Important 3rd Congress for the Pirate Party of Greece
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In a country where crisis has transformed the political scene to a swampland, the Pirate Party of Greece stands calmly and watches the landscape, seeking for new opportunities and incentives for action. In the almost three years since its founding, PP-GR has achieved a lot, always fighting for the core principles of the Pirate movement. It recently took the initiative to form an electoral coalition with other parties, with the goal of entering the Greek Parliament.
The third Congress of PP-GR will take place in Chalkis (70 kms from Athens) the weekend 1-2 November, 2014, and Greek Pirates are expected to discuss issues related to their statutes and positions, the political situation in the country and to elect their second Board and Arbitration Committee.
The Chalkis Congress is a crossroads for Greek Pirates and thus it is important. The outgoing Board led the party for two years and now it’s time for new hands to take the helm of PP-GR. The reports of the Board and the Arbitration Committee will attract the attention in the Congress but of course, what arouses the most interest, is who are going to be elected. Seeing the nominations, new and old members are willing to go through the process of the internal party vote.
Since its founding PP-GR has been well received by the electorate. To date it has participated in five elections, standing alone or in cooperation with other parties. Specifically, PP-GR ran in two national elections, and once each in regional, municipal elections and Euroelections 2014.
The electoral experience that has been gained by the Greek Pirates is undeniable, as evidenced by the reception of the parties and movements that responded to their call for the creation of a political alliance. According to the Pirates, in Greece, it is the right timing for the founding and development of an alliance that consists of parties which fail to overpass the electoral thresholdof of 3% but reflect over 15% of Greek voters!
PP-GR’s highlight, so far, was the organizing of “PPEU Athens 2013”, where the common European election programme was adopted by European Pirates for the Euroelections 2014. PP-GR is a member of PPI and a founding member of PPEU. Worth mentioned that “Pirates in Education”, run by members of PP-GR, elected a representative in Greek Teachers Federation (DOE) on May 2013.
Y. Panagopoulos: “If we keep working well together, nice things will happen”
The Pirate Times contacted Yiannis Panagopoulos, chairman of the Board of PP-GR and founding member of the party who has a clear view of its progress. It asked him to comment on what the Greek Pirates have achieved those three years and what is he expecting as a in the future.
Pirate Times: How do you judge the progress of PP-GR since its founding in 2012?
Yiannis Panagopoulos: When we started three years ago, hardly any of us had any experience in political parties. Fortunately the international Pirate community was very helpful and gave us some really good tips on how to organize and avoid mistakes. Although we had no financial backing, we managed to participate in three elections (two local and a European) in which we managed to get ourselves known and even beat parties that had run for decades and spend a lot of money in their campaigns. I am happy that, when I talk to people about the Pirate Party, people know it and generally have a good impression.
Pirate Times: What about the future?
Yiannis Panagopoulos: I don’t like predictions. But I am sure that if we keep working well together nice things will happen.
Pirate Times: What do you expect from the third Congress?
Yiannis Panagopoulos: This is an important conference that will elect the next board and the next Arbitration Committee. I expect that this time we will spend less time in things like statutes amendments and more time discussing policies and the future of the party. I also expect to meet interesting people from all over Greece, exchange ideas and of course have fun!
Pirate Times: Do you think that PP-GR will be represented in the Greek parliament?
Yiannis Panagopoulos: It is the only party in Greece that operates in a truly democratic, transparent way. It is the only corruption proof party. Once more and more people start to realize this, everything can happen.
About Stathis Leivaditis
The English “pirate” is derived from the Greek word “πειρατής” (peiratēs) and this in turn from the verb “πειράομαι” (peiráomai), “I attempt”, which is a derivative of the noun “πείρα” (peîra), “experience”. Coming from the depths of the centuries, the word “pirate” took on another dimension in our days. The ruling classes saw pirates as rebels and hated them. Rebels without a state, they were not submissive to any law, except from the laws they instituted themselves, improvising together. This is the feeling of a Pirate: when something doesn’t work, you have to attempt to bring a new concept. Sometimes it goes beyond a certain point and perhaps exceeds certain limits, because it is an expression of challenge; the challenge to change the system. I’m a member of the Board (and former chairman) of Pirate Party of Greece, also a member of press team of PPGR, former journalist, now a free lancer. I'm in the team of Pirate Times from the start, I joined voluntarily and consciously because I am interested to meet pirates from around the world, to exchange views and spread the pirate spirit.