One Furious Greek Sums It All Up: "My Country & Its People Are Falling Apart"

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by KeepTalkingGreece,

I am speechless. Not since yesterday or last week. I have been speechless since July 13th when the Greek left-wing coalition government agreed to burden the country and the people with a new loan, the third bailout for Greece since 2010 together with the strictest austerity program ever. I have been speechless ever since and for  more than a week I thought I cannot blog anymore. I took me time to swallow and absorb the shock. And still. I am unable to deal with it.

I am unable to comprehend how a left-wing government ended up signing the worst austerity program ever. For the simple reason that if a left-wing government signs such an agreement, what should I expect from a right-wing or a neo-liberal government to do? Raid my apartment, steal my kitchen pans, my pottery cats collection and my underwear? When the left-wing government signs such an agreement, we can say that the political system in Greece is over. And there is no alternative.

First, we blamed the creditors for wanting to crack down SYRIZA in order to avoid creating other examples of the same kind within the eurozone. Then we blamed again the creditors and specifically German finance minister Schaeuble and his Grexit plan: 5 years bailouts, 5 years temporary Grexit, before Greece could return to the markets. That was original tone by Schaeuble in 2011. Then we blamed the disagreement between the IMF and Germany in terms of “Greek debt relief”.  And finally we blamed the ‘dilettantism of the Greek government” that sent to Eurogroup its economic team to explain to Greece’s creditors, how the Eurozone should be changed. It took Varoufakis & Co two months to understand that creditors are not in the mood to listen to some economic theories and revolutionary manifestos but that they simply wanted their money back.  All our blames were right and wrong at the same time because the game was f;ixed’ form the very beginning.

When the Greek team started to work on its proposals, it was too late. Schaeuble was determined to kick Greece out of the euro and furthermore to ‘help it’ bridge the Grexit time with a loan of some 50 billion euros. Either way, with or without euro, with or without drachma, with or without Schaeuble or SYRIZA, the result is the same: a third bailout of 50-84 billion euro and another bailout program. There is no hope for this country, for the people – at least, for some of them.

I really don’t care,if Varoufakis wears tasteless shirts and why he wanted to ‘hack’ taxpayers’ numbers while sitting with his team of skilled hackers and childhood friends. Varoufakis is not my cup of tea. He never was. But while our Greek life is falling apart day by day, I have to read Varoufakis’ interview Nr 2034 explaining his game theory and his academic hypothesis, hi smother’s story and his cousins pain. Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a dam. Frankly, my dear, I’m fed up.

I am also fed up listening to opposition lawmakers complaining about the Parliament Speaker and claiming “Zoi Konstantopoulou is torturing MPs with her pedantism.” I honestly don’t give a dam. Frankly, my dear, I’m fed up to see ‘tortured’ MPs earning €5,000+ per month and enjoy tax-free, while the rest of us is literally bleeding: financially, psychologically, physically and morally.

Neither do I care whether SYRIZA is falling apart, whether the Prime Minister wants early elections in September in order to secure a clear majority in Parliament so that he can pass the austerity bills that lead to nowhere.

I am deaf to government ministers and party officials and opposition lawmakers debating on whether Varoufakis should be indict for high or for low treason.

I just don’t care. It doesn’t affect my life, not even a tiny little bit. I give neither a a whole dam nor half of it for this so-called Greek political agenda after July 13th.

What do I care about is to watch my country and the people falling into pieces. I see our Greek lives suffering another ‘internal devaluation’ minute by minute, day by day, week by week. When the 3. bailout deal will be sealed by 15 or 20 August I will be also able to say “I see our Greek lives suffering another ‘internal devaluation’ minute by minute, day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year.”

The 40% internal devaluation settled in Greece since 2010, experiences a new peak even though the 3rd bailout has not been signed yet. The Capital Controls imposed on June 29th in order to save the banks from draining, have ruined the lives of many Greeks. Friends of mine who have been working for more than two decades in private companies, were “sent to enforced holiday” together with the banks: their full time job turned into 1 or maximum 2 days work per week. That is 4 or 8 work days per month. In relation, their also salary plunged by end of July.  Many employees in the private sector saw their working hours and already low salaries been reduced. How can these people get along without income? Nobody cares and nobody talks about. Neither national nor international media talk about it. We whisper these hazardous circumstances  among ourselves. In quiet. Because we are ashamed. And we wonder endlessly.

Others, plagued by long term unemployment and no perspective to get a job or even a pension, felt obliged to sell their home. That’s not possible under capital controls. The selling amount will remain in the bank and it may even fall victim to “deposits haircut” by the end of the year. Another friend who needs to sell her second flat  – an inheritance – so that she has money to live, cannot sell it either. Ten years ago, the flat was worth 130,000 euro. Now, if she finds a buyer she will have to sell it for 45,000-50,000 euro. She is trying to sell it for the last 1.5 year. Not a single buyer came around the corner.

With the new Value Added Tax hikes, the amount we need to spend for our weekly basic groceries now extra 15-20 euro. “Just 15 euro?” one may ask. Yes. That’s a huge amount, if you don’t have it and you have kids to feed and bills to pay. The 50-euro banknote that will go for groceries will be missed at the end of the month. Bills will remain unpaid, the extra for a health emergency, for example, will simply be not there. It’s either eat or die.

In hospitals and public health care the situation is going from worse to worst. Shortage of doctors, of nurses, of administration personnel, of material. You need a portion of fluid iron? Average waiting time is 3 days. The same for special creams, for this and that. You need some cotton? “Oh, not so much, please, a tiny piece,” the nurse tells you politely. Sometimes, the drugs or creams never come, you get the prescription upon exiting the hospital.

In the night shift a single nurse is in charge for 40-50 patients, even in the public hospital they proudly call “the biggest in Greece, in the whole Balkans, indeed.”  Neither this nor the previous governments managed to raise the working hours of civil servants.

Patients that need night care need to hire a private nurse. They charge €8.5 per hour,  €55 for six and a half hours, and one nice green 100-euro banknote on Saturdays. Union rights as before the crisis. Is this the competitiveness the Troika has been talking about? They work at fixed shifts and by the clock: 11:00 pm to 5:40 am, for example. A 24-hours care will cost you more than 200 euro, the overtime they charge is without receipt. One day, the doctor sends you home, half fixed, half broken and totally broke. Then you will need to consult another doctor and get skilled caretakers at home, all paid by your own pocket. Or lay down and die.

A pair of low-pensioners next door with a bed-ridden and dementia-sick wife  have been going in and out the hospitals for the last 5 months. The woman needs 24/7 care but they cannot afford neither a caretaker or even better a care home for the elderly. Their last savings were spent on private nurses when the woman was hospitalized. The man was in shock and awe when he heard that they both will have 20-euro less because of the rises in health care contributions. The man was in such a shock that he forgot to go pick up their pensions on Friday. And on Monday.

And then I read about the Financial Crimes Units (SDOE) that have caught in flagranti tourism businesses with fake cash registers in Mykonos and Santorini. Cash registers that have not been registered to the tax office. The customer gets his receipt, but the businessman pockets the money without giving the state the V.A.T. or taxes. The Finance Ministry got alarmed from this new phenomenon of tax evasion by the evergreen smart “Greeks”.  But “personnel shortage” hinders a raid to all fake cash registers… One of the fake cash registers was located in Mykonos, two in Santorini, two of the richest islands of Greece. In fact: in the richest regions of the debt-ridden country with impoverished families and ruined economy.

And then, I get this damned feeling that I live on another planet in a far away universe. And I want to stay there forever. In a bubble. Away from this Greece, where half of its population starves and is in dire need and the other half, the ‘clever Greeks’ keep cheating and evading taxes and enjoy a real life of fake registration and exorbitant per hour charge, away from austerity agreements, Troika’s demands and the hateful “Mnimonia” (memoranda) as they take advantage of the shortages of the public system.

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JustObserving's picture

It fell apart many years ago when you hired the Vampire Squid to fudge your numbers.  You paid very generously for that - on the order of $500 million.  Now your debt is over $350 billion or over $65,000 per taxpayer.  And a GDP that has fallen 30% recently

Goldman Sachs helped the Greek government to mask the true extent of its deficit with the help of a derivatives deal that legally circumvented the EU Maastricht deficit rules

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/greek-debt-crisis-how-goldman...

J S Bach's picture

Sizzling greece makes good scrambled eggs... just what the international usurers had in mind all the time.  Greater gourmet meals lie ahead for them when the larger slave states fall.

hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

...the Greek left-wing coalition government agreed to burden the country
and the people with a new loan, the third bailout for Greece since 2010...

Watch, listen, and learn.

Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. This above all: to thine ownself be true...

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

All is not lost - the Greek rescue package outlines a comprehensive plan to repay the debt and restore the Greek economy to its once prosperous state. I have confidence in this plan, and I believe the Greek people have the tenacity to execute it.The only thing I would add is that we shouldn't exclude Greece from the nominations for future international sports events. The Athens olympic games gave the Greek economy a much needed boost, and demonstrated the power of government spending to restore economic growth. I believe this whole debacle would have come undone much earlier without the Greek olympic games. 

Bill of Rights's picture

So we can assume you haven't seen the photos of the crumbling once former Olympic stadiums over in Greece?

 

But feel free to send over some of your million there hot shot..

Ghordius's picture

this while China can't wait to get another Olympics. and it's already agreed

realmoney2015's picture

And this furious American (especially after the planned parenthood vote yesterday) says "My country and it's people are falling apart."

caconhma's picture

Greeks are no-good bums:

  • Back in 1941, Greece got involved in a war against Germans to help their British masters. Then, Greece complained that Germans invaded them.
  • Then Greeks defrauded EU to get a no-pay-back credit card and enjoyed extraordinary good times doing nothing and defrauding everybody else
  • Do you know that Greek employers pay bonuses to their employees just for coming to work ontime?
  • Do you know that Greeks have more Porsche sport car per capita than anybody in EU?
  • At least, Greek could declare a bankraptcy/default stopping paying their debts and started working hard. Instead, they elected communists/socialists who promised them a lot for nothing and now complained...
ConfederateH's picture

The Greeks have been "zionized" and White America's turn is rapidly approaching.

NoDecaf's picture

The author thinks that "paying taxes" is the answer.... If more people just paid their damn taxes none of this would have happened.

That, my Greek friend, is why your misery will continue. As long as you think giving your money to others and hoping that you will receive something of equal value in return, you will continue to suffer.

dontgoforit's picture

I'd say he nailed it. 

nemesis2012's picture

You are probably a lying bitch Albanian! Greece was invaded by Italy dickhead, not Germany. Get the fuck off this site with your lying ass!

realmoney2015's picture

Do not lump all the Greeks together, especially with 'their' government. I certainly do not want to take credit for everything the American governemnt has committed. Hopefully, we do not pay back our creditors. We borrowed the money through an illegal money laundering instution known as the Federal Reserve.

EscapingProgress's picture

Haven't the Greeks been on the decline since Alexander the Great died? This is not a new development. Soon they will have nowhere to go but up thus repeating the cycle of civilization - rise and fall and rise again. Flux to reflux ad infinitum.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Indeed, MDB, the best solution to the Greek crisis would be to move the summer olympics to Athens and keep the games there for as long as it takes to pay off the debts of Greece and rebuild its economy.

For the benefit of Greece, Europe, and indeed, humanity, we look to Berlin and Brussels to get the ball rolling on this project. Make it so.

Ghordius's picture

lol. good one. nevertheless, methinks you overstate a bit the power of both Berlin and Brussels (or how deep Beijing's and other capitals' pockets are, for example)

Fun Facts's picture

"The Greek people are anarchic and difficult to tame.

For this reason we must strike deep into their cultural roots. Perhaps then we can force them to conform.

I mean of course, to strike at their language, their religion, their cultural and historical reserves, so that we can neutralize their ability to develop, to distinguish themselves, or to prevail; thereby removing them as an obstacle to our strategically vital plans in the Balkans, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East."

- Henry Kissinger

lucitanian's picture

In Greek: http://sarantakos.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/kisinger1/

Translated into English: http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=el&u=http://sarantakos.wo...

Mr. Sarantakos explains here that the quote in question first appeared in Greece in 1987 in a newspaper editorial written by some nationalist lawyer, and it then got a wider audience in 1997 in a monthly magazine that is published by Liana Kanneli, journalist and later Communist Party MP. When asked for proof of the quote, Kanelli said she got it from "Turkish Daily News", but couldn't provide proof because the issue had supposedly disappeared, both the print and electronic versions. Then supposedly, another journalist found the Turkish Daily News issue in question, and there was no such quote. This journalist then supposedly contacted Kissinger, who replied with the following (there's a photo of this letter at Sarantakos' site):

Quote

Dear Mr Marinos

Thank you for your letter. As to the quote, there was no award ceremony, there was no speech and the alleged quote is entirely untrue. The whole thing is pure invention, and I expect you to correct it.

Since you are the first to tell me where the quote came from, I have only today had the opportunity to correct it in the Turkish Daily News and I have done so.

Sincerely yours,
Henry A. Kissinger

So, I doubt the Kissinger quote is real, but who knows really. If the proof exists, it's nowhere to be found.

mojojojo's picture

Government spending to increase growth. Yep, the borrowed money hit the veins and it felt good until THEY HAD TO PAY IT BACK YOU IDIOT.

Four chan's picture

damn that was well phrased sebastion.

illyia's picture

So sue Goldman at the Hague for whatever you can get. Make it class-action and get all your national friends to go in with you. Maybe you could sue the whole industry for fraud in conveyance and misprison of felony or however the "black letter law" names these obvious crimes.

Or not.

Whatever...

Chuck Knoblauch's picture

Buy food, water, and weapons.

BandGap's picture

But first, trim those fucking eyebrows.

Dr. Engali's picture

"I am unable to comprehend how a left-wing government ended up signing the worst austerity program ever. For the simple reason that if a left-wing government signs such an agreement, what should I expect from a right-wing or a neo-liberal government to do? Raid my apartment, steal my kitchen pans, my pottery cats collection and my underwear? 

There's you problem right there you stupid fuck, you believe that one particular form of government is different than the other. All government is out to lie cheat and steal in order to gain as much wealth an power for themselves as they can. They don't give a shit about you. None of them give a rat's ass about you.

vq1's picture

I like to think that wasnt always the case. Talk to older folks and they used to trust the goverment. Were they straight up wrong? Or was it corporatocracy that overcame democracy sometime in the last decade?

 

I dont like the idea of "All government is out to destroy" Because that to me means we accept that democracy is impossible. And I really want to believe its possible. 

Ghordius's picture

"Talk to older folks and they used to trust the goverment". let me guess: American?

NoDecaf's picture

They were straight up wrong. Look where that naive trust got us... You want to blame the greedy corporations, but who opened the door for them?

Dr. Engali's picture

Please, look at how government has always screwed over the public, from the federal reserve act passed under the cover of darkness to false flag wars to enrich the bankers and the MIC..gov has bought of the golden hordes by throwing them trinkets like SNAP while they helped the oligarchs steal the wealth of the nation. The major game changer now versusprevious generations is that the internet has helped to shed some light on just how corrupt the bastards are.

lunaticfringe's picture

Without the Federal Reserve- Congress would have to authorize every budget and every spending measure annually through the citizens of the U.S Can you imagine that? How long would they last? They wouldn't make a second election cycle.

Politicians desperately need a central bank. That way they can spend far more than they receive without getting oversight or approval from their citizens because we would have voted them all out long ago. 

Central banking represents an unlimited line of credit wherein the politicians can destroy our country with debt while lining their own pockets at the same time. Central bankers love it because they and their secret stock holders become wealthy beyond measure while the taxpaying slaves send in their 1040's.

Shad_ow's picture

Not all government is out to destroy, it is corrupt individuals within the government who are.  Government kept in check is fine but if corruption is allowed in it is grown to unsustainable levels and requires tyranny to remain in power.  We are at stage 3 tyranny.  Most of the rest of the world is at stage 4.  The end of this will come, there will be a reset, and it won't be pretty. Who will survive and control what is left?

Implied Violins's picture

Government: to govern = to control. Ment = short for mental, or mind.

Therefore, government = mind control.

I no longer consent to this bullshit. *All* governments are tyranny incarnate. Do we really need them any more? There's got to be a better way.

Ghordius's picture

I profoundly disagree. there are varying levels of madness and idiocy, among governments, political parties and ideological methods

take this Greek's rant about the current capital controls, and their idiotic effects on something so simple like selling a flat (never mind what is happening with the stock exchange)

MachoMan's picture

Vary they may, but you're just making a cleanest dirty shirt argument...  and the degree of insanity is also directly related to available choices (if all of them are bad, then guess what)...  We live at a time of convergence for many incredibly important factors, leading to increasingly difficult decisions.

Ghordius's picture

sure, you can see it so. but if you walk shirtless and even achieve a territory that is shirtless... you'll be occupied by shirt-carriers

so I don't see an option in getting rid of shirts, and so I care for the cleanliness of shirts. there is dirt, and there is... washing and cleaning

MachoMan's picture

You disagreed with Dr. E, but your points are not mutually exclusive...  In fact, I think you may be in agreement.

Ghordius's picture

MachoMan, yes... and no. I think Dr. E. is under the spell of "only in America", there

His gov is shitty, ergo all gov is similarly or more shitty, ergo gov is the problem, period

yes, gov is a problem, but there is no solution to it, only moderation, mitigation and management of it. <- this is where we differ, I think

the difference between "fix it" and "manage it". the first is "fire and forget", the second is like homework

MachoMan's picture

Saying that there's no solution to it is a bit pessimistic, but I agree that humans haven't found it.  Even the most staunch "capitalist" has to acknowledge that some referee is necessary to keep the peace among competitors and that the market has some inherent limitations.

As far as management goes, humans' natural states are apathy and laziness.  As a result, there is no management over the long run.  The maintenance cost of any society is greater than humans choose to accept.  Ergo, all societies fail.

The problem with attempting to differentiate between dirty shirts at this juncture is that the governance of countries with any semblance of wealth is difficult at best, given those countries are left with nothing but bad choices.  Even those who adopt some acceptable notebook of solutions, still will appear insane because they're left with insane choices.  So, I'm not sure bickering over form is going to get us to the substance of the matter.  An ounce of prevention...

lunaticfringe's picture

My good doctor. Politcians are merely puppets. They whore out the taxpayers by spending far more than they have received. In turn, the bankers extend them an unlimited credit line so they can hang themselves with it. Right now the lynching is Greece- but it's coming to a stage near you.

We all share one common denominator. Central bankers. The cocksuckers are like roaches and until we start getting rid of them- permanently- they will just keep coming back, dressed in nice suits using nice verbage, while slitting all of our throats.

Dr. Engali's picture

You won't find any argument from me there. I get irritated as hell because people don't understand this fact and they are stupid enough to believe they really have a choice.

lunaticfringe's picture

True. Central banking and fiat currencies trump all avenues of blame. These are the fuckers we should be ferreting out and eliminating. Guys like Tsipras don't have the balls to stand up to them. Shrimp balls. Pussies, all of them.

vq1's picture

okay I dont disagree with all of you. 

 

So what now? We are ruled by central banks and puppet politicians. So game over? Riot in the streets? What is the solution here. Because protests over climate change, blacklivesmatter, occupy all were met by critique from the media- "lazy, destroying their own communities, no job". They were met with militarized police, FBI surveillance, government curfew, national guard deployment.

 

So what to do now? 

MachoMan's picture

B9K9 took the opposite approach...  if bankers did not exist, then the government would have to create them.  I tend to agree.  In short, your cause and effect are backwards, government holds the power, not the other way around. 

In so far as "what to do now," I would be weary of the strong man. 

acetinker's picture

Macho- Not to offend, but I think you have it exactly backwards.

Then again, so did Napoleon;

"When a Government, Bonaparte declared, is dependent for money upon bankers, they and not the leaders of that Government control the situation, since “the hand that gives is above the hand that takes”.  “Money,” he declared, “has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency: their sole object is gain.”

 

MachoMan's picture

Please don't preface posts with "not to offend."  It's the internet...  and, frankly, everyone should expect to have to defend their ideas on the battlefield of logic.

Powerful individuals, those people can lose everything in an instant when a government demands it.  Financiers are merely a convenience and they take a fee for that convenience.  So long as the public stewards are busy spending other peoples' money, there isn't much issue.  However, human existence is cyclical and fairly predictable over long ranges of time.  Eventually, that view changes, the roles change, the mandates change, public sentiment changes, people become more vigilant and aware, etc.  To that end, in our waxing and waning lives, where do you think we are in the cycle?  Towards the end where governments continue to spend with reckless abandon, rapidly expand their powers, and line the financiers' coffers, or the opposite?

If nothing else, who has the power to create the banking system also has the power to destroy it.  He who can destroy a thing, controls a thing.  I think many people are simply confusing the decision not to act with the inability to act.  Time will tell, it always does.

acetinker's picture

To that end... I'd say it takes two to tango.  Niether the pols nor the banksters could exist outside their cozy, symbiotic relationship.

However, the bankster still has the upper hand because it is his $$$ that enable the pol to promise the people shit that neither he/she nor they can afford (hence the national debt).  Further, the bankster can deal with any pol on a one-on-one basis, while the honest pol (oxymoron, I know) must single-handedly wrestle all of the heads of the bankster hydra at once.  To my knowledge, Andrew Jackson is the only one to ever pull off this super-human feat; And we just don't make 'em like him anymore.

I don't expect you'll agree, but that is the basis of my contention.

Otherwise, thanks for your response.  Just so you know,  since this was my first response (afaik) to you, I was being oh so kind.  Some folks 'round here can tell you that this isn't always the case.

Carry on, it's a relatively minor quibble, anyway.

Vlad Zerox's picture

In broad terms you have political solutions and non-political solutions.   The Greeks tried but failed with political solutions, they got suckered and voted for someone who was just telling them what they wanted to hear to win the election.   

It might still be possible to have a political solution, they came close.   They just need to elect someone who wants to denounce the debt and leave the Euro.   That won't fix everything, but it will make everything a lot more clear.

Non political solutions are rarely effective.  You could start a Civil War, but you stand a good chance of having a military junta end up in charge, which is arguably worse than the ccurrent system.  Of course you might get lucky and get a intelligent military junta, but odds are against it.

We have all the same problems here, and the same depressing unlikely to work solutions.  

JJdog's picture

They voted with the communist leader even after they know he was lying and scam the entire country to be taking apart. They deserve what's coming to them. Bend over and suck it up dummies. 

MachoMan's picture

They voted to maintain ties with europe despite telling other member states to suck a fat one on their loans...  I contend that they actually did not vote for anything.  They got mad and took to the streets and hit the polls, but they remain in denial regarding their condition.  As has been the case since 2007, any deleveraging will be involuntary.