• Bad news from Greece

    by  • 9 November, 2012 • News • 3 Comments

    You’ve all been reading about the profiteering corrupt lazy Greeks who messed up their own country and brought it to the brink of collapse, haven’t you? And how they deserve a little suffering for their sins? Today I’d like to tell you the story of one of these Greeks.

    He’s 60 years old. Think of him as your eldest brother. If you are much younger than my regular readers you can picture him as your uncle or even your father maybe. Take a good look at him.

     Γιώργος Χατζής

    Γιώργος Χατζής

    His name is Giorgos Chatzis. As I said, he’s 60 years old, from Siatista in the Kozani region, north Greece, and has worked as a construction worker all his life. Six years ago he had a serious accident during his work that left him incapable of working any longer. Four years ago, after the usual wringing through the kafkaesque bureaucracy, he received a disability pension of 400€ a month, the only economic resource of the family. You can tell he’s a regular profligate.

    Last February,  IKA, the social security service that covered him, informed Chatzis that it would cut off the disability pension. Chatzis started a veritable bureaucratic Stations of the Cross from office to office and authority to authority in order to keep the pension. The one before last Station was reached on August 29th when IKA informed him that his pension would be permanently cut and that he had to wait till the age of 65 to be granted a reduced retirement pension. Five years without income.

    He called his wife on the phone. “Wife, I won’t be coming home. I have nothing to offer, I’m a complete failure. I love you all. Take care of the children…”. That was 10 weeks ago.

    A few days ago, a shepherd found his body in an advanced state of decay hanging from a cliff in the rocky mountains of Galatini.

    Your brother is no more, sorry to bring you the bad news…

    3 Responses to Bad news from Greece

    1. 9 November, 2012 at 14:56

      What to say…

      Stories like this happen much more often nowadays. We see despair around us all the time. And we could easily be one of these guys.

      Let’s not forget. Let’s try more.

      • luc
        9 November, 2012 at 15:22

        Thanks, Yianni. I just want to remind my readers (most of whom are foreign) that, behind these broad sweeping generalisations of Greece and the Greeks that they’ve been bombarded with in the last couple of years, there are real people that suffer small human dramas. Real people, like Giorgos above, that could be their brother, or uncle or father. I want them to reflect how that would impact their own lives, the next time they hear their politicians extoll the virtues of a solid dose of austerity medicine for Greece.

    2. Robert
      12 June, 2013 at 15:43

      That’s a heartbreaking story and there must be many more. Why is it so difficult to bring the greedy ones to pay back what they stole from the needy ones? Everywhere on earth and all times (till now) btw.

    Leave a Reply