The Greek crisis has radically changed Greek society, politics and the economy. In just a few years the “Greek Dream” of the beginning of the 21st century, when Greece had experienced some years of rapid GDP growth (about 4% for the first 4 years of the new millennium) mainly due to construction and consumption, has turned into a nightmare.
The Greek society is a society in great depression. In this article we will focus on the development of new forms of social movements, social conflicts and solidarity initiatives that we consider to be part of the green ideals and could help the Greek society get out of depression.
Greek crisis and environmental protection
Environmental politics were never well developed in Greece, but in the last years before the economic crisis the Greek environmental movement has had a short “renaissance”. First, there was the movement against the Olympic Games, which helped reinforce other local urban movements fighting to reclaim public spaces for societal use. Secondly, the massive series of forest fires in 2007 led to an increased public awareness about the causes and effects of global warming, which then led to the creation of new environmental grassroots movements (e.g. Green Attack, Bloggers, Guerrilla Gardeners etc.), and the reinforcement of the Greek Green Party that gained an MEP in the 2009 European elections. This in turn has led to the “greening” of the public discourse of other political parties (mainly Pasok and Syriza). Finally, the Greek riots of December 2008 and the participating youth movements have led to the creation of new social experiments around the social and solidarity economy, this involves the so called “transition and recovery movements” (movements aiming to transform economical activities and every-day life rather than to protest and reclaim changes from the authorities) or the theory of degrowth.