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Venizelos’ Dilemma “PSI or Albania” Throws Greeks into New Identity Crisis

Greeks are deep identity crisis. They do not know who they are. They do not know if they are still Greeks or not. This has to do with the fact that national and international politicians want to turn Greeks into something else. Right after the elections of 2009, PM George Papandreou promised to Greeks that he will turn them into Danes and the country into “Denmark of The South”. Exactly two years later, the Danish dream had disappeared and Greeks kept living like … Greeks. The same PM, George Papandreou warned in October 2011,  that he will not allow Greeks turn into Indians. “We are not India and we will not become India” Papandreou told the Troika that demanded to lower the wages in the private sector. I remember at that time, Greeks were in dilemma whether they would have to wear sari and dance to Bollywood music.

A month later, George Papandreou was forced to give the country’s leadership to ex-banker Lucas Papademos. The new prime minister is a laconic man. He speaks to the Greeks only when he has to announce the salvation of the country through a new loan agreements. He always speaks in a cool but effectively dramatic tone. His seriousness and the metallic undertone in his voice make Greeks feel they’re about to be attacked by some Marsians forces or some other outer space Troikans.

Papademos never promised Greeks, he would turn them into something they are not. He just did it. By signing the new bailout, the new loan agreement and the austerity package, Papademos turned Greeks into Portuguese with one single signature. Their wages dropped by 22% , but are still higher than those of Portuguese, who earn only 566 euro. Greeks could have turned into Spaniards and earn 660 euro per month. But this option was only very short. Now, the perspective for the Greeks is to be turned into Bulgarians, should the wages in the private sector reduce further than today, as EU Commissioner Olli Rehn told a Finnish radio.

While Greeks try to learn to behave and earn like the Portuguese, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos dropped another bomb today. A bomb that pushed Greeks into a new and even deeper  identity crisis. “It’s either the programme and the PSI or we turn into Albania or Moldavia” Venizelos told the Greek Parliament during a debate about the Greek Bond Swap. According to Greek media, Venizelos is the most promising candidate for the socialist PASOK leadership.

Now millions of Greeks wonder, whether it was ever on the agenda of the country’s psychosocial, cultural and economic identity to turn into Albanians or Moldavians…

PS Venizelos said  “The one solution is the new programme and the PSI that will lead the country in another fiscal situation and will ease the Greeks from a debt burden of 110 billion euro. The other [solution] is a coordinated default within the euro which will mean stricter control. The third solution is the coordinated default that will mean empty shelves. The country will turn into the 1950’s … crush and poverty. There will be another political situation and correlation of forces and Greece will remind Albania or Moldavia”.

Denmark of the South

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5 comments

  1. One thing that has angered me is the way that politicians throughout the crisis have been using scare tactics; unless we do this the alternative will be … usually some hyped-up dystopia drawn from a Mad Max movie. The Greek people are intelligent enough not to fall for this crud and even trying it is insulting. How about a reasoned discussion of alternatives instead?

    This is instructive from an account of the transition process undergone by communist states after the fall of communism.

    “Sixth, it is important not to overestimate the long-run consequences of macroeconomic crises and even debt defaults. Russia experienced a major crisis in 1997–98, which some extremely knowledgeable observers said would set it back by 20 years, yet it began growing rapidly in 1999–2000. Similar stories apply elsewhere, from East Asia to Argentina. Debt restructurings do not necessarily make permanent scars. This experience bears a profound lesson for reformers, who are always intimidated by the international financial community: do not panic about crises; they blow over fast.”

    It is worth reading it all.
    http://www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node%2F7593

    • this angers me too . permanently. the problem is that they pout these dilemmas in front of MPs who do not dare to take the risk and endanger the country or be blamed for bankruptcy.

  2. Comparing with others doesn’t bring anything good for Greeks. They have to learn that to have a living they have to work and not cheat. I don’t think there is any country in Europe or wider to be compared with Greece. They should face their fate as they deserve it.

    • aha! Speak with some Portuguese and ask them how they mounted such a debt, please. Also show me at least one eurozone or EU country without debt and explain how this debt came from.

  3. “Papademos never promised Greeks, he would turn them into something they are not. He just did it.”

    He never promised anything because he was never elected rather appointed. Therefore why you call him prime minister? No wonder why they keep stalling elections, I see many common things with dynasty.

    As of the various measures they publish to tackle the artificial recession they created together with the eurotrash, it only leads to one thing. Social unrest followed by civil war.