The continent formerly known as Europe

The continent formerly known as Europe

In the 20th century’s 90’s, deep in the bliss of spending in the name of consumerism (without a blush), the foundations were secured of what we are living now. Europe endorsed money as the major life value and its citizens were renamed into consumers; then the talk about (the) currency started and ruled over any other concern of the European existence.

This, the currency, was meant to be the main experiment and around it we saw all possible flaws sticking to the continent’s vessel. As real Europeans growing in self-criticism, should we first list the (criminal) flaws? Dublin 2 top of the list; the agreement regarding the refugees that touch land in Greece, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, but also Hungary (till sometime ago); an agreement designed to protect the financially advanced, situated in the centre of this continent, at any cost (lives-dignity-resources). The economical flaws are equally crucial. Tax evasion (or accomplice to) as a person or as State; bribery and fraud counted in bills of hundreds or of millions (under this should we also mention the bonuses of bank managers in central continent?); corruption on the level of a police station officer or on systemic violations of citizens’ constitutional rights (e.g. strategic misinformation turning peoples against each other)?

Once flaws listed, every top meeting and every negotiation in Europe could start with reporting about the basics. On which ideas should we base our directions? What can your country contribute to the pool of historical knowledge and philosophical vision? The standard answer of eternal financial growth is here irrelevant; as it refers to an accountancy and investment bureau, not to the place that claims to defend democracy, etc. But the € union is systemically pushing humanities and culture to the side; starting by crashing the (university) studies that do not translate into present or future profit, those failing to produce present or future antagonistic individuals (humanities again). No need to mention the total dishonouring of the arts; though here more actors are involved. Governments are even applauded when scrapping in one go 40% of the spending on culture from their annual budget.

Europe was a continent and then, after multiple internal massacres, came the European community, then called union; then the Euro and the eurozone appeared. In this process, Greece received its share of benefits, while contributing – amongst a number of known and less known things – the name Europe, Ευρώπη. Within the recent dismay of everything Greek, and the non-memory of the people, the officials will cut off from the name, one way or the other.

On a time leap ahead, when our dear northerns will be visiting Europe, they can show their passports mentioning at forefront “citizen of €”, or else “citizen of the continent formerly known as Europe”.

P.S. 1 From the depth of my heart to a hero of my youth: Thank you Jean-Luc Godard, for your fiery defense for Greece and for the ideas that once seemed to unite this continent.

P.S. 2 This text was written in the midst of the Greek financial crisis. Since then, some things may have changed in the Greek situation; the tv has found other black sheep to point fingers at. I am not a journalist; my point remains.

the continent formerly known as Europe

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This is not a love song

This is a genuine political thriller.The extensions of it are difficult to grasp in their totality; it is a 4D (time including) craft that we can only view from the side that we are standing.  G.A.Papandreou (GAP) proves to be equal to his father in viciousness; his passion is gambling and he has apparently exercised in poker faces. The referendum was a bad idea at this point, but we have to give it to him. He is  brave, naturally or  chemically achieved is not easy to say, but still. I don’t think that anyone else would dare to make such a manoeuvre that was guaranteed to infuriate everyone, internally and even more externally, jeopardise all what he has worked for (even if it was wrong) and has been blamed for (lightly said) and even more bury his future together with the future of those who voted for him and simultaneously cursed him. Good or evil, he is nonetheless brave. Whereas, Samaras, the head of Nea Democratia, is the typical coward who becomes more pale than normal and backs off whenever the goal that he is striving for is coming closer. The idea of having him as representative of Greece insults me more than all what I have heard of and about my country the last 3 years.

Hundreds of scenarios and occasionally solution proposals have been heard during this time. Since even the most seemingly reasonable of them turn out to be as absurd or/and inhumane as bombing Irak for establishing democracy, I think that it does no harm to add two more. I make a plea on the main positive points of  the Greeks: surrealistic thinking and family consciousness.

1. With the last funds for travelling, the Greek State should send GAP to Hollywood to negotiate with a production studio the making of a series of political thrillers, preferably directed by Michael Mann. GAP should make a deal for the rights of the story of these last years and background information for the previous 30 years on behalf and for the benefit of Greece.

2. The Greek omogeneia should make a need-funds for paying off part of the Greek debt. I know that many of us have left – among other reasons – because of the unbearable situation of systematically cultivated  uncertainty reigning in Greece for years. Others had immigrated much earlier for economic reasons just as it is happening now again. Whatever the reason, I know that we would not refuse to help now and also that 100 EUR contribution (a feasible basis amount I dare to think) would not cover the debt. But, 200 million less debt would be something better than nothing.

Those said, I have faith that the lesson of individualism so broadly tought since the 90’s can prove to be a good skill for detaching the Greeks from the State, in the sense of expectations. The Greek State has not much to give anymore: no jobs, no subsidies, no coverage. We have to make it on our own, so time to wake up and go for it.

The pessimistic estimate for the situation is to see in what is happening a repetition of history. As the crisis is spreading to Italy, we could expect an invasion from the North, of course not with axes and fire this time. Anyway GAP helped to that at least. Germany, with France at its side, finally said it clearly: this is our Europe and you can be with us with the rules that we made or you can buzz off.  The lust for power at that level has an ugly face. They can spare us their caring words about the people. This is not a love song.

Europe reaching maturity