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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 17 June 2017
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 17 JUNE 2017 9 NEWS It happens that 'whites' dominate the structures that exploit the tale of racism – but those who are prepared to assimilate to the obscene tale of a greed so destructive it has humanity in peril, who degenerate to disordered thinking join in the presumption of spoils. There is no racism among the rulers of the world. That is where racism is seen for what it is: nothing more than a weapon, for racism is not a truth but a lie. Racism is just that, a weapon that whips in hate, hoodwinking the classes. Only at the top of the pile does it not matter whether one is black, brown, yellow, white; that's the only bit that can be argued today that has changed – because indeed it's never really been about colour. We are one colour made many. Racism provides this lesson, that one can betray fellow sufferers and suffer less, and that a few can get to the table. You do not have to be white to betray your sisters and brothers. Despite racism's lie, racism is sold wholesale to the masses. Racism has the masses fighting with each other – with politicians referring to brown asylum seekers as cockroaches; a reference to those who risk their lives in Mediterranean crossings. Cockroaches! Cockroaches? Anti-racism protesters outside the Melbourne Magistrates Court where members of the United Patriots Front were appearing in court on Tuesday 23 May. United Patriots members were facing charges of defacing the footpath and wall of a garden bed outside City of Bendigo offices PHOTO: AAP IMAGE/DAVID CROSLING Racism has toxic translations. It poisons the mind, weakens the heart, and debilitates the soul. It makes for more than just nervous societies, but for colosseums of terror, of warring, of insanity. Narcissism, anarchy and chaos grow violence. Those who gave rise to this, who sowed the seeds, are those who orchestrated ill-gotten gain and built citadels and anonymity. The British colonialists were not instructed by the masses, but by elites. The British were the world's biggest slum builders; dividing peoples, fracturing peoples, delivering narratives of mass poverty, promoting tales of cultural inferiority and racialised lies. Their legacies tragically thrive. The filthy deeds of the colonialists, who invaded every region, make humanity a dominion, denying people the freedom they are born into. The historical remains contemporary: racism is institutionalised and is still as omnipresent a weapon as ever. It is has been said that no lie lives forever but we see this is not so; lies live as if forever in the windows of time. As with the litanies of lies told in the presumed heyday of the European colonialists and in the centuries of human slavery that there is a striving for equality and the alleviation of poverty, so too these lies continue today. Each lie, in each generation, is bolstered by more lies. Despite billions of people harpooned into the direst poverty and stresses by colonialism and 'post'-colonialism, we are told that hundreds of millions of people are being lifted out of poverty, into the working and middle classes. These lies will cascade uninterrupted into generations unborn. There is more poverty today than ever before, there are more life stressors today than ever before, more people dying in wars than any before and in intertwined in all this is racism, which continues to be played out. More people suicide today than ever before in human history. Racism is not just an individual act, it is not just prejudice. Tragically it is insidious, pernicious, it is evil. Racism is a complex maze of institutions and structures of whom only a few see the blueprint. The perpetrators continue to use racism, to play out a burden of 'civilising' black, brown and yellow, they play out all these colours and associate inferiority, dangers. Racism has made the devil of the Arab, fuelled a crusade against Islam, but established a covenant with whiteness, the West and Judeo-Christian values. In the racism wars it matters little to humankind that children wash up dead on beaches between Turkey and Greece in the bid for asylum. White immigrants are ex-pats and black, brown and yellow immigrants are both migrants and a threat. This plays out as refugee camps, immigration detention facilities polluting landscapes, and jails are disproportionately filled with black, brown and yellow. We need to hit the streets and radicalise the conversations, smashing the narrow corridors of discourse which pollute our parliaments and deceive us because lies have proved to live as if forever. Racism is a lie that continues to live. * Gerry Georgatos is a suicide prevention and prison reform researcher and advocate with the non-tertiary Institute of Social Justice and Human Rights. He is a member of national projects to further develop suicide prevention, and well-being and education programs in prisons. Gerry's research has a focus on trauma recovery and restorative approaches. He is also a prolific writer on the understanding of racism and on the ways forward from racism. FYROM changes stance on the name issue After a quarter of a century of strenuous diplomatic relationships, finally a ray of light shines for Greece and its northern neighbour, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. In an interview with the Financial Times, the country's newly appointed Foreign Minister, Nikola Dimitrov, expressed his willingness to concede to Greece's objections and accept a provisional name, so that FYROM can join the NATO alliance. "Hopefully political forces in Greece will realise this is a historic opportunity," Mr Dimitrov said, adding: "I will ask Greece to reconsider what kind of neighbour they want - do they want a stable, friendly country that offers hope for democracy and justice?" This turn of events coming after a long period of turmoil in FYROM, following the end of Nikola Gruevski's term as prime minister, during which he renamed airports and motorways after Alexander the Great, the warrior king who created an empire stretching from Greece to India. The new PM, Zoran Zaev, has expressed his de- termination to build good neighbourly relations with Greece, which he considers a "friend" of his country. This change of approach could put an end to a dispute that has plagued the two countries’ relationship, with FYROM insisting on being called, a name rejected by Greece, as it implies a territorial claim to the northern Greek province with the same name, which occupies the largest part of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia. Greece had vetoed the Balkan nation's application to the alliance in 2008, on historical, cultural, and political grounds, but the new FYROM leadership seems to employ a more pragmatic approach, prioritising the need for being in a strong alliance, to face the current challenges presented in the field of diplomacy and international security. There has not been any mention a specific name being taken into consideration, but analysts have commented on the likelihood of a geographic term, such as 'Upper Macedonia', instead of an ethnic one. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias (R) and his FYROM counterpart Nikola Dimitrov (L) during a press conference following their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Athens on 14 June PHOTO: AAP VIA EPA/SIMELA PANTZARTZI Greek taxpayers largely missing out on tax statement deadline Greek taxpayers seem to be particularly reluctant to file their tax statements this year, with online statements lodged so far lagging behind by some 300,000, compared to last year. According to the Independent Authority for Public Revenue, only 2,588,596 tax statements had been submitted by the first week of June, compared to 2,861,451 in 2016. Greek taxpayers have been known to postpone filing their taxes until near the deadline, but this year delays have exceeded expectations, which increases the likelihood of the Ministry of Finance expanding the deadline of 30 June by at least a couple of weeks. Early processing data of the statements lodged shows that 36.8 per cent of the statements include extra tax payments amounting to more than €810m. Even if the ministry expands the deadline, the first instalment of these payments should be made by the end of July.
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