“I am in pain…”

Jason Georgiadis (Greece) (UWC-AC ’12-’14)

A lot of people today speak of Greece and the on-going crisis. Even those who admire Greece’s contribution to Europe’s history in terms of political institutions, philosophy, theatre, poetry, sciences and mathematics think today that Greece has become the black sheep or one of the P.I.G.S.* (a term that insults the one who says it rather than the one who is targeted). A while ago it has become obvious that the whole Europe is in crisis. Countries like France and Italy are already in the middle of deep crisis.

 

From what has been said above, we can conclude that the economic crisis is not a matter caused by one country’s financial situation. It makes us think that the entire system is malfunctioning. Economists say that the international banking system and people who gain money from other countries’ economical disasters are responsible for the crisis. Those people are not interested at all in the changes in people’s lives and the whole country’s economy.

 

During the last two years when the crisis hit Greece, 2,500 people committed suicide (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2188879/Greek-economy-Suicides-rise-financial-crisis-takes-toll.html), among them were many young people.

Today all the young citizens of Greece confront the threat of being unemployed (25% unemployment). Anybody walking in the centre of Athens can see homeless people or immigrants begging for food for their families, graffiti and slogans such as: “Love while it’s free to love because in a while, that will cost too.” or “Do not underestimate hunger.” or “I am in pain…”

 

The crisis has affected every family in Greece, no matter which class that family belongs to. There is not a family in Greece without at least one unemployed person. There is not a family in Greece whose income has not become lower and lower. Most families send their children to public schools. Private schools are shutting down and public schools are becoming overcrowded. Schools and universities do not have the facilities needed to educate our youth. More and more Greeks are immigrating to other countries for a better future.

 

However, people have started to understand the problem and its sources. Now, they are protesting, changing their ways of living and trying to build social networks for solidarity. Now, we are finding new ways to survive and develop different initiatives. Now, our ways of living are becoming more constructive and supportive.

 

“I believe that we are going to be in the era of “We” instead of the era of “I”.” (a hero of the Greek Revolution)

-United Words Team-

2 thoughts on ““I am in pain…”

  1. No offense, but the credibility of a text that starts out with unjustified assumptions and leaps of logic, like he ones seen in this text, is questionable to say the least. I fully agree with you on the matters of social problems that the crisis has brought along; there’s no question about that. But, please, do not write a text that draws heavily on economics, if you don’t justify your views from the standpoint of economics.

    “From what has been said above, we can conclude that the economic crisis is not a matter caused by one country’s financial situation. ” That’s true. There’s more than just one country whose economy is messed up. But if you go on to say “Economists say that the international banking system and people who gain money from other countries’ economical disasters are responsible for the crisis.”, please justify it. Surely it’s true that people profiting from the crisis are not exactly helping the economy to get back on it’s feet, but that doesn’t mean they would have caused the crisis in the first place.

    It’s always easy and convenient to blame the banking industry. But let’s face it; we are responsible for our own actions. The economies in countries like Greece are messed up because of irresponsible spending, which has led to uncontrollable growth of the fiscal deficit and thus debt. After the economy was hit by the 2008 financial crisis, it was inevitable that the “bubble would burst”. If you stack up a lot of debt, more than you can afford, and the economy takes a big hit, the chances are that you’ll be screwed up. Surely the private sector is also partly responsible for the crisis, but failing to acknowledge that the people themselves are also responsible, is a big mistake. They chose the politicians who made the decisions that led to this situation. (And as I understand, Greece loses a lot of tax revenue because of normal people (and businesses) avoiding taxes).

    “P.I.G.S, a term that insults the one who says it rather than the one who is targeted”. How so? I don’t think that “term” was coined for insulting any particular individual, as you suggest. It’s a humorous way of saying that Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain haven’t really done a good job taking care of their economies. Which is actually quite true.

    Peace.

  2. Hey,

    i really enjoyed reading your short essay. Especially the fact that there is the term like “PIGS” was suprising to me. I never heared about it before and my first reaction was: “How insane must be a brain to create such an acronym.”

    Greetings
    René

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