Greece – The Death of A Nation

I had to go to Athens last week, which is something I don’t like doing anymore.    This once vibrant city, oozing with life, hope, and excitement has the scent of death coming from its very soul.    As if I needed a reminder, I went past the Olympic Park. Back in 2004 it became the symbol of everything Greece aspired to be.    God, we even got load of medals in those games, we had arrived!    Greece stood proud amongst the other nations, looking into a bright future, equal and shoulder to shoulder with its partners in the EU.    The symbol of our prosperity paints a sad picture today.    Totally unused because of the high operational costs involved, the Olympic stadium, once home to cheering crowds and heroic deeds, is now a mass of flaking paint, rotting wood, padlocks, security fences and barbed wire.    And, perfectly on cue to accentuate my thoughts, a homeless family shuffles past, on their way to nowhere.    What happened?

As is proven throughout history, the rot once again started from within. Incompetence, corruption, bribery and greed took hold of the political elite, was fed by the business elite, and the perfect recipe for disaster was being served up.    But that is nothing different from elsewhere in Europe.    Banks collapsed, bailouts are arranged, foreign leaders started interfering in internal affairs for self-serving reasons, but again, that is nothing different from elsewhere in Europe.   Why is it that Greece, throughout its history, has to excel in the drama and catch the eye of the world?   And then I realized, it’s because it is Greece.   Cradle of democracy, home of the greatest thinkers, physicians and scientists of antiquity, fiercely independent, feared fighters when they have to, gentle and soft whenever they can, and so much more.    Greece is being made an example of, to stop it from becoming the example.

The people of Greece have an inborn, healthy disrespect for anything and everybody that tries to control them, including their own government.    In conjunction with the “leading lights” of Europe, a barbaric and inhumane program of austerity is now being imposed on the people of this country, designed not to solve their problems, but to kill their spirit.    The program of austerity makes absolutely no economic or social sense, but is nevertheless imposed and viciously pursued by our own puppet government, on behalf of their masters in Europe.

The only reason this brutally insane program of austerity is being pursued with such unrelenting vigour is to make an example of the Greek people, so that others wouldn’t find the courage to stand up and say enough.    And the price being paid by the people of Greece is enormous.    People are literally dying in the streets of our cities.    Charity workers say that the most cited reason for people seeking their help is “hunger”.    Charities in Athens, previously engaged in dealing with alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence etc, are now almost exclusively engaged in looking after abandoned children.    The social fabric, once the glue that held this country together against all odds, is being ripped apart by hunger and poverty.    Hundreds of homeless people wander through the streets of Athens.    Mothers abandon their children in the hope that somebody will have the means to look after them, suicide is rampant, and social injustice the norm of the day.   “Greece needs to get it’s house in order” European leaders shout at us.    How do you get a house in order when the occupants of the house are being kicked about?

What you are looking at is not the result of an economic downturn or even a recession.    What you are seeing is the calculated result of a highly organized program to bring a people to its knees.   What you are not seeing is the human cost of this exercise.    TV news does show the fat cats around the table in Davos, discussing “the situation”. No fear of bumping into a homeless, hungry human being there, is there?    They broadcast interviews with Merkel and her puppy Sarkozy, gallantly stating that Greece will not be let go, while behind closed doors they insist on the most brutal program of austerity being made even more inhumane.    TV happily shows the “self appointed anarchists”, “hooligans” and “agitators” demonstrating in Athens.    It’s on TV, it has to be true.

They will however not show you the desperate people roaming the streets for food, or the farmers in Northern Greece handing out free food in the cities.    Did you see the two children who arrived on our island a few days ago after 8 days on the road, alone, with only a few stale sandwiches to keep them going (the last food their mother had for them before she walked out of their lives)?    Did they show you the 76 year old man who froze to death last night, in the back of an abandoned car?    The people say he had worked all his life to help build a better Greece for his children and grandchildren.    The foreign, Swiss they say, owner of the house he lived in put him out last month, because he couldn’t pay the rent anymore….

The human cost of a dying political and financial system is being counted in front of the world’s eyes.    And the question is not “how much?”. The real question is “who’s next?”

Ephilant  6.2. 2012

10 Responses

  1. Horrific and unfortunately we must all hang our heads in shame for our role as spectators rather than defenders of people. We as fellow Europeans should be out on the streets demanding an end to the persecution of our fellow citizens.

  2. I feel like crying reading this. The Greek people are a great people, a daughter of mine lived and worked near Athens when she was only 21, Greek people befriended her, looked after her, taught her Greek and made my wife and I so welcome when we visited. The lies that have been spread about “lazy Greeks” are disgusting. The way Greece is been treated by the EU is the greatest scandal and shows the true nature of the European project. That Ireland is complicit in this is a shame we will never live down. Instead of cowering and simpering about “Ireland is not like Greece” our so called leaders should be standing with the Greek people in resisting this class war. Why are not our craven leaders sending shipments of help to Greece as well as support in any other possible way. Can they really be that cowed by our European masters. It is a sickening shame. To any Greek reader, there are many Irish who are with you. Please dont take the Irish government as representing all of Ireland.

  3. I very much agree that Greece is being broken in front of our eyes for the reason that it has militant, fighting, working people and youth, who have taken to the streets over and over again to protest against the emiseration of their country. If Greece is crushed, then it will be much harder for any other country to resist. Greece is being “allowed” to default on part of its debt, and we are being shown that if we do the same, there will be destruction, and death. The terms pushed on Greece are purely destructive and punitive, and every sane economist knows that. Edward Hugh has looked at manufacturing figures for Ireland and Greece and shows that it is not possible for us to export our way out of the debt crisis. Like Greece, we are being reduced to beggary.

    We need to get off our behinds, and make an alliance with the Greek people, before it is too late.

  4. Hi C,

    Great blog and very sad indeed, I agree with everything you wrote. The Greek people have after receiving an horrific injustice. However I don’t think it’s completely down to the EU. I’m of the view the Greek government past and current should hang their heads in shame and they are very culpable for what has happened to their people.

    I think it’s well known Greece has a very poor tax structure and the gap between the wealthy and the poor was and continues to be huge. The Greek government cooked the books to get into Europe and now their agreeing to this sham of an Austerity package from the EU which is going to drive them further into the abyss of Europe.

    As you said about the gentleman in the car, more Greek people are going to loose their lives because of their champagne sipping government being bullied by the EU, ECB, Sarkozy and Merkel. History is going to portray Greece, capitalism and the European structure in an unfavorable light.


  5. i cant beliving this……

  6. We are not dying.
    We was sleeping.
    Now we are awaking to demolish the system.

  7. Reblogged this on Dr Alf's Blog and commented:
    This blog is well worth a read. Check it out!

  8. “TV happily shows the “self appointed anarchists”, “hooligans” and “agitators” demonstrating in Athens. It’s on TV, it has to be true.
    They will however not show you the desperate people roaming the streets for food.”

    Who are the “they” you talk about? They don’t include the ‘they’ who have written quite a number of recent articles on homelessness in Athens that I have read.

    A quick google of “Athens homelessness” is instructive here.

    A solution, if possible, will only arise from dealing with the facts surrounding this staggering tragedy.

    In addition to the meta issues presented by the ‘fat cats at Davos”, the local ones of tax and corruption sound like they need addressing.

  9. Who and what is behind this undeclared war against Hellas

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: