Friday, January 25, 2008


Greece is a wonderful country. Every time we go there, we love it! We've got a cupboard full of Nescafe to prepare the real Greek frappe all year round, for that holiday feeling. We've emailed the Greek National Tourism Organization inquiring about scenic posters for our apartment (but they haven't replied***). Funny we haven't written anything about Greece yet! It is possible that by now we've got a couple of Greek friends reading us, and we would hate to disappoint them by neglecting their beautiful country. We've been busy with Pakistan and Belgium, for heavens' sakes. Not to mention, our friend Biko Azinuth the Author is Belgian, yet he prefers to set his books in Greece. We have no excuse!

So we've been trying to sort out Greek politics. Modern Greek politics, that is. It turns out is is real simple. Greek names tend to be long and complicated, but as far as politics is concerned, you only need to remember about five of them and you've covered a century, as we'll demonstrate. For the purposes of this post we will stick to initials, in order to keep life the way we like it, easy and simple. But that does not mean that same initials do not correspond to same names in what follows! They do!

The Greek Prime Minister KK (picture, center) is visiting Turkey. It's a grand symbolic event. Anything close to the Middle East is the perfect destination for country leaders in trouble, seeking a grand exit. Turkey is practically Middle East and at the same time Greece's most befriended neighbor and enemy, so KK got two in one with this. [Name count: 1, for KK.]

Last time a Greek Prime Minister paid an official visit to Turkey was 49 years ago. And that had been KK's uncle, also called KK. See? [Name count: 1 + 0 new = 1.]

The opposition leader in Greece was GP last time we checked. He inherited his party from his father, AP. Actually, there was a period between AP and GP when the party (and the country) was run by some parachutist, whose style was too German to last, so forget about him. [Name count: 1 + 2 new = 3.]

AP was pursuing a successful academic career in America, when his own father, GP (see?), ex-Prime Minister (also known as the Old Man of Democracy - it's a positive term), died, about 40 years ago. On the day of his funeral, crowds of people took to the streets to bid farewell, despite the risk of being spotted and prosecuted by the Junta. There was a 7-year Junta in Greece some forty years ago. What would you do if you were AP and as charismatic, if not more, as your father? You'd set up your own party in exile, fight to restore democracy, and then return to claim your place in the political life of your beautiful and once again democratic country. [Name count: 3 + 0 new = 3. No new names in this paragraph.]

So AP (that's GP's son and GP's father), representing the leftish, and KK (that's KK's uncle), representing the rightish, were the chief political rivals in Greece in the late 70s. GP (AP's father) and KK (KK's uncle) were rivals in the 60s. Not much has changed, except that the inbreeding has been turning the political scene into a more and more retarded mongoloid. [Name count: 3 + 0 new = 3.]

The dark-haired lady on the picture, left, is called DB. She has been mayor of Athens and a minister, among other things. She is the major rival of KK within their party. She is the daughter of KM, a senior party member, who has also been a leader of his party (and the country) in the past. KM has always been a headache to the GPs and KKs. [Name count: 3 + 2 new = 5.]

The blond lady is East German. Her name is AM and she leads Germany. Her being on the picture is an accident. We apologize. Blame Marina the Nut, who sent us the picture.


Next time in The Sopranos: How the students overthrew the Junta! How those who were not massacred took to politics and cashed in on the trauma! How the student movement also cashed in on its victories with perpetual protest, turning Universities into hothouses for Marxist-Leninist bourgeoisie!


But meanwhile, dear readers, it's weekend. Let our motto for the upcoming weekend be sung by Franz Ferdinand the group:

It's always better on holidays
So much better on holidays
That's why we only work when
we need the money.

Still waiting to hear from GNTO about those scenic posters.

***PS Jan29: Sure they did! Thank you, GNTO! For making our place feel like a real kafeneio! Waiting for the sun now.


Λωτοφάγος said...

Excellent! Very funny! Your post gave me another, much more amusing view of my country!

Roufa Tav Gosou & Mimi Lass said...

We love to entertain you!

Marina NO NUT said...

Silly people. I caught you erring. AP was already a minister in his father's government before the Junta. But it's a complicated story. Even for you. ;-)

Frog the Dog said...

It's all greek, to me :)
This is a great way to learn about history and geography.
Where's next??

Roufa Tav Gosou & Mimi Lass said...

Marina, you haven't contributed a new name, have you. Dear Frog, we don't know, but do stay tuned!