Almost a revolution

Now that anger with the country’s political class and its austerity budget has brought thousands of demonstrators onto the streets, the Greek government must act if it is to avoid "an unprecedented crisis," urges columnist Giorgos Delastik.

Published on 6 May 2010 at 14:50

Not since the return of democracy 36 years ago have there been so many demonstrators on the streets of Athens. Up to 100,000 people marched to express their anger and refusal to apply measures adopted by Georges Papandreou’s government under orders from the IMF and the European Union.

Pensioners threw stones before the parliament building, and for the first time, all the marchers joined in the chanting of slogans — “Thieves out!” and “Thieves, thieves!” — which expressed in no uncertain terms their view on who is to blame for the crisis. These slogans were addressed to all the members of parliament — evidence of a level of discontent not seen since the fall of the military junta in 1974.

Merkel pushing Greece to the brink of social war

It is no exaggeration to say that yesterday’s march could have marked the start of a revolution. The demonstrators came close to storming the parliament building. We do not know if the MPs and ministers are aware of the scale of the political change that has taken place in the last 24 hours, but if they do not come to grips with it, we are certainly headed for an unprecedented political crisis.

The strikes, demonstrations and rallies will become more and more radical, because Greeks will never accept a life of poverty imposed by the IMF and the EU. Papandreou should now convince his European partners that the measures demanded by German Chancellor Angela Merkel have pushed Greece to the brink of social war. And in such situations, no one knows what may happen.

Are you a news organisation, a business, an association or a foundation? Check out our bespoke editorial and translation services.

Support independent European journalism

European democracy needs independent media. Voxeurop needs you. Join our community!

On the same topic