ΠΑΡΑΚΛΗΣΗ: Αν φτάσατε σε αυτή τη σελίδα έπειτα από μια αναζήτηση σχετικά κάποια από τις οικογένειες Chant, Mineyko ή Παπανδρέου ή προσπαθείτε να διασταυρώσετε πληροφορίες σχετικά με τη σχέση του Ανδρέα Παπανδρέου με την Chase Manhattan, σας προτείνω να διαβάσετε τα σχόλιά μου στα Ελληνικά. εδώ.
One question that keeps coming up regarding the sad saga of Greece's public finances is - how did we Greeks put up with this stuff? How did we let it come to this? Did we not see? What the hell's wrong with us?
Foreigners used to see the Greek nation at its best - my fellow exiles studying or working alongside them, or polished fellows in hotels, or carefree hipsters in beaches and clubs. They never saw the darker side, the nation that, in the words of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, has not so much fallen as sauntered vaguely downwards. Faced with it as they are now, some retreat into stereotypes of a siesta nation. There is of course more to this, and it's much darker.
WARNING: THIS IS GOING TO BE A LONG POST
So why not try a crash course? I got one myself today while casually browsing the chief Troktiko clone, Tro-ma-ktiko. You may have noticed I keep quoting this; in fact I get it drip-fed to me via RSS on my phone. Why? Because it gives me a constant insight into the darker, more primitive thoughts of my people - the nation's limbic system if you will.
After a short build-up, the following post went up today, discussing the father of our current PM, the late PM Andreas Papandreou (he's not Papandreou Sr., btw. His father, George Papandreou, also a PM in his time, is a better candidate. You counted right. That's three PMs in three generations). The author of the post is the anonymous admin account, tro(ma)ktikos, which could be any of a number of full-time equivalent staff.
"Something that every Greek should read. Anyone who wishes to do so can look it up and check whether or not it is true [ed: thanks for nothing]. According to our sources, all that you are about to read is true."
"We've often heard it said that "we ate bread" [ed: finally achieved a tolerable standard of living] under Andreas, that he gave money away and the people could finally afford to eat, etc. But is that the case? Let us examine."
"For starters, just so that we all know what we're talking about we must examine his family tree: Zygmund Mineyko: A Jewish Pole engineer who designs armaments for the Turks, so that they can fight those Greeks who fought for freedom."
[ed: the Mineyko family history can be found here. Z.M. was born 1840 and was in fact on our side - a service for which he was decorated by the Greek state.]
"Zygmund has a daughter, Zofia. Zofia marries George Papandreou from Achaia, and together they have Andreas Papandreou. Andreas leaves the country to study in America in 1941 and marries the American Jew Margaret Chant in 1951. Margaret Chant's father was Douglas Chant who served as president of the Jehovah's witnesses of America."
[ed. this is not true. Other websites erroneously name Douglas Chant as Margaret's grandfather, and a person of rank among the Jehovah's Witnesses, not a president. The tale apparently grows in the telling]
"Andreas and Margaret have, among other children, George Papandreou, today's popularly elected PM. Now, in 1974, as the document below proves, Andreas borrowed $100,000,000 from the Rockefellers' bank, Chase Manhattan, to set up PASOK" [ed: the Greek Socialist Party]
[ed: This strikes me as excessive by 1974 standards. Compare this to the $67m spent by all candidates put together in the US presidential bids for 1976. Presumably that election was worth more of Chase's money than ours in 1981?].
"Common sense suggests that when a banker gives away $1, he expects a profit of $1,000. So Andreas was elected PM [ed: in 1981], he shut down all major businesses in Greece (Izola, Pitsos, Elinda etc. etc.) by doubling wages and national insurance contributions without reducing taxation of businesses to balance this out. The logical outcome of this was for Greece to no longer produce or export anything, shutting off the flow of state revenue (which never opened again). Moreover, he increased the number of civil servants, who unlike the now defunct industries produce no state revenues, by 1,000% and furthermore increased bureaucracy, making it impossible to do business in Greece."
[ed: Don't tell Pitsos they're no longer in business. They're very busy making appliances as we speak. Izola and Elinda have, since merging in 1977, been the same company. That's four years before A-Pap was first elected PM. They both went out of business together in 1991. Moreover, the number of civil servants went up by 57% between 1981 and 1996 - too much but not ten-fold].
"The result, due to a lack of revenue and excess costs, was for Greece to resort to BORROWING. It follows that he [ed: Papandreou] would borrow from 'familiar' banks... in order to return the favour. After 1981, Greece reaches the point, for the first time, of consuming more than it produces."
[ed. Although the criticism of A-PAP's policies is mostly correct, it should be noted that Greece has run a trade deficit every single year since at least the 1960s]
"The national debt soars from 8bn under that other father of the nation, Karamanlis [ed: that's Karamanlis Sr, the uncle of our last PM.] to 100bn. This puts Greece at the mercy of the banks (we don't need to say who owns those, anyone with an ounce of grey matter knows this)."
[Ed: The rant goes on forever, so I'll cut it short here.]
Now for the money shot. The author of this rant attaches the 'document' outlining the understanding between Chase Manhattan and Andreas Papandreou. An official-looking piece, signed by Papandreou himself on US OMC - headed paper, linking the Chase Manhattan loan to almost every Greek national security issue imaginable. This document was originally hosted on imageshack (here), not a well known place for US military intelligence to turn up. But let's give this person the benefit of the doubt.
Now please read this document carefully and see if you can guess what's wrong with it.
Now I don't personally know any evil, conspiring Jewish bankers, but I would imagine they have to at least be relatively fluent in English to keep their jobs. And they would never be able to write "Wallstreet" unless they had a gun to their heads. Not to mention putting the dollar sign at the end of the amount. I do wonder whether the hoaxer has actually finished school.
Nor would they make so many grammatical errors that just happen to read as though they came from a literal translation from the original Greek. And of course, conspiring Jewish bankers would probably have conspiring Jewish lawyers who would advise them against all of these incredibly vague phrasings (such as 'will be fixed'), as they would allow any counterparty to wriggle out of their obligation without any problems.
Astute Jewish conspirators might also have pointed out that the only purpose of a contract is to uphold one counterparty's rights in court, should the other fail to live up to their obligations. This is a document that could never possibly be submitted to a court because such publicity would inflict untold damage on both counterparties. If such a deal did exist, I suspect that Chase would deal with a breach of contract via assassination (see? I am as Greek as anyone else).
Alternatively, this document could not have been drawn up by a Harvard-educated economist like A-PAP. By now you probably get my gist. This is a hoax, and a bad one at that, created by a poorly educated Greek LOLperson between frantic porn sessions. The editors of Tro(ma)ktiko cannot possibly have failed to notice this.Yet they publish this, and the disturbing rant cited above, and urge the reader to look into the authenticity of the document, in the obvious hope that no one will bother. Already countless clones of this article have sprung up in the Greek blogosphere, and will soon find their way into the faulty collective memory of my people.
Some people might be a little thrown by the authentically 'aged' look of the document, which the authors are clearly counting on. But in fact all of the logos and signatures included here are readily available online. As for making Courier script look like a genuinely typewritten document, that's a piece of cake for anyone with a scanner. For instance, I prepared the following document within a few seconds:
Readers will know I'm no big fan of G-PAP. Yes, he's got a very bad situation to deal with, but he's dug his own hole in most respects. And at any rate, I think having yet another Papandreou at the helm is a complete affront to democracy in my country. I'll be happy to see the back of him. I also do not think much of his late father - whom many left-leaning Greeks revere almost like they would a saint, even though in reality I would liken him to a Gaddaffi-like figure, minus the guns, planes and oil. I don't know that he took money from anyone in order to set up PASOK; if he did, I wouldn't be too shocked. But this particular story is 100% fabricated. In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say that I believe the story to be fabricated by the editors of tro(ma)ktiko themselves. What worries me is that the authors know that it will chime so well with some Greek people's anti-semitic, conspiracy theorist instincts that no one will want to check.
One last note. How many people, you may ask, have read this drivel? On average, 6,000 people are reading tro(ma)ktiko at any given moment. If Troktiko is any indication, we're probably talking 400,000 readers per day. You can check it out here.
Are you scared yet?