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Spend a Day in Greece and be Thankful

Updated on March 9, 2012

Be thankful that whatever your dilemma is, your loss, your quiet panic, your fear of the future, that you are not there.

Visit Greece today is nothing like it was even a few years ago. It is a country on the edge of collapse and silent anarchy. The Greeks, themselves, know this all to well, and now, many are leaving this country, home to Democracy, by the thousands in a mass exodus. Every man for them themselves is the motto. You wake up to the morning newspaper with blaring headlines, "The State has ceased functioning", in the Athens newspaper, Kathimerini. How fun is this?

You venture out into the daily grind and find small chaos and anarchies brewing; street lights and traffic lights are not working, traffics is insane, traffic rules and signs are ignored. Maybe some have already crossed into the abyss of contempt for the government and the Germans and French bailing them out. Pride. National pride that is hard to swallow. Many of the stores that were there "back in the day" are gone or hollow now, those that somehow do exist, are blackened ruins from recent flames of rioters trying to express their anger and sense of hopelessness.Sad. You run into many sifting through garbage cans for things- things to eat with caution, things to sell or barter. Appearances are always deceiving, for sure, but when you find out that these bums are actually intelligent, well educated people, it is freaky. Some in Greece are foreigners who did have a great paying job and never, ever thought, they, the educated at Cambridge, would be one of them. For years, they were upper middle class, worked in the tourism industry, until the big job loss. Tourism dropped greatly and is all but gone now. Like others, they delayed the worse, using savings while job searches yielded nothing until the bank account went empty. Then, they sold personal items to get by. Then, their car or other big ticket items. Time continued and still no job as things just went from bad to worse. Now, homeless, most still cannot believe they are the ones being called "bums".

In Greece, unemployment is 48%. Forecasts for Greece are more gloom. Over 250,000 people there now receive free meals from churches or shelters. What brought Greece to this was its corruption and inefficiency. It was an economy with no rules. In one example, if you made $100K in a year, the State would take $40K and the tax collector $20K.

The slashed budgets of Greece are causing a social revolution to its society and that too much damage has been done for the latest EU economic package to be the cure. This may force Greece to leave the EU. To many Greeks, the French and German banks are really saving themselves with the latest loan package that brings a new meaning to austerity. Many hospitals are manned with half staff, some have lost electricity for not paying the bills.

Oddly, the worlds first recorded economic crisis happened in 5 B.C. where, you ask? Athens, Greece. Where else???


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      Thanks for the eyewitness!

    • one2get2no profile image

      Philip Cooper 5 years ago from Olney

      Well written and you have got your facts exactly right. I live in Greece and see this everyday. The one thing that you can't bring alive is the mood of the people. The everyday person in the street and the pensioners who because of the corruption of the last 30 years of governments and state officials have creamed the cream off the milk and left the the people with just sour milk. Where else in the world would you be able to have a mayoress of a small town of 9000 people who came into office with 1 small apartment and left office with an apartment block in the elite area of Athens and a 2 million pound house in Edinburgh? When questioned she said she saved from her salary of $1,300 a month. Even my cat could work out that in 5 years it is impossible to save that amount of money. This story is just the tip of the iceberg.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      I tend to think between now and 2016, the world will just go from one crisis to another.

    • QualityContent profile image

      QualityContent 5 years ago

      The world right now is in such a mind boggling bleak situation that it makes WWII seem like a church picnic. Greece is just the start. We need to face the facts that our entire monetary system is dead, it has failed and we can't bring it back.

      As we keep trying to save the system all our costs are going up, gas, food, basic living and with it the chance that we will have another major war in a last ditch attempt to save the system from its own destruction.

      Money and our way of life is just dead, we need a new solution and we need it fast before everything collapses. I want to be optimistic but I don't see that light in the tunnel, it's just black.