Who is holding their breath for Greece? Can anyone afford not to hope for the Greek debt deal? Can exit from the eurozone ever be a realistic option?
Austerity has been a major issue in Greece since 2009. You may have already heard of the results of it, the most tragic one being young children who faint at school because they had nothing to eat for days. Or maybe those 50,000 people who could not face this and committed suicide. Or even some two or three million Greeks that could not pay their electricity bill, and had their electricity supply cut off. I can go on. Three students in Larisa light a fire in order to keep warm and died of suffocation. Same happened to a mother and her 13-year-old daughter, I could go on. Thousands of patients diagnosed with cancer had to pay for their treatment, which of course they could by no means afford. More than 1,000 portions of food have been delivered daily in my small town Khania of 50,000 people, by the church to those who cannot afford to feed themselves and their children.
Well, this data is already known. However, it brings to mind a logical question: how did they allow a nation to get humiliated like that? And how much longer could this go on? Honestly, not long. A lot of economists and analysts throughout the world had lately started to express the opinion that what was going on in Greece was merely a disgrace for the nation whose ancestors created the Classic Antiquity. And I am almost convinced that even in Europe, even those implementing the Austerity for Greece had started thinking so. The metres simply didn’t work. People were becoming poorer and poorer, there was not money circulation in the market, no investment and of course no development.
Would anybody think we are lazy? We work long hours and get underpaid. I met a girl in her early 20s working in a private school, looking after infants 09:00 to 04:00. She gets paid 400E a month.
Would anybody think that we want to steal the money we borrowed and get away with it? Would anyone think that if any of us had the chance to decide whether to accept the bailout or not, we would have said yes to it? Does anyone think we are cheaters who laugh behind Europe and Europeans back? I do not believe anybody would say so. We have been shedding sweat and blood for the past five years. We see our children having no future, we see our country dying day by day.
But the verdict of the Greeks, approximately a month ago, gave everyone the excuse to get the country out of this difficulty. Can Europe afford having 10 million people in it not being able to live at all, let alone to live with dignity?
I know of our PM that he has been living with the vision of being a leader whose name will be discussed about and remembered as one who did something extraordinary for his country. For the past few weeks he has been negotiating and has got what he wanted, so far. i strongly believe that a Grexit had never occurred to him. Varoufakis either. This is why Varoufakis declared last night, after the long summit, that if they don t get what they want on Monday they will go back to the Greeks and say “we are sorry, we have failed. ” He didn’t say that if they don t get what they want they will just exit closing the door behind them once and for good. We will just have to go on living in this misery, which not only I detest, but I also don’t find it possible.
The reason why Greeks have been holding their breath for the past few days has nothing to do with the intention of the Europeans to give Greece some air to breath and develop, or with the question of a possible Grexit. We have been watching our new government closely because we have been deceived so many times in the recent past, that we can hardly believe there is a government that would really like to help people find themselves again and take their lives back from where they lost them. However, as I have said before this is something only history will make clear. That’s why we have been holding our breath and praying for the best. This is a chance not only for Greeks, but for the whole of Europe as well, as a small change may bring about a bigger one.