(Photos) American Invention Black Friday Hits Greece; Greek Government Condemns as Tacky American Over-Consumption Trick

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Long lines, people pushing and shoving as they wait outside stores to be the first to enter— it’s a scene out of any American mall or big box retailer today. It’s Black Friday after all— the day after Thanksgiving that Americans love to grab that special offer on a giant screen TV or other gifts for the holidays.

Welcome to Greece— where yep, you guessed it— Black Friday was “celebrated” today with long lines, people pushing and shoving for that last laptop on the shelf and clogging traffic in busy city centers like Athens, Iraklion and mainly in Thessaloniki.

Major retailers took advantage of the event that happens every year in the United States, adding cash to the registers as a badly-needed boost to holiday spending.

But Greece’s leftist Syriza government was quick to judge the event and criticize it as a vehicle that only big corporations benefit from and victimizes the “new poor” of Greece.

The government’s committee on small and medium sized-businesses issued a statement (in Greek below) condemning the event and also digging at the United States as the nation of over-consumption.

«Η προσπάθεια επιβολής καταναλωτικών συνηθειών της πατρίδας της υπερκατανάλωσης, των ΗΠΑ, στον υπόλοιπο κόσμο, συνεχίζεται δυναμικά με στόχευση αυτήν τη φορά τους νεόπτωχους της παλιάς μεσαίας τάξης». Τώρα και στην Ελλάδα μια “αμερικανιά”, το Black Friday, που εξυπηρετεί μόνο τις πολυεθνικές αλυσίδες παραγωγής και εμπορίου, οι οποίες δημιουργούν μια ακόμη ευκαιρία να ξεπουλήσουν το μεγάλο τους στοκ, που μόνο αυτές έχουν την δυνατότητα να διατηρούν και με προφανή στόχο τη μεγαλύτερη συρρίκνωση των επιχειρηματικών δυνατοτήτων των μικρομεσαίων επιχειρήσεων».

The statement loosely translates as a criticism of the arrival of Black Friday in Greece that criticizes big retailers who are taking advantage of the average consumer in an attempt to sell off their stock and characterizes the day as an “Amerikania,” a term often used in a derogatory manner to describe American cultural over-reach in Greece.

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