The sudden but not really unexpected death of Metropolitan Community Center providing medical help to thousands of uninsured Greeks and foreigners and thus free of charge. Helliniko SA has sent an eviction notice urging the Clinic volunteers to have evacuated the premises by 30. June 2018. What is a real scandal is that no alternative housing has been offered.
The MCC started its operation in the premises of the former US Air base attached to the old airport of Athens, in 2011, amid the Greek economic crisis and the sudden rise of unemployment that left thousands of Greeks without insurance and health care.
Press Release by the MCC
Sudden Death for Metropolitan Community Clinic at Helliniko
We say NO and “we will not go quietly into the night….”
On 31 May 2018 Elliniko A.E. (a quasi-governmental agency) sent us an eviction notice. The Metropolitan Community Clinic Helliniko must vacate its premises by 30 June 2018, so that Elliniko A.E. can transfer the land to its ultimate buyer.
Our eviction notice was copied to Minister of Finance, Mr. Tsakolotos, the Minister of State, Mr. Flabouraris, the Secretary General Government Coordinator Mr. Papayannakos, as well as other leading government ministers and heads of private property development.
To date no alternative solution or proposal for re-location has been offered. We’re supposed to pack up and go home on 30 June. They have simply told us to close our doors and immediately stop this massive social action.
Since December of 2011 we have treated 7,366 patients and conducted 64,025 patient visits. We pioneered recycling of medicine in this country and because of medicines we have gathered, hundreds of organizations and agencies throughout Greece have asked for and received support from us.
Besides our own patients, we have sent medicines and materials to community clinics, public hospitals social services and organizations serving people with disabilities, child care facilities, refugee centers, and many many more.
The list is long, but all who came to us found open doors and immediate support from the volunteers at MCCH and those who support us.
There are thousands of those who have donated medicines, supplies or their labor both in Greece and from other nations.
Because of this, journalists from every corner of the planet have visited us, as well as university groups and groups wanting to establish something similar to our free clinic. They all want to know how we do what we do.
MCCH has supported – and make no mistake – will continue to support those individuals who need us in the spirit of solidarity and respect for our fellow human beings.
At an urgently called General Assembly of volunteers yesterday, the volunteers resolved that we would not gently give up. None of us would be able to look any of the patients in the eye if we simply accepted defeat.
We declare that we will not leave the premises and we will resist any measures taken to deny us access until a suitable alternative is found. Our first duty has been and will always be to our patients. We will not stand idly by and see the destruction of seven years of effort. We have gathered medicines and medical supplies worth hundreds of thousands of Euro. It is to be distributed to patients to insure their health, not left to be turned into rubbish.
On 14 June 2018 there will be a press conference on the operation of the clinic, and the need to continue.
METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY CLINIC AT HELLINIKO
The premises of the old Athens airport have been privatized upon the creditors’ orders.
The least the left-wing SYRIZA government can do is to offer toe the Metropolitan Clinic new housing options free of charge. I remember how much they hailed the social achievement of the clinic when the party was still in opposition.