Live your democratic myth in Greece

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Live your democratic myth in Greece

Postby md0 » 2013-09-13, 21:18

In the past I have mentioned that the current Greek government uses emergency law/executive orders (reserved for wartime and massive natural disasters) to avoid the parliament to pass mundane laws (like reforming the state broadcaster).

Tonight, they decided to actually go to the parliament, in a committee session, but simply pass the laws they wanted to pass without letting the MPs vote, and more importantly, without having the required number of MPs present! There should be a minimum number of MPs present to even hold a session! And MPs should fuckin vote before anything is passed into law. He's just one ruling party MP present and calls himself a majority, against three other present MPs who shout "No" but being ignored.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWdut0XaUj8

No Parliamentary Majority?
No problem!
The Greek Constitution is just a suggestion.

No, seriously. The ruling New Democracy just passed some 100 laws in a couple of minutes without letting anyone actually vote! They just keep saying "Article # is passed with a majority" without letting anyone vote, nor hearing to the objections (the female voice calling him out for being flat out illegal and violating the procedures, and later just shouting "no it is not").


-----
Let's be completely honest here. Greece is no longer a democracy and this government is not legitimate. The source of legitimacy for a government in the Greek constitution is The People. When the representatives of The People are not allowed to vote, the government is an illegitimate regime.
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Re: Live your democratic myth in Greece

Postby Lur » 2013-09-14, 2:48

I was watching the video and it's actually kind of scary.
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Re: Live your democratic myth in Greece

Postby Marah » 2013-09-14, 7:24

I'm so happy not to be Greek.
Par exemple, l'enfant croit au Père Noël. L'adulte non. L'adulte ne croit pas au Père Noël. Il vote.

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Re: Live your democratic myth in Greece

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-09-14, 9:44

I'm speechless and nauseated. Amongst the other things, what strikes me is that (I suppose) he knew he was being recorded, but nonetheless this didn't stop him from brazenly doing such an unconstitutional thing. They're not even trying anymore to pretend to be democratic, it seems to me that the message he wanted to get across is: hey Greeks, you'd better drum into your heads that you no longer live in a democracy.

I'd be curious to know whether this news went by unnoticed in Greek mainstream media, and if there has been any reaction from the public opinion and the political world.


Anyways, Greece might be the most blatant case, but personally I think there is a crisis of democracy in most of the democratic countries around the world...

---

I'd like to know what he says at 0:28 around, when the woman tells him (I think) that there are just 3 people (?)...(I hear thris anthropes )... does he just ignore her or does he reply to her objection?

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Re: Live your democratic myth in Greece

Postby md0 » 2013-09-14, 11:47

By the way, the mere facts, without my rage: That was a committee session, a preliminary vote on a new laws to see if it should go to the Floor for a final voting. For a parliamentary committee to hold a session needs a 40% of the members of the committee to be present. That's thirteen MPs. There are only 3 present. The session wouldn't even be allowed to begin, let alone being considered valid.
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Lur wrote:I was watching the video and it's actually kind of scary.

Two first times I watched I actually felt my neurons heading towards an aneurysm.
I can't explain how unacceptable this is. The laws, they might be good laws, but if you do the preliminary vote by giving the middle finger to the parliamentary procedures, screw them. I'd rather not have that law, but keep the Rule of Law and the representative nature of the republic.
I'm so happy not to be Greek.

You and me both. But some of my close acquaintances are Greek expats in Cyprus and they are terrified by what's going on back in Greece.

I'm speechless and nauseated. Amongst the other things, what strikes me is that (I suppose) he knew he was being recorded, but nonetheless this didn't stop him from brazenly doing such an unconstitutional thing. They're not even trying anymore to pretend to be democratic, it seems to me that the message he wanted to get across is: hey Greeks, you'd better drum into your heads that you no longer live in a democracy.

They've been doing it for a year now. First, it was even more blatant. They used executive orders to pass very mundane laws. The constitution says that executive orders is a legal tool to allow the executive branch to legislate (instead of the Parliament) in cases of widespread natural disaster or of a military invasion. What they did for some ~20 times? Declared "The need to reform organisation XYZ is a widespread natural disaster and we must act now".
They also routinely say "Elections would destroy the country", because "the country will appear unstable to the foreign observers", and they use terror tactics like saying "if the opposition does not STFU and merge with our party in the next elections we will have no option but to cooperate with a more serious Golden Dawn, and that would be horrible". The ruling party is friendly with GD, but side with them in an election? They are only saying so to terrify the opposition voters.

On the elections as well, the New Democracy gave themselves a bonus a couple of years back, and it really benefited them in the last elections. Namely, a law that says that the party which leads in the elections, even by a single vote, gets 50 MP seats bonus (but not if the first party is a coalition instead of a unitary party... there's only one coalition party in Greece, Syriza. We saw what you did there, government). Now, they barely have a majority in the parliament (3MPs more than the opposition) and if it wasn't for the bonus seats, they wouldn't be the government.

I'd be curious to know whether this news went by unnoticed in Greek mainstream media, and if there has been any reaction from the public opinion and the political world.

It was largely ignored by traditional media, but extensively covered by crowd-funded online media.
Save for 3 news papers (two belonging to the opposition parties, and one being run by the former staff of a mainstream newspaper), all other traditional news outlets routinely present a false image of Greece. They are all in huge debts to the banks, and many of them would normally not being able to borrow even more money to continue to operate, but they have proven themselves useful tools for the government. The government passes regulations to protect mainstream media and in turn, they skew their coverage in favour of the government. This government even closed down ERT, Greece's national broadcaster, which might not have been exemplary, but at least it was bound by rules of proportional representation. Now they have replaced the ERT Network with a single TV channel (no radios, no internet site) which would blatantly stop a live broadcast when an opposition party leader would try to speak (that happened two days ago when the opening ceremony of Thessaloniki Expo was broadcast live... until a Communist Party leader was invited to give his speech).

I'd like to know what he says at 0:28 around, when the woman tells him (I think) that there are just 3 people (?)...(I hear thris anthropes )... does he just ignore her or does he reply to her objection?


No, he completely ignores her for the whole ten minutes and says the phrases mandated by the protocol:
She (Constantopoulou, SYRIZA MP) says "But with only 3 people (tris anthrópus)?"
And he (Virvidakis, New Democracy MP, president of the committee) just goes on saying "We have currently heard the opinions of the MPs, we proceed with the voting"
She says again "But with only 3 MPs? (tris vouleftés)", and she is ignored again.
He says "We will follow the typical procedure, we will vote on the articles individually. Article #1 is approved? ...It is approved by the majority"

And while he just the same thing with increasing speed the poor woman keeps shouting "There are not enough MPs present to hold a session", and "No, we are voting for this", "You are committing fraud Mr President!", "Mr Minister will you not stop him?", "You are not giving us time to vote?", "None said yes! Tell us who said yes!", "Mr President, you really want to sent this vote to the Floor in that way?" and in the end, she simply shouts "No, it is not [approved by a majority]".
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Re: Live your democratic myth in Greece

Postby md0 » 2013-09-18, 16:25

Yesterday was a tipping point. An official Golden Dawn operation killed a Greek 'undesirable'. Officially, because the murderer (Yorgos Roupakias) admitted it. But GD has many Greek and non-Greek victims already, just not investigated.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24141246

The points all reports agree upon are the following (I will not include any point that was only reported by a single source):

* Victim Pavlos Fyssas (34) was a construction worker that doubled as an antifa rapper on Youtube (as "Killah P"). He was not affiliated with any political party.
* Killer Yorgos Roupakias was employed (with salary and all) by Golden Dawn for their "Cleansing operations" (beating up immigrants). His wife was also employed by Golden Dawn, in administrative tasks. Party IDs and weapons found in their home.
* Fyssas, his girfriend and their friends were watching a football match at a café last night. A member of their party said something negative about GD at some point, and some other person at the café heard it and reported it to GD over the phone.
* Plenty of time passed were nothing happened.
* After the match ended, Fyssas and his party left the café. They were ambushed outside by GD vigilante driving opposite the flow of the road AND police force stationed nearby. Fyssas stepped in the front to protect his friends when he was approached by Roupakias, who stabbed him by performing a manoeuvre that is considered trademark of trained killers (a Γ shape, upwards through the chest and then a sharp turn of the knife to the left, towards the heart)
* The police refused to act, citing that "they are too many GD people here (10 to 15), if we intervene we will cause it to escalate". One of the police officers defied her orders not to intervene and arrested Roupakias on her own.
* Today, police forces guard GD offices around Greece and riot police attacked antifa protests with chemicals pre-emptively (before they even began marching)

How does this tie with the original topic? The way the ruling party ND reacted. They said "Golden Dawn is a horrible group... and so is Zoe Constantopoulou in the parliament. We need to stop them".
Constantopoulou is of course the protesting MP in the video. Apparently, organised terrorists are as bad as centre-left MPs protesting unparliamentary procedures.

I leave it up to you. Which is worse... GD doing what they already promised they will do, this is, "cleanse Greece", or ND that tries to equate organised killers with MPs who do not agree with their government* and who provide protection to GD and try to whitewash them because they might need them in the future.

* And you might say that SYRIZA is naive and won't be able to provide what they promise if they win some future elections. I certainly don't agree with them. But they are not killers. They are NOT as bad as GD. Neither moderate left SYRIZA, nor conservative-communist KKE, or even the small but radical ANTARSYA is as bad as Golden Dawn.
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Re: Live your democratic myth in Greece

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-09-18, 17:24

I'm having a déjà-vu...

A European country forced to accept very very harsh economic measures imposed by other European countries... A group of people from that country on the rise blaming an external enemy for their situation... That group of people being democratically elected and gaining more and more popularity... and now starting to launch cleansing operations...

Sometimes I wonder whether we should flee Europe before it's too late...

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Re: Live your democratic myth in Greece

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2013-09-18, 17:45

I don't think history will repeat itself. What is happening in Greece really is worrying, but let's not overreact.

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Re: Live your democratic myth in Greece

Postby md0 » 2013-09-18, 17:57

The Greek regime will not put up a Reich, that's for sure (for many reasons, but also because the Greek Defence Equipment Industry was dissolved as per IMF obligations) .
But they have already crippled democratic procedures and keep Golden Dawn near them because they are useful ("If SYRIZA does not stop opposing us (ND), then they will be forcing us to work with GD, and that would be terrible").
That situation is bound to implode.
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Re: Live your democratic myth in Greece

Postby md0 » 2013-09-18, 18:04

It's been reported that anti-fascist protesters are not only attacked by the Police, but also from civilians from behind the police lines who throw rocks towards the anti-fascists.
That's been happening for years. GD and their allies attack people while the Police covers for them. (They are right behind them and are actually hostile, why don't they arrest them?)
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Re: Live your democratic myth in Greece

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-09-18, 19:03

Probably you're right, Greece doesn't have the means to become a Reich, but... wasn't Germany's industry on its knees too before WW2? (I might mis-remember this part...)

Moreover, don't you think Greece might find some anti-western regime propping her up economically?

Ok I'd better end here my deliria :D

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Re: Live your democratic myth in Greece

Postby md0 » 2013-09-18, 19:26

That's too far fetched. But Greece has a real problem right now, we don't have to speculate about what will happen, when there's already something happening. The Greek society is imploding right now. The 'social contract' has been broken, the government does not follow the constitution and bases its legitimacy on threats and abuse of the executive order tool, rather than popular support. In the parliament, which they routinely avoid unless they are passing non-controversial legislation, they have only 3 seats over 50%. It's an extremely thin majority (153 out of 300). What's more, recent poll place popular support at 20% (among the youth voting block they come third, behind Golden Dawn, but with SYRIZA having the lead). They know that if they go to parliament and fail to pass their legislation (MPs of the ruling coalition might defect, especially those from poorer constituencies), then their government will collapse and the opposition will win the next elections. Hence the use of GD as a threat, and why they don't really investigate their crimes.
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Re: Live your democratic myth in Greece

Postby Psi-Lord » 2013-09-18, 20:20

Someone on Facebook today said Brazil is not a democratic, but a kleptocratic country. It seems the same may be said of Greece. :shock:
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Re: Live your democratic myth in Greece

Postby md0 » 2013-09-18, 21:08

So this on twitter, it's about Spain, but fits perfectly in Greece's case.

Image
You replace Franquismo with The 21st of April Regime, and Transición with Metapolitefsi. But the police and the army were never reformed. Droplets of the junta remained there (general amnesty and whatnot), and now they have come to be the majority of police officers and army officials.
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Re: Live your democratic myth in Greece

Postby Babelfish » 2013-09-20, 16:06

Sounds downright scary... Makes me wonder if they'd even respect the normal elections date, or postpone them due to some concocted "emergency". And then the only option of government change that comes to mind is a military coup - which I didn't even remember having happened in Greece already, until meidei's post reminded me. Doesn't sound good either, not at all!
... Well, maybe I'm being too pessimistic here. Massive popular demonstrations may press the government to change its ways. I'm of course looking at our neighbouring countries, where such demonstrations have actually managed to overthrow dictatorial regimes with no democratic roots at all.
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Re: Live your democratic myth in Greece

Postby md0 » 2013-09-21, 18:42

It is unlikely that this government will stay in power for 4 more years, when the next schedules elections are. But at many points the current government did collapse (whole coalition partner parties withdrawn), and no elections were called (verbatim quote: "Elections would be a disaster for the country" and various bans on public assembly (strikes or protests)). They desperately hold on their 3-seat parliamentary majority instead of compromising and going to elections with a broader, more stable coalition. I do believe that the essence of democracy is compromise, and the current Greek regime hates compromise, so...

There will not be a coup, and noone should wish for a coup. This government is bound to collapse from a technicality. One day they will think that a mundane law they are trying to pass has broad support and they will go to the parliament instead of using executive orders. But there, they will actually fail to pass the law, even by 151 to 149. Then a no-confidence vote will be held and the government will have collapsed by accident. And it's sad that it will come to that, instead of through democratic discussion and compromise. An accidental collapse could be way more dangerous than elections.

But now, with GD being "cleansed" from the "criminal core", ND will have a new "conservative" ally, lending this government maybe a year of extra life.
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Re: Live your democratic myth in Greece

Postby Levo » 2013-09-23, 7:45

meidei wrote:So this on twitter, it's about Spain, but fits perfectly in Greece's case.

Image
You replace Franquismo with The 21st of April Regime, and Transición with Metapolitefsi.

It was pretty much the same in Eastern Europe in the 1990's.

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Re: Live your democratic myth in Greece

Postby md0 » 2013-10-02, 0:56

ANT1's news report says Golden Dawn Cyprus (ELAM)'s para-military training photos show National Guard's anti-missile weapons in the hand of neo-nazis.

No shit Sherlock. That army officer who routinely steals military equipment and gives it to ELAM was arrested 10 times on terrorism charges and what let to walk free and keep his job. The attack on University of Nicosia? The guy who was arrested outside the presidential palace with a knife and a paralyzing agent? He's that officer in the armoured division. I know him. I served under him. He is a neonazi.

And then you have the Minister of Justice saying "there are no neofascists in Cyprus" and the Archbishop saying "AKEL is trying to smear those kids (=Golden Dawn)"
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Re: Live your democratic myth in Greece

Postby Levo » 2013-10-09, 19:05

meidei wrote:In the past I have mentioned that the current Greek government uses emergency law/executive orders (reserved for wartime and massive natural disasters) to avoid the parliament to pass mundane laws (like reforming the state broadcaster).

Tonight, they decided to actually go to the parliament, in a committee session, but simply pass the laws they wanted to pass without letting the MPs vote, and more importantly, without having the required number of MPs present! There should be a minimum number of MPs present to even hold a session! And MPs should fuckin vote before anything is passed into law. He's just one ruling party MP present and calls himself a majority, against three other present MPs who shout "No" but being ignored.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWdut0XaUj8

No Parliamentary Majority?
No problem!
The Greek Constitution is just a suggestion.

No, seriously. The ruling New Democracy just passed some 100 laws in a couple of minutes without letting anyone actually vote! They just keep saying "Article # is passed with a majority" without letting anyone vote, nor hearing to the objections (the female voice calling him out for being flat out illegal and violating the procedures, and later just shouting "no it is not").


-----
Let's be completely honest here. Greece is no longer a democracy and this government is not legitimate. The source of legitimacy for a government in the Greek constitution is The People. When the representatives of The People are not allowed to vote, the government is an illegitimate regime.

Uhh...
Is this government the one that needs to serve EU needs? Are the laws are connected with the cuts and the recommended changes by EU-politicians?

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Re: Live your democratic myth in Greece

Postby md0 » 2013-10-09, 20:22

That law was a requirement for IMF's next loan package, yes.

Since that, we had two new un-democratic developments:

The government began spying on the residents of Skouries, northern Greece. Their phones are all tapped and scanned for "terrorist codewords". Because the residents are against a dangerous mining project in their area, that the government absolutely wants to go on. They treat them as a "criminal organisation harming national interests".
Last week the residents organised a huge concert that gathered 35 000 spectators. "A concert for a mining project that will never happen", they called it.
The concert was web-casted (by ERT3, ex-public broadcaster of northern Greece, now a "pirate station"). But private media said it only gathered 2000 people. They manipulate the truth at the government's liking.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBQiOnLqYq0

And on ERT it self. They abolished the public broadcaster 4 months ago, using an executive order (a provision that exists for times of war or natural disaster and allows the Prime Minister to pass any law they want without the parliament voting on it).
The executive order expires 4 months and ten days after it is issued. Then the Parliament needs to ratify it, or it is annulled. And the regime, knowing that the Parliament will not ratify it, they will simply not bring it forth for voting in the Parliament... And now, that doesn't mean ERT will come back. They are going to ignore the constitution, again.



-----------
this just in.
Highschool students are convicted and jailed for occupying their classroom in a protest.
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