Thursday, 8 November 2012

Athens - demonstration last night

Everybody was out on the streets marching or supporting the marchers and awaiting the vote in Parliament....it was very much the ordinary people, not 'troublemakers' as the media would have us believe. Yes, Syndagma Square got the tear gas treatment from the police but the people kept marching - despite the rain.  Some comments were:  'salaries are being cut by 50% and prices are going up - you can't live'  (woman who works in research institute who is staying in Greece only to support her elderly parents) ;  'you just can't live on the reduced salaries..if you get ill you can't afford treatment - even if its available' (woman who works on Parthenon restoration);  ' lots of the decisions don't even bring any revenue to the government...its illogical, unprecedented and insupportable ....and its encouraging the rise of the far right' (Aristides, a human rights lawyer).  People are angry that the Greeks are being portrayed as shirkers to justify these draconian measures:  ' They want to make Greece like a failed Balkan state'.... Someone else not on the march, who had seen the event on TV, thought a military government is the answer.  But people agree that the current government is useless, without a mandate, and is reneging on all its promises.....The proposed measures have no logic in economics or common sense.  'New ideas are needed' (a taxi driver). The European Greens Council this weekend must get its progressive message out there....there is noone else with the radical vision to get Europe out of this mess. 

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