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The Mountain of Flowers that stirs Greece in crisis

“Bouzoukia” is a magic word in the real Greek world. It is the epitome of the Greek entertainment culture. The Live Clubbing, the “stage” where Greeks go in the middle of the night and have fun under the sound of bouzouki. And where at least one “big name” of a popular singer carries away hundreds of his fans to express out loud and sing out their Greek “kapsoura”, the rejected burning love.

The audience expresses its pleasure by throwing trays of flowers to the singer. A custom that had replaced the once popular custom of smashing plates to express joy and the nirvana in Greek bouzoukia heaven.

Now, a picture was uploaded on internet a couple of days ago and stirred Greece. Upcoming “big name”, singer Pantelis Pantelidis was giving a performance in a bouzoukia stage in Thessaloniki in Northern Greece.


The picture showed the performed almost ‘buried’ under a mountain of flowers. Greeks in crisis were shocked. Eternally shocked. With one question in their lips: How much money was spent for flowers for Pantelidis?

Television channels and electronic newspapers, blogs and sites picked up the issue, the social media got fire. The Flowers of Evil became hot trend.

The comments on mainstream, non-mainstream and social media were in their majority negative.

Some zealous reporters made their research to find out that the cost the Greeks having fun spent for flowers on that night alone was some 90,000 euro. some others, added the cost for the drinks and came up with 110,000 euro. A total of 200,000 euro spent and consumed for a single night. All the flowers to Pantelidis with Love.

Then, the media focused on the social aspect of the lavish expenditure: “200,000 euro equals a month’s salary for 340 employees” in Greece of the crisis and other nice tearful aspects like how many poor families could come along with this amount of money or how many low-pensioners.

Some people called for the financial Crimes units (SDOE) to check the club management had issued a receipt for each and every carnation thrown to the feet of Pantelidis, others called for strict taxation control, even of those who bought the flowers trays. Many noted that “God help us if the creditors see this picture.”

The issue became out of control, was described “as the ultimate provocation and show-off and thus in times of economic crisis. Never before flowers became victim of such intimidation, in Greece or elsewhere.

The club where Pantelidis gave the performance issued a press release, claiming that “it is a custom to throw all flowers available to the singer at the end of the evening because otherwise they would land in the landfill.”

But yes. There are Greeks who have money to spend at bouzoukia and Pantelidis feet, despite the crisis. And yes. There are Greeks who prefer to buy trays of flowers and throw it at their favorite singer than paying taxes.

It has always been like that. But these happenings were and still are taking place secretly. Without pictures.

PS hope the creditors won’t read this post and raise Value Added Tax for carnations to 30%.





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  1. Giaourti Giaourtaki

    A fine of 10.000 for every home grown flower

  2. Hmm. I don’t know. It is a clear sociological pattern — worldwide — that societies in times of shortage try to hide the reality with their excesses; while those with enough (even, too much), do the opposite and become penny-pinching. Profligacy for the poor, and parsimony for the rich. It is counterintuitive — but human beings are like that.