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2008-02-29

Μια Έλλάδα, Μια Φωνή...Έλληνες Παντού!

῾Σήμερα, εδώ, χτυπά η καρδιά της Ελλάδας... χιλιάδες χιλιόμετρα μακριά από την Πατρίδα, αποδεικνύουμε ότι η Ελλάδα είναι παντού! Με την παρουσία σας δείχνετε ότι οι αποστάσεις και οι ωκεανοί δεν μπορούν να μας χωρίσουν. Είμαστε πάντα κοντά. Όσα χρόνια κι αν περάσουν, είμαστε και θα μείνουμε πάντα δίπλα. Έλληνες παντού! Όπου κι αν ζούμε, κουβαλάμε μαζί μας, στην καρδιά και στο μυαλό μας, την Πατρίδα. Την Ελλάδα που αγαπάμε. Την Ελλάδα που μας ενώνει... ο Απόδημος Ελληνισμός, οι Ελληνικές Κοινότητες του Κόσμου, είναι σημαντικό, αναπόσπαστο κομμάτι του Ελληνικού Έθνους῾


Ομιλία Πρωθυπουργού κ. Κώστα Καραμανλή

Μάϊ 26 2007, Σύδνεϋ, Αυστραλίας

2008-02-27

No Independence For Kosovo Petition

THIS PETITION IS CURRENT

Additional Targets: Senators: Joseph Lieberman (IN-CT) , John McCain(R-AZ), Joseph Biden(D-DE) and Gordon Smith(R-OR)

A Petiton to Urge That Kosovo is Not Severed From Serbia and Respect of Nation-State Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity

VOTE NO ON SENATE RESOLUTION 135

VOTE NO ON HOUSE RESOLUTION 309

VOTE NO ON HOUSE RESOLUTIONS 36

VOTE YES ON House Resolution 445 sponsored by Reps. Melissa Bean (D-IL) and Dan Burton (R-IN).


Sign the Petition for - NO Independence for KOSOVO

2008-02-26

Της Αλεξίας Ανδρ. Καψαμπέλη

ΕΠΙΣΤΟΛΗ - ΠΑΡΑΠΟΝΟ ΠΡΟΣ ...

ΚΑΘΕ ΕΝΔΙΑΦΕΡΟΜΕΝΟ

Της Αλεξίας Ανδρ. Καψαμπέλη

Φοιτήτριας στο 4ο έτος της Νομικής Σχολής Αθηνών

2008-02-19

A Serbian connection in the Greek revolution-1821-

A historical figure that played a significant role in the Greek revolution against the Ottoman Empire in 1821, was Vassos Mavrovouniotis.

He was born in Bjelopavlic in modern day Montenegro in 1795. Since his early youth he joined the Serbian rebel forces and regurarly commanded raids across the Balkans. In 1821 he directed a force of 120 men of mixed Serbian, Montenegrian and Greek nationality and joined the early stages of the Greek revolution. His first stop was in central Greece where he met with Nikos Kriezotis, an old time Greek fellow warrior with whom he was a “Vlami”, meaning spiritual brother. This term comes from the ages-old practice in the Balkans where people could become like brothers by performing a specific ritual. In 1822 he participated in the fight against the Turks in Athens where he showed bravery and was widely accepted as one of the best fighters of its period. In 1824 a Greek civil war erupted and Mavrovouniotis joined forces with the goverment mainly composed by Greeks he knew since the early stages of the revolution. For his commitment to the side that finally won the domestic conflict he was assigned the rank of the General and was given a force of 1,500men; a considerable army at that period.

In the period between 1826-27 he was one of the few guerilla fighters not to be defeated by the Egyptian forces led by Imbrahim Passa, that nearly destroyed the Greek forces. In the newly established Greek state in 1830’s he became a member of the elite that surrounded the first Greek King Otto from Bavaria.

He died in 1847 and was widely admired by the Greek people as one of the leaders of the Cause and as one of the leading figures of the independent state.

Mavrovouniotis married Helena Pangalou from a very well known Greek family in 1826, and she followed him throughout the harsh campaigns in the Greek mountains against the Turks. She died in 1891 and they had a son called Timotheos Vassos-Mavrovounitis. He also became a general and was decorated in numerous occassions for his duties and success as a serviceman in the second half of the 19th century.

Nowadays the Mavrovouniotis family no longer exists, the Greek history though has already positioned him as one of the leaders that managed to create the Greek nation state and liberated the country after a 400 year foreign oppressive rule.





The biography of Mavrovouniotis was written by A. Chrysologi in 1876, Athens.

Let the truth be know...

Congressman Michael Bilirakis, in his speach to the Leadership 100 Conference on Hellenism and Hellenic Issues, he spoke of the difficulty in getting support in the U.S. Government on such pressing issues as resolution of the division in Cyprus, disputes between Greece and Turkey over the Aegean and opposition to the use of the name “Macedonia” for the Balkan republic bordering Macedonia in Greece. He said this was often due to the ineffectiveness of Greek Americans in pressing these issues with members of Congress across the nation.

We must object when Kosovo declared independence 2 days ago, we must unite and let our voices be heard LOUD and CLEAR, KOSOVO is SERBIA! Where are the rallies around the world in support of the Serbs? Where are all the Greek-American politicians?, what are their positions, on this grave issue?, where are the Greek-American statements for the support of our Orthodox brothers?, were is the Greater Mother Russia? Will they stand by again, one more time as they did in the 90's, Today the Islamo-Fascists take Kosove, and no Greek or Orthodox voices were heard! in solidarity of the Serbs, Tomorrrow they will come for Us! (MAKEDONIA, THRAKH, KYPROS) and there will be no one left to raise their voices.


Speech 28 June 1989 Slobodan Milosevic


By the force of social circumstances this great 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo is taking place in a year in which Serbia, after many years, after many decades, has regained its state, national, and spiritual integrity. Therefore, it is not difficult for us to answer today the old question: how are we going to face Milos [Milos Obilic, legendary hero of the Battle of Kosovo]. Through the play of history and life, it seems as if Serbia has, precisely in this year, in 1989, regained its state and its dignity and thus has celebrated an event of the distant past which has a great historical and symbolic significance for its future.

Serbian Character -- Liberational

Today, it is difficult to say what is the historical truth about the Battle of Kosovo and what is legend. Today this is no longer important. Oppressed by pain and filled with hope, the people used to remember and to forget, as, after all, all people in the world do, and it was ashamed of treachery and glorified heroism. Therefore it is difficult to say today whether the Battle of Kosovo was a defeat or a victory for the Serbian people, whether thanks to it we fell into slavery or we survived in this slavery. The answers to those questions will be constantly sought by science and the people. What has been certain through all the centuries until our time today is that disharmony struck Kosovo 600 years ago. If we lost the battle, then this was not only the result of social superiority and the armed advantage of the Ottoman Empire but also of the tragic disunity in the leadership of the Serbian state at that time. In that distant 1389, the Ottoman Empire was not only stronger than that of the Serbs but it was also more fortunate than the Serbian kingdom.

The lack of unity and betrayal in Kosovo will continue to follow the Serbian people like an evil fate through the whole of its history. Even in the last war, this lack of unity and betrayal led the Serbian people and Serbia into agony, the consequences of which in the historical and moral sense exceeded fascist aggression.

Even later, when a socialist Yugoslavia was set up, in this new state the Serbian leadership remained divided, prone to compromise to the detriment of its own people. The concessions that many Serbian leaders made at the expense of their people could not be accepted historically and ethically by any nation in the world, especially because the Serbs have never in the whole of their history conquered and exploited others. Their national and historical being has been liberational throughout the whole of history and through two world wars, as it is today. They liberated themselves and when they could they also helped others to liberate themselves. The fact that in this region they are a major nation is not a Serbian sin or shame; this is an advantage which they have not used against others, but I must say that here, in this big, legendary field of Kosovo, the Serbs have not used the advantage of being great for their own benefit either.

Thanks to their leaders and politicians and their vassal mentality they felt guilty before themselves and others. This situation lasted for decades, it lasted for years and here we are now at the field of Kosovo to say that this is no longer the case.

Unity Will Make Prosperity Possible

Disunity among Serb officials made Serbia lag behind and their inferiority humiliated Serbia. Therefore, no place in Serbia is better suited for saying this than the field of Kosovo and no place in Serbia is better suited than the field of Kosovo for saying that unity in Serbia will bring prosperity to the Serbian people in Serbia and each one of its citizens, irrespective of his national or religious affiliation.

Serbia of today is united and equal to other republics and prepared to do everything to improve its financial and social position and that of all its citizens. If there is unity, cooperation, and seriousness, it will succeed in doing so. This is why the optimism that is now present in Serbia to a considerable extent regarding the future days is realistic, also because it is based on freedom, which makes it possible for all people to express their positive, creative and humane abilities aimed at furthering social and personal life.

Serbia has never had only Serbs living in it. Today, more than in the past, members of other peoples and nationalities also live in it. This is not a disadvantage for Serbia. I am truly convinced that it is its advantage. National composition of almost all countries in the world today, particularly developed ones, has also been changing in this direction. Citizens of different nationalities, religions, and races have been living together more and more frequently and more and more successfully.

Socialism in particular, being a progressive and just democratic society, should not allow people to be divided in the national and religious respect. The only differences one can and should allow in socialism are between hard working people and idlers and between honest people and dishonest people. Therefore, all people in Serbia who live from their own work, honestly, respecting other people and other nations, are in their own republic.

Dramatic National Divisions

After all, our entire country should be set up on the basis of such principles. Yugoslavia is a multinational community and it can survive only under the conditions of full equality for all nations that live in it.

The crisis that hit Yugoslavia has brought about national divisions, but also social, cultural, religious and many other less important ones. Among all these divisions, nationalist ones have shown themselves to be the most dramatic. Resolving them will make it easier to remove other divisions and mitigate the consequences they have created.

For as long as multinational communities have existed, their weak point has always been the relations between different nations. The threat is that the question of one nation being endangered by the others can be posed one day -- and this can then start a wave of suspicions, accusations, and intolerance, a wave that invariably grows and is difficult to stop. This threat has been hanging like a sword over our heads all the time. Internal and external enemies of multi-national communities are aware of this and therefore they organize their activity against multinational societies mostly by fomenting national conflicts. At this moment, we in Yugoslavia are behaving as if we have never had such an experience and as if in our recent and distant past we have never experienced the worst tragedy of national conflicts that a society can experience and still survive.

Equal and harmonious relations among Yugoslav peoples are a necessary condition for the existence of Yugoslavia and for it to find its way out of the crisis and, in particular, they are a necessary condition for its economic and social prosperity. In this respect Yugoslavia does not stand out from the social milieu of the contemporary, particularly the developed, world. This world is more and more marked by national tolerance, national cooperation, and even national equality. The modern economic and technological, as well as political and cultural development, has guided various peoples toward each other, has made them interdependent and increasingly has made them equal as well [medjusobno ravnopravni]. Equal and united
people can above all become a part of the civilization toward which mankind is moving. If we cannot be at the head of the column leading to such a civilization, there is certainly no need for us to be at is tail.

At the time when this famous historical battle was fought in Kosovo, the people were looking at the stars, expecting aid from them. Now, 6 centuries later, they are looking at the stars again, waiting to conquer them. On the first occasion, they could allow themselves to be disunited and to have hatred and treason because they lived in smaller, weakly interlinked worlds. Now, as people on this planet, they cannot conquer even their own planet if they are not united, let alone other planets, unless they live in mutual harmony and solidarity.

Therefore, words devoted to unity, solidarity, and cooperation among people have no greater significance anywhere on the soil of our motherland than they have here in the field of Kosovo, which is a symbol of disunity and treason.

In the memory of the Serbian people, this disunity was decisive in causing the loss of the battle and in bringing about the fate which Serbia suffered for a full 6 centuries.

Even if it were not so, from a historical point of view, it remains certain that the people regarded disunity as its greatest disaster. Therefore it is the obligation of the people to remove disunity, so that they may protect themselves from defeats, failures, and stagnation in the future.

Unity brings Back Dignity

This year, the Serbian people became aware of the necessity of their mutual harmony as the indispensable condition for their present life and further development.

I am convinced that this awareness of harmony and unity will make it possible for Serbia not only to function as a state but to function as a successful state. Therefore I think that it makes sense to say this here in Kosovo, where that disunity once upon a time tragically pushed back Serbia for centuries and endangered it, and where renewed unity may advance it and may return dignity to it. Such an awareness about mutual relations constitutes an elementary necessity for Yugoslavia, too, for its fate is in the joined hands of all its peoples. The Kosovo heroism has been inspiring our creativity for 6 centuries, and has been feeding our pride and does not allow us to forget that at one time we were an army great, brave, and proud, one of the few that remained undefeated when losing.

Six centuries later, now, we are being again engaged in battles and are facing battles. They are not armed battles, although such things cannot be excluded yet. However, regardless of what kind of battles they are, they cannot be won without resolve, bravery, and sacrifice, without the noble qualities that were present here in the field of Kosovo in the days past. Our chief battle now concerns implementing the economic, political, cultural, and general social prosperity, finding a quicker and more successful approach to a civilization in which people will live in the 21st century. For this battle, we certainly need heroism, of course of a somewhat different kind, but that courage without which nothing serious and great can be achieved remains unchanged and remains urgently necessary.

Six centuries ago, Serbia heroically defended itself in the field of Kosovo, but it also defended Europe. Serbia was at that time the bastion that defended the European culture, religion, and European society in general. Therefore today it appears not only unjust but even unhistorical and completely absurd to talk about Serbia's belonging to Europe. Serbia has been a part of Europe incessantly, now just as much as it was in the past, of course, in its own way, but in a way that in the historical sense never deprived it of dignity. In this spirit we now endeavor to build a society, rich and democratic, and thus to contribute to the prosperity of this beautiful country, this unjustly suffering country, but also to contribute to the efforts of all the progressive people of our age that they make for a better and happier world.

Let the memory of Kosovo heroism live forever!

Long live Serbia!

Long live Yugoslavia!

Long live peace and brotherhood among peoples!

2008-02-18

Albanian Occupiers Declare Holy Kosovo-Metohija "Independent"

Dear Serbian, Greek, and other Eastern Orthodox Brothers and Comrades,

Albanians, with the help and backing of the Western imperialists, have declared Holy Kosovo-Metohija -- the ethno-religious spirtiual heartland of Orthodox Serbia -- as "independent" from the Serbian state! We are heartened to learn that Serbia, Russia, Greece/Cyprus, Romania, and Bulgaria have made it clear that they will not recognize this anomalous pseudo-entity as a state.

However, we must ensure that not a single Orthodox Christian state recognizes this so-called independence and, should any Orthodox state recognize "independence" (now or ever), all militant Orthodox Christian revolutionaries (and particularly those who champion the holy cause of Orthodoxy, Radical Nationalism, and Socialism) are called to do whatever they can in whatever capacity to overthrow the political establishment in question and punish the traitors that would betray our Orthodox Christian Faith and our Orthodox Serb Brothers.

In addition, all Orthodox Christians -- revolutionaries or not -- are called to offer their humble prayers to Christ our Lord and to the Mother of God -- for this is a spiritual battle that will be won only through our faith and spiritual growth and strength as Orthodox Christians and, of course, through the divine mercy of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Long live the One True Faith of Orthodoxy and our Fatherlands!

Adamantios Koukouves
Founder of Serbian-Hellenic Brotherhood: www.serbia-hellas.com

"Today KOSOVO, Tomorrow MAKEDONIA, and then, THAKI.... a sad day for Orthodoxy! One more victory for the Islamo-Fascists.",
by Enas-Ellhnas-blogspot.com

2008-02-15

ΓΡΑΜΜΑ ΣΤΟΥΣ ΕΛΛΗΝΕΣ ΤΗΣ ΑΜΕΡΙΚΗΣ -

Αγαπημένοι Έλληνες, συμπατριώτες της μακρινής Αμερικής. Δεχτείτε τούτο μου το ποίημα, σαν ένδειξη αγάπης, από μια ποιήτρια που κάποτε ζούσε στον Καναδά και επέστρεψε στην πατρίδα. Από μια ποιήτρια με πραγματική έγνοια κι αγάπη για την Ελλάδα όπου γης και για όλους εσάς, που είστε στην άλλη όχθη. Επειδή με την ψυχή στο στόμα θα παρακολουθήτε τα όσα συμβαίνουν τελευταία στην Ελλάδα κι ίσως σκέφτεστε πως «εδώ» δεν υπάρχουν … πια Έλληνες!.... Ας κρατήσουμε την ενότητα που οφείλουμε να έχουμε ως Έλληνες, γιατί ο τόπος μας, περνάει μια πολύ δύσκολη περίοδο. Τη Γλώσσα, την Ιστορία και την Ορθοδοξία, ας κρατήσουμε άσβεστη φλόγα στην καρδιά μας και ας φροντίσουμε να έχουμε μεταξύ μας αγάπη! Στα δύσκολα ας είμαστε ενωμένοι κι όχι…διασπασμένοι. Έχουμε ιερή υποχρέωση για την Ελλάδα μας! Διότι οι Έλληνες, οι γνήσιοι Έλληνες, όπου γης μεγαλουργούν!



Ο ΘΡΗΝΟΣ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΑΔΑΣ*(1988-2008)

Νότα Κυμοθόη (απόσπασμα)



Αφιέρωμα εξαιρετικά στους ΈΛΛΗΝΕΣ όπου γης



« Τόπους δεν έχω να κρυφτώ, μνημεία για να λάμψω

Ποτάμια μέσα να ριχτώ, δάφνες να λημεριάσω.

Έχω φορτίο μνήματα, πέτρες ολούθε σκόρπιες

που σκέπασαν τη λεβεντιά στη λήθη ξεχασμένη.

Μεγάλʼ υψώνεται βοή στα χείλη του λαού μου

όταν καινούριοι βάρβαροι του κλέβουνε τον ήλιο

πονεμένος σέρνεται, τρώγοντας το κορμί μου.



Βουνά μονάχα μου ΄μειναν, γυμνά κι ανταριασμένα

που σεργιανούν αγέρηδες και λιώνουν τη θωριά μου.

Μιλάνε με παράπονο κι άλλοτε φοβερίζουν

το αίμα να θυμίζουνε των ιερών αγώνων.

Βουβάθηκαν οι λύρες μου, πεθαίνουν τα τραγούδια

η αίγλη του Βυζάντιου χορτάριασε στα λιθάρια

και το Αρχαίο Πνεύμα μου σωπαίνει ρημαγμένο.



Ασώτεψε τώρα η ψυχή στην ύλη πουλημένη

με καταφρόνεση περνά κι η σκόνη που τη θάβει.

Γενιές τις μνήμες άφησαν, γκρεμίσανε τη δόξα

χτίζοντας τη φθορά παντού, απλώνουνε τη φρίκη

στις ρίζες μου που έκοψαν ντόπια σκυλιά και λύκοι

μαζί με ξένους δάχτυλους με σέρνουνε στις στράτες

κουφάρι απʼ ανάγκη με πληγές που όλο μεγαλώνουν.



Αυλάκωσαν τα στήθια μου οι άδειες υποσχέσεις

και γίνηκαν τα όνειρα συντρίμμια και λαχτάρες.

Πληθαίνουν τώρα οι οιμωγές, οι πόνοι και η θλίψη.

Κόκαλα τρίζουν μέσα μου ηρώων και μαρτύρων

που βγαίνουν απʼ τα μνήματα και περπατούν στους δρόμους

γυρεύοντας την Ανθρωπιά σε τούτο εδώ τον τόπο

που θάφτηκε στη λησμονιά του έλους διχασμένη.



Ανέμισε η ξεγνοιασιά και η παλιά μου νιότη.

Ανήμπορα τα γερατειά φωλιάζουν στα στασίδια.

Σκοτείνιασαν τα μάτια μου και η κρυφή χαρά μου

συγνέφιασε, ραγίστηκε, σκόρπισʼ απελπισμένη.

Στείρο το πνεύμα μου, βουβό, στο πλήθος των εγγράφων

ο τάφος μου είναι ανοιχτός κι όλο με περιμένει

με τʼ άψυχο το νεύμα του, εκεί να με σφραγίσει.



Ξερίζωσαν τη «Γλώσσα» μου, την έκαναν κουρέλια.

Ξέφτισαν τη «Θρησκεία» μου τη πούλησαν για χρήμα.

Κι ότι μας άφησαν κληρονομιά, το παίζουνε σε τζόγο…

Λίγες μνήμες κράτησαν στη νέα «ιστορία».

Αυτά όμως δεν κρατούν τους Έλληνες ενωμένους.

Είναι στη ράχη τους σταυρός και ιερό τους χρέος

ατόφια να τα δίνουνε αιώνια στα παιδιά τους.



Οι όσοι χριστήκανε να υπηρετούν εμένα την Ελλάδα

κι εσένα, που είσαι Έλληνας ή Ελληνίδα ατόφιοι,

από τους θώκους τους τρανούς του άριστου πολίτη

και πήραν αξιώματα, τίτλους και μεγαλεία…

δεν μπόρεσαν κοινωνικά να φτιάξουν άλλο κόσμο

παρά τα πλούτη αύξησαν ολάκερου του σογιού τους…

δίνοντας για αντάλλαγμα κομμάτια από εμένα!

Φωνάζουν μέσα μου οι νεκροί και δεν βαστώ το πόνο!..



Τους ξέγραψαν οι γνωστικοί στα νέα μας βιβλία

που γράφτηκαν για τα παιδιά, να μάθουνε στο ψέμα

να μη μπορούνε να σταθούν σε μνήμες και αλήθειες.

Άλλα να λένε οι γονείς κι άλλα οι δάσκαλοί τους!

Μʼ ένα κουβάρι γράμματα τυλίγουν τα παιδιά μας…

Κόκαλα τρίζουν μέσα μου Ελλήνων προδομένων

απʼ όσους τουφεκίζουνε τώρα την ιστορία.



Κάψαν τη «Γαλανόλευκη» στον Άγνωστο Στρατιώτη.

Σʼ αυτόν, οπού σε μάχες ρίχτηκε για την Ελευθεριά σου

για να ονειρεύεσαι τώρα εσύ και όλα τα παιδιά σου!

« Ο Ύμνος της Ελευθερίας» πουλήθηκε σε παζάρια

Εκεί, οπού Εθνόσημα παίζονται σε ζάρια

αυτών οπού κρατούν τους δείκτες των τιμών

των άτιμων και άνομων καιρών!



Ταφόπετρες με γέμισαν προδότες και ρουφιάνοι

να μη μπορώ στα βράχια μου να κόβω ένα βοτάνι

μήτε τη θάλασσα την αρμυρή σαν πρώτα νʼ αγναντεύω

γιατί το Φως σφραγίζεται, το πνεύμα ξεψυχάει.

Πώς να ορθώσω τη ψυχή, το δόλιο ανάστημά μου

με τέτοια οργή νεκρών στα σπλάγχνα που βογκάει;

Ποιος είνʼ αυτός ο γνωστικός που θέλει να λυγίσω;



Παιδιά μου, Έλληνες όπου γης, γενιές γονιών σπουδαίων

κρατήστε ατόφια στη καρδιά όλη την Ιστορία,

τη Γλώσσα την ελληνική και την Ορθοδοξία.

Γιατί αυτά είναι οπού βαστούν το όνομα Ελλάδα.

Αμέτρητα ονόματα με τίμησαν με πάθος

Κι έρχονται κάποιοι να μου πουν πως όλα ήταν λάθος!

Συντρίβοντας με το πείσμα τους τις μνήμες των προγόνων…»

…......συνεχίζεται…….

Νότα Κυμοθόη, Αθήνα, Φεβρουάριος 2008,

( για τα ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ ΝΕΑ ΤΗΣ ΑΜΕΡΙΚΗΣ)

Καταργήθηκε ο φόρος κληρονομίας στην Ελλάδα!

Του Χρήστου Ηλιόπουλου


Ψηφίστηκε προ ημερών από την Βουλή των Ελλήνων ο νέος νόμος για την κατάργηση ουσιαστικώς του φόρου κληρονομίας. Για την συντριπτική πλειοψηφία των κληρονόμων ο φόρος κληρονομίας είναι πλέον παρελθόν! Οι περισσότεροι συγγενείς μπορούν να κληρονομήσουν είτε χωρίς να καταβάλουν καθόλου φόρο, είτε με την καταβολή του ένα τοις εκατό (1%) το μέγιστον, της αντικειμενικής αξίας των κληρονομιαίων ακινήτων. Γίνεται αντιληπτό ότι επί της πραγματικής αξίας των ακινήτων ο φόρος είναι τελικώς απειροελάχιστος και πολύ κάτω του 1%.


Ο νέος νόμος ισχύει για κληρονομιές από 1-1-2008, αλλά σε ορισμένες περιπτώσεις ήδη από 13-12-2007. Σύμφωνα με τις νέες διατάξεις, οι κληρονόμοι διακρίνονται σε τρεις κατηγορίες, την Α, Β και Γ. Στην Α΄ κατηγορία περιλαμβάνονται α) ο σύζυγος του κληρονομουμένου, β) οι κατιόντες πρώτου βαθμού (τέκνα από νόμιμο γάμο, τέκνα χωρίς γάμο έναντι της μητέρας, αναγνωρισθέντα εκούσια ή δικαστικά έναντι του πατέρα, νομιμοποιηθέντα με επιγενόμενο γάμο ή δικαστικά έναντι και των δύο γονέων), γ) οι κατιόντες εξ αίματος δεύτερου βαθμού (δηλ. εγγόνια) και δ) οι ανιόντες εξ αίματος πρώτου βαθμού (δηλ. οι γονείς).


Σ
τη Β΄ κατηγορία υπάγονται: α) οι κατιόντες τρίτου (δισέγγονα) και επόμενων βαθμών, β) οι ανιόντες δεύτερου (παππούς, γιαγιά) και επόμενων βαθμών, γ) εκούσια ή δικαστικά αναγνωρισθέντα τέκνα έναντι των ανιόντων του πατέρα που τα αναγνώρισε, δ) κατιόντες του αναγνωρισθέντος έναντι του αναγνωρίσαντος και των ανιόντων αυτού, ε) οι αδελφοί (αμφιθαλείς ή ετεροθαλείς), στ) οι συγγενείς εξ αίματος τρίτου βαθμού εκ πλαγίου, ήτοι τα ανήψια, ζ) οι πατριοί και οι μητριές, η) τα τέκνα από προηγούμενο γάμο του συζύγου, θ) τα τέκνα εξ αγχιστείας (γαμπροί . νύφες) και ι) οι ανιόντες εξ αγχιστείας (πεθεροί . πεθερές).


Στη Γ΄ κατηγορία υπάγεται οποιοσδήποτε άλλος εξ αίματος ή εξ αγχιστείας συγγενής του κληρονομουμένου ή εξωτικός, δηλ. όποιος δεν έχει καμία συγγένεια με τον θανόντα.

Οι κληρονόμοι της Α΄ κατηγορίας δεν πληρώνουν φόρο κληρονομίας για τα πρώτα 95.000 ευρώ του κληρονομικού μεριδίου τους. Για όση αξία των ακινήτων που κληρονομούν μετά τα πρώτα 95.000 EUR, ο φόρος είναι μόλις 1%. Επί παραδείγματι, εάν ένα παιδί κληρονομήσει το μισό ενός ακινήτου της μητρός του, που ολόκληρο έχει αντικειμενική αξία 150.000 EUR, η αξία του μεριδίου του είναι 75.000 EUR και δεν θα πληρώσει καθόλου φόρο κληρονομίας, αφού η αξία του κληρονομιαίου μεριδίου που λαμβάνει (75.000) είναι μικρότερη από το αφορολόγητο όριο για συγγενείς Α΄ κατηγορίας, που είναι στα 95.000 EUR. Όλα αυτά παρά το ότι η αγοραία αξία του ακινήτου είναι αρκετά παραπάνω από την αντικειμενική, δηλ. πάνω από 150.000 για το 100% του ακινήτου.

Σε ένα άλλο παράδειγμα, η εγγονή κληρονομεί ένα διαμέρισμα στην Αθήνα του παππού της, αντικειμενικής αξίας 200.000 EUR. Ο φόρος κληρονομίας που θα κληθεί να πληρώσει είναι το 1% του (200.000 – 95.000) = 105.000 EUR, ήτοι 1.050 EUR για να κληρονομήσει ένα διαμέρισμα πραγματικής αξίας ίσως και 300.000 EUR!

Σημειωτέον ότι ο χήρος ή η χήρα, εφόσον ο γάμος με τον θανόντα είχε κρατήσει τουλάχιστον πέντε έτη, δεν πληρώνει φόρο κληρονομίας μέχρι τα 300.000 EUR.


Οι κληρονόμοι της Β΄ κατηγορίας έχουν αφορολόγητο όριο τα πρώτα 20.000 EUR, ενώ μετά το ποσό αυτό πληρώνουν φόρο το 1% της αντικειμενικής αξίας του ακινήτου που κληρονομούν. Παράδειγμα: Η αδελφή κληρονομεί το 1/4 της περιουσίας του αδελφού της. Όλη η κληρονομιά έχει αντικειμενική αξιά 100.000 EUR. Το μερίδιο της αδελφής επομένως έχει αντικειμενική αξία 25.000 EUR. Η κληρονόμος δεν θα πληρώσει φόρο για τα πρώτα 20.000 EUR, αφού ως αδελφή του θανόντος είναι Β΄ κατηγορίας συγγενής, άρα θα πληρώσει φόρο το 1% των επομένων 5.000 EUR, δηλ. μόνο 50 EUR.


Εάν κάποιος κληρονομεί μετοχές εταιρειών εισηγμένων στο χρηματιστήριο, ο φόρος (μετά τα αφορολόγητα των 95.000 ή 20.000) είναι 0,6% για τους κληρονόμους Α΄ κατηγορίας και 1,2% για τους κληρονόμους Β΄ κατηγορίας. Εάν οι μετοχές είναι εταιρειών που δεν είναι εισηγμένες στο χρηματιστήριο, τότε ο φόρος (πάντοτε μετά την αφαίρεση των αφορολογήτων ορίων) είναι 1,2% και 2,4% αντιστοίχως.

Για άλλου είδους κληρονομιαία περιουσία (εκτός από τα ακίνητα και τις μετοχές) ο φόρος είναι 10%, μετά την αφαίρεση του αφορολογήτου ποσού.

Η κληρονομιά πρέπει να δηλωθεί στην αρμόδια ΔΟΥ (της κατοικίας του θανόντος) εντός έξι μηνών από την ημερομηνία θανάτου, ή από την ημέρα δημοσιεύσεως της διαθήκης, εάν υπάρχει διαθήκη.

Ωστόσο, οι μόνιμοι κάτοικοι εξωτερικού έχουν προθεσμία ενός έτους για την υποβολή της δηλώσεως φόρου κληρονομίας, ενώ μπορούν να πάρουν από την εφορία τρίμηνη παράταση, εφόσον υποβάλουν εγκαίρως αίτηση στην ΔΟΥ.

Τέλος, αξίζει να σημειωθεί ότι για κληρονομιές πριν το 1990 δεν οφείλεται καθόλου φόρος κληρονομίας, ανεξαρτήτως της αξίας της κληρονομίας, δηλαδή όσο μεγάλη κι αν είναι η αξία των αντικειμένων που κληρονομούνται.

Ο Χρήστος Ηλιόπουλος είναι Δικηγόρος παρʼ Αρείω Πάγω,
Master of Laws.
e-mail: bm-bioxoi@otenet.gr

THE GREEK-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

PERCEPTION OF GREEKS IN THE UNITED STATES

Historically, Greeks in the United States have been viewed with mixed feelings of admiration, ridicule, puzzlement, or hate. Greeks are admired for their contributions to western civilization. Witness the seemingly standard eulogy to the contributions of the ancient Greeks in the introductory essays of numerous textbooks written in English, in almost every field of inquiry. Greeks are also seen as strange, as witnessed from the commonly used phrase "It's all Greek to me" to refer to things, events, or words that are totally incomprehensible. Although Greeks are becoming less "strange," as the American public becomes consciously multicultural, and Greeks themselves establish high-profile careers in American politics, the phrase itself was never dropped. It became, instead, well-entrenched within the English language.

As an expression, the phrase "It's all Greek to me" has become indelibly ingrained within the American subconscious. Greekness as "strangeness" serves as a reminder of the stages that Greeks had to go through before they were fully accepted as rightfully "American." Although almost a relic by now of past attitudes, and therefore seemingly of interest only to the historian and linguistic archaeologist, the phrase remains a living conveyor of ideas about the American meaning of "strangeness," and, therefore, of the original strangeness of Greeks(2).

Greeks were not only admired, envied, or misunderstood, but also discriminated against, especially during the nativist period in the early part of the twentieth century(3). This is witnessed by such historical events as discrimination against Greek laborers, the destruction of Greek businesses, and even the burning-down and expulsion of Greek communities(4). In certain parts of the country, Greeks were relegated to non-white status, more to humiliate or exclude, than to represent anything truly non-white about skin color(5).

As a result of the new immigration law of 1924, Greek immigrants were restricted to the lowest immigration quota than any other European group(6). If past immigration quotas can be used as a "discrimination index," it may be argued that since Greeks were allowed the lowest immigration quota, they were "officially" discriminated against the most. It seems reasonable to surmise that in a culture, or at a time in that culture when the dominant values are non-pluralistic, or even racist, those groups that don't fall within the favored categories of racial, ethnic, or political prototypes are likely to be treated as "second class," if not suffer direct blows in their social and political lives.

Social norms or values set the standards not only for outward behavior, but also for what counts as personally desirable. As a result, they may cause non-mainstream peoples to feel personally inadequate, misplaced, or blameworthy. The most extreme example of this is self-hate (hating the self that society denigrates or rejects). Alternatively, those who are perceived as mainstream are more likely to enjoy more social opportunities. Their social circumstances may allow for healthier, more positive perceptions of themselves, or even downright self-admiration. Likewise with the Greeks in America. When the wider culture rejected their ethnicity, so did some Greek immigrants(7). Others compensated by organizing societies with very important-sounding names, possibly more to protect their fragile egos, than because of anything truly grandiose about such societies. They appointed themselves to offices with equally aristocratic-sounding titles, often preceded with superlative epithets as if to "guarantee" their public importance (such as, "supreme" president of such and so, as opposed to merely "president"). This may show how creatively humans can overcome a culturally hostile environment by withdrawing within their own self-managed "social shells of importance," the more so, the more convinced they are that their own sense of self-worth is by far very different from how people around them perceive them. More out of desperation, feeling of isolation, or need to "belong," than verifiable historical circumstances, some Greek immigrants even attempted to trace their ancestry back to the Mayflower.(9) As American culture changed toward greater acceptance of non-Anglo cultures, partly as a result of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, Greek immigrants became less likely to feel alienated in a non-Greek world.

Following the civil rights movement, Greek immigrants began changing their perception of themselves, or, more correctly, of their original Greekness For example, where before, many Greek Americans would anglicize their names usually to find employment (8), in recent years they feel less pressure to change their names to "pass" as "true" American, or get a job, or, for that matter, run for political office. Even at the political level, where Greek Americans cannot possibly rely on their strength of numbers to elect their own (since they are relatively so few); but on the wider popular appeal of their ideas or personalities, many Greek-descended American politicians have managed to succeed in recent years even in spite of the fact that they kept their original Greek names. Witness, for instance, the successful political careers of Michael Dukakis, Paul Tsongas, and George Stephanopoulos. Ironically, the fact that two of these, Dukakis and Tsongas, were unsuccessful in their bids for the presidency may signal that although American culture is more accepting today of non-Anglo politicians, it may not yet be as fully accepting, as those with more blatantly anglo names, or anglo-related images. In any event, contrast the success such Greek Americans have recently had, including state governorships and senate seats, to a time when having a Greek name was a handicap for getting even blue collar jobs. Many American-born Greeks today take pride in public in being Greek, as opposed to trying to "cover it up," as was often done by their forefathers.


ON THE BUSH-DUKAKIS CAMPAIGN


It has been argued that in the presidential campaign between Geroge Bush and Michael Dukakis, the Bush camp manipulated the public's distruct of "foreigners" to paint Dukakis as being not as patriotic, or "true" American, as Bush (10). Witness, for example, the conspicuous display of the American flag during the Bush campaign, connoting that Dukakis may not be a "real" American. If such analysis is true, then the Bush camp may have taken advantage of a possible Greco-phobia among an indeterminate number of Americans that still consider Greeks as essentially outsiders. In any event, the fact that such tactics may have even been attempted by the Bush campaign, is proof that at least in the minds of those who ran his campaign, the American public was not ready for a Greek American President, yet.

Whether such distrust for a Greek American president actually exists, or exists on a wide enough scale to make a difference in presidential politics, cannot be easily ascertained. There are many factors involved in making electoral decisions, only one of which is the ethnic background of the candidate. Nevertheless, the fact that the Bush camp may have capitalized on Dukakis' Greekness, however indirectly it may have done so, may provide some evidence that within the political arena, American culture hasn't changed enough to render such appeals to American nativist feelings totally futile.


THE SOCIAL-PSYCHOLOGY OF ANGLO-CONFORMISM


Many immigrants came to this country when it was overwhelmingly Anglo, socially, culturally, and politically, as in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As indicated earlier, to succeed (get a job, find friends, advance socially), one felt tremendous pressure to adopt the ethnic Anglo culture. This may explain why it may have been much easier for whites to succeed, than it was for non-whites whose outlook was the least Anglo-like.

Public education was built around the "melting pot" concept(19). Translated, this meant that all cultures felt strong social pressure to "melt" inside a single "cultural pot," which happened to be largely Anglo-derived. The emphasis was on cultural homogeneity, than on cultural or linguistic pluralism. This is also seen from Noah Webster's attempts to "americanize" even the English language(20). As a result, some immigrants may have "expunged" their ethnic culture from their sense of self; others kept it barely alive through their private schools or churches, where depending on the quality of education they received, they maintained at least a semblance of their original ethnic culture.

D
uring this process of "cultural exchange," some immigrants succeeded in becoming more "Anglo-Saxon" in a predominantly Anglo world, than the Anglos themselves were. If they were second-class citizens in the old country, because poor or oppressed, they were now determined to become Anglo to survive and succeed in an Anglo-dominated society. For example, some Greek-Americans at the time anglicized their names, avoided teaching their children Greek, or belittled the manners of the "new" immigrants(21). If immigrant experiences of Greeks and other peoples in this country prove anything, it is that some people, especially if previously oppressed, will not hesitate to sacrifice their cultural heritage to social and economic advancement.


ANGLOGREEKS


In spite of the complete cultural and ethnic "facelift" experienced by some Greek immigrants, most retained at least some memory of Greek culture. They became anglicized Hellenes, or what the author would like to refer to as "AngloGreeks." Unfortunately, some went to such length in psychologically denying their own Greek culture, that they started degrading their Greek roots. They began projecting their fear of themselves (or of their Greekness) on their fellow Greeks. For example, to further distance themselves from their Greek roots, they derogatorily referred to recent Greek immigrants as "displaced persons," or "DPs"(22).


ALBERT MEMMI ON THE SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY OF THE OPPRESSED

In his psychological study of the oppressed, Dominated Man, the philosopher-sociologist Albert Memmi showed that those who are politically oppressed risk becoming, in their struggle to gain status, just as, or even more oppressive, than their oppressors(25). In their effort to gain power, the oppressed "internalize" the values of the powerful. In fact, they may internalize the values of the dominant group so well that they, in turn, may become staunch defenders of the values of the dominant group that once oppressed them.

Memmi's analysis may be applied to Greek immigrants who were once oppressed in their own country, or in the United States. It could be argued that many Greek immigrants who converted to the Anglo culture so internalized Anglo-values that they continued defending Anglo values even if the social circumstances that had once required them to be Anglo-like to survive, had changed. They tried so hard to "assimilate" into the Anglo mainstream that they "over-internalized" the dominant Anglo culture(26). Table of Contents

GREEK CULTURE IN THE UNITED STATES


As a result of the anglicization of Greek immigrants, many such immigrants may have developed a peculiarly ritualistic, or "for appearances only," Greek-American culture. These immigrants may have sacrificed the substance of Greek culture, to keeping only a Greek cultural facade, such as, church attendance, folkdances, Greek food, ethnic parades, and the like. There was no attempt made to analyze in-depth the meaning of Greek culture, or to explain its symbols, study its history, literature, or art. Such in-depth cultural plunge may have been psychologically too difficult to bear, while simultaneously trying to convert to Anglo culture--not to mention practically almost impossible in the absence of qualified scholars, or of a supportive social or political milieu. Their new "showcase" Greek culture was so devoid of careful analysis, or study of one's ethnic heritage, that it became psychologically non-threatening to Anglo-converted Greeks. In fact, one could argue that this was precisely the reason why it never went beyond scratching the surface, let alone open up a dialogue about the Greek American experience. This kind of showcase culture was also politically "safe" from an Anglo point of view, and, by extension, from the view of the completely anglicized Greeks. This is so because it lacks the ideology of a movement capable of challenging the ethnic Anglo dominance in American society(27).

THE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH

Some Greek immigrants may have substituted Greekness, with membership in the Greek Orthodox Church. Although strong in the Greek countryside, the Greek church was never so central in 19th and 20th centuries Greece, as it has become in the Greek-American community in the United States.(28) This may be due not only to the peculiar nature of American nativism, as explained, below; but also to the fact that at the time when many early Greek immigrants came to the United States, around the turn of the century, the Greek Orthodox Church was by far more important in their lives even in Greece, than it is to modern Greeks living in Greece today. This was particularly true to Greek immigrants coming to the U.S. directly from places still occupied by the Moslem Ottoman Turks, where historically the "enslaved" Greeks clung even closer to their churches to survive (see on-line monograph on Greek History). As modern Greece became increasingly "independent" from Ottoman control, and secular, so were later Greek immigrants more likely to value other cultural institutions, such as, universities and other types of secular cultural activities, as much, or even more, than the Greek Orthodox Church.

Since becoming a new nation, the United States has consciously and systematically promoted religious pluralism. For example, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of religious belief. This type of established religious pluralism made it easier for different religious groups to peacefully coexist and flourish, than it did for different ethnic groups to keep their secular cultures in an Anglo-dominated society. Consequently, many Greek immigrants found it much easier to maintain their religion, than to preserve their secular ethnic culture. Discouraged from maintaining their secular culture, they turned to their religion with a vengeance, building Greek churches everywhere where there were enough employed Greeks to finance them. Saloutos referred to this phenomenon in the early Greek-American community as a "mania" for church building(29). The Greek Church came to symbolize for Greek Americans the sense of belonging, which Greek society as a whole did for the Greeks living in Greece. This is why we have today the seemingly unexplainable, if not contradictory phenomenon of completely anglicized third and fourth generation Greeks zealously supporting the Greek Orthodox Church: their Church touches them as deeply, or as completely, as does one's place of birth, or even country of origin.

Many Greek immigrants channeled their love for their cultural heritage, which they felt they had to give up in an Anglo-dominated society, toward their Greek churches(30). As indicated earlier, where in the old country they loved all components of their cultural heritage about equally, depending also on when they emigrated to the U.S., social circumstances in an Anglo-dominated, but religiously pluralistic society, led them to channel their love for their ethnic heritage into support for their churches. This is why Greek churches in the United States have traditionally been more than just places of worship, they are veritable small-nations-within-a-nation, complete with Greek schools, large halls for lunches, dinners, dances, and conferences, annual festivals and ceremonies, communal and camouflaged political activities and elections, sport events and study groups, and many intricately organized youth and adult clubs with national and local officers, and even church-sponsored "Olympic games(31)."

Greek immigrants built their churches large enough to fit their culture. What the Anglo-dominated world outside denied them, their churches accepted. Unfortunately, the secular didn't always mix well with the religious, with the result being that much of the church-preserved "Greek culture" became either a "sanitized" version of their original secular culture, or degenerated into a "dead" ritual devoid of its original cultural meaning. By giving Greek culture a roof, the Greek church kept its form, much as the Greek church of the Byzantine empire had done for ancient Greek "pagan" culture, but risked destroying its substance. It is the author's view, based on his personal observations within the Greek American community(32), that much of church-preserved Greek culture is like a well-kept butterfly inside a thick exhibit glass, than it is a live movement capable of evolving, or of shaping people's lives. This is particularly true regarding controversial folk ideals, or popular literary, social, or political figures.

New waves of Greek immigrants kept testing the ability of the church to expand, to include ever more secular-based Greek cultural characteristics(33). This led inevitably to conflicts within the church between anglicized Greeks who advocated "Americanization," and therefore wanted their church to reject becoming more "Greek;" and recent Greek immigrants, who wanted their church to give them another "Greek island" in the midst of an Anglo dominated country(34). This explains why Greek churches offer many "services" which Greeks in Greece today would expect to find outside their churches, such as, education, entertainment, and business opportunities, not to mention the possibility of finding a partner for marriage(35). At the same time that recent Greek immigrants demanded a more Greek-like church, anglicized Greeks pushed for a church that embodies at least some of the more central American values, such as, conspicuous consumption, democratic elections, and business-like organization of church affairs.

During Greek American functions, priests have usually been ackowledged first, thus symbolizing the community's respect for their churches. The exception to this may be new secular-based Greek cultural groups organized by post-WWII Greek immigrants. Such groups are usually dominated by well-educated Greek Americans, many of whom hold doctoral or professional degrees, or teach in universities, and whose appreciation for church affairs is at least matched, if not exceeded, by their love for secular Greek culture(36). Apparently, the leaders of these groups never internalized the same high regard for priests, or the central role that the Greek Orthodox Church should play in the Greek American community, as did previous generations of Greek Americans(37). Instead of being heavily church-centered, such groups promote many events outside the church that need neither church approval, nor even the support of the church, such as, lecture series, cultural and artistic events, and even informal educational projects for young people (music choir, theater, and the like). We may speculate that as the United States becomes more ethnically pluralistic, meaning, more accepting of ethnic differences, Greek immigrants may find it easier to express their secular culture outside the Greek church, through secular schools, and cultural centers and organizations. Table of Contents


Endnotes


1. These excerpts are taken from a paper presented in 1989 at an international conference on the Greek-American experience, after certain revisions made in 1993 and 1998. A. Makedon, "The Social Psychology of Immigration: The Greek-American Experience." Presented at the Saloutos International Conference on the Greek-American Experience, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 13, 1989. Original paper published in ERIC database, Document ED 349 201. Click on the endnote number to return to the text.


2. It may be noted here that the standardization of its meaning within the English language serves to illustrate the extent to which language is shaped by historical events, and eventually becomes another type of historical record of the human experience.Click on endnote number to return to the text.


3. John Higham, Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism 1860-1925, New York: Atheneum, 1972. Helen Papanikolas has written about the lives of maiinly Cretan Greeks in Utah. See, for exmple, Papanikolas, Small Bird, Tell Me: Stories of Greek Immigrants, Athens, Ohio: Swallow Press/Ohio State University Press, 1993; and Emily-George, Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1987.Click on endnote number to return to the text.


4. Charles C. Moskos, Greek Americans: Struggle and Success, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1980. Greeks killed in Nevada in 1908, p. 16; Greek stores destroyed, Greeks singled out for intimidation by the KKK in Utah, p. 16; riot against a Greek shanty town in South Omaha, Nebraska, in 1909, pp. 16-17; hostile reception of Greek laborers in Lowell, Mass., p. 18.Click on endnote number to return to the text.

5. For example, witness the riot against Greeks in South Omaha, Nebraska, which was instigated by the fact that a Greek man was seen walking with a "white" woman. See Moskos, Greek Americans, pp. 16-17.Click on endnote number to return to the text.

6. Only 100 additional Greeks per year were allowed to enter as legal immigrants. Michael Novak, The Rise of the Unmeltable Ethnics: Politics and Culture in the Seventies, New York: Macmillan, 1972, p. 89; Theodore Saloutos, The Greeks in the United States, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1964, pp. 243-45; James A. Banks, Multiethnic Education: Theory and Practice, 2nd ed, Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1988, p. 5.Click on endnote number to return to the text.

7. "The Erosion of Hellenic Sentiment," in Saloutos, Greeks in the U.S., pp. 232-256.

8. For example, Papanikolas mentioned Yiorgis' anglicization of his Greek name to get a job as a foreman. Yorgis became George "Nelson." Emily-George, p.209.

9. See Saloutos, Greeks in U.S., p. 250.

10. Petros, Nick "(article in the process of being retrieved)"

11. See "Theories of Assimilation: Anglo-Conformity," by Milton Gordon in his book Assimilation in American Life: The Role of Race, Religion, and National Origins, New York: Oxford Universiy Press, 1964, pp. 84-114. See, also, "The Nordic Jungle: Inferiority in America," Unmeltable Ethnics, pp. 72-115. Finally, in the area of Greek-American Studies, see "Erosion of Hellenic Sentiment," Greeks in the U.S., pp. 232-257.

12. The list, below, is representative of works on ethnicity in the United States. On Anglo-conformity and European immigrants, see Andrew M. Greeley, Why Can't They Be Like Us? America's White Ethnic Groups, New York: Dutton, 1975, esp. chapter 4, "Steps in Ethnic Assimilation." See also Novak, Rise of Unmeltable Ethnics; and Gordon, Assimilation in American Life. Finally, see Banks, Multiethnic Education, esp. chapter 8 on "Ethnicity and Citizenship Education;" and the following: Nathan Glazer and Daniel P. Moynihan, eds., Ethnicity: Theory and Experience, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1975; and John Higham, Strangers in the Land.

13. See Saloutos, Greeks in the U.S., pp. 75, 237. Efforts by Greek-American orgnizations, esp. A.H.E.P.A., to conform to Anglo-American ideals are described by Saloutos in Greeks in the U.S., pp. 249, 251-53. See, also, Charles C. Moskos, Greek Americans, esp. chapter 2 on "Greek America Forms;" and Alice Scourby's essay "Three Generations of Greek Americans: A Study in Ethnicity," in The Greek American Community in Transition, edited by Harry J. Psomiades and Alice Scourby, New York: Pella Publishing, 1982, pp. 111-122.

14. "What Multiculturalism Should Not Be." Proceedings of the Midwest Philosophy of Education Society, 1995 and 1996. Ed. M. Oliker. Chicago, Illinois: Midwest Philosophy of Education Society, 1997, pp. 172-86. Also available on the Internet. To see it, please click here.

15. Greek Star, Sept. 8, 1988.

16. Banks, Multiethnic Education, pp. 144-45. See also Gordon, Assimilation, p. 101; and the philosophical arguments of such writers as Horace M. Kalen, Culture and Democracy in the United States, New York: Boni and Liveright, 1924; and Julius Draschler, Democracy and Assimilation, New York: Macmillan, 1920.

17. Gordon, Assimilation, pp. 139-40.

18. D. J. Palumbo, American Politics, New York: Meredith, 1973, p. 187.

19. Banks, Multiethnic Education, pp. 144-47. See, also, Colin Greer, The Great School Legend: A Revisionist Interpretation of American Public Education, New York: The Viking Press, 1973.

20. Robert L. Church, Education in the United States: An Interpretive History, New York: The Free Press, 1976, pp. 16-20.

21. Novak, Rise of Unmeltable Ethnics, esp. chapter on "Spiro Anagnostopoulos: Remembrance of Humiliations Past," pp. 116-134. See, also, Saloutos, Greeks in the U.S., chapter 4.

22. Moskos, Greek Americans, p. 60.

23. The church, which is well known in the Chicago-area Greek American community, is located in a western Chicago suburb near the intersection of highway 290 and Central Avenue.

24. Saloutos, Greeks in the U.S., chapter 3, "Early Years;" Moskos, Greek Americans, chapter 1, "The Greek Comes to America."

25. Albert Memmi, Dominated Man, New York: Continuum, 1967.

26. On the Greek immigrants' search for "respectability," see Saloutos' chapters on "The Erosion of Hellenic Sentiment" and "The Era of Respectability," Greeks in U.S., esp. pp. 237-51, 382-83.

27. At the theoretical level, the Anglo cultural dominance has been challenged by such ethnic studies scholars as Greeley, Gordon, and Novak (see preceding endnotes). See, also, Peter Schrag, The Decline of WASP, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1973.

28. On the role of the Greek Orthodox Church in the United States, see Saloutos, Greeks in the U.S., chapter 5, "For God and Country;" and chapter 6, "The Greek Orthodox Church: The Beginnings." See, also, Moskos, Greek Americans, chapter 3, "The Greek American Community;" Nicon D. Patrinacos, "The Role of the Church in the Evolving Greek American Community," in Psomiades and Scourby, eds, Greek American Community. Also Thomas Burgess, Greeks in America: An Account of their Coming, Progress, Customs, Living, and Aspirations, Boston: Sherman, French, 1913, esp. chapter 7, "The Church of the Greeks;" and J. P. Xenides, The Greeks in America, New York: George H. Doran, 1922, pp. 118-135.

29. For example, during the period between 1914 and 1918, alone, sixty one new churches were organized. Greeks in U.S., pp. 128-29.

30. The author is preparing a paper on the Greek Orthodox Church, where he holds the view that the suppression of non-religious forms of ethnic identification during the American nativist movement in the early twentieth century may partly explain the founding of a large number of new Greek Orthodox churches at the time. Makedon, "The Role of the Greek Orthodox Church During the Nativist Period in the United States," under preparation.

31. Church-organized "Olympic Games" receive wide publicity in the Greek-American press in Chicago, Illinois, as in the weekly newspaper The Greek Star.

32. His involvement was largely as a professional educator, than as a "cornerstone parishioner." He has been associated, or visited Greek Orthodox parishes in the United States for approximately 25 years , including the principalship of two church-sponsored Greek American schools in Ann Arbor, michigan, and Chicago, Illinois. His involvement largely ended by 1995 to concentrate on academic pursuits.

33. See Moskos' chapter on the "New Greeks," Greek Americans, pp. 54-77.

34. See Andrew Kopan's anecdotal account of the new Greek immigrants' thirst for cultural and linguistic maintenance. Kopan, "The Historical Development of the Greek Community in Chicago: The Case for Education," unpublished monograph, esp. pp. 7-12.

35. The author even heard a mother with standing in the "philoptochos," a church women's group, advertise on the microphone to the whole parish during one of the well organized and attended church holidays, the "availability" of her daughter for marriage. Obviously, her church provided enough of a family atmosphere for her and her daughter, that she felt quite free to announce publicly some of her most intimate and burning concerns.

36. For example, within the Chicago area alone, the author became acquainted for a certain number of years with several such groups through his involvement with others since 1984 in their "establishment" or administration, or as a member attending lecture or other activities. At least two such groups were created in the late 1980s, including the midwest chapter of Krikos and the Hellenic Cultural Organization; while others, such as, the Hellenic Council of Education and the Hellenic Professional Society, had been already established some years earlier.

37. Greek Americans seem to be more church-centered, than Greeks elsewhere in the Greek diaspora. Moskos, "Greek Australians," Greek Americans, p. 153.

38. For a multicultural perspective, see "What Multiculturalism Should Not Be."

39. Banks, Multiethnic Education, esp. ch. 2, "Ethnic Revitalization Movements;" and Novak, Rise of Unmeltable Ethnics, esp. Part 3, "The New Ethnic Politics.

2008-02-14

Another Attack on Hellenic Culture - One more example of Bigotry for Ethic Greeks

Prime Minister Stephen Harper gestures as he responds during question period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008. (Fred Chartrand / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

During question period on Wednesday, Bloc MP Michel Guimond asked Harper why his deputy press secretary, Dimitri Soudas, tried to intervene in a dispute between Public Works and a Montreal developer called Rosdev Group in 2006.

Conservative party fundraiser Leo Housakos, who now sits on the board of Via Rail, also tried to intervene in the dispute around the same time.

"The prime minister cannot plead ignorance concerning what Mr. Housakos did," said Guimond.

"It was his own government that appointed him to Via Rail. In that context, can the prime minister tell us whether he himself has met Mr. Housakos at 24 Sussex, his official residence?"

Harper shot back in French: "The Bloc member mentioned two people who are of Greek origin: one who was an employee here in Ottawa, another one who is a supporter of the Conservative party in Montreal. The fact that (there's) two Montreal gentlemen of Greek origin doesn't mean there's a conspiracy here."

Liberal MP John Cannis, who is Greek-Canadian, rose on a point of order and demanded that Harper "apologize publicly to each and every Greek-Canadian."

He said Harper's comment "put a black mark on the over half-a-million Greek-Canadians that played even a small role in the development of this great country. The prime minister insulted the entire Greek community."

Cannis later told CTV's Mike Duffy Live that Harper had no need to mention the ethnicity of Housakos and Soudas.

"I was very angry as a proud Greek-Canadian," said Cannis. "I could not understand why the prime minister had to attach his response to any ethnicity, not matter what the ethnicity may be."

Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe later told reporters that he was surprised by Harper's response, considering his party's questions had nothing to do with the men being Greek-Canadian.

"There is no link between the fact those people are from Greek origin. None at all," he said.

Opposition parties have questioned why Public Works took legal action against Rosdev to acquire a building in Ottawa. The Conservatives said a lawsuit was the only way to deal with several lingering disputes with the developer.

According to a report in the Globe and Mail, Soudas organized a meeting in PMO offices in August 2006, "asking whether it was possible to come to a mediated solution."

Conservative MP Jason Kenney, secretary of state for multiculturalism and Canadian identity, said he dismissed the incident as a "classic non-story."

"Nothing happened. The government has continued with its current position in the courts against the developer," he said. "A meeting was had but no one gained anything. There is not the appearance of a conflict of interest."

Soudas spoke to reporters Wednesday and said he was only doing his job.

"There was no interference," he said.

"For those who choose to serve the public, in the spirit of transparency, looking into a file makes common sense. The file was looked into. As you may have noticed, the issue was before the courts at the time, it remains before the courts today. Basically, no favours were exchanged," he said.

Liberal MP Dominic LeBlanc said officials must look into the possibility of government interference in the legal dispute.

"You have an organizer who has been appointed to the board of Via Rail -- probably because of his life-long experience in passenger rail experience," he said sarcastically. "You have political staffers from the Prime Minister's Office summon political staffers from Public Works to a meeting ... None of this is routine, none of this is normal.

"If the developer was interested in negotiating a solution, he probably doesn't go through Conservative fundraisers and PMO staff members. It's probably done through the lawyers."

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2008-02-11

Why I am A Conservative

I decided after too many of my liberal friends ask me "Why I am a conservative?" to explain it below so they can have an opportunity to read something different with the hope they will take a break from the Liberal-Fascism indoctrination and to save me from repeating myself.

The are many reasons I am a Conservative today and are in large part attributed to many years of study and personal soul searching as to what political philosophy is best for my progeny and My Nation. I like so many of my Greek immigrants was brought up to believe that FDR was the New Messiah. I however, observed over the years that all the political rhetoric of the Left did not increase the social position or well being of anyone. The only people that seemed to change their status were doing it own their own.
I also began a life long study of the American Constitution, upon entering the United States Air Force I made an oath to 'protect and defend' it. I figured if I might have to die for it I should at least understand the principles cited in that document.

Therefore, after years of personal research I came to the following decisions, which I would like to share, with all of you and all of my liberal best friends, they are,

That Conservatism encompasses the accumulation of experience and wisdom over many generations, enlightened and guided by Divine Revelation. Much of the knowledge embodied in conservatism cannot be put into words but consists rather in certain dispositions and habits of the mind and heart.

However, there are certain fundamental truths that have been articulated within the Conservative tradition with increasing clarity and certainty. To many Americans, these truths may seem mere truisms or platitudes ("self-evident", as Jefferson put it), yet it is vitally important to remind ourselves periodically of what we know, to ensure that this body of wisdom can be passed on without loss to a new generation.

Conservatism as a philosophy does not produce a laundry list of policy recommendations, nor does it represent the interests of this or that class or special interest. Nor is conservatism grounded in a reflective reaction to change, nor in a nostalgic attachment to the past. Rather, it begins by rejecting what C. S. Lewis called "chronological bigotry": the foolish notion that contemporary thinkers have a monopoly on the truth, simply because they are alive today and not in an earlier, "less enlightened" era.

However, Conservatives do draw on the accumulated wisdom of the past to form a comprehensive and coherent view of the world, from which we derive certain principles essential to the promotion of the common good. As every philosophy has certain basic propositions upon which everything else is based.

Conservatism envisions a society in which each human being, no matter how humble in origin or apparently ordinary in talents, is treated with sacred respect. We see the drama of each unfolding human life as rich in meaning and significance. Consequently, we treat each person's life as inviolable and are unwilling to sacrifice the few for the good of the many.

We Conservatives affirm the existence of natural law, defining and protecting the natural rights of each person. These rights are inalienable and endowed to us by our Creator. They are, therefore, not subject to revision or repeal by any political coalition, no matter how powerful.

True Conservatives are not swayed by transitory intellectual fashions of the academy or the salon. Confidence in the power and reliability of common sense translates into stable, consistent and effective social policy. At the same time, we learn from scientific research when it is conducted according to sound methods and without political bias.

However, time and time again, genuine science confirms the wisdom of traditional ideas, such as the importance of faith, character, the nuclear family, and the classical tradition of education.

Real social, cultural and political progress is possible, but only when conservative ideas predominate. In Conservatism, hope is tempered by realism, leading to patient and measured action in support of virtue and justice.

Conservatives look for opportunities to strengthen the good that remains in existing institutions. Like Hippocrates, conservatives remember the wisdom of the principle: first, does no harm. We must always resist the temptation to launch large-scale untested schemes for reform.

As a Conservative I understand that it is individuals working together in voluntary association must take the leading role in social improvement. I truly look to faith-based charities and mutual aid societies that were proven so successful in improving social conditions in 19th century America, to again provide proven models for reversing the social decay resulting from generations of failed leftist programs.

Also personal moral virtue is invaluable in itself, meeting a natural human need, and is not merely a social construction or a means to other ends. Individual human beings receive from God individual callings or vocations, which they must each be free to pursue.

The Natural Law (as stated by our Fore Fathers) provides each of us with Archimedes' fixed point, to which we can appeal against the injustice of the powerful. As Conservatives, we, like our Greek Ancestors, therefore, are not easily cowed into submission to any tyranny domestic or foreign. Instead, our conservative thoughts and practices provide us a principled limitation of the power and the scope of human government, as embodied in the Bill of Rights.

Therefore, as a conservative I do reject the following Leftists philosophies, each of which is part of the intellectual foundations of the Liberal consensus of today's academic, media and political elite:

Atheism and materialism -- the notion that human life is the accidental and meaningless result of mindless material processes.

Racism and chauvinism -- that certain races or classes of people are inherently superior in ultimate value.

Collectivism -- the thesis that individuals are important only as parts of society, that their lives have no significance or meaning beyond that assumed to them by their society.

Secular humanism -- that we human beings must define the meaning and purpose of our own existence.

Deep ecology -- the belief that the labor and technical achievements of mankind are inherently evil, and that only the undisturbed wilderness is good.

Animal rights anti-humanism -- that non-human animals, despite their lack of will or conscience, are on equal moral standing with human beings by virtue of their capacity for pain and pleasure.

Relativism -- that what is good or right varies fundamentally from time to time or place to place, that there are no universal truths of morality and politics.

Constructivism -- that what is right and just is nothing more than the product of social forces and historical accidents.

Subjectivism -- that what is good or right for an individual is determined simply by that individual's feelings or inclinations.

Cultural determinism -- that human nature is infinitely malleable by culture.

Nominalism -- that nothing has any definite nature, other than that which we ascribe to it through our invention of words or concepts.

Post-modernism -- that science is merely the expression of political ideology, and that the difference between good and bad science, or between science and pseudo-science, has no objective validity.

Scientism -- that there is no knowledge outside science, and that nothing is real that is not scientifically verifiable.

Empiricism -- that nothing exists beyond what can be verified by our five senses.

Skepticism -- that we know nothing with certainty.

Utopianism -- belief in the infinite perfectibility of man.

Positivism -- the denial of the fundamental reality of evil, attributing all human evil to superficial causes, such as poverty, maladjustment, lack of education, or distorted socioeconomic conditions.

Pessimism or cynicism -- the view that mankind is so corrupted that there is no hope for relative progress or improvement.

Ethical dualism -- attributing evil exclusively to some particular group or class (i.e. the Descendents of White Europeans, the Fundamentalist Christians, the bourgeoisie, Jews, the corporate elite, etc. etc.).

By disavowing all those identified human destructive beliefs of the left and embracing the enduring truths of Conservatism does gives me optimism about the future. It won't be easy but than nothing worthwhile ever is.

Even today, as bleak as the indicators of social and cultural health may be, we conservatives should look forward with hope to a restoration of the family, the community, and a civilized culture.

2008-02-09

Ενα βιβλίο έφερε τα πάνω κάτω - Μάννα Πατρίδα σε φάγανε!

Ολο αυτό το γεγονός μιάζι με Ελληνική Τραγωδία

Η τραγελαφική «Ιστορία Νεοελληνικής Λογοτεχνίας» του Γυμνασίου ξεγυμνώνει τη διαδικασία συγγραφής των σχολικών εγχειριδίων Της Ολγας Σελλα

Το βιβλίο της «Ιστορίας Νεοελληνικής Λογοτεχνίας» που από πέρυσι διδάσκεται στις τρεις τάξεις του Γυμνασίου της χώρας (φέτος και στην Κύπρο) και τυπώθηκε σε 580 χιλ. αντίτυπα, είχε όλες τις προϋποθέσεις να είναι ένα επαρκές σχολικό εγχειρίδιο. Είχε συγγραφείς τρεις γνωστούς φιλολόγους και εκπαιδευτικούς (Βαγγέλης Αθανασόπουλος, Νένα Κοκκινάκη, Πολυξένη Μπίστα)· είχε κριτές επίσης φιλολόγους και πανεπιστημιακούς (ανάμεσά τους ο και λογοτέχνης Μίμης Σουλιώτης)· είχε φιλολογικό επιμελητή (Μαρία Παπαηλιάδη)· είχε έναν άνθρωπο που όρισε το Παιδαγωγικό Ινστιτούτο ως «υπεύθυνη του μαθήματος και του υποέργου κατά τη συγγραφή» (Χρυσούλα Βέικου)· μία ακόμη εκπαιδευτικό που παρακολουθούσε τη διαδικασία συγγραφής και εκτύπωσης του έργου (Αντωνία Δημητράσκου).

Κι όμως... Ολοι αυτοί οι άνθρωποι κατάφεραν να παρουσιάσουν ένα αποτέλεσμα που προκαλεί κλαυσίγελο, αφού οι πραγματολογικές ανακρίβειες, οι ασαφείς και αδόκιμες εκφράσεις, οι λανθασμένες αντιγραφές από Ιστορίες της λογοτεχνίας κορυφαίων Ελλήνων και ξένων μελετητών (Λίνος Πολίτης, Μάριο Βίττι, Ρόντρικ Μπήτον), οι αυτοαναιρέσεις από τη μια σελίδα στην άλλη προκαλούν γέλια, θυμό και βαθιά απορία...

Ο φιλολογικός και εκπαιδευτικός κόσμος είναι ανάστατος και αντιδρά: με άρθρα σε φιλολογικά περιοδικά· με κείμενα στον Τύπο· με αναρτήσεις στο Διαδίκτυο, όπως η εξαντλητική αποδελτίωση λαθών του καθηγητή Γιώργου Ι. Λουπάση από το Γυμνάσιο Νέας Κυδωνίας Χανίων.

Συγγραφείς και κριτές

Τι συμβαίνει λοιπόν; Πώς γράφεται ένα σχολικό βιβλίο; Από ποιους ελέγχεται και με ποιες διαδικασίες; Ποιος αναλαμβάνει την παραγωγή του; Ας τα πάρουμε από την αρχή: οι υποψήφιοι συγγραφείς καταθέτουν στο Παιδαγωγικό Ινστιτούτο δείγμα και όχι το σύνολο του έργου! (Η αμοιβή για τη δουλειά τους ήταν, στην προκειμένη περίπτωση, περίπου 6.000 ευρώ καθαρά για καθέναν από τους τρεις συγγραφείς). Η πρόοδος της συγγραφής ελέγχεται από τρεις κριτές σε τακτά χρονικά διαστήματα – εδώ αμείφθηκαν με ποσό της τάξεως των 3.000 ευρώ ο καθένας. Ανάδοχος συγγραφής αναλαμβάνει με διαγωνισμό ένας εκδότης (γι’ αυτό το βιβλίο οι εκδόσεις Πατάκη) χωρίς να διασφαλίζεται όμως το καλό αποτέλεσμα από το καλό όνομα του εκδοτικού οίκου. Το οποίο, στην προκειμένη περίπτωση, ταιριάζει στη φράση: «Ωδινεν όρος και έτεκεν μυν...».

Η περίπτωση του βιβλίου «Ιστορίας Νεοελληνικής Λογοτεχνίας Α, Β και Γ Γυμνασίου» ξεγυμνώνει τη διαδικασία συγγραφής των σχολικών βιβλίων και αποκαλύπτει έναν μηχανισμό που είναι από ανεπαρκής έως σαθρός. Κάποιοι από τους υπευθύνους έφτασαν στο σημείο να ρίξουν τις ευθύνες στη... διορθώτρια.

Οι άμεσα εμπλεκόμενοι


Τι λένε οι άμεσα εμπλεκόμενοι στους οποίους απευθυνθήκαμε; Ο καθηγητής της Φιλοσοφικής Αθηνών Βαγγέλης Αθανασόπουλος διαχωρίζει τη θέση του από το κάκιστο αποτέλεσμα, χωρίς ωστόσο να εξηγεί για ποιο λόγο συγκαταλέγεται ο ίδιος ανάμεσα στους συγγραφείς. Αναγνωρίζοντας την κακή ποιότητα του βιβλίου, ο ανάδοχος εκδότης Στέφανος Πατάκης, με επιστολή προς το Παιδαγωγικό Ινστιτούτο (που γνωστοποιεί στην «Κ»), δηλώνει: «Είμαστε διατεθειμένοι να αναθέσουμε σε δικούς μας επιμελητές την ανεύρεση όλων των αβλεψιών του έργου αυτού και γενικότερα την παρακολούθηση των εργασιών αναμόρφωσής του». Είναι όμως δυνατόν μια τέτοια πλημμυρίδα λαθών, αντιφάσεων και ασαφειών να διορθωθεί;

Εντελώς διαφορετική στάση τηρεί η υπεύθυνη εκ μέρους του Παιδαγωγικού Ινστιτούτου, κ. Χρ. Βέικου, η οποία στο απαντητικό της σημείωμα στο επικριτικό άρθρο της Ελισάβετ Κοτζιά («Κ» 6/1/08) υπερασπίζεται το βιβλίο: «Θέλω μόνο να τονίσω ότι στη συγγραφική ομάδα και στην κριτική επιτροπή του βιβλίου συμμετείχαν γνωστοί και ειδικοί επιστήμονες και δάσκαλοι της Δευτεροβάθμιας και Τριτοβάθμιας Εκπαίδευσης και ότι το περιεχόμενο και η μορφή του βιβλίου έγιναν αντικείμενο αλλεπάλληλων συσκέψεων και κριτικών διαδικασιών μέχρι την τελική έγκρισή του από τα όργανα του Παιδαγωγικού Ινστιτούτου. Αν μη τι άλλο, πρόκειται για ένα προϊόν συλλογικής και περίσκεπτης προσπάθειας» (www.alfavita.gr 10/1/08). Μάλιστα. Το αποτέλεσμα όμως, το βιβλίο Ιστορίας Νεοελληνικής Λογοτεχνίας, λέει άλλα: είτε ότι καμιά από τις διαδικασίες δεν τηρήθηκε, είτε ότι όσοι συμμετείχαν δεν έκαναν καλά τη δουλειά τους. Τέλος, ένας εκ των κριτών, ο Μίμης Σουλιώτης, αρνήθηκε οποιονδήποτε σχολιασμό.

Τρεις έγκριτοι επιστήμονες και έμπειροι στη διδασκαλία της Λογοτεχνίας απαντούν στην έρευνα της «Κ»: Ο φιλόλογος Κώστας Μπαλάσκας, επίτιμος σύμβουλος του Παιδαγωγικού Ινστιτούτου, αποκαλύπτει ότι το βιβλίο είχε απορριφθεί επί των ημερών του και υποβλήθηκε πάλι μετά την αποχώρησή του από το Π.Ι. Η καθηγήτρια Νεοελληνικής Λογοτεχνίας στο ΑΠΘ, Βενετία Αποστολίδου, η οποία επικρίνει το βιβλίο και ταυτόχρονα επισημαίνει τα ζητήματα που θέτει η διδασκαλία της Νεοελληνικής Λογοτεχνίας στην εκπαίδευση. Και ο διευθυντής της «Νέας Εστίας» υπογραμμίζει τις αδυναμίες στην έκδοση και τη διδασκαλία των σχολικών βιβλίων.

Ομάδες και ισορροπίες

Τι μπορεί να λύσει το πρόβλημα; Κάποιοι –αρκετοί– το πιστεύουν και ισχυρίζονται ότι ο θεσμός του μοναδικού βιβλίου έχει δημιουργήσει ομάδες και ισορροπίες: συγγραφέων, κριτών και εκδοτών. Και κάθε φορά που αλλάζουν τα σχολικά βιβλία, όπως συμβαίνει τώρα, εφορμούν. Με αποτελέσματα κωμικά, αλλά και οδυνηρά για την εκπαιδευτική διαδικασία.

Ανθολόγιο λαθών

- Η γαλλική ιπποτική μυθιστορία «Paris et Vienne», από την οποία ο Βιτσέντζος Κορνάρος άντλησε την υπόθεση του «Ερωτόκριτου», γράφτηκε τον 15ο αιώνα και όχι το 1847 (σ. 30).

- Η πρώτη έκδοση του «Απόκοπου» του Μπεργαδή είναι του 1509 και όχι του 1519 (σ. 28).

- Ο Βολταίρος γεννήθηκε το 1694 και όχι το 1649 (σ. 39).

- Ο Ευγένιος Βούλγαρις (1716 - 1806) και όχι (1586 - 1669) (σ. 40).

- Ο Γρηγόριος Παλαιολόγος (1793 - 1844) και όχι (1803 - 1869) (σ. 73).

- Ο στρατηγός του εθνικοαπελευθερωτικού αγώνα είναι Σπυρομήλιος ή Σπυρομίλιος Μιχαήλ (1800 - 1880) και όχι Σπήρος Μήλιος (σ. 58).

- Η απεικόνιση της Ελισάβετ Μαρτινέγκου (1801 - 1832) αποτελεί προσωπογραφία και όχι φωτογραφία (σ. 61).

- Το περιοδικό «Τα Νέα Γράμματα» (1935 - 1945) και όχι (1933 - 1944) (σ. 116).

- Ο πεζογράφος Στρατής Τσίρκας (1911 - 1980) πρωτοδημοσίευσε πριν από τον Β΄ και όχι πριν από τον Α΄ Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο (σ. 156).

- Η Μαρία Ιορδανίδου πέθανε το 1989 και όχι το 1999 (σ. 155).

- Η διηγηματογραφική συλλογή της Ζυράννας Ζατέλη είναι «Περσινή αρραβωνιαστικιά» και όχι «Περισυνή αρραβωνιαστικιά» (σ. 172) και «Η μητριά πατρίδα» του Μιχάλη Γκανά είναι πεζό και όχι ποιητική συλλογή (σ. 170).

- Σύμφωνα με τη σ. 33 «Η Πανώρια» πρωτοτυπώθηκε το 1583, ενώ σύμφωνα με τη σ. 186 «Η Πανώρια» (1585 - 1600).

- Σύμφωνα με τη σ. 125 ο Στράτης Μυριβήλης προερχόταν από τη Μικρά Ασία, ενώ σύμφωνα με τη σ. 127 γεννήθηκε στη Μυτιλήνη.

- Σύμφωνα με τη σ. 159 ο Πλασκοβίτης πέθανε το 2000, ενώ σύμφωνα με τη σ. 168 το 1998.

- Σύμφωνα με τη σ. 130 «Το λεμονοδάσος» κυκλοφόρησε το 1930 και η «Eroica» το 1938, ενώ σύμφωνα με τη σ. 192 τα δύο έργα του Κοσμά Πολίτη κυκλοφόρησαν το 1931.

- Το έργο του Ιωάννου Φιλήμονος «Δοκίμιον Ιστορικόν περί της Φιλικής Εταιρείας» αποδίδεται στον φιλικό Εμμανουήλ Ξάνθο, ενώ το σωστό έτος της έκδοσής του είναι το 1834 και όχι το 1836 (σ. 58 και 188).

- Το 1944, έτος θανάτου του ποιητή Τέλλου Αγρα αναφέρεται ως «χρόνια του εμφυλίου» (σ. 111).

- Τα ποιήματα του Κ.Π. Καβάφη είναι «Κεριά» και όχι «Τα κεριά», είναι «Θερμοπύλες» και όχι «Οι Θερμοπύλες», είναι «Το Πρώτο Σκαλί» και όχι το «Πρώτο σκαλί» (σ. 105).

- Ο στίχος του Μίλτου Σαχτούρη είναι «Ας μη το κρύβουμε / διψάμε για ουρανό!» και όχι «Πάντα θα ’χουμε ανάγκη από ουρανό» (σ. 150).

- Στο Μεσαίωνα τα έπη δεν είναι δυνατόν να «περνούσαν από μια φάση προφορικότητας» (σ. 9).

- Ο Δ. Σολωμός δεν μπορεί να θαύμαζε τον Βύρωνα γιατί πήρε ενεργό μέρος στον «ελληνοαπελευθερωτικό αγώνα» (σ. 64).

- Η ποίηση του Καβάφη δεν είναι δυνατόν να «διέσπασε τα ελληνικά σύνορα» (σ. 113).

- Τα έργα του Μιχαήλ Μητσάκη δεν μπορεί να «αποτελούνται από διηγήματα και λεπτομερείς περιγραφές» (σ. 95).

- Ο Β΄ Παγκόσμιος Πόλεμος δεν μπορεί να συνεχίστηκε στην Ελλάδα «με διαλείμματα μέχρι το 1949 σε μια σκληρότερη μορφή: εκείνη του εμφύλιου πολέμου» (σ. 143).

- Μετά τον Β΄ Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο, οι Ιταλοί νεορεαλιστές δεν μπορεί να «ζούσαν στην παρανομία (όπως ο Μοράβια), στη φυλακή (όπως ο Παβέζε) ή στην εξορία (όπως ο Κάρλο Λέβι)» (σ. 157).

Οι Κώστας Μπαλάσκας, Βενετία Αποστολίδου, Βαγγέλης Αθανασόπουλος και Σταύρος Ζουμπουλάκης κρίνουν το βιβλίο της «Ιστορίας Νεοελληνικής Λογοτεχνίας»

Κώστας Μπαλάσκας*

Αστοχο και άχρηστο βιβλίο

«Η έγκυρη κριτικός της λογοτεχνίας Ελισάβετ Κοτζιά έκρινε αυστηρά αλλά όχι άδικα τη σχολική «Ιστορία Νεοελληνικής Λογοτεχνίας» για την Α΄, Β΄ και Γ΄ Γυμνασίου («K», 6/1/08). Πρόκειται, κατά την άποψή μου, για βιβλίο άστοχο και άχρηστο. Αστοχο όχι επειδή δεν βρίσκει τον στόχο του, αλλά επειδή δεν έχει στόχο. Και άχρηστο ως μη χρήσιμο και μη χρηστικό. Δεν βοηθάει τον μαθητή ούτε να εξοικειωθεί με τη λογοτεχνία ούτε να την αγαπήσει, αντίθετα μάλιστα: βαρετό και πληκτικό καθώς είναι μπορεί να προκαλέσει απωθήσεις. Αλλά ούτε κάποια ουσιαστική γνώση προσφέρει, ικανή να λειτουργήσει ως μορφωτικό αγαθό: τυπικές πληροφορίες, δυσνόητες κρίσεις, εξειδικευμένα παραθέματα και πλήθος ονόματα, λίθοι και πλίνθοι και κέραμοι ατάκτως ερριμμένα. Εμφανής η προσπάθεια να μη μείνει κανένας παραπονεμένος. Ωστόσο από τα 260 ονόματα ποιητών και πεζογράφων, απουσιάζουν εντελώς ονόματα πρώτου μεγέθους, όπως ο Αλ. Κοτζιάς και ο Νικ. Κάσδαγλης. Απουσιάζουν επίσης ονόματα συγγραφέων που ανθολογούνται στα σχολικά Κείμενα Νεοελληνικής Λογοτεχνίας, όπως του Ψαθά, του Ν. Α. Ασλάνογλου, του Σαββόπουλου, του Σκαμπαρδώνη, για να μείνω στα πιο γνωστά. Επιπλέον υπάρχουν τα λάθη και οι αδυναμίες που σημειώνει η Ελ. Κοτζιά και γενικώς η συγγραφή του βιβλίου φαίνεται να έγινε χωρίς κάποιες αρχές, αποφάσεις, κάποια κριτήρια, κάποιους άξονες, εκτός ίσως από τον άξονα της προχειρότητας. Δεν ξέρω αν είναι το ίδιο βιβλίο που είχε υποβληθεί σε προηγούμενη προκήρυξη και είχε απορριφθεί. Νομίζω πως είναι το ίδιο και σωστά είχε απορριφθεί. Το λάθος είναι η επανυποβολή και η έγκρισή του από άλλη επιτροπή κρίσης και τελικά η κυκλοφορία ενός σχολικού βιβλίου που όχι μόνο δεν ωφελεί, αλλά βλάπτει το αδίκως ταλαιπωρούμενο μάθημα της λογοτεχνίας».

* Ο κ. Κώστας Μπαλάσκας είναι φιλόλογος, επίτιμος σύμβουλος Παιδαγωγικού Ινστιτούτου.

Σταύρος Ζουμπουλάκης*

Χωρίς έλεγχο, χωρίς δοκιμή

1ον: Θεωρώ θετικό ότι τα σχολικά βιβλία κρίνονται δημοσίως, γιατί μέχρι τώρα έχαιραν μιας κριτικής ασυλίας. Είναι τα βιβλία που διαμορφώνουν γενιές μαθητών.

2ον: Να μην είμαστε πάντα εναντίον του θεσμικού πλαισίου. Τα βιβλία πρέπει να γίνονται με αναθέσεις. Εκεί που πάσχει ο μηχανισμός είναι ότι τα όργανα του Παιδαγωγικού Ινστιτούτου δεν ασκούν τον έλεγχο. 3ον: Δεν υπάρχει χώρα στον κόσμο που τα βιβλία να πηγαίνουν κατ’ ευθείαν στους μαθητές. Γι’ αυτό υπάρχουν τα πειραματικά σχολεία, για να δοκιμάζονται οι νέοι μέθοδοι διδασκαλίας και τα νέα βιβλία.

Και τέλος, είναι απαράδεκτο καθηγητές, δάσκαλοι και μαθητές να παίρνουν τα βιβλία την ίδια μέρα. Ο δάσκαλος πρέπει να γνωρίζει εκ των προτέρων τι θα διδάξει. Οχι τη μια μέρα να παίρνει το βιβλίο και την άλλη να καλείται να το διδάξει.

* Ο κ. Σταύρος Ζουμπουλάκης είναι διευθυντής της «Νέας Εστίας».

Βενετία Αποστολίδου*

Να διδάσκεται και πώς;

Η συγγραφή μιας ιστορίας της λογοτεχνίας είναι από μόνη της ένα δύσκολο εγχείρημα και, όσο συνοπτικότερη είναι, τόσο πιο μεγάλες οι δυσκολίες. Η σχολική «Ιστορία Νεοελληνικής Λογοτεχνίας» δεν μπόρεσε να ανταποκριθεί στις απαιτήσεις του εγχειρήματος. Εχουν ήδη δημοσιευτεί αρκετά άρθρα που επισημαίνουν τόσα και τέτοια ατοπήματα και προβλήματα τα οποία καμιά παιδαγωγική σκοπιμότητα δεν μπορεί να δικαιολογήσει. Δεν θεωρώ απαραίτητο, λοιπόν, να προσθέσω εδώ τις δικές μου αντιρρήσεις και επισημάνσεις λαθών. Πολύ περισσότερο, επειδή διαβλέπω τον κίνδυνο να εξαντληθούμε συζητώντας, και πάλι, για ένα σχολικό βιβλίο, αγνοώντας τα ευρύτερα παιδαγωγικά ζητήματα σχετικά με τη διδασκαλία της λογοτεχνίας που προηγούνται αλλά και έπονται της συγγραφής του.

Συγκεκριμένα: Διδάσκεται ή πρέπει να διδάσκεται ιστορία της νεοελληνικής λογοτεχνίας στην Υποχρεωτική Εκπαίδευση; Ποιους σκοπούς εξυπηρετεί η διδασκαλία της; Αν πρέπει να διδάσκεται, με τι είδους βιβλία μπορεί να γίνει αυτό; Χρειάζεται οπωσδήποτε να γραφτεί μια σχολική ιστορία της νεοελληνικής λογοτεχνίας; Μήπως θα ήταν ωφελιμότερο για την εγγραμματοσύνη των μαθητών να ασκηθούν στη χρήση των υπαρχόντων Ιστοριών και άλλων βοηθημάτων όπως λογοτεχνικά λεξικά, ανθολογίες και εγκυκλοπαίδειες;

Τα ερωτήματα υπονοούν και τις απαντήσεις μου. Παρόλα όσα λέει το Αναλυτικό Πρόγραμμα, το μάθημα της λογοτεχνίας, με ανθολόγια που παραθέτουν απλώς χρονικά τα λογοτεχνικά κείμενα, δεν βοηθά σήμερα ούτε στο ελάχιστο στην εξοικείωση με την ιστορική εξέλιξη της λογοτεχνίας (κι αυτό το επιβεβαιώνω δεκαεπτά χρόνια τώρα διδάσκοντας ιστορία της λογοτεχνίας σε πρωτοετείς φοιτητές). Μια σχολική ιστορία της λογοτεχνίας που περιέχει αντιγραμμένη και κακοχωνεμένη γνώση δεν πρόκειται βέβαια να βελτιώσει την κατάσταση.

* Η κ. Βενετία Αποστολίδου είναι αναπληρώτρια καθηγήτρια Νεοελληνικής Λογοτεχνίας και Λογοτεχνικής Εκπαίδευσης στο Παιδαγωγικό Τμήμα Δημοτικής Εκπαίδευσης του ΑΠΘ.

Βαγγέλης Αθανασόπουλος*

Το ιστορικό μιας «Ιστορίας» από έναν πρωταγωνιστή

Η εξ αρχής συμφωνημένη συμβολή μου στη συγκρότηση του βιβλίου περιοριζόταν στην παραχώρηση ήδη δημοσιευμένων κειμένων μου τα οποία, επειδή δεν απευθύνονταν σε μαθητές της δευτεροβάθμιας εκπαίδευσης, επρόκειτο να απλοποιηθούν από τη μία εκ των δύο συγγραφέων, η οποία ουσιαστικά είχε αναλάβει το έργο της συγγραφής και σύνθεσης. Γι’ αυτό, άλλωστε, δεν συμμετείχα στις συναντήσεις των συγγραφέων με τους κριτές. Το γεγονός, επίσης, της διασκευής των κειμένων μου ίσως εξηγεί και τη συστηματική σε όλο το βιβλίο παράλειψη κάθε βιβλιογραφικής αναφοράς σε οποιοδήποτε από τα έργα μου.

Σχετικώς με την ευθύνη μου ως προς την ανάγνωση των κειμένων των άλλων (η οποία δεν ήταν μέρος της συμφωνίας μας, αλλά επιβαλλόταν για λόγους προσωπικής ασφάλειας): Μετά τη διόρθωση 32 σελίδων, που απαίτησε διπλάσιο αριθμό ωρών, καθώς και εξαιρετική υπομονή και ανασκευαστική επινοητικότητα, προειδοποίησα τον ανάδοχο εκδότη για τα προβλήματα που ήταν σοβαρότερα στο επίπεδο των μη έγκυρων διατυπώσεων (που φανέρωναν αβέβαιη γνώση και υπονόμευαν τη θετικότητα των παρεχόμενων πληροφοριών), παρά σε εκείνο των πραγματολογικών δεδομένων. Του πρότεινα, και δέχτηκε, παράλληλα με τη συγγραφή να γίνεται φιλολογική επιμέλεια από μια δοκιμασμένη σε αυτό το έργο νεοελληνίστρια. Οταν, όμως, η ουσιαστική συγγραφέας αντελήφθη τη σχετική διαδικασία, αντέδρασε βεβαιώνοντας τον ανάδοχο πως κάτι τέτοιο ήταν περιττό. Χωρίς να με ενημερώσουν διέκοψαν τη συνεργασία με τη φιλολογική επιμελήτρια. Ας σημειωθεί πως η από μέρους μου αποκατάσταση ακόμη και εκείνων των λίγων σελίδων δεν αξιοποιήθηκε, με το επιχείρημα ότι λόγω της απειρίας μου σχετικώς με τις απαιτήσεις της δευτεροβάθμιας εκπαίδευσης, οι επεμβάσεις μου καθιστούσαν το κείμενο δυσνόητο και μη λειτουργικό.

Τα παραπάνω αναφέρονται σε όσα έγιναν και έχουν μια συγκεκριμένη σημασία. Μια γενικότερη σημασία θα είχε η αναφορά εκείνων που δεν έγιναν, όπως είναι η αναγωγή της απλής παράθεσης των πληροφοριών σε μια δόμησή τους, μέσω της οποίας θα προτείνονταν τρόποι κατανόησης και εξήγησης της εξέλιξης του λογοτεχνικού φαινομένου μέσα στον ιστορικό χρόνο.

* Ο κ. Βαγγέλης Αθανασόπουλος είναι καθηγητής στο Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών.

2008-02-07

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