Greece: Decades of Social Progress Reversed

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the 31 August 2012 broadcast.

By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart

An 'Austerity Ahead' road sign
Photo: 401k / Flickr

– The government-of-the-regime has released more details about the latest austerity package. The new measures will reduce tax exemptions totaling 450€ million. The elimination of the exemptions will affect large and low-income families, the disabled, and unemployed.

Reductions include:

– Reduction in the rate of the VAT refund to farmers from 11% to 7% for a savings of 121€ million.

– Reduction in social service tax breaks with an estimated saving of 229€ million.

– Reduction in the extra tax-free allowance of 2,000€ for qualifying taxpayers with disabilities.

– Over 67% reductions of tax exemptions for the disabled.

– Elimination of income-tax exemptions applicable to unemployment.

– Increase of fees for submitting lawsuits in order to collect additional revenues of 100€ million.

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– VimaFM radio in Athens interviewed a SYRIZA spokesman who made statements regarding the newest round of austerity measures that are about to pummel the already beleaguered Greek people:

“Here it is – the plan includes very hard, horizontal measures which will essentially destroy a large part of our society, literally, in its passage.”

“With the passage of these new measures the country will reverse decades of social progress.” He added, “The impact of these measures on the economy and society would amount to a picture reminiscent of the post-war period.

And, unfortunately, it will not be the last package, as the prime minister has, once again, promised.”

He explained that imposing a new round of austerity measures will be deeply recessionary, stating, “I fear even more unemployment. I fear the mass emigration of our young people. And, I’m afraid that even more – hundreds of thousands – of businesses will close.”

He concluded, “We must seek to overturn these measures by mobilizing popular resistance against these policies.”

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– As the ‘ruling parties’ continued to engage in sham “discussions” over the details of the new austerity measures, SYRIZA made an announcement attacking the government-of-the-regime:

“Even the most morbid imagination could not conceive of how quickly and shamelessly the ruling parties would betray their campaign promises to the Greek people after the election. Another austerity package is not the change of policy that was promised.

Another round of austerity measures will lead to a new downward spiral of austerity and recession, which will have undetermined consequences for society.

The government-of-the-regime will leave a country pledged to lenders, without schools or hospitals, with millions of unemployed and needy citizens and destitute pensioners.

Mr. Samaras, who is hiding from the Greek parliament and the Greek people, is the best guarantor of the creditors’ interests while at the same time, he undermines any expectations our people have for development, democracy and social justice. Samaras and his government are dangerous for the country.

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– The Federation of Pensioners (IRA) is calling on unions and retirees to engage in a massive protest on Tuesday, September 4th at 10 a.m. at the Ministry of Health, to reject new cuts in subsidies for medicines. These cuts put the lives of workers and retirees in danger.

A spokesman stated, “We demand the government to stop playing games against us. Denying drug benefits places our lives at risk. We demand that drug benefits be given to all, without obstacles and conditions.”

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– In the race to keep alive, hundreds of cancer patients living in the Cyclades archipelago are forced to travel to Athens for chemotherapy treatment. This comes at a very high cost and hassle to patients struggling with the disease. The problem is that the island pharmacies and hospitals do not have the necessary funds to purchase the very expensive chemotherapeutic devices.

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– Prices are skyrocketing in Greece. For example, a vitamin formula known as Filicine has almost tripled in price within a three month period, from 1.77€ to 5.20€.

A pharmacist explained that the increase occurred when the Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Technology (IFET), whose purpose is the import of medicinal products at the lowest possible cost, started manufacturing the product.

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– Judges propose to padlock courts on September 17

On Thursday, the Boards of all judicial organizations met at noon to decide on which actions they and their members will take in order to deal with the problem of the further reduction of their payrolls.

Six members of the Board of Judges and Prosecutors Association are calling for judges to close their courtrooms on 17 September, the first day of the judicial year, with plans to escalate mobilizations thereafter.

They spoke to the “unreliability of rulers, who continue to complete their unabated attacks against Greek society. …

These painful measures brutally reduce the functionality and independence of the Greek courts.”

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– French President François Hollande made statements regarding Greece on Friday. “We await the European summit in October, when the Troika will issue a report on Greece. My position is that Greece must prove itself by continuing to honor the terms of the Memorandum, leaving no doubt going forward.”

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StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece on weeknights at 6pm Athens time @ http://www.livestream.com/stopcarteltvgr

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