Samaras close aide resigns over Golden Dawn contacts

originally published at

Wednesday 2 April 2014

Video shows cabinet secretary Takis Baltakos in conversation with Ilias Kasidiaris
Updated At: 19:20 Wednesday 2 April 2014

Author: Damian Mac Con Uladh
Neonazi Golden Dawn releases video showing cabinet secretary Takis Baltakos, a close aide of Antonis Samaras, engaging in what appears of be a friendly conversation with Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris over the crackdown on the neonazi party

A senior aide to Antonis Samaras has resigned after a video emerged showing him telling a leading Golden Dawn MP that the crackdown on the neonazi party following the murder of hip-hop singer Pavlos Fyssas was designed to stem the loss of New Democracy votes.

The video shows Takis Baltakos, appointed to the powerful position of cabinet secretary by the prime minister in June 2012, engaging in what appears of be a friendly conversation with Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris.

During the conversation, Baltakos can he heard saying that there was no evidence to substantiate the crackdown on Golden Dawn following Fyssas fatal stabbing by a Golden Dawn supporter last September.
Video with English subtitles from Kostas Kallergis’ When the Crisis hit the Fan blog

He says that Justice Minister Haralambos Athanassiou and Interior Minister Nikos Dendias appealed to the devout beliefs of Supreme Court chief prosecutor Efterpi Goutzamani to convince her that Golden Dawn were “pagans, idolaters, Nazis and opposed to Christianity”.

Baltakos also said that the crackdown on Golden Dawn was to stop the party drawing support from New Democracy.

Kasidiaris released transcripts of the conversation in parliament on Wednesday. The 2.5-minute video was uploaded earlier to a Russian video sharing website. Read the rest of this entry »

Screening: The Lost Signal of Democracy + Q&A

Monday 7 April 2014, 7:00 PMBOOK NOW

This screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Yorgos Avgeropoulos.


On the evening of 11 June 2013, the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras pulled the plug on ERT, Greece’s public broadcaster, after 75 years of continuous operation. Both TV and radio frequencies fell silent, making screens broadcast black and the FM to buzz.

The closure of ERT was an unheard-of political act that shocked Greek citizens, bringing back memories from the dark period of dictatorship. The silencing of public television resulted in a political conflict and provoked protests in a country already divided. It also caused a fierce international outrage from all around the world.

Directed by Yorgos Avgeropoulos
Duration: 65′
Year: 2013

Activists Take Protest to the Facade of the Guggenheim Museum

by Hrag Vartanian on March 25, 2014


Images from the G.U.L.F. video from last night’s Guggenheim action. (GIF by the author for Hyperallergic)
The OWS Illuminator, that infamous visual symbol of Occupy Wall Street, joined Gulf Ultra Luxury Faction (aka G.U.L.F.) yesterday in their fight for workers’s rights on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE. At 10pm ET last night, G.U.L.F. and OWS Illuminator, in their own words, “occupied” the façade of the Guggenheim Museum on Manhattan’s Upperc East Side for 40 minutes and projected “Art Is Not a Luxury” and “1% Museum” among other messages.

Last night’s projection on the facade of the New York Guggenheim. (all images courtesy Gulf Ultra Luxury Faction, aka G.U.L.F.)
Last night’s projection on the facade of the New York Guggenheim Museum. (all images courtesy G.U.L.F. unless otherwise noted)
The group’s statement, which was released to Hyperallergic, explains that last night’s action:

“… rebranded the Guggenheim’s flagship museum in protest of complicity at the ill-treatment and economic exploitation of migrant workers in Abu Dhabi who are beginning to build the new Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim on Saadiyat (aka ‘Island of Happiness’. G.U.L.F.’s act of messaging solidarity follows recent reports from Human Rights Watch, as well as investigative findings from members of the Gulf Labor Coalition (some of whom overlap with G.U.L.F.) who have just returned from a fact-finding mission in Abu Dhabi where they visited several worker camps and spoke with workers. They confirmed a reality that is the opposite of happy: multiple labor violations, generated by a system built on human suffering and debt bondage.”

A view of the projection from the sidewalk in front of the museum.
A view of the projection from the sidewalk in front of the museum.
In their statement today, G.U.L.F. renewed their call on the “Guggenheim to own up to its responsibility as a leading cultural, educational, and art institution, and not take economic advantage of the workers seeking the ‘Gulf Dream.’” During their February 22 action inside the Guggenheim Museum, G.U.L.F. demonstrators emphasized the role of “debt slavery” and the inhumanity of the kafala or sponsorship system that many migrant workers in the United Arab Emirates face.

Artist Noah Fischer, who has been a leading voice in Occupy Museums and more recently G.U.L.F., told Hyperallergic that the action is a continuation of a campaign to make the museum own up to its responsibilities to the workers of the Abu Dhabi site. He termed their action as a form of “artists outside of residence” at the Guggenheim.

“We’re interested in working with the Guggenheim and its architecture as a site to bring consciousness about the issues, because the Guggenheim uses its celebratory architecture in a very specific way, as a branding … so we’re rebranding the architecture,” Fischer said. “So last time we were inside, and this time we were outside on the facade.”

Fischer said he was surprised by the ease with which they were able to project on the museum facade without being interrupted or questioned. “There were fire trucks, police cars going by, passersby … I guess there’s an assumption that what we’re doing is art because it’s on an art museum,” he said. “Most of the time everything that’s done it is done with permission, so I think people kind of assume that. Especially when they see a van that has a special projecting apparatus … We were standing out in the street waving traffic, and fire trucks and police cars were going in the other lane and just complying with it. It became a new reality.”

The G.U.L.F. group’s statement emphasizes that the campaign is far from over:

“Unless the Guggenheim changes course with the new museum in Abu Dhabi, G.U.L.F. will continue to remind the Guggenheim that their brand is: ’1% Global Museum.’”

The Illuminator projecting onto the Fifth Avenue museum building.
The Illuminator projecting onto the Fifth Avenue museum building.
Hyperallergic reached out to the Guggenheim Foundation for comment on last night’s action, and we have yet to hear back from the organization.


UPDATE, 3:16pm ET: The Guggenheim has responded that they have “no comment” on the matter.

UPDATE 2, 3:33pm ET: Nitasha Dhillon and Amin Husain, members of MTL Collective who participated in the event last night, provided a joint statement to Hyperallergic when asked about the action:

“This action hopefully delivers a clear message to the Guggenheim that we intend to keep up the pressure until it chooses to stand on the right side of history, on the side of the workers. Our efforts are not intended to be symbolic but to actually lead to material changes on the ground and in the lives of the workers. The migrant workers in Abu Dhabi have made their voices heard with strikes and statements that they want their dignity respected, do not want to be economically exploited, and do not want to be in debt bondage. We stand in solidarity with the workers and amplify their voices. ~ MTL”


International appeal against proposed racist legislation in Greece


Greece: Racist violence impunity and the penalization of victims reverts Europe to darker days

With the present statement, we wish to declare our deepest concern. While impunity for racist violence remains a persistent problem in Greece, the Greek government not only refrains from addressing it, but is also proceeding to institutionalize it, and even to penalize its victims! Last week it submitted in front of the parliament an amendment to the country’s Immigration Code that mandates the deportation of immigrants who accuse state employees of using violence against them, in case their claims are officially rejected. It is hair-raising: this provision is a deterrent, punishing not the perpetrators but the victims.

In Greece, the toleration and non-reporting of violence against immigrants, especially when the perpetrators are state officials, has created a deplorable “custom”.This reality is being confirmed by many national, European and international organizations. It is our opinion that state tolerance of racist violence, and even more so the institutionalization of this tolerance, supposedly in order to “protect” state officials from immigrants and refugees (!), is not within the discretion of any nation-state, neither is it a legitimate way of exercising national sovereignty. The unacceptable austerity programmes which have given rise to conditions of a humanitarian disaster in Greece, along with the disproportionate responsibilities that the country has been shouldered with regarding immigration inflows, do not constitute legitimate excuses that allow for a European country to return to times of state illegality. This would bring us back to a very dark time of our continent. Should we let this happen, we already know that the racist far-right will be the sole beneficiary

We are of the opinion that parties and civil society throughout Europe must urgently take a stand ,so as to stop the institutionalization of state racist violence in a European country and to stop the further deterioration of immigrants’ rights.

The unacceptable amendment was withdrawn temporarily, but the Minister of Interior stated publicly that it will be tabled once again next week. Further, withdrawn was article 19 in its entirety, which concerns the provision of resident permits for humanitarian reasons, among others, to victims of racist crimes. We call on citizens, public bodies, movements, parties throughout Europe to respond immediately, exerting political pressure upon the Greek government to restore article 19, expunging the abovementioned racist amendement. It is an elementary issue of democracy, humanitarianism and justice.


Greek Minister of Interior – Mr. Y. Michelakis: Restore article 19, without the racist amendment in any form




First signatures:


Εtienne Balibar (Université de Paris-Ouest Nanterre, France)

Matyas Benyik (Chairman ATTAC Hungary)

Judith Butler (University ofBerkeley, USA)

Jodi Dean (Professor, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, USA)

Crhistine Delphy(University of Berkeley, USA)

Costas Douzinas (Birkbeck College, University of London, UK)

Rose-Marie Lagrave (Director of studies, EHESS, France)

Rose-Marie Lagrave (École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, France)

Michael Löwy (CNRS, France)

Antonio Negri (philosopher, Italy)

Leo Panitch (Υork University, Canada)

Luzia Margareth Rago (Ιnstituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas, Brazil)

Enzo Traverso (Cornell University, USA)

Hilary Wainwright (Chief Editor of Red Pepper, UK)

Stavros Tombazos (University of Cyprus)

Eleni Varikas (Université Paris-8, France)

Athena Athanasiou (Professor of Social Theory at Panteion University, Vice President of Nicos Poulantzas Institute)

Eftichis Bitsakis (Emeritus Professor, University of Ioannina)

Aris Chatzistefanou (journalist)

Dimitris Christopoulos (Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science and History of the Panteion University, Vice-President of the International Federation for Human Rights-FIDH)

Gerasimos Couzelis (Professor of Social Theory, University of Athens)

Foivos Delivorias (composer)

Nicos Filis (Avgi newspaper)

Antonis Cafentzopoulos (actor)

Stelios Kouloglou (journalist,

Kostas Koutsomitis (director)

Antonis Liakos (Professor, University of Athens)

Savvas Michael (author)

Ilias Nicolakopoulos (Professor, University of Athens)

Costis Papaioannou (coordinator of the Racist Violence Recording Network)

Vassilis Papastergiou (Member of the Board of the Athens Lawyers Association)

Nicos Paraskevopoulos (Professor, Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki)

Dimitris Psarras (journalist, author)

Michalis Spourdalakis (President of the Hellenic Political Science Association)

Dimitris Trimis (ex-Presiden of the Journalists’ Union of the Athens Daily Newspapers)

Constantinos Tsoukalas (sociologist)

Yannis Voglis (actor)

Genealogical Update of Valaoritou Thessaloniki


The Holocaust in Greece: Genocide and its Aftermath

Research Workshop

The Holocaust in Greece: Genocide and its Aftermath

21 November 2014

Thessaloniki, Greece

An international workshop of the Journal of Genocide Research and

the International Hellenic University

Call for Papers

The editors of the Journal of Genocide Research (journal of the International

Network of Genocide Scholars) and the School of Humanities of the International

Hellenic University invite expressions of interest for participation in a one-day

research workshop on the history of the Holocaust in Greece. The focus will be the

events of the Nazi occupation, including deportations, and resistance, as well as

their aftermath. The workshop will take place in Thessaloniki, Greece, a city of great

symbolic importance to Sephardic Jewry. The workshop language is English.

Holocaust research remains relatively understudied and marginal both within

Holocaust literature and the Greek academic and public spheres. With significant

delay, it is currently being incorporated in the Greek national historiography. Issues

of special interest to the organizers are: property confiscation; local dimensions of

the Nazi occupation such as Jewish community responses and resistance; the Greek

administration’s involvement in implementing Nazi policies; the Holocaust in Eastern

Macedonia and Thrace and the Dodecanese (areas outside the administrative

boundaries of the Greek state at the time); Greece in the context of the continentwide

“Final Solution”; antisemitism; rescue networks; camp and DP camp

experiences of Greek Jews; Sonderkommando; camp returnees and restoration of

the communities; the Jewish community politics of memorialization; and the public

sphere and the Holocaust in Greece.

The workshop organisers invite original (i.e. not previously published), Englishlanguage

contributions dealing with these or other aspects of the Holocaust in

Greece. Prospective presenters are invited to submit a paper title, 400-500-word

abstract (detailing argument, innovation and sources), CV, AV equipment

requirements (DVD, computer, projector, etc.) and contact details by 1 June 2014 via

email to Prof. A. Dirk Moses, Senior Editor of the Journal of Genocide Research: Applicants will be notified of the outcome by 1 July


Cory Doctorow How to break the Internet, destroy democracy and enslave the human race (or not)


Keynote of Cory Doctorow, science fiction author and journalist, held at the World Consumer Rights Day 2014 in Berlin. There’s only two sides to the fight over technology’s destiny: either you believe that you should never, ever design computers to betray their owners; or you believe that some problems are important enough to build “I Can’t Let You Do That Dave” into our gadgets. If you’re on “I Can’t Let You Do That Dave” side, you’re dangerously wrong.
More information:

Filmed and produced by
On behalf of Federation of German Consumer Organisations – vzbv


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