German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in Greece on EU business. A bold visit when you consider that many Greeks hold her in some ways responsible for their current economic woes. It is not so much a belief that she created Greece's financial chaos but that she has been pulling the strings of those negotiating bail outs to the troubled country. This means that those who are at the sharp end of EU austerity measures hold her to blame.
Of course it is true that she has to protect the interests of her own people. Each leader should be doing that. Some compassion is needed in such dire times though. Already we have heard many comparing the financial bail out Germany received after the Second World War to current bail outs. They of course did not have to pay money back. Yet the war it has to be said was created by Germany.
Times have moved on but of course the older generation will remember Germany during its darkest days. oIld wounds do not always heal.
Expecting protests on the streets of Athens today police were out in force. 7,000 police officers, secret agents, snipers and commandos have been deployed in the Capital. Surprising perhaps when you consider public sector worker job cuts. They are after all public servants also. Perhaps the Greek administration erred on the side of caution maintaining high numbers of police officers for when times get tough. They may be tough now but could get so much tougher.
Merkel landed this morning in Athens. Already a Swastika flag has been burned by protesters. Some you see believe that having been unable to dominate Europe by force in the past, modern Germany wants to dominate by the economic route.
Around 25,000 protesters gathered in Syntagma Square. Stcks and stones were thrown although initially the violence had only involved a minority of protesters. In the last few minutes police have fired teargas at protesters. Things are beginning to take a turn for the worse.
Teargas is the order of the day in Europe and beyond it seems. In Paris a jobs protest outside of an Auto show resulted in police firing tear gas canisters into the crowd.
There will be protests throughout today in Greece. The leader of the main opposition party Syriza has called upon Greeks to get on the streets to show Merkel the real Greece.
Late yesterday protest gathering was banned by the Greek authorities. The people have opted to ignore this ban. It is laughable when you consider the West's opinion of Russia if it tries to curb protests. As usual we play the Hypocritical card and hope people have short memories.
Apart from Merkel and the eyes of the World witnessing Nazi flag burning, plus some in the crowd wearing nazi uniforms, banners were carried stating, "Merkel out, Greece is not your colony" and "This is not a European Union, it's slavery".
And that dear readers is the truth of the matter. The elite cause the mess and carry on regardless. Those less able to pick themselves up and start again suffer. Those who worked hard to make a lfve for themselves lose everything and no-one cares. Those who run banking systems, stock exchanges and governmnet pull the strings but care nothing for the man, woman or child on the street.
Merkel is in Greece to offer support to the Greek administration given the task of formulating a workable austerity package for the country. She will not care about those who are bleeding. She wants to make sure that the cuts go deep enough. She also has a vested interest in ensuring that Greece stays in the EU. The German people have money committed to this venture.
Merkel is the first German leader to visit Greece in decades. The media may class her visit as symbolic but the Greek people may see it as a red rag to a bull. A person rubbing salt into raw wounds.
Late Monday protest gathering on Greece was banned. Most people have chosen to ignore that. It is laughable when you consider the West's stance when Russia for example tries to curb its protesters. Yet once more the West is playing the hypocritical card and hoping that we all have short memories.
Updates will follow......
The Euro crisis is driving people to many extreme acts. The worst recorded so far was the public suicide in Greece of a pensioner who shot and killed himself outside of the Parliament in Athens. Reports of families abandoning children in the hope that they may get a better life are also terrible to read.
As usual those who have been responsible in part for the Crisis continue to prosper. Countries such as Greece are expected to be saddled with a huge burden of debt that they have not a hope in Hell of ever clearing.
It is hard to understand just what is going on and what the future may hold. Most right minded people accept that sooner or later Greece, Spain, Portugal, Maybe France and the UK, will implode. The Euroxzone and the Euro is quite simply finished. Propping both up to protect their own ends, as in the case of Germany and others, wil not resolve the situation. All it does is delay the inevitable.
Today April 19, 2012, there has been news of an Italian Gallery director making is own defiant stand. The art museum outside Naples, Italy, has been hit by funding cuts. So much so that museum director Antonio Manfredi feels he has little choice but to stage a protest. This one was designed to attract the media and it has.
Works of Art at the Casoria Contemporary Art Museum have been literally going up in flames.
According to the BBC, "The first painting sacrificed was by French artist Severine Bourguignon, who supported the burning. The painting was worth about $13,000. Bourguignon watched her painting burn via Skype"
With the after effects of recent flooding and little money for the museum upkeep making a stand seemed the only alternative left. More paintings are destined for the flames in the coming days and weeks. To date the artists have given permission for their works of art to go up in flames.
With the lack of funding the museum has been an easy target for Italian Art thieves. Manfredi said in a statement, "Our 1,000 artworks are headed for destruction anyway because of the government's indifference," .”This is war. This is revolution.”
Tags: museum of art, Italian protest, Greek protest, Casoria Contemporary Art Museum, Antonio Manfredi, Naples