The European Civic Forum condemns the ultimatum imposed to the Solidarity Health Centre of Elliniko which would be fatal for the organisation. This move fits once again the narrative that financial and economic interests have the priority over the fundamental right to associate, a narrative that we dissociate from. We believe that the organisation brought a priceless contribution to the city and its citizens, filling the gap that a state under the pressure of austerity was unable to fulfil any longer.
Their webpage says <<The Metropolitan Community Clinic at Helliniko, or MCCH in short, provides free primary medical care and medication to all uninsured, unemployed and needy patients regardless of who they are or where they come from. The goal of the clinic is to serve people, but its volunteers have no illusion that they can replace the Greek national health care system (nor do they wish to). We strive for a public health care system that provides high-quality services and is open to all.>>
Numbers speak clearly: <<Since December of 2011 they have treated 7,366 patients and conducted 64,025 patient visits. We pioneered recycling of medicine in this country and because of medicines we have gathered, hundreds of organizations and agencies throughout Greece have asked for and received support from us. Besides our own patients, we have sent medicines and materials to community clinics, public hospitals social services and organizations serving people with disabilities, child care facilities, refugee centers, and many many more. The list is long, but all who came to us found open doors and immediate support from the volunteers at MCCH and those who support us. There are thousands of those who have donated medicines, supplies or their labor both in Greece and from other nations.>>
We stand in solidarity with our Greek colleagues and we call other civil society organisations to do the same. In case you want to support this call for solidarity write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The state company of ELLINIKO A.E. issued last week an ultimatum demanding MKIE to evacuate its premises in the publicly owned old airport of Elliniko. This is in order to facilitate the privatization of the old airport, despite the resistance of all those who demand a creation of a Metropolitan park, a green area of culture and sport activities open to all in its space.
The ultimatum demands the MKIE to empty its premises by the 30th of June (!), without proposing any alternative space for re-location in another public building. Therefore, this is not just an eviction but a lethal blow.
MKIE was founded in December 2011 and it has been the continuation of the vast mobilizations of Syntagma sq. in that summer. It was and still is the response of socially active and sensitive citizens against the violence of the crisis and austerity that was imposed to the many by the few.
Its primary aim has been the provision of free health services and medicine for anyone uninsured, unemployed and poor, the first victims of the crisis who were abandoned by the public health care services. At the same time, it claimed the reinstatement of free and universal health and medical care for all those excluded from them.
Moreover, with its action created a new way and mode in the provision of health services, putting the human beings in the center of health practice, and not only the illness.
Based on self-organization, autonomy, horizontal democratic function and without any kind of political or economic bonds, MKIE inspired and brought together hundreds of volunteers. All these years, the latter have cared with solidarity and respect 7.366 individual patients in over 64.000 visits to MKIE. Moreover, the needs of MKIE are supported by solidarity actions developed by thousands of people in Greece and internationally.
The MKIE from its start serves people from all over Attica and beyond. It has also supported with medicine, refugee camps, NGOs and public hospitals. MKIE wants to continue without any obstacle its operations because it is still a need for this. For that reason, MKIE is determined to fight shoulder to shoulder with all its patients and supporters.
We, the undersigned, who work in academic and research institutions and in the culture and media, we recognize the immense social and humanitarian contribution of the MKIE. Moreover, we consider it an innovative example of communal management of public assets and of urban space, an incubator of novel approaches to the health practices, and a space where new social relations and knowledge is produced. Therefore, we state wholeheartedly our support in its struggle to continue its route on the road of solidarity, dignity, respect and humanism.