Ovi -
we cover every issue
Stop human trafficking  
Ovi Bookshop - Free Ebook
Ovi Greece
Ovi Language
Murray Hunter: Essential Oils: Art, Agriculture, Science, Industry and Entrepreneurship
The Breast Cancer Site
Murray Hunter: Opportunity, Strategy and Entrepreneurship
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
BBC News :   - 
iBite :   - 
Greece for sale...
by Christos Mouzeviris
2011-07-06 09:57:21
Print - Comment - Send to a Friend - More from this Author
DeliciousRedditFacebookDigg! StumbleUpon
Coming back from my summer holidays in Greece, I felt that I had to write about the situation that the ordinary people of this country are going through; give an inside view and opinion on the events and add to what the media of Europe and the world are portraying of the situation.

While the media are focusing on what must Greece do to fix its economy and save the eurozone from collapsing, the mistakes and the faults of the Greek economy and what must be done to avoid bankruptcy, I wonder how many people care of what impact will all this have to an ordinary household of the country.

I traveled in many regions of the country and spoke with family and friends, ordinary people, hotel staff and fellow passengers; there are some common feelings between them all: fear, anger, disappointment, frustration! But the analysts and economists care only about the measures that the Greek Government must take to save the European economy from collapsing!

Salaries are slashed.Bonuses are cut. Employers are paying their workers when they have money and only as much as they can give them at the time. There are no jobs, the social stability and coherence are disintegrating, people are committing suicide because they are unable to pay their debts. Employees are forced to work unpaid overtime, every worker's right that has been won over the decades is more and more irrelevant. The youth is emigrating, leaving the country poorer in workforce and their knowledge. Nobody spends, travels, invests or make any plans for the future as they do not know what tomorrow brings.

Some of you might think that it is time for the Greeks to pay up for their irresponsible spending and finances of over all those years. As if the rest of Europe and the western World did not live on credit and borrowing! America is the best example but no one ever blamed them for the crisis and it originated there. And no one realizes that all countries in Europe are in a bad shape, Greece is only used as a scapegoat and asked to pay up to secure the other European states' bank shares and bonds.

European countries are using the Greek crisis to cover up their own problems and faults. Greece is just unlucky to be small and insignificant enough to be bullied into conformation! We will have to dig deep in economics and history to find out what is really wrong in Europe. Because the Greeks are far from lazy or lame. When they were building the German economy with hard work in their factories, when every Greek that has migrated in other parts of the World has progressed and prospered, then why does not this happen in their own country?

European leaders knew, as Luxembourg's PM Mr. Juncker admitted, that the Greek economy was in bad shape. So why did they allow it to collapse? Wouldn't be better to support and help it reform earlier and save Europe from all this crisis and the spending of billions of euros? It makes me wonder; could it be that they wanted Greece to go bankrupt so that they can transform its economy and benefit from the sale out that would follow?

The crisis started during the late '80s and early '90s, mainly under the Mr Simitis and PASOK Government. Many in Greece now realize that the reforms that this particular Government made, lead to the inevitable current situation. Large Greek companies were sold off, and others were allowed to relocate elsewhere. The Greek state started borrowing a lot in order to keep up with the expenses and the payments of the public sector, but the Greek Governments since that time kept it hidden from the public and encouraged the capitalist system; excess borrowing and sustaining the economy with credit from the Markets.Greece produced very little and it relied only on the borrowings to sustain its economy. Now they blame the public for doing the same, while it was them that they encouraged this economic style.

A Greek MP Mr. Pagalos even had the nerve to blame the Greek people that they are to blame for the crisis in the country: so why do we need leaders and governments then? Aren't they supposed to lead the people and the country, and work for the betterment and progress of the nation? And ideally lead by example (!!). Not that that ever happened in the political life of Greece or most European states.

Is it also a coincidence that Ireland's economy started booming the time that the Greek economy started the decline? While in the '80s Greece was booming the '90s belonged to Ireland. Both economies were designed to go bust one after another, and being led to heavy indebtedness. Make no mistake, both countries are asked to pay to save not their own economies, but the shares and bonds that other bigger countries hold in their banking system or economy. That is definitely true for Ireland, but in Greece the case differs a bit.

A few facts that I gathered by speaking to locals during my travels in the country. When scientists in the University of Joannina in Northern Greece found out that the region of Epirus and Macedonia are rich in uranium and submitted their research to the then Greek Government, nothing was done about it. A former MP Mr Papoutsis was in the opening of the uranium mines in Epanomi village in the Thessaloniki county, the plan that was suddenly stopped as it started. Nobody heard of it again or why it was abandoned.

People in the Greek islands, notably Crete regularly are witnessing evidence for the existence of gas and oil in the region, but still nothing is being done about it. Our Government either denies the existence of oil in Greek territory, or blames our rocky relationship with Turkey for our inability to exploit our oil reserves in the Aegean. And what about the Ionian Sea? Now it is the Norwegians who want to exploit our oil reserves, just as the British will do with our gold in the northern region of Macedonia. European vulture culture; bring a country to its knees and then rush in for the kill.

Many European countries demand to get a hold on to Greece's national assets. From islands and national companies, to the Acropolis itself!And while I agree that companies like the railways that the Germans are so keen to buy and modernize do need modernization, why until now Greece was not allowed to exploit its natural resources? And apart from that all its companies were encouraged to relocate elsewhere with cheaper workforce leaving Greece with very low productivity and exports, relying on agriculture and tourism and of course EU subsidies. Is it any wonder that with luck of funds there could be no modernization of the economy or in this case the railways?

Western capitalist media and economists of course put the blame on Greece's unions for the dysfunctional public sector and companies. They claim they are too strong that hinder any progress and development. True, Greece has a very large and powerful public sector but what else can the Greeks do, since there are no factories, no productivity and development and the only sector that anybody can have a secure career is the public one. If Greece was allowed to produce and exploit its natural resources, there would be more jobs and a variety of careers for the young Greeks to follow. All the above lead to a supersized public sector and because all political parties were using the promise of a job in the sector as a carrot for votes and support, the situation was going nowhere!

Now we are forced to take one bail out package after another, condemning our future generations in paying up for these bail outs for decades to come. Some analysts say that it will take Greece up to the year 2060 to pay off its debts. Can anyone imagine what impact will this have to the future development of the country? Three generations of Greeks will pay to save not their economy, but the European and American faults in their economies, the eurozone, keep the balance of power of the global economy and also play their part in the war against the euro. The Markets and the "Anglosaxons" hate it and they use the faults in its structure and its weakest links (Greece, Portugal etc) in an attempt to destroy it.

And while the world is keen to know what will the Greek Government do and how are they going to handle the crisis and the public's anger, how is life in Greece? A friend of mine is working as public servant, and as a revenue officer. Her salary was 1800 € before the bail outs and it is already cut down to 1400 €. It is expected with the new Government austerity measures to go down even further and settle at around 1100 € with the new public sector harmonized salaries. We are talking of a 700 € deduction, while there more and more taxes put on the Greek households and the taxes on all basic goods will go up from 11% to 23%!  I wonder how a Swede, a German, a Brit or a Austrian would take such a cull of their incomes! Yet it is the Greeks that are expected to grin and bare it, and to force them to accept the new measures they slander a whole nation as lazy and corrupt. Put the blame on them to justify the brutal enslavement and sell out of their country.

Because Greece looks indeed as more like an enslaved nation than a developed European country, a member of EU and NATO! When our allies are asking to buy our resources, our islands, our public sector and its companies and even all historical monuments to "save" us, then I can not see that in any other way! Any Government that would face such a civil and peaceful protest outside the Parliament, that was taking place in Athens and most Greek large cities for over a month, yet they ignored the calls from its people and voted for more austerity measures and a second bail out they should resign and leave the country or face treachery charges. The troubles that Europeans were watching outside the Greek Parliament were always being made by "tools" of the police force themselves! Their aim? To destroy any justification of any protest in Greece and damage the validity of the protest with violence and destruction. It is a well known tactic of the Greek police force since the junta days, and we know it!

What is the point of having a Parliament even when it does not serve its people? Many times the protestors tries to break the blockade by the police and break in, and in my opinion it is a pity that they failed. When a Greek MP from Thessaloniki Mr. Rompopoulos, admitted on national television that three days before the vote in the Greek Parliament on the second bail out package, he had not yet read what he was voting for, what can anyone think? Yet he was encouraged and threatened by the leader of his party Mr. Papandreou and his advisors to vote YES because the country would not have the money to pay its bills and the salaries of the people. Exactly the same arguments for the first bail out package vote.

We are not a sovereign nation and that is nothing new. We do know how much the European powers got involved in Greece's internal affairs throughout our modern history. Even when our constitution was being formed and signed under the Government of our then leader Mr. Venizelos, representatives from the main European powers of the time (Britain, France, Russia) were present, to make sure the constitution was "democratic!" It is the same constitution that many now days demand to be reformed, as it has so many loopholes that they claim that it was designed to make Greece a corrupt and insufficient state. So from the beginning Greece was designed to be a failed nation, with laws that were put there to complicate things and make progress impossible. And who supported such constitution?

Our leaders take their orders from outside the state, notably the big powers of the West. Is it any wonder that Mr. George Papandreou is half American and indeed his real name, as many now in Greece call him, is not George but Geoffrey? He repeatedly lied on national television on issues like the economy, if Greece would need a bail out, if such cuts and austerity measures would take place, he was all promises before his election. He even promised us to make Greece as rich as Norway! How, by impoverishing the nation? He did after his election exactly the opposite of what he promised!

And while many say that austerity is wrong for Greece, we need to keep producing, we need to give money to the people and allow them to spend thus putting money in our market, export and reform our economy while we heal it, Mr. Papandreou and his Government think otherwise. No doubt they listen their foreign advisors that demanded Greece to take two bail out packages, the second one just to pay off the interest rates of the first one! The Greeks will be pouring money into the European and American banking system with the form of loan repayments for decades to come, so that they will heal and cover the losses from the crisis, and not only they are not appreciated and thanked for, but they are called lazy, corrupt and incompetent too!

Because Greece has money! How else would the Greek Parliament buy two air conditions for its premises on the price of 900.000 €, and how come will it be able to continue the payments of its members? They had the nerve not to take any cuts themselves while they were voting for such brutal austerity measures for the people they are supposed to serve! Mr Papoulias, Greece's President earns more than Mr. Obama yet he did not have the decency of halving his salary like my friend the revenue officer was forced to do to save the country! And Mr. Papandreou hired more advisors and Parliament staff, while all around the country people are losing their jobs! Not to mention that the rich are not asked to pay or bare the same austerity measures and even the Greek Orthodox Church once again avoided taxation! If the Church sold of half its property that it holds in Greece, the country's debt would be paid!

And what about our partners, the other European nations that are happy to make business with the corrupt Greeks, only because they avoid taxation too! The German company that built and exploits the new Athens "Venizelos" airport, has not paid its taxes it meant to pay to the state since the building of the airport and they owe the Greek state about 1 billion euros in taxes! Yet the Germans have the nerve to call the Greeks corrupt! What an irony!

Not only we are not allowed to produce, we are not allowed to exploit our natural resources, we help the rich Northern European countries become richer by selling our goods to them with no tax as the common market requires! We now are asked to pay for their greed as well, and we get slander for it! I got only one thing to say: SHAME ON ALL EUROPEAN LEADERS, BUT ABOVE ALL THE GREEK CORRUPT ELITE! And that is why I still support European full integration, to get rid off them. We need a political reboot in Europe, us Europeans need to take the situation and our continent in our hands united and have justice at last! But with the comfortable and well off northern Europeans being so ignorant of how their wealth is being supported by the misery of other nations, how much hope should I have?

Because the root of the problem of all the above are our national Governments and their greed. They are easily corrupt by different powerful lobbies and the money they receive to support their campaigns and political careers, that our continent will never be just and equal unless we unite and revolt against them! Is it any wonder that our media are keep bombarding us with the Arab revolution, while they totally ignore or alter what is happening in Spain and Greece? Greece's turn is today...Tomorrow it might be your country. What are you going to do about it?

We do see that the Socialist parties are being erased by the map of Europe one by one! With irresponsible leadership and collaboration with the Markets and the Banks, the so called Socialist or leftist parties in Europe follow right wing policies that there is no distinction anymore between left and right! So the people do not have a choice, and the trust or hope they had in the European socialist parties is gone. Now they are turning back to conservative and nationalist parties a thing that in the past, combined with immigration issues and a financial crisis had a devastating impact on the continent. We need to careful and vigilant, we need to care and be active!

Print - Comment - Send to a Friend - More from this Author

Get it off your chest
 (comments policy)

apig2011-07-08 21:06:50
The Portuguese - and the Greeks, Spaniards, Italians, I am sure... - just rated Moody's (and Fitch and Standard & Poor's...) as PUBLIC TRASH. And what shall we do with Trash? CLEAN IT UP THOROUGHLY!! American and Canadian Rating Agencies, together with the German Bank and EU's Passive-Corrupted Leaders, Just Officially Declared WAR to EU's Mediterranean Countries. We Ask You To Help Us To Make These Agencies FALL And Pay (In Prison) For Their Speculative Crimes Against Our Civil Societies And Cultures.

christos mouzeviris2011-07-08 22:47:33
I am with you..fellow pig..!! haha

© Copyright CHAMELEON PROJECT Tmi 2005-2008  -  Sitemap  -  Add to favourites  -  Link to Ovi
Privacy Policy  -  Contact  -  RSS Feeds  -  Search  -  Submissions  -  Subscribe  -  About Ovi