It may seem paradoxical, but Greece’s anarchists are organizing like never before.Seven years of austerity policies and a more recent refugee crisis have left the government with fewer and fewer resources, offering citizens less and less. Many have lost faith. Some who never had faith in the first place are taking matters into their own hands, to the chagrin of the authorities.Tasos Sagris, a 45-year-old member of the Greek anarchist group Void Network and of the “self-organized” Embros theater group, has been at the forefront of a resurgence of social activism that is effectively filling a void in governance.“People trust us because we don’t use the people as customers or voters,” Mr. Sagris said. “Every failure of the system proves the idea of the anarchists to be true.”
Tag Archives: Greece
On July 7, I received a message on Facebook.My name Mouaz Khrayba of Daraa, Syria I am 20 years old It is now in the Greek island of Samos My brother was one of the journalists of the events in SyriaI dream to be wellMouaz Khrayba, who had been put in touch with me by a mutual acquaintance, had attached photos of refugees protesting in front of barbed-wire fences on Samos. Many of them held signs, one of which asked simply: what is our destiny?In 2011, I came to learn, Khrayba lived with his family in Nawa, a small city in Syria’s Daraa Governorate. His mother was a teacher, and he grew up one of eight children in a happy home. Opposite their house was a garden with fruit trees and vegetables. Things took a turn during the protests that triggered the Syrian Civil War. The government repeatedly arrested his brother, Zahar, who worked as a media activist and protest organizer. In the armed uprising that followed, their family home was shelled and burned, and Zahar joined a Free Syrian Army battalion. He died of shrapnel wounds covering a battle in Nafaa. Khrayba’s father also lost his life during the war.
Mass beheadings, public throat-cutting, eye-gouging, the chopping up of corpses, torture and mass executions into open graves. Professional butchers employed to decapitate victims. Remind you of anything? No, not the cruelty of Isis, the cult which the US Joint Chiefs of Staff labelled “apocalyptic” only a couple of years ago – and with whom Donald Trump now thinks he is at war.
No, think instead of those nice, relaxed, laid-back, ouzo-drinking, euro-spending Greeks. The years between 1944 and 1949 were enough to curdle anyone’s blood in the land where European civilisation supposedly began, and a new study of that frightful extermination in Greece reads like a template of Syria, Iraq and all the other landscapes stained with the blood of Isis’s victims.
We weren’t expecting to be here very long,” Ayhan, a 28-year-old from Afrin, Syria, says, as she sits with her husband, Hozan, on a porch made of wood pallets outside their modest tent in the Nea Kavala refugee camp in northern Greece.
“I only have two changes of clothes,” she continues, pouring coffee into a row of baby-food tins that have been repurposed as coffee cups for impromptu guests. “What I’m wearing right now, and what I wore when I crossed the sea in February.”
Eigentlich wollte der linke griechische Ministerpräsident Alexis Tsipras alles anders machen als seine Vorgänger: Die untere Mittelschicht und die Ärmsten im Lande stärken, Flüchtlingen und Migranten zur Seite stehen, Transparenz schaffen und Vetternwirtschaft eindämmen. All das versprach der Hoffnungsträger der Linken schon als Opposition und dann auch als Staatsoberhaupt – stets mit der „Sprache der Wahrheit“, wie er immer wieder gerne betont.
Rispondere alle crisi umanitarie con polizia, ruspe, manganelli e gas lacrimogeni sembra essere diventata la norma in Europa. Sarebbero dovute arrivare delegazioni di avvocati, medici, psicologi, operatori umanitari per ricollocare i profughi che da mesi vivevano accampati al confine tra Grecia e Macedonia, invece hanno mandato migliaia di poliziotti in tenuta antisommossa, all’alba, per sgomberare le famiglie che erano in attesa di riprendere il loro viaggio o di trovare una sistemazione. Dove fallisce la politica, arriva l’ordine pubblico.
I don’t want to spoil the party mood after Monday’s meeting of eurozone finance ministers, but I firmly believe that if Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had just deigned to wear a tie and negotiated normally, without being led by delusions and opportunism and in a less amateur manner, he would have secured a much better deal from creditors in January 2015.
The conditions at the time were ripe for it. The country’s creditors were favorably inclined to reach an agreement with the new government. The ordeals Greece has been put through since – the imposition of capital controls, the destruction of the banks after their first recapitalization and all the rest of it – were quite unnecessary.
In his tiny shop in downtown Athens, Kostis Nakos sits behind a wooden counter hunched over his German calculator. The 71-year-old might have retired had he been able to make ends meets but that is now simply impossible. “All day I’ve been sitting here doing the maths,” he sighs, surrounded by the undergarments and socks he has sold for the past four decades.
“My income tax has just gone up to 29%, my social security payments have gone up 20%, my pension has been cut by 50 euros; they are taxing coffee, fuel, the internet, tavernas, ferries, everything they can, and then there’s Enfia [the country’s much-loathed property levy]. Now that makes me mad. They said they would take that away!”
Gotta book a ticket to Lesbos, my bureau chief says it can’t wait any longer. It’s April 2015 and a ship carrying 400 migrants from the island of Lesbos had docked the previous day at the port of Piraeus. Something is happening in Lesbos and I have to check it out immediately.
La frontière entre la Grèce et la Turquie ferme officiellement dimanche soir, tant pour les immigrés économiques que pour les demandeurs d’asile. Tous ceux qui arrivent dans les îles grecques sont désormais censés être renvoyés manu militari vers les côtes turques, en vertu de l’accord conclu vendredi entre l’Union européenne et Ankara, accord qui met fin au droit d’asile en Europe, au moins temporairement. Mais ça, c’est la théorie.