Several days after the Greek Parliament voted to adopt further austerity measures, the rest of the world seems to have realised the damage austerity has already done. The news that Greece’s GDP plummeted at the end of last year confirmed what Greeks have already realised – austerity is crippling the country.
I wrote this weekend that I have had trouble coming to grips with the reality that hard times for Greece are here to stay, at least for much of the forseeable future. Watching the rest of the world come to the same conclusion today has only reinforced feelings of pessimism. It surprises me how much talk I’ve heard of some kind of conspiracy. It’s no secret that Greeks love conspiracy theories – in a country where networking can (or could) get you quite a lot, people are convinced there is some kind of secret motivation behind everything. These days, when no one wants to take responsibility for the situation, finding creative scapegoats as well as the standard ‘the government’ has become a convenient distraction.
I don’t know enough about Greek politics to express my opinion on the current government, but I do know enough to see that right now we are in sink or swim mode. There is no sense of long term plan, and when those in power are making decisions based on how we can make it to the next payment, it’s difficult to look beyond the next few months. This type of living-on-the-edge is unsustainable, and I am interested to see how the Greeks express themselves in upcoming elections. Leadership will have to come from somewhere, but in what form?
Too many questions, and no real way to find answers. What do we do now? Hoard food in the basement? Leave Greece? Take to the streets? Or just keep walking..