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Friday, July 14, 2017

The 'Few' And The 'Many'

I would tend to agree with the following conclusion of this FT article:

"Of course, some Greeks are doing just fine. My motorcycle friend and I ended the evening dining in a packed rooftop taverna in a middle-class suburb. The richest Athenians have had “a nice crisis”, says Paris Mantzavras of brokerage Pantelakis Securities. They just take care not to flash their cash like before. Alexander Kitroeff, historian of Greece at Haverford College in the US, sees the country becoming almost Central American: the once solid lower-middle-class of pensioners, lower civil servants and small shopkeepers is disappearing, leaving only rich and poor. Ten years ago, Greece imagined it had become northern Italy, but it has since discovered it’s more like Bulgaria. Try shedding your fantasies to accept that."

During the 4-5 months we spend in Greece every year, we are moving mostly in the circles of the 'few'. And most of them still have a very good life, even if they don't flash it as much as before.

But we obviously also see the 'many' and whenever I see them (or read about them), I get the sense that fairness is not an outstanding value in Greek society.

11 comments:

  1. Greece was never an egalitarian society. The wealthy few were always pro-German, pro-monarchy (which explains the pro-German part), pro-fascist (junta and the like) and uber contemptuous of the rest of Greeks (mostly Anatolian folk meaning more wealthy than the mainland Greeks but thrown into extreme poverty due to the miscalculations of the pro-German monarchy and simple poor peasant folk).

    Let's be reminded of a few moments of the Hapsburg glory days just to get a sense of how disastrous the German connection has been for Greece (and continues unabated in modern times as well).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaeTv0GzjIc

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  2. Greece was never an egalitarian society. The wealthy few were always pro-German, pro-monarchy (which explains the pro-German part), pro-fascist (junta and the like) and uber contemptuous of the rest of Greeks (mostly Anatolian folk meaning more wealthy than the mainland Greeks but thrown into extreme poverty due to the miscalculations of the pro-German monarchy and simple poor peasant folk).

    Let's be reminded of a few moments of the Hapsburg glory days just to get a sense of how disastrous the German connection has been for Greece (and continues unabated in modern times as well).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaeTv0GzjIc

    ReplyDelete
  3. True. But in which country was there ever an egalitarian society? My close family descendants were securely (so we thought) and comfortably 'middle class', living on our own savings and investment, with no Greek social security but paying our way, never having borrowed from any European bank, in the process. But we had returned to Greece in the 1980s from years living and working abroad, not in Europe. Unaware that we would be robbed, on the orders of Schauble, as imposed by the EU and IMF, to pay for the folly of past Greek regimes, their clientele and cronies who are now the survivors keeping out of the public eye as much as possible. No more 'conspicuous consumption".

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    Replies
    1. Schauble wanted to save a corrupt version of any Greek government for the purposes of controlling Greece in order to save the effing euro. Hence your family's systematic robbing so that effing germany continues to profit from ubnormal trade surpluses while you and your family are squeezed to death. Welcome to occupied Greece and the effing eurozone prison. And oh, I know the part which threw you off. It's the part in our national anthem that salutes freedom. O.k., here is the hard truth. Greeks are conditioned to be slaves since 143 BC. Two thousand years of brutal roman slavery, anti-Greek Byzantine autocracy, a Turkish yoke and now german occupation. Greeks are conditioned to be slaves. WE ARE NOT FREE PEOPLE. Get it?

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  4. Quote: "Ten years ago, Greece imagined it had become northern Italy, but it has since discovered it’s more like Bulgaria. Try shedding your fantasies to accept that."

    Unfortunately Greeks seem to be especially bad when it comes to shedding their fantasies and accepting reality.

    Urs

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    Replies
    1. We will see whose reality is more dominant. By the way, how are you going to protect your Swiss fortune when markets turn nasty after mid August? Any plans for that? Because blaming the Greeks again is not going to cut it. And just before the german elections...ooops Merkel did it.

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    2. Quote: "the once solid lower-middle-class of pensioners, lower civil servants and small shopkeepers is disappearing, leaving only rich and poor."

      How solid is a middle class that - at the end of the day - is financed through sovereign debt and sovereign debt alone? As Buffett says: "Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked."

      Urs

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    3. Urs:

      Why do you keep making the mistake of confusing the state with the Greek people? The Greek state is bankrupt and at the insistence of germany the Greek middle class is wiped out.

      By the way, I want you to remeber the WB quote when the global economy turns into recession soon and effing germany loses the ability to sell in global markets and begins to fracture. And that is before Trump hits her in the head with a hammer or something.

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  5. What a coincidence! I just saw this table which shows Greece as No. 28 out of 28 in terms of social fairness. Well, that was my point.

    https://twitter.com/AgendaAustria/status/886844505869123585

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    Replies
    1. Because who made it this way but Berlin. The EU/eurozone experience for Greece has a compoundly negative one.

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  6. Greece has always had a lousy income GINI coefficient and it is rising. Strange enough the wealth GINI coefficient is on par with Germany's. These figures do of cause exclude undeclared income and wealth.

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