Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Greeks Trampled Underfoot in Food Riots

When Greek farmers distributed 55 tons of fruit and vegetables outside the Agriculture Ministry in Athens on February 6th, they meant it as a protest about the fact that they are losing money on what they sell. This is because production costs (water, fertilizer, transport) have all rocketed upwards. The supermarkets are bereft of fresh food because nobody finds it worthwhile to stock them. There is so little money in the country and the economy is so stagnant, that nobody can afford to buy what they produce.
They did not anticipate a hungry mob going on the rampage but that is what happened. People could not take the food fast enough from the stalls and they stormed the nearby lorry. Many were injured as they struggled to get a hand-out of a bag of apples, oranges or potatoes. One man fell, was trampled and suffered head injury. He had to be taken to hospital. A journalist photographing the scene was also injured.
The plight of Greece is pitiful. Prisoners of the euro currency, they are effectively occupied by a foreign power and they are experiencing a shock reversal of the false prosperity they enjoyed when they first went into the EU. Then they enjoyed subsidies. Now they are paying the price in unemployment, huge taxes, huge cuts in pensions and services, and huge increases in the price of electricity, oil and gas. Many people are without heating or lighting since the shock inflation.
If they were allowed to devalue their currency, as Iceland has done, they could eventually find a way out of this economic stranglehold. It would be painful but it would enable them to start exporting again, and attracting tourism. It is the only solution to their problems, and they can't do it because of the EU.
  Those who understand what is going on also know that their democracy has been replaced with dictatorship and their national assets are being signed away to foreign banks. But never mind, they can console themselves with the thought that we have all got Human Rights now! Human Rights EU-style, meaning votes for prisoners and messing up marriage, meanwhile nothing much to eat.


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