Julia…up in flames

Julia Alexandratou is a model come C-list pop singer who has had one minor hit in 2007.

However in the last couple of months Julia has come to the greater attention of the Greek media as a result of a video.

Now this isn’t any old video; it’s a 45 minute porn video.

The 23-year-old Tzoulia has been a welcome distraction for a Greek public snowed under by the weight of the Greek financial crisis.

Suddenly red-blooded Greek males of all ages have found reason to jump on the internet to check out snippets of the video.

The Greek version of Sophie Monk has been such a hit that more than 250 000 copies of her porn video have been sold in Greece.

According to Wikipedia, when Alexandratou was first asked by reporters about this video, Tzoulia and her manager stated that this was the first time they heard about it and they thought it was a joke or a blackmail attempt. Nevertheless, the owner of Sirina Entertainment (the company which distributed the DVD), Dimitris Sirinakis, stated: “I can’t reveal how or from whom I got the tape, but I can assure you that it was obtained legally.”

The Greek starlet subsequently appeared on Greek television and admitted that the video had not been a Laura Bingle moment and that she had been paid up-front to take part in the video.

Such has the success of the Tzoulia franchise been that rumours started spreading that a second video was due to be released immediately.

Levendes all over the world started signing up to her Facebook page waiting to find the release date for the second video.

So it is no surprise that our attention was drawn to the photograph that said: Karvouna Tzoulia (Charcoal Julia). Anavoun eukola (Easily ignited).

Patron saint of tax evasion

Greek tax evaders are looking across the pond and finding solace in Cyprus.

No, not because Cyprus is often used as an off-shore tax haven by New Democracy stalwarts and by members of the Russian mafia.

Nor because one can go to the casinos in the occupied parts of Cyprus and blow their money on gambling and hookers.

They are finding solace in a Cypriot saint. A Cypriot saint who is renowned as the patron saint of tax evaders. So it will not come as a surprise to On The Spit if the Greek populace finds a need to venerate St Mammes.

According to local legend in Cyprus, Mammes was a poor hermit who earned his status as patron saint of tax evaders because he managed to avoid tax; a characteristic that Greeks see as being a national sport.

The story goes something like this: Mammes was a hermit living in very poor circumstances and when the authorities tried to tax him, he evaded them. Soldiers were sent out and captured him, but on the way back to town, Mammes saw a lion attacking a lamb, escaped the soldiers, saved the lamb, jumped on the lion’s back, and rode it into town.

Such was his bravery that he was exempted from paying tax.

So On The Spit suggests that Greek forofigades (tax evaders) are now going to be looking towards Cyprus, not to set up that new off-shore tax haven to manage their property holdings in Kolonaki and Psirri, but to seek solace in the methods of Mammes.

On The Spit believes Greek tax evaders (which essentially means most Greeks if one gives credence to the reports from Transparency International) will seek inspiration in the story of their newly acquired patron saint. The flock of Greek tax evaders will try and find a new lamb to save (themselves) from the lion (the Greek state), in the hope that the authorities will exempt them from having to make their contribution to the public good.

Greeks are starting to discover that blind faith in Saints, traditions and fakelakia and the cash economy need to give way to modernity.

The financial crisis is giving Greek citizens a stark reminder of what most modern citizens of the world discovered in the 20th century: there are two certainties in life: death and taxes.