Friday, 13 December 2013

An Eye Witness Report from a Dickensian Athens

A city centre which at night resembles parts of Detroit and daily life which resembles Victorian Britain with many beggars and a general feeling of a country in irreversible decline. Schoolchildren have been seen looking in dustbins for food and many people have died burning wood in makeshift stoves in apartments to keep warm.

Despite all the official pronouncements that the Troikas (EU-ECB-IMF) programme will herald growth decline has been on average 5% fall in GDP annually over the last five years figures not seen since the 12% annual fall during the civil war of the 1940’s and unemployment has skyrocketed to at least 2.5m (official amount 1.5m) roughly between 30-40% of the population.
The shock therapy which is killing the patient stone dead has led to massively reduced govt majority (4) and we are in a permanent govt crisis with confused orders from the centre. Land taxes and property taxes are destroying the social fabric of society splintering it apart until there is nothing left and new Orwellian measures of seizing bank accounts electronically on behalf of tax demands  are to be applied as the new year gift to Greek citizens due to the massive non-payment crisis of all the new taxes. Over E70billion has gone to pay parasitic banksters (under Troika tutelage) and the wage and pension cuts which range from 20% to 60% (eg. bus drivers) implies that govt spending is massively reduced. Schools and hospitals are being merged, many schools have no heating and over 25k public sector workers have been fired this year.

Wave upon wave of immigration continue to hit Greek shores and they have nowhere to go so inevitably there is a crime wave in poorer Athenian districts and the prisons are already full. The younger generation and those till their 40’s will never see a pension as without 40 year contributions one will not be able to get one and companies avoid full time work to pay less tax and insurance. The new norm are jobs at E2.5 an hour with shifts whenever the boss feels like it.

The organised forced of the fake left which now have a majority on the public sector union ADEDY organised a rally on Saturday and only around 200 people turned up. The leaders of the unions hide behind govt strike bans despite massive strike waves that broke out in both February and October of this year. Syriza as the main party of the opposition despite gaining 27% does not seek a fight for power and is relegated to asking for Germany’s surpluses as a way to solve the capitalist crisis ie the old bankrupt economic model.
If the current situation continues and so far it is the longest depression in a western economy the state will start to disintegrate. Whether a revolt occurs prior to disintegration or as a consequence of it is what is on everyone's mind. Time is running out for all concerned.

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