From The Greek Streets – A Letter by a Physician
Published by: Occupied London, 03/05/2012
“Why we occupied our hospital” – an open letter by a hospital doctor at the workers-run hospital of Kilkis.
“The occupation of our hospital in Kilkis by its workers began on Monday, February 20. This occupation does not merely concern us, the doctors and the workers at the Hospital of Kilkis. Nor does it only take place in response to the Greek National Health System (ESY), which is indeed collapsing.
We are undertaking this struggle because what is under threat today is human rights. And this threat is not even made against one nation, or a bunch of countries, or social groups: it is a threat made against the lower and middle classes in Europe, America, Asia, Africa; across the entire world. Greece’s today is the tomorrow of Portugal, Spain, Italy and the rest of the countries around the world.
The workers at the hospital of Kilkis and most hospitals and health centres around Greece are not paid on time, while many of them see their wages being slashed, to reach practically zero on a practical level. One colleague of mine was rushed to the heart clinic in a state of shock when he realised that instead of receiving his usual monthly cheque of 800 euros (yes, that is his monthly salary) from the state, he received a notice saying that not only was he not going to be paid for that month, but that he had to return 170 euros instead. Other workers were paid only 9 (nine) euros for that month. Those of us who continue to receive some wage will support them in any way we can.
This is a war against the people, entire the entire community. Those who claim that the public debt of Greece is a debt of the greek people are lying. It is not a debt owned by the people. It was amassed by the governments, in cooperation with the banks, with the aim of the enslavement of the people. The loans toward Greece are not used to pay wages, pensions or public healthcare. The exact opposite is happening: wages, pensions and healthcare cuts are used to pay the bankers.
They are lying. In opposition to what they are declaring, they do not wish to see a society free of debt. They are creating debt themselves (with the aid of corrupt governments and politicians) for their own benefit. They gave a banker to Greece for prime minister, to ensure that the “job” will be executed correctly. Our prime minister Loukas Papadimos has not even been elected. He was appointed by the ECB and the bankers, with the aid of European and Greek corrupt politicians. This is their own interpretation of the word ‘democracy’.
Debt is caused by bankers, who create money out of thin air and receive interest, merely because the governments gave them the right to do so. And they continue to say that those who are called to pay the debt are you, and me, and our children and grandchildren; with personal and national wealth, with our lives. We owe them nothing. To the contrary, they owe to the people a large part of their wealth, which they amassed thanks to political corruption.
If we do not open our eyes to this truth, we shall soon all turn into slaves, and we will be working for 200 euros or less per month. Those of us, that is, who would be able to find a job. Without healthcare, with no pensions, homeless and hungry, just like it’s already happening with my fellow inhabitants in Greece. Thousands of these live in the streets and are going hungry.
We do not have any intention to paint any gloomy picture; this is the truth. The current situation has not been caused by a financial or monetary accident or error. It is the beginning of the ugly stage of a long procedure following a carefully designed plan, a procedure that started decades ago.
We must fight together against this neo-liberal plan. And this is what we are doing here, in Kilkis, this is what people are doing in many, many cities around the world.
For the time being we are not considering launching an account for financial support. It is possible, however, for this to become necessary in a few months or weeks even, if the situation worsens. For the time being, what we need first and foremost is moral support and publicity. Local struggles around the world must spread and gain mass support, if we want to win the war against this corrupt system. If you can think of additional means through which to spread the news and our ideas, that would be wonderful.
You can contact us at [email protected]
Once again, we cannot than you enough for your kind thoughts and words.
Leta Zotaki, director of the radiological unit of the Hospital of Kilkis,
member of the general assembly of workers,
president of the Union of Hospital Doctors of the Prefecture of Kilkis”
A previous article on the Kilkis Hospital occupation can be found here.