New right-wing Greek government attacks students

This 2014 video is called Learn Greek Holidays – [1973] Athens Polytechnic Uprising – Επέτειος του Πολυτεχνείου.

So, the new right-wing Greek government not only attacks refugees

By George Gallanis:

Greece’s New Democracy party seeks to overturn law protecting students from police repression

30 July 2019

The proposal by Greece’s new Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, a member of the right-wing New Democracy (ND), to end the country’s Academic Asylum law must be taken as a serious warning by the Greek working class. The Greek ruling class is preparing the grounds for a dictatorial state reminiscent of Greece’s 1967-1974 junta, from whose bloody legacy the law was born.

The law, put in place in 1982, bars police from entering university campuses. Police can only enter campus grounds if given permission by university administrators. The law guarantees students protection from arrest or state brutality. Such a law exists nowhere else in Europe.

The law was put in place in response to the brutal murder by the US-backed military junta of at least 23 students and pedestrians, including a five-year-old boy, during the uprising at the Polytechnic University in Athens, now called the National Technical University of Athens, on November 17, 1973. On that day, the third day of protests, students launched a strike under the slogan of “bread, education, freedom”. Students were calling for the downfall of the Greek military junta, led by CIA-connected George Papadopoulos, which had taken power in 1967. That day, tanks and soldiers would come crashing through the university’s gates and carry out the slaughter.

November 17 is marked annually by demonstrations of youth and workers throughout Greece in remembrance of the victims of the Greek military dictatorship.

In 2011 the law was scrapped under the [‘center-left’] PASOK government, and for the first time since the collapse of the junta in 1974, Greek police entered university campuses on November 17 of the same year, a day marked by Greece’s largest protests in years. That evening, police entered the campus of Aristotle University after chasing a group of youth into the grounds.

The Syriza government, led by former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, reinstated the asylum law in 2017. …

New Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis (ND) promised to increase state violence and repression. He said, “We will strengthen the police, which has to do its job well. We have to protect policemen, while there has to be more police activity in the centre of Athens. For the next government security is a political priority … Police commanders of precincts that go into hostile areas will be rewarded.”

Mitsotakis is putting forth the lie that the Asylum law has allowed university campuses to become festering centers of violence and drug use. He said, “We want universities where students and teachers aren’t afraid; universities that we are not ashamed of … I pledge that no space will be occupied in our public universities. The gangs that today exist there will be eradicated.”

In reality, Mitsotakis, representing the aims of the Greek ruling class, wants to strip away protections from the working class and students that would prohibit the ND government from violently repressing, or as Mitsotakis bluntly put it, “eradicating” demonstrations and strikes by students and workers. This aim is also bound up with the fact that campuses have also been used by refugees as shelters from the Greek police.

In every country the ruling class is responding to the growing revolutionary challenge from below with a sharp shift to the right and toward dictatorial measures. The threat to scrap the Academic Asylum law comes at a time of growing class tensions that have seen a wave of explosive protests and strikes.


Greek refugee camps, hell on earth

This Dutch 27 July 2019 video is by Dutch NOS TV correspondent Saskia Dekkers, who filmed secretly the horrible conditions for refugees from NATO ‘humanitarian’ wars on the Greek island Samos.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Refugee camps on Samos a hell: “I have not seen it like this before”

The refugee camp on the Greek island of Samos is intended for 650 migrants, but in the containers alone two thousand asylum seekers are jampacked on top of each other. In addition to the official camp there are makeshift tent camps. A further 2500 migrants live there. About ten boats with refugees arrive on Samos every week.

Abibulaye is from Togo. “When you arrive at the asylum service, they say the next day: ‘go there and find out’. And you don’t know anyone, you have no money, that’s bad.”


The situation is serious, says Europe correspondent Saskia Dekkers, who visited Samos. “I have not seen a situation like this anywhere else … People sit on top of each other. There is no running water, there are no showers or toilets. It stinks and we have seen rats among the tents.”

There is far too little room for all people, says Dekkers. “In places where people defecate, new tents have been set up. Many Afghans, Syrians and Congolese people are waiting here for their asylum application.”

Refugees in Italy have received much attention in recent months. In the meantime, the number of refugees in Greece is increasing again. Almost twenty thousand asylum seekers are now stuck on the islands. Almost all people who have arrived in the past year. Europe correspondent Saskia Dekkers secretly filmed on the island of Samos. “It seems that the refugee camps are deliberately kept unlivable by the European Union and Greece.”

… The Samos MP [Christodoulos Stefanadis, of the right-wing Nea Demokratia party] is in favour of a tough migration policy by his
[Nea Demokratia] government. …

Dekkers: “The camp is very hot and there is not enough water. But the biggest problem people tell us is the uncertainty. Nobody knows what their situation is.”

“You don’t know who you are anymore. I have been waiting for 7, 8 months now and my first date for an asylum interview is in 2021. I don’t know where I stand”, says an African asylum seeker.

Greek Kos island, fascism, anti-fascism, flowers

Kos harbour, 18 April 2019

As this blog reported, on 18 April 2019 we arrived on the Greek island Tilos after a sea journey from the island Kos. However, before I will tell more about Tilos, still some things about Kos on 18 April. Like this photo of the harbour of Kos town, the capital of the island.

Kos harbour flowers, 18 April 2019

And these flowers near Kos harbour.

Kos fountain, 18 April 2019

This fountain near Kos harbour was damaged by an earthquake a few years ago.

Kos fountain bull´s head, 18 April 2019

There are bulls´ heads sculptures on the fountain.

Kos synagogue,18 April 2019

A very sad place in Kos town. Jews had lived on Kos ever since antiquity. In 1310, the Christian crusaders of the Knights of Rhodes expelled all of them. The plaque on the photo reminds us that in the 16th century, Jews fled from persecution by the Spanish inquisition to Kos, then ruled by the Ottoman empire. Their community lasted until 1944. When Adolf Hitler, then occupier of Kos, had the Kos Jews, those Kos Jews who had been unable to flee to Turkey, deported to Auschwitz death camp. Not one of them survived. The former synagogue stands empty and dilapidated.

According to Hitler’s nazi ideology, only the ‘Aryan race‘ was supposedly really human. While Jews, Roma, Africans etc. were supposedly ‘subhuman’.

Unfortunately, tendencies similar to Hitler still exist today: like the AfD and NPD parties in Germany. And the Golden Dawn party in Greece.

Groups like Golden Dawn depict the refugees from NATO’s regime change wars in the Middle East, Afghanistan etc. as ‘subhuman’; as ‘illegal’.

Many people in Greece reject the Golden Dawn racism.

Kos anti-fascism, 18 April 2019

On an advertisement billboard near Kos harbour, people had put this black and white sticker. It says. translated: No human being is illegal [a quote by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel]. Anti-fascist movement of Kos. With barbed wire pictured, now erected against refugees in Hungary and other European Union countries.

Stay tuned for more blog posts on Tilos island!

Kos island, Greece, arrival 18 April

This 2016 video says about itself:

Approach & landing runway 32 Kos airport (KGS LGKO)

Kos Island International Airport, “Hippocrates”, or Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Κω, Ιπποκράτης in Greek, is an airport serving the island of Kos, Greece. The airport is located near to Andimachia village. The airport was opened on 4 April 1964. In 1974 the runway was extended to 2,390m. With the increased traffic at the airport in 1980 a new terminal building was built. In 1997, the terminal building was renovated and expanded. In this film you can enjoy an approach from the north of Kos Island. We had to perform the full procedure since we where number 3 in the approach towards the airport. All ATC and conversations are from this flight. Enjoy the view and movie! Greetings, MightyMKL.

This 2017 German language video is about Kos airport as well.

On 18 April 2019, we arrived at the airport of Kos island in Greece.

We continued to the ferry harbour.

Along the road, magpies and hooded crows.

House sparrows near the harbour.

A barn swallow flies over an area where there are archaeological digs on Kos classical antiquity.

Yellow-legged gulls flying over the harbour.

Stay tuned, as there will be much more on Greece on this blog!

Singer Maria Callas, new film

This September 2018 video says about itself:

Maria By Callas | Official US Trailer HD

Tom Volf’s MARIA BY CALLAS is the first film to tell the life story of the legendary Greek/American opera singer completely in her own words.

Told through performances, TV interviews, home movies, family photographs, private letters and unpublished memoirs—nearly all of which have never been shown to the public—the film reveals the essence of an extraordinary woman who rose from humble beginnings in New York City to become a glamorous international superstar and one of the greatest artists of all time.

Assembling the material for the film took director Volf four years of painstaking research, which included personal outreach to dozens of Callas’s closest friends and associates, who allowed him to share their personal memorabilia in the film. When recordings of Callas’s voice aren’t available, Joyce DiDonato, one of contemporary opera’s biggest stars, reads her words.

By Joanne Laurier in the USA:

Maria by Callas: A documentary on the life of the famed opera singer

8 December 2018

From France, Tom Volf’s Maria by Callas is an engrossing documentary about the legendary Greek-American opera soprano. An intimate portrait of Maria Callas (1923-1977) is presented through archival material, television interviews, home movies, family photographs and unpublished memoirs. Opera star Joyce DiDonato reads Callas’ words, when recordings of Callas are unavailable.

Volf’s research is meticulous. He tracked down a global array of people with expertise on Callas, filming interviews with 30 of the singer’s friends in nearly a dozen countries who “opened up their cupboards and pulled out 8mm films, audio tape reels, letters, and photos. He quickly realized that a large part of this memorabilia was previously unseen and had never been shown in public before,” according to the movie’s production notes.

Says Volf: “I understood very quickly that she was not only a phenomenon in her lifetime, she was still a phenomenon in 2013, nearly four decades after her death.”

One of the film’s highlights is Callas’ 1970 interview with commentator and television host David Frost. Portions of the 17-minute interview are interspersed throughout the documentary, which toggles between her career and personal life. A key theme of Maria by Callas is Maria’s comment to Frost, “There are two people in me actually, Maria and Callas … If someone really tries to listen to me, he will find all of myself there.” Volf is adept at presenting, as he says, “how the two communicate and sometimes struggle, and sometimes sacrifice one to the other.”

One segment shows dedicated young people waiting, and sleeping, on line in New York City for a chance to hear Callas sing. Also mentioned is her notorious (she was ill) 1958 “Rome Cancellation”, as well as her publicized conflict with the Metropolitan Opera’s general manager (1950-1972) Rudolf Bing. There is, as well, in-depth footage of her complicated relationship with Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis. Longtime friend Nadia Stancioff (author of Maria Callas Remembered) and Georges Prêtre, one of her favorite conductors, also form part of the film’s fabric.

Notably, Callas worked with Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini on his film, Medea (1969), her only film role, and developed a close friendship with the influential director and writer.

The film brings out the immense pressures exerted on Callas by the demands, on the one hand, of an art form that requires constant artistic obsession and near perfection and, on the other, of her status, in the words of a commentator, as “one of the world’s first international celebrities, especially after she began her affair with shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis in 1959. The paparazzi couldn’t get enough of her.” The combined pressures may well have helped lead to her early death from a heart attack at the age of 53, while living in considerable isolation.

Undoubtedly, one of the film’s most breathtaking moments is Callas’ 1958 performance in concert of “Casta Diva” (Chaste Goddess), the famed aria from Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma.

This music video shows that 1958 performance.

Sung at the Théâtre National de l’Opéra in Paris, it is, according to the movie’s production notes, “presented for the very first time in color and shows a Callas at the pinnacle of her career. We will see her Norma seven years later in the film, when she has to abandon the stage in Paris in 1965. It’s the last time she ever sang it and her last but one performance ever on an operatic stage. One could say her career started with Norma (back in 1947) and ended with it.”

Also featured are sublime performances of arias from Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata —“Addio del passato” (Farewell to the Past, 1958); Georges Bizet’s Carmen —“L’amour est un oiseau rebelle” (Love is a Rebellious Bird, 1962); and Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca—“Vissi d’arte, Vissi d’amore” (I Lived for Art, I Lived for Love, 1963).

Volf’s films does not choose to take up the more controversial question of Callas’s activity, while still a teenager, in occupied Greece during World War II. In The Unknown Callas: The Greek Years, author Nicholas Petsalis-Diomidis discusses the singer’s performances at concerts attended by Italian and German troops. He takes note of “the number of Greek singers who took part, although the events were organized by the loathed enemy. Even those with leftist political views seldom missed such opportunities to make a public appearance, to further their careers and be rewarded for their services, usually with food that could not otherwise be obtained at any price. Of course there was no question of their being accused of collaboration.”

However, in Callas’ case, “her accusers have concentrated much more on her social intercourse with Italians … than on her ‘collaboration’ in the field of music. … In [Callas’] case it is beyond question that she did have close friendships with a number of Italians on a clearly personal basis.”

In a review of Petsalis-Diomidis’s book, the Telegraph wrote, “There is also a lot here about Callas’ personal life. Her mother, as they used to say, was no better than she should be during the war, with lovers ranging from an Italian colonel to German officers. Callas took up with a Fascist major, a paratrooper, a German music critic, a British officer who got her a job at Army HQ and a Greek businessman (shades of things to come), who paid for her return ticket to America.”

It should be noted that left-wing Italian artists such as Pasolini and Luchino Visconti did not consider Callas’ wartime activities an obstacle. Visconti first directed the singer in a 1954 production of Gaspare Spontini’s La Vestale at Milan’s La Scala. Four other collaborations (one of them conducted by Leonard Bernstein) followed over the course of several years. In a 1969 joint television interview, Visconti explained, “I started to direct opera because of … no, not because of, but for Maria Callas.”

‘World’s oldest shipwreck discovered’

The newly discovered ancient Greek ship, photo Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project (MAP)

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Researchers report finding oldest shipwreck in the world

Archaeologists have found the wreck of an intact Greek ship at the bottom of the Black Sea. According to them, it has probably been already for more than 2400 years at the bottom of the sea. Archaeologists think it is the oldest complete shipwreck in the world.

The ship is 23 meters long and lies at a depth of over two kilometers, about 75 kilometers off the coast of Bulgaria. The lack of oxygen at that depth, according to the archaeologists, ensured that the mast, rudders and rowing bags of the ship were preserved.

Professor Jon Adams of the Black Sea Archeology Project, the team that found the ship, never thought that such a discovery would be possible. “It is changing our understanding of shipbuilding and shipping in the ancient world.”

The researchers think it is a commercial ship, of a type that has so far only been seen on ancient Greek pottery such as the Siren Vase in the British Museum. This vase dates from the same period as the found wreck, a few centuries BC, and shows how the mythological hero Odysseus sailed past the Sirens.

The Siren Vase at the British Museum

The researchers removed a small piece of the wreck to date it, but then left the ship alone.

The Black Sea Archeology Project is a three-year project that traces shipwrecks at great depths in the Black Sea. Meanwhile, more than sixty have already been found.

The world’s oldest intact shipwreck has been discovered in the Black Sea. Archaeologists say the 75-foot vessel has sat on the seabed undisturbed for more than 2,400 years.