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Greece today

Trying to recover from the news overload, I figured what could be better than to write a blog just to get it out of the system? The current Greek crisis is far from over but it has just survived its latest catharsis: national assembly has voted to stay in and keep paying its creditors. Things are going great then, the market is up, tourists keep coming in and the rest of Europe continues on its journey of ever closer union, the origins of which can arguably be traced to…err..Greece. So many terms used to describe the current political situation come from there: politics, economy, democracy, chaos, drama, tragedy and that’s not just English but the rest of European languages that have borrowed the vocabulary and calling it their own.

Starting with politics, ‘Nei’ actually means ‘Yes’ by the elected officials to something that apparently has been rejected by the people. It also means less sovereignty for the country as the decision has been negotiated elsewhere over the heads of not only the local politicians but the whole country. Hopefully, this will bring extra protections in case there are problems which seems like they will.

Next, economics or what Aristotle called taking care of one’s household. It seems that things got out of hand between what the real economy in Greece was and what the planners in both Eurogroup and Washington have put into their forecasts. Heavily relying on tourism and agriculture, Greece has not been able to create any industrial global brands and its terms of trade of olives vs cars or computers doesn’t justify the debt loads that if no longer hidden or too high to be serviced – a conclusion reached by the same creditors that keep increasing those loads.

Democracy – actually the most democracy one can find these days is on social media, still uncensored it clearly is ahead of traditional newspapers and television. Often, what you hear in the former has already been digested in the twitter feeds. Technology is new, but people’s passions seem to remain the same. Twitterati somehow influence the decisions made both in Strasbourg/Brussels and in Athens and other Greek cities.

Chaos – yes with contradicting opinions and points of view, what happens on the ground may seem chaotic, but those who are actually near Syntagma square seem to be very normal and cool headed, much more so than hysterical spurts in the social media feeds. It’s often juxtaposed against the very sober procedures coming from the north, but we all know that in each chaos there is a method too.

Finally, drama. Both tragedy and comedy. Both attract spectators like yours truly. I see the implications for my home country of Poland that seems to be really similar in terms of development where Greece is, but on the opposite side as far as euro funds go. It may still meet the fate of Greece in say 5-10 years and then today’s Greek drama will eventually just blows over will reappear magnified, not the same but similar in many respects as in every tragedy and comedy.

Posted by on July 17, 2015.

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