The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that human beings have the right to work (#23) and to obtain fair compensation for work. A Greece unemployment rate of 26% clearly violates Article 23 which guarantees employment. Every human being is guaranteed the right to food, housing, and basic necessities of life under Article 25 of the Declaration. How is it that the European Union which was the source of these declared rights can look away when Greeks are deprived of basic human necessities? Food Banks are not government food programs. They are acts of dire necessity. Soup kitchens kill the hunger pains but are not nutrition programs. The rough living imposed upon the Greeks is an act of barbarity which can never be “justified” through references to debt or to the crimes of actors who are probably not even in Greece any longer. The IMF, ECB, The Heads of European States and especially Germany should take heed: the whole world is watching what they are doing to Greece.
“Show care and empathy for the Greek people whose humanitarian needs could be met with a few clicks on the international banking groups’ computers. Have you no fellow feelings? Have you no shame?”
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
The medical crisis in Greece has reached extreme levels. The unemployed are seeking care at voluntary clinics. Here is a report (#2 in a Series) on the Social Crisis in Greece, specific to a lack of medical resources. They lost 6000 doctors who were laid off.
The Greek Parliament has passed new humanitarian measures. These laws will help provide emergency food and housing allowances (feeding those without food and keeping them in their apartments and houses); and, there will be a new way to pay off taxes owed through 100 payments (instead of being evicted and being imprisoned as debtors.) Instead of praising these measures which will bring relief to the Greek people, the representative of the ECB has dared to call the new law a “unilateral measure” as if Greece, an independent nation, cannot legislate humanitarian relief for its own citizens. The political war against Greece continues, but the war on the impoverished citizens of Greece must not continue. It is degrading, demeaning and undeserved. Inhumane. /3.18.15/
Updated, April, 1st, 2015: The New Yorker has a brief summary of conditions in Greece.