More crisis, less democracy?

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In the last few years when the world mass media refer to Greece there is only one theme; the financial crisis. Reporters and analysts discuss for long about unemployment rate, austerity measures and budget cuts. But is it all about money?

In Greece, there is the sense that the crisis except economy has affected democracy in a very negative way. Recently, the government shut down suddenly the Public Broadcaster (ERT). It was a pointless decision since ERT was a profitable corporation with a high quality program. For sure it is considered as a direct hit to the freedom of press! Meanwhile, most of the journalists are blamed for corruption and unfair support to the government.

During the crisis there is rise of all forms of violence. The crime rate is increasing while the police forces are unable to fight it. Thefts and robberies are common. Terrorism is at its peak, recruits new members and attacks more targets. Repression forces also use excessive violence against peaceful demonstrators in the centre of Athens.

In the political field we can observe an upsurge of extremist far-right parties that find supporters among frustrated poor people who believe that there is no hope to get it out of the crisis. Given the indignation of citizens against the current political system and using the unemployment as a pretext, they turn citizens (employed or unemployed) against immigrants, instigate brutal violence against innocent people and create an alarming new conservative, xenophobic and racist tendency into society. Golden Dawn, the major ultranationalist party in Greece, got 6.9% of overall vote in 2012. Nowadays, opinion polls point that its supporters include already 13% of the total voters.

All these highlight the dramatic situation of democracy in Greece nowadays. As a result we can observe conflicts between social groups and declining of social cohesion. Recently many experts published several articles that compare Greece to Germany’s Weimar Republic and express their fear about it. It is a high duty of young people in Greece and Europe to protect democracy by all means!

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