A Report from Greece

Via e-mail, a reading of public sentiment in Greece from reader Scott S, who is a TV/movie industry professional and did the trailer for ECONNED. I have gotten similar. albeit more brief accounts from other readers. One reader with contacts in Greece did stress that the protests, at least as of the end of June, were overwhelmingly peaceful and added:

There is clear videotaped evidence showing certain apparently violent individuals doing things like happily entering police stations, and receiving clubs while hanging out with the police.

The Greek and international media have been successfully portraying the protests as the violence of hoodlums.

That video you posted from Clusterstock today (the policeman walks up and strikes the protester down with a club) is much more provocative if you understand Greek. Just before the protester is whacked, he cries out, “Don’t hit me!” Then random rubbish is thrown at the police – but then loud shouts are heard from the protesters, “Don’t throw anything at them!”

Now to the latest sighting via Scott S:

I’m in Greece right now staying with friends and I wanted to send you a brief report.

The mood is tense and people are very unhappy with what’s happening to their country. From what i can tell, only the extreme heat is preventing people from turning out in large numbers to protest the extremely unpopular sell-off of Greek assets to save the banks. Strikes are being planned and one Greek-Canadian businessman friend left the country in a hurry yesterday for fear of being trapped here. Look for the situation to intensify in September.

The authorities here are nervous, to say the least. The young son of my host’s close friends was sentenced two days ago to 25 years in prison for agitation. He was hardly a radical – he was a promising student of naval architecture at the Athens Technical University. Examples are being set.

A group of Greek business owners and professors with whom I’m acquainted has drafted the following call to action:

The law for the sell-off of Greek assets and Greek national sovereignty was passed to avert national bankruptcy, because the EU, ECB, IMF and Greek government insisted that bankruptcy would be the end.

Yet today the lie has been revealed. After having given up national sovereignty, archeological sites, islands, beaches, and state assets – our past and our future – Greece is now officially bankrupt.

We have the historical responsibility to stop the looting of our Greek heritage. Safeguarding the country is now in our hands.

The level of political awareness here is far higher than in America, but it will be interesting to see if people are able to change what the authorities have planned for them. I suspect that Greece is a small rehearsal for what will be coming to the US eventually, in one form or another.

This post originally appeared at naked capitalism and is reproduced here with permission.