Greece: Samaras Rules Out Relief As Schools Prepare to Open Without Electricity

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the 23 August 2012 broadcast.

By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart

– Samaras meets Juncker – Greek PM Antonis Samaras and Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the Eurogroup and of Luxembourg, gave a press conference on Thursday after their meeting. Samaras proudly welcomed Juncker, whom he called his ‘personal friend’ and a ‘true friend of Greece’.

Samaras, who is personally untouched by the economic crisis, urged the Greek people to take courage and stoically accept more painful austerity measures. He wore his best ‘sympathetic’ face for the occasion as he ruled out the possibility of a two-year extension and a new ‘‘haircut’’ on Greek debt.

Juncker, referring to rumors of a Greek exit from the euros stated firmly that he was opposed to such a scenario. He said it would not only be bad for Greece, but for the Eurozone as a whole. “It’s your last chance,” Juncker warned. He concluded his statements by saying, “The ball is in Greece’s court.” As if the Troika were not calling all the shots.

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– On Thursday, the Corinth Anti-Racist Initiative held a rally to denounce the ‘literally overnight’ conversion of Camp Corinth into a concentration camp where 400 immigrants are currently imprisoned.

Riot police from the Peloponnese and Attica have formed a line at the gate of the camp. Demonstrators have assembled at the site, protesting against the immigrant detention settlement.

The Anti-Racist Initiative made the following statement:

We denounce the racist “Xenios Zeus” program that began today in our city and we want to make ourselves clear:

NO PRISON CAMP ANYWHERE. EVER. We refuse to relive the horrors of fascism. It is convenient for the racists to eat each other and blame each. We say NO! to social cannibalism. FIGHT POVERTY, NOT THE DESTITUTE!” 

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– In Greece, the school year will begin with a nationwide teachers’ strike. On September 12 all Greek teachers are called to action.

Komninos Mantas, president of the country’s primary teachers’ union (DOE) described the reason for the strike:

“Schools should have what is necessary to enable them to operate. There is a serious problem at the moment with the costs of schools which cannot be covered, as schools owe huge amounts. Several schools will even start the school year without electricity.”

Somehow, the Troika remains willfully blind to the catastrophe they are orchestrating in Greece.

A June TES UK article entitled Teaching in a climate of despair paints a bleak picture of the devastating effects the economic crisis has had on Greek schools, children, and their teachers. From nurseries to universities, no one is spared:

How would you feel if your salary had already been halved in the past two years and was continuing to drop every time you opened your pay packet?

Could you work in a country where protesting primary teachers are chased and beaten by the police and many pupils no longer see any point in studying?

A place where some teachers struggle to afford to feed their own children, and all have endured massive cuts in their pensions and free health care. Somewhere where pupils have fainted in class from hunger and schools have shut for days at a time because no one can afford the heating.

Could you teach in a school where textbooks arrive months late, if at all, and you have to bring in your own paper? How would you react if the national education budget had been slashed, more than 1,000 schools closed and teacher numbers were being deliberately run down – with 30,000, or nearly one in five, posts being cut? Could you handle teaching in a country where youth unemployment was nearly 50 per cent and hope was rapidly running out?

This is not some fictional nightmare, a disaster in the developing world, nor a grim vision from history. This is Greece in 2012. […]

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– Piraeus pharmacists held a 24-hour strike on Thursday to protest the failure of the National Health Service to allocate an operational budget. Pharmacists’ wages have been dramatically cut and supplies are dwindling, with no money to keep necessary medicines in stock.

On Saturday, a general meeting of the Panhellenic Pharmaceutical Association (PFS) will convene to assess the emerging catastrophe. Many are bracing for a nationwide suspension of credit to EOPYY, the National Organization for Healthcare Provision, beginning on Saturday, September 1, due to the fund’s debts.

edathimerini.com reports:

Pharmacies in 14 prefectures of Greece are refusing to provide medicines on credit to customers insured with the National Organization for Healthcare Provision (EOPYY) due to the fund’s debts.

EOPYY owes 117 million euros for prescriptions in May and another 145 million for drugs provided in June.

Pharmacists from Thessaloniki, Imathia, Pieria, Halkidiki and Kilkis joined the boycott on Thursday, saying that they will be forced to close if EOPYY fails to settle its bills.

Customers in these areas will have to pay for the drugs themselves until the matter is settled.

The Panhellenic Pharmaceutical Association is due to meet on August 25 to decide whether to take nationwide action.

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Greek PM Antonis Samaras was interviewed by the French daily Le Monde in an article entitled, “Greece is ready to sell its uninhabited islands.”

In the interview, “real estate broker” Samaras specifically says:

“On condition that it doesn’t pose a national security problem, some of the isles could be used commercially,” Samaras was quoted by the newspaper. “It would not be a case of getting rid of the isles, but of transforming unused terrain into capital that can generate revenue, for a fair price.”

Contradictions from government sources have emerged. They claim the reference to the islets in Samaras’s interview are uninhabited islands and will NOT be sold.

Who to believe? The liar or the thief?

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The wildfires on the island of Chios are raging for a sixth consecutive day, mainly in the center of the island. The fire, which erupted at dawn on Saturday, has caused a huge ecological disaster, having already burned thousands of acres of pine and mastic forests.

RELATED POST: “The Future is Present” by Yiannis Makridakishttp://99getsmart.com/?p=4600

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StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece on weeknights at 6pm Athens time @ http://www.livestream.com/stopcarteltvgr