Austerity makes new Greek minister sick

Greece 'saved', cartoon

The English Blog writes about this cartoon:

February 22, 2012

Cartoon: Saved …

This cartoon by Dave Brown from The Independent relates to the new bailout package for Greece, which was agreed by eurozone finance ministers early on Tuesday. The €130bn rescue package should avert the risk of a Greek default, but, in return, Germany and France insisted that Greece agree to harsh new austerity terms even though [that] country has been living with punishing austerity for much of the past two years: unemployment has reached record heights at over 21%, while the economy contracted by 7% in the last quarter of 2011.

The cartoon shows German Chancellor Angela Merkel as a doctor using defibrillation paddles to rescucitate the Greek patient (note the Greek flag used as a sheet). French President Nicolas Sarkozy stands ready with a carving dish, knife and fork.


One possible interpretation is that Merkel has actually killed the patient with an enormous electrical shock (i.e., too much austerity). Meanwhile, Sarkozy is preparing to take his (or rather the EU‘s) ‘pound of flesh’. We use this expression when something which is owed is ruthlessly required to be paid back (see here for origin).

From the BBC in England:

17:12 GMT, 22 June 2012

22 June 2012 Last updated at 14:51 GMT

Greek Finance Minister Vassilis Rapanos in hospital

Greece’s new Finance Minister Vassilis Rapanos has been rushed to hospital, reportedly after fainting.

I, too, would faint; if I would have to do Ms Merkel‘s and billionaire bankers’ dirty work, endangering the lives of yet more sick Greek children and making yet more Greek pensioners search for food in garbage cans.

Mr Rapanos, who is chairman of Greece’s national bank, was due to be sworn in to the new post in the debt-laden country later on Friday.

The news follows an announcement earlier in the day that Prime Minister Antonis Samaras needs an emergency eye operation.

He has been forced to cancel his first parliamentary meeting as a result.

According to a government spokesperson, a routine eye operation on Friday morning revealed damage to Mr Samaras’s retina.

He is due to go into hospital for an operation on Saturday, which means he will not be able to attend the Greece v Germany Euro 2012 game or hold his first parliamentary meeting.

Mr Rapanos, 65, is thought to be undergoing tests after fainting on Friday afternoon, local media said, but no further details have been released on his condition.

He had been due to be sworn in to his new post on Friday evening, after the ceremony was delayed to allow outgoing finance minister Giorgis Zanias to represent Greece at a Eurozone finance ministers’ meeting in Luxembourg.

Mr Samaras became Greece’s fourth prime minister in eight months at a brief ceremony at the presidential palace in Athens on Wednesday.

The meeting of the new Greek coalition government consisting of New Democracy, PASOK and the Democratic Left with officials from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund has been delayed for a week: here.

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