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Complex Systems's avatar

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It is rare for citizens to try to take their government to court, and even more so for a Western European government to be taken to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

But that is what one group based near the Greek capital is now attempting.

And the charges are more drastic still. It is alleged that the austerity measures introduced by Greece's government constitute peacetime genocide and crimes against humanity.



The austerity measures deprive us of our freedom. By taking away our income and our property, we don't have access to shelter, food, health and education.”

Behind the case are a mother and daughter - psychologists Olga and Tanya Yeritsidou.

But backing their campaign is a larger group, which meets every week in an Athens suburb. The youngest member is 19, the oldest in her late 50s.

Survival
These are not political dissidents or extremists, but ordinary middle-class Greeks - teachers, lawyers, physiotherapists; those hit hard by the government cuts and now taking to a highly unusual last resort.

"The austerity measures deprive us of our freedom", says Olga. "By taking away our income and our property, we don't have access to shelter, food, health and education."

Her daughter intervenes: "Austerity is pushing Greeks not just below the poverty line, but below the minimum needed for survival."

The two women began sending letters to the then Prime Minister, Costas Karamanlis, back in 2008, warning him of the likely consequences of public sector cuts.

When the next government took office a year later, they sent yet more correspondence. After filing a court injunction that was not taken seriously in Greece, they decided to appeal to the ICC in The Hague.

A toxic mix of austerity and recession has indeed brought Greece to its knees.

The country's economy is contracting for the fifth consecutive year, unemployment has soared to more than 20% - about 50% among the young.

source and more

I think there is always an interesting discussion about what rights individuals have, and this brings up an interesting debate towards what right citizens are alloted in a society. The provision of many of the services now being cut provided citizens a certain life style, but over time caused an excessive debt burden to build up. As greece deals with the ramifications of the later, should it be forced to continue to provide the former? What are the minimum standards of life humanity should be given, or are there no such standards?

Discuss.
Less Than Liz's avatar

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ITT white people problems.
Greece can't physically run their country without Austerity unless they split from the EU, devalue their currency and burn every financial bridge they have to pay off their debts. In the long term there is nothing they can do. Their exports might be able to dig them out but they're sitting on a very small and fragile economy.
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N3bu
Greece can't physically run their country without Austerity unless they split from the EU, devalue their currency and burn every financial bridge they have to pay off their debts. In the long term there is nothing they can do. Their exports might be able to dig them out but they're sitting on a very small and fragile economy.

Quote:
It is alleged that the austerity measures introduced by Greece's government constitute peacetime genocide and crimes against humanity.

Genocide, Nebu. Genocide.
Less Than Liz
N3bu
Greece can't physically run their country without Austerity unless they split from the EU, devalue their currency and burn every financial bridge they have to pay off their debts. In the long term there is nothing they can do. Their exports might be able to dig them out but they're sitting on a very small and fragile economy.

Quote:
It is alleged that the austerity measures introduced by Greece's government constitute peacetime genocide and crimes against humanity.

Genocide, Nebu. Genocide.

Genocide costs money.

The Greeks are sooooo poor, they can't even afford to kill their population so as to mitigate costs.

They are ********.
I object to their being referred to as "Western European". They're more like the Middle East in my opinion.
Demon Kagerou's avatar

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I object to their being referred to as "Western European". They're more like the Middle East in my opinion.
Greek culture is a blend of Western European, Mediterranean, Ottoman empire, among other things. Geographically, they're Europe though... and Middle East is really more of a geographic than cultural term. And a Eurocentric one at that. >.>
Greeks have been associated with Western Europe since the Cold War began.

Anywhoo.

I think it's an interesting and very Western reaction, this austerity. As if decades of ill-planning can and should be paid for with one sudden and fervent orgy of self-flagellation.

Europe doesn't need harsh and front-heavy austerity, that's just going to cause more economic pain and thus more fiscal hardship. It needs long-term and carefully but faithfully implemented plans for sustainable governance.
Complex Systems's avatar

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Vercingetorix VII
Greeks have been associated with Western Europe since the Cold War began.

Anywhoo.

I think it's an interesting and very Western reaction, this austerity. As if decades of ill-planning can and should be paid for with one sudden and fervent orgy of self-flagellation.

Europe doesn't need harsh and front-heavy austerity, that's just going to cause more economic pain and thus more fiscal hardship. It needs long-term and carefully but faithfully implemented plans for sustainable governance.


I think that's all well and handy besides when your c**k is about to hit the fan. it's like people who b***h at the IMF for gutting a lot of social programs in developing countries. Sorry, at some point countries either have to deal with hyper inflation, no credit, and a floundering economy for the next decade, or realize they were living in a cute bubble, cut the s**t out of it, and realign your macro economy. Is it going to suck? Yeah, however no one can deny that the "long term" and "carefully but faithfully implemented plans" by the current government over the past decade and more haven't ended particularly well.
Complex Systems
Vercingetorix VII
Greeks have been associated with Western Europe since the Cold War began.

Anywhoo.

I think it's an interesting and very Western reaction, this austerity. As if decades of ill-planning can and should be paid for with one sudden and fervent orgy of self-flagellation.

Europe doesn't need harsh and front-heavy austerity, that's just going to cause more economic pain and thus more fiscal hardship. It needs long-term and carefully but faithfully implemented plans for sustainable governance.


I think that's all well and handy besides when your c**k is about to hit the fan. it's like people who b***h at the IMF for gutting a lot of social programs in developing countries. Sorry, at some point countries either have to deal with hyper inflation, no credit, and a floundering economy for the next decade, or realize they were living in a cute bubble, cut the s**t out of it, and realign your macro economy. Is it going to suck? Yeah, however no one can deny that the "long term" and "carefully but faithfully implemented plans" by the current government over the past decade and more haven't ended particularly well.

It really depends.

Countries like Greece, with a small economic influence and a greater then 100% debt to GDP ratio, they have little choice but to hit the breaks hard less the whole thing literally falls down.

Other places like the US however have no need to start anything marginally as drastic, which is why I'm very wary of recent Fiscal conservative fanatics who want to gut the budget to get a surplus as quick as possible as opposed to a more stable long-term plan.
N3bu
Greece can't physically run their country without Austerity

this is false. Austerity measures are actively harming them.
The Sky Does Not Bow
N3bu
Greece can't physically run their country without Austerity

this is false. Austerity measures are actively harming them.

It's not false, eventually without Austerity the Greek government will literally have no money.

The only other option is to burn financial bridges, they do that and chances are they can't borrow money for 100 years.
Complex Systems's avatar

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The Sky Does Not Bow
N3bu
Greece can't physically run their country without Austerity

this is false. Austerity measures are actively harming them.


I like inflating the national GDP by 5%, too. No s**t austerity is going to hurt people, doesn't mean it isn't necessary. Otherwise, we should all just perpetually borrow money, there are no consequences!

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