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SYRIZA hypocrisy again exposed as open borders bonanza continues

Over 3,000 residents of the island of Lesvos, which has been inundated with migrants, protested the current state of the island during the recent visit of prime minister Alexis Tsipras. But for SYRIZA, any opposition equates with fascism.

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Just days after a major protest in the island of Lesvos opposing the occupation of the main square of the island’s capital, Mitilini, by over 200 illegal migrants, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras—who once demonstrated that his geography skills are akin to his English-language skills by referring to Lesvos and Mitilini as separate islands—paid a visit to the island for an absurd propaganda speech as part of the 14th North Aegean Regional Conference.

The protests

Protesters attempt to overturn riot police buses while demonstrating against the visit of the prime minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras to Mitilini, the capital of the island of Lesvos, May 3, 2018 (Orestes Panagiotou, APA-MPA).

As Tsipras spoke at the conference, an estimated 3,000 residents of the island of Lesvos protested outside, said to be the largest protest in the island’s history. Protesters attempted to burst past a barricade consisting of 17 riot police buses—the same riot police which Tsipras and company had pledged to abolish prior to their ascent to power in January 2015—to issue a resolution to the prime minister. Some protesters rocked the riot police buses, attempting to topple them.

Among the complaints of the protesters is the elimination of the reduced value-added tax (VAT) rate for Lesvos and other islands—which SYRIZA had once pledged to protect and maintain and which had been put in place to alleviate the cost of shipping necessary goods to far-flung islands—while shops on the island were shuttered in protest of the tax increase. Perhaps even more so, the protests also concerned the daily problems and declining quality of life which the island’s residents face as a result of the migrant influx. Lesvos has, for years been at the front lines of the inflow of migrants, supposedly refugees from Syria, but many of whom—mostly unaccompanied young men—hail from other countries of the Middle East, Asia, and even Africa and… Latin America.

The mayor of Lesvos Spyros Galinos ended up being the one to issue the protesters’ statement to Tsipras. Nevertheless, the demonstrations turned chaotic on at least two occasions, when protesters attempted to break the riot police barricade.

Galinos, speaking to The Guardian, stated: “The people of Lesvos are exhausted. The rhythm of our lives has been shattered by refugees and migrants who now number a third of our population… fear prevails. Women are afraid to leave their homes at night, children are kept locked up indoors because parents are afraid to let them go out and play. No community would put up with this.”

It’s a wonder that Galinos wasn’t immediately branded a hardcore fascist by the open borders-supporting PC police at The Guardian, especially following his statements about women and children on the island and fear prevailing.

SYRIZA’s hypocrisy on display once again

Tsipras, oblivious to everything, filled his speech with talk about “growth” and Greece’s supposed forthcoming “exit” from the “bailout” (loan) agreements.

“When President Juncker speaks of a clean exit from the bailout program in the summer of 2018, when the head of the OECD speaks about the feat of the Greek people and of a country that is leading the way in reforms, what point is there to waste time on pointless disagreements?”

Come again? President Juncker? President of what? It seems Tsipras let the EU surpa-state cat out of the bag unwittingly with this statement.

Tsipras then made lofty claims of eliminating waste in the public health care system, even as his own government has offered patronage plum positions to SYRIZA hacks, such as a tire shop owner being appointed vice president of the public hospital of Santorini. Tsipras then went on a rant against Greece’s oligarchs, which SYRIZA has continuously described as their enemy, as part of the party’s “us versus the world” propaganda. Tsipras stated:

“No matter how many powers one gathers [against us], no matter how many entrenched financial interests, publishing groups and non-governmental power centers, no matter how much black propaganda and fake news [you just knew this would be referenced, following the proud example of Tsipras’ neoliberal bosses in the EU and the United States], reality does not change.”

Reality may not change, but Tsipras did not clarify whether SYRIZA’s reality is the same as that of the majority of the people of Greece. And as Tsipras went on this rant against “black propaganda” and “fake news” and bad oligarchs, his government issued, just last week, five nationwide television licenses to incumbent stations owned by those very oligarchs. Viva la revolucion!

Tsipras then added, referring to the protests regarding the recent migrant occupation of Sappho Square:

“We will not tolerate the murderous, aggressive actions against the refugees, and phenomena such as those of this past Sunday.”

In other words, Tsipras once again uttered the only thing that SYRIZA knows how to express: an “us versus them” mentality, where it is SYRIZA standing alone fighting against some unspecified, dark, “fascist” threat. This plays in to historical divides between the left and right in Greece, dating back to the Greek civil war of 1947-1949 and the military junta which ruled Greece between 1967 and 1974.

Further evidence of this is evident right in Tsipras’ speech, as he attempted to manipulate the emotions of the people of Lesvos and the entire nation, stating:

“The flag of our country was raised high on this land by the grandfathers and grandmothers of many residents of this island, when they arrived here in boats as refugees from Smyrna [and elsewhere] to rebuild their lives, stand on their feet again, and reunite with their lost relatives. The flag of our nation was again raised high by the men and women of EAM [Greek wartime resistance movement against the Nazis] who led the way in the liberation of Lesvos from Nazism.”

What the Smyrna catastrophe of 1922 and the anti-Nazi liberation movement has to do with protesting an out-of-control influx of migrants is something that only Tsipras and other members of SYRIZA can (attempt to) answer. It is clear though that by throwing out the same old buzzwords regarding “fighting fascism” and attempting to draw parallels between the culturally Greek refugees who were forced to flee Asia Minor in 1922 and the so-called “refugees” blowing in to Greece today, Tsipras and other members of SYRIZA are attempting to manipulate emotions and to stifle any dissent, pre-emptively labeling any opponents of mass migration as fascists and racists.

If this seems far-fetched, consider the statements made immediately after Tsipras’ visit to Lesvos by SYRIZA MP Giorgos Pallis, who represents the island of Lesvos, calling the protesters “a small minority of fascists” in a speech before parliament (see video here).

Recently, SYRIZA government ministers even went as far as drawing parallels between residents who choose to defend themselves and their homes from burglars, and “far-right terrorists.”

So for SYRIZA, anyone who disagrees with their politics and with the inflow of so many “refugees” that as much as one-third of the population of the Lesvos now consists of migrants, is a fascist. How very leftist and tolerant!

It is also quite ironic that Tsipras will reference the raising of the Greek flag on the soil of Lesvos by the Greek refugees of Asia Minor in 1922 and by the resistance fighters of EAM during World War II, when it was SYRIZA’s own MP, Dimitris Vettas, speaking on the oligarch-owned and full-on neoliberal radio station Skai 100.3, who described the raising of the Greek flag on uninhabited Aegean islands which Turkey has repeatedly claimed and encroached upon, as “shameful.”

For SYRIZA, patriotism comes a la carte: it is good when it can score SYRIZA cheap political points, but it is fascist if it is used to oppose any of the policies of SYRIZA or, by extension, the EU and the troika.

As stated by Dimitris Karagiannis, President of the Lesvos Agricultural Association:

“How can he [Tsipras] talk about growth, when we are facing this huge migrant problem? They have thousands of refugees and migrants trapped and exhausted here, who are also creating problems for the local community. How can we talk about growth, when Turkish aggression is rising daily?”

Migrant free-for-all in the Aegean

While Tsipras and SYRIZA fling accusations of “fascism” towards any and all who disagree, the migrant influx in the Eastern Aegean continues unabated, despite an EU deal with Turkey which essentially bribes Turkish sultan Tayyip Erdogan in return for, supposedly, stemming the migrant flow towards Europe. The money continues to flow to Erdogan so he can build lavish palaces for himself, but the migrants continue to flow towards Greece and into Europe as well.

One recent report speaks of 350 new migrant arrivals on the islands of Lesvos and Chios in one day earlier this month. Also recently, 223 migrants arrived on Lesvos in one day, traveling on four boats. And just in the month of April, approximately 4,000 migrants entered the northern Greek region of Evros, which neighbors Turkey. It is in Evros where the government is now planning on constructing a new migrant registration and detention center.

As early as 2015, 90,000 migrants had passed through Lesvos — an island with a population of 85,000.

The Greek “justice” system, which the government is supposedly at war with but which never overtly issues decisions that would alter the neoliberal, pro-austerity, open borders status quo, has also gotten into the act. In an April decision by the Council of State, Greece’s highest administrative court, new migrants will be able to reside in any region of Greece that they choose and will be able to move around the country freely.

The five NGO workers, three Spaniards and two Danes, acquitted on charges of human smuggling by a court on the island of Lesvos.

In another recent decision, a court on the island of Lesvos acquitted five foreigners—three Spaniards and two Danes—who were employed by NGOs, for helping smuggle “refugees” into Greece. Representatives of every Spanish political party were said to have attended the trial, Amnesty International condemned the charges against the men, while the interior minister of the Spanish region of Andalucia and the aforementioned SYRIZA MP Giorgos Pallis testified in their defense – despite recommendations by prosecutors that the five men be found guilty. What does this decision, and the “solidarity” the five men enjoyed by Greek and Spanish politicians, tell you?

“Opposition” politicians can also play this game, as evidenced by the case of PASOK’s Thanassis Chimonas, who in a post on Facebook which can no longer be located, called the parents of a school on the island of Chios who “expressed their reservations” about allowing migrant children to attend the school “morons” and their children “bastards.” It’s no wonder SYRIZA and the “new” PASOK are said to be warming to each other recently, eyeing a possible electoral collaboration. Tolerance above all.

The free-for-all, of course, has impacts beyond just Greece’s borders. Illustrating the ease with which a migrant can receive counterfeit official papers, an Albanian woman was recently arrested in Great Britain, who had used a fake Greek identification card to get a £72,000 kidney transplant. Looking at the issue on a global scale, backers of the “open borders” regime recently created a mobile app allowing undocumented migrants to evade federal officials in the United States.

Tension in the Aegean continues

As the Eastern Aegean continues to enjoy the apparent benefits of open borders, tensions with neighboring Turkey have continued. Turkish violations of Greek airspace and maritime waters are a daily reality, and in a recent incident, a Turkish cargo shipped rammed into a Greek warship near Lesvos. This comes just two months after a Turkish military vessel slammed into and damaged a Greek coast guard boat in the Aegean. The Turks also recently claimed that they removed a Greek flag from one of the aforementioned uninhabited islets in the Aegean. Efforts of islanders to place Greek flags on these small islands were the ones Vettas described as “shameful,” though he did not clarify whether Turkish flags, or better yet, EU flags would be preferable.

And while Turkey continues to indefinitely detain two Greek soliders who were captured near the border in the region of Evros, Greek “justice” minister Stavros Kontonis—a dead ringer for President Snow from The Hunger Games and with approximately the same moral compass—rushed to release two Turks captured in the port of Kyllini, just days after another Turkish citizen captured in the Evros region was also released.

On the left, President Snow of the Hunger Games. On the right, Greek justice minister Stavros Kontonis. Can you tell them apart?

It is this same Kontonis, who once “talked tough” against specific oligarchs and football team owners unfavorable to SYRIZA (read: Evaggelos Marinakis of Olympiacos) and threatened to allow “Grexit” (of Greek football teams from international competition, of course, not a Greek departure from the Eurozone, oh noes!) in order to “clean up” football (as exemplified by the pro-SYRIZA gun-toting oligarch Ivan Savvidis). The same Kontonis who recently granted clemency to a convicted drug trafficker and waived his 50,000 euro fine and ten-year prison sentence, allowing him to work in the public or private sector, continue his doctoral studies, and to receive a visa to live abroad. The same Kontonis who is rumored to have such a violent temper (just as long as it isn’t against favorable oligarchs, migrants, or drug dealers) that he sent his mother to the hospital, not once but three times.

Pushback against SYRIZA continues

Opposition continues to grow against an increasingly out-of-control SYRIZA government which is pushing open borders at all costs, while its stance on national issues ranges from apparent inaction (in the case of the Greek soldiers detained in Turkey or the increased aggression of Turkey in the Aegean) to utter treason (through SYRIZA’s “negotiations” with FYROM, where the government is practically begging FYROM to accept the name Macedonia in some form).

In a recent public opinion survey, conducted in April, 54 percent of respondents in Greeks stated their belief that the government’s handles relations with Turkey “wrongly” or “rather wrongly.” And during May Day commemorations in the city of Halkida, organizers demanded that a SYRIZA MP in attendance leave.

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Tape recorded evidence of Clinton-Ukraine meddling in US election surfaces (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a look at new evidence to surface from Ukraine that exposes a plot by the US Embassy in Kiev and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) to leak Paul Manafort’s corrupt dealings in the country, all for the benefit of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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Via Zerohedge


Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has launched an investigation into the head of the Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau for allegedly attempting to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump during the 2016 US election by releasing damaging information about a “black ledger” of illegal business dealings by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The Hill’s John Solomon, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko

“Today we will launch a criminal investigation about this and we will give legal assessment of this information,” Lutsenko said last week, according to The Hill

Lutsenko is probing a claim from a member of the Ukrainian parliament that the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), Artem Sytnyk, attempted to the benefit of the 2016 U.S. presidential election on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

A State Department spokesman told Hill.TV that officials aware of news reports regarding Sytnyk. –The Hill

“According to the member of parliament of Ukraine, he got the court decision that the NABU official conducted an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign,” said Lutsenko, speaking with The Hill’s John Solomon about the anti-corruption bureau chief, Artem Sytnyk.

“It means that we think Mr. Sytnyk, the NABU director, officially talked about criminal investigation with Mr. [Paul] Manafort, and at the same time, Mr. Sytnyk stressed that in such a way, he wanted to assist the campaign of Ms. Clinton,” Lutsenko continued.

Solomon asked Lutsenko about reports that a member of Ukraine’s parliament obtained a tape of the current head of the NABU saying that he was attempting to help Clinton win the 2016 presidential election, as well as connections that helped release the black-ledger files that exposed Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort‘s wrongdoing in Ukraine.

“This member of parliament even attached the audio tape where several men, one of which had a voice similar to the voice of Mr. Sytnyk, discussed the matter.” –The Hill

What The Hill doesn’t mention is that Sytnyk released Manafort’s Black Book with Ukrainian lawmaker Serhiy Leshchenko – discussed in great length by former Breitbart investigator Lee Stranahan, who has been closely monitoring this case.

Serhiy Leshchenko

T]he main spokesman for these accusations was Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian politician and journalist who works closely with both top Hillary Clinton donors George Soros and Victor Pinchuk, as well as to the US Embassy in Kyiv.

James Comey should be asked about this source that Leshchenko would not identify. Was the source someone connected to US government, either the State Department or the Department of Justice?

The New York Times should also explain why they didn’t mention that Leshchenko had direct connections to two of Hillary Clinton biggest financial backers. Victor Pinchuk, the largest donor to the Clinton Foundation at a staggering $8.6 million also happened to have paid for Leshchenko’s expenses to go to international conferences. George Soros, whose also founded the International Renaissance Foundationthat worked closely with Hillary Clinton’s State Department in Ukraine, also contributed at least $8 million to Hillary affiliated super PACs in the 2016 campaign cycle. –Lee Stranahan via Medium

Meanwhile, according to former Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr, Leshchenko was a source for opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which commissioned the infamous Trump-Russia dossier.

Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for the Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS, testified on Oct. 19 that Serhiy Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist turned Ukrainian lawmaker, was a source for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign.

“I recall … they were mentioning someone named Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian,” Ohr said when asked who Fusion GPS’s sources were, according to portions of Ohr’s testimony confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. –Daily Caller

Also absent from The Hill report is the fact that Leshchenko was convicted in December by a Kiev court of interfering in the 2016 US election.

A Kyiv court said that a Ukrainian lawmaker and a top anticorruption official’s decision in 2016 to publish documents linked to President Donald Trump’s then-campaign chairman amounted to interference in the U.S. presidential election.

The December 11 finding came in response to a complaint filed by another Ukrainian lawmaker, who alleged that Serhiy Leshchenko and Artem Sytnyk illegally released the documents in August 2016, showing payments by a Ukrainian political party to Trump’s then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

The documents, excerpts from a secret ledger of payments by the Party of Regions, led to Manafort being fired by Trump’s election campaign.

The Kyiv court said that the documents published by Leshchenko and Sytnyk were part of an ongoing pretrial investigation in Ukraine into the operations of the pro-Russian Party of Regions. The party’s head had been President Viktor Yanukovych until he fled the country amid mass protests two years earlier.

-RadioFreeEurope/Radio Liberty (funded by the US govt.).

So while Lutsenko – Solomon’s guest and Ukrainian Prosecutor is currently going after Artem Sytnyk, it should be noted that Leshchenko was already found to have meddled in the 2016 US election.

Watch:

Meanwhile, you can also check out Stranahan’s take on Leshchenko being left out of the loop.

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‘I will take over as Brexit Party leader’: Nigel Farage back on the frontline

Nigel Farage says that if the UK takes part in European elections, he will lead his new Brexit Party.

RT

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Via RT


Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has announced that he will lead his new Brexit Party into the European elections if UK MPs decide to delay Brexit beyond May 22.

Farage, who has ostensibly appointed himself leader, told various media, including the BBC and Sky News on Friday morning: “I will take over as leader of the Brexit Party and lead it into the European Elections.”

It comes after the Brexit Party’s leader, Catherine Blaiklock, quit over a series of alleged Islamophobic statements and retweets of far-right figures on social media.

It is not yet thought that Farage has officially been elected as leader, as the party does not, as yet, have a formal infrastructure to conduct such a vote.

The right-wing MEP vowed to put out a whole host of Brexit Party candidates if the UK participates in the upcoming EU elections in May, adding: “If we fight those elections, we will fight them on trust.”

On Thursday night, the EU agreed to PM May’s request for a delaying to Brexit beyond the March 29 deadline. Brussels announced two new exit dates depending on what happens next week in the UK parliament.

The UK will have to leave the bloc on April 12 unless British MPs agree to May’s Brexit deal. If the withdrawal agreement is passed by next week, EU leaders have agreed to grant an extension until May 22.

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Baltics cannot rely on Germany any more

The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it is supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership blunders.

The Duran

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Submitted by Adomas Abromaitis…

On March 29 Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will celebrate 15 years of becoming NATO member states. The way to the alliance membership was not simple for newly born independent countries. They have reached great success in fulfilling many of NATO demands: they have considerably increased their defence expenditures, renewed armaments and increased the number of military personnel.

In turn, they get used to rely on more powerful member states, their advice, help and even decision making. All these 15 years they felt more or less safe because of proclaimed European NATO allies’ capabilities.

Unfortunately, now it is high time to doubt. The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership’s blunders. Every member state does a bit. As for the Baltic states, they are particularly vulnerable, because they fully depend on other NATO member states in their defence. Thus, Germany, Canada and Britain are leading nations of the NATO battle group stationed in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia respectively.

But the state of national armed forces in Germany, for example, raises doubts and makes it impossible not only defend the Baltics against Russia, but Germany itself.

It turned out, that Germany itself remains dissatisfied with its combat readiness and minister of defence’s ability to perform her duties. Things are so bad, that the military’s annual readiness report would be kept classified for the first time for “security reasons.”

“Apparently the readiness of the Bundeswehr is so bad that the public should not be allowed to know about it,” said Tobias Lindner, a Greens member who serves on the budget and defense committees.

Inspector General Eberhard Zorn said (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-arms/germany-not-satisfied-with-readiness-of-submarines-some-aircraft-idUSKBN1QS1G7) the average readiness of the country’s nearly 10,000 weapons systems stood at about 70 percent in 2018, which meant Germany was able to fulfill its military obligations despite increasing responsibilities.

No overall comparison figure was available for 2017, but last year’s report revealed readiness rates of under 50 percent for specific weapons such as the aging CH-53 heavy-lift helicopters and the Tornado fighter jets.

Zorn said this year’s report was more comprehensive and included details on five main weapons systems used by the cyber command, and eight arms critical for NATO’s high readiness task force, which Germany heads this year.

“The overall view allows such concrete conclusions about the current readiness of the Bundeswehr that knowledge by unauthorized individuals would harm the security interests of the Federal Republic of Germany,” he wrote.

Critics are sure of incompetence of the Federal Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen. Though she has occupied the upper echelons of German politics for 14 years now — and shows no sign of success. This mother of seven, gynecologist by profession, by some miracle for a long time has been remaining in power, though has no trust even among German military elites. Despite numerous scandals she tries to manage the Armed Forces as a housewife does and, of course, the results are devastating for German military capabilities. The same statement could be easily apply for the Baltic States, which highly dependent on Germany in military sphere.

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