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Greek economic crisis goes from bad to worse

Updated on May 15, 2014
ethel smith profile image

With a keen interest in British politics this writer is never afraid to share her opinion

Athens, Greece in happier times

It is the 1st of May, Labour Day, and news teams around the world are showing live coverage of riots in Athens, Greece.

As their financial crisis takes hold it has left governments around the world reeling. Who knows which country could find itself in such circumstances yet. The writing seems to be on the wall for Portugal and many pundits believe the UK could be not far behind.

How all of these countries got into such a mess is complex.

  • A mixture of global economic problems.
  • The failure of the banking system.
  • Countries borrowing money that they will find it hard if not impossible to repay

And so much more.

At time of going to press it was only about 10.30 on this fine Saturday morning, the first in May 2010.

Over the last weeks images of a broken Greece have shown rioting in various parts of the country

Live news coverage has a group of young people gathering in the streets of Athens. Facing them is a line of Greek police in riot gear. Currently the protesters seem to badly outnumber the police attending. Perhaps the police hoped to keep a low profile and that this protest would fizzle out.

If the is the case it would seem that they were sadly very wrong.

The protesters have already surged the police more than once. As the scene worsens the young people have also gone from throwing paint bombs to petrol bombs. Whether this was planned or part of the demonstration or simply a small element that is rent a mob, who knows. Anarchists around the globe must be rubbing their hands in glee at the mess that mainstream politicians have made.

It is obvious though that, as our mothers would tell all of this, will end in tears.

Watching the coverage brought back vivid memories of the Grosvenor Square demonstration in London back in the sixties. As a 16 year old back then I watched that footage with different feelings to those of today when I am so much older.

Of course the sixties was a time of hope and change, or so we thought. Demonstrations by the young of the day were evident throughout the western world. Perhaps our lack of political activity these days has been due to the financial good times, relatively speaking, that most of us have enjoyed.

With that looking set to change dramatically this may soon alter.

The young of the day are usually the ones prepared to do battle for what they few as the injustices of the world. They are sometimes joined by people form other generations but that depends upon the battle in hand.

It is sad to see Athens and the Greek people rocked by such trouble.

Politicians in other countries I guess need to take note. Such unrest could be on the doorstep of any government given similar circumstances

After the general election in UK on Thursday 6th May 2010 whichever party gets elected will have to make public service cuts. Where the axe will fall depends upon who is elected but trust me it will fall no matter who is in power. It will have to.

With less than four years till I retire I feel less settled than I had hoped. I hoped to retire in less than two years but already this has changed. If our government does not get it right Hubby and I could either have to work forever or live in poverty. Never prospect is appealing.

Young people may find that work is impossible to find, the divide between the haves and the have nots could widen even further, welfare and medical care could become underfunded and young people could end up with a second class education.

There are so many other potential problems.

Cuts will have to be made but Draconian measures will not be lightly accepted.

Especially not when the rich carry on getting richer and the poor poorer.

Protests in Greece back in March 2010, as fiscal plan is revealed


As the day progressed demonstrations were reported in other European countries. Portugal, Germany and Spain all saw protesters on their streets. With the economic downturn threatening jobs and people's livelihoods the Summer of 2010 looks set to be a fragile one.

May 2014

It is May 15, 2014, and Greek people are still suffering from EU austerity measures. Today there were news reports showing hospitals in Greece with no beds for patients.

Four years after this hub was created the only people getting rich are the bureaucrats in Europe.

Europeans election are due to be held soon and sadly the ones benefiting from Europe's economic pain will be the far-right and far-left of politics.


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    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      peace should be the aim now :) Thanks prasetio

    • prasetio30 profile image


      8 years ago from malang-indonesia

      It was terrible incident for beautiful country. I hope the best for this country and going better for the people. Nice hub and peace :)

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks for dropping by Tony. When the poor in Russia had suffered more than they could bear a revolution followed. Unless the cuts are fair civil unrest will follow.

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      Why is it always the poor who have to pay the price? As you say, draconian measures will not be easily accepted while the rich keep getting richer and do not get as affected as the poor. And this is not just some sentimental leftist complaining, it is based on fact. The gap as measured by the Gini co-efficient between rich and poor is an excellent predictor of social unrest. The higher the co-efficient the less stable society will be.

      Thansk for sharing.

      Love and peace


    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      It is sad Habee. Thouught I would put my slant on it.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      What a shame. You did a great job of covering it!

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks love.

    • loveofnight profile image


      8 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      cracking write-up.....this is a very informative and needed hub.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Jay, Jen and Katie thanks for visiting.

      Let's hope those in power get a grip and that we do not feel too many cuts.

      We can all only streamline back so far

    • katiem2 profile image


      8 years ago from I'm outta here

      ETHEL, Great Hub there is just so much going on in our world and I'm amazed to learn the details of Greece. It all seems to come back to money and greed, what the wrong people are doing with the right peoples money. I just don't know... Thanks and Peace :)

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 

      8 years ago from Delaware

      ethel your hub demonstrates that tough times are truly felt worldwide. Greece has been receiving much publicity concerning their bankrupt status. Troubles seem to be interconnected though as is evident with what you and your husband potentially face. All over suffering from economics troubles are evident. It is truly sad. My husband hopes to retire within the next 2 years as well. We have no idea what kind of retirement he will have. We figure, simplifying and adjusting is what will be needed. And in our case our spiritual beliefs that it will take a higher source to settle the world's problems.

    • jayjay40 profile image


      8 years ago from Bristol England

      You do wonder when you hear about these things if the European union is really working in this time of recession. perhaps a time for a re-think by politicians. A great hub Ethel well written and researched.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      It is sad Billy for the people of Greece

    • billyaustindillon profile image


      8 years ago

      Ethel I enjoyed the hub I know I have been focusing on the crisis and this was a great reminder of the true beauty of Greece and it's majestic history.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Sufi thanks for an on the ground perspective. I guess it is the greeks hot blood :)

      Rent a mob gets everywhere. I do hope things settle, for us all.

      Thanks Lori

      American romance, it is worrying I know

    • American Romance profile image

      American Romance 

      8 years ago from America

      for a minute I thought you were describing the future of America!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I enjoy your hubs about interesting places.

    • Sufidreamer profile image


      8 years ago from Sparti, Greece

      Don't believe everything the press tells you - unlike the riots of a couple of years back, these are a few leftists and anarchists who always find a reason to cause trouble. I watch the international media, and what they display bears little resemblance to what is actually happening.

      Nothing to worry about at the moment although, Greeks being Greeks, things can change very quickly!

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks to you all. Yes it is sad and it will be hard to keep everyone safe.

      The Euro has added to many problems

    • BJBenson profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      I hope everyone stays safe in today's protest on May day.

    • CMHypno profile image


      8 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Interesting Hub, Ethel. I think that Greece will be booted out of the Euro as an example to the other Eurozone countries struggling with their debt burdens, in an effort to get them to reduce their deficits. Politically humiliating but probably better for the Greek economy in the long run.

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 

      8 years ago from Guwahati, India

      It is sad and shocking to see Athens and the Greek people rocked the streets by protest march and brick stoning.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Yes Hello. I guess they are desperate. Of course rent a mob will be playing their part. It is all very worrying

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for an informative hub. It is awful. Don't they realize they are destroying the tourist industry which was one of their backbones.


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