Greek economic crisis

Health effects of Greece’s austerity measures are “worse than imagined,” report researchers

Sophie Arie
London

Greece’s severe economic crisis has had a substantially negative effect on public health that provides a warning for other countries faced with similar challenges, the authors of a report published in the American Journal of Public Health have said.1

Researchers at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and the University of New Mexico in the United States said that
a sharp deterioration in major indicators of public health had accompanied the worsening of the Greek economy over recent years, as incomes fell and unemployment soared. Suicide and murder rates rose by 22.7% and 27.6%, respectively, between 2007 and 2009, while deaths from infectious diseases rose by 13.2% in the same period. Sharp increases in substance abuse and mental health problems were also recorded.

The authors said that evidence from Greece and from previous economic crises elsewhere implied that reduced household incomes and purchasing power, as a result of unemployment and cuts in real wages, could lead to reduced health expenditure by households, lower use of private health services, and greater use of public sector services, especially those that are free or low cost at the point of delivery.

In Greece, these trends have happened at a time when government spending on healthcare has been slashed. Compared with 2010, use of public inpatient and primary care services in 2011 rose by 6.2% and 21.9%, respectively. Meanwhile, government health spending was cut by 23.7% between 2009 and 2011, with many services being privatised and staff levels in the public sector being cut dramatically.

Elias Kondilis of Aristotle University, lead author of the study, said: “We were expecting that these austerity policies would negatively affect health services and health outcomes, but the results were much worse than we imagined.”

The authors said their findings indicated that austerity policies were likely to cause deteriorating health conditions elsewhere in Europe and also in the US. They argued that past resistance to pressure from international financial institutions to reduce public investment in health services in Latin American countries—such as Argentina, Venezuela, and Ecuador—had been followed by improvements in health and economic indicators that may otherwise not have occurred.

1 Kondilis E, Giannakopoulos E, Gavana M, Ierodiakonou I, Waitzkin H, Benos A. Economic
crisis, restrictive policies, and the population’s health and health care: the Greek case.

Am J Public Health 2013, doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.301126.

Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2740

© BMJ Publishing Group Ltd 2013

Dimitris Kazakis – Cass Business School – April 11th 2013

Dimitris Kazakis addresses EPAM London – Greece must leave the Euro and the EU

Introduction by Tim Congdon, CBE
This is the English language version with the words of Dimitris Kazakis interpreted by Anthony Ragusis of EPAM London

 

Millstone article update: The Government of Greece punishes freedom of expression

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Published on April 3rd 2013

Effective March 14th the President and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece signed a presidential decree to remove the title of ‘Ambassador Ad Honorem’ from former Greek Ambassador to Canada Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos.  In Greece, the title ‘Ad Honorem’ is awarded to retired diplomats in recognition of their long-standing and exemplary service to their country.

Ambassador Chrysanthopoulos quite rightly rejects the validity of this decision. Personally speaking, I commend him for ‘just saying no’. No one, not even an outspoken child, should be expected to humbly accept unfair treatment.

The question that arises is why both the foreign affairs ministry and President Papoulias would decide to strip the ambassador of a well earned title when the Minister gave Mr. Chrysanthopoulos high public praise on the Foreign Affairs website for his long standing service to Greece and his work as Secretary General of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization just 9 months ago.

Although the decree contains no reason for this decision, confidential government sources have informed Ambassador Chrysanthopoulos that the decision was based on the outcome of a December 2012 international interview that he gave. (more…)

Portraits of Greece in Crisis: a new documentary project

By Tamara van der Putten On March 28, 2013

Post image for Portraits of Greece in Crisis: a new documentary projectPortraits of Greece in Crisis is a new series of documentaries about the Greek crisis created to fulfill the need for an alternative crisis narrative.

 

Press release via PortraitsofGreeceinCrisis.com

Portraits of Greece in Crisis is a series of independent and self-funded mini-documentaries about the Greek crisis. An ongoing project that was created in order to fulfill the need for an alternative crisis narrative, against an unprecedented big media propaganda.

Portraits of people through the daily routine of which the Greek crisis is being described, portraits of institutions that are collapsing and of conceptions that are being distorted during a crisis that is economic, political, cultural, moral and social.

In essence, Portraits of Greece in Crisis is a project that films the experiment executed upon Greece; a registration of today, that tomorrow will turn into a historical documentation of the crisis.

Five portraits have been released, until now. They describe the issues of unemployment, social state’s failure, resurgent fascism and xenophobia, as long as citizens’ efforts for self-organization against collapsing constitutions. The project aims to cover as widely as possible crisis’ spectrum in every corner of Greece and beyond.

The portrait “Kialo Amadu, minor immigrant in Athens”, one of the most popular films of the project, approaches the particularly sensitive issue of racism in a country which is forced into poverty. Kialo talks about his life in Athens and describes the real “danger” of a society, where compassion and solidarity are replaced by racism and xenophobia. (more…)

Greece: Crisis – Debt – Solution

Thursday 11 April 2013, 19:00-21:30
Cass Business School, 106 Bunhill Row, London EC1Y 8TZ
Room: LG002 

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The event will include a lecture by Economist, Financial Analyst and General Secretary of EPAM, Dimitris Kazakis on the history and dynamic of the Greek debt, policies implemented which led to the climax of the debt crisis and his proposal for a possible solution to the issue.

Speaker(s)

Dimitris Kazakis, is an economist/financial analyst with many years of working experience within the Financial Industry having worked for numerous companies in Greece and abroad. Up until November 2011, Dimitris Kazakis was writing articles for many popular newspapers and magazines in Greece some of which are ‘Hellenic Nexus’ and ‘To Pontiki’. Since 2010, Dimitris Kazakis hosts a daily radio show dealing with Economics and Finance while in 2011 he published his first book titled ‘The Greek Pompey, the chronicle of an announced bankruptcy’. Dimitris Kazakis is currently the General Secretary of the United People’s Front (EPAM).
Timothy Congdon, is an economist and businessman, who has for over 30 years been a strong advocate of sound money and free markets in the UK’s public policy debates. He is often regarded as the UK’s leading ‘monetarist’ economist and as one of its most influential economic commentators. He was a member of the Treasury Panel of Independent Forecasters (the so-called ‘wise men’) between 1992 and 1997, which advised the Chancellor of the Exchequer on economic policy. Lombard Street Research, one of the City of London’s leading economic research consultancies, was founded by him in 1989. He was its Managing Director from 1989 to 2001 and its Chief Economist from 2001 to 2005.
Timothy Congdon, Tim Congdon has been a visiting professor at the Cardiff Business School and the City University Business School (now the Cass Business School). He was awarded the CBE for services to economic debate in 1997. A prolific writer of newspaper and magazine articles, and the author of nine books, his most recent book is Money in a Free Society, published by Encounter Books of New York in late 2011.

Description

Greece is a country with a modern history of 183 years while the history of its external debt has a modern history of 189 years. This lecture will include an extended analysis on the history and dynamic of the Greek debt starting from the distant 1824 and the very first loans given by the City leading up to the current situation. The relationship between the trends in national debt and politics will be thoroughly examined while Mr. Kazakis, will be presenting his thesis for a possible solution to the major issue of the Greek national debt and the current financial crisis within the Eurozone. His radical thesis includes an extended plan based on the principle of an immediate exit from the Eurozone and the use of the national currency as a basic stimulus for growth through the nationalization of the Greek banking system.
Among others, Mr. Kazakis in his lecture will present his own predictions for Greece and the Eurozone in general using his expertize on international economics which led him to become the first economist in Greece who since 2001 had accurately predicted the dramatic increase in Greece’s national debt and the current financial crisis in Europe while since December 2012 he had accurately predicted the Deposits Haircut in Cyprus. The lecture will be concluded by an open discussion with the audience.

http://bunhill.city.ac.uk/media/events.nsf/(AllEvents)/3DBFBFFFF797E1C880257B2E00421B22/?OpenDocument

http://www.cass.city.ac.uk/

EU austerity drives repression in Greece

By Christoph Dreier

Global Research, October 13, 2012

 

In her lightning visit to Athens on Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel made clear that the European Union (EU) intends to intensify its attacks on the social rights and conditions of working people throughout Europe.

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Shielded by 7,000 riot police, Merkel raced through streets that had been cleared of people to attend a meeting with Greek Premier Antonis Samaras. Her purpose was to ensure that Samaras not back down in the implementation of the savage austerity measures dictated by the EU. Merkel then met with selected entrepreneurs who hope to make a killing based on the starvation wages being imposed on Greek workers.

On the same day, an all-party coalition of the ruling Socialist Party, the right-wing Union for a Popular Majority, and the centre-right Democratic Movement voted in the French National Assembly for the fiscal pact Merkel had negotiated with former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Although Sarkozy’s successor, François Hollande, won last May’s election in large part by pledging to renegotiate the fiscal pact, it was passed without so much as a comma changed. It commits France to reducing its budget deficit by radical social cuts.

Greece has been the example for all of Europe since it applied for bailouts in 2010. Wage cuts, mass layoffs and the destruction of social welfare programs imposed by successive Greek governments at the behest of the troika (the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank) serve as a template for every other European country. (more…)