Voices from Russia

Friday, 13 January 2012

Children of the Euro Crisis


The problems engendered by the current financial crisis forces Greek parents to abandon their own children. Many compare the current situation in Greece the devastation of the Civil War that tore apart the country after World War II

A teacher at an Athens nursery found a note from a four-year-old girl’s mother in the girl’s jacket… “Today, I didn’t come to pick up Anna, because I can’t afford to raise her. Please, take care of her. I’m sorry”. The local media made this story well-known. Not only local Greek media outlets cover such dramatic events, even British outlets cover them. According to the Daily Mail, the situation that’s arisen in the social sphere is “the most tragic consequence of the Euro zone crisis”. Staff of charities reported several somewhat similar incidents, where parents literally “surrendered” their own young children. According to the BBC, one of these organisations in Athens, SOS Children’s Villages, reported “hundreds of cases” in the last year when parents tried to abandon their children “for economic reasons”.

The last time the Greeks faced a similar situation was in the second half of the 1940s, in the post-war chaos and Civil War. The Daily Mail reported on another serious problem in Greece sparked off by the crisis, exacerbated by the economic steps taken by the government, a shortage of essential drugs. In other “problem” states, the situation is only marginally better. The new prime minister of Italy, Mario Monti, told German Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel that the government of his country has already done what it can in terms of budgetary reductions, and now have to rely on “specific assistance” from EU institutions. He pointed up that if such aid weren’t forthcoming there’d be a real threat of “a powerful anti-European turn” in the minds of the masses. Sr Monti said, “Europe isn’t only a fiscal construct. It’s very important to start putting forth constructive political energy”. According to experts at the European Central Bank, for instance, Spain could have even more serious socio-economic problems.

However, Bundeskanzlerin Merkel made it clear that she’s opposed to an “Upload” in the budgets of Greece and Italy from German taxpayers. Yelena Ponomarevna, an expert in comparative politics at the RF MID MGIMO spoke to VOR, saying, “It makes little sense in this situation to invoke a sense of collective responsibility and, moreover, to attempt to use criteria based on humanistic values. These values ​​are absent in today’s market. Therefore, socio-economic development is treated in like fashion. If there’s an increase in the market, if dislocation or humanitarian disasters occur, it doesn’t matter. Therefore, EU enlargement and the advent of a single currency zone didn’t eliminate social and economic problems and imbalances. It’s even more difficult to do so at the peak of a crisis. So, perhaps, that’s what happened to the Greeks, and to all the other people suffering from the crisis… the worst is yet to come”.

13 January 2012

Pyotr Iskenderov

Voice of Russia World Service



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