Greece was once a formidable nation with renown philosophers – the cradle of democracy. Their culture and influence in Europe was widespread. So much so that the post-Christ era was peppered with Greek philosophy that reaches deep into Christian teachings. But powerful nations do not last forever. Greece faded into oblivion. Today, with its economy in tatters and a relatively small population of circa 10 million people, Greeks influence is insignificant. After having been inducted into the Eurozone, it soon becomes a misfit. It can no longer thrive on the largesse of its fellow Eurozone members.
How did Greece got into this mess? It is a combination of many factors. Chiefly, it did not produce enough to warrant a way of life that it could not afford, aka debt financing. Over the years, the Troika mafia has fed Greece with intoxicating debt, knowing very well that Greece could not afford and will soon go broke. But all financial Shylocks desire to extract a pound of flesh from their debtors. That is their raison d’etre. In this case embattled Greece is Troika’s prized prey.
Go with me to a notary, seal me there
Your single bond; and, in a merry sport,
If you repay me not on such a day,
In such a place, such sum or sums as are
Express’d in the condition, let the forfeit
Be nominated for an equal pound
Of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken
In what part of your body pleaseth me
– Merchant of Venice ( (1.3.156-163))
Alexis Tsipras came into power on the back of popular vote to emancipate Greece from financial tyranny. He was Greece’s modern-day Portia – saviour for the oppressed. But it is soon not to be. Even after a 61% vote to shun the Eurozone, Alexis took an unexpected turn against those who voted for him. To the Greeks, that is betrayal of trust.
Greece’s union of civil servants, Adedly, called for a 24-hour strike on Wednesday, and for a series of demonstrations, the first one tonight at Syntagma Square, just below the Parliament, and another one on Wednesday evening, when Parliament is expected to vote on the new, even tougher, and immensely hated bailout package.
The union for local government employees, Poe-Ota, also called for a 24-hour strike on Wednesday, the AFP reported. Two other demonstrations against austerity and the “euro” are planned for Monday night, one organized via social networks, the other by Antarsya, an anti-euro party that didn’t make it into Parliament.
It would be the first strike against the leftwing Syriza coalition since it came to power six months ago. An ironic plot twist in this tragedy.
Syriza was the big force in the demonstrations against the two prior bailout packages, totaling €240 billion from taxpayers in other countries, conditioned on economic reforms pushed through Parliament by the conservative governments at the time. Now Syriza is looking at having to pass even tougher measures, including an increase in the Value Added Tax and pension reform, in return for only €86 billion in new money from taxpayers in other countries.
For Greece, the bubbling troubles are just beginning. Back to square One. Will Alexis survive?
Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.