Friday, June 17, 2011

What is going on in Greece?

My new friend Stacey from the USA has asked for more details on my last post about the Greeks being fully awake.

So I’ll give you the picture from a middle-class working mum’s point of view.

For the economy details check out this link


After Iceland ,Ireland ,Portugal and Spain now Greece is facing bankruptcy as a result of deficient policies within the European Union in combination with corruption in previous Greek governments. The euro zone may be collapsing, Greece being the first frontier in this battle. There have been unprecedented austerity measures, unemployment has risen up to 15%, salaries have been reduced to 500 Euros per month, numerous taxes have been added to our income, pensions have been reduced, in many cases to 200p/month, young people emigrate like Greeks did after the 2nd World War.

For many months Greeks have been patient, waiting for some positive results after so many months of sacrifices. However, the deficit is only increasing and bankruptcy is on our doorstep. After the movement of The Indignados in Spain started (where there was a slogan: Quiet! We don’t want to wake up the Greeks!) then spreading to more European countries, people in Greece made their own Indignants’ movement communicating through Facebook and Twitter. Hence, they gather in the main squares of big cities every night forming a public congress and trying to work out the situation having faith in the only thing that changes the route of a State throughout history:


"The paranoia is in bloom, the PR

Transmissions will resume, they'll try to

Push drugs, keep us all dumb down and hope that

We will never see the truth around, so come on

Another promise, another scene, another

Package not to keep us trapped in greed with all the

Green belts wrapped around our minds and endless

Red tape to keep the truth confined, so come on

They will not force us

And they will stop degrading us

And they will not control us

We will be victorious, so come on"

The Muse, Uprising

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Greeks are fully awake!

 Being away from home at such hard times I cannot but be overwhelmed by mixed, conflicting feelings: relief and compassion despair and hope.

When you are away, you distance yourself from the problems but you also run the risk of either exaggerating or undervaluing them.

I used to wonder how much longer the people in Greece were going to put up with the depreciation of their self-dignity along with the decline of the level of their welfare. I used to, because I don’t have to wonder anymore. Watching all those who gather at the Constitution Square every night, thousands of “indignant” Greeks, I feel proud.

Eventually we have decided to demonstrate that Greece is not represented by the politicians, by the people who feathered their own nests and fled.

The core of the Greek spirit can be found there, in the squares of the Greek cities, the towns and villages where the public assembly (the teenagers and the elderly, the immigrants and the natives, the poor and the poorer) looks for radical changes. Feeling the strong need to join them, I use this blog to let them know

I too am an indignant Greek.

I want them to know that I’m fed up with all the accusations fired at me, the Greek citizen, by our “European friends” that I’m lazy and overpaid or I spend too much time on holidays.

How can I let them know that I am one of the thousands of hard-working state school teachers who receive the absurd salary of 1200 Euros after 19 years of service, with a totally self-funded Msc completed a few years ago, when I was raising my two children. What if I still work hard trying to be a better teacher and hope to finish a PhD in the following years? (self-funded too, although I’m not sure I will be able to afford it in the years to come). How hopeless does this sound today? What difference is this going to make to my life when all those young people who are looking forward to start their careers with postgraduate degrees and impressive qualifications are working for just 500 Euros per month?

I know I’m not alone. We are too many. And you know what? We didn’t protest so so far because we struggled for the best. Because we were looking for a better future for our children. Now we need to explain to them why we’re taking that future away from them; why they will have to put up with the degrading comments and accusations coming from our so called “friends”; why they will have to migrate to find a job.

Or should I just tell them that we, “the indignant”, are

Dignity consists not in possessing honours, but in the consciousness that we deserve them.”


Greek critic, philosopher, physicist, & zoologist (384 BC - 322 BC)