Skip to comments.A Different Take on Greek Riots (What's Really Going On)
Posted on 05/07/2010 3:36:40 PM PDT by RightOnline
We've all been watching the video of the Greek riots of late. The coverage, even on Fox News, seems to be clearly implying that the Greek citizenry are angry over upcoming spending cuts due to Greece's horrific financial situation, need for EU bailout monies, etc. In effect, we are being told that this is just a bunch of spoiled brats who are used to sucking off of the public teat and are angry that their cushy pensions, etc. may be cut even slightly.
Well, according to a conversation I had this afternoon, this is anything but the case.
I have a good friend in Massachusetts who is Greek (artist by profession). Born in Greece, parents moved to the U.S. some years ago and are successful restauranteurs. Dual citizenship....Greek, U.S. Their ties to the "home country" are very wide and very deep. They speak Greek around the house and the restaurant...you get the idea.
According to my friend, what is REALLY happening is something completely different from what we're being told, and also explains why Washington is very concerned. I don't claim this to be the gospel truth, I only report to you, my fellow FReepers and lurkers, what I've been told by someone close to the situation whom I trust.
They're fed up. They're fed up with a corrupt, Socialist government. They're fed up with cronyism. They're fed up with rights and freedoms being taken away. They're fed up with watching their national treasure being squandered. They're fed up with the fact that their voices are not being heard and have NOT been heard for years.
Greece is the cradle of Democracy, and they are a fiercely proud people. We've all been led to believe (yes, including me) that they drank the Socialist Kool-Aid and sold their collective soul to the State for a false sense of security.
Instead.....I'm trying to choose my words carefully here......it seems that what we are seeing is something akin to our Tea Party movement, but VERY angry and even violent and not organized. Their citizens are furious. The announced cuts to pensions, etc. were not the 'cause'; merely a straw that broke the camel's back.
IF what my friend says is true, then I will say I have a whole different perspective on what is going on there, and even a new respect for the Greek citizens themselves. No, NO one has the right to torch a bank and kill employees inside. Violence is NOT the answer. That said, I think we can all agree that a citizenry will only take so much before they finally take to the streets.
I'm not Greek and have never set foot in the country. I merely pass this on as (rather impassioned) input from someone I respect and trust and who is very, very close to the reality that is Greece today. If this is closer to the truth, and if the same is inevitable soon in Portugal, Spain, and Italy......could this possibly signal the beginning of the end of European-style Socialism? Is that why Obama & Co. are actually watching events in Greece so closely, possibly concerned that the same could happen here?
Food for thought. I say we give the Greeks the benefit of a doubt, and I encourage the media to dig much deeper and speak with people on the streets there to better understand their anger and frustration. We just may find that we have far more in common with them than we have differences.
Sadly, I don’t believe that.
I think they are rioting because they want more pie!
bump for later read...
I live in the largest Greek neighborhood in North America. Greeks are very defensive about how they are portrayed, so I am not surprised your friend told you this. This is not a protest for LIBERTY, but one for keeping a lifestyle that can't be maintained by a generous welfare state anymore.
I thought the same. That’s the whole point of this post. Maybe, just maybe, we’ve been mislead and there is far more to this.
“...and I encourage the media to dig much deeper...”
Good luck with that!
Right, it makes no sense that a straw that breaks the camels back for tea partiers is cuts to government pensions.
Now,IF the people were marching on the government ,demanding mass resignations and new elections,you might have something.
The relatives/friends I have in MA are all leftwing nutcases. Not saying this is the case with your friend, but the odds are high.
The government and banksters screw up the economy and who has to suffer cutbacks? The people.
You know damn well the elite government officials and the bankers won't sacrifice a damn thing. They'll make the common man, who didn't cause a bit of the problem.
Coming soon to a United States near you.
You’ll notice I didn’t say that this was a protest for “liberty”. What I did say (well, what I’m reporting that I was told) is that they are totally fed up with a heavily Socialist government that has managed to screw up virtually everything they’ve touched. The announced, upcoming cuts are just another symptom (in their eyes) of the government’s incompetence and failure.
Lots of people involved — I don’t know that you can assume uniformity of motive across the whole crowd. Even individuals frequently act from mixed motives.
Perhaps we can find more uploaded by Greeks on Facebook, YouTube and such.
Those outlets blew the legacy press away on Iran’s election and Honduras.
We’re always being mislead. We have to disconnect from traditional news services and be skeptical of everyhting.
The Greek are members of the Teaparty!
True, but what the Greeks want is a more competant, but still generous welfare state. Greece is moreso than any other country illustrative of the Pareto Principle: 20% work their assess off to support the 80% that don’t.
In our discussion, I asked about this...if there is anything resembling a truly organized opposition party; a united voice of the opposition, if you will. Answer...apparently not. You’re seeing a disjointed lashing out of angry citizens. True, there will be some (and NO doubt the media will zero in on them.....sound familiar???) that are whining about having to retire at 55 vs. 53. Does that represent the majority, or the anger in that country? Again, apparently not.
Here’s the Greek reality...you run some gas station in Crete and have cheated a little on your taxes from day one (forty years ago). You also cheated on cigarette taxes...paying only half of what was expected. You cheated on work done on vehicles and just reported half the income.
You did all of that because you had to bribe the telephone guy to fix your phone, the cop to provide protection, the utilities guy to fix your power issue, and the county inspector to overlook your leaking gas tanks.
So here you stand...sixty years old. Your pension guaranteed by the government and you really don’t have much left to throw around. Your bank account has been pretty much cut by thirty percent. They are talking about audits over your taxes paid or missed...so you are worried about what income you do have in the bank. And you keep wondering how this whole mess will come to an end.
I’ve spent two vacations in Greece. It’s a great place and it’s safe. But you can’t find a single guy who works forty hours a week. You can’t find any business that does legit taxes. You can’t find any business man who reports his true income. The whole country is like Mexico, but without the drug cartel.
This is crappola.
From what I read 50 percent of Greece’s GDP goes to pay govt. employees and pensions.
Ain’t socialism great?
Except that it’s the Communist Party of Greece that is organizing this.
Perhaps, but how many benefit eligible members of the Tea Party movement would react favorably to a plan to reduce or eliminate the Social Security or Medicare entitlements in favor of more affordable benefits (e.g. limiting Social Security and Medicare spending to dedicated taxes raised).
This is the great dilemma of our time. Even the well intentioned and patriotic have been co-opted by the welfare state. And resolving this is not going to be easy or pretty.
“according to my friend”
Now that’s a good reference right there !!!
Greeks have a proud heritage, and are proud of their country and their fellow citizens.
They stood up to the Turks who conquered Byzantium, and they finally threw them off in the nineteenth century.
But ancient Athens, the mother of civilization, had the same virus as modern Greece—mass Democracy that turned into the desire for welfare benefits.
During the war, the Nazis overran Greece, and as in other European countries the Communists pretty much took over the resistence. There was a strong strain of Communism in Greece, Italy, and France. They very nearly took over those countries, and they have undermined them since direct action failed.
Early retirement, short work hours, generous benefits—they want more and more and more. And the various governments have accomodated these wishes in order to get into power.
Now the chickens are coming home to roost.
I bet you your friends name is Kennediopoulos.
Again, just passing on what this person (and family) tell me. They aren’t Socialists nor hard core right wingers. They’re hard working Greek-Americans who are highly upset with what is going on in their country. No doubt there are many there who fit your description (just as we have here...in growing numbers). I’m merely saying (reporting?) that this is NOT the core reason for the anger amongst the majority in Greece. This has apparently been building for YEARS.
YES WE ARE!
Your friend is correct and I believe it won’t be long before we may see that happen here.
Glenn Beck has been talking about how a lot of the riots are being done by unions and special interest groups (who want the socialism)
Here is some of what he’s said re: Greece:
Greece: Economists are now saying that the U.S. is actually in worse shape than Greece is.
Have you seen what’s going on in Greece? They are bankrupt. Overall debt was 113.4 percent of GDP. Hmm, out-of-control debt and deficits plus no slowdown in government spending; where have I heard that before?
Their weak finances are threatening the EU and the EU just punished Greece by stripping them of their right to vote at critical meeting next month. Greece is the cradle of democracy. It means Greece has no more sovereignty in the EU. California you’d better pay attention.
We’re doing the same things. And did you see Great Britain is dealing with “unexpected” inflation?
Oh Glenn, that could never happen here in America!
Really? How did Great Britain get to this point? Let’s see:
They socialized their medicine. We’re following their lead on that one
They pushed the risky mortgages. We followed their lead on that one too
They took over the banks. We followed their lead on that one with TARP
They printed more money. We followed on that one too
And now they have inflation? Guess who’s also going to be following that one?
And here’s his latest on Greece...http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/40019/
I meant, your friend is NOT correct.
Oh give me a break, pal. It’s anecdotal, I went way out of my way to say as much. It’s offered as a perspective of real Greeks that runs contrary to what the media is spoon-feeding us.
Now drop your sarcasm. I don’t appreciate it.
Moreover, it is not at all clear what goals the reformist protesters have. Less corruption? More political turnover? More freedom? Or is the primary objection simply that harsh austerity is now unavoidable?
lol socialism works for greece like in cali
Greece has had elections for years. The Greeks got what they voted for. We are getting the same.
There are two major political parties in Greece, the left and the ultra left; the Greek citizenry wouldn’t have it any other way. Like a lot of other Europeans, the industrious Greeks have migrated to other countries.
Well-said, great questions. I think a lot of their problem seems to be a lack of a viable, cohesive opposition with a REAL plan....and a commitment to non-violent opposition, I hasten to add.
I asked about that, too....a lot. Let’s just say that what I was told is that, well, the consequences of elections there (really, who is elected vs. who is appointed) are vastly different than here in the U.S.
Let's not forget the Spartans. They seemed very socialist, and they knew how to fight!
Your friends may NOT represent Greeks at "home",because ,first of all,they left "home" for better oportunities,and secondly,obviously work hard(anyone who runs an eatery works hard or it goes out of business).
People who leave the "old country" for America's opportunities, yet forever wax eloquent regarding the many ways the "old country" is so great ,annoy me,especially if they wish or want the U.S. to change to be more like the "old country".
I had a supervisor from Europe often criticizing U.S. roads,politics,and business practices;yet when asked why he came here,it was for jobs for him and his sons!Finally,whenever he launched into another lecture why the U.S. should change to conform to his homeland,I would point east and say"it's about 3,000 miles that way".
re: Oh give me a break, pal. Its anecdotal,
just stirring the fire.
if this continues.....the domino will be here...
M.A.D. .....coming to our country soon ???
It tends to be the case that rioting in the streets throughout the world is restricted to a certain ‘type’ or class of person. The left, one might say. While they riot, the rest of the citizenry sits at home, fat and happy, or unhappy.
When the Tea Party assembled in cities across the US, or on the two occasions they came to the Capitol, there was no rioting.
Wrong characterization in this case. I think we’ve all experienced such people in life (”gee, my country has it ALL right and you Americans are so screwed up on A or B or C....”). Not the case here; no idealistic or romantic view of the ol’ home country. I’ve heard FAR more criticism of “the home country” than I’ve ever heard praise. That’s why the conversation today really got my attention. They are constantly in touch with family and friends back home. Again, just reporting here what I was told. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if the media have this all screwed up. Guess time will tell.
Further,I personally abhor "dual citizenship";it only ensures divided loyalties.
Exactly. I pointed this out to my friend, as well. What they really need is a Tea Party movement of their own: pretty organized, based upon strong core beliefs, and committed to good behavior and non-violence.
Clearly a lot of the rock & bottle throwers in Greece are anarchists, leftists, troublemakers, etc. However, they don’t represent the REAL reasons Greeks are so angry with their government.
Hint: I don’t speak Greek. Answer your ‘question’?
The common man always wants a bit better deal, and is usually willing to vote for someone who will give him more for less. It is human nature that is at fault. The United States Constitution was crafted with checks and balances in place to prevent this tendency from creating the current conditions.
The left has worked for decades to weaken and break those chains, and have made great progress in doing so.
Intimating that TEA Party people have much in common with rioting communists is a stretch.
Many foreigners assume,correctly,that few Americans know anything other than English.And if you are an American who does understand the visitors' language it can be very revealing if you do NOT let them know it.
Now, I'm not coming down particularly on the Greeks, but the "common man" here in the United States is now nearly 50% on the public dole in one way or another.
Yourself excepted of course, but most of our "common man" folks on the street are more and more these spoiled brats who vote only based on what's in it for them, hat in hand, gimme, gimme, gimme.
Let's not kid ourselves about the root cause of the problem, politicians do only what they need to be re-elected, it's the "common man" who keeps voting for the politician who promises them the most pie.