Sucking the marrow from the bones of Greece

The Greek economic crisis showcases how quickly a nation’s assets can be broken down and sold.  The New  York Times gives scary insight into the plans to make Greece the retirement community of continental Europe among other big changes under foot.  Russell Shorto’s essay gives some time to those with and without money to describe the impact the economic changes have on their life.

Not only are the national assets being traded off for debt reduction (or deferment) deals, but the citizens are being squeezed for more tolls and tariffs. What I appreciate is the circumvention of even rich citizens, who can view the whole scheme for what it is.  Ripping off impoverished citizens to pay the interest on old national debt.

“Watch it! Watch out!” Paul Evmorfidis was driving up to a toll plaza on the main road from Athens to Thebes. He slowed down as he came to the toll arm blocking the road, but he was not paying the toll and, to my alarm, was not stopping. “I’m showing you something,” he said. He reached out his window, shoved the toll arm up out of the way and drove off as an alarm shrieked behind us. “This is what we do here — everybody who lives around here.” As the Greek government adds new taxes and surcharges onto its citizens, they respond with protest or evasion. After the government announced that there would be an additional 2010 income tax — in effect, retaxing that year’s income — people refused to pay, whereupon the government tacked a new property tax onto electricity bills, which you could elude only at the cost of having the power cut. Likewise, the toll plaza was installed to raise money. The toll was about $3. “The problem is if you live around here, you have to go down this road maybe five times a day,” Evmorfidis said. “Crazy! What kind of planning is that? So we protest.”

via The Way Greeks Live Now – NYTimes.com.

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Filed under capitalism, colonialism, protest, resistance, Surveillance

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