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Noord-Macedonië en Griekenland strijden nu nog om de erfenis van Alexander de Grote

Een blonde Alexander de Grote galoppeert met zijn paard over het slagveld, langs eindeloze rijen strak opgestelde soldaten met lange speren. Ze zijn klaar om de Perzen tegenover hen aan te vallen. ‘Wij staan hier vandaag als Macedonische, vrije mannen’, brult Alexander, gespeeld door Colin Farrell, tegen zijn manschappen. Luid gejuich stijgt op. Voordat de strijd losbreekt, schreeuwt hij nog een laatste aansporing: ‘Voor de vrijheid en glorie van Griekenland!’

De film Alexander (2004) leverde regisseur Oliver Stone nominaties op voor de slechtste film, slechtste mannelijke én vrouwelijke hoofdrol, slechtste regie, slechtste bijrol en slechtste scenario. Maar niet alleen filmcritici waren vernietigend: ook Macedoniërs waren woedend, vooral vanwege deze scène die de Slag bij Gaugamela van 331 voor Christus verbeeldt. Volgens hen zou de Macedonische Alexander nooit hebben geroepen dat hij voor Griekenland vocht.

De controverse was het zoveelste hoofdstuk in een decennialange cultuurstrijd tussen Grieken en Macedoniërs, waarvan Alexander het gezicht geworden is. In juni 2018 sloten de landen een historisch akkoord aan het Prespa-meer, waarin ze afspraken dat de voormalig Joegoslavische republiek Macedonië voortaan Noord-Macedonië zal heten, zodat het te onderscheiden is van de noordelijke regio van Griekenland met de naam Macedonië. Ook erkende Noord-Macedonië in het zogeheten Prespa-akkoord dat het ‘niet verwant is aan de antieke Helleense beschaving, geschiedenis, cultuur en erfgoed’.

https://www.groene.nl/artikel/van-wie-is-alexander

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2020 in Reportages

 

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A Lesbo finisce l’Europa

È il “lunedì puro” a Lesbo, la fine del carnevale per gli ortodossi: è festa, non si lavora, si organizzano dei picnic con la famiglia, si mangia pane azzimo e si fanno volare degli aquiloni colorati. Ai bordi delle strade di Mitilene, il capoluogo dell’isola, gli ambulanti vendono pesci volanti di carta, soli colorati con le code, ma a fianco dei venditori camminano dei militari in mimetica con i mitra spianati e i cani al guinzaglio che pattugliano le strade e le spiagge. Sull’isola, che nel 2015 ha accolto migliaia di profughi siriani, l’atmosfera è cupa.

Le auto della polizia sono ferme a ogni angolo e gruppi di autoproclamati vigilantes bloccano le auto dirette al centro di detenzione di Moria. Gruppi di uomini vestiti di nero prendono a sassate gli operatori umanitari e i giornalisti, distruggono le loro macchine prese a noleggio che riconoscono dalla targa, aggrediscono i profughi che si muovono ormai solo in gruppo. Secondo gli attivisti, si tratta di militanti vicini ad Alba dorata, la formazione di estrema destra che insieme agli abitanti dell’isola da settimane protesta contro la costruzione di nuovi centri di detenzione a Lesbo.

https://www.internazionale.it/reportage/annalisa-camilli/2020/03/03/lesbo-naufragio-migranti-turchia

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2020 in European Union

 

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‘Just run’: on the Turkey-Greece border as refugees try to break through

It was, or so they believed, the start of their journey to the promised land, a place of safety they had longed for. Hours after the Turkish government announced that it would not stop refugees from attempting to reach Europe, a stream of people from the Middle East and Africa, seeking refuge from wars and economic hardship, left a bleak bus station in the Turkish town of Edirne and begun their journey to the border.

After leaving the buses they broke into smaller groups based on the countries they had left. Ethiopians stood in an orderly queue, as one of the crowd went to negotiate with taxi drivers. Algerians looked at their phones and argued loudly, while two Palestinian couples from Gaza stood by a concrete pilar and debated in hushed voices whether they could afford the taxi ride to the border 15km away.

The Algerians decided to walk, resigning themselves to the fact there were no cars to take them further. They marched in a long column down the well-lit and empty main road in the provincial Turkish town, their entire life’s belongings packed into a couple of school backpacks or small plastic shopping bags.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/02/just-run-on-the-turkey-greece-border-as-refugees-try-to-break-through

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2020 in European Union, Middle East

 

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Yanis Varoufakis: “Never before have we had so much money, yet so little investment in what humanity needs”

Laura Siegler: With the economic rift seemingly still expanding between Southern Europe, on the one hand, and the ‘core’ European countries (Germany, Benelux, France, Scandinavia) on the other, what is the scope for a common environmental agenda of the European left?

Yanis Varoufakis: This question is not just global but also within Europe, because the fragmentation of oligarchy — of capitalism and financialised capitalism — is detrimental to any attack against the climate extinction we are facing. We have a remarkable disconnect, an imbalance, between the amount of liquidity, of money which is available, and the amount of investments — the things the humanity needs. Never before have we had so little investment in what humanity needs, in relation, as a percentage, to the available money. We have the highest amount of savings in the history of capitalism, and the lowest levels of investments, in comparison, especially in the technology of the future that will prevent the climate catastrophe.

https://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/yanis-varoufakis-never-money-investment-humanity-needs/

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2019 in Economy, European Union

 

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Syriza’s defeat shows the left needs a plan to hold on to power, not just win it

The day after Jeremy Corbyn scraped together the parliamentarians’ names he needed to get on the Labour leadership ballot in 2015, he headed off in search of voters. “We didn’t have a campaign. We didn’t have an organisation. We didn’t have any money,” he told me. “All we had was my credit card and that lasted for about a week.”

He stood so that at least one candidate would make the argument that Labour should oppose austerity and shift to the left. No one ever expected him to win that argument, least of all him. But as the rallies grew, unions came on board and his polling numbers soared, the implausible started to look inevitable.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/12/syriza-left-election

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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How Syriza’s capitulations allowed the Greek right to escape the dustbin of history

The Greek right is back: greedier, uglier and more focused than ever. The incoming New Democracy government is determined to reclaim full control of the state on behalf of the most parasitic segment of Greece’s oligarchy and, of course, of our country’s ruthless creditors.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the new prime minister, is a scion of one of the dynasties responsible for Greece’s perpetual bankruptcy, corruption and subservience to the Atlanticist oligarchy-without-borders. Tellingly, he has surrounded himself with, on one side, apparatchiks connected to vulture funds and failed banks and, on the other, ultra-nationalist former fascists.

Together, Mr Mitsotakis’ motley reactionaries plan to unleash a fresh class war against a people who have already lost almost everything, against minorities, against our environment, against common decency.

https://www.yanisvaroufakis.eu/2019/07/09/how-syrizas-capitulations-allowed-the-greek-right-to-escape-the-dustbin-of-history-the-new-statesman/

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2019 in Europe, Uncategorized

 

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Een verkapte Europese coup

NIETS IS SURREËLER dan door Athene te dwalen met de rapporten van de trojka in gedachten. Al vanuit de verte zie je voor Evangelismos, het grootste Griekse ziekenhuis, de rij bij de eerste hulp. Het is dertig graden en binnen wacht men vijf à zes uur in een bedompt vertrek, zichzelf koelte toewuivend. Oude ambulances rijden af en aan. Meermaals schreef de trojka (van EU, imf en ecb) in de memoranda: ‘We beschermen de kwetsbaren.’ Maar de begroting van dit hospitaal is in deze jaren meer dan gehalveerd. Er is een tekort aan alles en vooral aan verplegers – in heel het land zijn er dertigduizend méér nodig, zei het ministerie van Volksgezondheid onlangs. Iedere zuster verzorgt nu zo’n vijftig zieken, ’s nachts tachtig, en velen worden ziek van de lange werkweken.

In de gangen passeren bezwete Albanese mannen met buideltasjes. Elke bezoeker krijgt een visitekaartje: bij hen kan de patiënt een televisie of een privé-ambulance huren. Of een privé-zuster, ‘altijd ervaren, toegewijd en Grieks’. Ze staat je voor vijftig euro een half etmaal bij, of helpt met douchen voor twintig. In werkelijkheid zijn het Georgische of Bulgaarse dames, die hier in de jaren van voorspoed als au pair werkten en nu zwart en zonder diploma inspringen.

https://www.groene.nl/artikel/een-verkapte-europese-coup

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2018 in European Union

 

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The Refugee Scandal on the Island of Lesbos

Those wishing to visit ground zero of European ignominy must simply drive up an olive tree-covered hill on the island of Lesbos until the high cement walls of Camp Moria come into view. “Welcome to prison,” someone has spray-painted on the walls. The dreadful stench of urine and garbage greets visitors and the ground is covered with hundreds of plastic bags. It is raining, and filthy water has collected ankle-deep on the road. The migrants who come out of the camp are covered with thin plastic capes and many of them are wearing only flipflops on their feet as they walk through the soup. Children are crying as men jostle their way through the crowd.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/conditions-on-lesbos-worsen-for-refugees-and-residents-a-1180209.html

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2017 in European Union, Reportages

 

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Europe’s heart of darkness

One night last April Konstantinos Potouridis disappeared from his home in Aspropyrgos, an industrial town in central Greece. Two weeks later, his uncle Kostas received a phone call from his abductors. “They said my nephew was still alive,” Kostas explains, “but they wanted €1,500 for his return.” Kostas didn’t contact the authorities. His mother had been killed in a hit-and-run accident a few years previously, but the police had called him a liar and refused to consider his case. “Never trust the police in Aspropyrgos,” he says. “They lie to get promoted.” So late that night, he found himself waiting by the side of the highway. A man in a black sports car pulled up next to him. Kostas handed over the money and the car peeled swiftly away. But Konstantinos never showed up. A week later, the police called Kostas and told him that his nephew had been found – handcuffed, pumped with bullets and chained to a bag of stones at the bottom of the Mornos Channel in the hills above the town. “My nephew got too flashy with his money,” Kostas says. “He had the biggest house on the block, six taxis, motorcycles. There was a target on his back.”

This is not an unusual story in Aspropyrgos, but then Aspropyrgos is an unusual place. Twenty kilometres north-west of Athens, it is cut off from the rest of the country by the sea on one side and an arc of mountains on the other. The Greek state crams onto this rocky plain, which stretches the length of 1,000 football pitches, everything that is too noisy or dirty to put in the capital. Aspropyrgos is home to Greece’s major steelworks, brick manufacturers, quarries, cement silos, power plants and petroleum refineries. “Nowhere was it possible to find land so close to Athens and so cheap,” a local butcher called Eirinaos tells me. “Now those old sheep pastures spit out gold.” The Mornos Channel serves as Athens’s major water supply and Greece’s biggest dump lies on a plateau to the north-east. Accounting for less than 1% of the country’s landmass, Aspropyrgos and the surrounding Thriasio Plain are responsible for nearly 40% of Greece’s industrial output. “Aspropyrgos makes, Europe takes”, reads graffiti scrawled around the town.

https://www.1843magazine.com/features/europes-heart-of-darkness

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2017 in European Union

 

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Lesbos’s Ghosts, Europe’s Disgrace

ATHENS – In 2015, hundreds of thousands of refugees landed on Greece’s island shores. Many had perished at sea. Today, the international public has been lulled into believing that Greece’s refugee crisis has abated. In fact, it has become a permanent scourge blighting Europe’s soul and brewing future trouble. The island of Lesbos was, and remains, its epicenter.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/greece-lesbos-refugees-inhumane-conditions-by-yanis-varoufakis-and-george-tyrikos-ergas-2017-10

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2017 in European Union

 

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