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‘The degradation of Greek Society’

“Is the degradation of Greek society reversible?”

Accessories in crime’

‘Ignorance is the root and the sprout of all evil.’

Plato

Thirty five years ago, in October 1981, Greek people voted for CHANGE. They voted for the new, but unknown, the liberal, socialists’ much promising party, PASOKPAnhellenic SOcialists (K) Movement-, and, in an abrupt, catapulted way, the country was shifted to a new paradigm, it was introduced and familiarized in a new world, and a way of living, full of changes, scandals, political corruption, shady practices and radical changes, affecting mainly the lower class, the conservative Greek family, tradition changes, changes in education and language (!) Abortions were legalized and divorces became automatic, easily available, just to mention few. A new class made its appearance, that of the middle class and nouveau riche.

The country’s public sector grew even more and became gigantic, occupying-paying: 1.5 – 1.7 mil public servants, out of a 6 mil total country’s population, which was more than 25% at the time. The social party, PASOK, won the elections with Andreas Papandreou leadership (son of, Georgios Papandreou, who was Greece’s prime minister, in 1944). Since 1981, until 2011, two parties (N.D – PASOK) monopolize the country’s governance, and three families (Papandreou – Karamanlis – Mitsotakis), took control of Greece but also of the local media, serving their needs, covering their political scandals, and of course, manipulating ‘the people’, the entire electing body. The recipe, for media control, was chiefly invented and introduced by the charismatic for his rhetoric skills, the USA ‘imported’ and funded, Mr. Andreas Papandreou, who was accused and indicted for his co operation with George Koskotas – a Greek American businessman of dubious past – who appeared in the business scene in 1983, two years after Andreas Papandreou took over the country’s helm. George Koskotas, at the age 27 (!), bought Creta Bank, that he was serving at the time as an employee, to become a mega banker and press tycoon. Andreas Papandreou government streamed country’s D.E.K.O income – public receivables to be deposited at George’s Koskota’s private owned bank, instead of national banks. G.K bought OLYMPIAKOS football team, and traditional, well established, news papers like, KATHIMERINI, and BRADYNI. He also founded GRAMMI, his own modern, highly sophisticated – at the time – printing facility, for printing his six magazines (!) and the tabloid news paper 24 HOURS.

I don’t wish to narrate and exhaust the kind reader further with extensive historic events, which are publicly known, about the political corruption and the huge scandals by both, New Democracy party, and PASOK, or to expose once again the long list of names of ministers and politicians who were involved in such scandals, but to emphasize the importance of how much influenced and affected, the Greek people, were – mentally and psychologically, consciously and subconsciously – by their political leadership, that is: their prime minister, ministers, civil servants and high rank governmental officials, the elected, chosen, powerful elite: The elected oligarchs, who, were acting as common crooks, and thieves, violating the Greek Constitution’s fundamental Articles, violating ethics, criminal and civil law, giving the wrong paradigm to ‘the people’. Is it or is it not ethical, for people in power, to defraud public wealth? Is it ethical and legal to lie to its electorates and break promises, the next day of their election?  Is it ethical for a public servant to use his public service position to increase personal and family wealth? Well, when a society*

*(society is the people, who have names and identity, is not something unrecognizable, unreachable, somewhere far in space (!) it is you, me, your neighbors next door, everyone living in the peninsula territory and islands, which is known as Greece or Hellas)

is accustomed, to accept its political leadership and public servants, to swim in mud and shit, it becomes desensitized and indifferent, it becomes partner in the crime and its also guilty by omission to report and condemn in writing – as anyone should do for any crime – to the district attorneys (costs nothing) with its silence – silence in a crime which is known, committed in front of ones eyes, makes him (her) an accessory – which is a Criminal Law violation, see Article 238 and is punished with 3 years imprisonment!

Any logical, with no bias, man or woman could think and sum up the above, in a simple conclusion: The political leadership has betrayed and violated its role to serve and protect the Greek Constitution and ‘The people’ Human Rights. Has betrayed its electors and has spread lies, false information to defraud the voters, which constitutes a violation of Article 162 of Criminal Law.

However, it would be unfair if one stopped to the first conclusion – it takes two to Tango – Indeed, the first betrayal came from people’s elected political leadership, but the second, and least identifiable, came from the Greek society itself, who kept silence, and still does, which continued to elect, the same parties, and same politicians, who were simply changing cloak, moving from PASOK to SYRIZA, but not their practices, WHY? just to retain its privileges longer and remain in their comfort zone.

It is worth mentioning that the political leadership agreed and voted, in the Greek parliament, the year 1997, the Article 86 which was inserted in the Greek Constitution Articles, in violation of Article 4, giving to themselves absolution for all their criminal actions, in the past or future(!) The criminal courts couldn’t and still ‘till today cannot touch them for any crime, or fraud, immune and exempted of any criminal prosecution. Instead, any criminal law violation, by any member of the parliament, has to be brought for examination in the Greek parliament, to be evaluated and decided upon, by the members of the parliament (!) what devil would judge himself, and found him guilty? Wonder.

The Greek media, TV Channels, Radio, was dominated by a large number of private owned companies (which some belonged to contractors, who were given big government works to built roads, bridges etc). The TV channels were flooded with cheap and bad taste shows which were dominated by models, trash celebrities, gays, fashion, tv personas, reality shows, big brother shows and a lot of nonsense, empty head people, who were exposed to the public view like if they were the cream of the cream, of our society, setting the standards far too low, for the average young man or woman. Writers, philosophers, scientists, inventors, poets, visionaries, were out casted from the public eye or ear. Low standards make people dull and lazy, looking for shortcuts and free rides. People became rude, lacking empathy and sympathy for their fellow man. Money became their motive in life and wealth, or someone’s net worth, the measure for people’s value (!) In other words people were trapped in a material world which they had no control of and knew nothing or very little about it.  Fortunes were to be lost, 17.000 suicides since 2010 and more than 250.000 businesses were out of business (of total 820.000) within seven years.

The banking system was in a spree to lend money cheaply to anyone who was passing outside the bank. Pensioners were given, without any risk assessment, no underwriting, 5-7 credit cards. Students and unemployed people were taking loans for holidays and cars. Anyone could buy a brand new car with no deposit and start paying its installments 12 months later. The European Bank and The Bank of Greece were very loose in their controls. People in Greece were living in euphoria, without producing anything. Farmers were wagering in the Athens stock Exchange. Shoe sellers, small shop car mechanics and ship owners were sharing the same front tables at ‘bouzoukia’ the beloved night life entertainment, of most Greeks, where they enjoy flowers war (throwing flowers one another) and flirting with women of next table in proximity or the guest women of their table. The Porsche Cayenne seen in the streets were more than Suzuki’s and Toyotas. The Mersedes was a banality.  The youth started writing greeklish and were also trapped in easy life, laid off style, coffee shops, clubbing and spending their father’s money, easily.

Lives mischievously and methodically dropped in debt – banks are liable for giving away money without exercising a proper loan due diligence and risk assessment – by over borrowing and mortgaging their houses and future, the future of their kids.

*Banks which were not sufficiently funded to over lend, banks who were exposed in junk bonds and derivatives, banks which went bankrupt and were re capitalized by ‘the people’ receiving € 233 billion when their combined present stock value doesn’t exceed the € 14-15 billion.

*Note that, Banks, are private companies (SOCIETE ANONYM) which are governed by certain laws, the same laws which stand for the big stores, or a middle size S.A company, which in case of insufficient funds, is obliged, according to the law, to be sold out, or to ask its shareholders, and investors, to put their hands in their pockets and fund the company, or to shut it down, declare it bankrupt.

What happened? It is a historic first! What is? Greek Government re capitalized the private companies (Banks) with ‘the people’s’ money! And moreover, banks, still after having received € 233 billion, are in trouble and under capital controls! Additionally, since banks recapitalization by ‘The people’ that is the Greek society, banks keep asking back the bad loans! At the same time they do not give loans to businesses! They don’t do their job but they don’t close or are not confiscated by the government, either!

The standards have been flattened, ‘the people’ is left ignorant, are indifferent, poor, discouraged, have been constantly and is still lied to. It will take years to psychologically survive the sudden shock of this transition. ‘The people’ have been spoiled as a brat, the last three decades, and is unwilling to take the initiative to take action, to undertake responsibility for the future and is left, surrendered, in the hands of its oppressors, to be turned into a slave, to live receiving hand outs and unemployment soup kitchens, working for peanuts, as if in Gulags, reminding us the old red Soviet Union.

NOW, WHAT?

The standards must be raised, by the people, for the people, by each one of us. To set goals, to awaken old dreams, to apply in our lives discipline, self discipline, strict discipline, ETHICS, without ethics nothing works. To learn to live a disciplined life, to start producing, to work and carry our selves around with ethos and responsibility, as if, everyone is watching. Regain self respect and start reading, caring for one another, love humanity as we are part of humanity. Love yourself first and love your neighbor next. Re discover old and traditional values, like family, producing something with your hands or mind, be of service to society, learn to value people who add value to society not those who live on the back of society offering nothing – the free raiders –

Some of the most important values are: Health, family, friendship, solidarity, spirituality, are few to mention. Money is not a value and has no value itself apart the value we give it. Things have a price but not a value. Valuable is health, family, friendship, art, a friend who inspires you or listens to you when you are feeling helpless, valuable are the pregnant mothers who carry babies which will become the future adult society and should be treated with respect. Valuable are the fathers, and working women, who strive to support their families and kids in a hostile environment which punishes those who have children with higher taxes (!) compared to those who are childless or have only one.

Procrastination and excuses intensify the problem and the spiral downfall will continue. Self education is a must, self re definition is a need, charting down the future is a necessity, organizing strategies how to defend and how to attack a problem is the 50% of the war, and we are in very challenging times. Start doing small things to get momentum and take command of your lives. Define a purpose in your lives and give a meaning to each day. Feel grateful for all you have every day and work for your dreams with passion.

Anastasis Maraslis

 

aam@anastasismaraslis.comaam@anastasismaraslis.com

 

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