Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Greece’s Unhappy Marriage

by James Angelos

New York Times

March 24, 2015

On Wednesday, Greece will mark its independence day as it does every year. Schoolgirls in embroidered traditional dresses will march alongside boys wearing fezzes and kilt-like fustanellas — outfits worn by the Greek mountain brigands who launched a rebellion against the Ottoman Empire 194 years ago. Children will perform plays and recite poems emphasizing the injustices suffered by Greek Christians during the centuries-long Turkokratia, or Turkish domination.

These days, many Greeks see themselves fighting against a new foreign domination: that imposed by the country’s emergency creditors — the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund — known collectively as the “troika.” Independence day has therefore become a moment to reflect on what many in Greece call the “economic occupation” of their country.

During last year’s celebration, Greece’s then president, Karolos Papoulias, who is 85 and fought in the resistance during World War II, declared on national television: “Today our people are battling and struggling to break the stranglehold of the creditors. Our history guarantees that we will also be victorious in this fight.”


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