expenses scandal in Britain is testament to the fact that anglo-saxon politicians and western political systems are not immune to the temptation and seductions of greed.

    Some Brit politicians paid for wreaths to lay at the Epitaph for fallen soldiers of World War 1 only to claim the £16 cost of the wreath back from the tax payer as “expenses” – you can’t get more disgustingly greedy than that.
    Greece is certainly not the only political landscape which needs reform and is certainly not the only country when it comes to public mistrust in their politicians.

    So let’s not get on our high-horses about “snouts in troughs”. It’s a universal problem and certainly not a southern-European-only phenomenon.

  36. Xenos
    May 30, 2009    

    For those idiots here who know nothing at all of Greece (actually, this is only one person), I should point out that the corruption of Greek politicians dwarfs the problems currently exposed in the UK parliament. Greek ministers and others have actually transferred money from ministries to Swiss bank accounts (which the current government started to take legal action to investigate, then stopped) and the amounts are in tens of millions of euros. EU funding (the metro, roads etc) is thought by some estimates to be as much as 40-50% stolen in corruption, in that case going into hundreds of millions of euros. And nothing ever happens about it. So you see, my little British obsessive, u know nothing.

    Insofar as demonstrations against corruption are concerned, I have never understood any to have taken place. Maybe this is my own lack of knowledge, so I am prepared to shift on that if people know better. The Dec. 2008 riots (in the streets around me, so I dont need to read about them) had nothing to do with corruption at all. They were focused on anti-police sentiment, and to some extent anti-government sentiments; most rioters were unable to articulate their reasons, which seemed partly to do with youth frustration. Furthermore, left wing parties and immigrants got caught up in this, again indicating that it had nothing to do with protests against corruption.

    Konstantine: OK, the short term approach of common people in embracing corruption sounds like a reasonable analysis, except for one thing: all greek politics is either ideological or short-term. This is how greek politics functions, by buying votes before elections. Nobody has ever protested about this, to my knowledge, just as nobody ever mentions (let alone protests) about the unelected parliamentary seats given to friends of pasok and nd. These are usually university teachers, who continue to be paid their full uni salaries as well as the MP’s pay — corruption or just abuse of public money?

    Basically, the Greek system is corrupt from top to bottom, and British cretins who think there is a comparison with the UK are just full of cr@p.

    BTW, I had not heard that spoiled ballot papers are counted as votes: if so, that shows how corrupted Greek democracy really is.

  37. Xenos
    May 30, 2009    

    Just a little comment: Scowcroft, why don’t you find a nice Nigerian blog to post on and educate them about your “enlightened” values. I doubt that you will be tolerated for any time at all there. You will also find that educated Nigerians are very critical of the massive corruption and fraud there, as are many educated Greeks in Greece. Your views are ignorant and ideological — the British political correctness which is destroying the UK now, with people like you smugly feeling superior while doing nothing other than benefiting yourselves.

  38. Michael Scowcroft
    May 30, 2009    

    I should point out that the corruption of Greek politicians dwarfs the problems currently exposed in the UK parliament.

    I should point out that you’re talking a load of flannel again. Even a cursory look at the breadth and depth of the scandal in the UK Parliament will leave you in no doubt that it’s far more serious than any political scandal in Greece or Europe for that matter.

    “Anglo-Saxon” snouts are just as greedy as Greek ones. Let’s not pretend that corruption is confined to Greece:

    Expenses scandal – it just gets worse
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/expenses-scandal–it-just-gets-worse-1683307.html

    Pressure On PM Over Corruption Scandal. Allegations of corruption in a Saudi arms deal
    http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Politics/Pressure-On-PM-Over-Corruption-Scandal/Article/20070931285201?lpos=Politics_Article_Related_Content_Region_2&lid=ARTICLE_1285201_Pressure_On_PM_Over_Corruption_Scandal

    Dame Shirley Porter, the central figure in the biggest local government corruption scandal of the late 20th century, has agreed to pay £12.3m to settle the court case against her, bringing to an end a decade-long legal dispute.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/porter-to-pay-acircpound12m-to-settle-council-corruption-scandal-561189.html

    UK House of Lords suspends 2 over corruption claims
    http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/05/20/uk.house.of.lords.suspension/index.html

    Hartz, who was the architect of Germany’s biggest post-war labour reforms which now bear his name, is charged with 44 counts of bribery and breach of trust.
    http://uk.reuters.com/news/video?videoId=1501

    Massive corruption scandal in Pennsylvania
    http://michellemalkin.com/2008/07/11/massive-corruption-scandal-in-pa-name-that-party/

    Illinois scandal: Corruption as usual
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/telegraph-view/3710804/Illinois-scandal-Corruption-as-usual.html

    Criminal investigations of former Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR), for alleged bribery in the construction of Nigeria’s $10 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant on Bonny Island
    http://dearkitty.blogsome.com/2008/05/26/dick-cheney-halliburton-corruption-scandal-in-nigeria/

    a United States businessman had handed him envelopes stuffed with thousands of dollars in cash.
    http://news.scotsman.com/politics/Quit-over-corruption-scandal-coalition.4130044.jp

    I don’t think that you’re really concerned about human rights, your only purpose on this blog is to express your hatred of Greeks.

    You have never said ONE good word about the people whose country you live in – you HATE the country, you HATE the culture, and HATE the people. You even HATE the people who say a good thing or two about southern European people. You seem to be full of HATE. You claim to have Greek friends but you probably haven’t told them that they have a “peasant mentality” yet.

    Go on, tell us three things you actually like about Greeks and their culture. It will do you good and help us to believe that you are indeed a human being. No-one can be so dismissive and hateful towards a group of people without being totally heartless. Only racists and neo-nazi automatons have your level of programmed hatred and general negativity towards a group of people. Show us that you at least have something good to say about Greeks and their culture. There must be a few things that you like about the country for heaven’s sake.

    Insofar as demonstrations against corruption are concerned, I have never understood any to have taken place. Maybe this is my own lack of knowledge

    For someone who claims to know about Greece, you seem to be lacking in alot of knowledge about Greece:

    it would appear corruption, economic stagnation and failed (or missing) educational reforms are part of the reason.
    http://www.limbicnutrition.com/blog/greek-riots-are-carried-out-by-smart-mobs/

    Greeks were rioting against the governments that ruled them over the last two decades. Greeks were rioting against a corrupt police force that was seen to lack respect for basic human rights and civil liberties. Greeks were rioting against an economy which created more inequalities and poverty than wealth and comfort as was promised.
    http://www.greeknewsonline.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=9572&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis pledged on Tuesday to fight corruption after 11 days of violence
    http://www.javno.com/en-world/greek-pm-vows-to-fight-corruption-after-protests_215345

    Basically, the Greek system is corrupt from top to bottom,

    In other words, “the Nigerians are keen on fraud” :)

    Scowcroft, why don’t you find a nice Nigerian blog to post on and educate them about your “enlightened” values.

    You should post your stereotypes and generalisations on a “nice Nigerian blog”, see where that takes you :) :

    “Nigerians are keen on fraud”

    “Nigerians will continue begging for charity money whilst doing nothing to earn it. The amazing thing is that these people are actually proud of their inability to work, to think, or to get things to function properly”

    “Nigerian cultural values make Nigerians likely to be homophobic”

    You made similar offensive remarks about Greeks and I’d like to see the Nigerians’ reaction to your bigotry :)

    Shall i find a “nice Nigerian blog” so we can raise a few topics and see whose views fares better? Are you up for it?

  39. pj
    May 30, 2009    

    I agree it would be good to see a new alternative emerge, but from where? From the existing parties? Look at Pasok. I don’t doubt Papandreou’s intentions, but I wouldn’t give him a chance against his party’s vested interests. As for a new party, we have all seen them emerge amidst much fanfare, only to be resubsumed into the parties from whence they came…

  40. Xenos
    May 30, 2009    

    Konstantine and pj: I agree with all of that, but am not optimistic that the political elite of Greece is capable of producing or even accommodating modern alternative politics.

    ??????? ?????, ???????. ???? ??? ??.

  41. Michael Scowcroft
    May 30, 2009    

    ??????? ?????, ???????. ???? ??? ??.

    ^Is that one of the things you like about Greeks? – say it in English please.

    Tell us three things you actually like about Greeks and their culture. Make us believe you’re human and not totally heartless.

  42. Michael Scowcroft
    May 30, 2009    

    Xen, i’ve found a Nigerian blog, they’re dying to meet you. :)

    “Nigerians are keen on fraud”

    “Nigerians will continue begging for charity money whilst doing nothing to earn it. The amazing thing is that these people are actually proud of their inability to work, to think, or to get things to function properly”

    “Nigerian cultural values make Nigerians likely to be homophobic”

  43. pj
    June 1, 2009    

    @KT

    I wonder where the reformers are going to come from, though. Party insiders have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, the parties themselves are resistant to meaningful change and student politics seems anything but radical.

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