Archive for juni, 2012

I feel I have to do some research on many of these and get back with info on the persons and thoughts on the government. From what I see some are recycled ministers from earlier governments. Only one woman also seemspretty backward. Third, the fact that PASOK and DIMAR do not participate with ministers weakens this administration the most. The signal is they want to be able to dodge accountability if everything goes belly up. They also avoid compromising their own high profile figures + can more easily throw down the government and force new elections if that should suit them

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras (ND)

Administrative Reform and E-Governance Minister Antonis Manitakis (technocrat, prof of constitutional law)

Deputy Manousos Voloudakis (ND)

Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Dendias (ND)
Defence Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos (ND)

Alternative Panagiotis Karampelas

Deputy Dimitris Elefsiniotis

Development and Infrastructure Minister Kostis Hatzidakis (ND)

Alternate Stavros Kaloyiannis (ND)

Deputy Thanasis Skordas (ND)

Deputy Notis Mitarakis (ND)

Education and Culture Minister Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos (ND)

Deputy Kostas Tzavaras (ND)

Deputy Yiannis Ioannidis 

Deputy Theodoros Papatheodorou (technocrat, uni rector)

Environment, Energy & Climate Change Minister Evangelos Livieratos (technocrat, prof of geodesy and cartography)

Alternate Stavros Kalafatis (technocrat, prof)

Deputy Asimakis Papageorgiou 

Employment and Social Security Minister Yiannis Vroutsis (ND)

Deputy Nikos Nikolopoulos (ND)

Finance Minister Vasilis Rapanos (technocrat, banker)

Alternate Christos Staikouras (ND)

Deputy George Mavraganis

Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos (ND)

Deputy Dimitris Kourkoulas (technocrat, European Commission official)

Health and Social Solidarity Minister Andreas Lykourentzos (ND)

Alternate Marios Salmas (ND)

Deputy Fotini Skopouli 

Interior Minister Evripidis Stylianidis (ND)

Deputy Haralambos Athanassiou (ND)

Justice, Transparency and Human Rights Minister Antonis Roupakiotis (technocrat, lawyer)

Deputy Konstantinos Karagkounis (ND)

Macedonia-Thrace Minister Theodoros Karaoglou (ND)

Rural Development and Food Minister Athanasios Tsaftaris (technocrat, prof of genetics and plant breeding)

Deputy Maximos Harakopoulos (ND)

Shipping and Island Policy Minister Kostis Moussouroulis (ND) 

Deputy George A Vernicos (technocrat, entrepreneur and social activist)

Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni (ND)

State Minister Dimitris Stamatis (ND)

Government spokesperson Simos Kedikoglou (ND)

Parliamentary speaker Vangelis Meimarakis (ND)


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When I was about nine years old I remember my mother showing me the walls of the house where she grew up. This was in Edessa, a small northern Greek town close to the then Yugoslav border, mostly unknown but for its waterfall and cherry trees.

The walls weren’t particularly tall, thick or finely decorated, quite the opposite actually. What she showed me that day were bullet holes around to the door and windows that the tooth of time hadn´t been able to eradicate.  The house had been fired upon by both German Nazi troops and communist guerrillas.

In light of the last elections where a neo Nazi party got 7% of the vote and for the first time gained entrance to parliament I just feel the need to voice my own outrage.

Yeah well so I just disregard the soviet nostalgic communists who have been in parliament for decades?

No, I don´t like their system, opinions or what communism has lead to, and I don´t want them anywhere near power but at least in Greece I´ll have to call them the lesser evil in comparison.

Myself I was born in Thessaloniki, a city that had had an important Jewish minority since before Christian times. First they were decimated in the fires of 1916, but after the Nazis had done their work they had killed more than 90% of them.

We got divided in the civil war, but before that we had all fought together against the common foe, the Nazi foe.

Now Golden Dawn wants to crack down on immigrants, Jews, homosexuals and there is ample footage on youtube of just how violently they are willing to act. All the while calling for their oh so precious strong leader.

As a democrat I am appalled by their use of violence as a political means.

As an antiracist I am appalled by their disregard for human rights.

As a Greek in diaspora I was brought up with a set of values that were said to be the core of our ways, namely filoxenia (hospitality), filotimo (honorable ways) and eleutheria (freedom)

If these values still hold as core values, then Golden Dawn are not just abominable for being Nazis, they’re downright traitors to the nation they claim to love so much.

I´ll admit to some nationalist sentiments myself such as getting emotional when hearing songs about Thessaloniki by Mitropanos, or  fiercely pointing out that I am as much Greek as I am Swedish even though I´ve lived all my life in Sweden.

But this is another thing Golden Dawn misses out on. Greeks have been a diaspora for thousands of years. We have always been all over the place and in modern times we as well as the Greek state depended on us being well received in places like Australia, Canada, the USA, Germany and Sweden because of the vast amounts of money we sent back or brought back. Sometimes we were labor migrants, at other times students or traders and at others still we were the refugees.

Some of us helped build and rebuild Germany and Scandinavia and others came to seek asylum during the dictatorship.

Do we not all of us have a moral debt vis à vis those who come to Greece seeking safety today then? To receive them just like we were received by others and in line with our own heritage of hospitality?

Some would say that we can´t afford the immigrants, we can´t even feed ourselves. On one hand the EU has to spread responsibilities for the reception of immigrants and change current policies. With people starving, an abundance of corruption and notoriously populist mismanaging politicians we admittedly need help.

But if we give up on our core values like filoxenia, filotimo ki eleutheria, then what’s left of us to save?

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Just saw a clip from Greek TV-channel ANT1 where the representative from Nazi party Golden Dawn throws a glass of water at his counterpart from SYRIZA and then swings at the woman from communist KKE.

Outrageous behavior by him some would say, but wait, outrageous? I would expect no more from him. He belongs to a violent party built on hate. I can understand him going to the show and also the woman from KKE. They have got no credibility to lose. I have less understanding for the representatives from New Democracy and SYRIZA who agreed to take part in a debate show with those other two. No way they could have thought that there was a possibility for serious discussions. But most appallin g of all in my mind is the decision from ANT1 to have a debate with this setup. Ehat did they hope for? Say a serious discussion and I name you a liar. Sensationalist unjournalism is what I call it, when the public could well use pretty much anything but that.


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In today’s Swedish edition of Metro, economist Johan Norberg takes a look at the Computer engineer Diomedis Spinelli’s work to set the Greek taxation system aright. That there is a widespread clientelism system throughout the country is nothing new. It´s been ongoing since at least roman times.

Spinellis started off on a positive note, having seen that there were several easily made alterations that would improve the system. But then what happened?

According to Norberg, Spinellis was instrumental in computerizing a paperwork system so that it would be a little bit harder to cheat and easier to supervise. But, he goes on, even when the local taxation bureaus finally knew who should pay what amount, the tax money still didn’t get collected.

The tax collector’s union sued him because he made them look bad (!).

 Not enough political support was given to enforce the corrections proposed.

Basically we like to single out politicians as liars and cheats, but the rot has spread and so many parts of the society have festered it is hard to go anywhere and expect to be treated correctly.

Too many people have earned too little for too long and rely on the bribes to get by. They have no reason to believe things will get better if they stop. They´re damned if they don´t cause then they might actually starve and they´re damned if they do cause everyone can see the system collapsing now, right?

And in the end there are the millions of people who do not get a piece of the action, the employees who see their conditions worsen and who haven´t been part of the decay but bear the brunt of the burden, what about them?

So, would everything be hunky dory if Spinellis modernization of our taxsystem was enforced? Hell no!

This is not THE steppingstone towards economic salvation, but it is one of many important babysteps towards recomposing the state and nation.

One of those babysteps is also being helped by Swedish fiscal authorities and other EU counterparts. Amongst other things they work on decreasing the number of local tax offices which have been too many, too independent and too corrupt.

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