23 January 2018 Helliniko
Pride About What Exactly?
Recently the prime minister of Greece “tweeted”, with great pride that “more than 130,000 elementary school students took part in a successful program of student meals. “Our goal was that all children can concentrate on the progress made in their schooling, despite the difficult struggle their parents are making to survive.” Along with a video on YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbaqzMU9z3k was posted. This short film shows how more children have access to school lunches and ends with the phrase “It was just and it became a reality”.
We are astonished at the tone of this announcement. At MCCH we see, every day, the complete inability of patients to purchase needed medications,
What exactly it the prime minister proud of?
- That 130,000 students are not able to be fed by their parents?
- That close to 36% of the population (3.8 million individuals) live with the danger of poverty or social exclusion (*1)
- That the 2009 poverty level of 598 Euro per month had reduced to 376 Euro per month by 2014 (*2). In other words, the problem is essentially greater!
- That half a million children in Greece live with poor families (*2)
- That nearly one out of every two children in Greece are deprived of basic material needs (*2)
- That the austerity that impoverishes so many families continues to this day
If, Mr. Prime Minister, you what us to be truly proud you will eliminate, or at least try to eliminate, the reasons for their impoverishment. Patch work programs and good PR are not a substitute while your citizens live like beggars.
No one should be proud of the miserable conditions that a majority of our society is forced to live under. And there is nothing whatsoever to feel proud of for those who have contributed to this situation. It’s good that some work has been done, but let’s not allow public relations fool us into thinking that the situation has fundamentally changed.
*1 Eurostat: “The conditions of poverty and social exclusion of one out of three Greeks”
2* Web Page of Unicef
https://www.unicef. gr/έκθεση-unicef-η-κατάσταση-τ ων-παιδιών-στην-ελλάδα-2017/a2 -954-9