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From 3 July 2005 Issue

Greek Myths

[Editor's Note: This submission included a picture of an emaciated dog that it is too late to save. Unfortunately we are unable to include photos because many servers won't accept them, but to see this picture can only bring tears to your eyes. Please read the following and help out as requested.]

I lived in Greece for 14 years and made 4 trips there this year...the animals are living in hell and are suffering terribly.

Please just copy and paste the letter below and send. It will take you exactly 1 minute. Tourism is down 37% and we need to scare the Bikini bottoms off the Greek Government. Tourism is WAG's bargaining chip.

Please! Need I beg? I will.
Kind regards,
Marijo Anne Gillis - Founder
Welfare for Animals in Greece
Welfare for Animals Global, Inc.
(WAG NY-a non-profit, international advocacy & political lobby force -- reaching the world)
Tel. (212) 427-0587 Fax (212) 427-6381
E-Mail Twinkieperkyebby@msn.com

SAMPLE LETTER COPY and PASTE
SEE ADDRESS BLOCKS BELOW
Created by Brenda Shoss, Kinship Circle

Honorable Officials of Greece:

I remain committed to a tourism boycott of Greece. I am shocked the Ministry of Tourism has lavished $100 million on the "Live Your Myth In Greece" campaign when the ultimate myth endures: It's a fable about officials who work to end the abuse of homeless animals in Greece.

It is a fiction-based story, built upon words without merit.

During the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, the world learned an estimated 80% of Athens' strays had vanished as authorities swept the streets for a sleek world reception. Images of emaciated animals, hangings, shootings and poisonings emerged in The BBC, Greek TV News, New York Post, Chicago Tribune, and other media outlets.

We saw cannibalized puppies and carcasses lining gutters. We heard about [bait] laced with herbicides, pesticides and ground glass. We saw ravenous strays foam at the mouth, convulse and die. We read about a live dog crushed with the garbage and a burned kitten pulled from the trash.

The outcry from the global animal welfare community led to minor modifications. Two showcase shelters were unveiled to greet international press, even as animals continued to rot alive in makeshift pounds throughout Greece.

And where are the survivors--the street dogs supposedly rescued by the municipal government in a zero-hour effort to appear humane? Greek sources report these dogs have disappeared.

In fact, little has changed. Eyewitness accounts and photographic evidence attest to ongoing cruelty. At municipal animal shelters, animals still languish in their own waste. Food is scarce and water bowls are infested with dead insects and muck. Males and females are permitted to breed unrestrained and starving dogs feed on newborn puppies.

Once again, I implore the Greek government to enforce animal welfare legislation. Certainly some of the millions spent on tourism ads could be directed toward humane reform. If Greece hopes to market itself as a sophisticated travel destination, it must align itself with European law designed to protect companion, farmed, and captive animals.

Specifically, I call upon the Greek government to:

--Repeal Animal Welfare Law #3170 and uphold European Union Law, which Greece ratified in 1992. Officials have consistently ignored or misconstrued the vague language in Law #3170. Animal abusers are neither prosecuted nor penalized for their crimes.

--Issue a declaration from the Office of the Prime Minister denouncing animal abuse and neglect.

--Enact a Ministerial Decree that authorizes non-government animal protection societies and individuals to legally transport abandoned animals to loving homes in Europe and America. Please lift the Ministry of Agriculture's current embargo on the free passage of Greek strays to permanent homes abroad.

--Thoroughly investigate and terminate, if necessary, veterinarians within the Ministry of Agriculture who obstruct the rehoming of animals abroad. In addition, I urge the Greek government to monitor and penalize, when appropriate, state veterinarians on the Greek mainland and islands who undermine humane reform or violate anti-cruelty law.

--Subsidize and institute nationwide low-cost spay/neuter, vaccination/treatment, microchip identification, adoption/rehoming, and humane education within the school system.

The Hellenic Veterinary Association rejects spay/neuter aid from veterinarians in other countries. This is unacceptable. Greece has demonstrated its inability to manage the animal overpopulation crisis. I ask the Greek government to facilitate licensing for foreign veterinarians who have volunteered to assist in sterilization, vaccination and treatment for animals in Greece.

I will continue to encourage family, friends and colleagues to boycott Greece as a vacation spot until visible strides are made to enforce animal welfare law and institute humane reform.

Sincerely,

==============================
EMAIL BLOCK
contains all emails in this alert
==============================

info@primeminister.gr, pressoffice@primeminister.gr, dimavra@otenet.gr,
info@mintour.gr, mfa@mfa.gr, cio@mfa.gr, Info@Ypai.gr,
generalenquiries@noc.culture.gr, w3admin@culture.gr, minjust@otenet.gr,
evie@greekembassy.org, NYCcons@greekembassy.org, emarinak@tui.gr,
paravantes@cityofathens.gr, anastasi@cityofathens.gr, editor@ekathimerini.com, elef@enet.gr, elet@enet.gr, info@apogevmatini.gr, tanea@dolnet.gr, zougla@otenet.gr, espresso@espressonews.gr, Twinkieperkyebby@msn.com, info@archenoah-kreta.com

Kostas Karamanlis, Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic
Prime Minister's Political Office - remarks, queries, proposals
Maximos Mansion ('Megaro Maximou')
19, Herodou Attikou str, GR-106 74 Athens
email: info@primeminister.gr

Theodoros Roussopoulos, Nea Democratia Spokesperson
email: info@primeminister.gr

Prime Minister's Press Office
Ioannis Andrianos, Director
19 Herodou Attikou St., Megaro Maximou 10674 Athens
ph: +30 210 7243333
email: pressoffice@primeminister.gr

Dimitris Avramopoulos, Minister of Tourism
Ministry of Tourism, 119 Mesogion Ave., 10192 Athens
ph: 210-6969813-5
email: dimavra@otenet.gr, info@mintour.gr

Petros Molyviatis, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 3 Akadimias St., Stoa Davaki, Athens
ph: 210-3682700
email: mfa@mfa.gr, cio@mfa.gr

Aristotelis Pavlidis, Minister for the Aegean & Island Policy
Ministry for the Aegean & Island Policy
Athens Office, 9 Filellinon St., 10557 Athens
ph: 210-3311714-16
email: Info@Ypai.gr

Konstantinos Karamanlis, Minister of Culture
Ministry of Culture, 20-22 Bouboulinas St., 10682 Athens
ph: 210-8201100
email: generalenquiries@noc.culture.gr, w3admin@culture.gr

Anastasios Papaligouras, Minister of Justice
Ministry of Justice, 96 Mesogion Ave., Athens
ph: 210-7711019; email: minjust@otenet.gr

George Savvaides, Greek Ambassador to the U.S.
Embassy of Greece, 2221 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
ph: 202-939-1300; fax: 202-939-1324
email: evie@greekembassy.org
web email: http://www.greekembassy.org/Embassy/content/en/Contact.aspx?office=1<http://www.greekembassy.org/Embassy/content/en/Contact.aspx?office=1>
Greek Consul General: NYCcons@greekembassy.org

THE EMBASSY CONTACT INFO IS FOR THE USA ONLY.
TO FIND CONTACT INFO FOR GREEK EMBASSIES IN OTHER COUNTRIES, TRY:
http://www.embassyworld.com<http://www.embassyworld.com/>

E. Marinakis: emarinak@tui.gr

Cc: (National Greek Press)
editor@ekathimerini.com, elef@enet.gr, elet@enet.gr, info@apogevmatini.gr,
tanea@dolnet.gr, zougla@otenet.gr, espresso@espressonews.gr

Go on to A Loan From God
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