The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'greece'
An article looking at the state of the neo-Nazi extreme-right fringe in Australia today; in short, there are a number of small, fractious groups who identify with Nazism, tend towards violence as a mode of action and are often influenced by groups from abroad. These are distinct from, and not to be confused with, the somewhat less batshit far-right groups, with neither side wishing to be associated with the other:
Thankfully, while accounts of less serious forms of harassment typically go unreported, reports of assaults such as that committed against Minh Duong are rare, neo-Nazi violence having peaked in the 1980s and 1990s. Further, collaboration between openly neo-Nazi groups and white nationalist or neo-fascist political parties like Australia First is generally low-key, with neither camp wanting to be associated too closely with the other. Other far-right groups are split on the subject of whether "The Jew" or "The Muslim" poses the greatest threat to White Australia.While Australia's neo-Nazi skinheads may have little to do with its common-or-garden fascists and "racial nationalists", they have found acceptably zealous comrades abroad:
Australia First has declared itself in political solidarity with the neo-Nazi Greek organization Golden Dawn. In December 2013 in Sydney, it helped to organise a rally outside the Greek consulate in order to protest criminal charges against the organization. In Melbourne, Golden Dawn has recently opened an office, though its precise location remains a secret. While generally low-key and currently enjoying little support among the local Greek population, the group has had a presence at several Greek rallies. Local Greek antifascists understand it has also been engaged in fundraising, with the money raised being used to help finance Golden Dawn’s violent activities in Greece.
Greece's economic crisis has highlighted the fact that the Greek taxation system leaks like a sieve, with tax evasion being almost a point of honour. Now, under pressure from the northern European economies paying to bail them out, the Greek tax authorities are uncovering the depth of the problem:
In the wealthy, northern suburbs of this city, where summer temperatures often hit the high 90s, just 324 residents checked the box on their tax returns admitting that they owned pools. So tax investigators studied satellite photos of the area — a sprawling collection of expensive villas tucked behind tall gates — and came back with a decidedly different number: 16,974 pools.
Various studies have concluded that Greece’s shadow economy represented 20 to 30 percent of its gross domestic product. Friedrich Schneider, the chairman of the economics department at Johannes Kepler University of Linz, studies Europe’s shadow economies; he said that Greece’s was at 25 percent last year and estimated that it would rise to 25.2 percent in 2010. For comparison, the United States’ was put at 7.8 percent.The Greek government has introduced laws stepping up tax enforcement and eliminating loopholes; whether they're strong enough to survive the entrenched culture of bribery in Greece remains to be seen.
(via Boing Boing)
The New York Times has an article on the thriving indie music scene in Athens. Athens, Greece, that is:
The artistic director, Konstantinos Dagritzikos, who plays drums in the ’60s-influenced band Love Beverly, says he tries to maintain a balance between booking local independent bands and acts from abroad, like the London-based electro-punk outfit Publicist, which played at the opening, and the English D.J. collective Disco Bloodbath (traces of this group are still visible in the form of splattered fake blood handprints on Six D.O.G.S.’s graffitied facade).
Though musically diverse, the bands currently emerging out of the Athens scene like the Callas, Phoenix Catscratch, the singer-songwriter Monika, and My Wet Calvin, an experimental indie pop act that often performs in animal costumes, all share a commitment to wild, unconventional live shows and a high-concept, do-it-yourself aesthetic.I recall that there was apparently an indiepop scene in Athens in the 1990s, informed by Sarah Records-style pop from the UK and El Records/Shibuya-kei-style bossa-pop, with acts like The Crooner (who, if I recall correctly, had a few songs on compilations from the German label Apricot).
Campaigners from the Greek island of Lesbos are suing a Greek gay group to prevent them from using the word "lesbian" in their name, claiming that the use of the word "Lesbian" to refer to a sexual orientation has made things awkward for them:
In court papers, the plaintiffs allege that the Greek government is so embarrassed by the term Lesbian that it has been forced to rename the island after its capital, Mytilini.If they succeed, they plan to take the fight across the world to claim the word "Lesbian" back. Of which, of course, they stand about as much chance as Xerox and Band-Aid have of reclaiming their trademarks from generic use, hackers have of claiming the word "hacker" back from those who break into computers, or (your favourite music genre) has of dissociating itself from (watered-down commercial variant thereof).
The Turkish entry involved a woman with extremely bleached hair, singing from deep in her throat over a funky-disco backing track.
And Armenia has a chap in a sequined hoody surrounded by girls with long ponytails like the anti-Daz Sampson. Apparently he's singing in English, though you can't really tell. And now they're doing a bondage routine with black tape.
The Greek woman hosting the show sounds extremely American, both in her accent and the exuberantly bubbly way in which she says that everything is "amazing". If you had a shot every time she said the word "amazing", you'd be catatonic by the end of the night.
And here comes Nana Mouskouri in a flowing white robe and her trademark geek-chic glasses.
I don't know about you, but Lordi get my vote; the Latvians would have been my second preference.
And Greece's entry is Bonnie Tyler trapped in Anastacia's body, and a rather unique costume.
And here comes Finland, with the mighty Lordi doing "Hard Rock Hallelujah". They're a bunch of blokes in sci-fi monster/alien latex costumes doing a somewhat tongue-in-cheek metal-pop, replete with unusually comprehensible Cookie Monster vocals. Check out the impressive bat wings on the lead singer (that's the chap raising the battle axe towards the sky). I am informed that Lordi are a mainstream pop radio fixture in Finland.
Ukraine, meanwhile, have Eurodance with cossack dancing.
The Greek government just passed a law banning all electronic games, with heavy fines and prison sentences for possession of the forbidden devices. This law applies to everything from mobile phones with integrated games to DVDs with promotional game components, not to mention standard Windows installations, online chess games and so on; its purpose is to protect the virtuous Greek citizenry from the corrupting influence of online gambling, which the government has admitted to being unable to separate from other forms of games. (via Found)