After picketing their homes, jeering them, pelting them with yogurt, throwing bottles and stones at them, Greek citizens have taken to venting their frustration with the country’s economic woes by hurling eggs at politicians.
Deputy Minister for Citizen’s Protection Manolis Othonas was in for an unpleasant surprise yesterday as an egg landed on his head right in front of the cameras. Mr Othonas was making statements to local reporters at a sports event in his hometown of Rethimno, Crete, when a woman through him an egg. Mr Othonas is actually the second member of the ruling socialist party that had the “egg experience”. Back in April ,Health Minister Andreas Loverdos and his entourage were attacked with eggs and other projectiles.
But eggs’ popularity doesn’t even come close to the yogurt trend spreading all over the country. In the past six months, more than five Greek deputies have had a yogurt hurled, best known those of Mr Pangalos, Ms Kanelli and Giorgos Petalotis. Less than six months ago, Deputy Prime Minister Theodoros Pangalos, saw a yogurt cup flying through the air and landing right on his forehead in Keratea , Southeast Attica where he was enjoying a family dinner.
A couple of months ago, Communist Party (KKE) deputy Liana Kanelli had her own little “yogurt treat” on her way to parliament. “I tasted it and it was good quality,” she joked with reporters after being pelted in June. Giorgos Petalotis, the former Greek Government Spokesman was the unluckiest of all since he had eggs, fruit and a yogurt cup-even a chair (!) thrown at him as he was giving a speech at a retirement home in Argiroupolis, a southern suburb of Athens.
Other than eggs and yogurt the “Door-to-Door” movement is getting more and more fashionable in the Greek capital, where citizens go right outside politicians’ homes at Athens posh neighborhoods and chant slogans such as “Thieves, thieves!” “Where did you get the money?”, “Give back the money you stole!” and “Get out of here!”. Former Prime ministers Costas Simitis and Kostas Karamanlis, former Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopulos, current Minister for Citizen’s Protection Christos Papoutsis, are amongst other Greek politicians that had the pleasure of “hosting” these tasteful festivities in front of their doorsteps.
Greek protesters revealed their creative, humorous-some say tacky- side when they actually made posters with socialist deputies labeled “WANTED MEN”. From Thessaloniki to Crete walls were plastered with pictures of PASOK deputies who basically couldn’t even get out from their houses without being bullied.
Out of control
Other than these humiliating -yet peaceful- forms of opposition to the measures, and to the pressure being applied by the country’s international creditors, in some cases protests did turn ugly. Socrates Xynides, the deputy Development minister is amongst many other government officials who had to hide behind their police escort a couple of months ago in the city of Larissa to avoid being splattered by outraged voters. The most shocking incident of all however, was with Costis Hatzidakis, a conservative former Development Minister who last year was chased by a group of around 100 angry protesters who pelted him with stones and one of them actually punched him right at the face!
Despite George Papandreou repeatedly condemning the spate of violence and warning that “instances of violence undermine democracy and lead to greater violence and injustice for the citizens.”, Greece increasingly resembles a failed state. And things are about to get uglier, with Evangelos Venizelos returning from America and announcing even more austerity measures in order to convince Troika officials to come back to Athens and secure the next trench.