This barrel of oil contains energy equivalent to four years of hard labor.

Greece

In February 2012, an Iranian oil tanker bound for Greece turned back halfway due to doubts that the delivery would be paid for. Iran had been one of the last nations to accept Greek credit. Now, Greek oil imports are purchased on credit from petroleum traders Vitol and Glencore, which charge the country a premium on every barrel.

In Greece today, one in four people of working age do not have a job.

In Greece, one in four people are out of work, 25 partly due to drastic cuts in state spending made by the heavily indebted Greek government as it struggles to prove to wealthier Eurozone countries, Germany in particular, that it should be lent more money. Public-sector jobs and salaries have been cut, along with government pensions, healthcare schemes and scholarships. Since 2008, the risk of experiencing a major clinical depression has more than doubled for Greek citizens — and so has the suicide rate.

This letter was found in the pocket of Dimitris Christoulas after he shot himself in front of the Greek parliament on April 4, 2012. Mass protests followed in Athens.

“The occupation government of Tsolakoglou has literally reduced my ability to survive, which was based on a decent pension which I alone (without any state support) paid into for 35 years. Because my age does not permit me to take an individual dynamic reaction (although if a Greek citizen took up a Kalashnikov, I would be right behind him), I can find no other solution for a dignified end before I am forced to scavenge for food in trashcans. I believe that young people without a future will some day take up arms and hang those who have betrayed this country in Syntagma Square, as the Italians did to Mussolini in 1945, in Piazzale Loreto, Milan.

Anthoula, Emmy, I love you.”

 

Dimitris Christoulas was a 77-year-old retired pharmacist. He had a wife and a daughter. Since his pension was cut, he had been struggling to pay for his medication. A witness told the Athens News that before pointing the gun to his head he said: “I am not committing suicide. They are killing me.”

 



From the pages of COLORS #85 - Going to Market.