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Archbishop Of Greece Warns Of Social Upheaval


By John Zarocostas

Archbishop Hieronymos II of Athens and All Greece on 2 February warned the Greek government of a possible social upheaval if more austerity measures are ushered in by international financial institutions overseeing the sovereign debt crisis.

“Our hearts are shattered and our minds are blurred with all that is taking place,” he said in a letter sent to interim Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, extracts of which were published in Greek on the Greek Orthodox Church’s official site (

“The phenomenon of the homeless and the famished, a reminder of WWII occupation conditions, is taking nightmare dimensions,” wrote Hieronymos.

The interim coalition government is in the midst of critical talks with the International Monetary Fund, European Union, and European Central Bank to secure additional funds to avert a default over Greece’s huge debt burden.

The institutions are pushing for further wage cuts and tax hikes, on top of those already imposed in the last 15 months, as a pre-condition for releasing the next installment of funds. More than half a million people have lost jobs since the debt crisis began in early 2010, bringing the number of unemployed in Greece to nearly one million, or 19.2 percent of the work force, according to Eurostat.

“Our fathers are unable to live after the dramatic cuts in their pensions. Family men, particularly the poorest … are in despair due to repeated wage cuts and unbearable new taxes,” the archbishop said.

“The unprecedented tolerance of the Greek people is being exhausted, rage pushes fear aside and the danger of social upheaval cannot be ignored anymore, neither by those who are in the position to give orders and those who execute their lethal recipes,” he stressed.

The church, and many other charities and faith groups, are helping tens of thousands of people daily throughout Greece, especially in the big cities.

Social groups such as SOS Children’s Villages say cases of child abandonment at youth centers and charities in Athens by parents too poor to care for their children has shocked a nation where family ties are strong.

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Ecumenical News International (ENI) was launched in 1994 as a global news service reporting on ecumenical developments and other news of the churches, and giving religious perspectives on news developments world-wide.

4 thoughts on “Archbishop Of Greece Warns Of Social Upheaval

  • February 7, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    I am so sorry that the Greek people are suffering so. We here in the U.S. are suffering also and unable to stop the wars and Wall Street. Pray for us! I am keeping the wonderful people of Greece in my thoughts and prayers also.

  • February 8, 2012 at 9:21 am

    To the Greek People(99%)

    DEFAULT is your best option!

    Raise those middle fingers on high and tell the Banksters of the ruling 1% that Tou are NOT going to pay debts engineered by and for “bailouts” you had NO say in creating!

    Thwse debts, including what you are being screwed for, worldwide amount to some 15-50 times the gross WORLD product. (estimated at $75TRILLION).

    It is obvious just by these figures that this amounts to the greatest “ficticious capital” SWINDLE the world has ever seen.

    Your are being asked to give up essemtials such as medical care, education, environmental protection, infrastucture to sevice a NO VALUE “sovereign” debt foisted on to the REAL VALUE of your furure labours. (enterpreneur led Labour is the source of ALL real value)

    This is massive fraud and after the coming end of the Capitalist Epoch” will be so recognised, but in the meantime you need to RESIST with whatever means you can muster!

    Greece, YOU are in the forfront but YOU are not alone! The international Banksters, a 1% led by Central Banks and The International Monetary Faxcists(IMF) have their greedy sights set on the whole world with NO regard for the 99% who produce the ALL and ONLY value.

    “Let them eat cake!” aid La Royale Marie Antwoinette.

    “Let them eat garbage,” impilies La Grande Dame Christine LaGarde

  • February 9, 2012 at 1:33 am

    Thank God that Greece has Archbishop Hieronymos and a great ancient church!!

  • February 9, 2012 at 9:08 am

    For the most part, I agree with Mr. “Tarbuck”.

    It seems painfully obvious that some revealing, relevant evil forces are at work. It would behoove everybody, everywhere to be truthful at all times.

    I personally know very little of the situation, but perhaps the Eastern Orthodox religion will pray that Athena will again soon be their decided Patron Saint?

    It is my eternally springing faith that those who SHOULD be here (the “Earth”)will become the only ones who ARE here. A well-observed Good Friday is, in my esteem, a blessing.


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