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Greek-American “Translation Affairs” : When missing words make the relations…

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Annual Parade NYC Greek Independence Day

Greek -American relations have been recently through some tough moments concerning the comprehension of what, finally, the “real” terms of terrorism protection in Greece, and the western world, might be .
After the extensive interview, the Greek Prime Minister gave on Monday 27 to enikos tv show of journalist  Nikos Hatzinikolaou , the US Ambassador David Pearce appeared “angry” according to the enikos.gr headlines, the day after the interview
US ambassador angry response to Tsipras’ interview in enikos.gr
 
Alexis Tsipras reference to the Greek terrorist Savvas Xiros during his interview at enikos.gr and journalist Nikos Chatzinikolaou has caused the intervention of US Ambassador in Athens David Pearce.
US Ambassador David Pierce, had strongly earlier expressed, Monday April 20, 2015, his deep concern over the legislation coming the same day to a final vote in the Greek parliament, which “could include cases of convicted terrorists”, as he had said, referring to the law abolishing high security prisons and the provision which would allow convicted terrorist Savvas Xiros to serve the rest of his multiple life sentence from his home.
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US Ambassador to Greece David Pearce with Alexis Tsipras , Maximos Mansion 2015

U.S. Ambassador David Pearce had said by a statement, -one week before the interview of the Prime Minister-, on Monday April 20,  that
allowing Savvas Xiros, to leave prison would be regarded by the U.S. as “a profoundly unfriendly act”
and that the new Greek law is “inconsistent” with the good partnership between the two NATO allies.
While prison reform and improving humanitarian conditions are important, the US Ambassador had underlined,
“the issue is that convicted terrorists and murderers … should serve their full sentences in prison,”

David Pearce had stated, describing possibilities of letting the terrorist the chance to “activate contacts”  that potentially could threaten threaten the public safety.

No terrorist will be released,  assured John Kerry, some hours later,  Greek Foreign Minister in DC

“The new law in Greece about the prisoners will not let any terrorists become free.”

They will be “placed under house arrest, under the conditions provided by the law” Kotzias noted, during the meeting with  John Kerry

Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias meeting John Kerry, Washington DC , April 20, 2015

Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias meeting John Kerry, Washington DC , April 20, 2015

Indeed, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, reassuring his Minister’s of Foreign Affairs statements in Washington, emphasised on his interview to Nikos Hatzinikolaou that terrorist Savvas Xiros, due to the 90% dissability, if included in the law to serve his sentence at home he would be guarded and would be monitored by the bracelet.

But the detail  “guarded” was never reported,  by the media covering the interview neither has been included on the transcript of the interview that was posted the day after.

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Alexis Tsipras at Enikos interview to Nikos Hatzinikolaou, star channel, April 27, 2015

Tsipras on his interview repeatedly underined  that the “Greek Prisons are out of control”,  emphasising that  the Greek government’s new prison law is determined by the fact that there are 11 decisions of the European court of Human Rights concerning prison conditions. Because in lots of cases, the legislation system itself has condemned to death prisoners that have no death penalty, the reform of the new govt law concerns prisoners’ cases of 80%+ disability allowing them to serve the remainder of sentences at home, by wearing electronic tagging devices at least.

He also declared his thesis pro the repentance statement of such prisoners , something that terrorist Savvas Xiros has repeatedly denied since long time.

Alexis Tsipras, Maximos Mansion 2015

Alexis Tsipras, Maximos Mansion 2015

As a follow up of the Prime Minister’s interview the day after, it had been translated by voice over by a translator on Youtube, on a video where Alexis Tsipras, by the voice of the translator, appeared, disastrously accidentally, to call terrorist Savvas Xiros  “a gentleman” .This was followed up by writen the phrase  “gentleman …” on the transcript that followed  posted on the web, which unfortunately made the round of the international media.

A. TSIPRAS: Mister Chatzinikolaou, as I read from the press , ( Xiros) himself that refuses to go out wearing this ankle monitor. He has refused it, so it is not true.

is word-by-word the translation

A. TSIPRAS: Mister Chatzinikolaou, as I read from the press , that this gentleman refuses to go out wearing this ankle monitor. He has refused it, so it is not true.

The day after the interview Peter Spiegel, the Financial Times journalist, twitted, the day after, the translated part of the interview, by the lead, Tsipras  defending law denounced by US ambassador , that could free the  November17 terrorist .

This tweet was sent from Peter Spiegel to David Pearce, and the Ambassador’s response was immediate

Apr 28


@SpiegelPeter@atsipras Xiros should not set foot out of prison before his sentences are served 11:46 PM – 28 Apr 2015

US ambassador angry response to Tsipras’ interview in enikos.gr – VIDEO

Pearce replying to a tweet by Financial Times journalist Peter Spiegel, who uploaded the relevant video, said that ‘Xiros should not set foot out of prison before his sentences are served’.

Pearce replying to a tweet by Financial Times journalist Peter Spiegel, who uploaded the relevant video, said that ‘Xiros should not set foot out of prison before his sentences are served’.

On the tiny edge that Greece is finding itself during these moments by the overt unfriendly stance of Greece’s lenders towards the country, noone, from the Greeks at least, would desire to stir, the country’s foreign relationships, especially with Greece’s major ally.
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But it is Greece’s missluck, on these critical hours, the diplomatique press experience not to have been existed till now by the major awareness needed for the sensitivity of a “word-by-word” hype of making international headlines by Greece, that is routinely happening since the start of 2015.
Still, by missing words and missunderstandings ,damage is done, additionally to the  US Ambassador’s primer irritated reaction.
In between the first statements of David Pearce and his tweet concerning the PM’s interview, the Ambassador  had visited the Maximos Mansion (where the PM’s office is) for a meeting with the Greek governmenet’s Minister of State, Nikos Pappas.
The Ambassador  had been extraordinary invited after his first statements on April 20,- by which he was  expressing  the US “frustration” for the possibility the convicted terrorist to be let free,- as a good-will diplomatic “response” by the Greek govt side “to defuse tension caused on the two countries’ relations” as it was announced.
An undouptedly “accute” tension, expressed unprecedently for what is expressed till now, by the Greek-American longterm friendship on Diplomatic Affairs .
“Both sides expressed their commitment to the two countries’ multi-level cooperation”
said the governement’s official statement by the Maximos Mansion, after the visit.
 Alexis Tsipras on his interview that followed stated , when asked by N.Hatzinikolaou,
“The friction, the intense disagreement [with the U.S.] which took place,  has not spoiled the two countries’ relationships, and has not influenced negatively  the negotiations “
 “Personally, and also on what it may concern our government,” Alexis Tsipras had added “we  are twice or thrice more sensitive (against terrorism), not by definition, but by necessity, because crimes have been committed in the name of left-wing ideals. We are all the more anxious, terrorism actions NOT to be called revolutionary; these are not revolutionary actions, they are actions of exerting power. I wanted to make that clear.
Alexis Tsipras, Maximos Mansion 2015

Alexis Tsipras, Maximos Mansion 2015

Ironicaly, where the Greek PM seats today, has been the seat of the US Ambassador….

…after the German Occupation times. It was just after the war, and actually, the American Ambassador in Athens transcended the German Admiral of the Aegean Sea who was using the mansion as his residence during the German Occupation. After the war the building was shortly used as the seat of the U.S. Ambassador in Athens. In 1952 Dimitrios Maximos sold the mansion to the Greek State at a favorable price. Consequently the building fell to misuse until 1982, when it was decided by the government to renovate it and use it as the seat of the Prime Minister.

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Angela Merkel hosted in Maximos Mansion by Antonis Samaras

Executive Order, also issued by the Depatment of State, on April 21,  for November17  terrorists Christodoulos Xiros and Nikos Maziotis

Terrorist Christodoulos Xiros, Savvas Xiros brother was multiply times given permissions for some days to leave prison under Samaras’ government for quite long time, which helped him to easily escape for a whole year, between January 2014 to January 2015, by   simply by failing to report to authorities while visiting his family during a nine-day leave from prison

By a Media Note released by the Departement of State, on April 21 2015, Greece was informed that two of the Greek terrorists who have been active during the last years in the country are designated under Executive Order of the United States. In the same List where Christodoulos Xiros and Miaziotis are targeted had been Osama Bin Landen and the most Wanted terrorists for the USA.

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the Department of State
Washington, DC
April 21, 2015
The U.S. Department of State has designated Christodoulos Xiros and Nikolaos Maziotis under Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. As a result of these designations, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which Xiros and Maziotis have any interest is blocked and any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen. U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with Xiros and Maziotis, or to their benefit.
Christodoulos Xiros was one of the chief assassins of 17 November, until his arrest in 2002. In January 2014, Xiros was serving multiple life terms at the Korydallos Prison near Athens, Greece, when he disappeared while on furlough from the prison, after being granted temporary leave to visit his family in northern Greece. 17 November was active beginning in the 1970s through the early 2000s, claiming attacks against Greek politicians and businessmen, as well as Western interests. After his escape, he publicized a manifesto focusing on his discontent with the Greek government. Xiros was re-arrested by Greek police in January 2015 while planning to carry out armed assaults in Greece, possibly with the intent to free other prisoners. At the time of his arrest, Xiros was likely coordinating with members of Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei, a group designated by the State Department under E.O. 13224 in 2011.
Nikolaos Maziotis is the leader of the Greek terrorist organization, Revolutionary Struggle. He was arrested with six other alleged members of Revolutionary Struggle in 2010, but went missing in the middle of his trial. In April 2014, under the leadership of Maziotis, Revolutionary Struggle claimed responsibility for a bomb blast in central Athens outside the branch offices of the Greek central bank. On July 16, 2014, Maziotis was re-arrested by Greek police after a shootout in Athens’ central tourist district, which left four people wounded. Revolutionary Struggle was designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. Department of State on May 18, 2009 and is most well-known for a rocket-propelled grenade attack on the U.S. Embassy in Athens in 2007.

The Department of State took this action in consultation with the Departments of Justice and the Treasury. We will continue to take such actions against terrorists and terrorist groups in Greece and elsewhere.

Christodoulos Xiros and Nikos Maziotis , designated by the US Departmeent of State

Christodoulos Xiros and Nikos Maziotis , designated by the US Departmeent of State

On April 24, John Brady Kiesling,  Former diplomat in in the U.S. Foreign Service, wrote on his article on Huffington Post :

More than half the known members of 17N are out of jail already, and all of them are now docile good citizens. Xiros’s current obsessions, at least his public ones, are not revolutionary. Sending home a mostly blind, somewhat deaf, partly mangled, and mystically addled icon painter will not encourage more terrorist attacks on U.S. interests.

Yianis Varoufakis in the White House on Greek Independence Day, April 2015

Yianis Varoufakis in the White House on Greek Independence Day, April 2015

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