Feeling My Age

Getting older has its drawbacks – but it's a lot better than the alternative.

Posts Tagged ‘ Eurozone ’

The View From Greece

October 29, 2011 Feeling My Age Comments

Autumn In Athens

Extracts from yesterday’s State Of The Union talk on BBC Radio 4
Part 5: The View From Greece by Ersi Sotiropoulos

“Autumn this year in Greece is darker than in other years – a season of insecurity and distress. The signs of recession are everywhere: in the centre of Athens shops are closing one after another. Immigrants squat in dilapidated buildings, the trash piles up in the streets.

The decline has been swift – meanwhile immigrants continue to arrive in a country where there is no work and no social security. What will happen to all these people who are coming here already hungry and exhausted? Hunger brings violence, we know that. The party’s over, I say to myself, and and Greece will be (only) the first to fall.

Tourists walk past uncollected garbage in Athens. Pic courtesy of washingtonexaminer.com

I walk through a collapsing city, a city paralysed by the strikes, where rubbish from the past several weeks still sits uncollected in the streets and wonder – is this place really a part of Europe?

In 1981 Greece was accepted into the European Community, primarily for cultural reasons and certainly not on the strength of its ecomony or its manufacturing sector. The image of Greece that was projected during those years was primarily of a touristic, folkloric place. We became a vacation destination – the people of Retsina and Moussaka. Money began to flow into the country and for a few years we seemed to be approaching the European model.

Opening of 2004 Athens Olympics

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