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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Dear Greek Friends!

I picked up the letter below in the comment section of the Ekathimerini. The author was anonymous. I thought it was quite a piece of motivational literature, which is why I post it here.

"Dear Greek friends,

I am from Belgium and I realize that I cannot grasp the enormity of the crisis that hits you every day. But I know a little world history and Greece is the country I love the most. No other people influenced mankind's evolution of civilization more than Greeks.

Before the Ottoman invasions, the Byzantine Empire was the greatest, richest, smartest and most refined culture the world had ever seen. Rome was nothing in 200 compared to Byzantium in 1200. Then 400+ years of brutal oppression were not even enough to destroy your heritage, your customs, your approach to life. Any other culture would have disappeared after 400 years of attempts to erase it.

During these 400 years the Western world lived its renaissance, a rebirth and further wonderful development of what you gave to the western world 2500 years ago. Unfortunately, Greece could not be part nor play any role in what led to the French Revolution and finally an important degree of individual freedom to a gigantic part of the world. All these years, you had to struggle to maintain your culture under the Ottomans.

I know I take a lot of shortcuts, but I only want to draw the big picture here. Then, after struggling to restore and rise up again, the Germans came and tried to destroy your pride, again, without success. In the decades after 1945 until now, the Western world became enormously rich, started collecting European money and threw it by the billions to the Greek government in order to keep the country of Greece at its side (it is the mother of Western culture after all).

The politicians took the money, put a part of it into their own pockets and threw it further to the Greek people to buy their votes. In such a kind of doped economy, entrepreneurship, innovation, development from bottom to top had no chance. Why take any risk to undertake any business when working for the state was far more secure and lucrative? All with billions thrown by European politicians to the Greek politicians. This cannot become other than addictive, so the Greek politicians started to lie a little bit to the European money-throwers to keep them throwing.

In the meantime the financial system in the Western world had become corrupt itself and collapsed, a collapse triggered by the American housing bubble... The tubes of money dried out, enormous pits of debt left behind. And now what...?

Accusing one another for being the guilty one makes no sense, we were all in some part guilty for not controlling and checking what our politicians and bankers were doing. In Greece and in the rest of the Western world. The solution is not in accusing, the solution is in stimulating those who do the best effort to clean the mess up. Kicking out Europe and the Troika is ridiculous and what is more important: you are far too intelligent as a people to take such stupid action.

Kick out corruption by beginning with yourself, in your own community. Start innovating your tourism sector. It boomed in 2013, even in these lousy conditions! You ever asked yourself why? Because you are the owners of the greatest country in the world, with the greatest culture heritage, the greatest and warmest friendliest ambiance, something we all need more and more in this freezing world. You have an enormous potential in modern eco-industry, an enormous plentitude of wind and sun, enormous lots of unspoiled space where you can develop anything you want from agriculture, tourism to any kind of modern industry.

We can read some very small signs of economic recovery, so get working on it! No other western free-thinking country is geographically as well placed as Greece. Start to work together with your ancient enemy, Turkey, as an ally. We did that with the Germans too, every European country did this and look at the result in Belgium, Netherlands, France, UK, Denmark, Sweden, Austria etc...

The Turks built a tunnel between Europe and Asia? You realize what that means? You realize which European country is best placed to jump on it to exploit the possibilities? Yes indeed, your country, the wonderful Greece. Go for it, work together, use your brains, you have lots of it..."


  1. I definitely agree with our friend from Belgium. The only difference is that we lack something here in Greece that in Belgium they might have for granted. This is justice. Nobody feels that justice is present in Greece. If this continues then I don’t believe anything will really change. Because only then the feeling of fairness, meritocracy etc will help all these clever people to exploit the opportunities available. Perhaps this is the reason why so many Greeks have been so successful abroad.

  2. Yes, the letter should be able to motivate the Greeks; it was certainly emotional if somewhat inaccurate. The 5 clear recommendations it contain I have always subscribed to:
    - Kick out corruption by beginning with yourself, in your own community.
    - Start innovating your tourism sector.
    - Get working on the small signs of economic recovery.
    - Start working with Turkey as an ally.
    - Work together, use your brains.
    To the reply that it cannot be implemented due to the lack of justice, I can only say "create justice". Justice in Belgium (or any other nation) was not created by divine power(s), it was created by the people living in the nations. I do not think people in Belgium take justice for granted, I think they strive every day to uphold it. If the Greek people find that is too difficult to create in such a short time, then: The Task Force for Greece is here to help you do just such things, they will allocate you all the expert resources that you wish, free of charge, you just have to ask, they are here for you. It is my experience that Greeks wish for justice and fairness, except for the ones that profit from the lack of it.