Hooliganism: A Destructive Stigma for Young Greeks

As I am researching Greek blogs for my first post I sit within the comfort of a nice quite study room scrolling through images of beaten immigrants, smashed cars, rioting, reports of severe unemployment, race hate and a government in crisis. I see Greek life, in many aspects, has spiraled out of control.

On June 8, 2012 Nick Malkoutzis blogged on the topic of fear saying, “Fear is a sentiment that Greeks have learned to live with over the past couple of years. As the thread by which the country hangs grows ever thinner, fear has begun to pervade all aspects of life.”

If fear has ‘pervaded all aspects of life’ in Greece then I wonder what is one subject in particular that they fear the most? Well for young Greek people it’s the fear of leaving home to find employment. That plays a part in the reason the Internet is flooded with videos of riots. There are no jobs. Life for some is basically at a stand still until they decide to take matters into their own hands. This action has created quite an outburst of hooliganism.

Hooliganism is a term that describes a collective group of people as malicious, unruly and committing violent acts of destruction. In the U.S. we sometimes use the term hooligan to describe when one or a few young people are acting out in society, but this label has been branded to the foreheads of young people of Greece in the current turmoil of the Eurozone crisis.

The media blast Greece youth as destructive and out of control, but their side of the story is seriously lacking in the headlines. With 50% unemployment for educated young people under the age of 25 the odds are extremely lacking in the favor. As if unemployment wasn’t enough the current political and debt crisis is taking a toll on the country as well. Greece has seen a spike in poverty, suicide and crime rates along with unemployment and emigration in order to find work outside of the country.

This makes me wonder if I ended up in a similar situation how would I handle my emotions? Would I take action with drastic behavior or just wait until the day things finally turned around?

Despite the anger, hopelessness and anxiety that consumes peoples’ lives there are still those who are holding out for better times. Within the blog Occupied London: From The Greek Streets I found a bit of hopeful happiness that occurred in Athens where a bus traveled around to fill their streets with “colourful forms of art”. The video encourages the people to “be optimistic, they will hold the hands of the person sitting next to them and they will do something about the situation,” said Georgios Neris who was featured in Take back the Greek streets, with art a film by Ross Domoney on Vimeo.

That is just a sneak peak into my explorations of how young Greeks are handling the problems that overwhelm their lives and homeland. I want to express my thoughts on the situation in a critical and comparative voice between what is covered in hard news reporting and what the people have to say about it within personal online blogs.

And for now I leave you with this…

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” –Marianne Williamson

5 thoughts on “Hooliganism: A Destructive Stigma for Young Greeks

  1. I really like how you wrote this blog. It really shows your own voice, and isn’t written like a news article. This blog shows just how bad things can be in some places, and how they differ from America or have some small similarities.

  2. I really like how you made the connections to America. Our unemployment rate is a very serious problem and we are starting to see movements rise against the government. Especially with social media available to organize people this is a situation all governments will have to deal with.

  3. This is an interesting issue and I think you bring up a lot of great points. You give a great background on the issue and I like how you give the perspective of the Greek youth instead of just going with what most of the headlines say. I also like that you question how you would react if you were in the situation. It made me think about how I would react and it makes the “hooliganism” a bit more acceptable. Finally, I like how you balance the hooliganism with a bit of positivity. That offers a great perspective and truly captures every side of the issue.

  4. As in any society a large young and jobless population is what causes government officials to lose sleep at night. That same demographic is also the one that drives change, whether positive or negative in their country. While hooliganism is a serious crime – it also seems to be a symptom of a much larger problem. The question I have is whether that youthful energy can be better put to use in creating conditions ideal for economic growth or do most young Greeks feel the situation to be hopeless?

  5. This is very compelling and I am looking forward to your next posts. You raise a good question about how you would handle yourself if you were living in Greece right now. I was wondering the same for myself. Sometimes the thought of finding a job in the US after graduating seems daunting, however a 50% unemployment rate would really be discouraging.

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