Despite the sanitary crisis that has shaken Greek politics, economy and the economy and which demands the unification of all national forces, the strongest opposition party, Syriza, had to intervene at the end of January on the occasion of the adoption of new laws on education. Kosta Gavroglu, Tsipras’ former education minister, warned that the new laws were a direct return to the colonel’s dictatorship in 1967-74.
Namely, the new law abolishes the university asylum introduced in 1982, which guaranteed the free circulation of ideas and opinions in the university world. Based on the student revolt against the military dictatorship on November 17, 1973, which was suffocated in blood, it was introduced that the police could enter the faculty space only in special conditions. The new Mitsotakis law just abolished this freedom acquired in rebellion and blood. At the same time, the new law further weakened Greece’s education system. Sociology is being excluded from the curriculum, art will exist as a subject only in the lowest grades, while the English language will be favored and introduced in preschool classes.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the head of the Greek government, was among the first to be vaccinated against the corona virus, thus setting an example to fellow citizens who expressed doubts about the necessity of vaccination
Criminalization of street protests
Kyriakos Mitsotakis, a former financial expert, was elected head of the Greek government after winning the parliamentary elections in July 2019, thanks to the votes of the classical right, ultraliberals and the extreme right close to neo-Nazi tendencies. His coming to power led Greece towards a “moral order”. On the economic level, Mitsotakis is a liberal, but it is a certain mask that allows him to, in an authoritative way, seduce a very conservative policy on all social levels.
As soon as he came to power, Mitsotakis announced a reduction of the property tax by 22%, which affects only the richest. He then abolished the tax brigade that fought against corruption in the highest spheres of the economy. Also, in favor of the richest companies, he reduced their income tax, and reduced the tax on dividends for rentiers.
Like the Trump and Macron governments, a good number of ministers and advisers to the Mitsotakis government came from the business world. Quite naturally, they are looking to protect their interests, which was seen during the epidemic and quarantine. The money that the state intended for the print media, television and the Internet, was subject exclusively to clientelistic needs, and therefore it was never known on what principles the assistance was based.
Also, in order to suppress any protest, the authorities, which have an absolute majority in the Greek parliament of Vuli, adopted a law which criminalizes manifestations. It is a matter of rewriting the 1971 law, from the time of the colonel’s dictatorship. Until Mitsotakis, public manifestations could be held without restrictions, if the gathering was not forbidden. Today, in order to manifest, it is necessary to have a permit from the police. At the same time, the obligation to appoint a person responsible for the event who is criminally responsible for each event during the event was introduced.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis, with a retinue of over thirty people, visited the island of Ikaria on February 6, at the time of the intensification of quarantine, and provoked the anger and ridicule of Greek citizens.
Public-private business relationships
Mitsotakis’ economic policy has had a good resonance abroad, as he has promised reforms that would provide very favorable conditions for foreign investment. The most important investments were planned for the tourism sector and the construction of luxury hotel complexes that would bring a wealthier clientele. The biggest projects are luxury hotels and golf courses in the Argolida town of Kiladi (400 million euros), and then the Alimos marina – a project that would turn this port on the Athens Riviera into the largest of its kind in the eastern Mediterranean and thus bring new tourists.
Probably the most important of all is the Eliniko project (8 billion euros) on the site of the old airport, also on the Athens Riviera. The project envisages residential skyscrapers, hotels, shopping malls, casinos and beaches. At the head of this project is the company Lamda, owned by the billionaire family Lacis. By the way, one of the leaders of that company, which also built the luxury marina Flisvos on the Athens Riviera, has been appointed Deputy Minister of Environment and Ecology.
By creating business links between the public and private sectors, Micotakis has opened the door to improve infrastructure. These future improvements have attracted the attention of domestic and foreign investors, related to non-hotel tourism. Last year, the demand for summer houses jumped by 200 percent and put Greece in the first place in the demand for houses and apartments. Due to the Greek economic crisis, housing prices have been halved, but are now slowly returning to their level.
Alexis Tsipras (Syriza), the previous head of government and today the head of the strongest opposition party, sharply criticized Mitsotakis’ return to political conservatism
Rule for the benefit of the richest
Since 2008, Greece has been going through a very difficult period, and in 2015, for the first time in history, the left came to power. During his tenure, Tsipras (Syriza) kept Greece in the eurozone, despite demands from German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble that Greece leave the eurozone and return to the drachma. Schaeuble’s request led Greece to ruin, which Tsipras successfully avoided.
By the way, Tsipras tried to help the poorest and the middle class, but Mitsotakis is not interested in that. His priority, like Macron’s in France, is to satisfy the richest citizens.
Model for the Eleniko project (8 billion euros) on the Athens Riviera, on the site of the old airport, with residential buildings, hotels, shopping malls
Teano Fotiu, former Deputy Minister for Social Solidarity, commented on the work of the new government:
“Without a state that protects citizens, there will be no just progress. In 2015, we got the state bankrupt and we had to, in a short time, reconstruct it.” Namely, Syriza and Tsipras found empty state coffers in 2015, and when they left power in 2019, 37 billion euros remained in the coffers.
Just before the start of the epidemic, unemployment in Greece was 19 percent (two thirds are younger than 30), which was a similar level as in the same period in 2019. During the epidemic, like all European economies, the Greek economy suffered damage.
Greek exports, including oil and maritime transport, fell from 34 billion to 31 billion euros. However, if oil and shipping are excluded, exports can be seen to increase from 23 to 24 billion euros. Total imports fell from 56 to 49 billion euros, leading to a reduction in the trade deficit by 4 billion euros. The estimate of the Greek bank is a drop of 10% of the gross product during the last year, while an increase of 5% was expected for this year, which, according to the development of the situation, will not be reached.
Source: Balkan Magazin – Aktuelnosti by www.balkanmagazin.net.
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