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Open Letter to Merkel: What Greeks Really Want from You…

Dear Angela, Liebe Angie,

all your bags are packed, you’re ready to go… ready to leave Berlin on a jet plane and land to Athens, Greece. You are a brave woman, liebe Angie, to come to a country where the majority of the people have no warm feelings towards you. Even if your heart is bleeding for our plight. For the plight of mothers who cannot feed their children, the plight of pensionsers and chronic-ill who are dying without sufficient health care and the plight of  jobless who have no eyes to look into the future.

To carry your bleeding heart to Athens is as oxymoron as “taking owls to Athens”, as “selling snow to eskimos” or “carrying coals to Newcastle.”

Therefore you have at least 12 hours time to think of another smart and compassionate line.

But, in fact, dear Angie, you know… we do not need your compassion or solidarity. Neither are we up to to hear empty phrases like “The sacrifices of the Greek people have been recognized” or that our Prime Minister “Antonis Samaras is doing excellent work to meet the country’s commitments to its lenders” and that “the program will boost competitiveness and growth.”

We, the mothers without milk, the chronic-ill without medicine and the jobless without work living on zero income, we all have heard all this nonsense many times before. Much to many times in the last two and a half years.

And last, but not least, dear Angie, do not come up with a warning that “either the wages and pensions cuts and the reforms will happen or the 31-billion-euro tranche will not arrive and we will go officially bankrupt”. THIS we have been hearing every three months, since the country sought the aid of IMF, the EU and the ECB in May 2010.

No, dear, Angie, we don’t need to hear anything of all the above. Best is you don’t speak to us at all.

Go meet Samaras and Papoulias, and some Greek & German businessmen and enjoy a Spartan but fine lunch.

Do not speak to us at all. We don’t need to hear you speaking. No offence. But we’ve being there, seen that and heard everything already many times.

Dear Angela, Liebe Angie,

all we need from you is that you carry with you a suitcase full of cash to cover the expenses the Greek lavish state will spent for your safety and protection.

Deployment of 7,000 policemen, helicopters in the air, water cannons, frogmen, iron fences… Not to mention the possible use of tear gas.

Do you know how much all these draconian secutiry measures will cost our bleeding wallets?

With Best Regards

   und freundlichen Gruessen

“Keep Talking, Greece” – the blog about the real Greece

PS Also you don’t need to pack all these old-fashioned and out-of-date jackets of yours. It’s pretty warm here in Athens this time of the year. But if you pack some lists with tax evaders, we will specifically happy. Because our government keeps losing them.

Of course, you could be fair and honest enough and answer following questions:

Angie, Angie, when will those clouds all disappear?

Angie, Angie, where will it leads us from here?

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 BTW: On Tuesday morning private SKAI TV reported that the police cost (incl double shifts, fuel cars & helicopters etc) alone is 2,500,000 euro!

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19 comments

  1. And why is it exactly Merkel’s fault that Greeks have been for decades ruled by malevolently inadequate governments? Was she back then in power? Why is she to blame for local parties made ignorants believe that their country belonged to “the nucleus” of Europe, when in reality Greece’s infrastructure and economy was stuck in the 70s? Or hasn’t that been the case for over 30 years now?

    Contrary to what our Greek mamas made us believe, we and only we ourselves are responsible for our future, no one else. Greeks should have known better than ending up begging for foreign financial aid. Now it’s way too late and I guess you don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

    In his poem “Awaiting the Barbarians”, Kavafy concludes asking himself “What are we going to do without the Barbarians? Those people could be some solution…”. Maybe we should stop seeking scapegoats and try to reach some common understanding.

  2. Cleveland Natives

    from der Spiegel today:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/german-press-comments-on-angela-merkel-s-greek-visit-on-tuesday-a-860031.html

    “The Greeks should really be preparing for Merkel’s visit with Merkel posters and Germany flags because no one is helping the deeply troubled country as much as Germany with lots of money and guarantees.”

    “But instead of gratitude, the streets of Athens will ring with abuse against the German guest.”

    KTG, I can’t really disagree with this. I truly wonder if the average Greek person realizes that although austerity is bad, if Germany and the EU did not provide the money, wouldn’t that be worse?

    I just don’t understand people, and sorry to say but I agree with Der Spiegel on this point.

  3. keeptalkinggreece

    1. the money IMF,EU & ECB is loan with fatty interest rate.
    2. the money provided/loaned/given/borrowed does not help much as was saw from bailout I and see in bailout II. It doesn’t help because from the country should have restructured its debt already in May 2010. EU and several (intern)national bond holders were against and chose the bailout option.
    3.the debt is still unsustainable, there is talk about bailout-3 and another debt restructuring. and deeper and prolonged recession, of course.
    4. blame the Greek politicians, nepotism, cryonism, clientelism and all the -isms and part of the society who profited from the money Greece borrowed for many years as if there was no tomorrow.
    5. and don’t forget to blame the anti-Greek populist sentiment in Germany that ended in anti-German sentiment in Greece. It’s all about show & politics.

  4. Some good points here – especially ‘who will pay for the security measures for this visit?’. What will Angela’s visit achieve that could not be achieved via cheaper telephone conferencing, letters, emails, press releases, etc?

  5. The “German barbarians” should leave the Greek people alone. Give them no money, no loan. Let them sort out their problems on their own. If they want to default, we’ll that should be up to be decided by the Greek. Never again lend the Greek politicians money to buy votes. The vast majority of the Greek people likes that, so they voted for whoever promised them more – more government bureaucracy jobs, more welfare state. Now they complain, that it’s all the lenders fault and the Greek politicians and voters are totally innocent. LOL

  6. The real questions here are

    “Why do ordinary Greek (Spanish, Portuguese, Irish) people have to pay for the outrageous excesses and gambling debts of the few?
    Why is all this “assistance” portrayed as so called help to those people who have nothing left, while in reality the “assistance” is simply passed back to the same gamblers and elite who created the mess, and with excessive interest to boot, also paid for by the ordinary people of Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland?”
    The German people are being mislead just as much as the Greek, Spanish, Portuguese and Irish are.
    Merkel personifies these Neo-Liberal policies, and champions their implementation with total disregard to the effects these policies have on the ordinary people of Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland. PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH ANY OF THIS! And for that, she has forfeited any possible respect she might think she is due. And for that, she deserves all the abuse she gets, and more.
    Does Der Spiegel tell the German people about thosw who for years paid their social contributions and now can’t get the assistance they paid for in terms of medical care and medicine, people who for years contributed to pension funds so that they would not have to worry about their old age, and now find themselves with little if any income, etc? No sir, Der Spiegel tells the German people about the elite who have for years been creaming society, who for years have not been paying their fair share (if any share at all). Der Spiegel does NOT tell the German people that their so called assistance is going straight into the pockets of that same elite, as intended by the policies championed by Merkel and Co.
    Instead of feeding the German people bullshit about how good they are being to the people of Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland, Der Spiegel would do a lot better to tell them what exactly is going on, and how they too are being conned so that the elite and corporate entities can survive without losses.
    Der Spiegel would do a lot better in telling the German people that thanks to the policies championed by their leader ordinary people in Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland are being driven into total poverty, starving to death, freezing to death over winter, etc.
    Did DER Spiegel inform the German people that the Greek government, acting in line with TROIKA policies, literally stole ALL the money out of the social security funds and handed it over to bondholders and bankers, leaving those who paid into the funds for years WITH NOTHING?
    Every single suicide in Greece is related to those so-called helpful policies. Did Der Spiegel report on the Spanish man who recently shot his handicapped son and then committed suicide on the grave of his wife, who committed suicide the week before?
    Did Der Spiegel tell the German people that this man was driven to his desperate acts because, in line with the helpful policies championed by Merkel and Co, this man had ALL his income and support removed by the Spanish government so that they could use it to pay for their bank bailout?
    There is absolutely nothing helpful about anything the EU/IMF/ECB is doing, unless you happen to be a dodgy bank or corporate business that gambled heavily and lost. Then you can count 100% on these institutions to rob Joe Soap blind so that you, the bank or corporation, don’t suffer.

    It should be noted that the previous Greek government decided to reduce by 30% the emergency property tax for corporate building over 1,000 sq.m. and 50% for those over 2,000 sq.m. so that big companies won’t get burdened with the emergency property tax

    That is the whole sorry mess in a nutshell. Let Joe Soap starve or freeze, just make sure that the big companies won’t get burdened with the emergency property tax, or any other cost for this “assistance” for that matter.

  7. I agree with Ephilant above. The division between the european peoples is manufactured by corrupt politicians and sold by slavish media to further enrich the offensively rich.

    Merkel should be made unwelcome. Not because she is German but because she is wrong.

  8. This is precisely the populist idea as promoted by Der Spiegel etc. The vast majority of the Greek, Spanish, Portuguese and Irish people are people who paid their taxes, and lots of taxes. The elite are the people who were bribed by amongst others Siemens, Janssen, etc. They are the ones who profited from the corruption and bribery, not the vast majority of the people.
    And it is exactly that same elite that is profiting from the “assistance” given by the EU. Please, instead of repeating the populist bullshit you are being fed about the peoples of Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, bring reality home to the German people, make it clear to them that they are being conned by their fraction of that elite to help out our fraction of the elite, and just like Joe Soap in Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland, Joe Soap in Germany is paying through the nose for this.

  9. It is Merkels mistake to promote and champion Neo-Liberal policies that will allow the situation of corruption, bribery, cronyism, etc to continue.
    Right now every single person in Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland is paying through the nose to protect and increase the “wealth” of those very corporations, banks and individuals who have indeed been abusing everything and everybody going. Her policies make her one of that elite, that is why she at fault, just as much as the Siemens, Janssens, UniCredits of this world are. She is their political mouth piece, nothing else.

  10. Ephilant, I don’t disagree with you at all. But is is a fact, that the majority of the Greek voters – just like the majority anywhere, like here in Germany for example – had/has no problems with the corruption at all, as long as they had the impression that they are getting something out of this corruption too. Of course, the people working in the productive/private sector, they are burdened by confiscatory taxation, regulation and the like. I don’t deny this at all.

  11. Brilliant my only wish is that this could have been signed by millions and delivered. As for the costs incurred by Greece for this visit from one of our benevolent benefactors – Samaras and Papoulias dont you dare loose or put it onto the already over burdened shoulders of the Greek people – INVOICE THIS WOMAN !!!!

  12. PS – Your Analysis Ephilant is bang on

  13. So why do you blindly repeating and spreading the WRONG image of the peoples of Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland as spread by the international press, which by the way is owned by the same elite that is still fleecing the ordinary people of everything they have?

    Of course, the people working in the productive/private sector, they are burdened by confiscatory taxation, regulation and the like. I don’t deny this at all.

    Pray tell me, why is this of course? Why is this not How come?

    Don’t forget, all of this money that is being stolen of Joe Soap all over is not just “money”. It is their “income”. And why? to help tackle “the crisis”? BS!

    here’s a little eye-opener for you. After 5 years, we are still “solving” a bank liquidity problem, if you would believe the politicians (like Merkel) and the financial heads (Like Juncker and Draghi). Now, a study in the US has concluded that

    if the big banks had been wound up 80% of Americans would have lost almost nothing. Whereas the top 5% would have lost the vast bulk of their wealth and therefore their power.

    http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

    The same ratio goes for Europe.
    Who did we say was being bailed out here?

  14. She is going to Greece because she can, despite the hatred felt towards her. It’s a message to the people about power, telling them that they are impotent.

  15. I don’t disagree. It’s exactly what I was telling you. The politicians are responsible for the debts, but someone must have voted them into office, right? And if the bailout money goes directly to the (foreign) lenders (which is right), why do you attack me for my call to end all bailouts and to end lending money to the politicians? I was calling for an end of lending money to politicians. I’m all for a clean restart of the bankrupt economies, which includes a total haircut for example.

  16. Greece needs more time, even Gb cannot pay back it`s debts in that time frame says Cameron it will take GB a decade, yet greece is expected to do the same in a few years.

  17. “What Greeks Really Want from You…”
    the answer is short: (more) money
    Why write such a long article about it ?