Friday, August 09, 2013

Can't Pay, Won't Pay

Millions of  households face a growing gap between the energy bills they need to pay and what they can afford.  That gap now stands at £438 - a rise of £200 compared with a decade ago. The widening gap shows families are still being squeezed between rising bills and falling incomes. In 2011, according to the latest figures available, just under 2.4m households in England were struggling to meet those basic costs.

In Greece where 27 percent are unemployed, people are taking a pro-active approach to the crisis. Greece's unemployment rate has tripled since 2009, as hundreds of thousands lost their jobs or businesses. Greek incomes have been severely squeezed, cut by about 30 percent on average since the crisis started in 2009.

 Activists from the ‘We Won't Pay’ movement are illegally reconnecting power to hundreds of homes. Tough austerity measures have left many people in Greece unable to pay their electricity bills. The ‘We Don't Pay’ movement helps many of those by illegally reconnecting power to their homes. The movement has been gaining new support, despite being targeted by over a hundred law suits. In 2011 the supporters refused to pay highway tolls and rode buses and the metro in Athens without tickets in protest against an “unfair” 40 per cent increase in fares.

The vast majority of the public is sunk into poverty, and a few families across the world have 99 percent of the wealth. That's not something we want to bear, that's something we want to overthrow here in Greece and across the world,” Ilias Papadopoulos from the ‘We Don't Pay’ movement told RT in Athens.

Many say the ‘We Won't Pay’ movement is likely to go on, because it has a strong legitimacy in the eyes of the people.

“We must violate or not respect a law which says thousands of people will have no electricity to cook, no electricity to see water, to see TV, no electricity, to switch on AC,” an economist from Varna Free University of Cyprus, Leonidas Vatikiotis said.

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