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Drawing the tragedy

May 7, 2012 in Comment, General

The Greek cartoonist Michael Kountouris delivers the second part of his opinions after the elections in that country. You can read the first part here.

Michael Kountouris Greece promises © Michael Kountouris at

© Michael Kountouris @

Let’s return to the crisis. It is not only economic but also political and social, but mainly it is a systemic crisis, a crisis of values and principles, a crisis of culture, which is not only Greek but European as well.

© Michael Kountouris_Euro_parachute @

© Michael Kountouris

In Greece, we are in shock and we don’t know when and how we will get over it. For this shock, this crisis, apart from the politicians, the mass media have great responsibilities too.

The media and press, having as owners big companies, building contractors and ship-owners, instead of speaking and informing the people, serve other’s interests. They lost their credibility and objectivity, they are scorned, and at the end they became a furious slogan of the Greek demonstrators: “Traitors!”

Many important Greek newspapers suspended publication, journalists were fired, TV channels stopped broadcasting, media companies collapsed. In this tornado, cartoonists in Greece live in difficult times. They lose their jobs, either because magazines or newspapers they work for are closing down, or because their work is considered a “luxury” for the newspapers. Or even, and this is the most disturbing reason, they are fired for censorship reasons.

The words I have written are too many for a cartoonist, so I prefer to end with some of my cartoons which have been published lately and refer to the European crisis and the situation in Greece.

Michael_Kountouris_Euro_burning © Michael Kountouris @

© Michael Kountouris @

© Michael_Kountouris_Euro_Camp @

© Michael Kountouris @ thanks Michael for sharing his words and pictures here.

A Greek tragedy

May 4, 2012 in Comment, General

The cartoonist Michael Kountouris shares his opinions from Greece in advance of this weekend’s elections:

I have tried many times to write about the situation in Greece. And each time, after writing a few lines, I stopped, feeling confused, disappointed, sad and angry about all the things I had to recall and describe.

Greece and the bill © Michael Kountouris

© Michael Kountouris @

At this one moment I felt the need to speak to friends abroad about the situation in my country. The sequence of events over the last two years is a riddle to me. What headline would I give to this “correspondence”? Perhaps a Greek tragedy? A theatre of absurd? A farce, a comedy, a drama? I don’t know.

What I know is that Greeks are facing a daily attack to their incomes, their rights, freedom, hope, culture, dignity and honour.

Day by day we discover the depth of the corruption in our political system, corruption that goes way back. The saddest thing is that we also discover that our country has been vilified all over the world. Suddenly, Greeks became lazy, incompetent, outcasts, living at the expense of the rest of Europe, especially the Germans.

And yet, we are the same people who, during World War Two, were plundered of gold by the Germans and were forced to grant to the German Reich a ‘‘war loan’’ that was never paid back.

We are the same people who, for the past decades, are paying enormous amounts of money to buy American airplanes, German tanks, and French warships for the country’s defence. (If anyone wonders about defence, they can check the map and see England, Switzerland, France, Germany and their neighbouring countries and then see Greece and its own neighbouring countries).

This economical bleeding could have stopped if our allies had declared that the boundaries of Greece are also the boundaries of the EU. We have been exploited and now we are treated with complete irreverence and indecency.

We will be publishing the second part of Michael’s dispatch on Monday.

Our Greek column

May 4, 2012 in Comment, General

Greece @ V_for_Vendetta © Michael Kountouris

© Michael Kountouris @

Over the next few days we will be publishing some visual reporting from Greece with the kind help of cartoonist Michael Kountouris.

He’ll be sharing observations about the present political and social situation in his country as it approaches important elections this Sunday. Look out for the first piece on Saturday. is a member organisation of the international group Feco, the Federation of Cartoonists’ Organisations.