A Society Falling Apart
MICHALIS KARCHIMAKISLast time I cross-checked Greek fiscal facts and figures in EU announcements, I realized – yet again – that the very core of official European bodies, as well as their staff, absorb information regarding the Greek economy and its consequences in a context that simply does not match the real circumstances in Greece today. This, by no means, suggests inability. Numbers tend to encircle political thinking, hence the lack of appreciation most times as to the enormous efforts and steps this society has taken.
Meanwhile, it is extraordinary how modest and careful the Greek people are in dealing with this absolute turning point of just about everything they knew. If only governments could copy that. Allow me this praise for my fellow citizens, as I often feel moved by their sheer endurance.
As we speak, nearly a quarter of Greeks are out of work, fifty per cent of young Greeks are jobless; a generation in danger. These, primarily, are the hard facts of a society falling apart and its profound struggle to tackle monster austerity as opposed to initiating growth.
However, despite the bitter taste of this unprecedented social crisis, it will undoubtedly help us stick to our fundamental values. To some of us, the power of our value “system,” delivers its best when colliding with the past.
Value one: exposure and punishment for political arrogance. It will most certainly become a top issue in the coming years and as governmental schemes relay, a need to reveal the certain cast of politicians who simply attack the weak becomes more essential than ever before. No need to wonder why, the answer is simple. The weak resist less and are easier to manipulate. The very fact that we now know politicians deceived and harmed citizens in this country, gives us the decisive tools to act and restore confidence in our democracy.
Value two: belief in ourselves. It’s hard to recall a society exposed to this amount of negative publicity and almost savagely humiliating reports to the extend ours has. Personally, I felt even more intimidated – if not annoyed – by outbursts from mere administrators left, right and center and their response to what they claim is an ex-sinful crowd, ready to repent. The orders of virtue appear a flourishing trend nowadays!
Value three: money cannot buy everything. This crisis was not our baby. We and our partners all entered in it at different periods of time and experienced variable severity. The monotonous claim of fiscal mismanagement and systemic failure, in many ways addresses the issues at the heart of Europe far more accurately than the Greek story. It is also remarkable how our story captures continuous media attention mainly because this society is resisting what “experts” suggest is best for us; borrowing money while cutting social benefits simply does not explain the “best for you” theory.
On the contrary, any future in the economy should be best-administered through our model, economic patriotism (both Greek words), in other words, encouraging growth through our own means and human resources. This isn’t just a wish come true. It reaches the heart of our social agony, to move forward and break this disastrous vicious circle of debt and recession.
Greece is a country in trouble; a society being deprived of the very elements that support the care of its citizens frighteningly fast. To realize this is one big step towards reversing what the world sees in us. Is it not obvious how the tailor-made fiscal model failed to get the economy going? Is it not realistic to remodel what is demanded of us?
We could not have done this alone.