Rather than opine on the austerity measures voted in by the Greek coalition government yesterday evening, a short bio is perhaps more appropriate. I won’t insult our readers’ intelligence by pointing out the subtext.
In March 2010, Manolis Glezos was participating in a protest demonstration in Athens, when the Police launched tear gas right into his face. He was carried away injured. In Feburary 2012, Glezos was arrested by riot police while protesting in Athens, he is 83..
Manolis Glezos was born on September 9th 1922. Glezos moved to Athens in 1935 with his family. During high school years he worked as a pharmacy employee. He was admitted to the Higher School of Economic and Commercial Studies in 1940. In 1939 Glezos helped create an anti-fascist youth group against the Italian occupation of the Dodecanese and the dictatorship of Ioannis Metaxas.
At the onset of World War II he asked to join the Greek army in the Albanian front against Italy, but he was rejected because he was under age. Instead, he worked as a volunteer for the Hellenic Ministry of Economics. During the Axis occupation of Greece, he worked for the Hellenic Red Cross and the municipality of Athens, while actively involved in the resistance.
On May 30, 1941, he and Apostolos Santas climbed on the Acropolis and tore down the swastika, which had been there since April 27, 1941, when the Nazi forces had entered Athens. That was the first resistance act that took place in Greece. It inspired not only the Greeks, but all subjected people, to resist against the occupation, and established them both as two international anti-Nazi heroes. The Nazi regime responded by sentencing Glezos and Santas to death in absentia.
Glezos was arrested by the German occupation forces on March 24, 1942, and he was subjected to imprisonment and torture. As a result of this treatment, he was affected by tuberculosis. He was arrested on April 21, 1943 by the Italian occupation forces and spent three months in jail. On February 7, 1944 he was arrested again by Greek Nazi collaborators. He spent another seven and a half months in jail, until finally escaping on September 21 of the same year.
The end of World War II was not the end of Glezos’ plight. On March 3, 1948, in the midst of the Greek Civil War, he was put to trial for his political convictions and sentenced to death multiple times by the right-wing government. However, his death sentences were not executed, because of the international public outcry. His death penalties were reduced to a life sentence in 1950.
Even though he was still imprisoned, Manolis Glezos was elected member of the Hellenic Parliament in 1951, under the flag of the United Democratic Left, also known as EDA. Upon his election, he went on a hunger strike demanding the release of his fellow EDA MPs that were imprisoned or exiled in the Greek islands. He ended his hunger strike upon the release of 7 MPs from their exile. He was released from prison on July 16, 1954. On December 5, 1958 he was arrested and convicted for espionage, which was common pretext for the persecution of the supporters of the left during the Cold War.
His release on December 15, 1962 was a result of the public outcry in Greece and abroad, including winning the Lenin Peace Prize. During his second term of post-war political imprisonment, Glezos was reelected MP with EDA in 1961. At the coup d’état of April 21, 1967, Glezos was arrested at 2 am, together with the rest of the political leaders. During the Regime of the Colonels, the military dictatorship led by George Papadopoulos, he suffered yet another four years of imprisonment and exile until his release in 1971.
Manolis Glezos’ political persecution, from the Second World War to the Greek Civil War and the Regime of the Colonels totals to 11 years and 4 months of imprisonment, and 4 years and 6 months of exile.
After the restoration of democracy in Greece in 1974, Glezos participated in the reviving of EDA. In the elections of 1981 and 1985, he was elected Member of the Greek Parliament, on a Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) ticket. In 1984 he was elected Member of the European Parliament, again on a PASOK ticket. He was the President of EDA from 1985 until 1989…
Global stocks advanced and the euro rose after Greek lawmakers finally approved austerity plans in order to secure rescue funds. The yen fell as Japan’s economy shrank, oil climbed after certain shipping companies said they would stop carrying Iranian crude.
The MSCI All-Country World Index added 0.5 percent as of 8:16 a.m. in London. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rallied 0.6 percent and the Hang Seng China Index jumped 0.6 percent. The euro strengthened 0.4 percent to $1.3255, while the yen dropped against all of its 16 major peers. Oil rose 0.9 percent and copper gained 1 percent. German 10-year bund yields increased four basis points to 1.95 percent.
Market Snapshot as of 10:00 am GMT (UK time)
Asia Pacific markets overall enjoyed a modest rally in the early morning session, the Nikkei closed up 0.58%, the Hang Seng closed up 0.5% and the CSI closed down 0.06%. The ASX 200 closed up 0.94%. European bourse indices have also enjoyed a modest rally based on the Greek govt vote, the STOXX 50 is up 0.58%, the FTSE is up 0.87%, the CAC is up 0.52%, the DAX is up 0.61%, whilst the Athens exchange the ASE is up 5%, a 30%+ rally since the January 10th low. ICE Brent crude is up $1.05 a barrel, Comex gold is up $5.60 an ounce and the SPX equity index future is up 0.64%
Forex Spot- Lite
The yen declined 0.5 percent to 102.94 per euro. Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi reiterated at a parliamentary budget committee session in Tokyo that he’ll act on excessive and speculative moves in the currency. Japan spent 14.3 trillion yen ($184 billion) in intervention operations last year in order to stem gains in the currency.
The Australian dollar gained 0.7 percent to $1.0746, snapping three days of losses. Home-loan approvals jumped 2.3 percent in December, the most in seven months, the nation’s statistics bureau reported. The New Zealand dollar climbed 1 percent to 83.52 U.S. cents.