Athanasios A. is a recent LSE graduate. He holds an MSc in the History of International Relations.
1. How do you personally experience the financial crisis?
The economic collapse of Greece led me to seek job opportunities abroad. In Greece my professional future seems gloomy
2. What is the psychological impact of the situation on Greeks?
The uncertainty for the future that accompanies the Greek crisis has influenced crucially the Greek people. As new measures are being imposed every now and while, consisted mainly by new taxes and salary cuts, as well as the possibility to become redundant every day has raise the anxiety and the pressure for the tomorrow.
3. How much are the people to be blamed and how much the politicians for the economic crisis?
There is no easy answer on that question. The proper answer, in my opinion, is that both should bear the blame for the economic situation. On the one hand, Greek people got used to living beyond their abilities by spending a lot on consumption goods, which ended up in being overwhelmingly covered under loans. At the same time, there is the widespread conviction in a large part of the Greek society that paying taxes is a waste of money. At the same time politicians used the public revenues to stay in power by developing clergy relations.
4. What is your opinion on the relation between politics and economy?
Politics and economic were always related however after the current crisis the ties will be stronger. Politicians realised that they have to pay closely attention to the Markets, whose power has increased rapidly. Today there are cases where the Markets determine the whole national policies. An alternative will only be the imposition of strong control and rules over the Markets or a throughout systemic change.
5. What is your opinion on corruption?
Corruption is one of the main problems in Greece. However, everyone is part of it, from the tax invasion to bribery. The only way to fight corruption is the cooperation between the members of the public and the government against it.
6. What is the role of the country in the EU and the Eurozone?
Greece should be a stable member of the European Union. On Eurozone, the crisis had evidenced that Greece was not ready to adopt the Euro in 2002. However, the cost and the consequences from exit the Eurozone would be tremendous thus, the country should take all necessary measures to stay in the Eurozone.
7. Do foreigners have a clear image of the crisis in Greece?
The majority of the people from outside Greece, watching the crisis though the media, develop a distorted picture of Greeks based on stereotypes. People consider the Greeks as working fewer hours while receiving higher wages than the rest European employees. They do not realise that neither this picture is real nor the social welfare state is completely missing from Greece. The average Greek has to pay for health and education in addition to the taxes he pays.
8. Will the change of Prime Minister improve the situation?
A simple change, even in the highest level of political hierarchy is not enough. The necessity is the mixture of measures to change and everybody to fulfil their role and duties.
9. Will this ordeal have any positive outcomes for the political, social, and economic situation in Greece?
There are only two possibilities. According to the positive one, Greece forced by the threat of default and political isolation will pass and implement the necessary economic reforms, which in turn will lead to growth and development.( Additional, the funds from the international debtors will be used to change the country’s productivity model) Athe same time, the political personnel will become responsible and abandon the patron-client relation with their voters. Finally, Greeks will turn away from the consumption attitude that developed the last decade. The negative scenario is the Greeks will fail to implement the reforms and the country will simply be ousted from Eurozone and the European Union.
- The crisis in a Greek’s own words: Athanasios A. (thedeciphering.wordpress.com)
- The crisis in a Greek’s own words: M.P. (thedeciphering.wordpress.com)
- The crisis in a Greek’s own words: Eleni (thedeciphering.wordpress.com)
- The crisis in a Greek’s own words: Noel (thedeciphering.wordpress.com)