Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Greece: the Political Fall Out Begins

Well, that didn't take long! While the fires are threatening the villages of 'Lush Land' (Πλουτοχωρι, Peloponnese) and Marathon (approx. 50 km from Athens) the opposition leader, Georgos Papandreou of the Socialist PASOK party on Monday night issued a second official party political declaration in relation to the crisis.

It would appear that 'some government ministers' on Sunday night more or less implied to the foreign press, that some opposition radicals might be engaged in 'asymmetrical threats' (cui bono?). Papandreou is demanding proof for such foul, unspoken allegations.

Other opposition spokespersons point out that the government till this moment hasn't apologised for the situation, thereby implying government culpability. Oddly enough, after the people who were directly affected by the disaster, the government is about the last party to profit from the situation.

The opposition leader meanwhile has ratcheted up the imaginative hyperbole, milking the situation for all it is worth: "fear, insecurity, division and fanaticism (surely projection!), triggering chaos", all at once. Another representative of the opposition just now - in very high tones - reiterated the above, accusing the government of creating a 9/11 atmosphere. This is starting to sound like panic.

Police have arrested 32 arson suspects, and upto now have not disclosed any details as investigations continue into the origins of the blazes.

According to the Biased BBC (World) "approximately 2,000 people - by no means only representatives of leftist parties, but also families and the elderly" - attended a rally in the centre of Athens." "Some of the demonstrators said they believed the fires were deliberately started by property developers in order to clear the land for development."

"However, the president of the Hellenic Property Federation, Stratos Paradias, told the BBC ... if there is a company which wants to get its hands on some piece of land, to burn this land is the worst way to do it. "Once a forest is burnt, according to our constitution, within three months the Forestry Service is obliged to pass a decree according to which this land is reforested."

I already expressed my suspicions this is a classic urban legend. Perhaps the President of the Hellenic Property Federation should demand an apology from Franco Frattini, one of the Vice Presidents of the EU Commission who yesterday in his blog expressed 'construction mob' involvement, dubbing such alleged criminal acts "territorial terrorism". This, I reckon was primarily meant to expose the word 'terrorism' to frequent, inappropriate use, rendering it meaningless at some time in the near future.

The other usual suspects in the EU are exploiting the crisis to call for more integrated emergency cooperation, in other words: continued deepening of federal structures. Strangely, among the first countries to send fire-fighters and airplanes were Israel and Switzerland; both countries aren't EU members.

The press from hell continues: "'The village of Artimeta in the Peloponnese has become known as the 'crematorium', says the BBC's Malcolm Brabant who is in the village near the town of Olympia." I have serious doubts about this piece of atheist cynicism! Considering the fact that Greece is 96% Orthodox, a Christian denomination prescribing interment, I 'd be surpised if most Greeks even know what a crematorium is, as the first is still to be build; it's highly unlikely that local Greeks would describe a much loved village in such terms!

Update: VP Frattini of the EU Commission can rest assured: the political discussion has been suitably reframed. Either politicians talk of the construction mob's involvement in terms of 'terrorism', unless they belong to an opposition party, in which case the government is accused of governing by fear (just waiting for the word 'divisive' to be brought up).


Sir James Robison said...

Phew! This one really takes some understanding.

Cassandra said...

Please let me know if I can clarify any matter, now that it's still reasonably intelligeble. Have I been unclear, or it the story. If the latter, wait one week and nobody will be able to make any heads or tails of anything!

teacher dude said...

Just to clarify. The BBC was using comments made in the Greek press, both print and electronic;

ΜΑΚΕΔΟΝΙΑ: Μετά το κρεματόριο της Πελοποννήσου καίνε ξανά την Αθήνα.

I have also heard the phrase used several times by various Greek TV channels.

Also the BBC said that 8000 people turned to protest in Athens;


Cassandra said...

Can only say I missed it, and I find the expression tasteless in the extreme.
While the loss to the environment is terrible, this will in time recover. This cannot be said of the secondary thought in some quarters, the loss of human life.
This particular demo was on the 26th. You are describing last night's demos.
I know better than the engage the Left in subjectivism. Frankly, I am beyond caring what the BBC spouts.
Thanks for the comment.

Athena-Liana Smith said...

I'm afraid what Paradias said was inaccurate. Having lived for 15 years in Nea Pendeli, I can assure you that building activities literally exploded after the two catastrophic fires. On the very spots where the forest was standing before.
As we all know, in Greece we do not have a problem with the legislation, as there is plenty of it going around.
We have a problem with its appplication. And the hundreds of "exceptions."