Living in Greece

A practical guide to moving, living, working & traveling in Greece, plus musing and misadventures from an American in Athens

Greek-inspired protests spread to EU


Protests in Copenhagen, Denmark
Photo by Helene Meden Hansen in Copenhagen

Unrest has spread to Spain (Barcelona and Madrid), Denmark, Sweden, Italy, France and Germany, with the assistance of Web savvy youth. More demonstrations are planned for Friday but have so far not reached the level of violence and destruction seen in Greece.

Four Interviews

Interview with R. Nicholas Burns, former under secretary to the United States and former U.S. ambassador to Greece, on PBS Newshour with Jim Lehrer. *Also has two short interviews with protesters.

Interview with PASOK leader George Papandreou on France 24.

Interview by BBC’s Malcolm Brabant, highlighting unrest in Athens from an asylum seeker’s point of view.

Interview with Vasilis, Greek riot police officer.

* The interview I had scheduled with the anarchist never happened because of his inability to answer my questions via phone, email or in person due to his personal commitments.


  rositta wrote @ December 12th, 2008 at 23:02

1.3 BILLION friggin dollars in damages to Greece…ciao

  The Scorpion wrote @ December 13th, 2008 at 08:49

I have to admit, it’s funny to see this happening at Greek embassies abroad. Now, maybe they can understand what Americans have to put up with from idiots around the globe who protest at our embassies. Maybe they will realize they are not immune from it either.

  Demitris wrote @ December 14th, 2008 at 00:05

@ The Scorpion – The reason anarchists are turning their attention to Greek Embassies in other countries is an act of solidarity with the anarchists in Greece. It also makes me cringe every time I see anarchists & protestors outside the US embassy in Athens, it’s retarded and achieves nothing.

The young Greeks complain, complain & complain some more that they can’t get the jobs they want. Hellloooo!! Welcome to the real world, there are precious few people on earth that can say they ended up with the job of their dreams or at the very least a job that they are satisfied with. Hey, I wanted to be a rock star, that didn’t quite work out. I don’t go torching other people’s private property.

All the time they spend complaining i.e. sitting in a cafeteria talking rubbish all day long. They could use that time to do something constructive. The world today may have a lot of problems but there are also way more opportunities than in the past. If you’re not happy with the job situation you can always go into business for yourself. Honestly there are no excuses for all of this.

  phillip wrote @ December 15th, 2008 at 08:21

Saw the interview with Papandreou. I kinda see why people aren’t too keen on him. Bit limp.

  epaminondas wrote @ December 15th, 2008 at 09:52

To this date, no official has ruled out that the death of the anarchist was an accident. The defense attorney has stated that he saw the bullet and there is no doubt that it was an accident. The defense attorney has also stated that he will ask for the release of the two policemen. Meanwhile, the media in Greece ( Sunday’s”Eleftherotypia” newspaper of Athens, Sunday nightly news of Mega TV channel of Athens) are saying that the anarchist killed was just standing by , eating, while his friends were attacking the police. Why would then a cop shoot him to death and not shoot the ones that were attacking him?

Kat Reply:

Alexi was wearing a bandana and yelling expletives, but there is no evidence he was an anarchist. For the most part, he was just a kid hanging out in Exarcheia that night. Also, you will see the facts (not Greek media hearsay or hype) stated in the third paragraph of “Profile of a MAT police officer.” They are updated to show the latest information.

  graffic wrote @ December 18th, 2008 at 10:23

@Demitris: do not forget to point out how students take care of what is given to them for free. Like burning books or destroying universities.

There are young people moving forward. They’re smart and you cannot stop smart people, but many live in their dreams financed by their families.

  KT wrote @ January 5th, 2009 at 15:19

haha Demitri, that was funny. You are so right!! The majority of Greeks in Greece are spoiled and are magically waiting for the right opportunity to come along, and live the life they always dreamed of, but life does not work that way! Continue to sit in cafeterias and bars, and you will see what the outcome will be. but yes I agree there was no reason to destroy property that did not belong to them, maybe instead of all that energy they wasted on destroying athens, they should have devoted it to planting trees in Peloponessos…ohhhhh but wait, that’s what the Xazoamerikani are for.

  Constantine wrote @ January 8th, 2009 at 15:18

Hello Kat,

First let me congratulate you on your excellent website/blog.

I enjoy reading it immensely and your writings have been a great help to me since I moved to Athens from London nearly 2 years ago. My thanks to you for all your effort.

Your recent entries on the civil disorder following the shooting incident have compelled me to comment because they stand so far out from the rest of the banal commentary I have seen and heard. The lucid and perceptive comments here are a welcome relief from all the shrill, politicised nonsense.

As you wrote, Greece is widely perceived as a safe country compared to its European neighbours, and until recently I would extol this virtue to friends back home. However in light of the riots and the unbelievable apathy shown towards the wanton destruction I have had to modify my view.

I live very close to Syntagma and therefore witnessed day after day of violence with baying mobs (often comprised entirely of children) directing abuse and missiles towards the police and property. But surprisingly, very few of the mobs were comprised of the usual anarchists and wannabe-revolutionaries. Well dressed, happy faced and sporting all the must-have accessories of their generation, their faces painted a very interesting and disturbing picture. As they confronted the lines of police their gleeful anticipation of the forthcoming mayhem was obvious. There was no apparent reflection on the tragic death of a contemporary. There was no visible anger at the ending of a young life and, sure enough, once the violence started, the children forgot why they were there and were simply revelling in the lawlessness – their message lost, their cause forgotten.

Witnessing this I suddenly began to understand the obvious lack of any civic responsibility here in Greece. Why bother to obey a red light or put litter in a bin when hurling rocks at the police and destroying property is ok?

As Aristotle said – we are what we repeatedly do.

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