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This is not to be taken as denial of the appallingly callous and plain wrong attitude of the Eurozone and EU to Greece, but is there not a better source on the problems faced by Greek society today than the serially mendacious Europhobic propaganda rag Daily Mail?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Mar 18th, 2012 at 04:59:57 AM EST
Greece on the breadline: HIV and malaria make a comeback | World news | The Guardian

The incidence of HIV/Aids among intravenous drug users in central Athens soared by 1,250% in the first 10 months of 2011 compared with the same period the previous year, according to the head of Médecins sans Frontières Greece, while malaria is becoming endemic in the south for the first time since the rule of the colonels, which ended in the 1970s.

Reveka Papadopoulos said that following health service cuts, including heavy job losses and a 40% reduction in funding for hospitals, Greek social services were "under very severe strain, if not in a state of breakdown. What we are seeing are very clear indicators of a system that cannot cope". The heavy, horizontal and "blind" budget cuts coincided last year with a 24% increase in demand for hospital services, she said, "largely because people could simply no longer afford private healthcare. The entire system is deteriorating".

..."There has also been a sharp increase in cases of tuberculosis in the immigrant population, cases of Nile fever - leading to 35 deaths in 2010 - and the reappearance of endemic malaria in several parts of Greece."

According to Papadopoulos, such sharp increases in communicable diseases are indicative of a system nearing breakdown. "The simple fact of the reappearance of malaria, with 100-odd cases in southern Greece last year and 20 to 30 more elsewhere, shows barriers to healthcare access have risen," she said.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 18th, 2012 at 06:00:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Talos, I am sure, can tell you anecdotal stories which are much more persuasive. I know I hear them from relatives.
by Upstate NY on Mon Mar 19th, 2012 at 09:31:20 AM EST
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Actually the malaria thing is overblown, and very likely not related to the deterioration of Greece's health system. Cases have been occurring in a heavily irrigated part of the S.Peloponnese among immigrants who had previous exposure to malaria. The AIDS thing though is serious, and almost certainly due to the demise of needle exchange programs and a crisis-driven increase in prostitution.

But yes stories are plentiful. I have seen whole wards, maybe 35 beds in a public hospital, serviced by a single nurse. A nurse that has lost perhaps 40% of her income in a year and a half at that....

On the brighter side: There is at least one hospital BTW in Northern Greece that is occupied and self-managed by its staff, on a voluntary basis.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Mon Mar 19th, 2012 at 10:00:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Try The Exile:


Greeks are not in the mood for insult on injury. Everywhere you turn you see signs of a country in collapse. On the day I arrived, a state mortgage agency had just closed around the corner from my hostel, and an employee was threatening to jump from the top floor, screaming about losing her insurance and being unable to care for a sick child. A couple days later, thieves waltzed into the Olympia Museum in broad daylight and stole dozens of ancient artifacts. The Minister of Culture offered to resign, but nobody cares anymore about the Minister of Culture.

Walk around Athens with a local, and within a few minutes they'll point at something and say, "That's new -- you never used to see that before." Usually it's a sight Americans have long grown inured to, but in Greece still causes pain and wonder. Like an old woman rummaging through garbage for food. Often these "That's new" moments are the spark behind the new forms of mutual aid and self-organization spreading throughout Greek society. This was the case of a 47-year-old former Internet marketer that I met one afternoon named Kostas Polychronopoulus. I found him in a downtown park called Klafthmonos, or Square of Tears, while he was giving away food to the newly hungry.

In December, Polychronopoulus had been unemployed for more than a year when he came upon two young Greek boys fighting over scraps of rotten food in a garbage can. The sight was too much for him. He went home and made ten sandwiches and tried to hand them out in the streets. He discovered that hungry people were often too ashamed to accept the handouts, so he got some friends together and started cooking communal meals on the streets. Slowly, people began to gather and join. Now he cooks almost every day in different places around city, including overcrowded refugee centers. His kitchen is part of a widening network of street aid institutions.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 19th, 2012 at 09:46:41 AM EST
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This is a really good report BTW, talking to "real" black-blockers and relaying the perspective of the "no future" generation and the radicalized youth...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Mon Mar 19th, 2012 at 10:03:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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