Australia ranked 10th easiest to do business

Source: News

AUSTRALIA is ranked 10th in the world for the ease of doing business having jumped five places in the past year.

In the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2013 report released on Tuesday a survey of 185 economies globally found Australia is the second easiest country in which to start a business, taking just two days and two procedures to register a private company.

The report, in its 10th year, said business friendly reforms have enabled Australia to be ranked fourth for the ease of obtaining credit.

Singapore topped the global ranking for the seventh consecutive year, followed by Hong Kong, New Zealand, US, Denmark, Norway, UK, South Korea, Georgia and then Australia.

Over the past decade, the World Bank series has recorded nearly 2000 regulatory reforms implemented by 180 economies, yielding major benefits for local entrepreneurs across the globe.

“Over the years, governments have made important strides to improve their business regulatory environment and to narrow the gap with global best practices,” the World Bank Group’s director of global indicators and analysis, Augusto Lopez-Claros, said in a statement.

“While the reforms we measure provide only a partial picture of an economy’s business climate, they are crucial for key economic outcomes such as faster job growth and new business creation.”

Political economist Yanis Varoufakis attracts the biggest ever audience

Political economist Yanis Varoufakis attracts the biggest ever audience at the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria

It was standing-room only at the Lonsdale Street headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria on Tuesday, as political economist Yanis Varoufakis shared his thoughts on the Greek crisis, why no such thing existed, and by the way – how to escape it.

The lecture – based upon Varoufakis’ contention that the eurozone is in its final death-throes amidst a wider global economic conflagration – was fittingly the last event to be presented at GOCMV’s current headquarters, before it too succumbs to the bulldozers.

For those who have followed his many utterances as a TV news analyst and online in recent years, it was vintage Varoufakis – eloquent, strident claims of the imminent destruction of the eurozone, within an overarching narrative of the drastic shortcomings of globalised capitalism.

Greece is a sideshow – a victim of disreputable bankers propped up by the EU which for Varoufakis is a fatally flawed institution, without the internal systems – and more importantly without the political will – for member states with surpluses to support other states who have deficits.

To begin, he asked his audience to reflect on whether the current economic and social problems in Greece should be described as a crisis at all. He pointed to the winter of 1941-1942, when over a hundred thousand Greeks died of starvation, and the 1974 invasion of Cyprus, as crises worthy of the name. “Greece is experiencing an existentialist catastrophe” he said.

“It would be just as silly to talk about the Greek crisis today, as it would be to speak of ‘the Tasmanian crisis’ in the 1930s. “The Greek people today are part of a general crisis, of which Greece is but an interesting, sad and tragic part,” said Varoufakis.

He spoke with few notes, repeating an agenda he has been espousing for some time: how the Greek, eurozone and global economic crises should be viewed as a kind of wooden Russian doll – each the offspring of the other.

“But we Greeks were one million percent responsible for Greece being the first domino to fall,” said the former advisor to PASOK, admitting that a large chunk of responsibility for the current situation lay with Greece’s political elites over decades.

Varoufakis, who worked for George Papandreou between 2004 and 2006, said the question was not whether Greece would or should leave the euro, but rather, when would Germany make up its mind, if Germany itself wishes to remain in the euro?

The EU’s demand for austerity measures to be fulfilled – in order for Greece to continue to receive bailout funds – was torture, a case of “waterboarding” he said. “Germany knows the austerity measures will not work, but it applies them because it is making its own mind up about whether it wants to remain in the euro. “I say to Germany, make it up,” said Varoufakis to widespread applause.

Then it was over to Q and A’s. The audience was largely warm and referential to the former University of Sydney lecturer, with only one or two dissenting voices, suggesting that the globe-trotting economist might be prone to “a selectivity of facts”. According to his critics, Varoufakis’ “modest proposals” as he refers to them, are based on his beliefs which some say are a mix of utopian socialism and a cautious neo-Keynesianism.

His most vocal detractors accuse him of being light on concrete suggestions for development, and too often when talking about Greece, deliberately choosing to avoid the immense dysfunctionality of its economy and the reasons for it.

He did offer three suggestions for escaping the crisis and saving the eurozone. “You don’t need federation, and you don’t need to torture people [with austerity],” said Varoufakis defiantly.

“What you do need to do is get rid of the national banking systems, make the European Central Bank take part of the debt of member states – debts which can’t ever be serviced – and make this debt disappear, and an investment policy is needed to resuscitate the [European] economy.”

As audience members filed down the dimly-lit stairs of the GOCMV building (the lift had decided not to function properly on the last, busiest night of its existence), each reflected on Varoufakis’ analysis and wish-list for action, hoping that the GOCMV building and Greece, will rise from their respective ashes, phoenix-like in the not too distant future. If only the reconstruction of a nation’s economy was as simple as laying bricks and mortar.

Australia’s links to Greece and Cyprus according to Maria Vamvakinou MP

Greece may benefit from Australia’s UN security seat

Australia’s links to Greece and Cyprus may work to the countries’ benefit after Australia won its bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council, according to Maria Vamvakinou MP.

She says the advocacy of diaspora communities in Australia have ensured that issues pertaining to Greece and Cyprus are at the front of the minds of politicians as Australia takes its seat on the UN Security Council.

“The bilateral relationship between Australia and Greece is in excellent condition and operates in various levels”.

“The Greek community in Australia has very strong links to Greece itself and as a result of that our relationships at that level are very close and that feeds into the parliament to parliament relationship and government to government.”

She added that current crisis in Greece had “stirred” the Greeks in Australia into action, who in turn advocate on their behalf, and noted the commencement of negotiations of the work and holiday visa their most recent success.

Ms Vamvakinou added that Australia will continue to support dialogue between both the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot communities to try and broach a resolution, considering as a nation, she said Australia saw the first rapprochement activities between Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots in Melbourne some 12 years.

“Australia – and even the governor General when she was there in June – will continue to support Australia’s Cypriot academic dialogue which exists at the moment – which is dialogue between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots academics who are working away trying to find ways outside the direct political context so Australia has an interest in assisting that,” she said.

However, out of the 140 votes Australia gained to get the seat on the council, Greece was not one of them. As Greece needs to vote as part of the European Union, their vote went to fellow European country Luxembourg.

Ms Vamvakinou is pleased that Australia received the seat saying that as a country with good relationships with the world, Australia will have a strong role in “shaping the worlds future”.

“Our middle power is proven on the grounds in this country to be able to broker dialogue between conflicting communities so am looking forward to us using those expertise and hopefully we can make a difference.”

Mrs Vamvakinou said Australia has always seen itself as as ‘honest broker’ and will take that approach on their seat on the UN security council.

“We have a history of operating at that middle level. We are a country that is relatively neutral I think in the sense that we have good relationship broadly speaking with world communities,” she added.

However, the issues in Greece and Cyprus may take a back seat as Australia will focus its attention on issues in Syria, and Afghanistan – where Australia’s security interests are deeply engaged.

Σοκ στην Κρήτη: Αφήνουν άταφους τους νεκρούς γιατί δεν έχουν λεφτά!

Οι συγγενείς των αποθανόντων έρχονται αντιμέτωποι με μία τραγική πραγματικότητα, καθώς λόγω οικονομικών προβλημάτων δεν έχουν χρήματα για την κηδεία.

Όπως αναφέρει το, οι συγγενείς των νεκρών έρχονται σε επαφή με διάφορα γραφεία τελετών για να κανονίσουν τα διαδικαστικά της τελετής, όμως λόγω της κακής οικονομικής κατάστασης οι κηδείες γίνονται σε … δόσεις.

Κάποτε οι γέροι κρατούσαν τα χρήματα τους για εκείνη την ώρα και έτσι οι συγγενείς πλήρωναν αμέσως τα έξοδα της κηδείας. Τώρα όμως αυτό αρχίζει να μειώνεται αισθητά αφού τα γεροντάκια δίνουν την πενιχρή τους σύνταξη για να βοηθήσουν τα παιδιά τους που περνούν δύσκολα, κι έτσι όταν έρχεται η ώρα του θανάτου εκείνα πια δεν έχουν τίποτε άλλο να δώσουν, λέει στο ο κ. Κωνσταντίνος Πιτσικάκης, πρόεδρος γραφείων τελετών Ανατολικής Κρήτης. Σύμφωνα με τον πρόεδρο δεν είναι λίγοι εκείνοι που δίνουν ακόμα και 100 ευρώ το μήνα μέχρι να εξοφλήσουν τα έξοδα της κηδείας όπως επίσης εκείνοι που ρίχνουν αρκετά το κόστος μίας τελετής περικόπτοντας καμιά φορά ακόμα και τον … καφέ !

Νεκροί στα αζήτητα

Στην Κρήτη και συγκεκριμένα στο Ηράκλειο υπάρχουν αυτή τη στιγμή εννέα πτώματα στα ψυγεία των νεκροτομείων του ΠΑΓΝΗ και είναι περιπτώσεις ανθρώπων που δεν έχουν στενούς συγγενείς με αποτέλεσμα να είναι στα αζήτητα. Όλους αυτούς θα τους αναλάβουμε εμείς τα γραφεία τελετών, πληρώνοντας φυσικά εμείς οι ίδιοι τα έξοδα της κηδείας μιας και δεν έχουν συγγενείς να για να τα πληρώσουν αναφέρει ο κ. Πιτσικάκης.

Ψυγεία νέου κοιμητηρίου

Κι όμως υπάρχουν. Το θέμα είναι πόσοι Ηρακλειώτες το γνώριζαν. Στο νέο κοιμητήριο στην ΒΙ.ΠΕ Ηρακλείου υπάρχουν ψυγεία που μπορούν να φιλοξενήσουν ένα μεγάλο αριθμό νεκρών, ωστόσο δεν τέθηκαν ποτέ σε λειτουργία γιατί σύμφωνα με τους αρμόδιους φορείς κάτι τέτοιο θα είχε υψηλό κόστος αναφέρει χαρακτηριστικά ο κ. Πιτσικάκης.

Army IAF helicopters and Unit 669 fighters met their Greek counterparts in an exercise that took place in Greece


Top of the Olympus

Filed under: Army IAF helicopters and Unit 669 fighters met their Greek counterparts in an exercise that took place in Greece. It was a good chance to exchange ideas, methods and thoughts.

The Mediterranean sea almost shimmers in response to the sun rays, but there is still no feeling of excitement at the sight of the clear water: blue is blue is blue and these helicopters made the long and monotonous journey from IAF bases to a Greek base just a few days ago. A few minutes later and the blue view changes again, the one seen from the window as well as the one mirrored on the cockpit screens.

We are making rounds, as if mimicking the rivers etched into the Mount Olympus. An isolated hut appears on the horizon and disappears time and again and the Unit 669 fighters along with their Greek counterparts are looking restless as they lean out the Blackhawk and stare downward.
Suddenly, we are landing and the rescue unit fighters leap off the helicopter. They disappear among the bushes and quickly return with a “wounded” man on one of the soldiers’ shoulders. They quickly hop back onto the plane and within a moment we’re already at an altitude of 7,000 feet.

Respect the Mountain

“In Israel we know every hill and every mountain and are less preoccupied with the elements of flying. We’re not preoccupied with navigational orientation, which is an important component of flying”, says Lieutenant Colonel Gadi, Commander of the “Rolling Sword” squadron and commander of the temporary squadron in Greece that includes Blackhawk and Apache-Longbow pilots. “Within two or three years, the average helicopter pilot has flown through the area so many times that he’s not surprised anymore. Here we have no idea. I don’t know the place and I need to study the territory extensively”.

But it wasn’t only for the element of surprise that the helicopters flew over to the other side of the Mediterranean Sea. It’s very difficult not to bow your head in respect when standing at the foot of the 2,900 meter Olympus Mountain. Major Gad: “Flying through high mountains is more complicated and requires more power.

There are winds, powerful whirlwinds, and it’s difficult to maneuver the helicopter”.
In the adjacent line, the combat helicopter formation is also watching the home of Zeus.

“The higher the helicopter climbs, the more difficult it is for it”, says Captain Or, Deputy Commander of the “Hornet” squadron. “That said, we were pleasantly surprised: The helicopter functioned a lot better than we expected and we must’ve been well prepared for the exercise and learned how to not to push ourselves into corners. Regardless, the helicopter makes it easier for you. It knows how to respond when it’s crunch time. It tells you how much power you need, what you need in order to fly, and what it limits are at that time”.

Similar and Different

A few days have passed since IAF pilots and pilots from the Greek Land army started training together, and the base hosting the participants is completely filled.

“There style of flight is different than ours. Their flight altitudes are significantly higher and their observation systems are different”, says Captain Yaki, a pilot in the “Hornet” Squadron. “We have an extremely advanced night vision system that allows us to see a clear picture, which requires of us to quickly adapt to their ability to locate targets and aim toward them”.

Captain Zois Dimitriadi, a Staff Officer in the Greek Army, adds: “Because our helicopters are A models, there’s a difference between the radars and our other systems and the Israeli helicopters. What we see on our screens is different than what can be seen on yours and because of the difference we can only transfer information by speaking on the signal operator”.

“Our operational area isn’t characterized by mountainous terrain”, explains Captain Zois Dimitriadi. “The operations that we practice are in sea or in tank combat. Tanks can’t climb mountains, so it interests us less”.

Brigadier General David Barki, Commander of Helicopter section in the IAF, also sees the importance and value of the collaborative practice. “It’s always beneficial to fly with whoever has the same missions and flies on similar platforms. A different point of view allows us to reevaluate our world view. The Greeks learn from different places, especially NATO and the experience that NATO has is from lessons learned by other Air Forces in areas like Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq. For us, these are important lessons to be learned”.

The Greek way

Kneeling close to the ground, Unit 669 Search & Rescue combat teams are scattered in the backyard of the base. The crews are in the grove near by the Squadron’s building and are training together with their Greek counterparts – Unit 31.

The training in the grove is just the warm-up. Not much time passes until the real-deal arrives: rescue and evacuation sorties performed by integrated crews of Greeks and Israelis. The “ride” was mixed as well: one performed by an Israeli Uh-60 Blackhawk, the other by a Greek UH-1.
“Flying in a different aircraft is a little weird”, says First Sergeant Yinon, Commander of the 669 crew, “there are technical differences between the helicopters: the seating arrangements and the way the equipment is organized. The flying is different mostly because of the communication with the pilots. We’re used to understanding where we’re going and knowing what’s going to happen. On the Greek helicopters only the in-flight mechanics hear the signal operator and we have no idea what’s going on”.

“Something from Everyone”

The helicopters might’ve been from both sides, but when it comes to combat doctrine there was only one option: The Israeli one. Unit 31 was formed 13 years ago, almost a generation after the formation of Unit 669 and as they say: experience cannot be replaced.

“This is our second exercise with Unit 669″, says Commander of Unit 31. “In the last exercise, we saw that 669 are very experienced and we decided to train with them again. Our activity mainly involves training sessions. We have peace and few real events, so we watch and learn from units like 669 that have combat experience, just as we learn from the Americans and the rest of the NATO countries. We need to take the best from each”.

And indeed, there is no doubt that unit 669 received the title “combat” for a reason. The unit participated in the First and Second Lebanon Wars and in many operations such as “Cast Lead” and even in “Operation Solomon” in the efforts to bring Ethiopian Jews to Israel.

“These are the Same Principles”

The last day of the exercise arrives. If at first the Israeli pilots could say that they’re still fatigued from the long flight from Israel, or that they haven’t gotten to know the terrain yet, all excuses are now invalid. They’ve already flown in unknown area, in high altitudes and in sunlight that persists until nine in the evening. Now they’re ready for the flagship sortie of the session.

Crews of UH-60 Blackhawks, Apaches, and Apache Longbows left to locate an abandoning pilot, and the leader holds a detailed list as required by NATO: the location of the pilot, confirmation code, threats in the area, and reason for abandonment.

Captain Gad: “It’s very similar to the way we do it. These are the same principles”.

But it seems that no matter what, in some areas the differences are purposeful. Aerial crews from both sides of the Mediterranean Sea are not going to develop identical combat doctrines anytime soon. Still, the breeze reaching us from the east brings a positive gust of spirit.

“There’s a nice openness amongst the pilots. It’s clear that the Greeks willingly want to join efforts and learn lessons”, says Brigadier General Yoav. “I think that we can take a few steps forward, like making our practices more complex”.

Anti-immigrant Golden Dawn rises in Greece

Source: WashingtonPost

The rise of Greece’s Golden Dawn: Ultranationalist party raises fears as it builds a network of public aid reserved only for Greek citizens and is accused of violence against immigrants.

At first glance, the shop on a nondescript street in this chaotic capital looks standard-issue military. Fatigues. Camouflage. Hunting gear. Deeper inside, the political message emerges. Black T-shirts emblazoned with modified swastikas — the symbol of the far-right Golden Dawn party — are on sale. A proudly displayed sticker carries a favorite party slogan: “Get the Stench out of Greece.”

By “stench,” the Golden Dawn — which won its first-ever seats in the Greek Parliament this spring and whose popularity has soared ever since — means immigrants, broadly defined as anyone not of Greek ancestry. In the country at the epicenter of Europe’s debt crisis, and where poverty and unemployment are spiking, the surplus shop doubles as one of the party’s dozens of new “help bureaus.” Hundreds of calls a day come in from desperate families seeking food, clothing and jobs, all of which the Golden Dawn is endeavoring to provide, with one major caveat: for Greeks only.

To fulfill its promise of a Greece for Greeks alone, the party appears willing to go to great lengths. Its supporters — in some instances with the alleged cooperation of police — stand accused of unleashing a rash of violence since the party rose to national office, including the stabbings and beatings of immigrants, ransacking an immigrant community center, smashing market stalls and breaking the windows of immigrant-owned shops.

Attacks have not stopped at foreigners. One Golden Dawn legislator slapped a left-wing female politician on national television. Party supporters have attempted to shut down performances of progressive theater. Activists see the party’s hand behind three recent beatings of gay men. The Golden Dawn has also begun engaging left-wing anarchy groups in street battles — more evidence, observers say, of a societal breakdown that some here fear could slide into a civil war if Greece is forced out of the euro and into an even deeper crisis.

But perhaps more worrisome, critics say, are signs that the Golden Dawn is establishing itself as an alternative authority in a country crippled by the harsh austerity imposed by its international lenders. It has set up its own “pure” blood bank, providing and accepting donations to and from Greeks only, in a nation of 11 million that is also home to roughly 1.5 million refugees and migrants, many of them from the Middle East, South Asia and Africa. As the party attempts to place a swelling number of unemployed in jobs, its officials say they have persuaded a major restaurant chain to begin replacing immigrants with Greek workers.

Landlords can seek the party’s help with the eviction of immigrant tenants. The Golden Dawn can provide not only government health inspectors and lawyers sympathetic to its goals, but also security, in the form of black­-uniformed followers with military haircuts who salute one another with upraised fists.

From his office inside the shop, Elias Panagiotaros, one of the new national legislators from the Golden Dawn, denied that the party is engaging in systematic attacks. But ethnic Greeks, he added, “have the right to protect themselves and their property from all these illegal savages.”

“During difficult periods of war or economic disaster, as we are facing now, there are people who have to do the hard job, the dirty job,” Panagiotaros said. “We are the ones.”

As deeply indebted European nations undergo waves of harsh government cuts in exchange for European Union-backed bailouts, observers warn that the fabric of society in some countries is being stretched to its breaking point. As countries trim spending, the elderly and disabled are enduring deep reductions in aid and pensions. Workers are losing their jobs or facing sharp salary cuts. Taxes are increased in the middle of steep recessions.

Other hot spots in Europe

The crisis has fanned the fires of independence in Catalonia and Dutch-speaking Belgium, threatening to break up the Spanish and Belgian states. But nowhere is the stress of the crisis more profound than here in Greece, where the deepest of cuts have left a grim tableau. One in every four Greeks is without work. Youth unemployment is above 50 percent. The suicide rate is climbing. Medical treatments for cancer and other illnesses have become harder to get. Growing intravenous drug use is causing a spike in the rate of HIV infection, according to a study published in the Lancet medical journal.

The collapsed economy is fertile ground for the Golden Dawn. Born in the 1980s and populated by Greek nationalists, including some who fought with the Serbs in the Balkans and had ties to Greece’s former military dictatorship, the party won its first-ever seats in Parliament in May with 7 percent of the vote. A recent poll showed that 22 percent of Greeks view the party favorably.

To be sure, nationalist and ­anti-immigrant parties are rising across Europe. But observers put the Golden Dawn in a league of its own. In 1987, the magazine of the party — headed by Nikolaos Michaloliakos, a former commando in the Greek special forces — published an issue hailing Hitler as “the great man of the 20th century.” On a recent visit to the help bureau, a poster heralding the Third Reich’s 1936 Berlin Games hung on a wall.

In a nation where memories of World War II-era atrocities remain fresh, polls have shown that most Greeks who support the Golden Dawn are doing so based solely on its anti-immigrant stance and that they largely dismiss the group’s more hard-core attributes. But its extracurricular activities are becoming more violent.

“They speak of ‘cleaning-up’ operations,” said Vassiliki Georgiadou, an academic who has studied the movement. “They will try, violently if needed, to ‘clean up’ whole neighborhoods, towns, the country.”

Greek Justice Minister Antonis Roupakiotis said he is concerned about the party’s alleged ties to the police and military. Accusations are rife that police may be working with the Golden Dawn on a new nationwide stop-and-search campaign targeting illegal immigrants. Activists also allege that segments of the police may be colluding with the party in anti-immigrant attacks, which the government estimates number at least two or three a week.

There have been limited attempts to investigate the party, including lifting parliamentary immunity for two Golden Dawn legislators who were recently videotaped harassing an immigrant market. But critics say the government has been reluctant to more broadly confront the party’s alleged abuses. Rather than banning the party, as some here suggest, Roupakiotis said the best solution is to improve social conditions in Greece to undermine the Golden Dawn’s strength.

‘Taking advantage’

“Greece fought the fascists in World War II, thousands of Jews ended up in crematoriums and now we are facing this threat again,” Roupakiotis said. He later added: “This is being caused by the tough conditions Greece is being forced to endure. Extremists are taking advantage of the situation.”

Yet Roupakiotis and others also blame the heavy flow of migrants from the Middle East and Asia who use Greece as a back door to enter the European Union, most often via Turkey. The situation is being made worse by European policies that allow E.U. countries to deport undocumented immigrants to their entry point in the union, often meaning Greece. As a result, the population in Greek jails is 40 percent non-Greek.

Since the Golden Dawn’s rise to office this year, immigrant communities across Greece are reporting what they describe as a reign of terror. In the America Square neighborhood of Athens, for instance, immigrants have begun organizing night watches after shopkeepers had their storefronts vandalized and immigrant men were assaulted. Earlier this month, residents say, a group of Greek men dressed in black stripped and humiliated an Ethiopian woman.

Some alleged attacks involve nothing more than insults. Others are more serious.

On Sept. 22, Ali Riasat Ghulam, a 47-year-old Pakistani man who has lived in Greece for 22 years, was at a gas station near his home in northern Athens. Two Greek men clad in black drove up in a car. The men, he said, asked him where he was from. After Ghulam replied “Pakistan,” the men attacked him with a knife, leaving him with three stab wounds that are still healing, including a 12-inch circular gash on his chest.

“We are terrified,” said Ghulam, who shares a rundown apartment on the edge of Athens with five other Pakistani immigrants. “We do not go out alone anymore, not even to the grocery store. We know the Golden Dawn is out there.”

Αλλη η Ορθοδοξία της Εκκλησίας, άλλη της Χρυσής Αυγής


«Αυτός που λέει ότι αγαπά τον Θεό και μισεί τον αδελφό του είναι ψεύτης! Πως μπορείς να αγαπάς τον Θεό που δεν τον είδες και να κακοποιείς τον αδελφό σου που τον βλέπεις καθημερινά;» αναρρωτιέται ο μητροπολίτης σε νέα παρέμβασή του, χρησιμοποιώντας απόσπασμα από το κατά Ιωάννη Ευαγγέλιο.
Ο μητροπολίτης Σισανίου και Σιατίστης, που καυτηρίασε τις πρακτικές του ακροδεξιού κόμματος μετά τα όσα έγιναν έξω από το θέατρο Χυτήριο στην πρεμιέρα του έργου Corpus Christi -και δέχθηκε απειλές και επιθέσεις για την επιλογή του αυτή- με νέα του παρέμβαση την Δευτέρα συνεχίζει να διαχωρίζει την ορθόδοξη χριστιανική πίστη από τις βίαιες, επιθετικές πρακτικές της Χρυσής Αυγής.

Οπως τονίζει, η διδασκαλία της Εκκλησίας είναι ευθέως αντίστροφη με όσα πρεσβεύει το κόμμα και μάλιστα η υιοθέτηση της μίας πρακτικής αποκλείει την άλλη, δηλαδή δεν είναι δυνατόν να δηλώνει κανείς πιστός χριστιανός και ταυτόχρονα να ενστερνίζεται τέτοιες θέσεις και πρακτικές.
«Εχετε κάθε δικαίωμα να έχετε τις απόψεις σας και ασφαλώς η Εκκλησία του Χριστού έχει υποχρέωση να οριοθετεί την αλήθεια Της», τονίζει ο ιεράρχης.

Ολόκληρο το κείμενο της επιστολής – απάντησης του Μητροπολίτη Σισανίου και Σιατίστης Παύλου στην Χρυσή Αυγή:
Διάβασα με πολλή προσοχή το Δελτίο Τύπου της Χρυσής Αυγής το οποίο αφορά στο πρόσφατο κείμενο μου και θέλω να παρατηρήσω τα κάτωθι. Είναι ένα κείμενο ήρεμο, πολύ μελετημένο, αλλά και πολύ αποκαλυπτικό. Τώρα μπορώ να είμαι απολύτως βέβαιος για την ορθότητα και την αναγκαιότητα της παρεμβάσεως μου. Τονίζεται στο κείμενο και μάλιστα δύο φορές ότι «η Χρυσή Αυγή στηρίζει την Ορθοδοξία σαν απαραίτητο συστατικό της εθνικής μας ταυτότητας». Το πρώτο όμως ερώτημα που γεννιέται είναι για το ποιά «Ορθοδοξία» μιλάει η Χρυσή Αυγή; Για την Ορθοδοξία της Εκκλησίας η για την «Ορθοδοξία» τη δική Της;

Βασικό περιεχόμενο της Εκκλησίας είναι Αγάπη. Είναι πολύ χαρακτηριστικές μερικές επισημάνσεις από το Ευαγγελικό κείμενο: Ο Θεός είναι αγάπη! Εφόσον εποιήσατε ενί τούτων των αδελφών μου των ελαχίστων ΕΜΟΙ εποιήσατε! Ήμουν ΞΕΝΟΣ και συνηγάγετέ με! Είδες τον Αδελφό σου, είδες Κύριον τον Θεόν σου! Ο Άγιος Ευαγγελιστής Ιωάννης ο Θεολόγος δεν μας αφήνει περιθώρια ψευδαισθήσεων: «Αυτός που λέει ότι αγαπά τον Θεό και μισεί τον αδελφό του είναι ψεύτης! Πως μπορείς να αγαπάς τον Θεό που δεν τον είδες και να κακοποιείς τον αδελφό σου που τον βλέπεις καθημερινά;» (Α Καθολ. Ιωάννου δ, 20)
Αυτά και πολλά άλλα συνιστούν την Ορθοδοξία του Ευαγγελίου. Η πιο χαρακτηριστική διαφοροποίηση του παλαιού από το νέο κόσμο εκφράζεται με τα λόγια του Χριστού: «ηκούσατε ότι ερρέθη τοις αρχαίοις: αγαπήσεις τον πλησίον σου και μισήσεις τον εχθρόν σου. Εγώ δε λέγω υμίν, αγαπάτε τους εχθρούς υμών, ευλογείτε τους καταρωμένους υμάς, καλώς ποιείτε τοις μισούσιν υμάς και προσεύχεσθε υπέρ των επηρεαζόντων υμάς και διωκόντων υμάς» (Ματθ. Ε 43-44)

Το ερώτημα λοιπόν το απλό και καίριο προς κάθε κατεύθυνση είναι ποιά σχέση έχουν όλα αυτά με τις πρακτικές και τις συμπεριφορές της Χ.Α; Έχει καμμία σχέση η «Ορθοδοξία» της Χ.Α με την πίστη, το βίωμα και την Ορθοδοξία του Ευαγγελίου; Είναι ευθέως αντίστροφες και αλληλοαποκλειόμενες. Η παρέμβαση μου λοιπόν ήτο άκρως απαραίτητη διότι οριοθετούσε την αληθινή ευαγγελική αλήθεια από την πλάνη και αποκάλυπτε το γιατί δεν συμβιβάζεται η ορθόδοξη πίστη με τις απόψεις και τις πρακτικές της Χ.Α. Δεν πολιτικολογώ λοιπόν απέναντι ενός ορισμένου κόμματος, όπως με κατηγορείτε, αλλά θεολογώ υπερασπιζόμενος την αληθινή Ορθοδοξία. Τα επιχειρήματά μου δεν τα αντλώ από την τοποθέτηση και τις αρχές ενός άλλου κόμματος, αλλά από το Ευαγγέλιο του Χριστού.
Το παραμύθι περί πολιτικολογίας καιρός να σταματήσει από όλους. Δεν πρόσεξαν άραγε οι συντάκτες του Δελτίου Τύπου ότι στο ίδιο το κείμενο ασκώ δριμύτατη κριτική και σε άλλους πολιτικούς σχηματισμούς; Ας διαβάσουν τουλάχιστον παλαιότερα κείμενα μου και θα το διαπιστώσουν. Μία ακόμη παρατήρηση: Η Εκκλησία είναι του Χριστού και όχι του Έθνους. Μια Εθνική Εκκλησία που μπορεί να μάχεται τα μέλη μιας άλλης Εκκλησίας λόγω του χρώματος των μελών της είναι μια αιρετική Εκκλησία. Ο λόγος του Ευαγγελίου είναι σαφής «ουκ ένι Ιουδαίος ουδέ Έλλην, ουκ ένι δούλος ουδέ ελεύθερος, ουκ ένι άρσεν και θήλυ, πάντες γαρ ημείς εις εστέ εν Χριστώ Ιησού».(Γαλάτ. 2, 28). Είναι προτιμότερο να είσαι άθεος από το να μπερδεύεις η να χρησιμοποιείς την πίστη και την Εκκλησία για να παγιδεύσεις τους ανθρώπους. Χαίρομαι που αποδοκιμάζετε τις απειλές και τις χυδαιολογίες οι οποίες άλλωστε δεν με φοβίζουν, αλλά εκθέτουν όσους τις εξακοντίζουν.

Βέβαια προσφέρετε και μία σημαντική είδηση. Ότι στις εκδηλώσεις συμμετείχατε προσκεκλημένοι από τους διοργανωτές. Είναι πλέον ευθύνη δική τους να απαντήσουν, αν το επιχείρημά σας είναι αληθές η ψευδές. Ασφαλώς έχετε κάθε δικαίωμα να έχετε τις απόψεις σας και ασφαλώς η Εκκλησία του Χριστού έχει υποχρέωση να οριοθετεί την αλήθεια Της.
Η επιστολή Παύλου ακολούθησε σχετική ανακοίνωση της Χρυσής Αυγής, στην οποία αναφερόταν ότι «για πρώτη φορά στα Ελληνικά χρονικά, Έλληνας Ιεράρχης πήρε θέση ανοικτά εναντίον νόμιμα εκλεγμένου πολιτικού κόμματος της πατρίδος μας, αποδίδοντας προς αυτό βαρύτατους χαρακτηρισμούς και υπονοούμενα».
Το πλήρες κείμενο της ανακοίνωσης, που υπογράφεται από τον Απόστ.Καραΐσκο:
Με μεγάλη έκπληξη παρακολούθησα την τηλεοπτική σας συνέντευξη στην κρατική τηλεόραση, το πρωί του Σαββάτου της 20ης Οκτωβρίου 2012, όπου για πρώτη φορά στα Ελληνικά χρονικά, Έλληνας Ιεράρχης πήρε θέση ανοικτά εναντίον νόμιμα εκλεγμένου πολιτικού κόμματος της πατρίδος μας, αποδίδοντας προς αυτό βαρύτατους χαρακτηρισμούς και υπονοούμενα. Κανένα Χριστό δεν πήγαν να προστατεύσουν (όπως ισχυριστήκατε στη συνέντευξη) τα στελέχη της ΧΡΥΣΗΣ ΑΥΓΗΣ, Σεβασμιώτατε, στο Θέατρο ΧΥΤΗΡΙΟ. Με την πράξη συμπαράστασης προς τους διαμαρτυρόμενους συμπολίτες μας, των οποίων το θρησκευτικό αίσθημα πλήττεται βάναυσα από τέτοιου είδους «καλλιτεχνικές παραστάσεις», απλώς θέλησαν να ασκήσουν πίεση προς την πολιτεία για την εφαρμογή των νόμων και της κοινής λογικής
Επομένως η πράξη των στελεχών της ΧΡΥΣΗΣ ΑΥΓΗΣ, δεν ήταν μια ενέργεια θρησκευτικού ακτιβισμού για την προστασία της θρησκείας, αλλά μια ενέργεια πολιτικού ακτιβισμού για την εφαρμογή των νόμων. Λυπάμαι ειλικρινά που αυτούς τους δύσκολους καιρούς για την Πατρίδα μας, αφήσατε το ποιμαντορικό και φιλανθρωπικό σας έργο για να ασχοληθείτε με πολιτικά κόμματα.
Σε περίπτωση που δεν το γνωρίζετε, η θέση της ΧΡΥΣΗΣ ΑΥΓΗΣ για την εκκλησία και την Ορθοδοξία αποδίδεται από τα λόγια του Στρατηγού Μακρυγιάννη: «Και είπαν οι άθρησκοι που εβάλαμεν εις τον σβέρκο μας να μη μανθάνουν τα παιδιά μας Χριστόν και Παναγίαν, διότι θα μας παρεξηγήσουν οι ισχυροί. Και βγήκαν ακόμη να’ ποτάξουν την Εκκλησίαν, διότι έχει πολλήν δύναμη και την φοβούνται. Και είπαν λόγια άπρεπα δια τους παπάδες. Εμείς, με σκιάν μας τον Τίμιον Σταυρόν, επολεμήσαμεν ολούθε, σε κάστρα, σε ντερβένια, σε μπογάζια και σε ταμπούργια. Και αυτός ο Σταυρός μας έσωσε. Μας έδωσε την νίκη και έχασε (οδήγησε σε ήττα) τον άπιστον Τούρκον. Τόση μικρότητα στον Σταυρό, τον σωτήρα μας! Και βρίζουν οι πουλημένοι εις τους ξένους και τους παπάδες μας, τους ζυγίζουν άναντρους και απόλεμους. Εμείς τους παπάδες τους είχαμε μαζί εις κάθε μετερίζι, εις κάθε πόνον και δυστυχίαν. Όχι μόνον δια να βλογάνε τα όπλα τα ιερά, αλλά και αυτοί με ντουφέκι και γιαταγάνι, πολεμώντας σαν λεοντάρια. Ντροπή Έλληνες»!
Δυστυχώς όμως Σεβασμιώτατε, όπως λέει και ο λαός, τα ράσα δεν κάνουν τον παπά. Έτσι η Ορθοδοξία «έβγαλε παπάδες» σαν αυτούς που ανέφερε ο Μακρυγιάννης, αλλά έβγαλε και παπάδες σαν αυτούς της Μονής Βλατάδων της Θεσσαλονίκης. Για τους οποίους ο έγκυρος ιστορικός της Μακεδονίας Απ. Βακαλόπουλος στον μνημειώδη τόμο του “Ιστορία της Μακεδονίας”. σελ. 92, λέει. “Στην Ελληνική παράδοση διεσώθη μέχρι τα χρόνια μας ότι η Θεσσαλονίκη έπεσε στα χέρια των Τούρκων στα 1430 με προδοσία της Μονής Βλατάδων, και αυτό σ’ ανταπόδοση, ότι δεν θα θίξει τα μοναστηριακά κτήματα της Μονής”.
Το έχει η μοίρα αυτού του τόπου φαίνεται, από αρχαιοτάτων χρόνων να βγάζει «Λεωνίδες», αλλά να βγάζει και «Εφιάλτες». Δείτε την αντιδιαστολή που αποπνέεται ανάμεσα στη μήνυση που κατέθεσε ο Σεβασμιώτατος Μητροπολίτης Πειραιώς κ.κ Σεραφείμ, εναντίον των συντελεστών της εν λόγω «θεατρικής παράστασης» (τον οποίο κανένα κανάλι δεν το κάλεσε να εξηγήσει τις θέσεις του) και στα όσα εσείς διατυπώσατε για το θέμα, τα οποία έτυχαν της «θερμότατης» υποδοχής και προβολής των «συστημικών» ΜΜΕ. Ευτυχώς όμως, όλοι πια έχουν καταλάβει. Για αυτό και η ΧΡΥΣΗ ΑΥΓΗ έχει τέτοια μαζική απήχηση στο Λαό μας.
Δεν γνωρίζω Σεβασμιώτατε αν «οι άθρησκοι», όπως λέει ο Στρατηγός Μακρυγιάννης, κατάφεραν τελικά «να’ ποτάξουν την Εκκλησίαν», τουλάχιστον ολοκληρωτικά, ούτε γνωρίζω αν κάποιοι ιεράρχες είναι τέκτονες (προσωπικά πιστεύω ότι κάποιοι είναι) και οι ενέργειές τους κατευθύνονται από τον τεκτονισμό. Αυτό που γνωρίζω όμως είναι, ότι δεν είναι δυνατόν να υπάρχουν πολιτικές δυνάμεις της χώρας μας, οι οποίες προωθούν τη συνταγματική, νομοθετική και θεσμική κατοχύρωση του θρησκευτικού αποχρωματισμού των Ελλήνων στο όνομα μιας δήθεν δημοκρατίας, ενός δήθεν ανθρωπισμού και μιας δήθεν κοινωνίας δικαίου και οι ταγοί της Ορθοδοξίας (πλην εξαιρέσεων) να «σφυρίζουν αδιάφορα» και να «θυμιατίζουν.»
Τέλος, όσον αφορά στις ανώνυμες απειλές που ισχυρίζεστε ότι δεχτήκατε και εμμέσως πλην σαφώς τις συνδέσατε με τη ΧΡΥΣΗ ΑΥΓΗ (δεν άκουσα να έχετε αποδείξεις), θα ήθελα να σας παραπέμψω σε μια αφήγηση του Σεβασμιότατου Μητροπολίτη Φυλής κ. Κυπριανού, που αφορά στη ζωή της Γερόντισσας Μυρτιδιώτισας, Ασκήτριας της Κλεισούρας (1886-1974). Σύμφωνα λοιπόν με την αφήγηση στη Μονή της Γερόντισσας-Ασκήτριας, κάποτε έγινε μια κλοπή. Στις ανακρίσεις που έκανε η Αστυνομία, ρωτήθηκε και η Γερόντισσα αν ξέρει κάτι. Τότε αυτή απήντησε «… δεν είδα, αλλά μου φαίνεται ότι πρέπει να είναι αυτός», υποδεικνύοντας κάποιον άνθρωπο. Όπως η ίδια εξομολογήθηκε αργότερα στον Μητροπολίτη Κυπριανό (τότε Αρχιμανδρίτη), η Παναγία παρουσιάστηκε μπροστά της και τη χαστούκισε λέγοντας : «…είδες τον κλέφτη; αφού δεν τον είδες, κλειδί στο στόμα».
Ορθόδοξο ήθος δηλαδή, πέραν των άλλων, σημαίνει «κλειδί στο στόμα», όταν δε είδες και δεν είσαι σίγουρος για αυτό που λες. Άλλως θα γίνουμε ζούγκλα αποδίδοντας ο ένας στον άλλον, αυτά που εμείς νομίζουμε για κείνον και τα οποία πιθανόν να μην έχουν καμία σχέση με την αλήθεια.