September is the month the new year really starts in Greece. It is the month schools open and holidays end. I do not mean just the “official” holidays from one’s job. I mean the village holidays, the days the Greeks spend in their ancestral villages wherever those may be. September is the month of the Thessaloniki International Fair where Prime Ministers traditionally speak about their plans for the country for the year to come.
Small wonder that this September is more exciting and challenging for both the Greek citizens and the Greek government.
Mr. Papandreou is going to Thessaloniki accompanied by about 4.000 policemen charged with keeping the peace during the inevitable demonstrations, ..inevitable due to the many open fronts of conflict between society and government.
The education reform, which has been voted in Parliament with the unheard of before collaboration between the extreme right, right and socialdemocrats, is opposed by University professors and the student body. The lack of books and school teachers in secondary education aggravates the situation.
Civil servants are facing great changes in their employment environment: new rules for the payroll, new rules for their place of employment, type of work etc. Several fringe benefits are cut off leaving their income crippled.
Precarity is the rule in both private and public sectors.
Doctors of the National Health Service are going on strike during the Thessaloniki International Fair. Bus drivers and taxi drivers are also contemplating strikes since their jobs are threatened.
Temperatures are rising all over and winter seems far and yet so near.
Kalo Heimona – Good winter is the wish of the season. I copy it even though I think this is not going to be a good winter.

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