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Greek Journalist Acquitted, Greek Crisis Goes On …

  • November 3rd, 2012
  • Posted by EUEditor

vaxevani.jpgThe Greek journalist Costas Vaxevanis says his arrest for naming the holders of Swiss bank accounts, and a near media-ban on the case, reflects a corrupt state of affairs in society.

Mr Vaxevanis, 46, was acquitted of charges under privacy protection laws on Thursday, emerging to talk with reporters, many from the foreign media (picture).

Underscoring the theme of crisis, Greece, along with Spain was spotlighted as the worst region unemployment in the European Union, when new figures were made public this week.

NAMES FROM ONE SWISS BANK

Costas Vaxevanis, known for his work on an investigative program on television, received, and made public the names of 2059 Greeks who had accounts with a Swiss bank.

They included leading political and business identities, and the act of publication was seen as highlighting notorious and major-scale taxation blamed for the paralysis in the national economy.

“The main problem in Greece is the people who govern it. It is a closed group, an elite …”, he said on Friday.

His arrest a week ago was carried out with some vindictiveness, in a raid by a special forces squad on a suburban house.

The episode drew weak coverage in the national news media, giving rise to complaints of abuse, and pressure from above.

Successive Greek governments have been under pressure from European partners to re-order the culture and conduct of public life, if they can; away from the model of a poor and corrupt state with weak standards of governance, and into the field of formal regularity required by participation in the EU and the Euro currency system.

CALL FOR RESPONSIBILITY

The message was reiterated by the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, in Athens last month (see EUAustralia Online, “Angela Merkel: Woman under pressure …”, 31.10.12): Greece had good partners making available the benefits of access to the European economy; and Greece needed to keep to its commitments on economic management and debt repayment — including the job of getting in government revenue.

The despair and resentment among people en masse who are broke and out of a job, in an endemic recession, belongs to another reality, seen in the continuing street disturbances, and  growth of support for radical political movements.

RECESSION AND JOBS CRISIS IN EUROPE

Latest unemployment figures released by the European Commission, 31.10.12, show that Greece  had 25.1% joblessness, Spain 25.8 %, with those numbers doubled for the young.

The average for the 17 countries in the European currency area had grown to 11.6% , up from 9.8% a year ago.

For the whole of the EU, 25.75-million people were out of work, from the whole population of 500-million, and that was up by 2.145-million over one year.

Reference

Athens News, Athens, “Vaxevanis’ court hearing postponed to November 1”, 29.10.12. www.athensnews.gr/…, (2.11.12).

European Commission / Eurostat, Brussels, Unemployment Statistics, 3`1.10,12. http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/index.php/Unemployment_statistics#Recent_developments_in_unemployment_at_a_European_and_Member_State_levelt, (3.11.12).

Renee Maltezou, Reuters, London, “Acquitted Greek journalist says press muzzled by elite”, 2.11.12. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/02/us-greece-journalist-idUSBRE8A113420121102, (2.11.12).

Picture
ifex.org

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