Posts tagged ‘Greek society’

Five causes for resistance and solidarity in Greece today

We need to resist the totalitarian attitude of the Greek government who, in the name of an elusive “development” has started a war against anyone who disagrees with its measures. We need to express our solidarity and support to the many people suffering by this attitude.

  1. A modern Bethlehem has been set up in Syntagma Square: Syrian refugees, among them children and one pregnant woman, have started a hunger strike to be given traveling documents to reach other parts of Europe. A SYRIZA MP has expressed his decision to join them.
Syrian refugees on hunger strike

Syrian refugees on hunger strike

 

  1. Nicos Romanos, a 20+ armed robbery convict, has passed his University Entrance Exams while in prison but is being refused permission to attend classes. He is on hunger strike for over two weeks now and his health is in danger. Romanos first came to the limelight because he was with Alexis Grigoropoulos the night he was shot and killed by a riot policeman. In spite of the police efforts there is no proof that the young man was ever involved in terrorist activities.
Nikos Romanos at the time of his arrest

Nikos Romanos at the time of his arrest

  1. In Northern Greece the attacks on environment and on the populace trying to protect it continue. Largely ignored by the mainstream media the resistance of the people of Chalkidiki goes on.
Skouries demonstration

Skouries demonstration

  1. Police brutality is on the increase. After the uncalled attacks on the Disabled people’s demonstration last week there was further proof of it last night.

young girl attacked

  1. A trainer in the police Academy has come forward andstated that while teaching one of the cadets stated “I am a fascist and proud of it”. The most disturbing feature of the incident is that it was applauded by the rest of the class.

The bet for Greek society is how to resist efficiently, how to stand next to the suffering citizens without taking away their dignity.

One example by the newly elected regional government: Ms. Rena Dourou suggested to the Minister for Interior Affairs Mr.Dinopoulos to use 2.5 billion marked for festive activities to re-electrify poor households in their area. The proposal had been put forth by the audience in a popular tv show and became a reality. We could do more

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To pay or not to pay – Greeks paraphrase Hamlet

There are many Greeks from abroad as well as foreigners who criticize the attitude of Greek society to refuse to pay taxes. It may seem incomprehensible to citizens of other countries who see their taxes produce schools, hospitals, health care, old age care, infrastructure and all these amenities that reward a good citizen,  that we refuse to pay taxes or excel at tax evasion. Coming from a different country I was also surprised at first. But, when one starts listening to the simple people’s suffering due to the inefficiency of the state administration, when one sees the misery state indifference causes it becomes very hard not to commiserate.

Why pay taxes when the only hospital in Ikaria, a north Aegean island,  (built with money sent by the Ikariotes abroad and not by any government) is closing down?

Why pay taxes when the port in Othonoi, a small island near Corfu, is not usable and the fishermen lose their boats every now and then when the sea recedes.

Why pay taxes when, in today’s situation, scandals break out, with bankers lending money to their friends who in turn never return them and disappear.

Why pay taxes when one of the main road arteries, linking Corinth to Patras, is proclaimed death row and the tolls are exorbitant.

Why pay taxes when buses in Athens have no regular timetable and sometimes take as long as forty minutes to appear..

For those of you who can understand Greek I suggest you watch Mr. Manessis programe “60 minutes of Greece” on Alfa tv

http://www.alphatv.gr/shows/informative/60-ellada/webtv/shows

to learn how Greece survives outside Athens.

I do not claim that Greek society is innocent of all blame. We are guilty of having allowed politicians of the parties that have ruled the country to govern us without interference and without control. We are guilty of being naïve, gullible and easily led.

The main deficit in Greece is good governance. Till then I cannot, in good conscience, blame anyone for not paying taxes….

The third wedding – a tale of two women

“The third wedding” is an iconoclastic book.

The writer, Kostas Tahtsis, a self proclaimed homosexual, does not hesitate to expose the  hypocrisy and false ethics, the strength and weakness of the Greek middle class he depicts with such accuracy.

The adaptation of the novel for the theater was undertaken by Mr. Stamatis Fasoulis, a respected actor and director in collaboration with Mr. Niarhou who is unknown to me. The result was impressive. 50 years more or less of Greek history depicted through the narrative of two women: Nina- the one with the three weddings – and Hecuba or Ekavi, the executioner and victim of her family. This tale of two women follows the social history of Greece from the Balkan wars to the Second World War and the Greek civil war. These women’s story, because it is a women’s story and afterwards a women’s play, has little to do with the heroic world of the men. This is a world of survival, struggle, failure, rise and failure again. It leaves a bitter taste in your mouth despite the author’s witty sarcasm.

The female characters, portrayed by Nena Mendi – Ekavi and Filareti Komninou-Nina, overshadow all the male ones. Tahtsis book and the play which follows faithfully the novel depict the Greek society’s struggle for survival during these 50 years.

 

The book and the play allow us another view of Greek society of that period, a view that is not as noble as the ones we usually see but has a taste of reality that one cannot escape from.

Is the situation of today a result of those long, difficult decades of poverty and endless struggle to make ends meet? One cannot but wonder.