“Rape ‘er? Are you kiddin’ mate? She was f**kin* gaggin’ for it”
I really don’t know how to define or rationalise this post other than calling the piece “getting it off my chest”.
I was directed to Richard North’s site this morning and read a lucid, well documented column from a powerful eurosceptic voice. But something throwaway towards the end got right up my nose and evoked the comment thread that follows.
Maybe at times I get too sensitive about Greece and what’s being done to it. God knows, I’m more aware than most of the infuriating nature of the place at times. But if you sympathise with this summary, I’d deem it a great favour if you’d pump some internet oxygen into it.
‘Oh dear. Just when I thought that, at last, an article about endemic Greek corruption was going to reach the right conclusion, it turns into a vague apologiae for Troika gangsterism.
I have been a regular visitor to Greece and enthusiastic Grecophile for 45 years. I have probably written more on the injustices inside (and done to) Greece than any other Western blogger. So allow me please to expand and correct here and there.
1. As you point out, Franco-German to Greece export & banking corruption is every bit as disgusting as that of the Greek élites. I don’t see anyone punishing Germany. Or France.
2. 80% of Greeks approve of tax evasion because history has taught them that their payments go into the same back pockets of bureaucrats and bent developers as everything else that the ordinary Greeks produce with such thrift and passion.
3. The entire medical sector is about 6-7% of the Greek population. Every doctor and dentist I’ve ever met takes bribes… even when the treatment is free on the State. None of these people have suffered a jot from austerity, and over 90% of them vote Nia Dimokritia. Pharmacies cheat the system because they too are an élite mafia. Ordinary Greeks don’t benefit from this corruption, they pay through the nose for it. It is the corrupt pols who refuse to regulate it.
4. Despite all this obvious evidence of WHERE the corruption problem lies, Troikas 1&2 chose to deal with precisely those people fostering it…who of course heaped the cost of austerity onto the people who are not the problem. But the EU is every bit as corrupt as they are: Herr Doktor Schäuble prefers to deal with those of like mind to himself.
5. When at last the vast majority of Greeks woke up and elected a government determined to root out and destroy the pre-1789 style privilege of the élites on their backs, the EU, EC, ECB, and Eurogroupe gargoyles worked overtime to turn down every proposal they made and destabilise that Syriza régime. This would seem quixotically deranged behaviour for a group of people allegedly in favour of “reform”. Here they were, presented with the most idealistic, honest and popular Greek political party for more than 40 years…but as the IMF correctly reports, EU fiscal blackmail in the final fortnight (all of it illegal under EU Law) took Greek debt unsustainability from the surreal to the impossible.
What exactly makes you think either Tsipras or the toiling classes he represented ‘deserved’ that level of depraved sociopathy?
6. Cornered at last, the IMF’s Christine Lagarde has blown a massive hole in this ridiculous wall of Brussels-am-Berlin sanctimony. The aim of these three bailouts is now clear for all to see: it never was nor indeed could ever be debt repayment. To use the French term, it was a summary and gratuitous execution pour encourager les autres. And at a level even more base than that, it was a full-frontal attack by federalist fanatics on the sovereignty of a nation…a nation I observe, year in year out, working much harder than any Nordeuropeans of my acquaintance.