Wednesday, 15 July 2015

On conforming

It's very hard finding a news site these days which reports the Greek crisis in a neutral/positive way, either in English or in Greek. This is very disappointing. Whatever web sites I browse through, I read about the doom and gloom that the Greek people face in light of the latest 'deal'. Very few news sites discuss the possibility of the great change taking place in Greek society, from learning to live with a compromise. A true compromise is when both sides are unhappy, and this is the case in the Greek deal.

According to polls taken in the last 2 days, 7/10 want the 'harsh' measures passed tonight, and 7/10 choose Tsipras as the most appropriate leader of the Greek people. Instead of taking into account the will of the Greek people, the articles being published abound with negative criticism of the measures, reasons why they will not work, a heavy emphasis on the possibility of early/snap elections and Syriza party rifts, a focus on the IMF's demands for debt relief, and a lot of Euroscepticism. The greatest proponents of the latter are the British press.

There is little being discussed about the united desire by the majority of the Greek parliamentarians - as well as the Greek people! - to save the country. Instead, there is a greater emphasis on how the country will never manage to pay off its debts. I find it difficult at this point in time to believe that such opinions are forming a significant minority, which is detrimental to political stability, especially for a country that seems to have FINALLY understood in its majority what a compromise means. Such things were said before. Why are they being repeated?

And worst of all, no one mentions that, finally, after five years of watching a highly divided country break up, Greece has formed itself a true centre through Alexis Tsipras. Tsipras himself does not paint himself a saviour. He has admitted his and his party's mistakes, and he acknowledges that some things had to happen, for the sake of the country. He has put party ideologies, personal beliefs and private interests BEHIND the country's issues.

I am starting to wonder if these rabble-rousers want to see the country fall, to prove their beliefs. It reminds me of the propaganda of the right wingers during the referendum. The Greeks did not fall prey to that fear campaign, and I highly doubt that they will fall prey to this fear-mongering lot either. I myself voted NO for many reasons: I was tired of hearing about needing other people's money, I was tired of being told by others how they were going to give it to me, and above all, I was tired of fighting about this issue with the Greeks I am surrounded by, so I let them have their revolution by agreeing with them. And what came out of that? We got a deal, and now, for the first time in six years, MOST people are happy.

I personally believe that Greece is 'finally' on the road to conforming to the reality of modern world living. Life is not easy anywhere. What might look like a coup to some people looks to me as something that was bound to happen eventually. What is happening in Greece is that we are catching up with the reality of the western world. Not nice if you are poor, but in Greece, our concept of poverty is not really the same as in the well-established Western countries. We have to learn to pay back our mortgages if we took out a house loan, otherwise we will lose our homes. We have to learn to pay taxes to the government so that the government can afford to fund our healthcare plans. We have to learn to stop venting our anger on others, and to pick up the shards to rebuild them. Above all, we have to take responsibility for our demise, and admit that we ourselves let our country go to ruin:
"Greece didn't get into all this trouble because its European partners took advantage of it; it went bankrupt because, after more than a generation as a member of a rules-driven, respect-based tight economic community, it never figured out how to play fair, how to fit in and how to build real value. It enjoyed the spoils of membership without ever trying to live up to its end of the bargain; it cheated, squandered, abused, begged for more... and the cycle continued until the financial crisis suddenly brought the entire country to the brink of bankruptcy. And even then, on the strength of charm and an endless stream of fake reform promises over the past half-dozen years, the money kept flowing in from its badly tricked Euro partners in the form of bailouts. And nobody was even humiliated or angry about that. Until now, of course."
Anyone who does not agree with this statement is fooling themselves. If you have lived long enough in Greece, you will have seen this kind of flouting the rules so often, that you become immune to it. And if you are Greek, you will have broken the law silently on many occasions, because you decided to go with the flow. Admitting this is the first step towards fixing the situation:
I am writing to you to confess, to take responsibility, and to clear the slate. Your country is rotten to its core, bankrupt economically and morally, and your parents have had their role in helping it get to this point. I am sorry for never telling you that I am a thief and have been for 20-odd years, as I turned a blind eye to the implications and agreed on more occasions than I can count or remember not to want a legal receipt from the shopkeepers, doctors, dentists, mechanics, etc., whose goods and services were – and continue to be — cheaper without one. I partook in a system that supported corruption and I, too, in my own small way, was corrupt. The state of Greece now, totally septic and broken, is the result.
I see many positive things coming out of our new predicament. My optimism centred on being a part of the euro.  I'd rather be poor and in the euro, than poor and outside it. Thank you Mr Donald Tusk, for stopping Ms Merkel and Mr Tsipras from leaving the negotiating table until they agreed to compromise. Finally, both sides are unhappy, therefore the compromise can be nothing but successful.

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