Broiling and filthy

While we are awaiting a major heatwave in Greece, we are surrounded by piles of rubbish, since garbage collectors have decided to go on strike. In fact, they have been on strike for some time and, following days of protests, rallies, occupation of public car parks and camping outside city halls, yesterday they voted to carry on, unhappy with the terms of their employment. The government, as usual, is dithering, wavering between the country’s needs and the demands from the Troika, while every decision taken is delayed by the usual bureaucratic tape.

As neighborhoods are being asphyxiated by piles of bin bags, some cities – such as Thessaloniki, which boasts a very active mayor – are looking to hire private firms to do the job, something which is not looked upon kindly by the syndicates. The impact on tourism is incalculable.

A street in the town of Tripoli (source: Google)

Meanwhile, citizens already suffering from heatstroke and inhalation of toxic fumes are to be dealt another major blow: taxes for employees, farmers, pensioners and the self-employed are due another whopping rise, since they will now be calculated in a different, ‘new’ way. Speaking of which, the government has taken to inventing creatively named ways of fleecing the population – such as the ‘claw-back’ and the ‘solidarity tax’. I leave it to your imagination to make out their meaning.

This is the result of demands for more and more money from our lenders, which will go to paying back what we owe. But the well is running dry, and the economy, instead of being revived, is being driven underground. I know a lot of people who already use barter – the dentist putting fillings in the plumber’s teeth in return for having the shower fixed, and so on. Back to basics, I suppose…

23 thoughts on “Broiling and filthy

  1. I recall a long strike by garbage men in London. Rats, flies, and awful smells. In the summer heat of Greece, it must be doubly awful, as well as off-putting to the millions of summer visitors.

    As for your taxes, given the situation in the EU, and the way that Greece used to pay generous pensions to almost anybody, the bursting of that bubble must surely have been inevitable. But that doesn’t make it any easier for those having to pay now, for past mistakes. You have my sympathy indeed, Marina.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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  2. What a horrible way to start a major heatwave. I don’t even want to imagine the smell and danger to public health those uncollected bags represent. I do hope it gets sorted out soon for everybody’s sake.

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  3. An absolute nightmare. Sadly I don’t see an easy fix. Nobody wants to give up anything and there aren’t enough jobs to move the economy and no one wants to invest in businesses that will hire people who need to work. A lose lose situation. And all the literal garbage piled on top – yikes!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yikes! We don’t really realize how much rubbish we produce until it starts to pile up. Imagine if there were never any rubbish services and we all had to dispose of our rubbish on our own property! Scary thought.
    Hoping Greece comes through this hard time soon and well!

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  5. that is a sad situation. And Greece being a country where heat waves rise to very high temperatures, and heat will be burning the garbage outside, and what will residents be doing with the smell that will start to pollute their air. Sickness like vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration will soon start. This is a problem of the state, they love tax payers only to grab money of those who works, but otherwise no government has ever been interested in their people. That is life when it comes to politics and country!

    Liked by 1 person

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