10 February, 2010

Grande Bretagne Under Siege

Today there was a strike of public employees, air traffic controllers, teachers etc. Most of the Athenian public transportation was working fine, but the buses and metros were visibly less busy today. I wondered if it was partly because that there are so many public employees in Greece.

By the way, passing Syntagma Square this morning (it should be around 8:15), I saw a bunch of young people occupying the Hotel Grande Bretagne.

Rather curiously, the King George Hotel next door was closed but not occupied, while Athens Plaza next next door was open as usual. Was it because the Grande Bretagne is such an iconic building and is situated closer to the Parliament, or was it because it was seen some how as a symbol of establishment and exploiting capitalists?

While the Greek state is flattering from the world economic crisis, the Greek people keep on putting forward their rights and demands, doing strike, closing roads (farmers) and stopping all the flights within/to/from Greece. When the Asian currency crisis happened, I remember that many Koreans bring their own gold to the government to donate, hoping to contribute to the stability and strength of their currency. I understand this sort of thing will never happen in Greece, but cannot the Greeks be a bit more constructive in dressing their own economic problems?

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