Quite a number of foreigners -including media and some EU officials – seem to be unable to understand why Greeks lay down their work, go to the streets and protest. Caught in a series of never ending austerity measures that do not give them space to breath, trapped in a bureaucratic state that sends them from one institution to the next forth and back, and hemmed in laws written often offhand, Greeks see no other way to oppose injustices than the way of protest.
One issue that gets down to their knees thousands of Greeks are the wages cuts in the public sector. After the members of Greek Police and state hospital doctors, it’s the turn of IKA employees at the biggest insurance fund of the country to see their wages going dramatically down and thus just before the Christmas season.
The wages cuts go in effect in November but they include retroactive cuts as of 1.1.11. The original plan that the cuts will be deducted in four installments has been cancelled and so IKA employees will get hardly some euros in the hand. An employee with €1,200 monthly wages, will get just €500, and another with €1,000 wages will be happy to receive just €380!
A friend of mine, a doctor at a state hospital, was shocked to receive ZERO-EURO in November and a notice, that he still ‘owes’ the state 100 EUR.
Wages cuts are good, but leaving people without a months income is terribly bad.
No wonder Greeks feel the urgent need to protest. Don’t you think?