Greece.....when we talk about this country, it's images like the above that automatically spring to mind.
Phrases like "the cradle of Democracy" but also "Trojan Horse" also spring to mind.
"Ὕμνος εἰς τὴν Ἐλευθερίαν
Ýmnos is tin Eleftherían
Hymn to Liberty1"
Now, I've never been to this country, one of the few in Europe I haven't been to, so in view of all the stuff being said about Greece and the Greeks, I thought it was time to find out more.
Firstly the language. This is not something up my street...all languages which are based on different Alphabets are somewhat more daunting to learn. You have to start with just the simple letters - learning what they are, and in the case of Greece, this is even more strange since Latin and other based languages actually use a Greek word, transformed so we can understand it for that grouping of letters called "The Alphabet" - from two Greek words, "Alpha" and "Beta" - meaning "AB", although WHY is also beyond me, after all, it does go from "A-Z" and not from
..The Greek version looks somewhat
different....but it is recognisable for old soldiers, the Military using it basically in all radio based conversations or messages, to avoid errors in spelling.
So - having figured out that everything is different in Greece, and established that people tend to think of it as a holiday place, I wondered just what did the "Greeks urn" (earn) and from doing what. Here is a little bit of what I found out:
"Manufacturers in Greece Greek Industry, Manufacturing Producing Companies in Greece | Solar Water Heaters, Boilers, Stainless Steel Equipment, Swimming Pools, Water Treatment Systems, Motor Oil Lubricants, Industrial Automation, Ouzo Greece is a country where industry is blossoming, and investors have noticed the potential for significant business opportunity and profit. Therefore, Greece has attracted both domestic and world industries, developing into one of the most up-and-coming industrial countries."
In the Wikipedia link at the top of the page, one can read.... "Greece is a high income economy", and that may well be the case, but not for everybody, and certainly not right now.
Somewhere, quite recently, I saw the image of a little Greek lady, pensioner, who had a MONTHLY pension of over 3,000 euros, and had no intention of giving it up!
Now that's about the same attitude as anyone else in the World would have, except the Greeks don't have any money any more.
This link gives some startling facts about Greek pensions and comparisons to my own one - from Germany! Apart from its strange name, this site has some very interesting facts!
I'm not quite clear what happens when, or how a whole country can be declared bankrupt. Reading an article a while ago, it seemed that the Austrians were selling a couple of mountains....why doesn't Greece sell a few of their 1,400 Greek Islands?
On the general subject of "Europe" and the "Euro" - I honestly believe that the conditions of membership were not strict enough from the beginning, and this is coming through now. Small countries, traditionally "poor" were enticed by the system and saw a chance to raise living standards whilst doing little to produce more.
Ireland, Italy, Spain, Portugal - now Greece are all affected, trojan horses all and it would not surprise me to see - in the near future - a change in policy, where the "richer" countries - in particular Germany, France, Holland, Luxembourg, and a few others will form a new "currency economical zone" on the basis of extremely strict entrance rules.
Europe will still carry on, maybe the Euro as well, but this "élite" group will have something else. How this will be accepted is the larger question.
Don't forget - you read it here.....first!