In da crisis: Greek hip hop against austerity
There will be no finance ministers' meeting before the leaders' summit in Brussels – a sign that there are doubts that that EU leaders will be able to come up with a rescue package on their own. While hopes for a political way out of the crisis are fading, “Soul System” are finding inspiration elsewhere. Their political rap lyrics have been striking a chord with the Greek people.“We play at the protests and in the squares. The situation in Greece is really tough – everything has reversed from what we used to know a few years ago.We say with our own lyrics how we perceive things that are happening in our society,” says one of the musicians.Whilst performing in unison may come naturally to the group, euro zone leaders have increasingly been failing to sing from the same hymn sheet. “You cannot take 27 different countries, 21 different languages all with their own different histories and different forms of government, you cannot take them and force them into one unified form of government without first getting their approval,” says British MEP Nigel Farage. “That approval has never been given and the European project actually is dying as we look at it.” As the battle to come up with a rescue plan for the ailing EU continues, talks have been marred by bickering amongst the member states. “We now have the Greeks abusing the Germans – they now burn EU flags in Athens openly with swastikas drawn on them. And we have the Germans slagging off the Greeks as being lazy and useless,” Farage goes on. “And the irony of this project is that far from us all becoming friends together in this new European house, actually we are beginning to argue and bicker in the most extraordinary way.”But as Greeks face austerity cuts which are slashing jobs, wages and pensions, protesters in the streets claim those in power in Brussels and Athens are to blame, putting political games before the needs of people.“All the politicians have to speak to each other. Nobody speaks to each other – that’s the big problem. Everyone does what they want – the left party, the right party – but nobody hears the people,” says one of the protesters on the streets of Athens.As major political decisions and talks continue to take place behind closed doors, “Soul System” are determined to take the discussion back to the streets. They say: “If we get our message across to people and help them understand, we feel we’ve succeeded in something. We don’t know where this situation is going. We know why this has started, but we don’t know where it will end.”While “Soul System” pumps out music in tune with the mood of the people, EU leaders' assertions that they can find a solution to the zone’s problems has left them sounding to some like a broken record.