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Greece

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We forget that wars in Europe were the norm before the EU
Political crises in the Middle East and North Africa since 2011 have either produced extreme violence or caused countries to dissolve into civil war. The territorial settlement that followed the defeat of the Ottomans in 1918 is collapsing, but there is no clear sign of what will replace it, other than conflicts which nobody knows... Read More
A 1970 strike in Ireland provoked an admirable outbreak of ingenuity - Greece should take note
Television reporters stand in front of the shut doors of banks in Athens and speak as if a few days more of bank closure brings the Greeks that much closer to catastrophe. Media coverage dwells obsessively on the theme that for Greece it is five minutes to midnight, but somehow midnight never comes. Shuttered banks... Read More
Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we
Here are some quotes from the diaries of Count Ciano (Mussolini’s foreign minister and son-in-law), referring to Greece a year and a half after it was invaded and occupied by Germany. 6 October 1942: “Clodius [the Third Reich’s economics minister] is in Rome to discuss the Greek financial question, which is very bad. If it... Read More
Compared to the crises revolving around Isis and Ukraine, the Greek situation is 'wholly soluble'
In ancient Greece, city states often rebelled against their overlords, who then besieged them to punish those responsible and re-impose outside control. Modern Greeks have likewise rebelled against EU authority by choosing a government led by the anti-austerity Syriza party and now face an economic siege aimed at forcing them to abide by past agreements... Read More
Country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
The radical left leader Alexis Tsipras was sworn in as Prime Minister of Greece today after the decisive victory of his Syriza party over establishment parties supporting the European Union programme that has impoverished so many Greeks. Mr Tsipras was swiftly able to form a government by reaching an agreement with the Independent Greeks, a... Read More
Success for Syriza party may provoke economic siege by European Union
Greek voters have rebelled against the austerity programme imposed by Brussels and Berlin in return for loans to fund Greece’s massive debt. The radical left Syriza party, which promises better terms for Greece, won a decisive victory in the general election today and is close to winning an absolute majority in parliament. Syriza, led by... Read More
It was raining yesterday in central Athens, which creates a problem for those feeding the homeless. “Normally, people living on the streets stay at a single spot where they can get heat from an air vent from underground, so they’re easy to find,” says Yanis, a diver and engineer in the navy who runs a... Read More
The Old Regime Pulls One Out
The Greek election produced a knife-edge result yesterday, with the establishment parties snatching victory in a narrow race. “The Greek people voted today to stay on the European course and remain in the eurozone ... there will be no more adventures, Greece's place in Europe will not be put in doubt,” said the leader of... Read More
Greeks Face Momentous Elections
Athens As Greeks prepare to vote in the most important election in their history on Sunday, people in Athens fear they are facing a future full of uncertainty, poverty and violence. Well-publicized crimes help create an atmosphere of violence as the wealthy and vulnerable immigrants alike come under attack. In one incident this week two... Read More
Times are very tough, but…
Maria Svoronou has three jobs and was finishing a twelve hour day as euro zone leaders were finalizing Greece’s rescue package in Brussels. For all her hard work, she earns only Eur 870 a month and says that “if the situation gets any worse, I won’t be able to survive.” Ms Svoronou, aged 33 and... Read More
Sell Them Tanks, Then Call Them Profligate
Athens As Greeks waited for a second eurozone rescue package to finally be agreed in Brussels today, many were blaming Germany and France for encouraging and benefiting from some of the much-criticized profligate spending that reduced Greece to near bankruptcy. About 1000 protesters gathered in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens yesterday, while... Read More
"We had to choose between the certainty of disaster and the doubt of salvation. You can't be independent when you have to borrow €20m a day.”
Greeks expect to agree a deal with the Eurozone leaders today, Monday, that will cede much of their country's independence. Greece will become an economic – and to a large extent a political – colony of Germany and its allies. Berlin will have a say in everything from the choice of prime minister to the... Read More
“Give the spivs your taxpayers’ money or we’ll bring down your banking system.”
An American took his phlegmatic English friend to see the Niagara Falls. “Isn’t that amazing?” said the enthusiastic American. “Look at that vast mass of water dashing over that enormous cliff!” “But what,” replied the unimpressed Englishman, after viewing the sight for some moments, “is to stop it?” I owe the story to my father,... Read More
"Do you think we are the parasites of Europe?"
Athens Greece last week was paralysed by a 48-hour general strike that began Wednesday and cast doubt on the unpopular government's ability to implement reforms demanded by the European Union in return for further bailout money. Black-masked youths hurled chunks of marble and petrol bombs at riot police in front of the parliament building in... Read More
Naxos Hangs On By Its Fingernails
Naxos "People are coming back to farms around here that they abandoned years ago so they can grow potatoes, cabbages and vegetables to help them survive the crisis," says Petros Citouzouris, as he pruned his vines high in the mountains of Naxos, the largest island in the Cyclades. The financial catastrophe in Greece is engulfing... Read More
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Patrick Cockburn
About Patrick Cockburn

Patrick Cockburn is the Middle East correspondent for the British newspaper The Independent. He was awarded the 2005 Martha Gellhorn prize for war reporting. His book on his years covering the war in Iraq, The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq (Verso) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for non-fiction.


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