05/02/2020

What's the Russian propaganda looking for at Exarcheia?

An article by Katerina Oikonomakou that I translated in English:

"Exarcheia* is a community established through decades of fights. It is clear that the social movements will not surrender hands down to the state. They live and fight together. Activists, refugees and the whole neighbourhood promise to resist refinement of the area and continuous police repression."

This is how Μarcel Cartier, Redfish Journalist, chose to close his report about Exarcheia. In that 15min video shared on social media 7th of December, Cartier visits Vox** to talk with a member of Rouvikona, "one of the most well known Anarchist collectives in Greece", then goes to the Immigrant's Haunt in order to chat with a young activist, meets some residents of Exarcheia, native and expats who came to our country as refugees years ago. From Exarcheia he walks to Kolonaki*** in order to see Thanos Plevris, member of the Greek Parliament and the governing party of ND.

A day before, 6th of December, Redfish had uploaded a short video titled "Greek government against Left" claiming that "The Right Greek government wants to destroy Left in Greece but people resist". Does the Greek government really want to destroy Left in our country? The way Redfish interprets Greek reality could put me in doubts about the future of press pluralism in our country if I wasn't aware of how wrong was one more of their predictions. Last time Cartier visited Athens was May of 2018. That time he made a video worrying about the fact that "the governing coalition of Syriza betrayed its supporters and surrendered to the EU and the global Capital", something that in his opinion would promote the Nazi party of Chrysi Avgi.

Redfish denies that they do any clickbait and its journalists state objective but not neutral. Not only they have covered but also supported fights "against the global system which enslaves humanity and destroys our planet". With their logo being a red fish swimming against the stream, Redfish claims to be the alternative source, telling stories against the mainstream narrative. "We are 100% independent and via our mother news agency Ruptly we provide our content to over 1200 clients in 89 countries around the globe".

How independent and alternative is a platform financed by Kremlin? Ruptly, where Redfish belongs, is a production and distribution agency of video news based in Berlin. Founded on April 2014 as daughter of RT. RT is the international TV network we previously knew as Russia Today. All of them belong to the Rossija Sewodnja which is the state news agency of Russia.

Redfish's managing director is the British Journalist Lizzie Phelan, aged 33, who used to work for RT for years, as well as for Iran's state TV Press TV. Phelan has excelled as a mouthpiece of Kremlin's propaganda  and Bassar Al Assad's regime. RT is also where Marcel Cartier started his career. The office hosting these two antisystemic journalists, serving the alternative source of news, is located at a small, cute and very expensive street at Mitte Berlin.

One thing for sure is that there's no chance to leave this place in order to continue their career in any of the big German media. The credibility of any journalist who has worked in any media and internet platform of RT and Ruptly is considered zero. On November of 2018, the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung published a report titled "How the Russian internet media  try to destabilise democracy". On January of 2019, under the title "The new news media of Kremlin", FAZ wrote "Moscow finances channels of propaganda targeting on Leftists and environmental activists". Redfish appeared in both publishes.

Were all these people in the haunts and the backstreets of Exarcheia aware beforehand when they accepted to appear in front of Redfish's camera that they had no antisystemic journalist in front of them but a paid guy to serve Kremlin's propaganda?

The most interesting part considering Redfish journalists and their sensitivity about human rights in the West world is that at the same time they show no such care for Russia. To be fair, in their shoes I would also prefer to cover protests in Paris and Berlin rather than in Moscow. Russia ranks 149th among 180 countries on the list for freedom of Press, annually published by Journalists Without Borders.

*Area of Athens notorious for its Anarchist & extreme left activism.
** Ex cinema now occupy at Exarcheia
*** Luxurious area of Athens

31/01/2020

Germ(s)any

Germany was a factor of European stability during the years of intense financial crisis. Far from perfect, with many mistakes especially communication wise which led to the rise of extreme voices in and out of Germany but Merkel and Schauble were some short of voices of reason (Merkel) and competence (Schauble), especially compared to the rest of the previous leaders around EU with the Greek one being the most absurd by far (Tsipras). Today things are much different. Tsipras is over, fortunately substituted by his perfect opposite and France, I mean Macron, is the only source of decent European leadership with a bit of vision for EU. Yes, France has other reasons as well to hate Erdogan but we are in such need of a leader who puts some limits that the "why" comes second. The comparison doesn't flatter Merkel at all. Acting like a semi retarded granny while receiving gifts from the worst bastard around (Erdogan), a guy with whom she "reagreed" on the embargo of guns and troops to Libya and even today he keeps sending both to Tripoli. Selling German submarines to Turkey or fear of new immigration waves cannot be an excuse for the loss of elementary dignity. The picture is humiliating. How do the taxpayers feel when she is promising new money to Erdogan thanking him for the job he's done with the immigrants using the previous cash! Why not thank the Turkish smugglers too? Wanna be hilarious? Go the whole way. That's ultra pathetic. German diplomacy today looks like a vegetarian dog. In other words, there's no such thing. Seriously, how attractive the continent is like this to existing or potential members? "Come join us and...well...if someone breaks into your house...well...emm...we'll see...we'll talk...". Erdogan is emphatically ignoring any kind of international law provoking repeatedly Cyprus and Greece, drooling for the natural resources of both and the message he gets from Merkel is actually "Please don't stain my dress with blood while you fuck with both". What a Union eh? Extreme political parties couldn't have a better sponsor than her. And we talk about forming a European Army someday...yeah right...We just lost UK's army instead already. Putin couldn't have better sponsors than the Faratzs Johnsons and Corbyns of the (ex) United Kingdom.

I've bitched a a lot about my own country through the years of financial crisis being one of the few here to be objective enough to admit the obvious: it was our fault in the first place. However, today we have one of the most decent governments in EU, in the place of the most ridiculous by far. Even though we have this conflict with Turkey the Greek PM offered help and prepared a rescue team after the last massive earthquake there. And we are not selling any submarines to them. We did the same 20 years ago after the earthquake in Istanbul. I'm proud we do. I hope though that at the end of the day we won't be left with the only choice of sinking the Turkish ship(s) which will enter our territory cause at the moment EU (with the bright exception of France) does not offer any alternative. And US, which has acted us a counterweight in the past, like in 1996 when we lost 5 guys at the border, is now bought by Vladimir. The later discovered that investing on internet propaganda is way more effective than spending money on army. So many useful idiots in the West to work for him for free. Reelect Trump and see the end of the West. Will be too late for "oups!" though. 

22/01/2020

Gorbachev & communism

I just found an article about M. Gorbachev and found it too interesting to not translate it to you, besides there's almost no Greek ones reading me anymore  Even more interesting for my Russian, Ukrainian and Hungarian friends maybe but too important to not be interesting for anyone in any corner of this world anyway.
(Written by the owner of the first liberal magazine of Greece)
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Around 30 years ago, M. Gorbachev visited Athens. He wanted to see no journalists except me and my wife, publishers of "Epoptia" magazine, the only one which introduced liberalism in Greece since it was founded in the 70s and strictly anticommunism. Why the leader of communism made this exception to visit us I don't know. He accepted though only with the precondition to publish nothing about his visit nor any short of interview.
We met at Astera Vouliagmenis around the end of 80s. On his question how "Epoptia" is going and why so much anti communism I answered that our target is not communism neither we endorse any short of nationalism, instead our goal is freedom for the people. He insisted asking if we believe that freedom is a human right and I answered that it is a right but in no way outside the society. A right that cannot be guaranteed by an ideology or a political party but only by law and a fair state. Therefore, there's no freedom out of the law. However, Gorbachev said, liberalism is not an ideology? Of course, I replied, there's people who consider it so but we do not endorse them. We believe in the free spirit coming from Marathon and Salamina, from the Roman and the entire European cultural heritage. For "Epoptia" liberalism is the base of our civilisation, far from ideologies. It's our civilisation and that's what differs us from all the rest.
Gorbachev stated "not convinced". I said I didn't have such expectations from a guy like him who was the KGB boss when they slaughtered the Hungarian revolution. He said "No, this was Yuri Antropov" and that this act marked him and his boss. He also said: "There in Hungary, I felt for the first time that communism is not an ideology but a regime. That people wanted freedom and we were not defending an opposed idea but a regime". His answer surprised both me and my wife. I felt so humble towards him. Any contrarian attitude inside me was vanished. He then turned to my wife asking about our relationship and also refereed to a piece of Pushkin. He was clearly happy with her answers. Then turned back to me. He wanted to see my reactions over some specific things. I replied to all of them but returned to the initial subject. I asked him if during the Hungarian Revolution was when he decided that the communistic regime should be over. He was negative: "Banning the communistic regime with one order from its leader would be again a communistic act, an act of a regime. As people we need education and help which will allow us to learn how to walk as true citizens and not exist as disabled ones." I understood the base of his policy. He went on: "You saw Chrustov. He beat the leadership of the Russian Communist Party but people only understood that they just shouldn't be praising Stalin anymore. What we truly need though is to find our own new pace. If it's not too late"
He spoke calmly, an important leader, a statesman. With no alienated by fanaticism mask. Yeltsin, whom I met years later, was a drunk, greedy and crude guy. Gorbatsov was a noble one, a person representing the high end of the Russian culture. I dared to ask him "When did you decide that communism was over for you?" He replied without hesitation "After Chernobyl. When I asked what's going on there, my guys in charge said nothing bad, nothing wrong, it's made up by CIA and the anticommunistic press. Then I asked guys in Ukraine and they replied the same. Eventually I managed to find out what was actually happening and said to myself: The regime has gone that bad that in order to survive it lies to its own leader! It is dead and tries to survive on its own corruption! Then I realised that in order to learn the truth and speak the truth we have to first bury the regime"