Selective outrage?

The organizers of and participants in last Thursday’s protest rally against the imminent US strikes on Iraq display both the selective sensitivity that characterizes us Greeks – more than ready to take to the streets as citizens of the world but not as citizens of our own wretched country with its endless problems. Other Europeans also protest at the creation of a new world order but they display the same determined resistance to their problems at home. In Italy, for instance, 1 million protesters took to the streets recently to express their opposition to imminent reforms to labor laws, including the establishment of a quota for employee dismissals. And in France, stores and public services ground to a halt for days due to strikes in protest at similar «reforms» which threatened to increase already high unemployment levels. In Britain, mass demonstrations were held over the seriously ailing state health system. Have our unions and various groups – so sensitive to the eventuality of a world war – organized such impassioned rallies against the ostensibly «free» state health system which obliges us to spend a fortune on cramming schools to educate our children? Was there ever a countrywide protest or strike which challenged the government over unemployment or changes to the labor regime? It is worth noting that the only serious, well-organized mass protest (against proposed pension reform) achieved what it set out to do – it forced the government to backtrack hastily…

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