Tuesday, May 4, 2010


The story of the lady who pawned her two gold teeth for 140 euros to pay her electricity bills captured the attention of the Greek media.

It got me thinking of the Nazi regime when Hitler would forcefully yank out the gold teeth of Jews and members of anti-fascist groups.

The only difference is that Hitler used brute force but the fascist Capitalist system has made people pluck out their own teeth as voluntary offerings.

And that is just the start of debt enslavement in Greece. The end is hard to see now that the population of 11 million has 300 billion euros worth of debt that we will never be able to pay off because even when we do we'll still be owing the interest rates. (Even the politicians imposing the austerity measures are not guaranteeing that these will successfully rescue Greece from bankruptcy).

If you do the math, you'll find that each Greek baby is born owing 300,000 euros plus a mortgage hovering over its head. In my family, the four of us owe at least 1.20 million euros worth of money we did not even have the pleasure of spending! 

This is money to be extracted from the golden teeth of the working classes and NOT from the government officials who became wealthier at the expense of the people who they have robbed with deceit and double dealings with Goldman Sachs that advised Greece on how to keep a double set of books and invest in fraudulent derivatives (as they did in Spain and Iceland).

So what can we do now? Turn a "new page" and put our noses to the grind as Greek Prime Minister/IMF-US-ECB-EC errand boy George Papandreou suggests or do what British MEP Nigel Farage predicts? His prediction is this - "at some point in time there's gonna be a revolution where the Greeks fight and insist to get back their own country."

Frankly, I don't feel that my kids should pay for other peoples' debts and have all their workers' rights crushed and the tables turned against them even before they enter the job market. So for them, and for when they ask me - "What did you do, mum, when they robbed us blind and forced us to rip out our golden teeth with our bare hands?" - I plan to join as many rallies and strike moves as I can.

The right people should pay for this mess with their golden spoons and not our gold teeth.

This is the treatment that these thieves deserve. We have to despise these government traitors, we have to reveal them, we have to expose them for the economic crisis they have helped engineer along with US credit houses and other profiteers. Not only that, but they would have us pay for their golden spoon with our golden teeth!


The Man Your Husband Is Worried About said...

I'm not trying to be needlessly argumentative here, but there is another way of looking at all this.

Greek politicians governed with the (at least tacit) consent of the Greek people, so the Greek public debt represents the legitimate debt of the people. Profligate spenders cause their own debt. The huge per-capita debt doesn't represent money you "didn't have the pleasure to spend" as much it is the money you agreed to have spent on your behalf.

What I don't get about the Greek political "street" is the anti-austerity riots, which seem to be saying, "Deficit spending has driven us to bankruptcy, but don't you dare stop deficit spending!" This seems in essence to ask for bankruptcy, which could be a legitimate political aim, but I think most Greeks would rather live in austere society with government borrowing than in a necessarily austere society because the government cannot borrow. The austerity isn't the choice; basic accounting has determined that a period of living beyond your means must be followed by a period of austerity. The question is do you impose your own austerity or have it imposed on you by being unable to borrow.

I know America has a growing deficit problem. Depending on the way the next few years of political decisions go, we could be only five years away from our own Greek crisis. But nobody made America spend money it didn't have, so we won't really be able to blame anyone else for our austerity when it must come.

If I'm missing something here, way across the sea, all tucked up in bed with your capitalist paymasters, let me know.

Purple Cow said...

Hello Man My Husband Should be Worried About!

Firstly, thank you for your consideration and reply. Gladly I would like to see things from your perspective and try to grasp this crazy situation.

The situation is very complex, we are talking about double dealings and profiteering, about loans taken that were never spent for the purposes in which they were taken, bad administration and much hidden. Foreign profiteering has also taken place with defence purchases. In the Siemens scandal there are the names of six Greek politicians only available on blogs and there are so many cover-ups currently taking place.

Both the major liberal and social parties are in cahoots and have stolen money. The current socialist government got in with lies and by creating a false illusion of the economic situation only because it was AGREED that the austerity measures would NEVER be passed through with the liberal government.

I hate to be a conspiracist but it looks as though things are like this -

Meanwhile, I would like to distance myself from the deaths of four innocent people yesterday who were burnt in a building hit by handmade bombing devices. I was at the rally but I feel that the people committing such violent and provocative crimes are inexcusable.

WendyCinNYC said...

Thanks for your perspective. I've been wondering how things were going for Greek citizens, and it's good to hear a voice from inside the crisis.

Purple Cow said...

PS Regarding AUSTERITY MEASURES, we agree to cuts but why should we have our 13th and 14th salaries slashed when parliamentary workers still have their 15th and 16th. Also why are politicians still getting 1,500 euros benefits for laptops and WHY are the poorer classes the ones that the measures are mainly striking? And WHY is nobody getting tried for secret deals and bad administration? Scandals abound with local prefects paying for their household furniture from municipal money etc etc (this is not just petty cash dipping). We would like to see the rich pay, too, not just the poor get poorer. Other than that I agree to lifting pension ages, but WHY cut a 600 pension and make it 400???? How can a person live?

Purple Cow said...

Things are currently chaotic, Wendy. The focus has shifted onto the deaths and violent incidents with the government blaming the left and the left insisting that these "hoodlums" were planted by the government to detract focus from the real essence of the rally.

The Man Your Husband Is Worried About said...

Thanks for your perspective. I really appreciate having an inside source in Greece to help me better understand the issues. (And sorry if I spammed you with comments this morning; I thought my first one disappeared into the Internet so I tried to recreate it.)

The Novelist said...

Stay safe over there!

Purple Cow said...

Sometimes its good to have an outside perspective too.

LJ said...

How does all this "Country" debt filter into the every day people? Do you feel it as a resident? Are people feeling? Is it like the recession that we're feeling over here in North America?

Ro Magnolia said...

It's so hard for us sitting here on the other side of the world to really get a handle on what is happening in Greece. Actually, it's hard enough for me as a Canadian to figure out what is going on with my own political leaders.

One thing for sure I have concluded. Politicians will twist statistics and numbers every which way to make their own point and get their own way and far too often, care very little about how their decisions effect the average working joe. The mystery seems to be how to hold their feet to the fire to make them accountable.

Purple Cow said...

Ro - ours are a little bit worse, committing blatant crimes and not resigning...

LJ - yes, we feel it. many businesses have folded. I live close to one of the most commercial streets and half the shops have TO RENT signs. employers are taking advantage of this and working conditions for those who have jobs has become tighter (eg unpaid overtime). Plus overnight a month ago half the civil servants got pay cuts (one family of five I know has 4,500 euros less per year). there is also inflation...everybody is saving their pennies. this is all we talk about. some people have moved their money to banks abroad. it is really scary. Personally, I am fine so far but my husband's business is folding and he has had to get rid of most of the staff. Sad! :-(