Two Sundays ago the Greek parliament voted for the new austerity measures package that would lead eventually our country to the new salvation package which is called PSI+. In few hours probably we will get it and Greece would officially become a dead zone.
Our prime minister, which held the position after our old one decided that he couldn’t cope with his wrong choices since 2009, would officially sign the package that saves the banks and contemns the people, the same people that the majority of the Germans and probably citizen of other countries, think that they are the laziest people in the world and getting their pension when they become 40 and they depend on corruption for their surviving. The fact that our Prime Minister is a banker is just a coincidence.
Since 12/2 the lower wage for people under 25, in Greece, is 390€ and for the rest 450€ net. In a country where there is no social care at all and where the unemployment benefit is 454€/month for one year and the official unemployment rate is over 20% and still rising, its not a surprise that more than 1/3 of the population lives in poverty.
I was visiting, last Wednesday until Saturday, the city that I grew up, Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece with a population over a million. I saw my pensioner father who is now 76 and he went on pension 11 years ago after 35 years working as teacher. His pension had a 30% cut and his taxes more than 15% rise. In his house lives my brother, 47 years old who is unemployed 3years now and there is no possibility to find a job. His other son, me, at the age of 47 emigrated last September in Germany, while being unemployed for 6 months after 21 years of continues work as self-employed or as employee in private companies. His daughter, my sister, with 2 kids and a husband still has a job that she could lose at any time.
The winter was harsh this year, maybe the worst winter since 1988 and that means more money for petrol and gas. The number of homeless people in Thessaloniki has risen exponential, in a city that was and is not prepared for a situation like this. The new elected Mayor, a charismatic 68 years old wine producer, uses its charm for attracting more tourists from Israel, Turkey and west European countries, while his city becomes dirtier with garbage overflowing the garbage cans from where the “neo-homeless” are trying to feed themselves.
Still, through this misery that our politicians, together with businessmen friends of theirs, brought to our country, people are trying to find a light through this labyrinth that they are in. Last Thursday was Fat Thursday and the Greek tradition wants people to go out celebrate and eat meat. This year half of the bars of Thessaloniki had parties with the owners grilling meat and giving it for free to their clients, something that for years goes on in the city.
People tried to have a party; there was also a street party from the bicycle club of Thessaloniki that was held for the third year in a raw. Young people were drinking and dancing, trying to forget there misery by fighting it with the best way they can, trying to forget that there is no job for them, just politicians that care to be reelected at any cost.
The city was celebrating the day, because Greeks live for the day when other Europeans die for the future. There is not right or wrong in this way of thinking. Its a different way of life. That is what EU hasn’t understood. You can’t have Greeks behaving as Germans and you can’t have Germans behaving as Greeks, Each one has its purpose, but both are suffering in order that the banks won’t suffer.
Today my country will be executed by a bunch of people who think that numbers are better than humans. Tomorrow I will probably go there with the “occupation army” of people that want to exploit the situation in Greece, as a part of their working force. Nobody wants to hear other voices or paradigms that saying or showing that there are also other ways to confront with the crisis and the banks.