Category Archives: Greece

Forgotten European Youth

Among the tragedies of Europe’s dance with austerity has been a dramatic rise in unemployment throughout the region. An estimated 50% of young Spaniards lack jobs and similar figures are evident in Greece or Italy or even Sweden. Hundreds of Swedish young boys and girls went on a rampage through the streets of Stockholm showing their anger at being ignored and having their lives put on hold. They set fire to over 300 cars, burned down a restaurant and threw stones through store windows. There are even reports of a police station being burned to the ground. The initial outbreak most probably arose from police killing a 69 year -old man who was wielding a machete. Young people felt the police over-reacted.

It is time for Europe to abandon the austerity tactic and go back to some old fashioned John Keynes stimulus to the economy. Sweden might borrow the Depression CCC which placed one million young Americans to work on infrastructure tasks. FDR even pushed through bills that paid artists to paint or musicians to play music of people to put on plays. Provide meaningful work and riots will cease and desist.

Nazis Redeux

It is now clear the school system of Greece deserves a large F on its teaching of the history of Greece. Believe it or not but during the years1940-1945 there were same bad guys who occupied the country. They were called-NAZIS. The bad guys killed thousands of Greeks, they sent thousands to work as slave laborers in Germany and they sort of looted the nation of its goods. Millions of Greeks starved and barely survived. So, with this piece of historical information, what is now happening in Greece?

The Golden Dawn political party has a model-Nazi Germany. It seeks to retrun to the good old days when Nazis controlled Greece. Oh, instead of hating and killing Jews, the Golden Dawn Nazis want to hate and kill Muslims. The Nazis destroyed Jewish synagogues and now Golden Dawn wants to prevent Muslims from building a mosque in Athens. Party spokesman,Ilias Kasidiaris informed the world: “If a mosque is constructed for Islamist criminals in Greece, a front of 100,000 Greeks headed by the Golden Dawn  will be created.”

So, who heads off the Golden Dawn criminals–Nazis from Germany?

Future For Youth?

Four years ago in most European nations young people were hopeful that with further education there would be ample opportunities to secure a good job.Today, the unemployment rate in Spain or Greece is over 50% for young people with scant prospect of changes during the coming decade of their life. Stylia Kampani, now works as an unpaid intern for an important Athens newspaper. What happens after the end of her internship is unknown. “None of my friends believes that we have a futureor will live a normal life. That wasn’t quite the case four years ago.” She is now part of a lost generation which is doomed to low wages, uncertan job security and loss of control over individual lives. European nations have not learned the lesson of America’s Depression when the federal government created jobs for youth like the CCC. It funded the theater, opera, symphony orchestras and provided many job opportunities in society.

Germany recruits some  skilled workers from Greece or Spain. In the UK anger is directed at immigrants because the government has done nothing to offer youth a chance for the future. Oh, it has tripled the cost of college. Youth needs to go beyond protest and organize political parties which pledge to create jobs, and, in so doing create hope. If governments refuse to act to create jobs, the end result will be emergence of neo-fascist political parties based on hate an violence.

Silence Hate?

The isssue of freedom of speech constantly emerges when a crisis impacts society. The economic collapse in Greece has witnessed the birth of neo-Nazi groups which blame foreigners for the calamity which impacted their nation. The Golden Dawn party blames immigrants or the Roma for whatever hit their nation. The assumption is that poor people are responsible for the collapse of stock markets, rising unemployment and impoverishment of society. Exactly how those without much money or without any influence in the stock market or business can somehow have the power to cripple an economy is among the great mysteries of life. Hate crimes are constant against minority groups in Greece since we have to blame someone for what we did.

The Council of Europe’s human rights warned the Greek government that it has failed to take action against hate groups like the Golden Dawn. Parliament has been silent as Roma or immigrants are beaten by street thugs. The European organization argues when the innocent are beaten then government has the power to restrict freedom of speech to those engaged in hate.  An interesting issue.

Nazis In Greece Again!

Among the mysteries of modern Europe is emergence of neo-Nazi parties in nations that once were invaded and destroyed by German Nazis. German Nazis murdered hundreds of thousands of Greeks and seventy years later their descendants want to dress like a Nazi and give a Nazi salute! Athens Mayor George Kaminis was handng out Easter gifts when a horde of Neo-Nazi thugs stormed in and began attacking people. They were led by MP George Germenis, a member of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party. Germenis pulled out a gun and waved it around and then threw a punch at the mayor, unfortunately, his blow his a twelve year old girl.

The Golden Dawn party hates Jews, it hates Africans, it hates Muslims, but it does not hate Nazis. Is there something wrong with Greeks holding as their model Nazis who murdered their ancestors? I await a black American organization which wants to return to the good old days when white folk had slaves!

Dawn Of New Nazis

Greece is the birthplace of what we term to be Western Democracy. A few thousand years ago intelligent men walked the streets of Athens discussing the meaning of life and what could constitute a just society. Today, Alexander Plomaritis, a member of the Golden Dawn political party, made clear to the people of Greece what should be done to immigrants in their fair land. “We are ready to open the ovens. We will turn them into soap… wash cars and  pavement.We will make lamps from their skins.”

Leadership of the Golden Dawn party insisted these comments were actually a joke. “These statements were stated to make people laugh” insisted Illias Kasidiaris. Golden Dawn leader, Nikos Micchaloliakos termed Adold Hitler, “a major historical figure.” Of course, he  was also responsible for the deaths of thousands of Greeks. Of course, he was only kidding.

Mitt, We Need You-In UK!

During the past election, Mitt Romney and fellow Republicans, warned the American people that to follow Obama economic ideas was the road to serfdom and poverty. Mitt insisted the solution was to cut, cut, cut, and embrace austerity as the model for ending our recession. There has been a monthly increase of new jobs averaging at least 150,000 and today’s figure for February was–198,000! However, European nations like the UK, Spain or Greece report DECLINE in the number of jobs and continual loss so that in Spain, the unemployment figure is about 24% for youth. Oh, the report also reveals that 24,000 more jobs were created in January than initially reported.

Health costs declined since the Affordable Health Act was passed. The economy is growing about 1.8% but it is  growing, not declining as in  Engand. Perhaps it is time for Mitt to head for the UK and assist the efforts of Prime Minister David Cameron to increase unemployment and make certain there is a stagnant economy.

Do Fascists Have Rights?

The Council of Europe is planning to ban right wing political parties which believe that Adolf Hitler and Nazism were just part of European culture. The ban would be directed at far-right groups which are affiliated with neo-Nazi and racist  anti-Semites who seek to rid Europe of those deemed to be undesirable. The Golden Dawn party of Greece which appears to love the old days of Fascism may be asked to leave the legislature. Hungary’s Jobbik party which recently blamed Jews for any and all problems in Europe may also be shown the door. Of course, all right wing political parties blame either Muslims or Roma for unemployment and recession.

Yes, right wing political parties are filled with ignorant nut cases. We in America have millions of such people who belong to the NRA or the Tea Party. I prefer allowing them to display ignorance and hate, eventually sound minded people will cease listening to their songs of hate.

It’s All Greek To Me

It is unfortunate that poor Mitt Romney and his Wall Street friends do not live in Greece. At least its Constitution recognizes that job creators in the field of shipping are entitled to special tax breaks. Its laws at least recognize that doctors, lawyers, engineers and other such distinguished folk are not to be treated like ordinary folk. At a time when millions of Greeks are suffering from high unemployment, loss of their homes and savings, the wealthy of Greece can still afford this wonderful Mediterranean vacations and trips to America.

Greeks are in the streets while Greeks are receiving dividends from stocks or sending their millions to another country for safety. A new study reveals that undeclared income in  Greece is about $50 billion a year, and you can bet for certain that money  is not going into savings accounts of the ordinary Greek person.A Greek lawyer told a Der Speigel writer that his firm told the government it received $500 for a case while charging their German clients about $5,000.

It is all Greek to me how wealthy folk never pay the full price. Then again, I live in America where things are not that different.

Anger Of Austerity

To those who lived during the Depression of the 1930s it is difficult wiping from our minds how poverty and lack of work warps the soul. The neighbor who got a job selling popcorn and feeds the family popcorn can not readily leave our minds. People in Greece are furious at the outcome of their economic debacle. Hundreds of youth threw fire bombs and bottles and rocks at riot police. At least 70,000 took to the streets as those without seek to  express frustration and anger at those held responsible.

The Greek people can shut down public services, they can pelt the police with whatever is in their hands, but in the end, there is need for an informed approach to what happened to a nation which went wild with speculation and allowed its economy to be controlled by the wealthy and professionals only interested in keeping their jobs.

Greece needs a balanced solution which entails reductions in wages, higher taxes(and actually collected) and also spending on infrastructure and encouragement of new business enterprises. One must curtail and spend to get out of a recession.