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article imageGreek pensioner pours yogurt over Finance Minister Venizelos

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By Katerina Nikolas     Mar 11, 2012 in World
Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos is the latest victim of a yogurt attack. A disgruntled pensioner attacked Venizelos by pelting him with yogurt, in the traditional Greek form of protest known as "yaourtoma."
Athens News reported Venizelos was attacked at Saturday's Pasok national convention, where he was hoping to woo party members to support his bid for party leader.
A 70-year-old cane wielding pensioner identified only as Nikos vented his frustration over cuts to his pension by resorting to the act of "yaourtoma," a phenomenon that has experienced a surge in resurgence during the last two years of Greek austerity.
While other cultures may prefer to hurl eggs, tomatoes or flour at their discredited politicians, Greeks often resort to yogurt as it is so closely associated with the Greek identity. Whilst verbal attacks on politicians remain the norm there have been quite a number of instances of yaourtoma in the last few years.
According to Ta Nea "The symbolism of yaourtoma is indicative not only of disrespect and loss of national Greek identity. It looks like the protesters seek to remind the Greek political identity." The popular brand of FAGE Greek yogurt isn't wasted on the politicians, but a specific yogurt made from sheep's milk.
When the crisis hits the fan reported that a Greek court ruled in 1997 that yogurt throwing was not an offense unless the victim files a lawsuit. One politician, Sokratis Xinidis, has even gone so far as to express an expectation of becoming a victim of yaourtoma, saying "The time has come for all of us to pay the price. I am ready to be thrown a yogurt…”
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More about greek yogurt, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, yaourtoma, Greek identity, PASOK convention
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