M.P. is a post-graduate student specializing in media and an employee in the private sector. She lives in Athens and is an Aquarius.
- How do you personally experience the situation?Just like everyone else, even though I belong to the small portion of the Greek population that still got a job. The People are disappointed, tire and fed-up with those who rule the country and constantly demand to “tighten the bell” [to accept further austerity measures].
- What is the psychological impact of the situation on Greeks?
I read in an article that according to the data so far, for 2011 it is estimated that in Greece there will be a 40% increase in suicides, as within the first three months of this year 150 people had committed suicide. That’s to say, within this year the number may reach the 700, with the root cause of the suicides being the financial problems and the debts. This I think is enough proof of the psychological situation of Greeks at the moment.
- How much are people to blame and how much the politicians for the situation?
I always believed that the responsibility is shared by the two with the greatest portion of blame however lying on the politicians. It is them who govern the country and manage its finances. On the other hand, the citizens as well got used to a clientism and perpetuated a dependency to the politicians, which partially brought the things to the present situation.
- What is your opinion on the relation between politics and economy?I will talk about Greece in particular. During the last years the majority of those who were elected to the Parliament with the order to govern us clearly saw this role as an opportunity to make money. This, in combination with the bad management of the country’s finances led to this dead end. Think only that every time that the government changed, the new ministers would spend excessive amounts of money for the renovation of their ministerial offices: change of furnitures, curtains, carpets etc. It is not necessary to have studied economics to understand that with such lavish expenses – this is just a small example of everything that has happened – we will eventually reach the brick of distraction.
- What is your opinion on corruption?Corruption has been a thorn in the Greek system’s side for many years and it is so because there is no strict control so as to find those who are accepting brides, those who are evading etc.. Corruption has taken roots in Greece and it is the laxity and the impunity that brought it to such heights.
- What is the role of the country in the European Union and the Eurozone?I cannot say for sure. What I can certainly say is that I do not think that a small country like Greece is able to shake at such a degree the European Union, as for the EU to be terrified with every little thing we do. I enjoyed Liana Kanelli’s response when a journalist asked her how we feel that the Eurozone considers Greece to be threatening the European economy. She replied: “In Greece we feel bold and beautiful”. At the end of the day, if we scare them so much they should kick us out…
- Do foreigners have a clear image of the situation in Greece?I don’t know that. I hardly know if even Greeks are able, with everything that is being said, to have a clear image of the situation of their own country. What is truly sticking to me is that the whole world has turned to Greece like it is the only country that experiences so strongly the financial crisis at the moment.
- Will the change of Prime Minister improve the country’s position?The premiership ever since the Metapolitefsi [regime change – here, a reference to the fall of the military junta in 1974], apart from a few exceptions, is a family affair in this country. On the other hand, in Greece we were and we are always divided. Whether it is about sports or politics, we act like there are no other choices apart from the two predetermined ones. History and experience show that no matter who became a Prime Minister, the only thing that he did was to waive liability and to accuse the predecessor for the state of the affairs when he was appointed to the office. If the change in premiership is not oriented towards capable individuals and leaders with strength, it will not lead to the improvement in any level of the present situation.
- In which ways should the Greek system change?The mentality both of the politicians and the people. At this moment Greece is ostensibly a Democracy. When this becomes understood by both sides and when personalities capable to govern the country rise, then and only then will things change.
- Will this ordeal have any positive outcomes for the political, social or economic situation in Greece?Maybe, if we believe that Greeks have woken up from the lethargy of their bliss that they were experiencing all these years and realised that the situation in which they were brought by their actions, as well as the actions of those they vote for to represent them.
- Are you afraid of what the future holds?I want to be optimistic, but things are tough. May God put his hand [May God help us all]!