A view of Greece from the Outside - Commentaries and Opinions
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Dear Greek Friends!
I picked up the letter below in the comment section of the Ekathimerini. The author was anonymous. I thought it was quite a piece of motivational literature, which is why I post it here.
"Dear Greek friends,
I am from Belgium and I realize that I cannot grasp
the enormity of the crisis that hits you every day. But I know a little world
history and Greece is the country I love the most. No other people influenced
mankind's evolution of civilization more than Greeks.
Before the Ottoman invasions, the Byzantine Empire
was the greatest, richest, smartest and most refined culture the world had ever
seen. Rome was nothing in 200 compared to Byzantium in 1200. Then 400+ years of
brutal oppression were not even enough to destroy your heritage, your customs,
your approach to life. Any other culture would have disappeared after 400 years
of attempts to erase it.
During these 400 years the Western world lived its
renaissance, a rebirth and further wonderful development of what you gave to
the western world 2500 years ago. Unfortunately, Greece could not be part nor
play any role in what led to the French Revolution and finally an important
degree of individual freedom to a gigantic part of the world. All these years,
you had to struggle to maintain your culture under the Ottomans.
I know I take a lot of shortcuts, but I only want to
draw the big picture here. Then, after struggling to restore and rise up again,
the Germans came and tried to destroy your pride, again, without success. In
the decades after 1945 until now, the Western world became enormously rich,
started collecting European money and threw it by the billions to the Greek
government in order to keep the country of Greece at its side (it is the mother
of Western culture after all).
The politicians took the money, put a part of it into
their own pockets and threw it further to the Greek people to buy their votes.
In such a kind of doped economy, entrepreneurship, innovation, development from
bottom to top had no chance. Why take any risk to undertake any business when
working for the state was far more secure and lucrative? All with billions thrown
by European politicians to the Greek politicians. This cannot become other than
addictive, so the Greek politicians started to lie a little bit to the European
money-throwers to keep them throwing.
In the meantime the financial system in the Western
world had become corrupt itself and collapsed, a collapse triggered by the
American housing bubble... The tubes of money dried out, enormous pits of debt
left behind. And now what...?
Accusing one another for being the guilty one makes
no sense, we were all in some part guilty for not controlling and checking what
our politicians and bankers were doing. In Greece and in the rest of the
Western world. The solution is not in accusing, the solution is in stimulating
those who do the best effort to clean the mess up. Kicking out Europe and the
Troika is ridiculous and what is more important: you are far too intelligent as
a people to take such stupid action.
Kick out corruption by beginning with yourself, in
your own community. Start innovating your tourism sector. It boomed in 2013,
even in these lousy conditions! You ever asked yourself why? Because you are
the owners of the greatest country in the world, with the greatest culture
heritage, the greatest and warmest friendliest ambiance, something we all need
more and more in this freezing world. You have an enormous potential in modern
eco-industry, an enormous plentitude of wind and sun, enormous lots of
unspoiled space where you can develop anything you want from agriculture,
tourism to any kind of modern industry.
We can read some very small signs of economic recovery,
so get working on it! No other western free-thinking country is geographically as
well placed as Greece. Start to work together with your ancient enemy, Turkey,
as an ally. We did that with the Germans too, every European country did this
and look at the result in Belgium, Netherlands, France, UK, Denmark, Sweden,
The Turks built a tunnel between Europe and Asia? You
realize what that means? You realize which European country is best placed to
jump on it to exploit the possibilities? Yes indeed, your country, the
wonderful Greece. Go for it, work together, use your brains, you have lots of