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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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Archons of Greek Orthodox Church issue toothless letter about abortion law

The good news is the Archons did say some good things in reaction to the New York abortion law. But there was no consequence.

Seraphim Hanisch

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In relation to our previously published piece about Governor Andrew Cuomo signing abortion into the New York State Constitution, we noted that at the time of the article’s writing, no entities within the Orthodox Church in any jurisdiction issued any kind of statement condemning this law. Of all fourteen universally acknowledged Local Churches, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox Church was particularly of note, since their Archons awarded a humanitarian award known as the Athenogoras Award to extremely liberal, pro-abortion politicians, Andrew Cuomo being one of these.

Well, the Archons did issue a statement yesterday:

The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Condemns New York’s New Abortion Law

The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, strongly condemns the State of New York’s new Reproductive Health Act that was passed on January 22, 2019. This new law allows abortions up to the moment of birth and gives people who are not doctors the right to perform abortions.

The Order also deplores the celebratory atmosphere surrounding the new law, as One World Trade Center was lit pink to commemorate the passage of the law, as if it represented a great advance for the rights of women. The rights of no human being are ever advanced at the expense of another. The State of New York will not truly have respect for the rights of women until it once again restores legal protections for every human being, from his or her first moment of existence until natural death.

Hailed as progress, New York’s Reproductive Health Act is not actually an advance, but a regression, a return to a time of barbarism when the weak were at the mercy of the strong and had no protection from legal structures or governing authorities.

The Order implores New York’s legislators to reconsider this dangerous new law and reinstitute protections for all human life, no matter how weak and vulnerable. Only when such protections exist can any society truly prosper.

Rev. Alexander Karloutsos
Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
Spiritual Advisor of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle

Is this enough?

It does not seem to be so. Governor Cuomo and his award, along with pro-abortion Roman Catholic Vice President Joe Biden, also received this award at the same time Governor Cuomo did.

What did not happen in this letter was that neither politician was named, nor were the four (out of five) Greek Orthodox politicians in the New York State Assembly that voted FOR this law.

Neither did the Archons move to rescind the Athenagoras Awards they gave to Mr. Cuomo and Mr. Biden. This move appears to be still far too politically calculated, and keeping with the tragic, curious and distressing behavior of the leadership within the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Monomachos.com is a popular blog site whose editor, George Michalopulos, is undoubtedly one of the giants among those Greek Orthodox who seriously uphold at the notion that the Church ought never compromise herself. Yet, he was very happy with the letter that is shown above because for him it represented a “180-degree turnabout” in terms of the history of the Archons’ behavior, which he noted elsewhere as smacking of “the feeling that their primary job is to raise money for Istanbul.”

He neglected to mention the lack of mention of the Awards, but perhaps understandably, his surprise at any sort of traditional statement by this group was leading to exuberance where perhaps it is not deserved.

The Greek Orthodox Church seems to have an overall alignment with very liberal figures, and it is unclear as to why. But this tendency of people that are considered good and faithful Greek Orthodox churchgoers to align with liberal politics in the United States is very different than the sharply conservative tendencies of Russian Orthodox churchgoers, or Greeks or Romanians in the US.

The other rather liberal church is the US is the Orthodox Church in America, but this group does tend to involve itself in social causes in the US – especially abortion – in a very conservative, if rather feeble, manner. They do make their presence known at the annual March for Life and this is of great value.

We wish to name all the Greek Orthodox elected New York assembly members here, with their votes regarding the state abortion measure:

Michael Gianaris             (D) (co-sponsor)   – Yes.
Andrew Gounardes         (D) (co-sponsor)   – Yes.
Nicole Malliotakis           (R)                            – No. (and she is a woman!!)
Aravella Simotas             (D)                            – Yes.
James Skoufis                  (D) (co-sponsor)   – Yes.

This measure enshrined abortion at any point in a woman’s pregnancy as a constitutional right. The law stipulates several following procedures are now “rights:”

  • The law allows non-physicians to perform abortions.
  • The law allows abortion through the third trimester.
  • and the law repeals protections for babies that survive abortions (this means that if the baby gets delivered alive, it will still be killed.)

This is a barbaric law, and a resounding victory for people aligned with some very dark ideas about life and death. It is a tragedy, and while the Archons’ letter condemning it is at least a token statement, it really wants a full-throated response from the Christian world.

In fact, even Muslims and religious Jewish people ought to be outraged as well. All the Abrahamic religions understand that only God is the author of life. In this viewpoint, people do not themselves create life. We only cooperate with God to bring it into existence, by his blessing.

But we can cause death, and this power is influenced by forces that are not interested in God, traditional values, family, children or anything of the sort.

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Greek MPs pass Prespes deal with 153 votes in 300-seat House

Opinion polls indicate that most Greeks oppose the settlement, a fact which may not bode well for Tsipras in an election year.

The Duran

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Via Ekathimerini


Greece’s parliament on Friday ratified a landmark accord that changes the name of neighbouring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), ending a decades-old dispute and opening the way for the ex-Yugoslav republic to join the European Union and NATO.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who hammered out the deal with his FYROM counterpart last year, secured the parliamentary majority needed to get the accord approved with support from independent and opposition lawmakers.

“Today we are writing a new page for the Balkans. The hatred of nationalism and conflict is giving way to friendship, peace, and cooperation,” Tsipras wrote on his social media account.

FYROM has already ratified the deal, brokered last year, and its prime minister promptly sent a tweet hailing the Greek parliament’s vote.

The settlement seeks to end a 28-year old row between Athens and Skopje over the use of the term “Macedonia” by renaming the tiny Balkan state “Republic of North Macedonia” to differentiate it from Greece’s northern province of Macedonia.

Greece’s European Union allies welcomed the ratification.

“They had imagination, they took the risk, they were ready to sacrifice their own interests for the greater good,” European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted. “Mission impossible accomplished.”

Opinion polls indicate that most Greeks oppose the settlement, a fact which may not bode well for Tsipras in an election year. A general election is due by October, and his party is trailing the opposition New Democracy by up to 12 points.

The debate in the Greek parliament was heated, with voting almost interrupted on Friday when an MP for the right-wing Golden Dawn Party, asked to cast his vote, responded: “No to treason!”

Several MPs in favour of of the accord reported attempts to intimidate them.

Many Greeks fear the agreement could lead to territorial claims against Greece and say it constitutes an appropriation of their country’s ancient cultural heritage. Macedonia was the birthplace of Alexander the Great.

Protests against the deal have at times turned violent this week, and on Thursday evening police fired teargas to disperse crowds outside parliament. Smaller groups of people braved heavy rain on Friday to demonstrate outside the parliament.

New Democracy slammed the agreement.

“This deal should never have been signed or brought to parliament for ratification,” party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis told parliament. “It is a national defeat … a national blunder that is an affont to the truth and history of our country.”

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The Mediterranean Pipeline Wars Are Heating Up

The EastMed gas pipeline is expected to start some 170 kilometers off the southern coast of Cyprus and reach Otranto on the Puglian coast of Italy via the island of Crete and the Greek mainland.

The Duran

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Authored by Viktor Katona via Oilprice.com:


Things have been quite active in the Eastern Mediterranean lately, with Israel, Cyprus and Greece pushing forward for the realization of the EastMed pipeline, a new gas conduit destined to diversify Europe’s natural gas sources and find a long-term reliable market outlet for all the recent Mediterranean gas discoveries. The three sides have reached an agreement in late November (roughly a year after signing the MoU) to lay the pipeline, the estimated cost of which hovers around $7 billion (roughly the same as rival TurkStream’s construction cost). Yet behind the brave facade, it is still very early to talk about EastMed as a viable and profitable project as it faces an uphill battle with traditionally difficult Levantine geopolitics, as well as field geology.

The EastMed gas pipeline is expected to start some 170 kilometers off the southern coast of Cyprus and reach Otranto on the Puglian coast of Italy via the island of Crete and the Greek mainland. Since most of its subsea section is projected to be laid at depths of 3-3.5 kilometer, in case it is built it would become the deepest subsea gas pipeline, most probably the longest, too, with an estimated length of 1900km. The countries involved proceed from the premise that the pipeline’s throughput capacity would be 20 BCM per year (706 BCf), although previous estimates were within the 12-16 BCm per year interval. According to Yuval Steinitz, the Israeli Energy Minister, the stakeholders would need a year to iron out all the remaining administrative issues and 4-5 years to build the pipeline, meaning it could come onstream not before 2025.

The idea of EastMed was first flaunted around 2009-2010 as the first more or less substantial gas discovery in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Tamar gas field in Israel’s offshore zone, paved the way for speculations about an impending gas boom. Then came the 535 BCm (18.9 TCf) Leviathan in 2010 and the 850 BCm (30 TCf) Zohr discovery in offshore Egypt five years later and suddenly it seemed that an Eastern Mediterranean gas expansion is inevitable. Yet over the years, the operators of Leviathan have already allocated part of their total gas volumes to domestic power generating companies and most notably NEPCO, the Jordanian electric power company (1.6-2BCm per year). Egypt has been concentrating on meeting domestic needs and getting rid of LNG imports, moreover once it bounces back to gas exporter status in 2019, it will only use its own 2 LNG terminals in Damietta and Idku.

Thus, a pertinent question arises – whose gas would be used to fill the EastMed pipeline? If the pipeline starts in offshore Cyprus, then it would be logical to expect that Cyprus’ gas bounty would be somehow utilized. Yet Cyprus has been lagging behind Egypt and Israel in its offshore endeavors and so far lacks a clear-cut giant field to base its supply future on. The two discoveries appraised heretofore, the 6-8 TCf Calypso operated by ENI and the 4.5 TCf Aphrodite operated by Noble Energy, are not enough to support the construction of a relatively expensive gas pipeline – all the more so as Noble has signed a provisional deal to send Aphrodite gas to Egypt’s Idku LNG terminal, most likely by means of a subsea gas pipeline. If we are to judge the viability of the EastMed on the current situation, there is only Calypso and Israel to fill the pipeline, as Greece’s gas export plans are close to zero on the probability scale.

The subsea section from Cyprus’ offshore zone to the island of Crete lies in depths of 3km and is stretched across a seismically active zone. But there is even more – should Turkey claim rights on Cyprus’ offshore hydrocarbon deposits (in February 2018 it sent warships to scare away ENI’s drilling rig that was on its way to xxx), the project is all but dead. This is far from an implausible scenario as President Erdogan stated that Turkey would never allow for the extortion of natural resources in the East Mediterranean by means of excluding Ankara and Northern Cyprus. Cognizant of the risks inherent in an East Mediterranean gas pipeline, there has been no interest from oil and gas majors to participate in the project. This is worrying as the $7 billion are expected to be financed from private investors, of which there is a palpable dearth – despite the EU’s 35 million funding to promote what it sees as a Project of Common Interest.

Yet even for the European Union, the EastMed gas pipeline presents a bit of a headache as its commissioning would render the Southern Gas Corridor, comprising so far only of Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) with a 10 BCm per year throughput capacity, irrelevant by creating a sort-of competitor. The price of the natural gas to be supplied via the EastMed pipeline might become the biggest obstacle of them all – if the cost of producing offshore Mediterranean gas turns out to be $4-5/MMBtu as expected, the addition of further transportation costs to it all would place EastMed supplied at the bottom range of European gas supply options (Russian gas supply is alleged to be profitable with price levels as low as $4/MMbtu). All this might change if any of the East Mediterranean countries were to discover a giant gas field, altering the economics of production or possibly even liquefaction.

In fact, 2019 will witness several key wells being drilled across Cyprus, Egypt and possibly even Israel. ExxonMobil’s testing of Block 10 in offshore Cyprus would largely point to the overall attractiveness of Cyprus as an oil and gas producing country – the drilling has already started, with results expected in Q1 2019. The ENI-operated Noor offshore field in Egypt, adjacent to Zohr, is a much hotter prospect with BP buying into it lately – most likely it will outshine all the other drilling sites in the Eastern Mediterranean, however, if a big discovery is confirmed, it would be most likely used for Egyptian purposes which run counter to the EastMed gas pipeline. Thus, EastMed’s only hope is that Israel 2nd international licensing round, results to be announced in July 2019, will elicit a couple of Leviathan-like finds that would make pipeline construction profitable. Until then, the prospects are rather bleak.

By Viktor Katona for Oilprice.com

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