The European Commission in Athens organizes a special event on April 1st exclusively for bearded Greeks. The event is supposed to be a campaign against Fake News, however, it does not addresses all citizens in the country.
“Cut the beard. Stop Fake News. See the clean face of truth,” is the slogan of the event that uses the slang expression “κόψε τα μούσια” -literally “cut the beard”- Greeks use to tell somebody to stop lying.
However, the Commission campaign in Greek is full of awkward and ill-advised expressions a Greek would never use and automatic translation on internet would not dare to publish. For example, no Greek “tells mousi” on April Fool’s day as the Commission writes but one “tells lies.”
“April 1 is traditionally the day everyone tells beard [sic!]. So, make the difference and cut off the beard, … your own beard! The day has come for ALL to cut our beard![sic!]” the Commission statement reads.
The Athens representation calls on Greeks to “become a member of the #KopseTaMousia campaign implemented by the European Commission in Greece against Fake News” and explains how people can participate:
“Come on Monday April 1st, at 11:30 at the Syntagma Metro at the big event #KopseTaMousia and cut off your beard in the presence of the media”
“If you can not be with us, then cut your beard wherever you are and upload the picture on social media with the hashtag #KopseTaMousia by tagging the European Commission in Greece.”
The Commission press release concludes “We are awaiting news from you. Time has come to focus on the true face of events because we all want accurate news with no …hair [sic!]. “Tρίχες”, hair, is another Greek expression for “lies.”
The campaign can go to history as an EPIC FAIL as apart from the strange langues, it also clearly states that only men with beard are responsible for fake news and excludes men without beard as well as women.
“Let’s all cut our beard!” the EU Commission office in Athens hails on its Facebook page.
Κόψε τα μούσια! Δες το καθαρό πρόσωπο της αλήθειας.🧔
Την Πρωταπριλιά, σε περιμένουμε: Μετρό Συντάγματος στις 11.30
— Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή 🇪🇺 (@EEAthina) March 29, 2019
Majority of Greeks commenting the campaign on social media urged the EU Commission instead of cutting beards to cut the humbug.
Some suspected the creator of the inexpedient and far-fetched campaign is some 90-year-old advertiser who experienced his career peak in the 1960’s and 70’s. Preferably a Philellene with possibly a good command of the Greek language.
Many drew the Commission’s attention to who is responsible for fake news – at least in Greece.
Τα μεγαλύτερα και επικινδυνότερα fake news μεταδίδονται από τις οθόνες των τηλεοράσεων, τις σελίδες των εφημερίδων και τους ιστοτόπους των ίδιων αυτών ΜΜΕ.
Όχι #KopseTaMousia λοιπόν αλλά μάλλον #KopseThMalakia, κύριοι της @EEAthina
— Λουκάς Σταμέλλος (@LStamellos) March 31, 2019
“The biggest and most dangerous Fake News are broadcast on television screens, the newspapers and the websites of the mass media. No #KopseTaMousia but cut the humbug.”
@OneGiorgos who has a nice beard wrote:
Σιγά μην κόψω το μούσι μου για να σταματήσετε εσείς τα fake news #KopseTaMousia
— Ένας Γιώργος (@ggkriniaris) April 1, 2019
“You want me to cut my beard so that you stop fake news.”
And some posted the famous quote of Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker from November 2014 “When it becomes serioous, you have to lie.”
If EU Commission spends thousands of euros for idiotic campaigns it should also learn another Greek expression “Οποιος εχει τα γένια, εχει και τα χτένια.” it literally translates “Who “who has the beard has also the comb” meaning “Before someone gets involved in doing something difficult [metaphorically τα γένια], he should secure that he has the tools [metaphorically τα χτένια] to overcome this difficulty.