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The nightmare in the neighbourhood The nightmare in the neighbourhood
by Thanos Kalamidas
2013-02-22 10:59:32
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What do you think when you read, Swaziland? I presume you think of a poor African country with little kids in the streets asking for food and a lot of support from the United Nations. Well you are not far from the truth and the more informed can add that it is a tiny small country between South Africa and Mozambique barely surviving from poverty and HIV.

Swaziland is a country where if you cross your 39th birthday you are considered old and lucky and if by any chance you have a steady job you considered privilege. There is a small amount of civil servants with steady and paid jobs and there is a king, the king’s mother with their court that has a rich income. The rest of the people – just over a million – if they can find a job in the farms or the cities they work under dramatic conditions most of the time for a dollar a day. And when I say a day I don’t mean eight hours but as many hours the master wants. The best part of the working Swaziland lives with one dream, how to escape. And escape means the neighbour South Africa or Mozambique. Especially the youth. The future of Swaziland. The rest is strangling with unemployment and poverty.

And of course to all of us Swaziland seems so far away and so fulfilling our stereotypes about the African continent. It is only by chance that we will read something about this small African state in the news and most of the time we don’t even notice it. But what happens with a country that is suffering from the same unemployment rates not in the far African deserts but just round the corner in our own neighbourhood?

According latest studies Greece holds the 13th place globally, next to Swaziland with the worst unemployment rates. 27 per cent! Do you think this is bad? Couple of days ago the French President Francois Hollande visited Greece and while talking with the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, the Greek PM pointed to him that something must be done soon and before unemployment among the young reach the nightmarish 60%. Obviously the Greek Prime minister was not informed well because while he was saying that unemployment among the young age 18-25 had already reached 61.7% and keeps rising. The nightmare is here!

All the economic programs that the European Union in cooperation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) enforced in Greece have failed leading a whole nation, a historic and fundamental European nation to its catastrophe. Oddly a few weeks ago the directors of the IMF admitted that they were wrong with their measures and their measurements but instead of doing anything to correct the mistake they are just continue enforcing new measures like testing how far they can go.

61.7% unemployment among the strongest and more valuable part of the working population. This is not only a nightmarish number this is a disaster and is not limited in Greece. These young people have to find a solution, an escape and they have already found a path. And the path doesn’t lead to Europe. The most valuable part of the Greek working force is going away from Europe disappointed from the fake solidarity and the hypocritical partnership. They are going to Australia in waves. And USA. And is not only the Greek youth. The same happens with the Spanish youth, the Portuguese youth and slowly with the Italian and the French youth. Europe is losing the strongest element of her future, her youth. And nobody is doing anything.

O the contrary, troika is ready to enforce new measures in Greece that will lead to more bankruptcies, more layoffs, and more unemployment. And of course no investors. Who wants to invest in a country that the habitants don’t have money to spend? Perhaps IMF and the European allies believed that Greece is full of small Onassis. Well is not. Actually this moment Greece is full of big unemployed.

Greece this moment faces a humanitarian crisis and the only ones who survive and thrive are the neo-Nazi finding an easy ground among this angry and dispirit youth. And nobody does anything. And the nightmare expands all the time and while Merkel is worrying for her re-election and Katainen for his future the True Finns are reaching 20% and their leader proudly says to BBC “there might be one or two [racist] outbursts but we have 19 percent of people voting for us” And their Greek comrades can parade in the streets wearing Nazi uniforms saying that the immigrants are the cause of the unemployment so …finish them!

61.7 unprotected, vulnerable and angry youth. Not in Swaziland, in our neighbourhood and nobody cares as long as Greece pays back the unbelievable high interests her European partners in the name of solidarity have put. And Spain is not far behind, Italy and Portugal in the cue. When the whole south starts marching in black let’s see where they will find answers and solidarity.

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Emanuel Paparella2013-02-22 11:33:37
What a sad hellish scenario you portray above, Thanos; and yet it is the unvarnished truth. It is the voice crying: the emperor is naked.

Rather than envision a new civilization founded on true and tried ethical principles we are presently confronted by blind corrupt politicians and bureaucrats worrying about the gross national product and the viability of their banks, never mind youth unemployment. Their main concern seems to be to preserve wealth and privilege and find new markets within an unsustainable ecologically wounded earth. They call it globalization and inevitable progress and they prefer to beat up messengers who bring them unwelcome news about globalization rather than examine its false premises.

How tragic indeed. One is bound to begin suspecting that new wine has been put into old bottles and the bottles will eventually burst and both will be lost. Or could it be that the situation was brought about by the oblivion of the vision and ideals of the EU founding fathers? They must be turning in their graves. Let’s hope and pray that it is not too late and the age of extinction is not upon us and irreversible yet.

Murray Hunter2013-02-23 01:46:22
Thank You. When I had dinner with the Secretary general of the OECD a few months ago. He deneighed that any problem existed. Its probably the most urgent problem of the 21st Century and could lead to the destruction of greece and other nations as we know them.
There are very few politicans even talking about this let alone any new visions. This is as you say leaving a vacuum for neo-nazi groups as you say.
Thanks for you insights into greece.

Leah Sellers2013-02-23 06:14:56
Thanos, these are the Fruits of an UnJust Austerity. A Ruined Youth which leads to a Ruined Future and a Ruined Nation as a result.
Greece, and all the negatively effected and affected World Nations Can and Must Be Saved, and their Physically, Mentally, Emotionally and Spiritually Starved peoples Restored, Nurtured and Sustained. Collectively, We the Peoples of the World Can and Must Turn these destructive trends and systems around, and then Strive to Create other trends and systems which Uplift, Nurture and Sustain Every Individual and Every Collective.

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