Fabulous buffet dinner, live bouzouki music, a raffle.
Reports from the latest Greece Solidarity Campaign delegation to Athens.
Now more than ever, the Greek people need our solidarity and support.
They are dealing with two extreme humanitarian crises. They have stepped up with inspiring solidarity, determination and courage, and continue to resist austerity.
8 years of the severest austerity measures have led to 25% unemployment, 50% youth unemployment, wages cut by over 25% and pensions by 45%, recurring tax rises, massive spending cuts in education and health and 28% of children living in poverty.
The grassroots solidarity movement has developed a social solidarity network of self-organised free health clinics and pharmacies, community kitchens, without middlemen food markets, schools and employment projects. The solidarity structures are run by thousands of volunteers and organised by inclusive democratic assemblies.
The solidarity clinics and pharmacies serve the unemployed and migrants with no health cover, and the people who the Greek health system cannot cope with. The health system is in meltdown. In Athens, all primary care clinics were closed and the hospitals, whose budgets were cut by 50%, are overwhelmed. Medical supplies are running low or have run out. The number of staff is critically low. Mental illness has doubled and suicides risen by 35%.
Then between January 2015 and March 2016 one million refugees fleeing from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq arrived on the Greek Aegean islands, travelled by ferry to Piraeus, near Athens, then north to the Balkans until they were stopped by border closures. The Greek people, individually and through the collective solidarity structures have welcomed the refugees and tried to meet their urgent needs with warmth and generosity, sharing what little they have. The volunteers now work double shifts, at the solidarity structures and with the refugees.
The Greek people are resilient, but funds are needed!
All funds raised will go to the solidarity clinics and pharmacies in Greece
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