If you think Americans are angry, come to Greece

ATHENS – Greek yogurt may be a fresh and flourishing fad in the United States, but in its birthplace, the drippy dairy dish offers more than
An anchorman at a regional television channel in Greece was interrupted on-air by protesters throwing eggs and yogurt during an interview with a politician. The protesters yelled “You brought a fascist on the program” and chanted “Cops, TV, neo-nazis, all the scoundrels are working together.”just a soothing digestive: It is a weapon of protest.

From politicians to police and pop idols, legions of Greeks have long fallen prey to the yogurt throwing tradition. And while the trend fizzled decades after it first emerged in the 1950s – offenders were arrested; their heads were shaved and they were before paraded in public – the popular prank is now gaining new appeal and growing momentum as the country grips with protests in the wake of unrelenting austerity.

Cash-strapped Greece has relied heavily on international bailouts since May 2010. In exchange it has implemented brutal budget cuts, slashing pensions and salaries while repeatedly hiking taxes – all moves that have deepened an acute recession, leaving one in five Greeks jobless and a nation reeling, unable to handle its despair.

Over the weekend, mobs of militant protesters stormed the studio of a tiny television station in northern Greece, pelting the presenter with yogurt and eggs for hosting a far-right politician promoting fascism and neo-Nazism in the country. For several minutes, the perplexed Panagiotis Bourchas kept calm. But then — drenched in yokes and milky whey — he dashed off the set.

Visually arresting, the grainy footage went viral on YouTube, featuring prominently, also, on international newscasts. But in Greece, it was no laughing matter: It marked the latest show of anger seeping out of this crisis-wary country as it heads for elections — the most defining in the state’s contemporary history.

The fear? Two years into a devastating debt crisis that has brought Greeks to their knees, that anger has mutated into more militant forms of protest, reviving extremist attacks on symbols of wealth and the state after a period of relative lull.

For example, hours after the eggs-and-yogurt attack, extremists bombed a government building in central Athens. And just days prior, a 77-year-old pensioner took a shotgun to his head in public suicide against austerity as militants firebombed the office of a Costas Simitis, a former prime minister credited with ushering the country into the single European currency fold in 2001.


Washington Post has the full article

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