Greek pensioners protest against government that 'took everything'

Several hundred elderly Greeks marched through Athens on Thursday, protesting against a government they say “took everything” with a new round of cuts to pensions and crumbling health care benefits.

A Greek pensioner smokes during a demonstration against cutbacks in medical care in Athens, Greece, November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
Greece’s three bailouts since 2010 have repeatedly taken aim at the pension system. Cuts have pushed nearly half its elderly below the poverty line with incomes of less 600 euros ($710.70) a month.

With nearly a quarter of the workforce unemployed, a quarter of children living in poverty and benefits slashed, parents have grown dependent on grandparents for handouts.

But after the cuts to pensions, some Greeks have seen their monthly cheque fall between 40 and 50 percent in seven years. After rent, utility bills and health care, they barely make ends meet.

“I have never seen the country in this state, not even during war,” said 80-year-old Nikos Georgiadis, a former hotel employee whose pension has been reduced by 40 percent.


Q: ‘Do you think that putting our trust in risking filmmaking such as the one we see very vividly in Good Time it’s really important nowadays that we’re kind of overwhelmed by this fatigue from franchises, blockbusters, and superhero movies that the American cinema is constantly feeding us?
Water and People are Unstoppable
After flash flooding left 21 people dead and among mud and debris in outskirts of Athens, the days after are shaped by grief and solidarity…
By Tassos Morfis

With photographer Gerasimos Domenikos we arrived in Mandra in the early hours of Saturday morning, after four days and nights of torrential rain that left 20 people dead. Two people remained missing, and more than 1.000 households and hundreds of vehicles and businesses are destroyed. Just one hour after dawn, the tension in the small rural city is remarkable and obvious: as obvious as the fatigue in the eyes of those who lost their properties. They haven’t slept over a few hours during the last four days of lethal flooding. The flooding is one of the worst disasters to have hit the Athens area in decades, which Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras acknowledged by declaring a day of national mourning.

Grief, disappointment and indignation — not necessarily in that order — combined with the grey atmosphere of the cloudy skies and the debris around create a bitter sentiment: so bitter that each sunny intermission between the storm that offers the opportunity to retire, but even for a few minutes it makes no sense. The mud around brings harsh reality crashing back. Catastrophe.