With all of the news of riots and disturbances in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen it is a facile thing to overlook another global hotspot. (Not Chicago, though interesting things are happening there as well.)
For while we heard endlessly, until certain unseemly occurrences, about Tahrir Square in Egypt there was until recently scant press concerning Syntagma Square in Greece.
Over the past month several thousand, or several hundred thousand depending on whom one trusts, have been gathering there to protest the new austerity measures of old Hellas.
It seems the people don’t like having pensions and wages cut, retirement ages extended, and social services decimated all while their best assets are sold off to foreigners. Still, some might wonder why these Greeks are being forced to remain under the Euro and their purported leaders insist upon holding them fast to it.
The brief answer, aside from the amorphous catchphrase “A default or withdrawal would be catastrophic for the Euro,” is that banks (mostly in France and Germany) hold an enormous amount of Greek debt. Like many bankers, they have no problems killing the geese to keep the eggs. And they have absolutely no qualms about bribing national politicians to usher out those who otherwise stand in their way.
Thus it is with a certain credulity one reviews the, shall we say, unusual incidents surrounding Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s arrest.
Among these is the fact that his arrest was Tweeted by Jonathan Pinet, a political agent of Sarkozy, before New York authorities announced it. Another anomaly is the disproved claim by the NYPD that Strauss-Kahn left his cellular phone in a rush to flee the city. Actually, Strauss-Kahn himself telephoned Sofitel from the airport once he realized he had forgotten it—hardly the act of a man trying to make an inconspicuous run for the border.
Finally, Strauss-Kahn gave an interview days before the incident stating that as a political challenger of Sarkozy it was a certainty there would be a smear campaign against him and some woman likely offered between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Euros to pretend he raped her. Is it more plausible he did so to cover a planned rape of a hotel maid not yet committed, or that this is simply the way politics is played at the highest plane?
It is true Strauss-Kahn had a streak of lasciviousness in him. The man could well be described as caddish. Yet it is precisely these foibles the system uses against one in times of need. In short, a man can be both a sexually voracious embarrassment and at the same time have worthy character attributes such as inclinations toward intra-European monetary support while finessing rather than fleecing the people of Greece.
Strauss-Kahn, it turns out, was not quite the globalist errand boy the system wanted and might have been something of a knight errant in its way. He was seeking a less onerous package with liberal loans for the Greeks. He seems to have been the one person in the morass to recognize the limits of the original debt agreement and couple it with an attempt to ease the overall Greek retrenchment.
Rapist or reformer—whichever tale one gives credence, as in Greece generally, there is more to the story than meets the eye.
Speaking of which, another aspect of the Greek situation very much being kept out of the public perspective are the ominous results of ignoring the one man who cautioned us to beware the teeming masses from other lands washing up on European shores.
How trite to reference that grand old master Jean Raspail at such a time. Yet his masterpiece of prehistory is decidedly catching up to us all. In response to this new reality his native France is stopping trains filled with refugees; at the same time it’s possible Raspail could face 87 charges under the childishly named and wholly unjust “hate laws” if he republishes his text. The Gauls never miss a chance to put their best in the gaols.
In any case, this other Grecian wrinkle has to do with Italy ushering its newfound foundlings from Libya and sub-Saharan Africa on to France, Germany, and Britain, each of whom have passed on the opportunity for evermore diversity. That leaves the northeastern Slavs (who will fight with more than words) and the southeastern Greeks (whose mettle is unknown).
Still, one can imagine what Athenians will say to another 100,000 or perhaps as many as 1,000,000 refugees coming to their country. Unemployment is already officially
16.2% and among the young people claimed to be as high as 42.5%.
No one has asked the common Greek on the odos what he thinks about these potential refugees, largely because politicians are well aware of what that fellow thinks, and they don’t want it made public. Though at a time when very large crowds are already congregating together and already quite vocal in their displeasure with politicians, it may not be long before such groups begin expressing public opinion in other more assertive ways.
In Greece today there is massive unemployment, especially among the young, who are incidentally most prone to violence. Revolutionary movements throughout history have drawn the majority of their leaders from the 18-to-35-year-old bracket.
In Greece today is proposed a secondary “restructuring” program of new and higher taxation which will divest from the people some of their most lucrative and important public enterprises, which will be promptly sold to banks, investment firms, and foreigners. It is inevitable that prices will rise for necessities in a country of already depressed wages and pensions and people.
In Greece today on at least two sides—south (Africa) and west (Italy)—is a tremulous horde of even worse-off refugees awaiting the slightest opportunity to rush into what they view as paradise. They are very poor, they are very-violence prone, and they are very many.
In Greece tomorrow it should not be difficult to suspect what might occur.
Whichever way the media tries to suppress it, we will be hearing many more tales from places such as Syntagma Square, and very soon.
As to the cause of the Greek economic crisis itself, that is hardly important anymore. Whether this restructuring is right or wrong, or to whom belongs the blame for the former inept and corrupt system, does not particularly matter at this point. All that is prologue.
The genuine action of a new Greek epic is just about to begin.
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