Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece on Thursday addressed a letter to Prime Minister Lucas Papademos voicing his strong concern about the situation the country, referring to the “despair”, as he said, being experienced by the people who lose their jobs and homes.
“The phenomenon of the homeless and the famished, a reminder of WWII conditions, has taken the dimensions of a nightmare,” he underlined, adding that “the homeless increase by the thousands everyday, while small and medium-sized enterprises are forced to go out of business. Young people, the country’s best minds, choose to emigrate, while our fathers are unable to live after the dramatic cuts in pensions. Family men, particularly, the poorest, those with many children, wage earners, are in despair due to repeated wage cuts and unbearable new taxes. The unprecedented tolerance of the Greek people is being exhausted, rage pushes fear aside and the risk of social upheaval cannot be ignored anymore by those who are in the position to give orders and those who execute their lethal recipes.”
The current head of the influential Greek Church, who rarely makes statements on non-spiritual and non-ecclesiastical issues, underlined that the situation will deteriorate further and stressed that “in these difficult and undoubtedly, crucial times, we should realise that every Greek home is plagued by insecurity, despair and depression, which unfortunately, have caused, and sadly enough, continues to cause the suicides of those unable to bear the ordeal of their families and the pain of their children.”
He warned that “it is obvious that the drama our country is experiencing will not end here but it could take up new uncontrollable dimensions.”
The Archbishop used uncharacteristically tough language to refer to new austerity measures, which are expected to be implemented, saying the country’s national resources will be surrendered, stressing that the Greek people call for honest answers.
“Even tougher, more painful and unfair measures are being demanded within the same ineffective and unsuccessful policy that is being followed. We are forced to have even larger dosages of a medicine that has proven to be deadly. We are being demanded to undertake commitments that do not solve the problem and only temporarily postpone the foretold death of our economy while, at the same time, we surrender our national sovereignty. They use as collateral our country’s wealth and the wealth that we can recover from our land and our seas,” the Archbishop stressed, adding that “the voices of the desperate, the voices of the Greek people, are being provocatively ignored in decision-making.”
The Archbishop underlined that Greece “will be able to make it if it will resist the blackmail that comes from abroad and rejects these deadly recipes … the Greece of culture, history and traditions cannot be lost because a few believed that this is possible.”