Friday, March 2, 2012

Blame the Commission... nooot?!

A good friend of mine pointed me to this NYT article this morning by Mark Mazower, a History Professor at Columbia. I read it with great interest and I initially thought it put forward an unusual point of view. An approach that could easily lead to the conclusion that even now, with their current problems, the rest of us living in Europe, should in fact be grateful to present day Greeks for leading the way once again, and showing (uncovering) the notorious incompetence of Mandarin functionaries serving the European Commission. Read Mazower's article to see what I mean. 

What the article won't answer though:

- Was there any genuine Greek thinking behind the moves that changed the course of history the last 200 years, as Mazower defends, when Greece found itself at the forefront of the new evolutions, or it just happened? I believe it just did despite Greeks themselves, and not because they had planned it so. They were too powerless in all those events to mean anything whatsoever. There is no 'conspiracy theory' behind, and certainly there was no 'butterfly effect' chaos theory at work in the series of those events. Many of the historic incidents occurred of course with Greek involvement because it so happened that Greece was at the cusp between important empires, and at the frontiers between trouble geographies of great geopolitical importance. They just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

- What is Mazower's conclusion then? He just mentions that Greece will lead
again an historic evolution that has as objective to prove the incompetence of Euro-Mandarins (BTW, he must have 'borrowed' the term from Derk-Jan Eppink, a well-known Dutch journalist, and a Belgian MEP since the latest Euro Parliamentary polls, who once wrote a great book about Commission Mandarins). Looking at today's mess, again it so happens that Greeks have been the greatest abusers of funds acquired for free by joining the EU, in the name of 'lifestyle'*, living like those in capitalist nations that at least have the economic infrastructure to support 'lifestyle'**, without a minimal presence of ethics and decency, virtues which actually exist to a much larger extent in the rest of the troubled GIPSI nations. No surprise then that 'mindless' Greeks, were the first who led their nation to bankruptcy by 'stealing' from their peers and their government, avoiding taxes and VAT, and wasting their money to show-offs in lifestyle and branding, spending more than they ever earned. Pretty smart cookies, ain't they? If Euro-Mandarins sitting in Brussels are notoriously incompetent to deal with monitoring and solving similar sovereign problems of their Member States, then, yes sir, it were the Greeks that proved the point, and we are sort of 'grateful' to them for having done so. But, as a Greek, feeling proud about it, or even calling upon Mazower's ideas to 'exonerate' myself, is the most insane argument anyone could come up with. It's like praising the Albanian Mafia operating in Belgium, killing, extorting, operating drugs and prostitution networks, and not being caught or put off, and by doing so proving the incompetence of the Belgian Police Force! Gimme a break! Now, really !!!

I hope us Greeks, reading Mazower's article, won't immediately rush to point at foreign factors as the wrongdoers in the situation we drove ourselves into. As this is something that we often do as Greeks. Blame others for our own wrongdoings and eventually believing our own fables. And, "Όλο μας αδικούνε!" (transl. They are always unfair to us). Moreover, comparing today's clusterf@ck with the 1821 Greek uprise against Ottomans, or those tragic Minor Asia incidents and swap of minorities in early 20th century - I am an offspring of parents from that emigration wave too, also Greece's fight against the German-Italian Axis during WWII, is, at minimum, a major insult to human intelligence. Anybody's intelligence!

*A leading Greek economist, Tsakanikas, claimed in a "De Morgen" interview recently that even pensioners during the past 15 years of the 'Golden Age' in Greece would get to borrow money from Greek Banks and indulge themselves into a BMW or Merc experience. Go figure! BTW, I don't know if you knew, but an average Greek pension is way higher than its Belgian equivalent. If you don't believe me, go check it out...

** BTW, I just heard this very statement from the mouth of George Dalaras, the best Greek singer alive today, giving a radio interview at Deytero, an FM ERA station that is accessible via the Net too...

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