Tag: Greece

“Antithesis of Democracy” (Or: Winston Churchill & Portland)

“Antithesis of Democracy” (Or: Winston Churchill & Portland)

Churchill’s stunning relevancy

It is remark­able how we still encounter in Churchill words of astound­ing cur­ren­cy. A friend in Port­land, Ore­gon asked for ver­i­fi­ca­tion of a Churchill quo­ta­tion: “A love for tra­di­tion has nev­er weak­ened a nation, indeed it has strength­ened nations in their hour of per­il….”  (“The Tasks which Lie Before Us,” House of Com­mons, 29 Novem­ber 1944.)  A good, sol­id max­im, but not out of the ordi­nary.

AND THEN my eye fell across what Churchill said a week lat­er. Its cur­rent appli­ca­tion, to Port­land among oth­er places, is remark­able. December 1944 Only two months after Greece had been lib­er­at­ed from Ger­man occu­pa­tion, left­ist ele­ments of the gov­ern­ment resigned and began an armed rebel­lion.…

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Greece and the European Union

Greece and the European Union

Greece’s Debacle

A friend sends James K. Gal­braith‘s thought­ful arti­cle, “From the Destruc­tion of Greece to Democ­ra­cy in Europe” (Boston Globe, 22 August):

Last year’s third bailout of Greece, imposed by Europe and the Inter­na­tion­al Mon­e­tary Fund, does to Greece what Ver­sailles did to Ger­many. It strips assets to sat­is­fy debts….a quag­mire of graft to sup­port an illu­sion that Greece could “com­pete” as part of the euro. Already in 2010 the IMF knew it was break­ing its own rules by pre­tend­ing that Greece could recov­er quick­ly, sus­tain a huge pri­ma­ry sur­plus, and repay its debts….…

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El-Sisi: The Churchill Test

El-Sisi: The Churchill Test

No Man of God, but Maybe Our Man…

On Christ­mas eve 1944, Prime Min­is­ter Win­ston Churchill left fam­i­ly cel­e­bra­tions and flew to Athens to medi­ate the Greek civ­il war. Com­mu­nists and roy­al­ists were fight­ing it out, but, armed with one promise Josef Stal­in actu­al­ly kept, Churchill thought he could give Greece a chance at democ­ra­cy.

(Stalin’s kept promise was the round­ly-con­demned “per­cent­ages agree­ment” in Moscow a few weeks ear­li­er, which gave Britain a sphere of influ­ence in Greece in exchange for Sovi­et spheres in pret­ty much the rest of East­ern Europe.)

Churchill had nev­er heard of Arch­bish­op Damask­i­nos, the man his For­eign Office said might rec­on­cile the fac­tions and head off a Com­mu­nist takeover.…

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