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Greek poverty so bad that families can no longer bury their dead
Ms. Vanna Mendaleni is a Greek undertaker who until now has not had vehement feelings about the assault by bankers and politicians. But, closing her family-run funeral parlor, she joined thousands of protesters on Thursday in a mass outpouring of fury over austerity policies that have plunged ever growing numbers of Greeks into fear and famine.
"After three years of non-stop taxes and wage cuts, it's got to the point where nothing is left standing," she said. "It's so bad that families can no longer afford to even bury their dead. Bodies lie unclaimed at public morgues, so that the local municipality can bury them. We once had a dignified life, but now Greece has gone back 50 years. These politicians have to be made aware that enough is enough."
Greek demonstrations are less violent than before, since anger and bewilderment have been replaced by disappointment and despair.
COMMENT: That’s when the masses are ripe for revolt. Anger and Molotov cocktails are just a means to blow off steam. Quiet despair is much more serious. When hunger becomes a little more widespread, the people will move. Fear will no longer stop them. Fear will drive them to a frenzy. Greece will declare martial law, and will post military troops in every city, but it won’t be enough.
"Personally, I'm amazed there hasn't yet been a revolution," said Panaghiotis Varotsos, a computer programmer. "In Portugal they're rioting over one measure when here we've been made to accept countless cuts and tax increases.”
COMMENT: No, the situation in Portugal is even worse than in Greece. Anyone who can get out of Portugal is doing so. Whereas the Greeks are furious with their government, the Portuguese have written off their government altogether.
“The worst thing about being ground down is that it breeds extremism," said the silver-haired leftist. "In the case of Greece it is extremism that is going to the right because the Golden Dawn has managed to exploit people's despair. But it won't just stay in Greece. It will spread to other parts of Europe too."
COMMENT: You are trying to threaten the politicians by saying, “If you don’t stop, then we will get a Hitler.” Be honest. Admit that you are calling for a Hitler. Anything would be better than the current situation. Join the Golden Dawn party, and ignore the bullshit that it is “extremist” and “neo-Nazi.” It is nationalist, and already has 18 seats in the parliament, and is the only group that actively engages in social welfare programs. At their rallies they say, “Turn away no one who comes to you for help.” Like any politicians, they provide food and clothing in return for loyalty to the party. They will keep getting stronger, so you might as well join them now. Greece has become Weimar Germany, but instead of England and France sucking the country dry, it is the Troika. The Golden Dawn party correctly sees that Greece has economic bankruptcy because Greece has moral and political bankruptcy. “If a money is your God, and you should lose your money, then there is nothing left but to kill yourself.” Their symbol is the ancient Greek Meander (which the frightened bankers and politicians call a “swastika”). Watch what GD members do, and ignore what the lying bankers claim the members do. See how they accompany pensioners to the bank in neighborhoods where muggings are frequent. Are they really attacking immigrants? Or is this a bunch of lies spouted by the corporate media? Your other alternative is to continue groveling before the bankers, dying of famine, while you self-righteously call the Golden Dawn “evil,” and you imagine that somehow, someday, the vampire bankers and politicians will finally get their fill of blood, and everything will be all right.
For the vast majority of those who took to the streets, the tipping point could be the latest round of austerity measures being demanded of the debt-stricken country in return for the international rescue funds it so desperately needs to keep bankruptcy at bay.
COMMENT: Each rescue of the bankers and politicians increases the poverty and famine of the masses. Greece! Dump the euro! Throw out the politicians! Wake up!
Under intense pressure from international creditors at the EU and IMF, Samaras' fragile coalition has been forced to draw up a draconian package of spending cuts worth €13.5bn – the price of a whopping €31.5bn loan installment that is already four months overdue. The burden will fall on society's most vulnerable with pensioners, and low-income Greeks once again having to make the biggest sacrifices.
COMMENT: Angela Merkel grows increasingly belligerent, whining that Greece’s disastrous “reforms” (i.e. the plunge to famine) is proceeding at a “snail’s pace” (her words). Why doesn’t she just send troops to round up all Greeks (except rich Greeks) into concentration camps?
"After nearly 50 years of work and paying into an expensive pension fund, I have been forced to retire on €1,000 a month (US $1,307), and if they pass these measures it will be even less," said 60-year-old Nikos Xeros, who until this year had repaired ships since the age of 16. "It's like having a noose about your neck that is getting ever tighter. The next time I come out to demonstrate, it's going to be with a gas mask and a big wooden club."
COMMENT: Meanwhile, because of the depression, the production of good and consumer goods is down, which makes everything more expensive.
Riot police cut off access to Syntagma Square – home of the Greek parliament – before protesters could reach it, stoking widespread fury on Thursday. For some it was evidence of the mounting fears that parliament could be stormed.
COMMENT: As I said, there comes a time when fear ceases to be a detriment to the masses, and becomes a motivator. Riot police always fear the mob. That’s why the police are so violent. If the masses really wanted to, they could easily overwhelm the police. This is coming.
"Greeks are becoming increasingly conscious … and it was especially noticeable that the main slogan today was 'the time has come to overthrow these polices'," said Tania Karayiannis of the union of civil servants. As many as 80,000 people participated in the protests in Athens alone, she said. "The political leadership of this country should not underestimate that. If they don't take our opposition seriously they will bear historic responsibility for the disintegration of Greece's social fabric and the developments that will surely follow."
COMMENT: Since nothing can stop the bankers and politicians, nothing can stop the coming changes. Fear and hunger will bring the changes.