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Poets and artists stage a protest in Athens on World Poetry Day. The protesters are calling attention to what they claim is government mishandling of Greece's debt crisis. Our correspondents bring you the full story.
Content: They say the pen is mightier than the sword. And with that in mind, hundreds of Greek writers and artists take to the streets of Athens to protest their government’s handling of the debt crisis.
This is their way of celebrating World Poetry Day this year.
This renowned Greek poet and former Press Counselor at the Greek Embassy in Washington DC says the protest breaks stereotypes about how Greeks are dealing with the crisis.
[Yiorgos Chouliaras, Writer]:
“This crisis that we are experiencing is not only economic, political or ethical but also cultural. With a protest like this one today, we’re eradicating a series of stereotypes about who we are, who Greeks are and how we handle our matters so as to move ahead.”
When the Greek economy was still flourishing, grand World Poetry Day celebrations were held in many cities across Greece.
Famous poets from around the world took part, as did big organizations like UNESCO and the European Cultural Center of Delphi.
But today, it’s all done on a shoestring budget and thanks to a lot of volunteers.
George Kontogeorgis, professor of Political Science, wants to get a message out to other writers in Europe. He’s convinced the economic crisis will start to affect them too.
[George Kontogeorgis, Political Science professor]:
“We are not addressing other countries, meaning we’re not addressing their leaders. Rather it’s the cultural people and people of arts, because they are the ones who will have to stand up before it is too late for them to.”
Greece has already received a second bailout package from the EU of about 39 billion euros...