Before you get too sad about the poor bondholders, and what kind of haircut they’re going to get, take a moment to soak in what life in Greece has become, as it’s dealt with round after round of austerity over the last two years.
The Australian embassy is flooded with Greeks applying to emigrate to Australia because the unemployment rate here is well over 25%. My father emigrated to Canada in 1952, when Greece had been completely devastated following World War Two and a civil war. There was no work, there was great poverty so workers emigrated to the US, Canada and Australia in droves.
Nowadays intellectuals and professionals are the ones who are emigrating. My children are at university. My son is studying engineering at the Athens Technical University. The president of the university informed the students that the university may close down in January due to a lack of funds. Why are we destroying our children’s hopes and dreams?
Now my children may have to emigrate to Canada just as their grandfather did 50 years ago. Why should a young person feel that he must leave his homeland in order to have a decent future?
I can’t get to work easily most days because public transport is usually on strike three days every week. The streets are piled high with rubbish.
It gets even worse, as she talks about pharmacies running out of anti-depressants to sell, and heart diseases surging also due to lack of medicine.
A recent Credit Suisse report on the risks facing Europe suggested that at some point Greece would simply reach its breaking point, and refuse to comply with any international demands or austerity schemes. Now granted, this is just one account of life in Greece these days, but reading it, it’s hard to imagine the country going that much further.