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News :: Environment
Post-Olympics Greece or A Look into the Belly of the Beast
by Marijo Gillis
02 Mar 2005
According to Greek sources, most of the surviving abandoned street dogs of Athens, purportedly “saved” by the municipal government in a last ditch effort to appear “virginal” before the world and the press, are nowhere to be found.
Post-Olympics Greece or A Look into the Belly of the Beast
All together, we waged a two year long, high pressure campaign to disrupt the Greek governments frightful endeavor to "clean" the streets for the 2004 Athens Olympics. The disaster specific products of this national exercise in genocide were thousands of dead and maimed animals.
Thanks to our persistent lobbying and the better late than never support of national animal welfare powerhouses in the USA, Greece pulled up her bikini bottoms but only when the spotlight was cast upon her. According to Greek sources, most of the surviving abandoned street dogs of Athens, purportedly “saved” by the municipal government in a last ditch effort to appear “virginal” before the world and the press, are nowhere to be found. The creators and purveyors of animal protection laws are selectively short sighted. Dirty money allegedly sprints from outstretched hand to pocket and the underlying fundamental mindset of a large share of the nation remains unchanged. Neglect and abuse continues and some animal advocates in Greece wage an enduring battle against each other in a contest of pathetic egos. I believe that it is time once again for us to position Greece at center stage.
Compounding the "sinful" behavior of certain government entities and some citizens, the Greek Church is now scrambling to salvage their credibility as scandal after scandal emerges with clerics implicated in drug dealing, antiquities theft, trial rigging, drug dealing, prostitution and lewd conduct. Judges and prosecutors are linked incestuously with the priestly criminals. My God, what chance do the animals of Greece have?
I have always been an unabashed admirer of the beauty of Greece, and lived there, while married for 14 years. In the last few months I have temporarily distanced myself because of total disappointment in a brutal society, runaway corruption, a confluence of indifference, ignorance and a lack of compassion.
If Greece's historic standards and trends are any indication of future hope for elevating the status of companion and farmed animals, we are screwed, nope, correction, the animals are screwed.
Certain government entities have not only made a mockery of the "games", and their proud claim of giving "birth to civilization" but of the Greek state and it's incestuously linked church as well. The metastasizing scandals have cast an indelible shadow over the integrity of an entire nation. Greece has become a blank space in the halls of civilization.
Again, I believe that it is time once again for us to position Greece at center stage. A certain Greek citizen and her sidekick attorney are on an unholy crusade to stop the re homing of abandoned animals to adoptive, loving “parents” in Europe and the United States. She slanders by “testifying” that “foreign” and Greek animal activists are engaging in commercial “dog trade” and supplying vivisectionists and fur dealers abroad. Oddly, she has convinced the crippled Ministry of Agriculture that this is true and illegal confiscations of these poor dogs in transit to salvation are rampant
I wouldn't waste my time and yours if I didn't believe that once again we will gain the startled attention of the Greek state and lobby for justice for the animals.
Please, please friends, copy and paste the addresses of Greek officials and the body of the letter that follows below to an e-mail, sign your name, address and country and let's blast them
To: ax2u098 (at) minagric.gr
kontos01 (at) otenet.gr
nycons (at) greekembassy.org
anastasi (at) cityofathens.gr
mfa (at) mfa.gr
w3admin (at) culture.gr
espresso (at) espressonews.gr
tanea (at) dolnet.gr
cc Twinkieperkyebhy (at) msn.com
cc: info (at) archenoah-kreta.com; info (at) sosstrays.be
Subject: Illegal and unjustified seizure of dogs from Crete - URGENT!
Foreign journalists and Greek activists report that on February 27, 58 abandoned dogs from the island of Crete en route to re-homing in Germany, were illegally confiscated by the Piraeus port police at the "command" of Greek citizen Ioanna Garagouni and her attorney, Mrs. Lekakou, well known for disrupting animal welfare in Greece. The dogs, formerly abused and abandoned were the companion animals of the Arche Noah Kreta Sanctuary on the island of Crete. The frightened dogs were transported to an unknown location by these opponents of the foreign and Greek animal welfare organizations
This latest appalling activity regarding Greek animals and the skewed rulings of the Greek Ministry of Agriculture is being covered by the European press. We all remember the mass slaughter of abandoned street dogs prior to the Olympic Games, the tiny kitten that was set on fire and died weeks later and other,countless acts of cruelty and neglect. Mrs. Garagouni and attorney Lekakou are slandering and libeling foreign animal advocates, accusing them of providing Greek dogs to vivisection and experimental laboratories. These accusations are ludicrous if not downright crazy.
Is Mrs. Garagouni a representative of the Ministry of Agriculture? Are Minister Vasiakos and Deputy Minister Kontos responsible for giving this woman and her attorney the authority to illegally intercept animal mercy missions and slander foreign countries? Further, we have have received many reports from volunteers in Greece who have been arrested or threatened with arrest by authorities for saving, treating feeding or neutering stray dogs. This is unspeakable and unacceptable. As well, German and English volunteers accompanying the abandoned Greek dogs to adoptive families in Germany were illegally detained by the port police, once again at the hysterical urging of Ms. Garagouni and Mrs. Lekakou.
Be informed gentlemen, that the dogs have owners in Germany and we will urge the owners to take legal action against the Ministry of Agriculture, it's employees and the Piraeus Port Police, (also Mrs. Garagouni and Ms. Lekakou) for their positions and inability to resolve the difficulties arising from an ineffective and unenforceable law and problematic ministerial decision which must be repealed.
Greece is an EU member and should behave as such. Boundaries do not exist for EU citizens. Citizens travel between EU countries with only an ID . We urge you to constitute a Ministerial decree facilitating the passage of unwanted, Greek strays to loving families in Europe and the United States. We urge you to curtail the ridiculous activities of Mrs. Garagouni and her attorney.
Please attend to this unfortunate and very serious issue. We will curtail tourism to Greece if rapid improvements are not made for the animals of Greece.
We thank you in advance for a prompt response.
This work is in the public domain