Wednesday, September 12, 2012

After the Fair

This year's protest marches to mark the start of the new political year passed off without incident in Thessaloniki. About 30,000 people participated in the three main demonstrations, and in contrast to last year no fighting was reported. It seems that the continued grind of austerity is taking its toll on Greece's opposition and this can be seen in the turn out of such protests which lack the numbers and vigour of previous ones.

This was, in part the result of the prime minister Antonis Samaras's decision not to make the traditional state of the union address at the fair, a spectacle that acts as a lightening rod for violent clashes between marchers and riot police. In part perhaps people are suffering from demonstration fatigue or perhaps they have lost the hope that taking to the streets can change anything. The decline in such protests does not mean that the current round of cuts and job cuts have been accepted but rather Greeks seem to have decided that they are inevitable and are now looking to their own personal survival.

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