“Stolen Spring,” a new account of the eurocrisis by Swedish journalist Kajsa Ekis Ekman, hits Greek bookstores today.
“Stolen Spring” describes the eurocrisis as Ekman experienced it while visiting Athens at the height of the current economic recession. She explores the way the economic crisis has impacted the Greek economy, casting doubt on the view that the eurocrisis was the triggered by underperforming Greek laborers. Instead, Ekman traces the crisis’s origins to fundamental changes in capitalism.
Ekman, 34, writes for one of Sweden’s most popular newspapers, “Dagens Nyheter.” She attracted a following in Greece in the wake of her interview with Alexis Tsipras just prior to May’s European parliament elections.
Part of “Stolen Spring” discusses Ekman’s interviews with prominent Athenian politicians –George Papandreou, for instance. But Ekman also explores the down-and-out world of the “Indignados,” Athens’s unemployed and homeless.
Ekman fights the premise that Greeks are lazy retirement-seekers, an idea prominent in northern European journalist circles. For example, Ekman cites the fact that Greeks work an average of 42.2 hours per week; on the other hand, the average Swede works just 36.5 hours per week, while the average European works just 37.4 hours per week.
The 405-page book is to be released by the “Kerdos” publishing house. It has been translated into the Greek by Katerina Fetsis and includes a preface by journalist Ari Hadjistefanou. The book’s title is inspired by Stratis Circas’s “Lost Spring”, a book Ekman has read in French translation.