Greece: The Suffering of Ordinary Citizens 

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the 21 September 2012 broadcast.

By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart

An 'Austerity Ahead' road sign
Image: 401k / Flickr

– On Friday in the center of Athens outside the Ministry of Finance, employees from the ministry along with revenue officers organized a protest and a 24-hour strike. The workers are protesting the destruction of all public services, the layoff plans, dismissals, and wage cuts. Their banner reads: “We cannot afford emergency taxation anymore.”

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– Greek society is falling to pieces because the Troika is demanding nation-crushing austerity policies from which recovery is completely impossible. The humanitarian crisis currently taking place due to the Troika’s manufactured economic crisis is rarely reported. But here, ordinary Greek people speak out about how this crisis has affected their lives and the lives of their families.

A middle-aged woman interviewed in her home explains,

Right now, we are expecting our last family subsidy in order to buy some food and to be able to eat. As for our bills, there is no money left over for bills. Our water has already been cut off. We still have electricity at the moment. We felt it was better to have electricity than water, to be able to cook for the children. We get water from surrounding flats and homes. We used plastic containers for that.

She went on to say, “I can’t concentrate on anything. Every day I look for work but there is nothing available.”

After asking the interviewer if he had a job for her she continued, “The children ask for milk but we don’t have milk because we cannot afford it. The children go to school and are becoming jealous of the other children because they have food to eat. Where are we going to find justice?”

A young father says he has borrowed money to buy supplies for his children so they could go to school. “The children don’t have English lessons because I can no longer afford to pay the 30€ a month for lessons.”

Unemployed, uninsured and bankrupt parents cannot hide the despair in their eyes because they cannot afford even the basic necessities for their children. Food, clothing and school supplies have become luxury items to hundreds of thousands of Greek families.

The young father, who looks for employment daily, says he manages by begging. Sometimes he is able to find work for a day. He has been unemployed for two years and has four young children. He used to work for an air-conditioning company that closed. Eighteen people lost their jobs. His wife is also unemployed. The family’s only income is 264€ a month.

He added, “We are no longer able to manage our homes. It’s a terrible thing that’s happening in Greece. It’s unbelievable that I don’t have money to give to my child to buy a tiropita to eat in school.”

Another father of two, a painter, lost his job and then his home. His family moved into his father’s flat where five people now live together in a very small place. He explains how they survive. “We met many people at the free social outpatient clinic organized by activist doctors. That is where the kids get the necessary vaccinations and documentation so they can attend school.”

Recently, doctors at the clinic have taken care of 3,000 Greek children who are living in extreme poverty. Every day, more and more suffer from the desperate situation. Gradually, they have learned to push aside their emotions and feelings of hesitation disappear. People in need are seeking assistance.

A pharmacist from the free clinic explained,

If you permit me to express myself in a loud voice of agony – We are going to run out of medicines. And as time goes on we will be able to offer less and less services to the most vulnerable people.

We must join forces with all organizations who do charity work and unite ourselves for a big campaign. People need to hear about our great needs and PROTECT OUR CHILDREN. They need food, shelter, healthcare, clothing, supplies, education … every child has the right to these basic things.

A grandmother tells her story,

My daughter, her 4 young children and I live on 264 a month. My daughter looks for a job every single day. When she finds work, it is only temporary and there is no health insurance offered.

When I was a child there was poverty in Greece but there were jobs. Now there are no jobs. We have completely lost our dignity and pride.

We give the children any kind of milk we can get. We went through our supply of powdered milk for newborns. The poverty and despair is absolutely crushing. We cannot even afford to take care of our basic needs.

Another family has 10 people living on 700€ a month. Unemployed family members left their own homes to move in with their parents because of the crisis. An elderly women tries to help her children and grandchildren. She worries because the children don’t even have school bags. More often than not, they must be sent to school without eating breakfast. “What can you say to the children?” she asks. “We tell them to try to have courage. We tell them things will get better, that someone will find a job.” At 67 years of age, even the grandmother is looking for a job.

Within this crisis, the first victims are the children. They are innocent souls who did not contribute in any way to this tragedy.

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– From the StopCartel news desk:

The group Anonymous has announced that they will be initiating a worldwide campaign in support of Greece. They are calling for a worldwide protest in solidarity with the Greek people. Giorgos Kosmopoulos responded to this announcement by stating, “Greeks must do something for ourselves. No one can help if we don’t start something ourselves. We need you all. Good luck to all of us.”

LINK @ https://www.facebook.com/AnonOpGreece

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– Employees and retirees will have their heads hand-delivered to the Troika by the three leaders of the coalition government, who with their pre-planned media reactions once again attack the intelligence and the dignity of the Greek people.

By now, Greeks understand that the continuous theater of “negotiations” and the forthcoming announcement that this will be the “last” (until the advent of the next) austerity package is a pack of lies and will do nothing to ease their suffering. They know all too well the predatory nature of austerity measures and the persistent poverty in their wake.

As has been only too clearly demonstrated and with the experiences of recent years still fresh in the minds of the Greek people, no one, especially the most vulnerable groups in society, can expect another round of austerity measures to come to a good end.

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– The government-of-the-regime is trying to keep secret the fact that the Ministry of Citizen Protection and Public Order is preparing to receive the latest technology for the treatment of demonstrators.

The State of Israel has gifted Greece with three water-cannon vehicles to be used to disperse demonstrators. The vehicles are already on duty in Piraeus.

These types of vehicles have been used regularly against Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied territories.

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– Citing U.S. officials and diplomats, the Troika report regarding the Greek debt has been postponed. Initially due out in October, the report is being pushed back until after November 6 in order to avoid any shock to the global economy before the U.S. elections.

A spokesman from the German Finance Ministry, Martin Kotthaus, told Reuters, “Greece will not be issued further debt relief through international creditors.” He added, “We hope the report will be ready as soon as possible.”

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StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece on weeknights at 6pm Athens time @ http://www.livestream.com/stopcarteltvgr

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