Greek fascist ex-dictator Pattakos dies


This video is called 08/09/1975: GREECE: A YEAR AFTER THE COLONELS.

By John Vassilopoulos:

Stylianos Pattakos (1912-2016): Leader of Greece’s CIA-backed military junta

7 November 2016

Stylianos Pattakos, the last surviving leader of the 21 April 1967 coup that imposed a seven-year military dictatorship in Greece, died from a stroke in his Athens home on October 8, one month before his 104th birthday. Brigadier-General Pattakos was one of the three masterminds of the coup, alongside Colonels Giorgos Papadopoulos and Nikolaos Makarezos.

As Interior Minister between 1967 and 1971 and Deputy Prime Minister between 1971 and 1973, Pattakos was the junta’s number two after Papadopoulos. Under his watch, 87,000 people were arrested without charge and tortured while in custody, and 10,000 political prisoners were rounded up and incarcerated, many on the concentration camp on the island of Gyaros. At least 22 people died while in custody due to torture, while many others died of their injuries after being released.

The regime carried out targeted assassinations of nearly 100 people, while around 4,500 were tried by court martial.

Pattakos defended the crimes of the junta of the colonels to the end. One high-profile case was that of Major Spiros Moustaklis, an Army officer arrested in May 1973 as a member of an anti-junta conspiracy led by naval officers. Moustaklis was detained for 47 days and repeatedly tortured, resulting in paralysis and loss of speech. Years later, during an interview, Pattakos stated that Moustaklis “got what he deserved,” adding that “force is imposed by any means. What can’t be untied must be cut with a sword.”

Pattakos was born on November 8, 1912 on the island of Crete to a farming family in the small village of Ayia Paraskevi. He graduated from the Evelpidon Military academy in 1937 with the rank of Second Lieutenant in the Cavalry.

During the Axis Occupation of Greece in World War II, Pattakos joined the “Omiros” resistance organisation, supervised by the Cairo-based Inter-Services Liaison Department (ISLD), an intelligence-gathering organisation established by the British overseas spy agency MI6. He took part in the 1946-1949 Greek Civil War on the side of the US and British forces, commanding an armoured company in Northern Greece …

He steadily rose through the ranks, so that by the time of the coup, he was commander of the armoured division training school in Goudi, an Athens suburb. This post was of strategic importance, since it was on his orders that tanks were sent in the early hours of the morning to take control of communication centres, the parliament and the royal palace, thus gaining complete control of the city.

Plans for a coup had long been in the offing. Since 1965, Armed Forces Head General Grigoris Spandidakis had begun to appoint those officers who were to take part in the coup to key posts. The aim of the coup, planned with the US Embassy and the CIA station in Greece, was to prevent the elections scheduled for May 1967, the chief beneficiaries of which were predicted to be the liberal Centre Union Party and the United Democratic Left (EDA) …

The fear in ruling circles was that a coalition government of these two parties could shift Greece’s foreign policy towards neutrality between NATO and the Soviet Union.

Under the plan of the so-called Generals’ coup, Greek King Constantine was to declare martial law and suspend parliament in order to prevent the poll from taking place. In the end, the coup was unilaterally set in motion by lower-ranking officers, who feared that vacillations of the army leadership and the king in imposing martial law would prevent them for moving fast enough to halt the elections.

To some of his co-conspirators who were getting cold feet at the last minute, Pattakos reportedly said: “Listen here gentlemen, I have already set tanks in motion, I can’t order them back. I will move alone, and whoever wants can follow.”

After the fall of the junta in July 1974, Pattakos and the other leaders of the regime were put on trial. In August 1975, the court found them guilty of high treason and sentenced them to death by firing squad. These sentences were later commuted to life imprisonment by the conservative New Democracy (ND) government of Constantinos Karamanlis.

In 1990, Pattakos was released from prison on humanitarian grounds by the ND-led Mitsotakis government due to an apparent “imminent danger to his health.” This was, of course, a juridical fraud that allowed Pattakos to return to political life. He lived for another quarter century and wrote a number of autobiographical works. For a time, he authored a regular column in the far-right newpaper Eleftheros Kosmos, as well as giving a series of TV and newspaper interviews.

Far-right circles cultivated a myth that Pattakos and the other junta leaders selflessly sacrificed themselves for the good of Greece. They pointed to Pattakos’ relatively modest personal standard of living, due to his conviction after the fall of the junta—though, while in power during the junta, he awarded lucrative construction projects to his brother-in-law, Andreas Meintasis, who became very rich.

At the end of his life, Pattakos supported the violent, neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party. He told Parapolitika in 2012, “Golden Dawn is here to stay,” as it “is the only party that is up to the challenge.” Golden Dawn sent an official delegation to Pattakos’ funeral, including MP Konstantinos Barbarousis as well as local Golden Dawn officials.

2,000-year-old skeleton found in Greek shipwreck


This video, recorded in Greece, says about itself:

The famous shipwreck that brought us the mysterious Antikythera mechanism has revealed a new secret: a two thousand year old human skeleton. The team hopes to extract DNA from the skull – a feat never attempted before on bones this old that have been underwater.

Read Nature‘s news article here.

Read about the Return to Antikythera project here.

19th September 2016

See also here.

European Union propaganda and Lesbos refugees reality


This video about Iraq says about itself:

Mosul Offensive Will Create More Refugees, Displacement, and Humanitarian Disaster

11 July 2016

Institute for Policy Studies Fellow Phyllis Bennis says the fightback against ISIS requires the abandonment of more military force, and the pursuit of diplomacy with Russia and Iran.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Things go well on Lesbos, says Brussels. Until you start looking there yourself

Today, 12:14

In spite of Europe we still exist.” That’s the predominant feeling on Lesbos, the Greek island that was flooded last year by boat people. 600,000 of the 1 million refugees who then reached Greece arrived on the island off the Turkish coast.

After the EU-Turkey deal in March this year, the number of refugee dinghies dropped drastically. But the people are still afraid, noted EU correspondent Arjan Noorlander ….

Distressing situation

Noorlander decided to look for himself what has become of all the plans and optimistic words he heard in Brussels in recent months. He was disappointed drastically at what the EU is doing to help the refugees and the people of Lesbos. “It’s a very different situation than I expected after following the political discussions in Brussels. From these you get the idea that they really are tackling problems. That idea proves to be untrue here. It is distressing.”

He is shocked by the extent of the problem. What struck Noorlander most was a huge pile of life jackets at a local landfill. “Such a stack as a symbol of all those hundreds of thousands of boat people hurts one pretty hard inside. Then it becomes from a problem that you know from TV or from the political corridors suddenly a real problem of real people.”

“Europe has done preciously little for Lesbos,” he says. “You can see that the refugees all these months anyway were mostly helped by volunteers. In the official camps you see United Nations stickers everywhere, because the United Nations [contrary to the EU] is present.”

Brussels was said they would help the Greeks with the reception and even take over refugees. All that does not happen, Noorlander notes. People are thereby stuck on the islands, where it starts to get more crowded.

The facilities are in reasonable order, but because of the bigger crowds the situation is not improving. “The atmosphere in the camps is tense. There has to be done little before things may get out of hand.”

According to official figures, 58,000 refugees now reside in Greece. 11,000 of them are on the Aegean islands Lesbos, Chios and Samos.

Last week fourteen migrants from Lesbos were returned to Turkey: eight Syrians, four Pakistanis and two Algerians. …

Most poignant is the situation around the so-called emergency procedure. Part of the agreement was that newly arrived refugees would get clarity within 48 hours about their applications for asylum. …

Nothing like that happened, says Noorlander. “I have spoken to people in the camps who have been there for months and have just been told they will have to wait until December for their first asylum interview.” …

Why the difference between the Brussels [European Union] reality and the actual situation in Greece? The problem, according to Noorlander, is that the Brussels politicians and diplomats do not themselves come to see how things are in Lesbos.

Divisions rise inside EU at summit between Germany, France and Italy: here.

Norwegian anti-refugee fence at Russian border: here.

Refugees in Greece in trouble


This video says about itself:

‘Nobody is illegal’: Thousands protest in Europe against EU-Turkey refugee deal

17 March 2016

Thousands of people have demonstrated in Spain and other countries in protest against the draft agreement between Brussels and Ankara which could see the bulk of ‘illegal’ immigrants stuck in the EU sent back to Turkey.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Aegean island camps in crisis as refugee numbers mount

Thursday 18th August 2016

SAVE the Children warned yesterday that refugees in Greek island camps face terrible conditions as new arrivals increase sharply.

The British charity said more than 10,300 came ashore in the first two weeks of August, two-and-a-half times the figure for the same period in July.

Greece director Katie Dimmer said: “We’re starting to see scenes reminiscent of last summer, except, this time, most asylum-seekers are unable to continue their journeys and are trapped on the islands in overcrowded facilities and under the blazing sun.

“Mothers with small babies are being forced to sleep on the ground in makeshift tents. Children and breastfeeding women are suffering from dehydration.”

Meanwhile, the Greek coast guard was searching for a people-trafficking boat with 53 passengers that reported engine trouble in the eastern Aegean, hours after rescuing 59 refugees from a dinghy in rough weather north of Kos.

Pro-refugee demonstration in Greece


This video says about itself:

Thousands March in Greece in Support of Refugees

16 July 2016

Thousands took to streets in Greece to show solidarity with the refugees. They rallied outside the parliament against the migration policies.