It's all I can do to keep from screaming when the Greek financial catastrophe is blamed on "the Greek people." They are called corrupt and lazy by some -- while trying to survive in a country where unemployment is at 25% (50% for young people), pensions are being cut, heating oil will be too expensive for many this winter and health care is disappearing due to austerity measures imposed by the Eurozone Troika to solve the country's debt problems. The situation is dire!
Who is responsible? Greeks themselves are debating the issue in terms of once-and-future responsibility accepted or not by Greek politicians -- primarily members of Parliament representing several prominent (but fading) political parties and other smaller (but growing) ones . Hanging over all that is a scary, very dark cloud called Golden Dawn, the neo-Fascist, anti-immigrant party given to both handing out free food and beating up immigrant shopkeepers. They have taken opportunistic advantage of the desperate plight that many Greeks find themselves in to further their despicable goals. Many Greeks abhor this development, as few have forgotten the the not too distant past struggles against Hitler and Mussolini...
More importantly, how will this mess be fixed as relates to Eurozone economic policies. The following short video features Deputy Director of the IMF's European Department Mahmood Prahad, as he gives rational answers to questions asked by concerned ctizens around the Eurozone. At one point he refers to the Eurozone as "The Club." Take a look:
Very interesting, and possibly persuasive to those who watch the video from afar. But real Greeks, in real time, are suffering greatly...All you have to do is read a recent story in the New York Times "Amid Cutbacks, Greek Doctors Offer Message to Poor: You Are Not Alone" to see where things are heading. Deals with the proverbial devil lenders have so seriously limited health benefits that 1/2 of the 1.2 million unemployed are now totally uninsured. Horrified doctors have developed an underground network to provide assistance for those in need. So much for lazy and corrupt.
Real people are suffering while economists and bankers meet and pontificate. While austerity vs. growth is debated around the Eurozone, Athens is too close to burning-- and the next few days through November 12th when "The Club" votes on the next loan installment are expected to be rocky and volatile.
But how long are the Greeks expected to keep taking bad medicine?