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Learn from suffering…

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Without prejudice 

By John Faraclas

The Greeks had a phrase for it: “pathei mathein, ” meaning “to  learn from suffering.”  The latest of the many  episodes to come in this modern political tragedy that Greece’s politicians created together with their accomplices in Europe and the rest of the world (to state and name things as they stand) will backfire and be paid off one day very dearly!  I guess the public’s anger will reach stages of an unprecedented apocalyptic apotheosis – just remember these two words!  As you probably know, there are several  episodes in  an ancient Greek tragedy (typically 3-5) and I guess the reply I am giving to the many viewers who contacted us, is that we are now in episode number 2 (two). You can imagine what else is yet to come; the funny thing is that there is no “stasimon, ” at least to get ready for the next episode…

What we are living through right now

John Faraclas outside the Greek Parliament: Watch this space...

John Faraclas outside the Greek Parliament: Watch this space…

The withdrawal of DEMAR (Democratic Left), a small coalition partner, leaves the threesome government in tatters, despite Mr. Samaras saying that “the government can weather the crisis.”  The two parties that governed Greece for nearly 40 consecutive years, following the fall of the military regime in 1974 and that brought the economy to a point of no return, these two foes that “support” each other under the maxim “there is honour amongst thieves, ” with this slim majority of just three deputies, sooner or later will bring the country into further chaos.  That could be fine, but there is no credible opposition for one to turn upon, only demagogues of the worst kind, good only for the worst.   Whatever the reshuffle of Mr. Samaras’ cabinet, nothing can go ahead as planned.  Nothing will go ahead as Europe has planned either – add the infamous IMF which is accountable for Greece’s rescue agenda timing!  With austerity biting, with unemployment being actually 30% (at best), with the recession celebrating its sixth anniversary – …hurray hurray, with geopolitical issues still open – some being since the days Mr.Samaras was Foreign Secretary (the FYROM  issue, for example), the Cyprus saga and the EEZ cacophony – how else we can call it…, Mr. Samaras is in dire straits.  As a sixties boy, he had better listen to the fabulous four and their song “Fixing a hole”; there is a little verse there saying:

“…See the people
standing there
who disagree
and never win,
And  wonder why
they don’t
get in my door!”


I am sure he might have some feelings, a bit of a dignity left vis-à-vis betraying his generation, his mates, his nation given his stance to add in his CV that he got the job of Greece’s Prime Minister!  With this corrupt and ridiculous political environment and given the continuation of imprisonment of former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence under the Socialists of PASOK, Akis Tsohatzopoulos, the Lagarde list, more politicians sit in the dock and go behind bars for embezzlement and other crimes against humanity; you read correctly, crimes against humanity, as what do the elderly people owe, and suffer  for the sins of others, particularly “youngsters gangsters, ” “business and political hooligans” who deprive them of their dignity during the last years of their lives? Eh!

The Troika

The Troika too, has the biggest share of the blame, call it 80 percent; why?  Well, Europe for a start knew pretty well what was going on over the last four decades in Greece, but for many reasons, mainly geopolitical, decided to weaken Greece day by day, hour by hour, so fatally wounded the Greeks  would not be able to resist and defend their local and periphery strategic interests!  Any doubt?  You see, nobody throws good money after bad!  Yet, Europe for a start was lending to the Greek Government, NOT the Greek people in order to bring them, one day, to the brink!

You see, without rules, I mean laws when you really lend money, things can turn sour as they turned in Athens.  Add the bonus-making yuppies who got involved with these loans and see what you make out of it!  Remind you that Greece was bankrupt in 1985 and 2009, yet it was too early for its enemies to pull the rag; they did it short afterwards…  None of Greece’s prime ministers was a man of his own (as the late Mrs. Thatcher would have said).  If you play golf, you know very well why golfers love their rulebook!  Why?  Because it provides an answer to just about every problematic situation they can find themselves in.  That’s why you will hardly ever see a dispute arising on the golf course.  In Greece the case was: “Playing the wrong ball…”

The ERT saga et al

In the ERT saga – Greece’s equivalent to the BBC – closedown, a very childish approach on behalf of Mr. Samaras and his advisors, where were the rules? Eh! We all knew what was happening there, but nobody ever thought to tackle the sins building up; but not in this way!  Somebody must teach Mr. Samaras et al what spring-cleaning means!

Privatisation and beyond

TRIP OVER FROM ELV TO 17062012 030

An view of Skaramanga Shipyards – idle…

And what about privatisations, with Greece’s shipyards for example, a maritime affair, and still we are in the third decade trying to privatise.  And what about proper privatisation of Greece’s strategic ports and beyond?  Or what about the Coastal shipping/passenger services: another fiasco!  Remember the latest socialist Secretary of State for Asset Restructuring & Privatizations, Ministry of Finance  Dr. George Christodoulakis?  What a parody…  Clientelism also brought Greece in this situation and still continues to be the stumbling block.  I strongly believe that all things being equal, the last thing everybody within or outside Greece wants is another inconclusive election.  Greece needs a national government for a ten year tenure to put its house in order, but not with Europe’s tube-babies…  That’s the only way out.  The rest is continuation of betrayal which will lead to public discontent and an unprecedented social revolt of the worst kind; nobody needs that.  Add the fact that there is no way to continue running Greece with the remnants of the Socialists; there are 75 percent of them in any Ministry and public or state company, organisation, save a few that Mr. Samaras appointed during the formation of his threesome government, they are good only for the bin…

In shipping, in maritime affairs they all tried to destroy the best the Greek liberal business mind has produced over ten millennia: the shipping adventure, the most successful business model world-wide.  And it’s now Greece’s shipowners, both the UGS and the GSCC who unsolicited moved in to financially assist once again and save the nation in many ways.

Where do we stand?

One thing that is important for all to learn is that the Greeks know how best to destroy themselves and their nation; they do it far better than the non-Greeks have successfully tried 560 years ago (fall of Constantinople 1453). Any objection?  And even in the… non-distant past, that is nearly 2, 000 years ago, you dead well know what I mean!  We will not allow, and I sincerely hope your good self too Mr. Samaras, that you put Hellenism above ALL, above EVERYTHING!

Despite what has been said in the international press and media, that there was a degree of confidence returning to Greece and a sense that the threesome government was holding on and that the financial crisis was beginning to recede, this is just, at best, either an on purpose wrong “estimation” or pure ignorance of how Greeks think of themselves and the situation and conversely act and react, or, as some confidants explained to me – and I fully agree with them – the continuation of the scam against Greece for “other” intents and purposes; come on , it’s obvious!

Do listen Mr. Samaras

Irrespective of the above, do take account of our many warnings – please see at the end some links – in a nutshell Greece has a future, a bright future which features at the back of our minds, but no one has had the guts to really proceed with the reforms, stand up to the circumstances and say to Europe and the IMF: basta!  Do not forget we are the world’s only self sustained nation but we lack leaders who can speak up!  Can you do it?  We have everything at our disposal, yet we do not make a move, thinking of the fear and reprisals from the powerful in this planet.  And then our ATHEX will thrive too!

For the above, a leader is needed, sorry Mr. Samaras, sorry.  We must have the strength to be unfair; we must have the strength to behave with injustice, it’s about time – unless you prove otherwise – but until then, get your act together and rise to the circumstances!  It seems that you have lost the plot!  But I will give you the chance by reminding you an English cliché that “even a worm turns”!

Moreover, your partners in this threesome administration you lead were quite the opposite from you, so that suggests to me and millions of others that you ignore the “birds of a feather”; novice anthropologists are not all birds of a feather but most of our viewers and millions around are likely to have grown up in a modern industrialised society of the sort which presupposes a particular type of major distinction between private affairs and public affairs; do you read me?

At the back of my seat in my book case I have your photograph, Mr. Samaras, given to me here in London during your campaign to be elected Nea Demokratia party leader, and the inscription at the back reads: “We support Antonis Samaras as president of the party with the hope that everything changes within Nea Demokratia, acquires new ethos and a better tomorrow.” Now, are you satisfied with your performance?

The Maritime issue

You see in shipping, following the ISM, ISPS, STCW* codes and other methods for safely and securely running our business, we are following the KPI rules (Key Performance Indicators).Ah! And we have the best environmental schemes and performance! If we dare audit you and Nea Demokratia as well as all in the Greek parliament you do not comply at all with any KPI’s on politics and risk assessment performance to run Greece, even being outside a crisis.  And what about tourism, not to mention maritime tourism: is this a nice picture of our country, the seaside of Attica to be full of rubbish, not to mention distasteful graffiti???  Is it a nice to expect millions of tourists to sail to the the Greek islands when the Coastal Shipping Services are not yet ready and more or less bankrupt?  Since the New Year holidays, people, tourists/visitors to be who wanted to come to Greece this summer enquired about the schedule time of the boats services…?  How will the millions of cruise passengers face the mess of dirt, delays, traffic jams you name it?  Eh!  This is a constructive criticism message, after all Aristotle was one of us, eh!  So, make or break!  We will all stand by you if you really want to listen; we will rally by you, but do please pay attention!  Ask yourself: “Why have Greece’s masters of the seven seas been so successful on an international level for so long – and always going upwards, despite the non-state support, despite the absence of national cargoes?” (There are dozens of ‘despites.’)  Just ask yourself!

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras

When a person or a nation abandons the strength to behave with injustice towards those who continuously harm them, it simply disappears and is thrown to the waste of this world;  We shouldn’t lose further our dignity, Mr. Samaras, as whoever continues to expect aid from the powerful on this planet, whether laymen or religious leaders, is either a daydreamer or ostracised!

The floor now is open for comments from the multitude of our international viewers and we will greatly appreciate your participation.

“Telos, ”  in other words what Aristotle called the goal!


  • ISM=International Safety Management
  • ISPS= International Ship and Port Facility Security Code
  • STCW=Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping
  • UGS= Union of Greek Shipowners
  • GSCC= Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee
  • ATHEX=Athens Exchange


  1. https://allaboutshipping.co.uk/2011/12/29/greece-should-the-shit-hit-the-fan/
  2. https://allaboutshipping.co.uk/2012/05/07/greek-elections/



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PETER SMART July 22, 2013 - 2:23 PM

Hi John .Reading yr article [late] makes me so sad . I have loved Greece since the 60’s when I was fist introduced to the amazing Greek Shipping community .What a beautiful country and I remember that under “firm control” at that time everything seemed to work . I met no unhappy people unless their gripe was to do with party politics . Is this what you were hinting at ,John ,firm control similar to the Junta but not , of course, military control?
How I long for the return of “Omorfi Ellada” ! Did I get that right Yannis???
Best regards , Peter Smart .

Nemessis First September 5, 2013 - 10:46 AM

Dear John,

I read your article with interest, not so much because of the content itself, but rather to collect views on how various people embed their perceptions and interests in their writings.

Frankly speaking, I find your article as a selective collection of facts, subjective interpretations, superficial and mislead views, easy and unverified characterisations or implications. This paints a picture which is a fiction rather than an analytical view. It is not amusing.

The subject under discussion requires serious analysis. In case this cannot be delivered, I suggest you approach some other kind of writing.



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