Jun 162015
 June 16, 2015  Posted by at 8:14 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Dmitri Kessel Protest against Britain’s murders of partisans, Athens 1944

Next week, on June 25, I will come to Athens (I wish Nicole could join me, but she moved to New Zealand and will be there for now). There is no large fixed agenda set, but through contacts with readers of the Automatic Earth -they’re absolutely everywhere- it’s already clear that there will be a lot to do. Obviously, I will continue to publish everyday on the Automatic Earth site as well, so we may be in for some busy days. Nothing new there.

Still need to secure a place to stay, but I’m sure something will come up. And there are of course never enough readers and friends to get in touch with, so please drop a line at “contact •at• theautomaticearth •dot• com”. I would love to meet as many of you as possible, get you in touch with each other, practice our ouzo toast, dance a zirtaki and have a ball.

Where I’m coming from is talking with people on the street is something that interests me far more than talking to politicians, though I’ll be certain to drop Varoufakis a line, and less visible members of Syriza would undoubtedly make for good conversations as well. What I want to find out, and write about, is how people have experienced the past five years, how they see the next five, and how they hold together.

That last bit is especially poignant since the structure of Greek society is very different from that of America or western Europe. In a good way, if you ask me. Not only is the economy much more ‘self-contained’ -for lack of a better word-, which by the way would make a switch to an -domestic- alternate currency much less painful then it would be in richer, export-dependent nations, but Greek families stick together way more than those elsewhere too.

Ironically, that’s why they can at times -try to- make do with a single pension to feed an entire family, something that would be unthinkable in Holland, Germany, Canada, US. And it’s those very pensions that the troika insists must be further reduced than the 40%+ they’ve already been cut. What goes for families stretches beyond them to a larger circle of friends too.

Meanwhile, my planning could be either way off or right on the nose, depending on one’s view. I see talk of a Lehman moment as early as this weekend, but it looks more likely the whole thing will go down to the wire, which is June 30.

No matter what comes down, I very much think Athens is the place to be as per next week. As you probably know, I have great sympathy and admiration for what Syriza, especially Alexis Tsipras and Yanis Varoufakis, are trying to achieve, as well as for their intelligence and even more, what they stand for.

Now, I don’t think I can go to Athens and not try to see if there’s something I can do to alleviate some of the misery in my own small way. But since that way would be extremely small given where the Automatic Earth’s financial situation and funding stand at the moment, I thought of something.

I’m hereby setting up an “Automatic Earth for Athens” fund (big word), and I’m asking you, our readership, to donate to that fund. I will make sure the revenues will go to clinics and food banks, to the worthiest causes I can find. To not mix up donations for Athens with those for the Automatic Earth, which are also badly needed, I suggest I take any donation that ends with 99 cents, as in $25.99, and single those out for Greece. Does that sound reasonable? Let me know if it doesn’t, please.

I’m not expecting a flood of cash, but I hope that you, like me, think that in a civilized country people shouldn’t have to bring their own bedsheets to a hospital, or that these hospitals should be forced to work their doctors into burnouts, or simply lack basic treatments, medicines, etc.

Or for that matter that children should go hungry.

If Brussels and Washington refuse to solve these simple problems, or even attempt to make them worse, in my view Syriza is right to stand up to them, and we, us, the Automatic Earth, have an obligation to do what we can.

But that’s just me.

Home Forums The Automatic Earth Moves To Athens

  • This topic has 9 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated 9 years ago by nej.
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    Dmitri Kessel Protest against Britain’s murders of partisans, Athens 1944 Next week, on June 25, I will come to Athens (I wish Nicole could join me, b
    [See the full post at: The Automatic Earth Moves To Athens]


    Be careful out there. I think you have enough imagination to suspect what some worst case scenarios could be for public figures with contempt for the conventional story could be, no matter how obscure they are, if the decision on Greek regime change via a push with some violence is taken.

    It isn’t going to be as clean as Ukraine.


    Godspeed Ilargy for your Athens trip.
    Just put my “widow’s offering” into your Säckel.
    Take care!

    Dim Athens

    Athens is waiting 🙂 – Please feel free to contact me through my mail. I’ll be here to help in any way you need.


    Hi Ilargy, great idea. I have made a donation. Hope the trip goes well. May I suggest you take a bunch of painkillers with you since I read one can’t even buy an aspirin in Athens? Safe trip.

    Charles Alban

    There’s no doubt about it. There’s something fundamentally wrong with our modern system of economics if the people cannot be properly cared for. Other regimes absolutely took care of their people…the Inca and the Vedic systems spring to mind. We need to study the ancient texts to relearn what we have forgotten. i’ll be sending a small contribution.


    Thanks Ilargi for the wake up call. Haven’t donated in awhile and I apologize. Just made a couple of modest donations and will try to be more regular. You certainly have earned it and since I’ve been reading this site daily since 2009 I feel I owe quite a bit more.
    Thanks for remembering the Greek people. Although northeast Ohio is not nearly as prosperous like it was during the 1960’s when I started working, your articles about the Greek people have been a wake-up call and that I should feel very fortunate to have what I have albeit less than what it was before.


    I was wondering how I could help. Doctors without Borders just deal with disasters other than fiscal. I’m so glad you figured out a good solution. Wish I could join you there. I hope to visit Greece when my work load and work in the “Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground”, climate justice work is lighter.

    Expect a donation soon. I eagerly await your on the ground reporting. This is an exciting time for the future of Greece.


    never donated, never commented until today….silently devoured all you’ve written over the years…wish you the best in greece and look forward to hearing about all you see….

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