This ongoing series aims to narrate the profound changes that Greece is experiencing starting 2012.
Since 2010, the Ellenic peninsula is facing a regime of economic austerity, imposed by the European Union as a condition to receive new loans, essentials in order to pay public expenses and debts.
The consequences of these politics are having a tremendous impact on many levels, permanently modifying the perspectives of social and territorial development of the country.
The cuts in the public sector added to the layoffs by private companies, unable to coop with the rising taxes, brought unemployment to 30%.
The public health sector has an estimated debt of nine hundred millions of Euros towards providers forcing hospitals to cancel most of their assistance programs, from cancer to drug addiction treatments; pouring thousands of people in the streets.
The dramatic impoverishment of the country, coupled with the necessity to relate with phenomena of global character, created in Greece a situation without historical precedents, capable of showing all the gaps and contradictions that the current European Union brings with itself.
Due to its geographical position, and as a consequence of the Arab Springs and the Syrian conflict, Greece is, in fact, facing an unprecedented wave of immigration, with an estimated 300.000 asylum seekers entering the country every year.
The impossibility to face this epic phenomenon alone, and the lack of support by other EU countries had an important role in the radicalization of political forces, bringing in the elections of 2012 to the victory of the right party Nea Democratia, that behind a moderate appearance, conducted strong austerity politics, and together with the neo-nazi party Golden Dawn, drove the entire attention of the public opinion toward the migration issue.
Soon after being elected the government created a new police force, named "Xenios Zeus" (lit. "God of acceptance"), with the task to identify and expel all migrants not having the right to ask for political asylum.
Firmly condemned by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch who reported numerous cases of human rights violations, the operation resulted as a complete failure, with only 15% of the identified migrants resulting "illegal" in the country.
In January 2015, the country went to anticipated elections that resulted with the win of the radical left party Syriza, guided by Alexis Tsipras. The party immediately tried to renegotiate the debt and obtain better conditions in the loans. Failing to do so brought Greece close to a financial breakdown in July 2015.
The crisis is having strong environmental consequences as well. Like the impossibility for Greece to start converting its coal energy production (75% of the entire energy produced) into a more sustainable one, and the consequent plan of the government to build a new coal power plant, partially financed by various German bank groups (KFW Bank Group), that will be ready in 2020, condemning the region of Kozani to maintain its European leadership in CO2 emissions.
where in2012 the Canadian company El Dorado gold obtained a mining permit in order to start a
low cost gold mine that will radically change the development of an entire region. Transforming its economy from agricultural and touristic to heavy industrial.
My research wants to evidence how Greece is finding itself in the paradoxical condition of having to give up on some of the fundamental values that established the European Union, in order to maintain its place inside the EU itself.