Afrodity Giannakis

“I wish I could leave Greece. I can’t go on living here. I work very long hours and live more frugally than ever, but I still can’t pay the bills, the income tax or the other taxes like the property poll tax.

“My tax debt keeps building up. I’ll end up losing my home. They are stealing our homes and they are not communists. And people are getting sadder and madder every day. I can’t go on like this.”

In yet another parliamentary coup, new austerity measures were passed through parliament, albeit by a narrow majority, on March 30.

The bill contained three articles, which seem to give the final blow to the remaining worker and pension rights, the country’s economy and public ownership of land and services.

As the bill was passed, protesters outside parliament were beaten, tear-gassed and detained by special police squads.

Working people in Greece are facing increasingly attacks on their living standards and civil liberties. The radical left coalition SYRIZA came close to winning government in June elections on an anti-austerity program, but fascist forces are also growing out of the despair. Afrodity Giannakis, a member of the International Workers' Left (DEA), which is part of SYRIZA, spoke to Green Left Weekly's Stuart Munckton about the situation.

* * *

Insidious war
civil war
to the accompaniment
of patriotic
really unrelenting
honourable members of society
in paranoid march
socialisation savagely civilising
national hypnosis
general narcosis
lest we feel the mines
secretly scattered around
by wretched powerful creatures
who with vacant gaze
and tight jaws
injure the truth
in guileless eyes unsettled
in broad limelight
they carry around
their deaf dead bodies
smartly disguised
with immaculate clothes
flashing spouses
palace-like houses
their filthiest linen
in grand pits they flush

The Greek right-wing New Democracy(ND) party won the June 17 elections by a narrow margin, getting 29.7% of the vote. Left-wing Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) came second with 26.9% on a clear platform of opposing the savage austerity measures imposed on Greece.

ND’s dubious victory was largely achieved through blackmail and mud-slinging against SYRIZA ― as well as promises to negotiate the harsh memorandum measures if it was elected.

To the great relief of the big financial institutions and European powers, the right-wing New Democracy party narrowly came first with more than 29% of the vote in Greece's June 17 elections. However, the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) won nearly 27% on a platform of clearly rejecting the savage austerity policies forced on Greece's people in a bid to make them pay for the financial crisis caused by big banks.


Rivers don’t interrupt their flow
at national borders.
Mountain ranges don’t answer to their names
in different languages.
The air is not confined within the limits
of national air space.
The waves don’t stay still
to preserve their nationality.
Birds don’t need a passport
to migrate.
Souls don’t carry identity cards
to be certified.

And humans live in their parallel world.
But that’s a different history…


Your smile
a mask of despair
from an ancient tragedy.
Your look

On the eve of the June 17, 2012 elections in Greece, Green Left correspondent Afrodity Giannakis reports from Thessalonika, on the hopes and fears of a people being forced to bear the burden for a global capitalist economic crisis built on the greed, speculation and corruption of the rich and powerful minority.

The people of Greece will go to the polls on May 6 to replace the unelected government of Prime Minister Lucas Papademos imposed by the Greek and European elites on November 10.

The imposed government was a three-party coalition, consisting of the social-democratic Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), traditional right-wing New Democracy (ND) and extreme-right Popular Orthodox Alert (LAOS). LAOS left the government in February.

“The Tsolakoglou Occupation government has literally crushed my prospects for survival, so far based on a decent pension, which I alone (without supplementation from the State) financed over 35 years.”

That was how the suicide note left by 77-year-old retired pharmacist Dimitris Christoulas began. It likened the current government to the collaborationist regime during the German occupation in World War II, led by Georgios Tsolakoglou. He was arrested and tried for his role.


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