Sunday, 6 November 2011

Greasy Insolvents in the sun

Crete, Berlin, Rotterdam....mmm which one would you choose?
Greece is on the verge of bankruptcy and they’re waiting on an EU bailout – the country has run out of money. The Greek people are out on the streets protesting over the austerity measures whilst the government is busily collecting taxes, and slashing a number of public services – the worst one being trash collection so, if you happen to be in Athens, make sure you have a peg for your nose!
Light heartred look
I don’t watch too much of the coverage on the news – scare-mongering and overblown news reports  are far too morose for my lively spirit – but I do have an opinion.
I share the plight of the Greek people. They are facing a state of insecurity or believe that they are. Regular readers of my blog know that I write extensively about debt, my direct experience and my personal world view.

Debt is a stark reminder of how fallible we are – the IMF, governments and us ordinary folk! I am not ashamed of my debt situation since I believe my debts to be honourable – my mortgage since I need a roof over my head and that of my children’s and credit card debts incurred when I had a husband who spoke a language I didn’t understand – probably Greek!
My big, fat Greek debt
Economists state that Greece’s troubles started when they abandoned the drachma as its currency in favour of the Euro in 2002. This made borrowing easier and the Greek government went on a spending spree.
Apparently alarm bells were ringing as far back as 2009 but the IMF chose to bury their heads in the sand. It’s reassuring to know that that those men in grey suits – policy makers and bankers –  icons of the financial world with a host of impressive academic achievements – got it wrong.
"Nobody's prefectus"
Its reported that Greece’s dour neighbours, Germany and Holland, are opposed to the Greek bailout. Of course they are because their economies are perfect – their financial houses are in order – so they can cock a snoot at Greece!

If you ask me they’re suffering from plain old jealousy.

Greece is an ancient civilization that gave birth to great philosophers and mathematicians like Socrates, Archimedes and Pythagoras. Banking was probably started by the ancient Greeks so maybe they have only themselves to blame! Greece has given us the Olympics which London is proudly hosting in 2012 so those Greeks knew a thing or two!
Contemplating the zeros
There’s another thing that the Greeks have that their northern neighbours don’t…and that’s….sunshine! I’ve no doubt that those ultra-violet rays that pour down on the crystal, blue waters of the Adriatic sea are not conducive to good, financial management.
The Beach Party gets my vote
Who on earth is thinking about their finances when they’re bronzing  on the soft sands and partying into the small hours on a balmy beach? Greece has a host of attractions and distractions that is the secret envy of their Northern European cousins.
Those southerly states of Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece have a history of bon viveurdom. As anyone from  below the equator knows warm weather and good financial management often part company.
The Greeks enjoy fine wine, women and song and they can’t understand what their northern neighbours are griping about. Greeks are flamboyant, warm, passionate, utterly philosophical and, except for the Onassis clan, hopeless with money - as are a lot of people!

Germans in glass houses....
Whinging windmills
Greece is in trouble so everyone’s got to pitch in otherwise what’s the EC all about?

What part of "Community" do the Dutch and Germans  not understand?

There are times when we all need a hand up and this is no time for one upmanship.
People in the northern hemisphere are ardent sun worshippers so taking a few more holidays to Greece next year will help close that deficit. Greece has sunshine by the bucketloads so let's eat, drink and be mindful!
It takes courage to live with financial hardship and I should know. After the political  and emotional turmoil, the Greeks will face up to their responsibilities with stoicism and grace.  They’ll get their bailout after a lot of groaning and moaning from the EC.
So let’s get down to business - anyone for some beach volleyball?



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