Friday, 10 August 2007

"Olympic sized horror in Greece"

Thanks to City Strolls for this one:

'We are also getting bombarded with stories about how Athens is "a city transformed" by the Olympic Midas touch. As International Olympic Committee Chairman Jacques Rogge put it, "At Athens the legacy will be a new airport, new metro, new suburban train, ....this is a legacy the Greeks will be proud of."

'But don't let the gold, silver, or soft-core sexism fool you: These Greek Olympics arrive bathed from head to toe in blood and dust.

'You won't hear about it in NBC's gauzy coverage, but Amnesty International estimates that anywhere between 40 and 150 construction workers died in work place accidents building Olympic facilities. The new center right government of Costas Karamanlis, terrified of international embarrassment for not having a modernized infrastructure, turned the screws to finish facilities by any means necessary

'In the last push of round the clock preparation alone, 13 laborers were killed at the service of making Athens, in the words of one Olympic official, "habitable for a global audience".
As Andreas Zazopoulos, head of the Greek Construction Workers Union said, `"We have paid for the Olympic games in blood."

'Their deaths aren't the only cause of local anger. The Karamanlis government has scuttled Greek law forbidding foreign personnel from carrying weapons in the country by allowing hundreds - perhaps thousands - of American, British and Israeli Special Forces soldiers to be armed to the teeth throughout Athens.

'City authorities are also, according to Democracy Now, "rounding up homeless people, drug addicts, and the mentally ill requiring that psychiatric hospitals lock them up. Also affected by Athens Olympic clean-up are refugees and asylum seekers, some of whom are being targeted for detention and deportation in the days leading up to the games." '

the whole story.

1 comment:

aux88 said...

Hmm.. well they are using the Olympics as a pretext to carry out repressive policies in China as well. But that means the government and its policies are the problem, not the Games. Because sporting competitions arouse such patriotism at national and local levels governments/councils use them as cover for implementing unpopular measures. By attacking the staging of the events themselves, rather than the side-effects, aren't we falling victim to their propaganda?