I wrote a long post on the current situation in Greece a few months ago, with the goal to provide a view from the ground, and it has proven to be one of the most visited parts of this blog. Not much has changed since last June when I wrote that. Today I have just two pictures for you. One on how things are, and the other on how they could be.
The first one is a copy of my bank account statement and it speaks louder than a thousand words on the tax storm that the Greek government is hitting us with (when I say "us", I mean those of us who have the bad habit of paying our taxes). I will translate it for you:
“...If you are looking for a facilitation on the payment of your taxes, Emporiki Bank provides the solution with a new, specially designed program, with a preferential interest rate, for a 5 year duration. ‘Tax Facilitation Program’ by Emporiki Bank.”!
I'm sure this could make great material for a "Brazil"-like, sci-fi novel but this time it's real (like science-fiction often turns out to be).
The second one comes from my rather distant past, some 2 decades ago, when I was visiting the USA with the AFS student exchange program. Students from all countries were being hosted at the C.W. Post Campus, in New York for a few days of orientation before being sent to our host families around the country. There was a "talent show" set up for our last day at C.W. Post, as well as a poster competition with students from each country invited to submit their original, DIY poster.
We Greeks had set one morning aside to create our simple, no-frills poster. We chose not to fool around for a couple of hours that morning; not to play Frisbee or soccer, not to chit-chat with kids from other countries and just do that poster thing. The evening of the talent-show we learnt that we had won the poster competition as we were the only country (or something close to that) to had even submitted one. We had won simply by taking part!
Later on, students from each country presented their small shows and, even though all were fun and interesting in their own way, it was only during the Greek show that the audience got off their seats and up to the stage to dance together with the Greek crew.
|C. W. Post Campus - Tilles Center: AFS Talent show, August 4, 1988|
If only the Greek government (and the ones that preceded it) were determined and focused enough to simply do the things they have to do, like we did that morning at C.W. Post, the country wouldn't be in the verge of collapse that it's facing today. The majority of Greek people, with all their shortcomings, bad habits and attitudes know how to pull together when needed and, if the rules and objectives of the game are fair and clear to everybody, they are capable of excelling and dealing with adversities just like anyone else.
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