Κυριακή, 23 Φεβρουαρίου 2014

A 3 letter dirty word...

Greece is gearing up for Euro-parliament, and local government elections, elections which of course everyone sees as a trial run for potential national elections, which may or may not radically change the political scene in Greece.

The governments main opponent is Syriza, the left wing coalition. But some could say that its real main opponent is itself.



The current government is formed by a coalition of the two parties that have been in power during the last 41 years. New democracy and Pasok. The "socialist" Pasok party is now virtually non-existent. But it holds marginally enough seats in Parliament, to keep the coalition government in power for now.

As everyone knows Greece has been "officially" in the throes of  crisis since 2008 (I say officially because in my opinion it has always been in crisis...) But the last few years it has also been controlled or supposed to be controlled by the infamous Troika, a team of European politicians and advisors, intent on passing reforms to make the country's finances viable...

Proedre, the Troika are warning we are a breath away from going bankrupt... -  And what do they propose we do? "Put a tax on breathing..."


Every time we come up to any form of elections the government (whichever it was) tries to do things to make itself look good. It used to be done mostly in the way of "rousfeti" a word which really does say a lot for the potential origins of Greece's woes... You see it comes from the Turkish word "rusvet" which means bribe.
For years pre-election promises consisted mainly of bribes in the form of posts to government jobs, seen as better than winning the lottery in Greece. Government jobs were secure (it was against the law to be fired, no matter how useless you were) and well paid. Very well paid...

As the crisis and the Troika moved in Greece's body of politicians, who I can tell you with absolute certainty are all corrupt, had to find other ways to bribe their voters and backers, but also other ways to line their pockets...

And here is where that 3-letter dirty word from the title comes in... NGO or MKO as it is in Greek.

MKO greek acronym Business Well Organized...


Here is the definition of an NGO in wikipedia.

MKOs as they are known in Greece, have been in the Greek news of late, on a daily basis. Because all of a sudden scandals are been uncovered regarding their funding and operation.

Of course a lot of people are pleased that this is happening, after all it has been our hard earned and thorough the nose taxation that has been paying their expenses just like with our politicians..

The negative side to it is that it is only happening because as we come up to elections they have to somehow make themselves look good.

But we shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, should we?

The first scandal to erupt recently was with the "International Centre for the removal of landmines" an organisation formed in 2000 to supposedly remove landmines from various part of the world. To do this work, they were given 9.000.000 euros over the course of 4 years, (2000-2004). I won't go into all the details but part of the scandal is that according to the law, they were supposed to self-fund at least a small percentage of their expenses, yet they had found ways around this too!!



As I write this I am doing a bit of research at the same time. I am no researcher or journalist, as most of you may know... I just like to write and express some thoughts, but this blog, my "English-speaking" one has the extra "target" of allowing English-speaking friends and blog followers the opportunity to gain a insight into happenings in Greece through the eyes and words of a local greek citizen... me!

And the feeling I am getting from this "research" is very much the same as I got when researching the situation regarding the incredible "selection" of public servant "extra benefits" thought up in order to make sure that "their boys" were paid the absolute maximum possible...

Here is that article... 

Here are a few of the NGOs which were created and funded in Greece, with the full backing of our politicians, from the lowliest MP to the Primeministers...

Organisation for the reforestation of the Amazon!
Organisation for the education of statisticians in ex eastern bloc countries
Organisation for the training of constitutional lawyers for Cuba!

Supposedly the above were funded with about 2 million euros...

Another NGO scandal that erupted a couple of years ago was with the "Circle of Patmos" an NGO based on the island of Patmos with supposed interest of promoting religious matters and helping people round the world. They organised telemarathons and symposiums on cruise-ships around the world. All the symposiums (in the Nile and  Amazon, among other places) were funded by the Greek Government. In some cases due to political strife in the countries involved (Azerbaijan,  Egypt) the symposiums were cancelled but the funding was not returned!!

But what does all this mean and where is it all going?

Most Greeks today are not only seriously disillusioned and wondering when the "levee" will "break", but they are also finding it increasingly difficult to play along with the "game"

A few days ago someone I know, an Englishman, mentioned the ongoing scandals and referred to to the "expenses" scandal that tore through the British parliament in 2009. His idea was that just like many lists of corrupt politicians are made public, so there should also be lists of the non-corrupt... and he proposed that something similar be done here too...

What he and I fear many well meaning and good people don't understand is that a list of non-corrupt politicians is the quintessential rocking horse shit... non-existent.



There is no such thing as a non-corrupt politician in Greece. And I dare say there are very few all over the world.

Douglas Adams once wrote this:

“The major problem—one of the major problems, for there are several—one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them. 
To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. 
To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.” 

and that pretty much covers that, for me...


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