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.

Per EnetEnglish.gr:

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.

A Greek paradox: leveraging Sharia to promote religious freedom

I will cop to being a relative newcomer to the world of Greek international relations. It is something that interests me, and seeing as how I reside in Washington, DC I do try to be in the loop regarding the activities of the Greek-American community. However, I will readily acknowledge I am still learning some of the ins and outs.

I think it’s fair to say that one of the key issues of interest to the Greek-American community is that of the rights of the Christian minority in Turkey. The re-opening of the Orthodox Halki seminary in Turkey in particular is of great importance. The framing of this issue as one of international religious freedom is something I absolutely agree with Endy Zemenides on-though this position is apparently widely held within the Greek-American community. Turkey ought to allow Halki to re-open, in accordance with international norms as well as its own secular constitution. Not doing so amounts to effective interference in the right to religious freedom of the local Orthodox minority. This minority is largely comprised of ethnic Greeks, and it makes perfect sense that the Greek government would seek to protect their interests. However, I will agree with the Greek side that this should not be a part of any Greek/Turkish Quid pro quo as Turkish PM Erdogan has apparently recently suggested when he said “While we return something, we have the right to expect the return of other things”. Continue reading

Inaccurate AP story about NBA draft pick favors Greek PM

AP Antetokounmpo story

Yesterday, I wrote about Greek Golden Dawn leader Nikos Mihaloliakos’ statement comparing Milwaukee Bucks no. 15 draft pick Giannis Antetokounmpo to a chimpanzee.

Today, the Associated Press (AP) reported on this story from Athens, Greece as well in a piece with no author listed and with the headline “Greek federation condemns slur of NBA draft pick”. The AP correctly reports on today’s press release (in Greek) where they refer to the Mihaloliakos statements as “unacceptable and racist”.

However, the AP makes what -based on my research- is an inaccurate statement about Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras: Continue reading

Golden Dawn leader compares Bucks Greek NBA draft pick Giannis Antetokounmpo to chimpanzee

Milwaukee Bucks no. 15 NBA draft pick Giannis Antetokounmpo

Milwaukee Bucks no. 15 NBA draft pick Giannis Antetokounmpo

In an appearance on Greek television yesterday, Golden Dawn leader MP Nikos Mihaloliakos compared Milwaukee Bucks Greek 18 year old no. 15 NBA draft pick Giannis Antetokounmpo to a chimpanzee. When asked to comment on Antetokounmpo becoming an exemplar for Greeks abroad, he remarked: “in the zoo if you give a chimpanzee a banana and a flag he’ll be ‘Greek’ too”.  Continue reading

Orthodox church interference with book event on historicity of Jesus

Minas Papageorgiou

Minas Papageorgiou

The content of this article is adapted from a facebook post by Sasha Chaitow. A Greek version is also available at Minas Papageorgiou’s blog here.

Sadly there is a curious but pernicious variety of ecclesiastic censorship that persists in Greece, which is one of the primary reasons for which, despite the wealth of material of interest to esoteric scholars, folklorists and religious studies scholars, there is little to no knowledge of this beyond Greek borders. My friend and colleague, investigative journalist Minas Papageorgiou recently published his new book with Εκδόσεις Δαιδάλεος (Daidaleos Publications), an independent publishing house that specializes in quality research publications on a variety of topics including philosophy, religion, folklore, history, psychology, and culture.
Continue reading