High life

Come back Aristotle Onassis – all is forgiven

In today's hothouse world of privilege and pretension there is no semblance of good taste

6 September 2014

9:00 AM

6 September 2014

9:00 AM

Back in the very early Sixties there was an uninhabited islet off the west coast of Greece by the name of Skorpios. It was wild, with neglected olive groves, and its asking price was around $60,000. Step forward Aristotle Socrates Onassis, who snapped it up and for good measure put some pocket change up for the even tinier island of Sparti next door. One can swim to Skorpios from the large Ionian island of Lefkas in less than an hour — wearing flippers, that is.

Onassis was a much misunderstood character. He had great charm, spoke many languages and was very streetwise, but his looks were against him. His propensity to wear dark-blue double-breasted suits, white shirts and dark, wraparound sunglasses added to the Mafioso aura. The gomina slicked-down mane did not help and his inclination to date very famous women landed him in the wrong kind of gossip columns of the time. When he married Jackie Kennedy, the most famous woman in the world in 1968, the Onassis name became known even among Amazon tribes who had never seen a white man.

I thought of Onassis recently when a Swiss friend went to stay with the Russian oligarch whose daughter bought Skorpios last year. The oligarch is the king of shit, a manure tycoon whose wife was awarded something like four billion greenbacks in their rather unfriendly divorce (that doesn’t mean, of course, that she will collect such an amount). All I can tell you is that it’s a long social drop from the Onassis days to the present — in fact, it’s like falling out of an airplane flying at 55,000 feet. Onassis invested $3 million to turn a wild, uninhabited isle into a flower-decked gem with six miles of roads through the olive groves, a beautiful harbour for the Christina (then the biggest and most glamorous gin palace in the world), a villa that blended perfectly with the architecture of the Ionian isles, and a dozen guest houses to boot.


The first time I visited Skorpios was by accident. The present Duke of Beaufort (plain David Somerset back then), Gianni Agnelli and I were the three men who had begun a cruise on Gianni’s boat in July 1967. All three of us were married but the ladies on board were not our wives. The cruise started in the south of France, but by the time we reached Lefkas Gianni had got rid of the tarts. ‘Let’s stop by and see old Aristo,’ he said. The Duke (who reads The Spectator) will confirm that Onassis was not happy to see us drop anchor on his island. This was because of the widow, whom Gianni spotted racing off on a speedboat as soon as we appeared. Onassis nevertheless showed us around the place and offered us a drink. Then it was time for us to be on our way.

This was more than a year before the world was shocked to hear that Jackie Kennedy was to marry the Greek tycoon. Well, I could have had a world exclusive, but it was a good ten years before I began this column, with a couple of trips to Vietnam and the wars in the Middle East, and before the Taki name had been heard of by the reading public. Looking back, I could have leaked it to, say, Nigel Dempster, but it was not the kind of thing people did back then. Onassis died in 1975 and Agnelli in 2003, but the Duke and I are still around as is Skorpios. But the last is in, shall we say, rather different hands.

This rambling disquisition on the distilling process of memory seems to have become a habit as I look back on a life of mostly pleasure and fun. I don’t think it’s a yearning to relive the past, only to point out how different the rich used to be. If I were to drop anchor uninvited in Skorpios today, I would not be surprised if I were shot at. Let’s not forget that the king of shit also has a chalet in Gstaad with bulletproof windows — or so I’m told by reliable sources, as I have not gone checking them myself. So, a yearning to recapture the year I was 30 and in the company of two good friends could earn me a bullet up the bum, or at least a shot across the bow.

Such are the joys of today’s new money. And, in a perverse way, this might not be a bad thing. The yearning for an unreachable ideal past may never fade away, but the present makes it impossible to recover an authentic memory of certain places — places such as the French Riviera, the isles of Greece, even cities like Rome and New York that are now overrun by ghastly mass tourism and flash and brash ‘vulgarati’ like the sons-in-law of Bernie Ecclestone. Onassis may have had new money but he aped his social betters by turning his island into an Ionian paradise, not a designer-label fortress nor a pinnacle of show-off. The landscaping and architecture was as Ionian as it gets. The Ionian islands that the poor little Greek boy’s father came from are the only islands to have had a Renaissance as they were under Venetian, English and French rule until they reverted back to us late in the 19th century.

In today’s hothouse world of privilege and pretension, there is no semblance of good taste. Today’s nouveaux riche are narcissists. I miss the Onassis days.

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  • GREECE NEEDS A GOVERNMENT OF GRAECOONS NOW!

    Graecokleptocrats are the shitscum of planet Earth,
    whereas Graecoons make the world move around.
    That’s why Graecoons must replace Graecokleptocrats in the Greek
    government. Keynote Speaker Basil Venitis, venitis@gmail.com, http://venitism.blogspot.com

    Greek tychoons, aka Graecotycoons or Graecoons, have
    major impact on global shipping and trade. Ordinary Greeks seldom harass Graecoons,
    for the simple reason they have no idea where to find them, Monaco, London, Switzerland,
    God only knows! To a Lower-99% Greek an Upper-1% Greek is invisible. A Graecoon
    pays no taxes, lives no place, and bears no relationship to miserable Greeks of
    Graecokleptocracy. As the Lower-99%
    Greeks expects nothing of Graecoons, an Upper-1% Greek always exceeds their
    expectations! The Upper-1% is the Atlas
    that supports the Earth on his shoulders.
    When Atlas shrugs the Lower-99% will not have a prayer! Greeks
    admire and cherish Graecoons.

    Greeks have one
    trillion of euros safely stored in tax havens.
    Greece is a poor country with very rich people. Greeks are horrible
    citizens but enthusiastic patriots. Greek-owned
    ships transport a quarter of the world’s seaborne cargo. But the world’s
    largest merchant fleet does not have any major impact on the Greek economy, because
    shipping revenues are not taxed, in accordance with the Greek constitution. If this
    protection were abolished, the shipping companies would move to other countries
    the same day. Shipping companies usually register their fleets in Liberia,
    Panama, and offshore centers, but the administrative offices are in the
    Athens-Piraeus area.

    Graecoons have always been secretive in nature, especially when
    it comes to their fortunes. Assessing the ultimate value of Greek private
    sector wealth is an impossible task, because much of the money exists offshore,
    secreted away in Swiss bank accounts or invested in real estate in London and
    Monaco. But it must be in trillion
    euros. Now, with Tsipras talking more and more about nationalizing companies
    and industries and taxing the rich, Graecoons are ready
    to flee Greece.

    Greece’s income tax revenue is seven percent of gross
    domestic product, well below the eleven percent average for euro zone
    countries. Even so, there has been little talk by recent governments or even by
    Greece’s financial backers about imposing taxes on shipping companies, a move that
    would prompt them to take their offices elsewhere. That would be a blow Greece would have trouble
    absorbing. The shipping industry employs about a quarter million people, and it
    brings in twenty billion euros in foreign exchange every year, making it the
    country’s top single foreign-exchange earner. Greek shipowners are also some of the
    country’s largest investors, owning large tracts of real estate and interests
    in tourism, banking, and media.

    Aristotle Onassis was the most celebrated Graecoon, married to Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. Wishing to honor the memory of his son Alexander, who
    died in 1973, in an airplane crash at the age of 25, Aristotle
    Onassis directed in his will that half of his estate should be transferred upon
    his own death to a foundation to be established in Alexander’s name. In 1975,
    the executors of the estate accordingly established a pair of foundations,
    incorporated in Vaduz, Liechtenstein: the Business Foundation, which acts as a
    holding company for the underlying business interests, and the Alexander Onassis
    Public Benefit Foundation which is the sole beneficiary of the Business
    Foundation. All activities of the Alexander Onassis Public Benefit Foundation,
    from the time of its establishment to the present, are funded exclusively by
    the profits of the Business Foundation which engages mainly in shipping and
    real estate investments. The Foundation aims at promoting Greek
    culture and civilization throughout the world.

    Stavros Niarchos was the
    second celebrated Graecoon. The Stavros Niarchos
    Foundation is an international philanthropic organization, making grants in the
    areas of arts and culture, education, health and medicine, and social welfare.
    While prominent in its support of Greek-related initiatives, the Foundation’s
    activities are worldwide in scope. Having started its grant-making activities
    following Stavros Niarchos’ death in 1996, the Foundation adheres in its
    mission to his global legacy, Greek heritage, and interest in providing
    underserved populations with access to opportunity. With offices in New York
    City, Athens, and Monte Carlo, the Foundation funds institutions that have the
    potential to achieve a broad and lasting impact.

    The Latsis family has
    made its fortune in the shipping industry, but in the last decade it has made investments,
    spearheaded by Spiros Latsis, in petroleum, finance, and real estate. The family
    owns half of the EFG Eurobank and a third of Hellenic Petroleum. It has also
    developed companies providing luxurious yachts and private jets. Spiros has a
    PhD in economics from the London School of Economics.

    Theodore and Gianna Angelopoulos have been in the spotlight of Greek
    politics and business for years. Gianna was at the helm of organizing the 2004
    Summer Olympics in Athens. Theodore’s family developed the steel industry in
    Greece, and he evolved to become a shipping magnate. He acquired the Dutch
    shipbuilding company oceAnco, transforming it to a leading shipbuilder of
    custom-built luxury mega-yachts.

    • FootLong

      Interesting stuff, could you elaborate?

      • Scarcely a week goes by in Greece without new
        revelations of political corruption. But Greek impunity
        law, introduced by Turkoglu, allows Greek
        ministers to get bribes, but it does not allow them to launder that money! That’s why out of all these ministers who got
        huge bribes, only Tsochatzopoulos got in trouble! Keynote Speaker
        Basil Venitis, venitis@gmail.com, http://venitism.blogspot.com

        Graecokleptocrats have long been dubbed
        the untouchables. MPs cannot be touched,
        because they are protected by impunity, engraved in the ridiculous constitution
        of Greece! MPs have received bribes and
        kickbacks amounting to two hundred billion euros since the end of dictatorship
        in 1974, and nobody can do anything about it.
        A seat in the parliament comes with a robbing license.

        Greece has all the right conditions for
        corruption: plenty of bureaucracy, kangaroo justice, laws with numerous
        loopholes, impunity of kleptocrats, and economic pressure. Regarding bribes and robbing the Greek
        Treasury, Premier Andreas Papandreou infamously advised Graecokleptocrats: We
        all agree, of course, that we are allowed to give ourselves a little present
        from time to time, but please don’t make it too large!

        All Greeks know most politicians are
        corrupt. Graecokleptocrats span the
        gamut of political corruption. Bribe is the gift bestowed to influence the
        recipient’s conduct. Kickback is a payment to a person in a position of power
        or influence for having made an income possible. Embezzlement is outright theft
        of entrusted funds. Patronage is favoring supporters. Nepotism is favoring kin.
        Cronyism is favoring kith. Graft is an unscrupulous use of a politician’s
        authority for personal gain.

        Greece is the queen of political
        corruption in Occident. The impunity of the 300 MPs of the Grand Brothel of
        Kleptocracy on Syntagma Square is the most freakish thing on Earth. Even though Graecokleptocrats loot many
        billion euros in bribes and churning, Graecokleptocrats cannot go to jail!

        Graecokleptocrats are protected by the
        parliamentary immunity, and nobody can touch them, no matter what. Moreover,
        they have the nerve to jail dissident bloggers.
        It’s a long way from the 300 Spartans of Leonidas! Allons enfants de la Grece!

        Graecokleptocrats who own offshore companies in tax
        havens never declare them to tax services. Graecokleptocrats are connected to
        offshore companies that do not appear to operate under the radar of tax
        authorities at a time when endemic tax evasion is fueling a financial crisis
        that has devastated Greece’s economy and threatened the future of the euro.

        Greeks are taxed on their worldwide income, so in
        theory they should pay taxes on income generated by offshore companies. But tax
        regulation is complex in Greece and there are many legal loopholes
        Graecokleptocrats can use to avoid declaring their assets. Offshore companies
        are used by Graecokleptocrats for unlawful enrichment.

        Tax evasion is so rampant in Greece that it’s at the
        core of an economic crisis that continues to cripple the country’s economy
        despite the infusion of billions of dollars in bailouts from wealthier European
        neighbors. As austerity measures and riots have garnered unwelcome
        international attention, Greece has become known as a worst-case example of the
        toll of the 2008 economic meltdown and the dangers of fiscal irresponsibility.

        According to a recent report by the European Union and
        the International Monetary Fund, Greeks owe a quarter of the country’s gross
        domestic product. A Greek journalist
        caused a political storm when he published the names of about 2,000 Greeks with
        bank accounts in Geneva, the Lagarde list. To add to the drama, a former Greek
        finance minister, George Papaconstantinou, was accused of deleting the names of
        his relatives when he first got the Lagarde list. A half-biilion euro account belonging to the
        mother of a Greek premier was camouflaged under the name of an Israeli agent!

        Many of the Graecokleptocrat companies are
        incorporated in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), a chain of coral and volcanic
        islands in the Caribbean. The islands host about 500,000 active companies, about
        40 percent of all the world’s offshore firms.
        If rich countries can withstand tax evasion from offshore companies,
        Greece cannot. The international community stands silent, covering the actions
        of these companies.

        The reach of the Greek offshore economy extends
        particularly to military contractors. Former minister of defense, Akis
        Tsochatzopoulos, was arrested and jailed, charged with laundering the bribes
        received through offshore companies.
        Bribing Graecokleptocrats is legal, but not money laundering!

        Contractors for the Greek air force are closely
        connected to secretive entities registered in the BVI. Interoperability Systems
        International Hellas S.A. is one of the companies that since 2003 has
        participated in a $242 million contract for the production of electronic
        warfare equipment for Greek F-16 fighter jets. The company has also provided
        electronic hardware and software for the U.S. Navy and governments around the
        world.

        At the time the F-16 contract began in 2003, a BVI
        entity called Bounty Investments Ltd. owned 33 percent of ISI Hellas S.A. Some
        of the shareholders of the offshore company were managers of ISI: David Adams,
        Johan Boskemper, Gerhard Mazenier, Heinz Winter and David Tham.

        The offshore structure had yet another layer. Bounty
        Investments was a shareholder in another BVI company called Interoperability
        Systems International Ltd, almost the same name as ISI Hellas SA. One of the
        directors of this company was Nikolas Papatsas, ISI Hellas SA’s current
        president.

        There was a third and even more secretive company,
        Belchamps Management Limited, which for several years used bearer shares —
        meaning that the owners of the shares were not officially registered anywhere.
        Commonwealth Trust Limited, an offshore services firm that BVI authorities
        sanctioned for its lax anti-money-laundering controls, took over management of
        the three companies.

        Under CTL’s management, ownership of the three
        companies became even more opaque. Sarah Petre-Mears, a Brit who acts as
        nominee director for 1,200 companies in the Caribbean, U.K., New Zealand and
        Ireland, became director and shareholder of Bounty Systems, Interoperability
        Systems International and Belchamps Management. Of the three BVI entities, only
        Bounty Investments Ltd appears in the list of offshore companies kept by the
        Ministry of Finance.

        Defense contractors should not be part of the largely
        unaccountable offshore economy. Any direct or indirect contractual relationship
        between defense ministries and offshore companies, in any form, should be
        condemned, even if only for transparency reasons, in a sector replete with
        corruption allegations.

        Another way Graecokleptocrats use offshore companies
        is to buy and sell bonds — thus keeping the arrangements cloaked in secrecy and
        avoiding taxes on the profits. On February 21, 2007, a Cyprus law firm created
        an offshore company in the BVI called
        Karpathia Ltd. It used the same registered agent as the Greek military
        contractor, Commonwealth Trust Limited. It named two companies as nominee
        directors of Karpathia.

        The single shareholder behind the mysterious entity
        was Apostolos Vakakis, chairman of the retail conglomerate Jumbo SA, one of
        Greece’s largest companies. Karpathia purchased 3.5 million convertible bonds
        issued by Jumbo SA for €36.7 million. Within the next six months, while Jumbo’s
        stock remained stable, Karpathia made a windfall: It sold 2.85 million bonds
        for €65.1 million. The buyers of the bonds remained anonymous and are part of
        the mystery surrounding the transaction.

        Michael Christoforakos, former president
        of the Greek subsidiary of Siemens, revealed some names of the 200
        Graecokleptocrats, who shared two billion euros in kickbacks, to the prosecutor
        of Munich, where he escaped from Greece.
        He also deposited all names with two public notaries in Munich, in case
        he gets murdered by agents of Graecokleptocrats. This way he stays alive! But the Greek government has not pressed charges
        against the 200 Graecokleptocrats, because they are protected by immunity and
        they are in power in Greece, members and ex-members of the Greek government and
        parliament. You just cannot press
        charges against yourself! Moreover, the
        Greek government does not even reveal their names for the voters to know who
        they are voting for.

        Christoforakos also revealed the names
        of twenty journalists who received many million euros in hush money to keep
        their mouth shut about the billion euro kickbacks to the 200
        Graecokleptocrats. Needless to say, those
        Graecokleptocrats who did not receive kickbacks are also guilty, because they
        all knew about the bribery of their colleagues and said nothing about it. The suitcases with the cash were whistling
        around them. There is no way they could
        not hear all that loud whistling! So, in
        reality we are talking about four hundred guilty people! Since Greeks continue to vote for the same
        crooks again and again, they deserve what they get!

        The Greek government never bothered to
        ask the Munich prosecutor for the Christoforakos list of 200 Graecokleptocrats
        who received two billion euros in bribes from Siemens. In another infamous
        list, SDOE is currently investigating the assets of sixty
        Graecokleptocrats.

        The largest bribes originate in the
        military industry. Military procurement is a corrupt business from top to
        bottom. The process is dominated by advocacy, with few checks and balances.
        Most people in power love this system of doing business and do not want it
        changed. War and preparation for war systematically corrupt all parties to the
        state-private transactions by which the government obtains the bulk of its
        military products. There is a standard 10% bribe to kleptocrats for military
        purchases.

        Participants in the military-industrial
        complex are routinely blamed for mismanagement, fraud, abuse, bribes, and
        waste. All of these unsavory actions, however, are typically viewed as
        aberrations, malfeasances to be covered-up, while retaining the basic system of
        state-private cooperation in the trade of military goods and services and the
        flow of bribes. These offenses are in reality expressions of a thoroughgoing,
        intrinsic rottenness in the entire setup.

        There is a widespread misuse of funds provided to a
        thousand Greek NGOs. Greece gave a billion euros of development aid to socialist
        kleptocrats in the Balkans, and some of it is unaccounted for.

        One organization, the International Mine Initiative
        (IMI), set up to remove landmines in Bosnia, Lebanon and Iraq, has come under
        particularly close scrutiny. IMI claims to be a world leader in demining
        operations, but it hasn’t removed a single mine! On IMI’s former director,
        Kostas Tzevelekos, was jailed to await trial on charges of fraud and
        embezzlement. Three serving diplomats linked to Hellenic Aid also face possible
        charges, including Alex Rondos, formerly Papandreou’s chief Balkan adviser, who
        now works for the European Commission.

        Some of the funds allocated for demining have really
        served another purpose. IMI helped to protect Radovan Karadzic, the former
        Bosnian Serb leader now on trial for war crimes at the International Court of
        Justice in The Hague, while he was on the run from NATO forces. Dusan Tesic, a
        former member of Karadzic’s security team, was hired by IMI as an enforcer for
        one of its programs in Bosnia. Soon afterwards, IMI replaced its local
        multi-ethnic team with workers from UNIPAK, a Bosnian Serb company with ties to
        Karadzic’s former police minister.

        We all know what happens at Olympics, an
        international competition of steroids, not athletes. People feel well during
        the games, but feel miserable after the games when they find out Olympics cost
        them ten times more than projected, and most of it went to kickbacks of
        kleptocrats! The Athens Olympics cost
        was projected to two billion euros, but it finally cost Greek taxpayers thirty
        billion euros, with all that extra money going not to the games, but to the
        private pockets of Graecokleptocrats.

        In Greece, the most corrupt country of
        Fourth Reich, trains run completely empty to nowhere! Many trains bought from Germany do not fit
        the rails, but they were bought just to generate bribes! In 2009, investigators of the Munich
        Prosecution Department uncovered a corruption affair, in which MAN has given
        huge bribes to Greek politicians to get large orders for overpriced
        trolleys. A streetcar named desire! These trolleys with huge markups are named
        bribes! But Greek prosecutors have
        started investigating this scandal just in September of 2012!

        Partyfare is a new political
        disease. Partyfare allows political parties
        to rob the State Treasury and banks by a simple vote in the parliament! The cost of Greek politics is the highest in
        Fourth Reich. Recently, a thirty-million-euro injection was granted again by
        the Grand Brothel of Democracy on Syntagma Square to its hookers! Political parties in Greece are the highest
        funded in Europe as a proportion of tax revenue, ten times more than in
        Germany. The Greek political parties receive fifteen euros per vote in State
        funding, the highest in Europe.

        Graecokleptocracy and the overflowing
        bureaucracy in Greece makes it very easy to embezzle Fourth Reich funds. Many
        professors and administrators at Panteion and other colleges, well connected to
        piggish Graecokleptocrats, were sentenced to long prison terms for embezzlement.
        A Greek court found they had misused many million euros in research funds. The
        guilty of Panteion include a rector, a vice-rector, and an accountant who
        bought a red Ferrari using research money. Money was embezzled from research
        budgets and spent on rugs, marble bathrooms, and furnishings for holiday
        apartments.

        Greece has received a quarter of
        trillion euros in Fourth Reich funds, but big parts of that went down the drain
        in economically useless or imaginary projects of Graecokleptocrats. You won’t find
        a study in Greece looking at where exactly the Fourth Reich billions are
        flowing to. You won’t get an overview of the total costs and the projects’
        exact status of implementation.

        Olive oil cooperatives, well connected
        to Graecokleptocrats, report a higher production output to Brussels compared to
        what their actual figures are to receive more subsidies. Databases to document
        their demands are run by the cooperatives themselves and are easily
        manipulated.

        Licensure is a sign of slavery. All licenses of the kangaroo justice
        government of Greece should be abolished, including doctors, lawyers, and
        marriage. The kangaroo government of Greece licensure is an immoral exercise of
        force, an overly burdensome restraint on trade, a violation of the right to liberty,
        a mill of kickbacks. Government is a guarantor of liberty and is compatible
        with liberty only if its range is adequately restricted to the preservation of
        economic freedom.

        One of the many reasons why the kangaroo
        government licensure is incompatible with liberty, therefore, is because it is
        destructive to economic freedom. No other nation demands more licenses than the
        Cradle of Kleptocracy. Any Greek has the
        natural right to pursue any means of providing for his family, so long as in
        doing so he does not act fraudulently or otherwise violate the rights of
        others.

        The kangaroo government mandated license
        turns the market of the Cradle of Kleptocracy upside down. It prohibits every
        Greek from producing in a given industry except for those who are granted the
        privilege of doing so by the kangaroo government, especially those who provide
        huge bribes to kleptocrats. The kangaroo government, in such a scenario,
        absorbs all individual rights unto itself and then divvies up some of those
        rights in any number of ways.

        Under the licensing system of the
        kangaroo government, such as it exists today in the Cradle of Kleptocracy, if
        some Greek attempts to exercise his natural right to provide for himself
        without the kangaroo government’s nod of approval, which usually comes with
        bribes, that person goes to jail. Imprisonment for supporting oneself in an
        honest and non-fraudulent manner which does not infringe on the rights of
        others just doesn’t seem right.

        Preemptive protection is offensive in
        nature, and therefore, is itself a violation of natural rights. In a free
        society, it is only after fraud or another violation of rights takes place that
        the state has the right to intervene on behalf of the consumer. By means of the licensure power, the kangaroo
        government can permit a Greek to eat or it can condemn him to starve, unless he
        bribes kleptocrats. So long as the kangaroo government has the power to issue
        licenses to live in the Cradle of Kleptocracy, Greeks cannot claim to be free,
        and living without freedom is not much of a life.

        The root causes of Greece’s crisis are
        corruption, VAT, and the enormous regulatory burden that crushes the country’s
        economy. Foreign investors have long
        been put off by bribes, myriad licenses, bureaucracy, and lack of clear laws.
        There is a mistrust in entrepreneurship. Greek bureaucracy treats anyone trying
        to start a business as if he is guilty of something. Civil servants are
        throwing you into a labyrinth on purpose, in order to get bribes. The law gives
        them the latitude to delay you or punish you.

        One of the main obstacles to more
        investment is the legal jumble that dictates how Greek businesses work. Even Graecokleptocrats admit the lack of
        clear laws and the endless requests for opinions, studies, and permits are
        there to give work to unionized specialists. There are whole businesses and
        technical offices employing engineers and experts specifically for the purpose
        of licensing.

        Requests for bribes are not always
        explicit. Sometimes people quote you a price and sometimes they drop hints
        about the cost of things and how hard it is to get by. A civil servant might tell you that
        politicians come and go, but he’ll be here waiting for you!

        Avoiding the state is the best way to
        get ahead. To sidestep the maze of permits that torment many entrepreneurs, one
        should buy an existing business that has the licenses already in place.
        Graecokleptocrats create myriad stupid fuzzy laws that everybody ignores.
        Several interests prefer a fuzzy system they can manipulate, especially in
        building permits, which are a hub of corruption.

        Investors are bewildered by the way tax
        rates and rules constantly change. The unstable system makes business planning
        difficult. The tax code requires such complicated book-keeping that most
        companies find it impossible to follow. It also requires constant visits by tax
        inspectors, which open the way to corruption.

        The Greek depression might turn to a
        constructive destruction. One hopes that
        with the nightmare that Greece is going through at the moment,
        Graecokleptocrats might have a reality check and decide to change things. Let’s
        hope Graecokleptocrats can do it, otherwise you are not going to see any
        investment in Greece.

        Incompetent political mafiosi continue
        to govern Greece today, the same people, the same corruption story. For
        decades, they have created a rotten system that permeates all segments of Greek
        society. For example, Greece’s state
        social security organization IKA has been used by many in Greece as their
        personal piggy bank. The fact that IKA coffers are empty hasn’t stopped corrupt
        public employees from continuing to transfer money to kith and kin who are not
        entitled to receive any payments at all.

        The Athens Polytechnic uprising in 1973
        was a massive demonstration of popular rejection of the Greek military junta of
        1967-1974. The uprising began on November 14, 1973, escalated to an open
        antijunta revolt and ended in the early morning of November 17 after a series
        of events starting with a tank crashing through the gates of the Polytechnic.

        November 17 is currently observed as a
        holiday in Greece. Students and
        politicians lay wreaths on a monument within the Polytechnic on which the names
        of Polytechnic students killed during the Greek Resistance in the 1940s are
        inscribed. There are no names of the Polytechnic uprising in 1973, because no
        Polytechnic student died. However all
        the people pretend that the inscribed names correspond to 1973!

        The November 17 Polytechnic
        generation has become the present-day mafia of piggish Graecokleptocrats which
        rules Greece. The Polytechnic generation
        capitalized on its experiences to gain power and wealth in a calculated manner.
        For them, the Polytechnic uprising was an alibi that opened the doors of
        Greece’s parliament and academic institutions even though they lacked the
        necessary qualifications. They were part of the big orgy of European subsidies,
        and continue to play a part in the system of corruption and dependency on state
        money. If anyone dares criticize their questionable ethics, they invoke their
        past ordeals to deflect attention from their current corruption.

        • Patricia

          Do you ever find time to eat dinner ?

      • Christian

        You really are too droll!

    • FootLong

      Interesting stuff, could you elaborate?

    • Doggie Roussel

      Mate, if you are going to cut & paste, you must take the time and effort to align your sentences & paragraphs correctly… it is a discourtesy to any readers of your prolix pronouncements to have to troll through your unedited and incoherent scribblings…

  • Stan Theman

    Greece and Poverty are twins.

  • Pepe Turcon

    Aris was also bi sexual and that’s the reason Callas was offended.

  • J’ACCUSE!

    I accuse the government of Greece for:

    Persecuting me for four years

    Stealing my life

    Stealing my computer and files

    Spreading lies about me on all Greek media

    Using the kangaroo justice as a political tool

    Postponing my trial eight times

    Locking me in jail without toilet for a night

    Making me urinate in a bottle

    Humiliating me with handcuffs, fingerprints, and mug shots

    AN UNCONSCIONABLE SILENCE

    The political philosopher Edmund Burke once remarked that all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good folks to do nothing. A glaring example is my persecution by the government of Greece, which grossly violates my civil rights.

    THEN THEY CAME FOR ME!

    Martin Niemöller said: First
    they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a
    Socialist. Then they came for the Trade
    Unionists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not
    speak out, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one
    left to speak for me!

    GOVERNMENT
    STOLE MY LIFE

    It’s been now four
    years since the government of Greece stole my life, my computer, and my
    files. Nobody cares, nobody gives a
    damn! I have done absolutely nothing,
    and I am being persecuted by the Greek government without any real reason. My ordeal is against all rules of civil
    society and treaties that Greece has signed.
    Greece, a
    country without a functioning justice system, has gone bananas. Graecokleptocrats use the kangaroo justice as a political tool
    to gag political opponents. Graecokleptocrats
    think the laws exist to give them whatever they want! Basil Venitis, venitis@gmail.com, http://venitism.blogspot.com

    STOLEN LIVES

    GEORGE ORWELL’S MINILUV AND MINITRUE

    MINISTRY OF PUBLIC DISORDER AND CITIZEN HARASSMENT

    MINILUV

    POLICE STEALING COMPUTERS!

    On October 18, 2010, a gang of six brutal cops of the violent Greek
    Cyber-Crime Unit (CCU), a real godzilla, supervised
    by a dishonest prosecutor, a disgusting liar, raided my home in Athens and stole my computer,
    software, files, documents, and personal data.

    HUMILIATED

    The policemen locked me in jail for a night, they
    humiliated me with handcuffs, fingerprints, mug shots, and lies, leaked false
    information to the media parrots, and the Greek government initiated sham
    ex-officio court proceedings for a stack of freakish trumped-up charges!

    URINATING
    IN A BOTTLE!

    There was neither pillow nor toilet
    facility in my jail cell. I had to urinate in a bottle! I, a 69-years-old man with high blood
    pressure, was not allowed to keep my hypertension pills with me. There was
    neither toilet paper nor soap in the whole CCU jail.

    MINISTRY OF INJUSTICE, OPACITY, AND HUMAN DEPRIVATIONS

    MINITRUE

    Greece, a
    country of infinite political corruption, perjury, injustice, and brutal
    police, must be revamped. Ex-officio
    law suit, αυτεπαγγελτος, the
    most dreadful word in justice, means the state sues somebody without
    involvement of the accuser. This
    terrible scheme has been used by the Greek government to persecute me.

    EX-OFFICIO TERROR

    Mariliza
    Xenogiannakopoulou, Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs, sued me, and she
    wouldn’t show up in court, because the state took over her position!

    DISGUSTING
    KANGAROO JUSTICE

    PSORIASIS
    OF DEMOCRACY

    At the ex-officio law
    suit, the accuser just hits and runs!
    This hit-and-run justice is the most disgusting kangaroo justice on
    Earth. The accused must be in a position
    to face his accuser eyeball to eyeball. The right to confront and cross-examine
    one’s accuser is a sign of civility. The malicious accuser slings false
    accusations against you, the state takes over, the accuser disappears from the
    court, and the trial is postponed infinite times! This is penalty of the presumed innocent. This is penalty without trial. This is kangaroo justice of Third World
    countries! This is barbarity and
    brutality, pure and simple. Shame, shame, shame on Greece.

    SHAME ON GREECE

  • Jose Martins

    So, Taki is a toff.
    That’s the only thing I squeezed out of this article.

    • GenJackRipper

      Snark.

    • RadioJockhadistan

      He would like to be – what would he turn into if a couple of free market capitalist Turks attempted to buy the same islands today?
      A convincing socialist in no time whatsoever.

  • jim

    Hadn’t your pal, Gianni, previously given the black widow one?

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