May was a month of rain. The ones living outside city having grounds with trees, fruit and vegetables are so content. The water bill will be less this month. Not on every place it has rained that much, but even some rain drops will help to reduce the bill! Streets are clean, on the leaves of the trees on the roads there is almost no sand and in the big cities, like in Athens and in Thessaloniki, one can smell a little bit more oxygen.
Unfortunately, on some places it has rained so much that it has destroyed nature. For those people another disaster occurred. Hopefully, this weekend’s sun and the beginning of the summer will create a little bit of joy for them.
A couple of days before the strike of 23th of May, pharmacies are full of people. Parents who need to have the necessary vaccination for their child are taking the medicine at home to stock it in the fridge until the fixed appointment at the pediatrician. Old people and others who are doing therapies for years try to get enough medicines in order to have no lack if the strike goes on for more days than announced. Everyone, also the physicians, are worried about this chaos.
It concerns an insurance of a very large percentage of the Greek population. Pharmacies have decided to organize a 24 hour strike as the insurance does not pay them because of deficit. When the strike begins, people will need to buy their medicines in the pharmacies and afterwards it will be paid back by the insurance (anyway, that is what is said). Pharmacies will be open, but most of the medicines have to be bought by the Greeks. Everyone is distrusting the whole system, no one takes any risk and tries to have the necessary medicines at home before the strikes starts. Furthermore, most of Greek people cannot always afford to buy expensive medicines because of the continuing salary decreases. They do not have the choice of buying their medicine and getting it paid back afterwards. And of course, everyone is afraid that one day, close to today, the assurance system will collapse. That the strike will go on and that no one will know until when.
People are confused, do not feel safe. It is the subject of discussion, together with the next elections in June, in all stores and public places.
People living close to beach sides or mountains are dragging their barbeque sets to a beautiful place where they can enjoy this symbolic day, some decide to make a close trip to family living out of city and others are preparing the best lunch at home to celebrate this day off.
The 1st of May, a day of celebration, a day representing an historical battle for labor and human rights. Even if these rights are today violated by the political system and even though most of them cope with serious difficulties paying their monthly charges, most Greek people insist on celebrating this day with hope on a better future for their country. They refuse to give joy to those who want them to lose their balance of life and those who don’t give anything about their human dignity.
One can see colorful handmade floral wreaths hanging on most of front doors, hear music playing, smell the meat being prepared, hear people talking loud. Discussions about politics, shocking changes and economic problems are sometimes wrapped away by a nice joke or a new person enjoying the company. Even though some people do not show up because of disillusion and shame of not being able to offer the same as the others (as everybody brings something to create a perfect lunch), most of them enforce the day’s atmosphere by their presence. Concerning the little ones, children are glad not to hear the endless talks about the current difficulties for even one day. They are just playing and enjoying the sun . From the early morning hours until sunset.
1st of May next year, will it still be the same?