Have a watch of this very quick video from a young person about Greek austerity and then come back for my analysis towards the end of this post.
Why did I walk today to show solidarity with Greece/ Why did I march to the call of From Scotland To Greece – No Justice No Peace? My solidarity with Greece comes from many sources – too many to mention but I will have a wee go.
My solidarity is to do with the colleagues I have worked with over the years whether it be the very nice Greek student who I am currently supporting to carry out innovative research in Scotland, my incredibly supportive Greek friend Kristina who I work with on a daily basis, Kristina’s parents who warmly invited us into their home when we visited Greece last year, the various partners we have collaborated with over the years whilst working on EU projects aimed at promoting children’s rights, inclusion and innovation or my Scots friends who have close links with Greece.
I’ve lots of reasons to so very personally feel the injustice that is being inflicted on the Greek people.
The most personal reason of all for offering my solidarity comes from owing a great debt to a Greek surgeon who recently carried out a very serious operation on my son at the Sick Children’s Hospital in Edinburgh – which had the potential for life limiting and ending consequences.
Yes, Mr Farrage and Mr Cameron are you listening? – we entrusted this very warm-hearted and generous man from Greece with our precious loved one’s future and he not only returned him safely to us but treated all of us with the utmost compassion, kindness and respect. Yet, people like this surgeon are unlikely to be allowed to vote in the coming UK referendum on the EU – that’s outrageous.
If this ‘world leading’ surgeon hadn’t left Greece then my sons outcome may have been so very different. Migration, in our case, has had a positive impact on our family. Yet, I am aware that if migration and austerity are also having negative consequences on the health service in Greece e.g. I have great concerns that Greek children now struggle to access the type of high quality acute health care that my family have just experienced.
Walking two miles with SYRIZA Scotland from the EU Commission at Alva Street Edinburgh to the Parliament was, I felt, the least I could do to show my deepest support for the Greek people and their nation that is under attack by technocrats.
I walked for the pensioners of Greece, the sick who can’t get access to medication, the small business owners who struggle for income and the children who’s families have been torn apart by the stress that austerity has placed on them.
Just as last year at the referendum in Scotland we campaigned for the pensioners, the disabled, the young mothers, etc. – we marched today to show solidarity with the Greek people who are so severely experiencing austerity. Indeed, it was fitting that I bumped into many of my friends from the Yes Marchmont group on today’s march.
We chatted, as we walked, about the similarities in the media treatment of Greece and Scotland. Oil scares, pension scares, food scares. It’s as if the architects of project fear have just dusted off the Scottish referendum project fear plan and handed it to Merkel, etc..
Whilst I was trying to find todays march I mixed up my Alva Places with my Alva Streets (different ends of town). I checked my directions with a cab driver who commented that the German government needs to remember the Marshall plan – the support and debt right off given after the 2nd World War.
Edinburgh cab drivers are great at summing up world events in one sentence. They were also, from my experience of leafleting taxi ranks, very supportive in last year’s referendum.
My awareness of the situation in Greece comes from many sources but one source sticks in my mind. Last year, I volunteered to carry out a very small advisory role supporting Caged Beastie (a creative media organisation) and the Commissioner for Children and Young People’s office to develop a creative video project on young people’s experiences of austerity across Europe. The project was carried out in collaboration with ENOC the EU network of Commissioners and culminated in a series of videos about young people’s experiences of poverty.
The Greek video is very telling about the major impact of the crisis on young people – you can see it here. In the video a young person shows us that many of his friends have left Greece because of the crisis, he is witnessed sending lots of postcards and the video indicates a sense of loneliness.
The music in the video is played by the young person himself on a piano and his wonderful ability adds to the emotion. The video ends with the simple message, ‘I miss you’.
The video is a ‘must watch’ of roughly 2 minutes – one minute for each of the miles walked in solidarity with the Greek people today. The irony of the video was not lost on me. In this case migration is not good for this young person – some would argue that Greeks have often been displaced in their history whether it be because of: wars, economic crisis, political conflict or earthquakes. The problem about this earthquake is that it is imposed on pensioners and families by technocrats in the EU, ECB, IMF, – a class, an elite, a set of parasites, etc.
Actors with in international finance have sought to bully Greece into submission or #Grexit. We will all miss the Greek people if they exit the Euro and possibly the EU. Merkel et.al. need to beware of what they wish for.
We need to do something about pensioners v technocrats across the EU and internationally. The USA seem to have worked that out and earlier in the week put pressure on the technocrats – but has it come too late?
Thinking of the EU – Anyone notice it’s the 4th of July today – the day that reveals more about inequality to Americans than any other day? Or, the day that most brings people together? Let’s hope it brought the Greek people together to oppose austerity – ‘happy 4th of July ye all’….