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"Macedonia will always be Greek" – Mikis Theodorakis' epic speech

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I am not ashamed, unlike the genocidal leaders who rule us, to remain loyal to the holy values of our forefathers who taught us love and sacrifice for our country. A country which respects and loves all the countries on earth. Yes I am a patriot and an internationalist, and at the same time I reject and fight fascism in all its forms and in particular in its most deceitful and dangerous form, fascism with a “leftist” orientation.

My dear Greeks… brothers… fascists, Nazis, terrorists, anarchists, thugs. You have learned of course that the patriots that govern us alongside their sidekicks, the leftists were collecting signatures and yesterday threw paint on my house, soo as to not allow me to speak here to the dominant peoples. So as to not speak to you with straight words, patriotic ones, fiery ones as I learnt all my life and as you taught me dominant Greek nation. To speak and act in all my life with every sacrifice and thankfulness for this. This morning I received a poetic collection from Thessaloniki and one section asserts that spirit, the brain develops with Thales, Thucydides, Protagoras, the tragic artists, the daring of Themistocles and Kolokotronis.
I dedicate my speech to Theodoros Kolokotronis
Friends and followers, I register my speech to the Greek who liberated us from the Ottoman dynasty and who died like today, the 4th of February 1843, Theodoros Kolokotronis.
I am not ashamed, unlike the genocidal leaders who rule us, to remain loyal to the holy values of our forefathers who taught us love and sacrifice for our country. A country which respects and loves all the countries on earth. Yes I am a patriot and an internationalist, and at the same time I reject and fight fascism in all its forms and in particular in its most deceitful and dangerous form, fascism with a “leftist” orientation. Such as the one with the small groups of extremists who are just pure, cowardly terrorists.
We are governed and were governed by minority governments
Such as those who govern us today and who are destroying the country, hidden behind the electoral alchemies of politicians, who are the byproducts of a system that is biting us and hurting us as it is dying. It knows is and that is why it is even more dangerous.
In a difficult time for our country, where dark clouds are gathering around us, we are being called to confront, united as never before, these new threats.
The forgers of Skopje
Skopje using the name Macedonia and transforming historical events to a point of being ridiculous, are attempting in reality to extend their borders against us for the creation of the so-called “Aegean Macedonia.”
This aim functions for decades now as a basic national goal of the neighboring country, and a generation of Skopje’s citizens have been brought up with the idea that they are the direct descendants and relatives of Phillip, King of the Macedons, and Alexander the Great.
With a colossal propaganda they achieved to lead astray in this historical ridiculousness a number of countries, aided by the stance of Greece and those responsible who didn’t make a simple attempt in the eyes of foreigners to criticize this monstrous falsification of history.

We have reached the unfortunate position where it affects us as a peoples and where we are forced to apologize for our patriotism.

We must recognize that it is also our responsibility the fact that we allowed, for so many decades, Skopje’s citizens to accept the ideas I just referred to, so that it appears futile or even unjust to ask from them to change their name which has become one with themselves. We have reached the unfortunate position where it affects us as a peoples and where we are forced to apologize for our patriotism.
Our conscience does not allow us to agree
We cannot agree with this falsification of history, as we then become co-accomplices with the powers that openly aim against our territorial integrity.
What can we do? We must recognize our mistakes and our responsibilities towards the neighboring peoples.
The only solution in my opinion is for us to allow Skopje’s citizens to believe in their national myth and for us concurrently to remain loyal and irreconcilable to the Greekness of Macedonia. We must never agree that there exists another fake Macedonia. For if we do that, it’s as if we want to gouge out our own eyes with our own hands.
1992
The council of political leaders in 1992 decided upon a national policy where a name in which in no way the word Macedonia would exist with geographic or other distinctions, i.e. no “Upper” or “Lower” and worse yet “New Macedonia,” as it erases the historic Greek Macedonia and announces a successor with another peoples in the area.
If we retreat from this position, this will have disastrous results for the future of our country.
Next aim: the dissolution of Greece
If we retreat this time from our position for the name, it’s as if we are fully opening our borders to those who threaten us in such an open and vulgar way from their own constitution. We are obliged to be vigilant for the defense of our national inviolability, taking into account there are strong foreign forces which have the aim to further balkanise the Balkans.
The case of Yugoslavia is still fresh. The next victim will be our country.
Dark clouds threaten us and every day that passes they become more evident. If we give in to the open provocation of Skopje without them having resigned from the main aim of their national and political line to become members of NATO and the EU with our own vote so as to threaten us from an even stronger position we will then be worthy of our fate.
If we retreat, we open the doors wide open to impose once and for all a tragic historical lie with unknown consequences for our country.
The so-called Zaev concessions, taking us for fools
The famous “concessions” of Mr. Zaev [prime minister of FYROM] and others regarding the name is just drinking the Kool Aid, sly efforts which could only be directed towards a nation of servile idiots. For us it is a shame to still even discussing this, as the name of their airports and their highways is their own exclusive prerogative to be changed back again immediately after they achieve their aims. Truly does the Skopjian prime minister believe we are such idiots? Or so ready to lower our pants?
I apologize for using this phrase. But it is the only one which can become understandable by all the foreigners and our own lot who believe that because they have led us with all the economic measures to the last step of evil, that we have forgotten our history, identity, and our fundamental characteristics.

We will stand on our feet and not recognize them
It’s not the first time that everyone around us believes that the Greek has been transformed into a slave, but he is rising up again. We are always a peaceful nation who desired peaceful and friendly co-existence with our neighboring peoples. In parallel, we must also understand that across from us there exists a deep state which conspires with other international forces against the independence of our country.
For this reason we must not harbor any illusions and we must take all the necessary measures which will guarantee the defense of our country.
Here I must add that the situation of maintaining the status quo and peaceful coexistence should be considered our final concession in the face of hard reality. In essence, we have nothing to lose.
Without Greece’s approval, Skopje will never become Macedonia.The fact that there are countries that recognize Skopje with the name Macedonia, ignoring the fact that they are embarrassing themselves in the face of historical reality is of no concern to us, as it is only our decision and our decision alone that can historically legalize and irrevocably judge this issue.
It is only us Greeks who can give or not give the right to Skopje to build a future via the name Macedonia, an undisputed from any viewpoint, historical and cultural ownership of Hellenism. To explain it more simply they require Greece’s agreement so as to be thought of as real Macedonians and not fake ones, paper ones which they are today.
As we are refusing to gouge our eyes out in order to be loved by America, NATO and the EU, we can continue living our lives as we did so many years. But that implies that we must refuse every other retreat. For however long the people of Skopje threaten us with their territorial propaganda claims, their unacceptable constitution, the alleged Macedonian symbols and their squares full of alleged depictions of Alexander the Great, we as a responsible nation who are the inheritors of a great history will continue the policy of peaceful coexistence, but we will do whatever is in our power to not give our consent for them to become members of the EU and NATO.
Only with a referendum can we legalize any signature
In this crucial moment, where we face the possibility to be led into a state of national tragedy, I believe that the responsibility for making a decision does not lie with any government. Not just a minority government such as today’s, but even a government that had popular backing. Not even Parliament itself.
What is the solution? A referendum?
For us the position of the Greek people on this specific issue is so clear, firm and self-explanatory, that no referendum is required. However, if a government ever considers placing a signature of our country to whatever name, either single or composite, which will include the word Macedonia, there is no doubt that it is obliged to consult with the Greek people. In this event, a referendum is necessary, as it is only Greek citizens have the right to make such a decision. We, as Greek citizens who do not seek to be passive observers at the time when our country is confronting such crucial problems which may impact us for many decades to come.
In this instance that the government dares to place a signature on such a decision, I urge all the MPs who have the right to call for a referendum for such a national issue, to table the relative discussion in Parliament and to fully support this demand.
Epilogue
Dear friends and patriots,
In all my life I fought for the unity of the Greek people. I believe fully that we should confront this great issue united, with one fist. And I do believe we are united. Irrespective of our disagreements, we are all patriots.

Today, Greeks united are issuing their response from Syntagma Square. Macedonia is one, and it is and will always remain Greek. Long live the Greek people!

When someone supports the rights of his country and people, this isn’t nationalism but patriotism. Greece today, more than ever before, is in need for patriots.
Today, Greeks united are issuing their response from Syntagma Square. Macedonia is one, and it is and will always remain Greek. Long live the Greek people!
Video of Mikis Theodorakis’ speech (in Greek):


Translation originally appeared in http://imfoccupationgreece.blogspot.gr/2018/02/macedonia-will-always-be-greek-m.html and http://imfoccupationgreece.blogspot.gr/2018/02/mikis-theodorakis-macedonia-will-always.html.

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‘Hell on Earth’: MSF doctor tells RT of rape, violence, inhumane conditions in Lesbos refugee camp

One toilet for over 70 people, rape, and mental health issues – a doctor from Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and an aid worker told RT about the dire conditions in the overcrowded Moria refugee camp in Greece.

Alex Christoforou

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Via RT


One toilet for over 70 people, rape, and mental health issues – a doctor from Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and an aid worker told RT about the dire conditions in the overcrowded Moria refugee camp in Greece.

The overcrowded camp on the island of Lesbos, built to accommodate 3,100, houses around 9,000 people. “It’s a kind of hell on Earth in Europe,” Dr. Alessandro Barberio, an MSF clinical psychiatrist, said, adding that people in the camp suffer from lack of water and medical care. “It is impossible to stay there,” he said.

According to Barberio, asylum seekers are subjected to violence “during night and day.””There is also sexual violence”which leads to “mental health issues,” he said, adding that all categories of people at the camp may be subjected to it. “There is rape against men, women and children,” and the victims of sexual violence in the camp often have nightmares and hallucinations, Barberio told RT.

Asylum seekers in Moria “are in constant fear of violence,” and these fears are not groundless, the psychiatrist said. “Such cases [of violence] take place every week.”

There is “one toilet for 72 people, one shower for 84 people. The sanitation is bad. People are suffering from bad conditions,” Michael Raeber, an aid worker at the camp, told RT. They suffer from mental health problems because they are kept for a long time in the camp, according to Raeber.

“There is no perspective, they don’t know how their case will go on, when they will ever be able to leave the island.” The camp is a “place where there is no rule of law,” with rampant violence and drug addiction among the inhabitants, Raeber said.

In its latest report, MSF, which has been working near Moria since late 2017, criticized the unprecedented health crisis in the camp – one of the biggest in Greece. About a third of the camp population consists of children, and many of them have harmed themselves, and have thought about or attempted suicide, according to the group.

Barberio was behind an MSF open letter on the state of emergency in Moria, released on Monday, in which he writes that he has never “witnessed such overwhelming numbers of people suffering from serious mental health conditions.”

Calling the camp an “island prison,” he insisted that many of his patients in the camp are unable to perform basic everyday functions, “such as sleeping, eating well, maintaining personal hygiene, and communicating.”

A number of human rights groups have strongly criticized the conditions at the camp and Greece’s “containment policy”regarding asylum seekers.

Christina Kalogirou, the regional governor of the North Aegean, which includes Lesbos, has repeatedly threatened to shut down the facility unless the government improves the conditions. On Tuesday, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said that Greece will move 2,000 asylum seekers out of the severely overcrowded camp and send them to the mainland by the end of September.

Greece, like other EU states, is experiencing the worst refugee crisis since WWII. According to International Organization for Migration estimates, 22,000 asylum seekers have arrived in Greece since the start of this year alone.

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Greece: “Humanitarian Aid” Organization’s People-Smuggling

Greek NGO evidently received 2,000 euros from each illegal immigrant it helped to enter Greece.

The Duran

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Authored by Maria Polizoidou of Gatestone Institute:


  • Emergency Response Centre International (ERCI) describes itself as a “Greek nonprofit organization that provides emergency response and humanitarian aid in times of crisis….” It has reportedly abetted the illegal entry into Greece of 70,000 immigrants since 2015, providing the “nonprofit” with half a billion euros per year.
  • ECRI evidently received 2,000 euros from each illegal immigrant it helped to enter Greece. In addition, its members created a business for “integrating refugees” into Greek society, granting it 5,000 euros per immigrant per year from various government programs (in education, housing and nutrition).
  • With the government of Greece seemingly at a loss as to how to handle its refugee crisis and safeguard the security of its citizens, it is particularly dismaying to discover that the major NGO whose mandate is to provide humanitarian aid to immigrants is instead profiting from smuggling them.

Migrants arrive at a beach on the Greek island of Kos after crossing part of the Aegean sea from Turkey in a rubber dinghy, on August 15, 2015. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

On August 28, thirty members of the Greek NGO Emergency Response Centre International (ERCI) were arrested for their involvement in a people-smuggling network that has been operating on the island of Lesbos since 2015. According to a statement released by Greek police, as a result of the investigation that led to the arrests, “The activities of an organised criminal network that systematically facilitated the illegal entry of foreigners were fully exposed.”

Among the activities uncovered were forgery, espionage and the illegal monitoring of both the Greek coastguard and the EU border agency, Frontex, for the purpose of gleaning confidential information about Turkish refugee flows. The investigation also led to the discovery of an additional six Greeks and 24 foreign nationals implicated in the case.

ERCI describes itself as:

“[A] Greek nonprofit organization that provides emergency response and humanitarian aid in times of crisis. ERCI’s philosophy is to identify the gaps of humanitarian aid and step in to assist in the most efficient and impactful manner. Currently ERCI has 4 active programs working with refugees in Greece in the areas of Search and Rescue, Medical, Education and Refugee Camp Coordination.”

In spite of its stated mission and non-profit profile, however, ECRI — according to Greek authorities, has earned considerable sums of money from its serving as a conduit for illegal activities. ECRI evidently received 2,000 euros from each illegal immigrant it helped to enter Greece. In addition, its members created a business for “integrating refugees” into Greek society, granting it 5,000 euros per immigrant per year from various government programs (in education, housing and nutrition). ERCI has reportedly abetted the illegal entry into Greece of 70,000 immigrants since 2015, providing the “non-profit” with half a billion euros per year.

This revelation, however, does not begin to cover the extent of the illegal activities surrounding the entry of migrants into Greece. In 2017, for instance, Greek authorities arrested 1,399 people-smugglers, some under the cover of “humanitarian” operations; and during the first four months of 2018, authorities arrested 25,594 illegal immigrants.

More worrisome than the literally steep price paid to people-smugglers by the immigrants themselves — or that doled out by the Greek government in the form of integration subsidies — is the toll the situation is taking on Greek society as a whole.

According to Greek police statistics, there were 75,707 robberies and burglaries reported in 2017. Of these cases only 15,048 were solved, and 4,207 were committed by aliens. In addition, the police estimate that more than 40% of serious crimes were committed by illegal immigrants. (Legal and illegal immigrants in Greece make up 10-15% of the total population.)

In 2016, Greek prisons reportedly contained 4,246 Greeks and 5,221 foreigners convicted of serious crimes: 336 for homicide; 101 for attempted homicide; 77 for rape; and 635 for robbery. In addition, thousands of cases are still pending trial.

In a recent heart-wrenching case on August 15, a 25-year-old college student from Athens — on a visit home from his studies at a university in Scotland — was murdered by three illegal immigrants while he was out touring the city with a female friend from Portugal.

The three perpetrators, two Pakistanis and an Iraqi ranging in age from 17 to 28, told police that they first attacked the young woman, stealing money, credit cards, a passport and a cell phone from her purse, but when they realized that her phone was “old,” they went for the young man’s phone, threatening him with a knife. When he tried to fend them off, they said in their confession, they shoved him and he fell off a cliff to his death. After the interrogation, it transpired that the three killers were wanted for 10 additional robberies in the area.

In an angry letter to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, members of parliament and the mayor of Athens, the mother of the victim accused Tsipras of “criminal negligence” and “complicity” in her son’s murder.

“Instead of welcoming and providing “land and water” to every criminal and dangerous individual with savage instincts,” she wrote, “should the state not think first of the safety of its own citizens, whose blood it drinks daily [economically]? [Should the state] abandon [its citizens] to ravenous gangs, for whom the worth of a human life has less meaning than the value of a cell phone or a gold chain?”

Although those were the words of a grieving mother, they are sentiments widely felt and expressed throughout Greece, where such incidents are increasingly common.

On August 29, two weeks after that murder, six immigrants in northern Greece verbally assaulted a 52-year-old man on the street, apparently for no reason. When he ignored them and kept walking, one of them stabbed him in the shoulder blade with a 24-cm (9.4-inch) knife, landing him in the hospital.

Two days earlier, on August 27, approximately 100 immigrants, protesting the living conditions in their camp in Malakasa, blocked the National Highway for more than three hours. Drivers stuck on the road said that some of the protestors went on a rampage, bashing cars with blocks of wood. To make matters worse, police on the scene said that they had not received instructions from the Ministry of Citizen Protection to clear the highway or protect the victims. Gatestone was told upon further queries, that there was no official statement from the police or the ministry, just the drivers’ statements.

With the government of Greece seemingly at a loss as to how to handle its migrant crisis and safeguard the security of its citizens, it is particularly dismaying to discover that the major NGO whose mandate is to provide humanitarian aid to immigrants is instead profiting from smuggling them. The recent arrest of ERCI members underscores the need to scrutinize all such organizations.

Maria Polizoidou, a reporter, broadcast journalist, and consultant on international and foreign affairs, is based in Greece. She has a post-graduate degree in “Geopolitics and Security Issues in the Islamic complex of Turkey and Middle East” from the University of Athens.

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Turkey’s Latest Power Grab: A Naval Base In Cyprus?

“If Greek-Turkish tensions escalate, the possibility of another ill-timed military provocation could escalate with them… Moreover, such a conflict might open up an even greater opportunity for Russian interference.” — Lawrence A. Franklin.

The Duran

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Authored by Debalina Ghoshal via The Gatestone Institute:


  • The possibility of a Turkish naval base on Cyprus does not bode well for the chances of a Cyprus reunification deal, particularly after the breakdown of the July 2017 peace talks, which were suspended when “Turkey had refused to relinquish its intervention rights on Cyprus or the presence of troops on the island.” Turkey has 30,000 soldiers stationed on Cyprus, the northern part of which it has illegally occupied since 1974.

Turkey’s Naval Forces Command has “submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stating that Turkey should establish a naval base in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” according to Turkey’s strongly pro-Erdogan daily, Yeni Safak, which recently endorsed the proposal for the base in an article entitled, “Why Turkey should establish a naval base in Northern Cyprus.”

“The base will enable the protection of Northern Cyprus’ sovereignty as well as facilitate and fortify Turkey’s rights and interests in the Eastern Mediterranean, preventing the occupation of sea energy fields, and strengthening Turkey’s hand in the Cyprus peace process talks.”

Having a naval base in northern Cyprus would also strengthen the self-proclaimed “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” which is recognized only by Turkey. Cyprus is strategically important: a naval base there would give Turkey easier access to the Eastern Mediterranean’s international trade routes and greater control over the vast undersea energy resources around Cyprus. In the past, Turkey has blocked foreign vessels from drilling for these resources; in June, Turkey began its own exploration of the island’s waters for gas and oil.

This is not the first time that Turkey has set its sights on the area’s resources. In 2014, Ankara dispatched surveillance vessels and warships to Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to search for hydrocarbons. This incident took place just before the leaders of Greece, Cyprus and Egypt deepened their an energy-cooperation, “freezing Turkey out.” As soon as the accord was signed, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades blasted “Turkey’s provocative actions,” saying that they “do not just compromise the peace talks [between Greek and Turkish Cypriots]… [but] also affect security in the eastern Mediterranean region.”

At the time, UN-brokered reunification negotiations, which had been renewed after a long hiatus, ended unsuccessfully yet again, as a result of Turkey’s search for hydrocarbons in the EEZ. According to a November 2014 report in the Guardian:

“Turkey’s decision to dispatch a research vessel into disputed waters last month not only resulted in talks being broken off but has exacerbated the row over drilling rights.”

The possibility of a Turkish naval base does not bode well for the chances of a Cyprus reunification deal, particularly after the breakdown of the July 2017 peace talks between Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades. The talks were suspended when “Turkey had refused to relinquish its intervention rights on Cyprus or the presence of troops on the island.” Turkey has 30,000 soldiers stationed on Cyprus, the northern part of which it has illegally occupied since 1974.

Another factor that may be contributing to the Turkish Navy’s desire for a base in Cyprus is Israel. Aside from Ankara’s extremely rocky relations with Jerusalem, Israel and Cyprus have been working to forge an agreement to join their electricity grids and construct a pipeline to link their gas fields to mainland Europe. Although they are in a dispute over development rights of one of these gas fields, Aphrodite, they are invested in reaching a solution that will not damage their increasingly friendly relations.

Erdogan’s considerations should concern NATO, of which Turkey, surprisingly, is still a member, and the rest of the West. As Lawrence A. Franklin recently wrote for Gatestone:

“If Greek-Turkish tensions escalate, the possibility of another ill-timed military provocation could escalate with them. The ability of NATO to respond to other conflicts in the area could be affected, as well as NATO air and naval assets based in both countries. Moreover, such a conflict might open up an even greater opportunity for Russian interference.”

Debalina Ghoshal, an independent consultant specializing in nuclear and missile issues, is based in India.

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