For Local Greeks, ‘Austerity’ Is More Than A Buzzword

Protesters rallied new austerity measures on the Greek island of Crete on Sunday. (AP)

Protesters rallied new austerity measures on the Greek island of Crete on Sunday. (AP)

It’s been a rough Wednesday for battered, bankruptcy-threatened Greece, as European Union Officials continue to toy with the idea of expelling the country from the EU.

To stave off that disaster, leaders of Greece’s two largest political parties pledged in writing that they will stick to a punishing package of austerity measures voted through the Greek Parliament on Monday.

Now, austerity is a word being batted around a lot, but in the context of people’s lives, what exactly does it mean? Americans are a continent and ocean away, so it’s easy to talk about Greek austerity by the numbers: 20 percent unemployment, 3-billion euros worth of cuts to jobs, pensions and services.

Massachusetts has a sizeable Greek community, and for them, austerity is not just talk – it’s tangible, terrible, and having a real impact on their families, friends, and the Greek community here.


  • Alexandra Anthony, documentary filmmaker and professor of film at the Rhode Island School of Design.
  • Stamatis Astra, (@AstraReport) Radio talk show host on Grecian Echoes and chairman of the development committee for Boston’s University’s Arion, a journal of humanities and the classics. Founder and CEO of the start-up PhotOral.
  • Christina Rigopoulos, Greek-American Emerson College student.


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