Greeks: Fed up with Scandals and Corruption
“They should go …@@@” The insult coming out of my neighbor’s lips is unprintable. Giwrgos has just put aside the Sunday newspaper.
“Every day we read about a new scandal, today I see at least 5” he says as he grabs again the newspaper from the coffee table to show me what he means.
“Corruption, corruption, corruption. That’s all I read and hear. And nobody ever goes to prison”. Giwrgos is real upset now. He spins in his chair, then pops up and walks half around the table, changes direction and heads to balcony fence. He grabs it with both hands till his fingers turn white.
Giwrgos, salesman in a big company, is one of the millions of Greeks facing an uncertain future. His wife lost her job last February. His two children 14 & 16 go to school. He will have to support financially his mother, who suffers under her pension cut.
Giwrgos’s future is black: “My salary is frozen; there are rumors in the company that there will be dismissals”.
Giwrgos sees red: “These …..@@@(another insult) don’t give a dam! Nobody brings the money back, nobody goes to prison!”
“Bring the (stolen) money back!” is the slogan of the days. As scandal over scandal is revealed day by day, millions of ‘”Giwrgos” are getting more and more angry about having to tie their belts, while those, who got their hands in millions of public money, go unpunished.
“We pay and pay and they live like Kings!” If Giwrgos could, he wouldn’t pay a single cent on taxes, he says. “I pay and they live in luxury and buy properties… @@@ (another insult)”
Corruption and ‘sponsorships’ (see: Mantelis case) wasn’t a secret. Theodoros Pangalos, Deputy Prime Minister, said in an interview TO VIMA newspaper:
“When I talked during Simitis government (note: 1996-2004) about corruption, I wasn’t necessarily talking about the corruption of party officials. I saw corruption. I was touching it; in the sense that the victims of corruption would come to see me and protest”.
Mr. Pangalos seems to have known exactly what Greeks had suspected all these years. Pangalos never named the persons involved, never openly spoke. Did Pangalos do anything to hinder corruption? I don’t know…
Corruption in Greece was an open secret. During the last two years of Karamanlis government (2004-2009), Greeks saw with outrage Ministers featuring their high-speed yachts on Facebook, Ministers buying the one luxury property after the other, Ministers enjoy a high life in the ultra expensive restaurants of Athens. Greeks saw Ministers buy properties in the ‘noble’ resorts of Mykonos and Araxova, the sea & mountain resorts of the national Bold & Beautiful.
Governing stopped being a Mission, it became a LifeStyle!
Weekly Proto Thema, in a series we could call “The Ministers’ Properties” reveals the luxury properties owned by former Ministers of Greek Governments, bought in the years when the country was diving deep into debt. The value of the cheapest property, as I read, is at least € 1 million.
Giwrgos has not chance to become a Minister. He will remain a salesman, maybe a jobless salesman with no chance for a descent pension. Giwrgos lives with his family in an 84 square meters flat. He bought it with a loan. If he loses his job, he might lose his home as well.
Greeks’ tolerance grade has touched ZERO. Thirsty Greeks want to see blood (Confiscations) and social justice (Punishment).
Quoting Giwrgos again…. “@@@!”.