I woke up and started reading a couple of blogs with my morning coffee. The majority of them reminded me that this is the last day of the year. I thought of translating two small abstracts to give you an idea of how this otherwise joyous day is experienced in Greece. Yes, there’s plenty of pessimism in them.
"Disfunction" by Susana Blasco
Author and veteran blogger Nikos Dimou wrote:
I was asked to give a label on 2011. I spontaneously answered “A year lost”. Then I remembered 2010 and I added “one more”.
Greece’s most read blogger, Pitsirikos, wrote:
The year 2011 was a beautiful and “useful year”. It was the year that the Greek society had a mirror turned towards itself and was told “That’s who you are!”.
Off I go now to have my second cup of coffee in downtown Athens with one of my best friends. He was laid off three days ago.
Yesterday I received the first threat targeting the author of this blog. Some far right supporter was angry with what I wrote about Mr. Voridis and Mr. Georgiades. I was threatened, among other things, that once the “revolution” takes place, my throat will be one of the first to be slit (if you wonder about the use of the word “revolution”, have in mind that Greek dictator Georgios Papadopoulos has famously characterized the imposition of the military junta as a “revolution”). Of course the post was not a result of my own research, the Greek blogosphere is full of this story (actually it’s even more detailed). I have merely translated and summarized what is written in Greek blogs and newspapers. Not that I feel like being apologetic for the post but it just strikes me how stupid and narrow-minded some people are. Unfortunately the threat was anonymous and thus I couldn’t reply to its author and it was written in Greek. I thought of translating it and posting it here but my limited translation skills are not enough to fully and rightfully translate the richness of Greek obscenity that was used. I was also embarrassed to translate the detailed knowledge that the commentator had about some of my female relatives’ genitalia.
Time for today’s news. Greece’s eyebrows are going to turn to the Parliament tonight for the vote of confidence of Lucas Papademos’ government. No surprises are expected though as the majority of the three parties that formed the national unity government will vote for it. Some MPs expressed concerns but overall I feel no suspense.
DEI trade unionists outside the Greek Ministry of Health
The Public Power Corporation’s (DEI) trade union, GENOP-DEI, has thrown another symbolic act today. Several trade unionists visited the Ministry of Health in downtown Athens and have cut the electricity supply. They said that the Ministry owes more than 141 million euros to DEI in unpaid electricity bills.
DEI trade unionists cutting the electricity supply at the Ministry of Health
If that looks strange for you, here’s the background. Last September the Greek government announced that the recently decided tax on property would be sent to the citizens through their electricity bills. In that way, paying your electricity and paying the property tax would be connected and if you would deny to pay the latter you would have your electricity supply cut off. That decision was taken despite Mr. Venizelos’ reassurances in June that they wouldn’t use the electricity bills for such a cause. Of course people were furious about it and DEI’s trade union, who were already under governmental and public pressure for a series of accusations and scandals, initially denied to print the bills in question. That rebellious announcement by the union leader Nikos Fotopoulos, which of course wasn’t implemented (I know a lot of people who received their electricity bill together with the new property tax), was followed by today’s show which aims to regain the people’s sympathy towards the trade union. If you want to find out more about the developments in DEI and the trade union’s reaction you can read this. Here’s a short video of today’s show.
Finally, 17 people have been identified for their participation in the events during the cancelled military parade for the Ohi Day, on 28 October. According to the Police, eleven of them come from the far left political spectrum, two from the far right and four have been identified as football fans (probably supporters of the delegated Iraklis F.C. team of Thessaloniki). They will be tried shortly.
Posted in Personal views
Tagged Adonis Georgiades, Athens, blogs, DEI, dictatorship, Evangelos Venizelos, far left, far right, GENOP-DEI, Georgios Papadopoulos, Greece, Iraklis FC, Karolos Papoulias, Loukas Papadimos, Lucas Papademos, Makis Voridis, military junta, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health, national unity government, Nikos Fotopoulos, Ohi Day, Parliament, police, PPC, Thessaloniki, threat, trade union, vote of confidence