los(t) Indignados

Article published on June 20, 2011
community published
Article published on June 20, 2011
by Dimitris Korgianitis "A couple of days ago I happened to be ad mist the young "indignados" at Syntagma square, where some of them stay day and night living in tents. The summer is ante portes and the scene of many young people in the center of Athens looked like a joyful celebration. Some kiosks were shelling food and drink while a big screen was playing a movie that nobody watched.
Guitars were scattered around mingling their music with laughters and shouts of the young protesters. In the center there was someone talking to the microphone surrounded by many people standing or siting on the pavement. While I was approaching to the circle I heard him describing how the other day along with a hundred people had managed to prevent the ministers from living the nearby Parliament by blocking the parking. I had just noticed that there was a long cue of people waiting for him to finish so that they could take in turns the microphone when he asked in a rather rhetorical way: "Would be it preferable if we just prevent them while they try to enter the building instead?. I guess that day they had already voted some bills that will degrade our living standards a bit more!.." he said. Everybody started to applause enthusiastically. 

It is said that the big loans of Greece along with interest payments render every citizen in a debt of approximately 29,190 $ regardless of his age. This means that a four member family sums up to a 116,760 dollars total debt. The "metapoliteusis" in Greece aka the democratic reform and the subsequent governments of the liberal "New Democracy" and the socialistic "PASOK" have managed in 36 years to throw the state and the future in the garbage. This young enraged generations are right to doubt the accountability of their patrons in the political parties and look distastefully to the ECB and IMF. This is not to say that the European countries are unfair by looking after their billions nor the IMF. But lets leave apart the economy issue for a moment and consider where the domestic political framework combined with the EU has led  us now as all this was supposed to be something more than a plain accounting business. 

To begin with, Greece became a state member carrying along many problems with her neighbor Turkey with which is in a long - standing cold war. Those problems and the subsequent army expenses not only grew bigger but new ones were added like the name problem concerning the new born "Macedonia" and the hundred thousands of immigrants that made their way inside the country. Greece stands on a crossroad. It is not by mere coincidence that in the past there was a war in North (Yugoslavia) and now in South (Libya). As a Southeast borderline of the West and the EU not only had to cope alone with those problems and keep spending a nice 4% of the GDP buying arms from USA and her European partners but also was obliged to swallow down the death of three officers in the Imia crises and lower silently her flag from this islet. When the EU was planing the creation of a European army she made it clear that a Greek - Turkish war was out of range. Even now as we speak Greece is unable to claim the Exclusive Economic Zone in the Aegean which could give her a major boost by the natural gas and possible oil. By being obliged to accept the waves of many thousands of immigrants for whom she hold responsibility as being the country of entrance a fact that was applauded by many Human Rights advocates backed by the EU policy she is now facing the other side of the coin namely the all growing criminality,as a logical consequence of the economic pitfall. Of coarse there were millions of euros that Greece took from the EU as part of the economic sustainability of the Union. But these money were spent unchecked and the governments failed to create a production base or new foundations functioning rather as contractors for several short term projects implying corruption and kickbacks as the Siemens scandal among others proves.

The Greek market is very small. The whole population of the country equals with a big town in the West. In fact those who are talking about liberating the market are talking about oligopolies should change hands from the State to some private businesses. The situation is not to get better in the near future regardless the political parties, the austerity measures or privatization. It seems that there is not any bearable solution for the middle and lower classes. The only way out would be to find another "protector" - like China - and offer him everything in order to cut the rope from our neck. Only such kind of a geopolitical table turn may give a glimpse of hope. But this is not going to happen. The whole political system has become a debt counter and the Greek people have signed the "memorandum" by the hand of the Minister of Economics while the Parliament was not a part of the process in the first place.

There is not any sunshine in the horizon for Greece. But yet it is summertime. One is feeling the joy with the youth seeing them full of life at Syntagma square but the same time he feels sorry for this foredoomed generation that is to be called los(t) indignados".