Glossary of parliamentary language

Last night the Greek Parliament approved the first round of measures linked to the latest bailout. Plenty of inflammatory language was used, even by Members who voted in favour. Here are some interesting examples for non-Greek speakers:

πραξικόπημα (praksikópima): coup = what the lenders are committing by demanding reforms in exchange for further lending; not to be confused with direct democracy. Popular meme on twitter #thisisacoup.

εκβιασμός (ekviasmós): blackmail = the negotiating strategy employed by the lenders, culminating in the all-night marathon of meetings in Brussels last weekend. Sounds ominously like the related word βιασμός (viasmós): rape. cf. Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos in a statement to the press earlier this week: “Our Prime Minister was being blackmailed all night.”

σύντροφοι (síntrofoi): comrades = relationship between Syriza and Golden Dawn, cf. Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos in last night’s parliamentary debate: “Our comrades on the left, all taxes are capitalistic.”

στα τέσσερα (sta téssera): on all fours = the negotiating position allegedly assumed by previous governments vis a vis the country’s creditors, according to junior coalition partner Panos Kammenos of the Independent Greeks. Now they find themselves on the receiving end after several of their MPs voted “yes” to the latest measures (including Kammenos himself), not to their amusement.

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Glossary of parliamentary language

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