March 31, 2016

Ekathimerini has an excellent commentary on the roots of corruption in Greece…

“Corruption is the result of a major crisis of values. This is reflected in leadership with no vision or integrity, corrupt politicians, bureaucracy, and the lack of trust toward democratic institutions. Key institutional pillars of the country need to function properly.

 The remedy is twofold: 1. Establish the rule of law. Here we have already seen some progress. 2. Create better citizens. Prevention measures aiming at cultivating new behaviors and instilling lost values in the younger generations. For this, we need visionary leadership, not only political, but in all sectors of society.”

I can now say I am staggered at the tolerance of corruption in Greece. People excuse corruption among the police, for example, by saying things like “they only earn 500 0r 600 euros a month.”

Actually, they only earn that much because of their own corruption, which is undermining the country. In fact, the whole country is on the verge of collapse because of this  widespread corruption, because of a lack of commitment to anything except short term personal gain.

One example, when I wrote to the Trygve team in Sweden and various IT experts in Greece in November to help adapt an App to prevent foreclosures in Greece, the only reply came from the Trygve team at Stockholm’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology, one of the best engineering universities in the world.

Nothing came of this project because not a single person I approached in Larisa or in Greece could apparently be bothered investing their time in preventing potentially hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens becoming homeless, and the Trygve team needed help.

What kind of attitude is that?



As for the justice system, Austrian police, at least, offered to help me in 2010 because they recognised their own children would have suffered from swine flu vaccines etc. That shows they had some love of their children and some commitment to the wider community.

Not a single Greek police officer has ever offered to help me, even although I helped stop the mass vaccination of the entire Greek population with the dangerous swine flu vaccine in 2009. The Greek police seem to be too busy watching soap operas on TV to find out what is going on in the country, and they seem to be too indifferent to their own children to do anything about the corruption.

As for the events in the Greek Orthodox monastery where I was staying in April 2015, I believe they will go down in history as examples of hypocrisy. The Abbess, Theodekti Vallianatou, defrauded me of 100,000 euros using her personal bank account and then tried a a de facto murder attempt against me because of my journalistic activities, (so she openly said it ), and presumably for more monetary gain. Her brother is a mainstream journalist and politician and allegedly a former advisor of Prime Minister George Papandreou, who has played a major role in the financial crisis.  Theodekti and the Bishop of Volos and the Archbishop of Athens are now also implicated in a vast cover up. 

Theodekti Vallianatou has also been proven to have committed serious perjury. But does the Orthodox church care? No. She continues to be left in charge of the monastery in a signal to the whole world that the Orthodox church tolerates the most blatant corruption among its ranks. Until, it seems, the police are forced to go and handcuff her and put her in jail, this woman will be left in charge of the monastery by top ranking Orthodox clergy in spite of the evidence of all her crimes. In fact, a half dozen of the sisters are implicated in various crimes from assault to death threats to perjury.

Not a single police officer, state prosecutor or lawyer involved seems to have had the backbone to say,” we will not destroy a journalist who is helping us with their information.” One year has passed and still absolutely no real investigation seems to have occurred in spite of my offering proof of the perversion of justice.

The few members of Golden Dawn I have met  are replicas of Theodekti Vallianatou. Golden Dawn members are all about taking from society as much as they can, and not about giving anything back to society.

But its the so called left, Syriza, which is treating migrants with such inhumanity in camps like Idomeni.

I have, in the meantime, identified a typical Greek character, which can only be described as the hysterical bully and arrogant sociopath. These individuals seem to have in common, weak, indulgent and ignorant mothers.

A society that produces people who are fixated on getting the next euro dangling before their eyes in the immediate moment and who are ready to murder, lie and commit any crime to get it has no future. A society whose religious institutions and personnel are corrupted to the core with greed needs radical change.

 Until Greece addresses this crisis in values, it will not prosper.

The many  beautiful things about Greece, the many good qualities of its people, will be fatally undermined without integrity, professional pride in doing a good job for its own sake and a readiness to put the good of one’s family, community and country above one’s own. This is the lesson the ancient Greeks had to learn and the modern Greeks have to learn it again.



March 31, 2016

Austria plans to tighten border controls with migrants only able to file an application for asylum at border crossings and not at police stations inside the country in future.

A decision on asylum is to be made within an hour, and those not accepted will be sent back immediately.


March 31, 2016

The Ebola epidemic no longer constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Tuesday, March 29th.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa was declared a world health emergency by WHO in August 2014, triggering plans for a mass global vaccination with an experimental Ebola vaccine.

The downgrading of the emergency status of the Ebola outbreak means that the temporary regulatory framework  adopted in response no longer applies, and the risk of mass vaccination with experimental Ebola vaccines has receded.

However, close contacts of new clusters of Ebola in Guinea are being given the experimental Ebola vaccine.

Work on an experimental Ebola jab is continuing.


March 31, 2016

Greek appeals court prosecutor Georgia Tsatani, who is under investigation for allegedly dropping a probe into  banker Andreas Vgenopoulos  has insisted she did not act alone.

In a report to Supreme Court prosecutor Efterpi Koutzamani, Tsatani said the probe should be extended to all the justice officials involved in the case.

She has said was pressured by Alexis Tsipras’ Alternate Justice Minister Dimitris  Papangelopoulos to drop the case against the banker, who plunged Cyprus into financial crisis and who owned until recently, among other entities, the company responsible for every aspect of Greek elections, Singular Logic.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Panos Kammenos accused Koutzami of covering up large-scale investigations into kickbacks.

Koutzamani responded by saying that all three of the probes mentioned by Kammenos had been forwarded to the European Union’s agency for cross-border judicial cooperation (Eurojust).

(Hopefully, the files sent were complete and accurate…)



March 30, 2016

“Meanwhile, I am happy to be able to tell you that Dr Wollaston has written to Public Health England to ask for its response to the concerns you have raised about infectious disease management. We will be in touch again once PHE has responded,” writes Huw Yardley, Clerk of the Health Committee of the House of Commons.

The pressure we are under

March 29, 2016

I came across a passage in Theoderet of Cyrus, which I think we can all relate to in these stressful times. I turned it into a poem as part of my new course of bibliotherapy.


Under pressure


My dear friend,

You ask why I have not kept my promise.

I’ll tell you the reason.


You yourself saw how the walls of Rhegium,

— the tall city profile,

could be seen for hundreds of years,

offering protection,

from lies and sophistry —

were set on fire by the Barbarians.


We thought we had only to cross

the narrow sea between Sicily and Italy

to move from the old to the new.


But violence pursued us on our boat.

Natural storms replaced soldiers.

Winds nearly gusted us into the waves.


We reached the mainland of Italy,

but found no firmness there either.

Our footprints sank into a chaotic flux.


There was no time to collect

our experiences or settle them inside ourselves,

Let alone do a translation into Latin

Of Origen’s commentary on Numbers

As I promised you.

Thanks, by the way, for the reminder.


True, the immediate dangers were over,

but they persisted before our eyes,

as memories that constantly came between us

and the page we wished to write upon.


Memories of the devastated cities and country

spilled onto our pens,

and sent them flying in another direction

from the one we aimed at.


But when we have a moment’s peace,

when night falls, when Rhegium vanishes,

when orange blossoms glisten on the sea

and stars remind us of infinity.


We take up our work.

Not to write some boring commentary

But to stir up the spirit.

To encounter the divine.



And this is the original passage of Theodoret of Cyrus…

My dear brother, I might rightly address you in the words of the blessed master, “You do well, dearest Donatus, in reminding me of this;” for I well remember my promise that I would collect all that Adamantius wrote in his old age on the Law of Moses, and translate it into Latin for the use of our people.

But, as he says, the season was not seasonable for the fulfilment of my promise, but was full of storm and confusion.

How can the pen move freely when a man is in fear of the missiles of the enemy, when he has before his eyes the devastation of cities and country, when he has to fly from dangers of the sea, and there is no safety even in exile?

As you yourself saw, the Barbarian was within sight of us; he had set fire to the city of Rhegium, and our only protection against him was the very narrow sea which separates the soil of Italy from Sicily.

In such a position, what leisure could there be for writing, and especially for translating, a work in which one’s duty is not to develop one’s own opinions but to express those of another?

However, when there was a quiet night, and our minds were relieved from the fear of an attack by the enemy, and we got at least some little leisure for thought, I setto work, as a solace from our troubles, and to relieve the burden of our pilgrimage, together into one and arrange all that Origen had written on the book of Numbers, whether in the way of homilies or in writings such as are called Excerpts,(3) and to translate them into the Roman tongue.

You urged me to do this, Ursacius, and aided me with all your might, indeed, so eager were you, that you thought the youth who acted as secretary too slow in the execution of his office.

I wish, however, to point out to you, my brother, that the object of this method of studying scripture is not to deal with each clause separately, as you find done in commentaries, but to open up a path for the understanding, so that the reader may not be made negligent, but as it is written may “stir up his own spirit” and draw out the meaning, and, when he has heard the good word, may add to it by his own wisdom.

In this way I have tried to give all the expositions which you desired; and now of all the writings that I have found upon the Law the short comments upon Deuteronomy alone are wanting; these, if God so will, and if he restores my eye-sight, I hope to add to the body of the work.

Indeed, my very loving son Pinianus, whose truly Christian company I have joined in their flight because of my delight in their chaste conversation, requires yet other tasks from me.

But do you and he join your prayers that the Lord may be present with us, and may give peace in our time, and shew mercy to those who are in trouble, and make our work fruitful for the edification of the reader.



March 29, 2016

From Ekathimerini

At least three of the men involved in the Brussels terror attacks on March 22 had passed through the island of Leros and Athens, authorities said, confirming foreign medias reports last week.