Greece is the all-weather scapegoat of EU: A never ending humilation

Today EU threatens Greece over border controls! As a draft report of the European Commission says:  Greece has “seriously neglected” its obligations to control the external frontier of Europe’s passport-free Schengen zone.

Some days ago at the ‘Annual Team Building’ of the Elite  at Davos, the Chief Accountant of the EU, Mr. Schauble  with his linguistic games referred to the democratic elected PM of Greece as an idiot!

As anyone can understand, Greece’s humiliation has no limits! Of course, this humiliation is reinforced by the strong opposition inside the country from the partisans of the left/ right wing and  ala Greek style neo-liberals(an interesting amalgamation of right wing people).

One thing is the common truth and the curse for the Greeks, they are not able to see themselves as an entity and being accompanied by their notorious low self esteem they are blaming each other (an ongoing attitude) for any governmental action.

The above combination is an easy target for the failed leaders of Europe and their politics.

Last year Angela Merkel, as formidable Hegemon of Europe -in terms of financial power only- announced without taking consideration the rest of the European countries  and mainly the countries that are the  entrance of the refugees-such Greece, which at the moment is an impoverished country- the acceptance of the Syrian refugees. Consequently, quite a few Europeans (Poland, Czech republic, Denmark, few German states, Britain) either closed their borders or started seizing the valuables of the Refugees (Denmark, some states of Germany…).

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It was a matter of serendipity by seeing the above two artefacts at the Victoria Gallery in Bath the other day and so ironic at the same time. The two figures represent Europe and Asia. Europe as an emancipated intellectual woman proud of the great achievement of the Enlightenment being accompanied by Asia, who is holding her ‘valuables for better or for worse’!

At the beginning of the 21st Century Europe’s leaders are trying to set aside their responsibilities by finding their all times scapegoat, Greece! The values of the Enlightenment have been replaced by the motto ‘show me the money’ for better or for worse.

 

 

 

 

 

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Greece and the Propaganda of Fear

Greek crisis is  at its worst at this moment that I’m writing this post. Last Friday Tsipras rejected the disastrous offer of the eurogroup and  later that day announced a referendum of NAI/yes, OXI/no in order the Greek 2000people to decide by themselves if they want or not the austerity measures of the eurozone. The latter question is exactly what must be answered by the Greek people on the Referendum on July 5th. Manolis Drettakis, politician and  professor of economics, explains the issue of the referendum and the interference of the creditors-manipulation of the questions and spread the fear – in the internal affairs of Greeks  at his article  at

http://www.efsyn.gr/arthro/pragmatiko-noima-kai-oi-synepeies-toy-nai-i-toy-ohi.

Prof. Drettakis’ article makes obvious the staggering misinformation and manipulation of every Government act throughout this six months of its governance. This astonishing phenomenon of  propaganda doesn’t happen only lately and only from the creditors side but from almost all the MME in Greece which belong to the Greek oligarchs and they are in threat from this new leftist government. This propaganda against the government started days if not months before the election of  Alexis Tsipras’ government. The first day of Tsipras’ election, I remember, there were websites belonging to mass media Oligarchs portraying Tsipras as a traitor of Greece? He was never part of any corrupted government in the past – the main cause of today’s disaster. The same vicious war is against  the finance minister Yanis Varoufakis. I assumed their only fault was that they were fresh people in the government, not corrupted and they were trying to dismantle the old ruling class and the corruption which has  penetrated  every level of the Greek ruling class/elite.

The Referendum is looming on July 5th and Greece is in default as was announced by the IMF which didn’t extent the days by providing liquidity to the Greek Banks in order the Greek people exercise their democratic rights without fear. Now they were pushed against the wall, they are frightened of not having any money-only 60 euros per card/day is permitted. Tsipras encourages them to vote ΟΧΙ/NO and argues that with NO he will be able  renegotiate the austerity measures and to ask the haircut of the debt which isn’t viable something that IMF accepted with a letter ( see :  http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jul/02/imf-greece-needs-extra-50bn-euros ) yesterday.

The atmosphere in Greece is far from normal. There is Dihasmos/Division among Greek people and a lot of animosity among them. The NOs and YEs are half and half as the polls are predicting so far.

My thoughts are every minute with them and hoping for the best resolution. I know that the Greeks are resilient and great fighters and they will survive as they always do throughout the centuries.

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P.S. : There is a lot of support for the Greek people at the moment –

– A British man, Thom Feeney launches crowdunding campaign to pay Greece debts at  http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/30/briton-crowdfunding-campaign-greece-debt-thom-feeney.

– A lot famous academics such as Prof Stiglitz, Thomas Piketty as I had mentioned in my previous post at : https://pinelopi.wordpress.com/2015/06/06/a-plea-for-sanity-greece.

A lot of American-Greeks such as  Nia Vardalos,  Arianna Huffington and more to come support the Greek people.

Nia Vardalos was sharing a letter by the Greek government at

http://wire.novaramedia.com/2015/06/in-defence-of-greece-6-myths-busted/

Arianna Huffington posts on her timeline the following photo which  is worth a 1000 words

German Debt Agreement of 1953, when creditors, including Greece, forgave much of German debt.

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Happy Here and Now!

Today’s zeitgeist dictates that everything should be interpreted in economic terms in order to make sense in our times, even the term happiness! Walt Whitman, the American poet, tumblr_n80a60dyn91qdsu1vo1_1280 wrote “happiness, not in another place but in this place … not for another hour, but this hour”. This quotation is going hand in hand with  the economist Maynard Keynes’s belief that it needs  immediate actions whatever concerns the economics:

“In the long run we are all dead”.

This year, except the never-ending economic crisis other awful things happened in Europe and around the world – Ukrainian, Syria… and religious terrorism. But again, we’ve  noticed people react and  show an unprecedented courage and resilience when there is the right leadership to support them. The obscure and weak French president Hollande had shown amazing leadership skills by inviting all the leaders in Paris to march along with 3.7 millions of people in the name of free speech.  The movement of “Je suis Charlie” has more connotations other than in the name of free of speech that had  been analysed extensively on the media.  In this occasion, I fully agree and support what Woody Allen said :

“Life becomes so painful at times that there’s a need to slip a barrier of comedy between you and it”.

Returning to the issue of economic crisis which has swept away the last trace of happiness from the Greeks and the rest southern Europeans, there is a glimpse of good news.  There is a big movement “pro Greece’ in Europe and  in the circles of intellectuals and economists who have studied  history in depth and they are in position to compare  the past with the present. Gillian Tett(Columnist of the year 2014) referred to the conference she had attended last summer, where the economist Benjamin Friedman gave a  brief history on debt forgiveness without mentioning at all the word Greece, but obviously all the attendants knew very well what he meant. He said :

“Germany was one of the greatest beneficiaries throughout the last century: on multiple occasions (1924,1929,1932,1953). There is no economic ground for Germany to be the only European country in modern times to be granted official debt relief on a massive scale and certainly no moral ground either. In Europe, the mood is so punitive that is akin to the 19th century retributive philosophy that created debtors prisons. Default is deemed immoral.” (A debt to history? by Gillian Tett, FT weekend magazine 17/1/15)

She added that officials from Europe’s periphery nations were even more indignant.To them, Germany faced a moral duty to help places as Greece, given the aid that it had previously enjoyed as Friedman mentioned above.

Therefore, there is a bit of good news for this year since the crucial election in Greece looms and things and changes can happen.The support exists, what Greece needs is a good leadership to make the most of this support. Francois Hollande showed the way : When there is a good cause everybody follows. The Greeks and the new government after the elections on January 25th,  have to show to the world that they can tackle the corruption and the rest will fall into place.

When there is hope there is happiness! Happy New Year to all!

 

Stay angry, don’t fall asleep and try to change the world

“Stay angry, don’t fall asleep and try to change the world” Matthieu Pigasse, the enfant terrible of French finance(CEO of Lazard).

I found his words so refreshing and somehow motivated me again to have a second look at the aftermath of the financial crisis mainly in Greece and consequently in Europe.

This Sunday, the Greeks are voting for local mayors and  representatives in the European Parliament. The leaders of the two major parties have excelled in rhetorics. Tsipras  (Syriza) says that he will end the burden of the bailout programme….(the most appealing lullaby) and Samaras bullies the voters by using the two magic words “last chance” to carry on with the programme… 

There are some other parties/movements more towards the political centre with no real leaders, the  Communist Party KKE,  which plays the Wendi’s (Peter Pan) role in the people’s conscience  and the  nazi party Golden Dawn, which is rising dangerously and unsurprisingly.  It is  quite common in the countries of high corruption, the people lose all their belief in politics and political persons (see rise of Islamism) and start behaving badly in an extreme way.

But again, the solution of minimising the above danger is in the hands of the more well off people, the elite. They will be able with their vote and their influence  to enforce the uttermost and desperate need of Greece, at the moment, which is even more important than the financial upheaval, the establishment of strong Institute of laws. This will stop the series of puppetry behaviour of the government concerning the announcement now and then of various  taxes and changing property laws. This will be the only way to protect themselves from the angriness of the more vulnerable, uneducated milieu with instincts of that of wild animal as well as enforce the repatriation of the lost Democracy.

Therefore, today all of those of you who are in the opposite side of the extreme parties, stay angry, don’t fall asleep and go to vote whatever party suits you best, but don’t forget the real target is to force your parties to establish the indisputable Institute of laws in Greece. This is the first step towards repatriating the country’s respect in the whole world.

Happy Sunday!

 

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The Grand Old Duke of York : Tips for Debtors

Oh, The Grand Old Duke of York…
And when they were up, they were up,
And when they were down, they were down,
And when they were only half-way up,
They were neither up nor down…(The Grand Οld Duke of Yorκ, nursery rhyme)

Την παραπάνω διαδικασία ακολουθήσαμε όλοι οι παρευρισκόμενοι στην μικρή δεξιώση που δόθηκε πρός τιμή του Δούκα της Υόρκης, Πρίγκηπα Aνδρέα στο Αμπού Ντάμπι. Σηκωθήκαμε όταν μπήκε,καθήσαμε όταν κάθησε, ξανασηκωθήκαμε όταν σηκώθηκε και μείναμε όρθιοι μέχρι να φύγει. Αυτό το τελευταίο, με έκανε να είμαι τώρα οριζοντιωμένη στο καναπέ μου και να γράφω αυτό το ποστ. Τελικά όλες αυτές οι δεξιώσεις είναι σκληρή δουλειά. Δύο ώρες ορθοστασία με τακούνια-δίμετρα για να σταθώ στο “ύψος μου”- που βυθιζόντουσταν στο γρασίδι λές και χόρευα τουίστ και μικροκουβεντούλες που έχουν ειπωθεί εκατομμύριες φορές με τους ίδιους και τους ίδιους ανθρώπους. Ο xώρος είναι μικρός και γνωρίζουμε όλοι όλους, τουλάχιστον στο συγκεκριμένο βρετανικό γκρούπ του Αμπού Ντάμπι.

Ο Δούκας έβγαλε ένα μικρό λόγο για τον εορτασμό των 40 χρόνων της ίδρυσης του κράτους των Ενωμένων Αραβικών Εμιράτων και αμέσως μετά έπιασε ψιλοκουβέντα με τους διάφορους καλεσμένους στο κήπο της βρετανικής πρεσβείας.

Κάποια στιγμή ήρθε και δική μου σειρά και ιδού η στιχομυθία :
-Τα σέβη μου υψηλότατε!
-Ποιό είναι το μέρος καταγωγής σου;
-H καταγωγή μου είναι ο τόπος γέννησης του πατέρα σας, αν δεν κάνω λάθος.
-Ω! Είσαι μια Ελληνίδα λοιπόν.
-Ακριβώς.
-Πώς πάνε τα πράγματα εκεί κάτω λοιπόν;
-Πολλά χρέη υψηλότατε και έχουμε στριμωχτεί.
-Καταλαβαίνω, καταλαβαίνω είναι δύσκολo όταν κανείς έχει βουτηχτεί μέχρι το κεφάλι στα χρέη. Αλλά υπάρχουν πάντα τρόποι και λύσεις για να βγεί κανείς από το τούνελ.
-Ποιοί είναι αυτοί οι τρόποι υψηλότατε; Γιατί μέχρι τώρα από ό,τι φαίνεται, ανακυκλώνουμε τους δανεισμούς.
-Η Σάρα-η πρώην- είναι η πιο κατάλληλη να σου δώσει κάποια συμβουλή, μιας και τα κατάφερε μια χαρά και ξεχρεώθηκε σε σύντομο χρονικό διάστημα.
-Τι έκανε δηλαδή;
-Προώθησε τον εαυτό της, τους τίτλους της και τις διασυνδέσεις της.
-Δηλαδή;
-‘Eκανε την διαίτα Weight Watchers, αδυνάτισε και μετά έγινε πρέσβειρα της ίδιας της φίρμας.
-Τι εννοείτε δηλαδή να κάνουμε όλοι Ελληνες διαίτα και να αρχίσουμε να προωθούμε την μεσογειακή διατροφή?
-Γιατί όχι;
-Μα, η πρώην σας είχε τίτλο, ήταν γαλαζοαίματη και το πιο βασικό είχε εσάς σαν στήριγμα.
-Μα και εσείς έχετε, αν δεν κάνω λάθος, το καλύτερο υπόβαθρο. Πράγμα που το έμαθα από πολύ μικρός και μάλιστα στο σχολείο. Το θέλετε ή δεν το θέλετε, όσο και σκουριασμένο,καταχωνιασμένο και εντελώς κακοδιατηρημένο, το οικόσημο το έχετε. Το πρώτο μάθημα ιστορίας σε όλα τα σχολεία του Δυτικού κόσμου αρχίζουν με την ελληνική ιστορία.
-Ναι, ναι το ξέρουμε. Όλα αυτά έχουν χιλιοειπωθεί, μέχρι που έχουν γίνει μια καραμέλα διαρκείας στο στόμα μας. Και παραμένει καραμέλα.
-‘Οσο για το ότι είμαι στήριγμα της Σάρας, είναι γιατί έχουμε αναπτύξει μια σχέση εμπιστοσύνης μεταξύ μας.Κάτι που μπορείτε να κτίσετε μεταξύ σας, οι Ελληνες, μιας και είδατε ότι χωρίς αυτό, είτε είστε πλούσιοι ή φτωχοί ή καλοί ή κακοί Ελληνες, όλοι βρίσκεστε στο ίδιο παρανομαστή όσον αφορά την αξιοπρέπειά σας προς τον έξω κόσμο.
-Υψηλότατε, καλά τα λέτε. Αλλά η διατροφή μας είχα μπασταρδευτεί με τα τριγλυκερίδια που έχουν εισαχθεί με τους τόνους, τρώγοντας στα Μακντόναλντς.Και δεν ξέρω κατά πόσο μπορούμε να μπούμε σε διαίτα με μεσογειακή διατροφή. Και δεύτερον, αυτή η εμπιστοσύνη που λέτε, είναι χειρότερη και δυσκολότερη και από την διαίτα.
-΄Ελληνας δεν ήταν ο ποιητής που έγραψε εκείνο το ποίημα για την Ιθάκη και έλεγε ότι το ταξίδι αξίζει περισσότερο από προορισμό; Aλήθεια πιο είναι το όνομά του;
-Kαβάφης.

Ο μοντέρνος Δούκας απομακρύνθηκε και αναμείχθηκε σε ένα άλλο πηγαδάκι. Εγώ σκούντησα τον Τζόνι για να φύγουμε. Δεν ξέρω γιατί φοράω ψηλά τακούνια τελικά. Ο καθένας πρέπει να στέκεται στο ύψος του, όποιο και να είναι αυτό, για να νοιώθει καλά μέσα στο πετσί του. Aργότερα σκέφτηκα ένα ωραίο τίτλο για το ποστ μου, τον οποίο γράφω πάντα στα αγγλικά :“Bulding Trust among Greeks:A long journey to Ithaka”. Θα μπορούσε βέβαια να είναι τίτλος μελοντικής διπλωματικής για κάθε φιλόδοξο ‘Ελληνα 😉

A short global story

-Where are you from?
-From Greece.
-And you?
-From Albania.
In my mind was hovering the idea “something went terribly wrong with the Albanian genes” and as I’m an open book about my inner thoughts, she said:
-Actually, I’m a Maouri from N. Zealand originally.
-And how you end up in our neighbour country?
-My father was a communist and he chose to move all his family to Albania in 1970. He had two countries in his mind, China and Albania and he chose Albania.
My next question could be “and why you didn’t immigrate to Greece instead of Abu Dhabi’ but I shut my mouth up…