Greeks have good reasons to protest


Declan Hill, The Ottawa Citizen

Published: Sunday, December 18, 2011

Athens

‘Almost everything that you thought you knew about current-day Greece is wrong.»

That thought went through my head as I stood among a mass of demonstrators in Syntagma Square during the recent general strike. There was a festive air: souvlaki sellers amid grandmothers, students singing and lots of street theatre performances. It was unlike any of the images that I had seen; there was no stone throwing, no tear-gas or water cannon attacks. I may have been lucky but there was a wide spectrum of ordinary people marching in the demonstration. The usual suspects were there, of course: the anarchists, the Communists and the general drop-a-hat-see-me-protest lot. But there was also a broad range of others: nurses, farmers, doctors, actors and teachers.

 After the demonstration was over, I walked past the rows of gas-masked policemen (generally far nicer Συνέχεια

«The banks and politicians are afraid» – Spartan Indignants Walk to Athens (video)


The Greek Prime Minister’s new government faces a vote of confidence in parliament today after George Papandreou reshuffled his cabinet last week with insurgent socialist MPs and street protests opposed the latest austerity measures.

Thousands of people from the so called Indignant Movement are expected to join anti government protests outside Parliament in time for the vote.

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IF THERE’S ONE ARTICLE YOU DECIDE TO READ ABOUT GREECE, IT’S THIS ONE


Democracy vs Mythology: The Battle in Syntagma Square

I have never been more desperate to explain and more hopeful for your understanding of any single fact than this: The protests in Greece concern all of you directly.

What is going on in Athens at the moment is resistance against an invasion; an invasion as brutal as that against Poland in 1939. The invading army wears suits instead of uniforms and holds laptops instead of guns, but make no mistake – the attack on our sovereignty is as violent and thorough. Private wealth interests are dictating policy to a sovereign nation, which is expressly and directly against its national interest. Ignore it at your peril. Say to yourselves, if you wish, that perhaps it will stop there. That perhaps the bailiffs will not go after Portugal and Ireland next. And then Spain and the UK. But it is already beginning to happen. This is why you cannot afford to ignore these events.

The powers that be have suggested that there is plenty to sell. Josef Schlarmann, a senior member of Angela Merkel’s party, recently made the helpful suggestion that we should sell some of our islands to private buyers in order to pay the interest on these loans, which have been forced on us to stabilise financial institutions and a failed currency experiment. (Of course, it is not a coincidence that recent studies have shown immense reserves of natural gas under the Aegean sea).

China has waded in, because it holds vast currency reserves and more than a third are in Euros. Sites of historical interest like the Acropolis could be made private. If we do not as we are told, the explicit threat is that foreign and more responsible politicians will do it by force. Let’s make the Parthenon and the ancient Agora a Disney park, where badly paid locals dress like Plato or Socrates and play out the fantasies of the rich.

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Greece’s Indignants: The White Tower Whispers Messages – Posters of a Protest (Part 1)


For Sale

iReport —

A walk around Thessaloniki’s White Tower, the city’s symbol of freedom and one of the central meeting points where citizens gather to rejoice national or local successes has turned into a hub of restlessness. The cries of joy from a far-away victory in the European Football Championship under huge screens set up along the waterfront under the imposing presence of this historic tower in 2004 have turned into enraged cries, pleas for help, threats against treacherous politicians.

I took my camera along on a Monday morning to let posterity see what a Greek demonstration Συνέχεια

‘Indignados’ go to old Athens University with Theodorakis


The «Indignados» of Athens’s Syntagma Square moved on Tuesday afternoon to the old Athens University (Propylaia) to form a big peaceful demonstration.

Responding to the call by composer Mikis Theodorakis and other university professors, who decided «to join their vioice with the voice of society against the measures being taken without us», they walked down Panepistimiou avenue and flooded the surrounding streets. Συνέχεια

Greek opposition sets demands as EU/IMF verdict nears


By Harry Papachristou and Renee Maltezou

ATHENS | Mon May 30, 2011 7:55am EDT

(Reuters) – Greece’s conservative opposition demanded tax cuts on Monday as the price for a consensus deal with the Socialist government on imposing yet more austerity, a major condition for getting further aid from the EU and IMF.

Conservative leader Antonis Samaras called for a flat 15 percent corporate tax and rejected government plans for hiking taxes to tackle Greece’s budget deficit and please fiscal inspectors mulling the next, key tranche of a 110 billion euro bailout. Συνέχεια