About three weeks ago I was escorting A., a Greek woman, in her late seventies, during an errand in downtown Athens. Our itinerary made us walk on the right sidewalk, heading west, of “Karageorgy of Serbia Street”, by “Syntagma Square”. At the entrance of an old multi-story building, used for the last half-century as the Greek Finance Ministry, the sidewalk has a width of about six feet. A few yards west there is a mini arcade about 30 feet long and about 12 feet wide.
[Parenthesis: In the mid-1960s while working, as an engineer, for the Ministry of Public Works, my office, on the 7th floor, was smack opposite the aforementioned entrance of the Finance Ministry. As a matter of fact, there was a rather middle-aged traffic-cope, during the morning shift, who kept a few parking spaces empty, for the minister ,etc . For a strange reason, he became friendly with me and sometimes let me park there. Years later when he retired he searched me out and asked me to help him, as an engineer, with the design of a building he was trying to build, which I did, as he proved to be not a "pig", after knowing him for quite a few years.]
As A. and I approached the entrance of the Finance Ministry, we came face to face with a group of about 15 to 20 women, most of them in their fifties who had occupied the sidewalk, were standing, and were demonstrating, a younger one shouting slogans through a small portable loudspeaker. They were cleaning women who were laid off last fall [of 2013] and who were demonstrating since then and literally living on that sidewalk, for almost eight months.
Since her youth A. was [and is] an apolitical person and rather indifferent for the plight of her fellow-humans. After that face-to-face encounter with reality, A. has become a very angry and fervent supporter of the cleaning women and cursing the heels who laid them off and who are beating them up using their police.
In today’s June 13, 2014 issue of the “International New York Times”, on the front page there is an article by Niki Kitsantonis about these cleaning women. Ms. Kitsantonis’ article is quite professional and quite accurate.
A couple of weeks ago, a Greek lower court vindicated the 595 cleaning women. The Greek state, as expected for any state, appealed the ruling of the lower court to the Supreme court. The Supreme Court accepted the appeal and will give its final decision on September 23, 2014, almost four months from now.
Most of the women are single mothers, fighting not only to feed their children but also to give them a University education, in most cases. Ms. Kitsantonis of the “Times” writes: “The … standoff [of] mostly middle-aged women … has turned the cleaning women into an unlikely symbol of Resistance [capital "A" and emphasis added] to the austerity measures [of] Samaras [the Prime Minister of Greece] …”
To this Resistance the state answered with the usual benevolent way of a state. The Greek police have been beating these women for months. Yet, there is an unusual development in the use of violence by the Greek police against these women. The women for months while been attacked by the police had to stand in front of the policemen and push with their hands against the plastic shields of the brave policemen in their middle-ages-styled armor. However, for the last three weeks, or so, the policemen use a very effective way to “neutralize” these troublesome females. As the women stand very close to them, as they push the shields, the policemen, kick them on the shins, surreptitiously, with their heavy boots. The women end up in the hospital and we have seen some of them walking next day with crutches or with their shins bandaged.
I do not know if Niki Kitsantonis of the “Times” is a Greek or a Greek-American, but as a journalist she could [or better, she ought to] try to find out who ordered the police to use this “innovative” method of violence against the cleaning women. Here are the probable sources of this:
– Dendias, the Minister for Public Order, or Protection [!] of the Citizen, or whatever; the look-alike [without the glasses] of the infamous Beria, the counterpart of Dendias in Stalin’s Russia.
– The Chief of the Police, whichever his name is.
– The police officer who commands the team of the brave policemen who kick the cleaning women.
Why, Ms. Kitsantonis? Because, all the above will respect or stand at attention before a “Times” journalist. As testified by Lambrou, the master torturer of the Greek police, years ago.
Once more Rudolf Diels, the “creator” of GeStaPo, is proven right in his conclusion about sadism in relation to the people of order or protection of the citizen [the last label coined by the Greek Government of George Papandreou, if I am not mistaken.
I wish I could ask the above mentioned traffic cop of the 1960s, who by now will be 100 years [if still alive], what he thinks of the ingenious way of his present colleagues in using effective violence with women. Also, I wish I could see his reaction if I told him that Karageorgy of Serbia Street, his beat, has been renamed, unofficially, the Street of the Laid Off.
Adonis is gone
In my ZNet article “Greece at the Crossroads, Again [Part One]“, of May 5, 2014 we read:
“Adonis [accent on "A"] Georgiadis is the present Minister of Health for the Greek nation. He was appointed by Antonis [accent on "o"] Samaras, the darling of another charismatic lady, who, in turn, is a Donald Rumsfeld protegee, a.k.a. Frau Merkel.
The reaction of the Greek people at the announcement of the appointment of Adonis was: “Oh No!”
The reaction of the Greek MDs, pharmacists and other medical personnel was and is much more vivid.
Adonis … was a parliamentarian deputy for a, now disappearing, political party, LAOS, replete with Nazis and crypto-Nazis, he has a rare ability of shouting instead of talking, and like Mussolini he likes to “live dangerously” …
We should not forget that this person, Adonis, is the Minster of Health for the nation of the Greeks.
A situation that is not only an insult to the dignity, of an entire population, but it is a danger to the lives of the members of that population.”
Enter Makis Voridis!
Birdal Memehet Sinan from Istanbul had commented on my ZNet article “Quake: Call on Turks and on Greeks”, of November 11, 2011. Thanking him I added this photo:
and this text:
“See the guy in the photo there, dangling an ax from his left hand? That’s Greece’s new ‘Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks’ Makis Voridis captured back in the 1980s, when he led a fascist student group called ‘Student Alternative’ at the University of Athens law school. It’s 1985, and Minister Voridis, dressed lie some Kajagoogoo Nazi, is caught on camera patrolling the campus with his fellow fascists, hunting for suspected leftist students to bash. Voridis was booted out of law school that year, and sued by Greece’s National Associations of Students for taking part in violent attacks on non-fascist law students.”
So, after the “vivacious” Adonis left, the health of the Greeks is in the hands of Voridis. Which highlights not the persona of Voridis, but the person of Antonis Samaras, the Prime Minister of Greece, who chose Voridis, and the aims of the [foreign] planners of the well-being of Greece.
I tried to add a couple of paragraphs about these heroic Greek women in my last three articles, but I decided to wait for the decision of the Greek Supreme Court.