Greek Monetary Crisis

Momentary flashback to posts of the last two weeks on Three Precepts of Politics. On the topic of vacuums, especially the leadership sort. Premiers of all provinces and territories voted in favour of accepting all recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to try to solve the First Nations problems. Absent? Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister, whose government is in charge of Indian Affairs. As someone who is campaigning on his fiscal record in a country that just officially went into recession, I think he better be seen to be doing something about anything at all pretty quickly.
Prediction: in spite of the fact that it’s his own legislation, if things don’t improve, he’s not going to call an election by the mandated time.

Over to the Greeks
We know that history repeats itself, but you’d think it would at least give us a breathing space.
Let’s review. How did the last recession come about? Well, a bunch of greedy bankers loaned a bunch of money to people that they should have known couldn’t pay it back.
Does this sound familiar?
Of course it’s more complex with a country. And when you’re a banker, complexity is good. Let’s see how it goes. You loan a country a bunch of money. They can’t pay it back. “That’s okay,” you say. “We’ll just refinance it. At a rate of…oh, sorry, your credit rating is much lower now, so you’ll have to pay a little more interest.”
And so it goes. Reminds me of a Mafia auction. The Mafia wants your car. They offer $500. You say “No.” They offer you $400. And so on. Your options are limited.
Friends of mine who cruise the Adriatic say that the area has numerous huge marinas, funded by Eurodollars, which are empty most of the time because there aren’t enough boats in the whole damn sea to fill them. But they keep building more, because as long as you have a project, you can get money.
Does this remind you of colonialism on a different scale in a different century?

On the Other Hand
Everybody knows about the levels of corruption in Italy, because the Italians love to beat their breasts about the problem. I don’t see any reason why there wouldn’t be a similar problem in Greece. Not counting the Mafia, since we have no evidence that Greece has any organized crime that powerful. Not quite, anyway.
So when we hear that there is a little island in the Aegean where 700 people are collecting disability pensions because they are blind, do we wonder what horrible environmental disaster is being hushed up, or do we wonder how such a blatant scam could have developed? And how many other such thefts are draining the public purse at all levels? I mean, if a taxi driver on Zakynthos can scam 500 bucks a month out of the government for blindness and still do his job, what are the higher level swindlers managing?

Once again we see that there are two sides to every disaster, and we find greed and selfishness abounding in both camps.

And This Week…
After campaigning and winning the presidency on a platform of non-cooperation with the austerity measures demanded by Eurozone creditors, what did the new Greek parliament do? Ratify the austerity measures.
I’ve just been babysitting my two-year-old grandson. Of course he’s a perfect child, but I have noted that the main reason he starts to throw a “terrible two” is when his wishes come face-to-face with reality. Allowing the tantrum to be effective just postpones the inevitable, because reality has a habit of winning. Put the Greek election in that light. The voters have had their little snit. Now it’s business as necessary and they are back to where they left off, with nothing to show for the election but a change of puppets.
And you wonder why I’m cynical.

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