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June 25, 2013
June 25, 2013

The job application of Adonis Georgiadis* for the position of Minister of Health

Author: Despina Biri Translator: Despina Biri
Category: Letters from home
This article is also available in: elesnl
The job application of Adonis Georgiadis* for the position of Minister of Health

*Adonis Georgiadis is an extreme-right politician who is presently in Nea Dimokratia (conservative party) but originally comes from LAOS (extreme right and xenophobic party); he is a frequent TV persona known for his extremism. One of his most recent proposals has been that “we should make life hard for the immigrants in order for them to understand that they are unwanted here”.

Dear Mr Samaras [1], Dear Mr Venizelos [2],

With the bankruptcy of the social security system imminent, hospital closures already a reality, and lack of access to health care a fact of life for many Greek citizens, the government needs someone who can disregard the human aspects of these policies, and concentrate instead on meeting austerity targets. I believe I am the right person for this job and here is why:

• With my background as panelist on morning television shows, I will make sure that the inevitability of cuts is stressed at every opportunity. More than most other frequent panelists, I am known for my shrill voice and relentless style of argumentation. This makes me an ideal choice for the ministry of health, since this public persona should prove useful for ensuring no voice of opposition is heard above my shouting.

• You should expect cases such as Loverdos’ ‘hygienic bomb’ [3] to become more frequent under me. Rather than concentrating on addressing the needs of the system, such as providing access to all, bringing down exorbitant pharmaceutical expenditure and bringing targeted services to those worst hit by the crisis, I will instead blame immigrants and marginalised groups for the ills of the Greek health care system, sign expensive contracts for drugs meeting only minor medical needs, and refuse to take account of any evidence linking worse health outcomes with austerity.

• I am capable of ensuring that payments to health care providers and hospitals are brought to a complete halt. Having previously served as Deputy Minister of Mercantile Marine, I have strong links the Greek elite, some of whom may be interested in expanding their business in health care. I can make sure they take a large cut of profits from running health care services, without necessarily meeting obligations for quality of services and universal access. Thus I can bring to fruition the Thatcherite dream of a completely privatized health care system, in which individuals are expected to pay for services out of pocket, while large segments of the population are unable to afford it.

• Lastly, I will continue to blatantly disregard the evidence on the social determinants of health, and avoid cooperation with Ministries the policies of which may overlap with mine, such as the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Public Works, and the Ministry of Finance. Unless of course, cooperation can speed up the cuts we are planning to make.

I hope you will seriously consider my application, and I look forward to hearing from you.

With kind regards,

Adonis Georgiadis

 

[1] Samaras is the PM and President of the Conservative Party of Nea Dimocratia.

[2] Venizelos is the President of the so-called Socialist Party of PASOK. In the recent reshuflle he got appointed Deputy PM which he has been also in the government of Papandreou.

[1] The term was used in March 2012 by the then Minister of Public Health to describe the conditions in the city centre with regards to migrant workers and prostitutes after several cases of HIV positive prostitutes were revealed. These women were arrested, forced to undertake medical examination and public humiliation (their faces shown on TV) only to be aquitted after spending several months in abhorrent conditions in jail. This also set in motion the major -and still ongoing- police operation called Xenios Zeus, targeting migrant workers in the city centre. 85,000 people were arrested only in the first 6 months and only 6% of those were actually in the country illegally.

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The job application of Adonis Georgiadis* for the position of Minister of Health by Despina Biri is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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