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Gates Foundation Joins Microsoft and Attacks Free Software in Greece

The proud flag of Greece



Summary: In the troubled economy of Europe Bill Gates and Microsoft try to make the population more Redmond dependent and in the United States too the Gates Foundation shapes (changes) public library policies

WHAT clearly contributed to financial problems in Greece was Microsoft dependency and outrageous deals with this monopolist. A couple of years ago Bill Gates traveled to Greece in order to ensure that the country stays stuck with Microsoft. We also wrote about Greece in relation to software patents and in relation to OOXML. Microsoft clearly knows which politicians to exploit there.



“Microsoft clearly knows which politicians to exploit there.”According to this new press release, Bill Gates is now using his foundation to attack the Greek's right to software freedom. Only weeks ago we showed Gates doing the same thing in Vietnam. He was using his foundation along with Microsoft to jointly derail that country's migration to Free software. How inappropriate and unethical, especially for someone who claims his foundation strives to help rather than to harm (or serve a personal agenda and ego). It's a similar situation in Greece now that they try to cut costs. Consider recent articles like [1]-[8] (links at the bottom).

The announcement makes it clear that Gates' foundation is once again 'donating' Microsoft indoctrination in public institutes. To quote the news:

The Seattle foundation presented the library with its 2010 Access to Learning Award. In addition to the prize, Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) will provide the library with donated software and technology training curriculum. Bill Gates is chairman and co-founder of Microsoft.


Software has no concrete value (Free software is typically gratis) and this so-called 'training' too is worth money to Microsoft, not to Greek people. It creates leverage to Microsoft and dependency to Greece.

For those who want to learn more about this travesty, we have gathered the remainder of the articles in English (it's written like PR for Gates):



Notice what they really do here. It might seem subtle, but they are lobbying to change other libraries using the "models" trick, just like in schools. Basically, they try to present some "model" library or school (the Gates and Microsoft way) and then offer rewards to those who follow this model. To quote one more article:

The award, which is accompanied by a one million dollar cash prize, was bestowed to the Veria National Library as the "most successful library model in Greece and throughout the world".


It is the "change to get a treat" lobbying tactic. How distasteful.

Libraries from the United States have more to teach about what Gates and Microsoft are doing in Greece right now. See for example:



The whole "libraries" spiel is shameless PR for self-serving deeds and it is still being done in the United States too. Earlier this month we found this article about Gates giving computers (with Windows of course) to more libraries while lobbying with his so-called 'studies' that he funded to serve his agenda in public libraries. To quote the Denver Post:

Responding to a rush of recession-time visitors, 88 percent of our libraries now offer access to job databases. And at least two-thirds of library staffs are helping applicants complete online job applications, according to a national survey by the American Library Association and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Gates is 'injecting' himself into many articles about libraries this way. It's lobbying. Watch what Gates is doing in Kentucky public libraries this month. The underprivileged citizens are pushed into using Microsoft Office ("write resumes and learn computer skills," says the article).

The article also says: "Kentucky participated in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Opportunity Online broadband grant program and received technical and consulting assistance to develop a competitive funding proposal for BTOP."

See this report for more details. In Idaho they have just made up some euphemisms:

The ICFL will also receive $942,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. All the funding will go to the Online@YourLibrary project the commission is running.


What shocks us about Greece is that rarely do we see this lobbying going beyond US libraries. What next? Will Gates attempt to hijack the education systems worldwide, having already taken a lot of control over the US system [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]?

To Greece, Bill Gates is a threat as big as Goldman Sachs. As we'll show in a later post, Gates has just invested a lot of money in Goldman Sachs too (using his foundation). It's all about the money, but it's marketed as goodwill.

"Get me into that and goddam, we'll make so much money!"

--Bill Gates, Microsoft



_____ [1] GR: Municipalities to get open source platform for electronic services

Greek municipalities are building an open source platform to offer citizens and small and medium sized business access to their services. This Local Government Application Framework (LGAF) will be developed by the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece (Kedke).

Sixteen cities and municipalites will begin the development project, including Imathia, Ithaca, Konitsa and Chios.


[2] Athens schools promote 'open source' computing

Athens was invited because it is one of few districts in Michigan teaching on Linux operating systems. Linux is a cost-free alternative to proprietary systems, such as Microsoft Windows or Apple's Mac O.S. While some open source software applications, such as e-mail programs, come at a cost, Linux is almost entirely free. Windows or Mac systems can cost up to $400 per machine. €  € 

Open source means the source code for an operating system cannot be owned and is available for free.


[3] Open source tour of Europe: Greece

There are isolated examples of public open source adoption projects, such as Heraklion on the island of Crete expressing a preference for open source software for its e-Government portal, Athens using Linux, Apache and PHP, and Toperos Xanthis using Linux and Joomla.


[4] Agreement between Microsoft and the Greek government

On 1 February 2006, the Greek government and Microsoft announced a strategic partnership agreement (the "Agreement"). At least 6 questions by the parliament remained unanswered by the government. On 10 January 2008, the government created a law proposal that would make the Agreement have the power of law. The law was approved by the Parliament on 29 January 2008. The FFII and the Hellenic Linux Users Group filed a complaint to the European Commission, which is still (as of 28 December 2008) under investigation.


[5] Let’s set the ERT audiovisual archive free (manifesto - draft)

Greek citizens, but also citizens of other countries, we jointly sign this text on the occasion of ERT’s choice to distribute its audiovisual archive non-freely to the public. Our aim and ambition is to publicize our propositions so that they become the starting point of an open dialog among the Greek society, the European and global public audience and to signal the revision of backward policies and the creation of common political wealth.

Few days ago, the ERT administration presented the beginning of the availability, only via Internet streaming, of a part of its audiovisual archive. This move constitutes an important first step, which, however, in our opinion, is tarnished by the fact that the public availability of the archive is not made free, although the Greek and European citizens have paid their money to make the production and digitization of the archive feasible.


[6] Hot stuffin' in Greece?

After the voting of the Greek HoD you may ask why the votes were 14 in total, when the organisations appointed to the committee are just 12. That's only the latest of the magical wonders around OpenXML.

[...]

New voting members are joining the committee at the last minute:
However, during the discussion, the representative of the Information Society showed the fax he had received, to which was attached the decision 19103/08 of the ELOT administration, dated 1 February 2008, which modifies the composition of the Committee by adding four new organisations: the Ministry of Education, two departments of the Ministry of Economics, and Information Society S.A. The representatives of NTUA had not been informed of this decision.


[7] Greece sell-out Proposal

Microsoft Hellas proposes a contract that will take over control of the sovereign European state. Greece would lose the right to speak about other products its government uses and gain the right to support the business interests of the vendor and its policy goals.

[...]

Nice proposal, Microsoft will help Greece to spy on its ICT infrastructure in order to weaken the procurement power of Greece for the benefit of the supplier. Win-Win, right?


[8] GR: Open Source developers protest access restrictions public broadcast

Greek Open Source developers are protesting that ERT, Greece's national broadcaster, will make its online archive available only for users of€ Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OSX.€ €  €  The Hellenic Linux User Group six months ago approached ERT, after finding out the public broadcaster was restricting their access to a new archive. ERT€  is a public organisation, the developers argue, and should not discriminate€  against users of Open Source.€ € €  €  [...] €  ERT is developing an archive of its broadcast material, digitising film, video, pictures and hosting them online. The archive is going to be developed in a 1.95 million euro project, the major part of which is funded by the€  European Union, the Open Source developers say.€ € € 


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