Luxembourg prime minister responds to homophobic tweet by Greek politician

Xavier Bettel

Xavier Bettel Royal Wedding 2012 cropped” by Denis Probst – Own work, archive Denis Probst. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0-lu via Wikimedia Commons

Last week, Luxembourg prime minister Xavier Bettel announced he was marrying his partner Gauthier Destenay.

Yesterday, Greek MP Nikos Nikolopoulos tweeted the below in response to the announcement. Mr. Nikolopoulos was elected in 2012 under the ruling New Democracy party ticket where he had spent his entire political career up to that point until he resigned from his cabinet appointment shortly thereafter.

Nikos Nikolopoulos tweet about Xavier Bettel Continue reading

Infant mortality and stillbirths in Greece 1932-2012

Map of Greece with a box grid superimposed in a spherical shape

Two of the most often cited health statistics about the period of the Greek economic crisis are below:

  • Infant mortality rate increased by 43.1% from 2008 (2.65) – 2010 (3.80)
  • Rate of stillbirth increased by 22.2% from 2008 (3.31) – 2011 (4.05)

Since it appears that there is a bit of confusion as to where these numbers originate, I looked into it. The primary source is the Hellenic Statistical Authority (EL.STAT.) and the figures are accurate. Below is a chart with all of the available data from EL.STAT. on the infant mortality and stillbirth rates in Greece and includes data from 1932 to 2012.

Good news: the infant mortality rate has gone down for the past two years and was 2.92 in 2012, making it the second lowest in recorded history (2008 being the lowest).

Bad news: the 2012 stillbirth rate of 4.44 is 34.1% higher than it was in 2008 (its lowest recorded point), indicating that the reversal of the preceding decades long decline in the stillbirth rate is not yet over.

Many thanks to Dr. Kentikelenis for pointing me in the right direction. Continue reading

10 month suspended sentence for “Elder Pastitsios”

Phlippos Loizos administrator of the "Elder Pastitsios" facebook page


Philippos Loizos, the 29 year old administrator of the “Elder Pastitsios” facebook page today received a 10 month suspended sentence for the charge of “insulting religion”, according to reports in Greek media. The same reports state that he will be appealing the decision and will not serve any time in prison. As of right now, the facebook page at is not online.

I had previously written in detail about the “Elder Pastitsios” case here.

Report in English:
Reports in Greek:

Merkel channels Tsipras

Alexis Tsipras and Angela Merkel


January 22, 2013: Greek opposition leader Alexis Tsipras translated remarks during Q & A at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC:

The day after a country like Greece leaves the Euro, the very next country that will seek to leave the eurozone would be our friends and allies, Germany. We know this very well and they know it as well.

December 19, 2013: German chancellor Angela Merkel translated remarks during EU Summit talks in Brussels:

We discussed whether Greece should leave the eurozone and how if that happened we would all have to abandon it at a later date.

“Kiss-in” protest by same sex couples held during religious ceremony in Greece

picture of "kiss in" protest on January 6 in Piraeus, Greece


Per today’s English language edition of Greek newspaper Kathimerini:

Epiphany, a public holiday in Greece, was marked by a traditional religious ceremony at Piraeus, where gay couples protested against the port city’s ultra-conservative bishop, Seraphim.

Accoridng to Efimerida ton Syntakton newspaper, several gay couples kissed as Seraphim conducted the blessing of the waters, throwing a crucifix into the sea. They also handed out leaflets reading: “Love is not a sin”.

Seraphim is known for his homophobic and anti-Semetic statements. He recently opposed plans to extend legislation allowing unmarried couples to have their partnership legally recognized to same-sex couples.

He said that any other relationship, barring that between a male and a female, “is a unnatural aberration not even observed in animals.”

Protesters have set up the twitter hashtag #PoustiRiot, a play on the name of Russian group “Pussy Riot” and the Greek slur for gay people “Pousti”. Links to some of Bishop Serapheim’s incendiary comments can also be found in both Greek and English at

Is Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei reading Dan Dare?

γραφικό με τον Dan Dare και το λογότυπο της Συνωμοσίας Πηρύνων της Φωτιάς | Dan Dare graphic with logo of the Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei logo

This is a translation of a post I originally published in Greek on December 31, 2013.

On July 12 2013, the Hellenic Police announced that -among other items- they had confiscated “books with anarchist content” (press release in Greek) during a raid for the arrest of two people suspected to be members of the “Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei (SPF)” group.

However, maybe the authorities should be on the lookout for a different type of literature in their investigations.

According to published manifestos that have been attributed to the group, “Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei (SPF)” have conducted operations with two different names in 2013. First, there was the “Phoenix Project” (Σχέδιο “Φοίνικας” in Greek), followed a few weeks ago by the “Green Nemesis Project” (Σχέδιο “Πράσινη Νέμεσις” in Greek).

I’m not in a position to know if this is simply a coincidence, but very close variants of the above names have been used elsewhere in the past. Specifically, in the British science fiction comic book series Dan Dare. Below are the group’s published posters with the two above project names as well as Dan Dare artwork with the “Phoenix Mission” and “Green Nemesis” storylines: Continue reading

Top 10 2013

Τα 10 πιο δημοφιλή δημοσιεύματα μου στα Ελληνικά το 2013 σε σειρά επισκεψιμότητας

Μιλτιάδης Βαρβιτσιώτης: Παραποίηση εικόνας και “εξέλιξη” της είδησης
Γιώργος Μουρούτης: Βιογραφικό + μια ερώτηση περί φανταρικού
Μεταλλεία Χαλκιδικής: Ραγδαία αύξηση Ρωσικών Facebook Likes
Greek Lagarde List | Λίστα Λαγκάρντ
Τι σνιφάρει ο Κασιδιάρης;
Οι 7 χειρότεροι Έλληνες πολιτικοί στο twitter
Γενόσημα: το δίκιο του Άδωνη και η παραπληροφόρηση του ΙΣΑ
SAP: Μικρά τα έσοδα, “ειδική περίπτωση” η Ελλάδα + ερωτήσεις
Ιωάννης Κωτούλας: Σβησμένα και αλλαγμένα σχόλια και αναρτήσεις
AirFastTickets: Κακή διαφήμιση, κάκιστη απάντηση

My top 10 most popular posts in English from 2013 ranked in order of most visited

NTUA shuts down Athens Indymedia, cites government pressure
Greek journalist Kostas Vaxevanis details alleged plot to murder him
Greek Lagarde List | Λίστα Λαγκάρντ
Orthodox church interference with book event on historicity of Jesus
Three terrible tropes about Greece (and why they need to stop)
Golden Dawn leader compares Bucks Greek NBA draft pick Giannis Antetokounmpo to chimpanzee
A Greek paradox: leveraging Sharia to promote religious freedom
Samaras adviser’s epic homophobic rant
Free Inquiry op-ed: Greece Grapples with Blasphemy
Inaccurate AP story about NBA draft pick favors Greek PM

Three terrible tropes about Greece (and why they need to stop)

This is an article I wrote that was originally published on November 24 at The Press Project–International Edition.

Pigs in a farm in Cyprus. Credit: Dimitris Bounias

Pigs in a farm in Cyprus. Credit: Dimitris Bounias

With the advent of the European sovereign debt crisis, several tropes about Greece and Greeks have become all too common. Here are three of them and why they need to stop. Continue reading

SYRIZA: The generic opposition party

This is an article I wrote that was originally published on November 27 at The Press Project–International Edition.

red pill with SYRIZA logo

Guided by an apparent desire to oppose the ruling coalition at all costs, Greece΄s main opposition party is attempting to block legislation that would bring down generic drug prices by utilizing alarmist anti-science rhetoric. Continue reading

Yiannos Papantoniou: Pot, meet kettle

I originally posted this on my Storify account on November 7.


Fraud squad launches investigation after wife of former Pasok minister Yiannos Papantoniou appeared on the infamous Lagarde List which identified around 2,000 Greeks with deposits at a Geneva branch of HSBC. Stavroula Kourakou was found to have allegedly deposited about €1.3m

Former defence and finance minister Yiannos Papantoniou and his wife, Stavroula Kourakou, could be forced to face trial on charges of alleged tax evasion of €3m between 2000 and 2010

This is the same Yiannos Papantoniou who in 2010 said that “Greece lacks a built-in culture of stability and discipline” in an appearance on Al Jazeera English as the Greek sovereign debt crisis was unfolding.

The complete Greek “Lagarde List” which includes Papantoniou’s wife Stavroula Kourakou can be found here.