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Greek Fascists Set to Become Part of New Provisional Government

George Karatzaferis: "W-H-A-A-T?!"

COMMENT: In the wake of the economic and political turmoil sweeping  Europe as a result of the Eurozone debt crisis, Greece has formed a new coalition government, one of whose participants is the LAOS party.

Reported to have played a major role in the formation of the new provisional government and possibly in line for a ministerial post, LAOS  party leader George Karatzaferis has voiced a number of anti-Semitic statements, casting doubt on the reality of the Holocaust and intimating that Jews were behind the 9/11 attack.

It will be interesting to see if the global financial crisis feeds anti-Semitic politics and sentiment, with the old saw about the Jews running the banks gaining new life in certain circles.

” ‘Holocaust Denier’ Set for Key Role in Greek Government?” by Assaf Uni; ynetnews.com; 11/11/2011.

EXCERPT: . . . Greek media reported Thursday that Karatzaferis played a central role in the steps that led to the establishment of a government that would try to navigate Greece out of its debt crisis by implementing a European financial plan. The reports also said he was set to be part of the new government.

Reports claim that in the last few years, Karatzaferis made a long line of anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli statements. After the 9/11 attacks in New York, the politician posed the question “why were all the Jews warned not to come to work that day?” before the Greek parliament.

On a televised debate with Israel’s ambassador to Greece he said: “Lets talk about all these tales of Auschwitz and Dachau”; in 2002 during a parliament session he asked the then Greek prime minister:  “Is it true that your daughter secretly married a Jew?”; and during Operation Cast Lead in 2008, Karatzaferis said that the IDF was acting “with savage brutality only seen in Hitler’s time towards helpless people.”

Greek media reported that LAOS, the Popular Orthodox Rally party – an extreme right party established by Karatzaferis in 2000 with 7% of the vote in the last elections – will most likely be a partner in the national unity government.

They will join the government together with the left-wing PASOK party which has been in power until only recently, and the right-wing New Democracy party. It was claimed that Karatzaferis may even take up a role as a minister. . . .


9 comments for “Greek Fascists Set to Become Part of New Provisional Government”

  1. If this fully comes to pass…….I am going to be seriously concerned about the future of Greece. Maybe the people will wake up soon, but maybe they won’t…….and perhaps some of the decent anti-fascist factions of Anonymous could come to the aid of the people as well, by exposing Karatzaferis for what he is, etc. ?

    Posted by Steven L. | November 16, 2011, 10:20 pm
  2. @Steven L.: Here’s another person seriously concerned about the future of Greece and the rest of the eurozone:

    The Rise of a Euro Doomsayer
    Published: November 17, 2011

    LONDON — The euro zone was unraveling, just as he had long predicted, yet Bernard Connolly, Europe’s most persistent prophet of doom, still faced a skeptical audience.

    “The current policy of lending plus austerity will lead to social unrest,” Mr. Connolly told investors and policy makers at a conference held this spring in Los Angeles by the Milken Institute, arguing the case that Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain could not simply cut their way to recovery.

    “And one should not forget that of the four countries we are talking about, all have had civil wars, fascist dictatorships and revolutions. That is history,” he concluded, his voice rising above the chortles and gasps coming from the audience and the Europeans on his panel. “And that is the future if this malignant lunacy of monetary union is pursued and crushes these countries into the ground.

    Mr. Connolly has been warning for years that Europe was heading for disaster. As an E.U. economist in the early 1990s, he helped design the common currency’s framework, but he was later dismissed after he expressed turncoat views. In 1998, just months before the euro’s introduction, he predicted that at least one of Europe’s weakest countries would face a rising budget deficit, a shrinking economy and a “downward spiral from which there is no escape unaided. When that happens, the country concerned will be faced with a risk of sovereign default.”

    This article also includes some interesting background info regarding the expectations by some of AIG’s “Financial Products” unit (the unit that blew up AIG) during the lead up to AIG’s September 2008 implosion…

    Mr. Connolly, who used to work for AIG Financial Products, the banking arm of the giant insurance company American International Group, until it went into government receivership, now operates out of a nondescript office in New York, where he is said to pound out as much as 20,000 words of analysis a week.

    The origins of that fear as well as the anger and passion that drive him date to 1995, when he took a leave from his job to write “The Rotten Heart of Europe,” an excoriating history of the failure of the euro’s predecessor, the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.

    In Britain, where suspicions of common European economic policy ran very high, the book was a hit for its attacks on the architects of the European common currency, including Jacques Delors, the former head of the European Commission, and Jean-Claude Trichet, the French finance official who would go on to run the European Central Bank for eight years.

    The book was greeted less enthusiastically in Brussels; Mr. Connolly was told not to return from leave to reclaim his position. Moreover, he was the subject of an investigation by the European Commission into whether he had disclosed any proprietary information in his book. Investigators found that he had not.

    In 2005, while working at A.I.G. and at a time when Greek, Portuguese and Irish bonds were trading at rates barely higher than Germany’s, Mr. Connolly persuaded a small group of hedge funds and independent investors to bet on a euro zone crack-up

    They did so by buying the credit-default swaps of what he saw as the most vulnerable European countries. When fears that those countries would default took off in 2008 and 2009, sending the values of those swaps skyward, they were able to sell out — reaping large profits.

    “It took a while, but we finally were able to monetize Bernard’s views on Europe,” said James Aitken, who worked with him at A.I.G. and described his job then as translating Mr. Connolly’s arcane musings into actual investment strategies.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 17, 2011, 8:36 am
  3. More background on George Karatzaferis and his associates.

    “With all the propaganda we’ve been fed about Greece’s new “austerity” government being staffed by non-ideological “technocrats,” it may come as a surprise that fascists are now considered “technocrats” to the mainstream media and Western banking interests. Then again, history shows that fascists have always been favored by the 1-percenters to deliver the austerity medicine.

    This rather disturbing definition of what counts as “non-ideological” or “technocratic” in 2011 is something most folks are trying hard to ignore, which might explain why there’s been almost nothing about how Greece’s new EU-imposed austerity government includes neo-Nazis from the LAOS Party (LAOS is the acronym for Greece’s fascist political party, not the Southeast Asian paradise).”

    “That’s where we are today. Greece drowning in debt, its democracy broken, and despite fighting the Nazis in World War Two, and taking back democracy from a fascist junta in 1974–in the end, it was the EU and the Western banks that put a guy like Makis “Hammer” Voridis, the guy who patrolled his law school with a makeshift ax, in power, administering banker-pain.”

    Posted by GrumpusRex | November 17, 2011, 11:48 am
  4. http://exiledonline.com/austerity-fascism-in-greece-the-real-1-doctrine/

    November 16, 2011
    Austerity & Fascism In Greece: The Real 1% Doctrine
    By Mark Ames

    This article is cross-posted on Naked Capitalism

    See the guy in the photo there [see website for photo], dangling an ax from his left hand? That’s Greece’s new “Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks” Makis Voridis [photographed] back in the 1980s, when he led a fascist student group called “Student Alternative” at the University of Athens law school. It’s 1985, and Minister Voridis, dressed like some Kajagoogoo Nazi, is caught on camera patrolling the campus with his fellow fascists, hunting for suspected leftist students to bash. Voridis was booted out of law school that year, and sued by Greece’s National Association of Students for taking part in violent attacks on non-fascist law students.

    With all the propaganda we’ve been fed about Greece’s new “austerity” government being staffed by non-ideological “technocrats,” it may come as a surprise that fascists are now considered “technocrats” to the mainstream media and Western banking interests. Then again, history shows that fascists have always been favored by the 1-percenters to deliver the austerity medicine.

    This rather disturbing definition of what counts as “non-ideological” or “technocratic” in 2011 is something most folks are trying hard to ignore, which might explain why there’s been almost nothing about how Greece’s new EU-imposed austerity government includes neo-Nazis from the LAOS Party (LAOS is the acronym for Greece’s fascist political party, not the Southeast Asian paradise).

    Which brings me back to the new Minister of Infrastructure, Makis Voridis. Before he was an ax-wielding law student, Voridis led another fascist youth group that supported the jailed leader of Greece’s 1967 military coup. Greece has been down this fascism route before, all under the guise of saving the nation and complaints about alleged parliamentary weakness. In 1967, the military overthrew democracy, imposed a fascist junta, jailed and tortured suspected leftist dissidents, and ran the country into the ground until the junta was overthrown by popular protest in 1974.

    That military junta—and the United States support for it (for which Clinton apologized in 1999)—is a raw and painful memory for Greeks. Most Greeks, anyway. As far as today’s Infrastructure Minister, Makis Voridis, was concerned, the only bad thing about the junta was that it was overthrown by democracy demonstrators. A fascist party was set up in the early 1980s in support of the jailed coup leader, and Voridis headed up that party’s youth wing. That’s when he earned the nickname “Hammer.” You can probably guess by now why Greece’s Infrastructure Minister was given the nickname “Hammer”: Voridis’s favorite sport was hunting down leftist youths and beating them with, yes, a hammer.

    [Photograph on website: Close-up of Minister “Hammer” Voridis’ homemade ax.]

    After the hammer, he graduated to law school– and the ax; was expelled from law school; and worked his way up the adult world of Greek fascist politics, his ax tucked under the bed somewhere. In 1994, Voridis helped found a new far-right party, The Hellenic Front. In 2004’s elections, Voridis’s “Hellenic Front Party” formed a bloc with the neo-Nazi “Front Party,” headed by Greece’s most notorious Holocaust denier, Konstantinos Plevis, a former fascist terrorist whose book, “Jews: The Whole Truth,” praised Adolph Hitler and called for the extermination of Jews. Plevis was charged and found guilty of “inciting racial hatred” in 2007, but his sentence was overturned on appeal in 2009.

    By that time, Makis “Hammer” Voridis had traded up in the world of Greek fascism, merging his Hellenic Front Party into the far-right LAOS party, an umbrella party for all sorts of neo-Nazi and far-right political organizations. LAOS was founded by another raving anti-Semite, Giorgos Karatzeferis—nicknamed “KaratzaFührer” in Greece for alleging that the Holocaust and Auschwitz are Jewish “myths,” and saying that Jews have “no legitimacy to speak in Greece.” The Anti-Defamation League is going ballistic about it; for some reason, the media hasn’t taken notice, except in Israel.

    Funny thing is, as far as LAOS party leader “KaratzaFührer” was concerned, while he liked Makis “Hammer” Voridis just as much as the next neo-Nazi, he was worried about what the public might think of putting “Hammer” up for elections on the LAOS party list. Here is LAOS party leader Karatzeferis explaining why to a newspaper last year (big HT to the Greek site “When The Crisis Hits The Fan” for this and much more):

    Giorogos Karatzaferis: “I was simply afraid that Voridis has a history which I have managed to cover after considerable effort…”

    Christos Machairas (journalist): “What exactly do you mean by “history”?”

    Giorgos Karatzaferis: “About his relation with Jean Marie Le Pen, the axes and all the rest. I am just thinking that suddenly, on the 30th of October (i.e. a bit before the local elections) some guy from New Democracy or from Tsipras’ team (i.e. SYRIZA leftist party) can throw a video on the air and drag me explaining about all these things.”

    See, that’s the problem with elections, referendums, democracy and the rest: You don’t really know just how qualified and technocratic a guy like Makis “Hammer” Vordis is, which is why it’s such a good thing that the banks instructed the EU to impose “Hammer” on Greece. To deliver some pain. It’s for their own good.

    No pain (for the 99%), no gain (for the 1%).

    And that is how today, thanks to the EU and the banking interests that control it, Makis “Hammer” Voridis is the new Infrastructure Minister.

    Which brings me back to the history of Greece’s coups, and the talk of coups today. Readers who follow our “What You Should Know” section have been reading for months now about all sorts of strange things going on in Greece’s military, culminating with (now ex-) Prime Minister’s Papandreou’s decision to fire his entire military leadership. He fired them on November 1, the same day that he announced that he was putting the EU austerity program to a democratic referendum vote. Here is an account of the firings:

    “… Meanwhile, in a development that has stoked fears of a potential military coup in the country, Papandreou on Tuesday also fired the entire high command of the armed forces along with some dozen other senior officers and replaced them with figures believed to be more supportive of the current political leadership.

    “… The heads of the country’s general staff, army, navy and air force were all dismissed following the meeting of the Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence, the supreme decision-making body on national defense.

    “… The ministry maintains that the change in the military high command had long been scheduled. But such reshuffles, which take place every two to three years, do not normally result in the dismissal of the entire leadership…”

    That came during a month of bizarre mass weapons purchases by the Greek military, with the creditor nations—France and the US—as the weapons sellers: In early October, we learned that the US was taking a breather from pushing austerity and bashing lazy Greek public employees to extend a new line of credit to Greece’s military:

    “… According to information of the “Hellenic Defence & Technology” magazine, the U.S. authorities approved to grant 400 M1A1 Abrams tanks to the Greek Army, which will include options between simple refurbishment – worth tens of millions dollars for all the tanks- and upgrading to a higher level of operational capability, with a higher corresponding cost. The relative Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) is expected soon.

    “… Also according to exclusive information of the” Hellenic Defence & Technology” magazine, a Price and Availability letter was sent to U.S. authorities regarding 20 AAV7A1 and a low cost upgrade program for them. This is the first step to cover an operational requirement for 75-100 vehicles….”

    A couple of weeks later, France extended fresh lines of credit to the same military for desperately-needed stealth battleships, leaving Germany feeling angry and left out, according to Der Spiegel:

    “A huge arms deal is threatening to put French-German relations under strain. According to information obtained by SPIEGEL, France wants to deliver two to four new frigates to the Greek navy and to allow the highly indebted nation to postpone payment of the €300 million ($412 million) purchase price per ship for the next five years.

    “… Under the deal, Greece will have the option of paying up after five years, with a significant discount of €100 million, or returning them to the French navy. The “stealth” frigates are designed to avoid detection by enemy radar and are built by state-owned French defense company DCNS.

    “… The deal is being criticized by German rivals that have been competing for the contract for years.”

    That last part says it all: What pissed off the Germans wasn’t the profligacy, but losing out in a contract they’d been competing for. What this shows, again, is the lie of “austerity”: They pretend that Greece is too deeply in debt to borrow another penny, yet think nothing of lending a few hundred million to the military.

    Looking back at the last-minute maneuvers, it seems pretty clear that Papandreou’s decision to fire all the military leaders on the day he announced his referendum on austerity—his attempt to counterbalance Western banker power and local military power with democratic people power–was essentially an imperialist power-struggle in an uppity colony, whose inhabitants are seen as little more than sources of extraction for banker profits. So we have the creditor nations trying to buy off the military as Banker D(efault)-Day approaches, and Papandreou trying to counter that by both bending to their will, realizing he’s through, and trying to save himself by empowering the people in his country. But Papandreou was far too weak and far too compromised. Ultimately he was no match; he never had a chance. And the popular will of Greece’s citizens is barely an afterthought.

    This is how bankers deal with banana republics; it’s how they ran their colonies. Take care of the military, give them gifts and get them in your pocket. The people only exist to be extracted. And when they squeal, characterize them the way the Brits characterized the Irish during the Great Famine: lazy, profligate, it’s all their own fault, what they need is more painful medicine and a swift kick in the ass…for their own good, of course.

    And just in case it wasn’t clear to everyone, Forbes magazine came out in favor of a coup. Here is how one Greek columnist reported it:

    “Instead of pouring euros down the drain, it would be much wiser for Germany to sponsor a military coup and solve the problem that way.”

    No, this extract is not from a fascist blog. It is from Forbes magazine and it’s just another one of the provocative articles that follow this insane ongoing anti-Greece campaign of international media.

    In the end, the bankers and the West got their coup. And they didn’t need an ugly military spectacle to make it happen. Papandreou was overthrown, the referendum was withdrawn, an austerity regime put in place to carry out the bankers’ demands, without democracy getting in the way. Nice ‘n’ clean.

    Not only did the West get its coup, but fascists like Makis “Hammer” Voridis got what they’ve been struggling for all their lives: Power, and vindication for far-right nationalism over democracy.

    That’s where we are today. Greece drowning in debt, its democracy broken, and despite fighting the Nazis in World War Two, and taking back democracy from a fascist junta in 1974–in the end, it was the EU and the Western banks that put a guy like Makis “Hammer” Voridis, the guy who patrolled his law school with a makeshift ax, in power, administering banker-pain.

    The implications of the EU and bankers forcing Greece, the birthplace of democracy, to cancel a popular plebiscite as “irresponsible,” forcing instead an austerity regime composed partly of neo-Nazis fascists to administer more “pain”–is something that should frighten the shit out of everyone.

    Because like it or not, we’re all in the same cross-hairs of the same banking interests, and we’re all going to face it again and again.

    Greece just happens to be the first in line.

    Posted by R. Wilson | November 27, 2011, 7:28 pm
  5. Hey R. Wilson–

    This article is the focal point of the post about “Putting the Hammer Down in Greece.”

    Posted by Dave Emory | November 28, 2011, 12:11 am
  6. Got it, Dave.

    I even posted a comment on “Putting the Hammer Down in Greece.”

    Swore I read that article here, but couldn’t find it later, and posted it again. My apologies — the past month has been a bit disorganized.

    Posted by R. Wilson | November 28, 2011, 8:18 am
  7. With fascists getting installed in leadership positions set to becoming a “new normal”, here’s an article from 2001 about a 1995 secret meeting that reminds us of the fascist presences on the anti-EU/eurozone side of the farce debate. Heads they win. Tails you lose:

    Sunday Mirror
    November 11, 2001
    IDS AND LE FASCIST; Tory leader at secret meeting with French racist.


    TORY leader Ian Duncan Smith faced a fresh row over racism last night after it emerged he held a secret Commons meeting with a leading French fascist.

    He was among a group of top Tories who agreed to talk to members of the French National Front, which campaigns for black Africans to be expelled from the country.

    After the meeting, held behind closed doors in a private office, Mr Duncan Smith also had drinks in a Palace Of Westminster bar with leading French National Front politician Bruno Gollnisch.

    The meetings were set up by the extreme right-wing Western Goals Institute, a shadowy group which once arranged for French NF leader Jean-Marie le Pen to address a fringe meeting at the Tory Party’s annual conference.

    The institute also arranged for Alessandra Mussolini, the fascist-sympathising granddaughter of Italy’s wartime leader, to attend another fringe meeting.

    Mr Duncan Smith’s Commons meeting was conducted under an anti-European Union banner.

    It was also attended by at least five other senior Tories including former Chancellor Norman Lamont, leadership challenger John Redwood, and backbenchers Richard Body, Paul Marland and John Sweeney.

    Details of the meetings, in October 1995, were kept secret at the time.

    But in Paris yesterday French NF secretary Mr Gollnisch – who is also a Euro-MP and has his own internet website for his headquarters town of Lyon, said: “I came to London with other members of the French National Front to meet members of the British Conservative Party who were sympathetic to our views.

    “The meetings were to hold an exchange of views on Europe.

    “We, like the Conservative MPs we met, are strongly opposed to the disappearance of national identities under a monstrous European super-state.

    Since taking over the Tory leadership earlier this year, Mr Duncan Smith has been plagued by the emergence of past links with right-wing groups.

    He was forced to sack a member of his campaign team who was unmasked as a British National Party sympathiser. In an effort to present a moderate, voter-friendly face to the public he has also expelled the Monday Club – which favours repatriation for immigrants – from the Party.

    The Western Goals Institute is even more extreme. One of its former presidents, Clive Derby-Lewis, was convicted of involvement in the murder of Chris Hani, a black South African activist. His predecessor was Salvadorean death squad leader Major Roberto D’Aubuisson.

    Mr Duncan Smith was last night accused by one of his own party members of “gross hypocrisy” for removing right-wingers from key posts.

    It’s also important to remember that pro/anti-EU or whatever, fascists of all stripes love a good old fashioned financial crisis. Big money has always been a significant presence in the background of any fascist movement and that’s who wins in a crisis (and then there’s the political/social value of destroying the economy). So, to some extent, economic crises are the raison d’etre of fascists movements. That’s part of what makes the proposed treaty changes to the EU so fascinating: the automatic tax-increases/budget-cuts that are being proposed will put a constitution guarantee in place for self-reinforcing economic crises. And if the the eurozone doesn’t take the plunge and accept changes, it’s being set up to be one gigantic clusterfuck crisis the whole world. Heads they win, tails we all lose.

    Anyways, I wonder what ever happened to Conservative leader Ian Duncan Smith?:

    Iain Duncan Smith: Child poverty approach ‘set to fail’

    2 December 2011 Last updated at 07:13 ET

    Iain Duncan Smith has said tackling child poverty by boosting family income through benefits is a narrow approach which “looks set to have failed”.

    The work and pensions secretary said there were problems with officially classifying child poverty as a family on 60% or less than the median income.

    It created perverse incentives to lift people just over the mark, he said.

    Official figures published on Tuesday suggest child poverty is set to swell by 100,000 over the next few years.

    The previous Labour government introduced a Child Poverty Act, creating a legally binding requirement for the government to end child poverty by 2020.

    Official figures suggest 2.8m children are living in poverty.


    This week the Institute for Fiscal Studies said it remained “inconceivable” that the government would hit the 2020 target.

    Mr Duncan Smith made his comments in a speech in central London, arguing that the way child poverty was measured and tackled had proved “hugely expensive” and looked likely to fail.

    He said that while benefits would always play a “vital role” for some, such as people with serious disabilities, increased income did not always mean “increased wellbeing”.

    “Income through benefits maintain people on a low income, whereas income gained through work can transform lives,” he said.

    Secretary of Work and Pensions. Well done Mr. Smith. So just out curiosity, was there a shadowy meeting between Ian Duncan Smith and Newt last month to discuss labor law reform ideas or is this just a coincidence?

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 5, 2011, 6:55 am
  8. @Pterrafractyl: BTW, wasn’t this Ian Smith the very same man who ran Rhodesia until 1980?

    Posted by Steven L. | December 5, 2011, 4:13 pm
  9. […] Greek Fascists Set to Become Part of New Provisional Government […]

    Posted by Compendium of Information on Greece the Corporate and Fake Left (@democracynow @TheNation) Media Ignore « ce399 | research archive (fascism) | February 14, 2012, 9:25 am

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