Sunday, November 28, 2010

Three Deaths Shifted Course of Greek Crisis

The story's at WSJ, and it's sad. This is what you get with the left, and it's undereported:
Above the seething streets of this ancient city, Angeliki Papathanasopoulou—four months pregnant and at work in a downtown bank—tried to soothe her fearful mother on the other end of the phone.

It was noontime on May 5, and the tension was palpable as angry crowds gathered in Athens's main squares, readying to protest deep spending cuts needed to earn an international bailout.

"Don't worry," Ms. Papathanasopoulou told her mother on that May day. "I'm on an upper floor." Besides, the 32-year-old was leaving work early at 3 p.m., for a doctor's appointment to learn whether the child she carried was a girl or a boy.

She never found out. Shortly after 2 o'clock, as the throngs marched past her building on Stadiou Street, hooded men shattered the window, poured gasoline on the floor and hurled in a Molotov cocktail. Toxic smoke filled the three-story bank, sending 24 people who worked there climbing out of windows or clambering onto roofs of adjacent buildings.

Ms. Papathanasopoulou and two colleagues, people who had watched her marry her husband nine months before, succumbed to the thick black fumes before they could make it out.

"She and I did everything together. We were best friends," says her husband, Christos Karapanagiotis. "No one could imagine this."

For decades, Greece had tolerated unruly, sometimes violent protests against the state. Athens's radical anarchist fringe, of which police believe the arsonists were members, even enjoyed moral legitimacy in the eyes of many Greeks. The attitude reflected society's deep mistrust of its rulers and, more recently, anger at a debt crisis that nearly tipped the country into bankruptcy.

May 5 changed all that.

The deaths of three innocent employees shocked Greece, shifting the national mood and the course of this year's crisis. Instead of rising social unrest as many had feared, Greece has seen only fragmented opposition to the euro zone's most drastic austerity measures. An expected backlash against the ruling Socialist government failed to materialize in recent local elections. And last week, when the government announced fresh budget cuts, the streets were mostly quiet.

Some Greeks say it took a tragedy to burst the romantic idea of rebellion rooted in their history of resistance to the state, forcing a sobered society to face the need for radical economic overhaul. It wasn't lost on Greek commentators that the three who died went to work that day instead of protesting.
It's completely oxymoronic to pair anarchic and romanticism, at least nowadays. But until more folks wake up and challenge the anarcho-socialist-enabling media we'll be seeing more unnecessary deaths like these.

Resist these people. They are bad here, bad there, and bad for the world.

Not Just ‘Yes,’ But ‘Hell, Yes!’"