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Referendum: Greek voters angry at media & creditors, scare-mongering campaign seems to backfire

The family of a friend is divided: her husband and her two children, 20 and 21,  will vote “NO” in Sunday’s referendum, while she – a left-wing voter all through her voting life – was still undecided on early Saturday afternoon. “Hm… I don’t know yet, I despise the old corrupt politicians but I’m scared about our economic future,” Eleni tells me.

She was scared when she heard on Friday night about the Financial Times report claiming that a 30% ‘haircut’ on deposits of over €8,000 was possible.

On Sunday morning, Eleni, 55, went to the polling station and crossed the NO. “Ah, WTF! I cannot be on the same line with all the corrupt politicians of the past, with the country’s lenders.”

Polling stations for Greece’s crucial referendum opened at 7 o’ clock in the morning and will be open until 7 in the afternoon. The first secure estimation of the result is expected by 9 p.m.

The first secure estimation will be based on the counting of 10% of the ballot boxes. It will be released, if NO-YES difference is above 4%-5%. Otherwise, it will be released later.  via state ERT TV

There will be no exit polls, as pollsters said that they have not experience for referendum exit polls.

Also Vicky told me this morning that she voted in favor of NO, also despite the fact that she was scared to death by the FT report. “I overcome the shock. I had a talk with myself and decided to take the risk. If you think of who has been campaigning for the YES, then it makes it easy to decide…”

With exception of Communist KKE that decided to cast its own ballots and vote “invalid” and extreme-right Golden Dawn that will vote NO, all opposition parties campaigned for YES. They lined up together with Greece’s mainstream media and the country’s the creditors: European Union, International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank, even the European Parliament President and President of Council of Europe. Juncker, Dijsselbloem, Lagarde, Tusk, Schulz, Schaeuble, Merkel… the list of national and international YES-supporters is incredible and dangerously long.

Dangerously in the sense that the YES-propaganda got literally out of control in an unprecedented scare-mongering paranoia. I have never seen such a fear-mongering delirium in the last 5 years, since Greece sought the creditors’ bailout. One-sided and often misleading information, local and foreign politician’s statements of Referendum-Doomsday, scenarios of sheer economic horror and total collapse.

Although I have been covering, monitoring and reporting about Greece-creditors talks of the last 5 years and did the same during the elections of May and June 2012 and January 25th, the European Parliament elections 2014, this time I saw that Greeks were exposed to a 24/7 YES bombardment as never before.

And many people got angry. Very angry. “I stopped watching news and political programs since last Friday. What they do is criminal… to scare people like that,” Antonis, 67, a YES-voter, told me. He said that he voted YES because he has been always voting for the conservatives, that is New Democracy, and he doesn’t like neither does he trust Tsipras and the communists.

People got very angry at the mainstream media, primarily at the television channels that among others have been overly reporting about the queues outside the banks and the ATMs, about the “pensioners with trembling legs trying to get €120 from their pension”, “with the last power left in them pensioners try to get money” – original TV-stations quotes.

An eyewitness told me that some angry pensioners attempted to put the van of a private TV-station on fire, on Friday. The incident took place in a suburb of south Athens, outside a bank. Another friend who has been frequently using this bank told me that there are always queues outside this bank because it is the only branch in the area, after 4 others were closed in the last years. “The TV van was there every day, the whole day,” he added.

Greek Journalists’ Union ESIEA issued a statement on Saturday sharply criticizing mainstream journalists and using heavy expressions.

“Unfortunately, some colleagues mainly in television media, instead of following the imposed strict ethical rules, diverted to delinquent behavior, substituting the journalistic function with undisguised propaganda.

This provocative behavior of journalists who act as εγκάθετοι and cause the general indignation is being denounced. Particular is the responsibility of managers and other executive personnel in all media.”

ESIEA also condemned attacks against journalists and urged the media to avoid behaviour that escalates a “dividing atmosphere” in the country.

εγκάθετος: somebody who takes position on purpose, following specific orders. [sorry, I don’t know the word in English]

The scaremongering propaganda in favor of YES seems to backfire. While public opinion polls were very clearly in favor of NO at the beginning and the difference YES-NO went on knife-edge by Friday, now more and more people and analysts estimate that NO will have a very clear difference than expected.

“I cannot vote in favor of what corrupt politicians and media propagate, all those who brought our country to this situation” said Anna, 45, a former PASOK voter. “Look, YES-supporters even put pressure on Karamanlis* to come out in favor of YES, although he hasn’t said a single word in the last 5 years, about the crisis. Or Papandreou, who ruined us.”

“The media talk is crap. Of course, I understand that it is about in this Referendum even if the question is confusing,” said Despoina, 64. “It is about to decided on something new or follow the same old path of politicians who have no respect of the people. It is about our pride as a nation, as a country.”

Τhe Referendum campaign officially concluded on Friday with two big rallies by YES and NO supporters.

Image result for ΝΑΙ διαδηλωση

   NO-rally on Friday

Image result for ΝΑΙ διαδηλωση

  YES-rally on Friday

The  ‘fight’ continued on Saturday and Sunday on television stations, newspapers and social media.

   referendum

Front Page of mainstream TO VIMA on Saturday. “YES to Euro in Greece”

 

On Sunday, YES-supporter Nikos told me, he estimates the result to be 60%-65% for NO. Some other people estimate that NO will win with some 60%.

“NO must win so that Tsipras can start negotiations from a complete new basis,” says Yiannis, 21, “With the old regime, with the corrupt politicians there is no future for us.” According to polls, the majority of Greece’s youth supports NO and thus up to 70%. The majority of Greece’s youth is without job and youth unemployment has been constantly at least 50% in the last 4-5 years.

In order of the Referendum to be valid 40% of registered voters must cast their vote.

Concluding this report, I reckon my blog-post on the day of January 25th elections, when a lot of Greeks had said that it was anger that triggered their decision.

It looks as if the boomerang is on its way back this Sunday.

—–>Helps understand why Greek media support the Yes-vote-Greek Mainstream Media: Economic Interests Come Before the Law

*Costas Karamanlis – New Democracy was Prime Minister 2004-2009. According to official data, the Greek Debt skyrocketed during this time.

PS KTG’s estimation on Referendum result? 55%-62% for NO.

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13 comments

  1. costa sakellariou

    ironically, in this context, in written english at least, for εγκάθετος you would probably want to use the french expression agent provacateur!

    i worked as a journalist in athens in the good old days of andreas, mimi, koskotas, kapetan iotas making governments with mitsotakis…

    i have to say that events today seem to have reached a new level!

  2. εγκάθετος: lackey -in the derogatory sense of the word… Or simply put, “piece of sh!t.”

  3. Lets hope for a “No”. It would be good to end this. Nobody is going to get anything in the current situation.

    Greek would be better off with a new currency unless some serious reforms are finished. The Eurozone would be better off without Greece in its current state of blaming.

    • But this isnt about leaving the EZ, this has been said many many times.
      I agree that and end to this charade is needed, but yes or no tomorrwor there still need to be negotiations.

    • The eurozone will fail is the most likely result of Greece leaving; and Greece failing is a possibility too. The Bundesbank has stated that Germany will lose well in excess of 14 billion euros if Greece quits.

      This is a lose-lose situation, but the Germans are too stubborn and stupid to see it.

      • Giaourti Giaourtaki

        They’ve put 14.4 billion aside but they’re not sure if that’s enough

    • Its not a question of Greeks going back to the drachma, yet the rationale for this is a no-brainer from my perspective.

      The issue is the intensity of lies, deceit and disinformation from the EU, its institutions and much of the foreign and Greek media. The propaganda has been unprecedented and is a reflection of how seriously the EU and its lackey organisations are privately taking the outcome (oxi)of this referendum.
      The Greeks are the ones who have suffered the most and they are the ones to (finally) choose their destiny from now onwards.

  4. Lackey: a person who is or acts like a weak servant of someone powerful.

    There is a more succinct term that better describes a lackey of particular despicable nature but before using the term it should be placed in historical context and respect given to those black slaves that used the term, and of course there are valid concerns regarding political correctness when using such a term today. It is not a term I would use in everyday discussion but considering the moment and circumstance, perhaps there is no term more “politically correct” for what is going on today in the cradle of democracy, where media and others are willing to sell a false narrative to their own suffering people in the hopes of pleasing their master. That said:

    Pre-civil war many black slaves in the US suffered under extremely harsh and often cruel conditions. The working slaves had a term for one of their own that sold out to the “master.” They were called, “house niggers.” There were of course exceptions regarding their character and at times they were chosen for other non-traitor like reasons, such as for their looks or mannerisms. But in general “HN”s were not to be trusted. A “HN” often received favor by the master, including easier work, often in the house, better food and other more posh conditions.

    In return for such favor, some “HN”s reported to the master on other slaves working the fields, for example reported to the master on working slaves learning to read, organizing rebellion, escape, storing food for their families and so forth. Of course there were those “HN”s working from within but in general the term is derogatory. Often associated with a person willing to sell out their own suffering and depraved people for their own self-interest. Shameful. Perhaps in today’s context this “HN” term is most synonymous with another term so widely used for such people, that of the modern “politician” -with but few exceptions.

  5. That things in the Colony are not what they should be
    no one can doubt any longer,
    and though in spite of everything we do go forward,
    maybe—as more than a few believe—the time has come
    to bring in a Political Reformer.

    But here’s the problem, here’s the hitch:
    they make a tremendous fuss
    about everything, these Reformers.
    (What a relief it would be
    if no one ever needed them.) They probe everywhere,
    question the smallest detail,
    and right away think up radical changes
    that demand immediate execution.

    Also, they have a liking for sacrifice:
    Get rid of that property;
    your owning it is risky:
    properties like those are exactly what ruin colonies.
    Get rid of that income,
    and the other connected with it,
    and this third, as a natural consequence:
    they are substantial, but what can one do?
    the responsibility they create for you is damaging.

    And as they proceed with their investigation,
    they find an endless number of useless things to eliminate—
    things that are, however, difficult to get rid of.

    And when, all being well, they finish the job,
    every detail now diagnosed and sliced away,
    and they retire, also taking the wages due to them—
    it will be a miracle if anything’s left at all
    after such surgical efficiency.

    Maybe the moment has not yet arrived.
    Let’s not be too hasty: haste is a dangerous thing.
    Untimely measures bring repentance.
    Certainly, and unhappily, many things in the Colony are absurd.
    But is there anything human without some fault?
    And after all, you see, we do go forward.

    Cavafis (1863 – 1933)

  6. Greece awful times is good times for Merkel, who benefits
    from the lower value of the euro, the result of the problems
    of Greece et al, that is the result of the troikas stupid
    policy,so of course she would like to “help” the Greeks
    forever, but a great people, who has fighted so good for such a long
    time, would they fall on their knees now?

  7. Giaourti Giaourtaki

    Makes up a nice map:
    In Frankfurt 1000
    Rallies also held in Lübeck, Freiburg, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, Mannheim, Bremen,
    Rallies held in the UK in Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool and London
    In Australia in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney …
    Barcelona, Madrid, Roma
    In Brussels there were some clashes
    In Chicago was a solidarity event and several hundred also in Astoria/NYC

    • In Lisbon, at St. George’s Castle, some activists put the Greek Flag next to our own national flag! There has been some street demonstrations and even a congress with some of our most known policitians from left to right wing (just not the current government of traitors and sell-outs) to show support.
      I would say there’s a wealth of symbolism on this gesture and lots of passion for your cause, given the status of a national monument and the Green and Red flag.