Side Of The Trade

greeceCuriosity has hit this Ausländer a wee bit more than usual since Jan 1. The beginning of 2015 has offered up a lot to consider. First, the Swiss unpegged their precious Franc from the Euro. Second, East Germans, most of which were educated under the auspices of Margot Honecker, presented their intellect in the form of Pigeda. Third, the hardcore world of satire got its ass slaughtered. And so. The Euro might be under fire. Former East-Germans have come out of their third-grade closets. And the most shocking of all, a bunch of cartoonists were murdered because of pictures they drew. Wow. And now you know why I call it #eurowasteland. Indeed, dear worst-reader, much ado about everything.

Let’s move on to two other things that we can take with us for the rest of 2015. The first is the recent Greek election. The second is the reaction to that election by the uninformed. Or should I say the misguided? No. Wait. Americans aren’t any of those things. But then again, if you keep up with US news, like I do, then it should be no surprise how Americans have not reacted to the Greece election. There was so little coverage of the recent event in the American press (at least there was little coverage on the front pages) that I almost gave up on the issue. But then I came across an article (see below) on the subject from one of my favourite liberal websites. After reading it I realised that liberals do have good intentions. They also sure do know how to miss the boat in style.

I was indeed relieved that someone in my home country decided to take on the issue of the Greek election but by the third paragraph I was reaching for an exit in the form of my very expensive full automatic espresso machine (caffeine buzz), the magic scarf that I’ve learned to wear around my neck between the months of August and April (Euro weather comfort) and my passport because I thought it time to take a flight home to help my fellow #americants get informed. Then I took a deep breath, swallowed my espresso with my pinky hanging high and adjusted my scarf. Comfort in the horror of Cologne, Germany, winter amid lots of worst-writing. I gathered my-worst-self and reached for my worst-writing equipment. Lo and behold. Have no fear #americant. Worstwriter is here!

Let’s try and recap a bit, shall we? The Greek elections were on Sunday. A pseudo communist, aka modern socialist, left-wing party won the election by what can be considered a landslide. By Monday morning this new Greek government had a photo-op visiting a grave where two hundred Greeks were killed by Nazis–because that’s what Greek communists do when they win elections. Beyond all that the only other stuff being talked about was Austerity and the euro-crisis. But here’s the thing. Mark my words. This election will be forgotten soon enough. The only thing that will be remembered is the Greek obsession with Nazis and how the Anglo portion of the western world has probably failed in its bid to undermine the Euro through the vanity of the Greek oligarchs. Ok. Wait. Maybe painting a Hitler mustache on Merkel will be remembered. Personally, I think the Greeks should start posting those old east German nudist beach photos of Merkel. Yeah. She was hot back then–in an east German fräulein kinda way.

Ok. Here’s the other thing I wanted to worst-write about tonight. I have been living in #eurowasteland as an Ausländer for twenty-five years. I have worked and traveled throughout the “continent”. Even though I’ve only worked briefly in Athens (project work), I have worked extensively in Spain, Italy, Holland, Sweden, England and, of course, Germany. If you ask me what I think of Europe I will tell you toot-sweet that it is the origin of all that’s wrong in the modern world. Whether talking about government or krappy, ornery, rude people, if you want to know where modern human evil is rooted–look no further than #eurowasteland. That said, if you really believe that Germany is responsible for Greece’s problems, well, maybe it’s time to reconsider.

So let’s get a few basics straight, shall we? Greek problems are not from Austerity. Greek problems are not from the last five, six or seven years. Greek problems are not because of… Well, let me quote a part of the article that motivated this post.

“Perhaps the best way to understand what Syriza (the new Greek govt.) represents is to recognize the forces aligned in opposition, nothing less than the major European and international governing institutions of contemporary globalized finance. These are the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the German government (as the dominant player in the European Union), collectively known as the ‘Troika.'” (See link below for source.)

So. Bear with me. I’m still getting a few things straight. The guy who wrote the above text is not telling it like it is. Although for the most part his article is well written and accurate, he is telling the Greek part like someone told him how to tell it. Namely, that the Germans and the ECB are the reason the Greeks are in such trouble. It might be true that the IMF is part of the problem. But the IMF does not answer to Germany or the ECB as much as it answers to big banks. Yeah. Big banks.

Let me try to put it another worst-way before I get accused (by one of three readers) of taking something out of context. The financial problem Greece is having today is nothing new. Greece has had many, many years to deal with this but instead has found ways to weasel out. All one has to do is go back to the European Stability and Growth Pact of the late 90s. Greece has never abided by this pact. (In fact, Spain and Italy–the countries that are next on the downfall list–haven’t abided by this pact either.) Which raises the question: If Greece hasn’t abided by this pact, how have they been able to get away with it for so long? The answer to that is and isn’t easy.

First. Who wants the Euro to fail? Remember, #eurowasteland is the largest economic entity there is. It trumps the US by quite a large sum. That also means that #eurowasteland is a desired trading partner for not only the US but also the world. The only one to profit from the Euro failing would be private banks.

Second. When Greece took on the Euro it agreed to do things like manage its national debt, i.e. The Stability and Growth Pact (which is actually a treaty). Quickly after signing it, Greece decided that it didn’t want to manage its debt because that would mean living within its own means and also justifying its meritless high living standards. And get this. I can tell you first hand. I travel to some nice places two or three times a year. I never book Greece. Why? Greece is stupidly overpriced. Of course, most of #eurowasteland is overpriced because everybody lives in/for the past and most live in meritless high standards. The question then is, who can afford those standards? Seriously. You don’t get much bang for your travel buck in Greece.

The not-so-easy part of all this is that the recent election will end up being either a sad joke or further insult to Greek young people that have already been robbed of a future. What is clear so far is that the naive and angry Greeks really do believe that there is an enemy out to get them. What they don’t know or aren’t willing to see is who that enemy really is. On top of that, the world of finance isn’t willing to play with their debt lies anymore–hence blame the ECB and the Germans and don’t think twice about what Goldman Sachs did with the previous bailout money.

Greece, like a junky at a Vegas gambling table, has run out of sugar-daddies. So what do they do? Oh yeah. They have an election and then immediately visit a grave site where Nazis killed two hundred Greeks in 1944. Will that change their debt problems? Greece, like (monarchy) Spain and (über mafia) Italy, is its own worst financial enemy. Hence when Greece was first bailed out (in 2010?) they were stupid enough to let their oligarchs horde/steal the cash or Wall Street gamble with it. That is, Greece allowed Wall Street (Goldman Sachs) to continue gambling with bail out money in the form of Greek bonds, Greek derivatives and whatever other fancy-pants finance trickery they can come up with to prop-up the books. And the money did flow. And the Greeks don’t know an iota (pun intended) about where that money went. But a good worst-guess is that in such a corrupt, old-money society, where the past never dies, a few oligarchs have secured a future of luxury for one or three Greek grandchildren.

In the after math of this historic election, the only issue that need be governed is who is on what side of the Greek prop-up trades and who will pay for them? By the looks of it, the Germans are not on the wrong side of these trades because in the end the money Greece has already received (and gambled away) comes out of all of #eurowasteland coffers. For the Germans it’s a drop in the bucket. So. Nazi here or there, the reality is Greece has to pony-up sooner or later for its anti-euro behaviour and its meritless living standard. And here’s where we get into a bit of deep and serious irony. The Greeks just elected a socialist government. Why would they provoke the somewhat more socialist side of the western world’s capitalist pseudo-democracies, i.e. the Germans, by playing the irrational Nazi card? You would think that as soon as one hears that the most successful bailed out bank on Wall Street was part of hiding Greek debt (Goldman Sachs), that the Greek presses would stop. But the presses never stop where (old) men are ruled by (even older) men (and their old money) and not laws.

I wish the founders of democracy all the best. I also hope the young people with ruined futures will be able to make the best of it.

Link that motivated this post:

An Author At truthdig Almost Gets It Right | truthdig.com

Good luck. Rant on.

-Tommi