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Why let it be Mr Schauble?
by Thanos Kalamidas
2015-02-01 13:21:47
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I looked at the mail I had just recieved again, not believing my eyes. A friend from USA had sent me an email, asking me if Greece was planning to leave the EU and join Russia in some kind of new Russian quest. To be honest I thought it was a joke but this friend of mine is not known for his humour, so I turned to the internet. There I found a huge exchange between mainstream media, with headlines saying that Greece had vetoed the EU decision for new sanctions against Russia. I checked the Greek news and since nothing had changed from the night before, I started imaging that a coupe had happened in Athens and all the news were blocked.

That lasted for a bit until a Reuters report came, saying that the Greek foreign minister had explained the problem in a meeting in Brussels and Greece had agreed in a statement, warning Russia to stop further aggression acts against Ukraine and to find a solution otherwise more sanctions would follow.

I checked the media that I had checked before to see if they had corrected their headlines. Nothing. And I checked again half an hour later. Greece was still vetoing, leaving hints that was fully supporting Russia against Ukraine. I checked an hour later and still the same.

What had really happened. The new Greek government found out from the news that there was a statement from the EU, threatening Russia with new immediate sanctions if Russia don’t stop supporting the pro-Russian Ukrainians. The statement was presented as a unanimous decision from all member states. The Greek government reacted. How can you use my name without even warning me? And the logical next question was, how many times have you done that in the past and in what decisions?

Furthermore, just like Finland has done and France has done and Germany has protected her energy exchanges with Russia, Greece has long said that the sanctions mean serious losses for the Greek farmers and under current circumstances the Greek farmers don’t have the luxury of losing even a penny. That means before we enforce new sanctions let’s talk before we destroy our agricultural exports.

Federica Mogherini, the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs, understanding that here was a misunderstanding and that she was partly guilty to what the new Greek government was saying, recalled the statement and called for a meeting in Brussels where all the foreign ministers could talk and find a solution.

A solution because what was unveiled in the hours after the Greek reaction was equally unacceptable. Greece was not the only one who didn’t agree with the whole action. France and Italy also strongly disagreed, followed by other countries including Belgium and Cyprus. Actually the statement was forced by the Baltic and east European states. But if they want to enforce new sanctions they can do it themselves and not in the name of other countries and not playing with other countries exports. Most importantly not after they have saved their agricultures with exceptions in the sanctions as Czechs has done. If Poland and Estonia want to go with further sanctions it is their right to do that, but they can keep others out of their polarized and cold-war games.

So far so good and Greece had every right to say what it said. And in the end when they all met they agreed in a new statement that covered everybody. By the way veto in the EU is a very serious issue and it has been used only once in the history of the union by France and never again. All this talk about veto in the past from David Cameron or even Andreas Papandreou was a lie for internal use.

So Greece never used a veto and the disagreement had to do with the procedure that was used and not with Russia per se.

But do you know what the best part was? After Greece explained her position in the meeting of the foreign ministers and explanations were given, guess which country threatened with veto. Come have a wild guess. No it was not Germany or France. It was Britain!

Did the mighty Financial Times publish any of that? Of course no, they kept talking about the Greek veto. They actually published the information that the Greek foreign minister has a special relationship with a Russian nationalist, friend of the Putin. This is a lie and Mr Nikos Kotzias immediately denied it, warning with legal action. Did the Financial Times do anything to correct the information? Nothing.

Did the serious BBC do anything to change its headline about a Greek veto and the Russian friendly new rebel in EU? No. Has suddenly all the media establishment turned into Fox News? I have no idea. Only the Guardian has kept reporting the truth. Only one.

My friend read my explanations but who is he going to believe? Me or the Financial Times? What do I know? After all I’m just a Greek.

This is what’s going on every single minute the last five days with Greece. What’s their excuse or motive to twist, lie, mudslinging, I have absolutely no idea. But they do. And they do it all the time. The bottom line in all those articles, is that Greece should fulfil her obligations. Even the mighty revolutionaries anti-capitalists of the Chinese communist party in their official paper, they patronize Greece to stop talking and fulfil her obligations. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble was more strict. There is nothing to talk about, just continue the measures.

I suppose he is talking about the measures that he enforced on Greece so Greece can avoid the bankruptcy. Let’s go to this measures and the numbers Mr Schäuble understands. When the crisis started in 2008, the Greek debt was just over 170 billion euros. Today, after been saved by Mr Schäuble and his miraculous measures, the debt is 355.17 billion euros and it keeps climbing. There is no mistake in the numbers, you can actually check in all the serious financial sites, including IMF’s. Another savoir of Greece.

Mr Schäuble said in the beginning that Greece has to go through difficult times in the beginning but soon things will improve. 30% unemployment, 70% of the population on the limits of poverty, 70% of the youth under 25 unemployed, thousands of homeless, 3,000 suicides in 4 years, 250,000 educated young men and women immigrated only in 2014.

Do you know what 30% unemployment means? Only Germany after WWI had these numbers and Hitler was the consequence. 30% of the working force without income means that every Greek family has at least one person unemployed.

And you might say that at least there are benefits. No, there are no benefits in Greece. You don’t work, you starve. There are no house benefits, no exemptions in taxes, there is no health system. You are ill and you don’t have work? You are doomed.

And what about the ones who have work. 350 euros a month if they are lucky. So let’s see, there are families in Greece that “live” with 350 euros a month. That they pay their rent, they buy food and cloths, pay schools, transportation. Just calculate it.

And they do any job despite education. Here you might say that there is no embarrassment in any job. Really? How you say that, sitting in your leather sofa and messaging in your new iPad? Would you clean stairs with a PhD in your pocket? The answer is yes if it was necessary, the truth is no, you wouldn’t. You would try to find other solutions. Immigration is the only solution. So you move to Germany. But there your new bosses see that you are Greek so they tell you that first you are lucky to have a job, they give something basic, far from your skills, expertise, education, and experience and then they tell you that they hope you are not a lazy greasy Greek. God knows how many times I have heard prejudice and racist comments the last five years, even though I live abroad for more than thirty years. You see after all I’m just a Greek.

But let’s no go there. Let’s stay politically correct and not bother your civilized feelings or the positive attitude to a fellow human, a partner in a union, an ally and a friend. Let’s stick to numbers. When Mr Schäuble was borrowing money from the banks to help, Greece was charged -0.2% interest. I’m not joking, you can also check it and it is a present from the German banks since the German economy is doing so well. But why are the German banks, despite the Greek debt, doing so well? Because the ally, partner friend and savoir of Greece was lending the same money to Greece with interest 7%. Mr Schäuble has actually admitted that Germany has profited over 40 billion euros only from this exchange between the years 2010 and 2013.

Please don’t worry, all the friends, partners, allies did the same. How do you think 170 billion became 355 despite all the lives and the sacrifices? The Finnish government even asked for guarantees for the repayment, demanding even Greek monuments to be included. If you have friends like that who needs enemies.

This minute Greece has a new government with a specific order from the people who voted for them. Finish it. Stop it. End it. And if that means the end of Europe or euro, let it be. No more dead, no more hungry kids, no more tears to save Mr Schäuble’s banks. If this is not the Europe of its people then it’s not worth to exist.

Finally, and this is to everybody who reads these articles. Why is everybody so surprised because the new government in Greece will keep what they promised to the people who voted for them? Are you so corrupted to believe that your future prime minister, president or whoever is going to govern your country and rule your lives, should lie to you? Is this how you understand democracy? Vote for somebody you know that intentionally lies to you to get your vote? And then you call us Greeks immature and crazy? But what do we know? After all we are just Greeks.


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Nikos Laios2015-02-01 14:21:32
Well said Thano,

At the end of the day,the European Union,has stopped being a union of fellow citizens,and is instead a union of self-serving bakers;that much has been obvious in the last two weeks.

Let's forget how Geemany's debt was forgiven post WW1 & 1953,where Greece was one of its creditors;instead of being
Given the same respect and
Courtesy,they treat us with racism and contempt.

With the very health and welfare of our fellow Greek citizens at stake,it's time to put them first and end this 'union' and bring down the columns around their heads,for they deserve the same consideration as they gave us......

Ιωάννα Ευαγγελίδου2015-02-02 11:07:01
Σας ευχαριστώ για την αξιοπρέπεια και την αλήθεια των λόγων σας!

Thanos2015-02-02 14:19:39
Εγώ σε ευχαριστώ Ιωάννα που με διαβάζεις!

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