In the expats-series KTG features short stories submitted foreigners living in Greece and how they come along with the crisis. If the country of origin is not in economic crisis, one may decide to go and try to built something new there. But how about expats living in Greece whose country of origin suffers under similar crisis with austerity measures that lead to nowhere?
Below the story by Ephilant:
“Over the last few years, I watched my country slowly but surely being ripped apart. I watched the leaders of my country give the country, its legislation and most of all its people the two fingers. I watched political favouritism create an powerful, wealthy elite. I watched corruption in the financial sector bring the country to its knees, and more corruption and favouritism ensuring that those responsible for the debacle could walk away with their ill gained wealth intact, while the people of my country suffered untold poverty.
I watched homelessness sky rocket, suicide reach its highest ever levels, unemployment becoming the norm. I watched the brightest of the country, those who have the ability to turn the tide, leave in disgust, their dreams stolen from them by short-sighted, selfish politicians whose only interest is in the safeguarding of the elite they created. I watched the back bone of my country, the self-employed become paupers, almost overnight. And I realized that what I was seeing was nothing new. As I watched my children leave, one by one, I realized they were only doing what I had done when I was their age.
This had been ongoing for decades. I remember my country in the eighties when we were told by the then prime minister that we were <blockquote cite>living way beyond our means </blockquote cite>. I remember the devastation that followed the austerity they put in place. The young people leaving, colleges and universities closing, factories moving elsewhere, strikes, marches, loud promises we believed because we needed something to believe in.
When I emigrated in 1981, I also remembered 3 decades before, when unemployment was rampant, young people were leaving in their droves, politicians were busy protecting themselves and their friends, and promises we believed in because we needed something to believe in. I remember that was 1955, when I emigrated for the first time.
Not so very long ago, I left my country for the 3rd time. This time, I know I will not go back, for there is no point. So I came to Greece. If I was going to have to be poor, I might as well be poor in the sunshine. Here, I watch the exact same scenario being acted out by different actors, creating different victims. The result is the however the same. While the elite is interested only in protecting and increasing their status of power, the people and the country as a whole suffer. Sometimes, like many others, I feel like leaving again. And I ask myself “where would you go?” the answer I keep getting is frightening in its simplicity. “There is nowhere to go”
And with that comes the realization that this may be a different country, but the victims are the same. They are the very same people who simply want to be able to live a somewhat comfortable life, make sure their children can do the same, and who are prepared to work for this. They are the same people who are being denied the right to a somewhat comfortable life, who are being denied the right to try and ensure that their children will have a somewhat comfortable life. The victims are the very same people who are having their lives destroyed by the elite, in order to protect the wealth and lifestyle of that elite. At any cost, imposed by the elite. The victims are the People, everywhere.
What the victims need to realize is that they are victims only because they accept the role of victims handed out to them by the directors of this drama. They need to realize that they don’t have to accept this role, and they need to realize that they, and only they have the power to end all this, once and for all. There is no point in Waiting for Godot, you have to go and find him.”