Monday, July 6, 2015

Greece time zero - Ελλάδα ώρα μηδέν

For the first 20 years of my life i was living in a normal, casual corrupted country ready to burst at any time. But nobody cared, because money and jobs existed and everyone was happy enough. We did complain, but that's what we always do even when things are going our way. Jaime knows well about it as it is the Portuguese way too.

For the next 5 years between my 20th and 25th birthday things deteriorated greatly with the World economic crisis hitting markets all over the world hard like the hammer of the gods. Economies like Germany, the USA, Australia, the magnificent island of Iceland (though it is more complicated than that) endured or recovered, while countries in the Balcans, Greece, Spain, Portugal or any country with good weather left behind charred ground, ashes and flesh and bones. Until 2010 things were grim and the looked to get worse but nothing could prepare us for what was about to come.

2010 is the landmark, a monumental year that set the pace for what was about to follow. What was that? It was said on tv the other day and i was thinking about it for a long time now. We were beginning to become the first African country in Europe. And finally we succeeded this past week. Back then our amazing president of PASOK (Hellenic Socialistic Movement or short for sticking a pineapple without lubrication in your anus) Andreas Papandreou, a fossil with a mustache that succeeded the other beach whale of a prime minister we had after some assassination plan decided that in order to recover from this nightmare was to make everyone unemployed, cut salaries to a bare minimum and more by agreeing with the IMF (International Moneytary Fund) for massive loans of billions of euros that had a renewable agreement and payments or installments had to be met in specific deadlines every few months. So these cuts and strict measures were vital according to the bald mouthpiece that everyone over 40 voted for prime minister as you know, 1.6 billion euros have to be gathered by the people that receive 400 euros per month, not the lunatics and troglodytes that have been bleeding this country since 1827 that earn 2.000+ per month.
M for Malakas.
Of course people started to be extremely angry and as a premature ejaculator Mr. Papandreou called for premature national elections. And he took the boulo*. For the meaning of the phrases with an asterisk refer to the Appendix in the end of the page, as today i am also going to educate you in greek phrases that make no sense to other people, but mean a lot for us.

Still following? Great. He was overthrown with a significant amount of people that were also usually over 50 by this interesting idiot from a village 30 minutes from me. His name is Antonios Samaras and he resigned yesterday. He was the newly elected member of the previous government's political party Nea Dimokratia which literaly means "New Democracy". If democracy is like that then i am a chechen autonomist. He was responsible for managing the transition to becoming Zimbambwe until 2015 and he did great. He also promised free wi-fi to everyone but when he resigned he forgot to give us the WEP keys. What a pity. In any case he agreed with the IMF for more strict measures, though in some cases you could say that even though we had that pineapple in our ass everyday at least some things were stable, like the banks were working and there was decent cash flow running around the veins of this country.

"I really tried and i managed to bring a smaller cucumber.."
And finally from January of 2015 until last week in June 2015 the transition to Zimbambwe was complete. The Greek people had enough and felt a change was needed. This change was brewing since 2012 from the previous elections with the leftist party Syriza*. And finally there was time for change in this January. What followed is unprecedented in so many levels i can't even begin to describe them all while not being biased.

To clarify myself, i do not support any party. This country has been rotten from the insides and the maggots are eating it since 1827 and one could argue that this happens since the Golden Age of Athens and Pericles around 400 B.C. The first problem lies in the situation that this country has been thrown into since 2010. Greece borrowed a LOT of money and the debt is around 1 Trillion euros. A trillion. So when the new government comes into play with all those promises that they will accept no new measures and wage/budget cuts a problem arrises. The common people that are mostly plagued by these issues are the ones that initiate this change hoping that everything else will change as well but that is not possible, and certainly not within the 5 months that Syriza is ruling. So when you owe that much money and you require way more to just exist, rather than grow you don't go to the people that you ask money from (in this case the rest of Europe, such as Germany) with thrasos* and magkia* and ignorance to enforce your own terms.

Don't get me wrong. The debt is insurmountable and unbearable and in the end what they pursue is a more viable settlement that will not make the people yield even more. But their actions in many areas, maybe based on their inexperience in ruling coupled with the fact that they got thrown into this tornado that has made bone and sinew clash daily leaving nothing but charred ground were catastrophic. And it is very interesting how many overlook these problems and praise them for being different even if the end product will make them suffer more.

Debt.

So what about the debt? How many of you actually know that we are in debt pretty much since 1827 with the forming of the first free Greek government? The newly formed government that was created after the incredible Revolution of 1821 against the Turks and they asked the UK government for a loan in gold or golden coins i am not sure. It was a pretty substantial amount back then and during the transport most of the money got lost/stolen and never made it back home. With no funds to begin with, the state was already in debt. The economy was dire also after the first and second World War but then the civil war followed up, the Hounda* in the 70's and then the relentless feasting of the previous governments that eventually led us to today's situation.
Greeks are known for standing together during difficult times and making heroic exits or brave feats that are almost unmatched in World History. A country that small defeated Persians, Italians, German Nazi's and the Turks with sheer thrasos and determination. They said OXI* to slavery multiple times, but many don't understand that in this current state we are enslaved forever with this debt. But we also tend to forget the wars in the inside of the country. Wars that spanned from Ancient Greece to the Civil War, to Hounda and even in Greek Football. And when they realize they need to join forces and work for a common cause often everything is lost, decimated or a Pyrrhic Victory*.

An image is equal to a thousand words.
So until now i discussed what went on until now but i haven't discussed what our government did, only that they used true grit and aggressive tactics thinking they will get a better negotiation and deal. But usually when you are in a situation like this you end up usually taking my arxidia*. And we took them. And now they are hanging. Like low fruit. But how did we get there. How? It was supposed to be an era of change, not the same damn issues hidden and masked behind people likeable from the general public?

Mr. Tsipras, the prime minister talked about change, no more cuts in wages or retirement funds, more jobs and more viable negotiation with the IMF as well as growth. That all looked good in paper and theory. Remember the word theory because it will come up soon. He created his government nice and easy but the important choice was in the all important ministry of economics.

There he appointed Yannis Varoufakis, a rich biker boy with too much academia on his head and a pointy nose that resembles a cult greek pornstar of the 70's. This man is a professor in economics and apparently very smart at that with a lot of theories. However he never had practice and he swam directly into the deep waters. He was instantly adored by the common people for his "normal" and down to earth approach as well as his behavior outside the parliament. But he is outspoken and with a dose of too much magkia and full of contradictions. For the past 5 months of his tenure until he resigned today (and we will get back to that later) he made only mistakes. Blatant mistakes that were recognized from his own political party until he took the boulo today and Twitter is going crazy over the minister of awesome. My dick is awesome too, should i flash it to everyone?

Wanna ride on my bike honey?
The negotiations with the IMF and the Troika went sour from the first meetings. All the big heads loathed him and in the crucial negotiations of last week demanded his absence until ultimately asking for his head today. And the prime minister stood souza* as the command came from Wolfgang Shauble.

To clarify things, Greece was supposed to pay the money to the IMF by the 30th of June. That amount was 1.6 billion euros. The last week the government and the powerful people of europe were discussing about the newest prolonging of the settlement and the loan of more money that is vital for the proper function of this country. The IMF asked for more harsh measures and the government said no. What happened? Tsipras said that a public voting would be cast to give the power to the people to choose. Yes to the measures or no to the measures. Yes would mean instant cash flow and a big cucumber in your ass, but no would mean a giant one. What a nice option. There was another party that chose to say no to no and no to yes if that makes any sense. If you think about it morally and ethically it looks like the proper solution but it is not viable.

The problem here was that europe and economists said that if No prevailed a settlement and an agreement would be very hard and could lead to a potential Grexit* very soon. What followed was mayhem. Total chaos and annihilation. Massive propagandas from the media, pathetic statistics and analysis from idiots. Amazing fights for the hall of fame in Jerry Springer's show between politicians and scenarios. When the public voting was announced people flocked into the ATM machines and managed to withdraw 1 billion euros in 24 hours. A billion. So Tsipras closed the banks for a week with a withdraw limit of 60 euros per day. People panicked and bought supplies for a war such as rice, pasta and gas. Endless lines outside the ATMs for 70 year old people trying to get just a piece of their retirement money.

Amazing, even through the downpour.
But the worst thing, the absolute disaster comes into play now. Closed banks means that there is no more cash flow, that companies cannot buy primary products to process and sell, everything is on hiatus for indefinite time until a new agreement is set and with the capital control looming over our heads for at least two years now it is going to be really hard to stand on our feet. And that billion of cash is not going back in for sure. You should have seen how the members of Syriza also flocked to the ATM's to withdraw their millions. Capitalist leftists my ass. But i don't blame them it is their fortune i would have done the same.

Closed banks and withdraw limits impacts tourism too. People are scared to visit our country and their homelands inform them that they will run into issues if they visit Greece. For a country that lives only on tourism that is an incredible hit since people such as myself are waiting for these 3 summer months to take a breather from the yearly crisis. Now July is almost halfway here and the tourist destinations and cancels are soaring day by day. And we still have no agreement.

Varoufakis vouched that there will be no capital control, the banks won't close, that they will not accept such a tough settlement again. But he lied. He is a fool and an ignorant one as well. My ass a man of the people with his massive fortune. He almost single handily threw us out of europe with one foot inside the grave as everything he said happened. "No" won with a 61% but what did that mean? Absolutely nothing. Most people think that it is a revolution or rebelling against the unbearable debts and disgusting settlements of 8 billion euros proposed by the IMF. However now he resigned and took the easy way out. But what does that mean? It means that europe is willing to negotiate with their own terms which rendered this public voting insignificant and useless in the first place. And now that we have no negotiating power we will take the arxidia and both the cucumbers and put them you know where since probably the new settlement will be more strict.

I sound negative don't i? Who can blame me, we have seen corruption, promises and more promises and in the end everything went to hell. I just want the best for this country, my family and my peers. But i am just cautious and i sincerely hope i am wrong and that everyone can make a heroic return as in our proud history. Varoufakis thought he can fuck europe. But he forgot one important thing. In Greek mythology Europe was a very beautiful woman. Zeus, the god of thunder and leader of everything deceived her and fucked her until she made 3 kids. Such an asshole and sexist dinosaur he was. But people forget that after doing that to Europe he tossed her away and abandoned her...Do not fuck with europe. We are a part of it.

To conclude all this i wanted to talk about something else too. First of all i hear that people say that we are slobs that do nothing all day sitting at the beach drinking frappe* and saying Opa a lot. It is not like that. I work daily from 5 am to 5 pm and sometimes more just to exist. We live to work and pay. Only Portugal comes close to the weekly hours of work

That ain't falco.

Lastly a message to the Greek people that i see around too. Do not be divided and work for a common cause. Also do not badmouth the people that have fed you for years such as the endless waves of german tourists. You call them horrible names yet they choose to come here every year and spend their money because they love our country. You hate Merkel ok i understand, but is it their fault too? I was walking in stores i supply and heard people shouting that europeans are the devil and they should be put down like dogs, or other drunk greek slobs shouting fuck germans. You know what, if you gave your own money to someone (more importantly if it was such a big amount) you would be strict and interested in getting them back. Are they the sole reason we are in debt or in this situation? How about yourselves? Did you think about it when you tax-evaded? Or when you used your connection to eat someone else's place in a government operation? Or did the Germans do that too? We should account for our own mistakes instead of blaming just others and take full responsibility. But we are also not sheep so you also need to think rationally and for the common good instead of trying to save your own skin first.

I am not pro-German, or a right wing fan, or a left wing fan. I am just trying to survive and i see all those beautiful amazing young minds unemployed or flocking to europe where they are sheltered, respected and thrive, because we are amazing intelligent people that will always find ways to persevere. And this is what we should do here. Instead of fighting we should unite and try to find a common viable solution for the country and the people. This has been already a huge post that i have been writing for hours so i will drop it here. I wonder if anyone will bother to read it or just focus on the "negatives". I hope for the former.

Goodnight Sweden. Goodnight Greece.

Appendix
1) The boulo (τον πούλο) = slang greek phrase for someone that got kicked out from somewhere in a hurry, usually with a kick in his ass. "Kostas took the boulo today because he was an icompetent baboon that i would not sell even a virus to."
2) Syriza (Σύριζα) = Leftist political party currently governing the country. Interesting fact, most of its members are former members of PASOK, the right wing party...Also called "tsiriza" which means shouting with a shriek to make fun of them.
3) Thrasos (θράσος) = Thrasos could be defined as grit. It is used when someone uses guts and tries to make his/her opinion heard with courage determination but can also mean that he/she is having a bad attitude thinking they are the best or above others. "Kostas is a scumbag and thrasys he is always badmouthing others and never lets anyone speak".
4) Μagkia (μαγκιά) = Quite the interesting word. It means that you have guts or that you try to look nice, interesting and awesome to other people, while you are just an average joe or a simple bully. "Yannis tried to sell some magkia to that other guy just because he is more muscular but he has the brain of a dinosaur."
5) Hounda (Χούντα) = After a coup d'etat around 1967 that culminated with the Turks invading Cyprus in 1974 the country was in strict military state for 7 years that torn the country in half and halted all potential growth.
6) Oxi (Όχι) = Τhe word for No, famously said against the Turks and Italians in Greek History. Now it was also said during the public voting of the 5th of July 2015.
7) Pyrrhic Victory (Πύρρειος Νίκη) =  A victory but with great casualties, that is almost a loss.
8) Take my arxidia (Πάρε τ'αρχίδια μου) = Literally means "take my testicles" but is a phrase used to indicate that someone will not give you what you asked for but something way worse. "Kostas asked me for money but told me he will pay me in 128 months so i told him to take my arxidia".
9) Kathomai Souza (Kάθομαι σούζα) = When someone, usually a dog sits immobilized in front of someone usually higher in the hierarchy and shows total discipline and fear. "After behaving like a mongrel, Jaime made Sandra sit souza in front of him in total fear".
10) Frappe (φραπέ) = Simple cool type of coffee that is usually enjoyed in the beach or a cafeteria.

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