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Wave of Violence: Riots Throw Greece into Deep Democratic Crisis - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
A blonde-haired woman in her mid-thirties stands amidst the thick fog of tear gas and wafts of smoke rising from a few burning trash bags. She's wearing a pant suit and carries folders under her arms. She's talking to a young Black Bloc protester wearing a Quicksilver sweatshirt of the same color, Adidas tennis shoes and a Nike backpack. He's got stones in his hands.

The two seem enthusiastic as they chat to each other, smiling and cracking jokes. Perhaps they're related. At the same time, the mates of a rioter standing next to him are busy ripping apart the sidewalk. The woman says goodbye, kissing both of his cheeks, before gracefully tottering away. Then one of the rioters turns around, picks up a large rock and throws it down into the street where the police are standing.

It's the daily dose of anarchy in Athens, that entered into its fifth day on Wednesday.

The Greek riots are a textbook example of how deep a country can sink if it lacks democracy's most important element, the support and acceptance of its people. The scales of democracy have tipped here, and one inevitably gets the impression these days that there are few left who still trust the government to find the right path. Their experiences with its scandals, cronyism and corruption are too deeply seated. And it is in their unanimous rejection of the elite that both business people and the Black Bloc anarchists have found common ground.




*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Dec 11th, 2008 at 03:20:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A neat touch pointing to the consumerism inherent in youth expression that contradicts their expressed political philosophy. And yet it seemed unnecessarily dismissive, because the last paragraph really underlines the fact that the faultline in the political process lies elsewhere.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 11th, 2008 at 04:59:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
????? Do you misread that woman with shopping bag as a rioter?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Dec 11th, 2008 at 05:19:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I took her to mean the kid's wearing of brand-name crap (the fact that it is just as likely to be fake fashion doesn't necessarily invalidate her point).

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Dec 12th, 2008 at 04:30:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]

In Greece, Protests Echo European Students' Ire

Thousands of students were joined by striking workers in a fifth day of protests in Greece, an uprising that mirrors growing discontent among youths in many European countries over outdated education systems, lack of jobs and a general apprehension about the future.

From Rome to Berlin to Madrid, young people graduate from university much later than their peers in Northern Europe, the U.S. or U.K. When they do, they struggle to find long-term jobs with social-security benefits.

In Germany, many young people -- including large numbers of university graduates -- have struggled in recent years to find employment that pays a full wage. Instead, they have found themselves working as interns for no or low pay for long periods. German media have dubbed such economically insecure young people "Generation Intern."

In Spain, a generation of young people is entering the workplace with few benefits or protections, often moving between temporary contracts so that employers can avoid the country's onerous employment laws. The media have dubbed them "mileuristas" -- loosely, those who scrape by on a thousand euros a month. In Greece, this same group has been dubbed "Generation 600" -- referring to the country's national minimum wage of €600 (about $776) a month.

LOL In the UK and US you don't "struggle to find long-term jobs with social-security benefits" because these benefits don't even exist...

I find it fascinating that the consequences of Anglo Disease (inequality and precarity) are blamed on European rigidity...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 12th, 2008 at 02:57:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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