The “Won’t Pay” (Den Plirono) Movement in Greece

δεν πληρώνω χαρατσι

The «δεν πληρώνω» (“won’t pay”) movement in Greece is generating a lot of commentary in the press — but mostly in the Greek press, and so mostly in Greek. But I’ve been able to extract a few tidbits from the news via Google Translate.

Some background: The Greek government, trying to get on a stronger financial footing and pay off international creditors, is raising taxes and cutting spending — in effect, giving Greeks that winning sales pitch: “you will get less from us and it will cost you more, all so we can give money to foreign banks.”

In Greece, tax evasion is notoriously something of a national sport, so raising taxes either means further goring the few bloody oxen who can’t run fast enough, or coming up with creative ways to tax the faster ones. In this case, the government has decided to hike fees like highway tolls (or sell the rights to collect these fees to foreign companies) and tack new taxes on to utility bills. The “won’t pay” movement is largely attacking these new taxes.