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Tag Archives: euro
I always loved to calm fears and tensions with some sense of humour. It’s a humanising effect that is becoming more and more rare during the troubled times this country is going through. Plus, I’ve nothing against Merkel – I keep all my frustration and anger against the austerity, this type of austerity, and the lack of a way-out plan. But, that’s another, huge discussion. Here are some cartoons by Greek cartoonists on the Angela Merkel visit to Greece (I think she landed at the time of writing of this line).
Translation: Angela Merkel is holding a sign that says AUSTERITY
Translation: REPENT… MERKEL IS COMING…
Soldier: Presnt arms!
Merkel: Are the arms German, Antonis?
Samaras: Are the austerity measures enough, Madam?
Merkel: You are pitiless! I bleed with what you are doing.
(sing on the right has a euro-swastika symbol and writes New Occupation)
Merkel: What is this Paul [Thomsen of IMF]? The Greeks don’t live in slums, neither do they survive with acorn!!
Paul Thomsen (holding the troika report): The reforms are not completed yet Mrs Merkel.
Last but not list, another one of Dimtris Hatzopoulos. It’s a bit older (I think it was published a week ago) and it’s not directly linked to Angela Merkel. But I really like his style so here you have it.
It would be Europe’s worst nightmare: after weeks of rumors, the Greek prime minister announces late on a Saturday night that the country will abandon the euro currency and return to the drachma.
Instead of business as usual on Monday morning, lines of angry Greeks form at the shuttered doors of the country’s banks, trying to get at their frozen deposits. The drachma’s value plummets more than 60 percent against the euro, and prices soar at the few shops willing to open.
Soon, the country’s international credit lines are cut after Greece, as part of the prime minister’s move, defaults on its debt.
As the country descends into chaos, the military seizes control of the government.
To read the rest of the article click here.
An interesting overview of today’s Greece, by Vanessa Andris for the Huffington Post.
It is not at all unreasonable that any intelligent person trying to make sense of Greece’s recent maniacal antics is now desperately asking, “What is this, a banana republic?”
Well my friend, no, not exactly. This is a Baklava Republic.
Welcome to a country stuck in its own syrup. A place where a prime minister, Mr. Papandreou, calls for a public referendum on a bailout deal without even notifying the finance minister who has spent months negotiating the deal with the lenders and his fellow Greek ministers. A republic where one egomaniac, Antonis Samaras, can autocratically hold an entire terrified nation and trembling world markets hostage by refusing to sign an agreement- which he publicly says he agrees to.
Greece, a country which a year ago seemed centuries ahead of the Arab Spring is now regressing so quickly into the most hideous practices of Baklava Republics that any kind of spring for them seems light years away.
The Greeks have exasperated their supporters and all but exhausted even the EU, the stakeholder with maybe the most to lose from their demise. They have displayed such primitive responses to difficulties that no one in the global community really wants to deal with them anymore.
In one year, and particularly in the last month of unpredictable counter-productive episodes, the Greeks have virtually alienated themselves from the civilized world they themselves fathered centuries ago.
If you think that what Sarkozy and Obama said about Netanyahu while their microphones were on was bad, imagine what they and the EU and IMF might rightfully be saying about the Greeks. And note the Baklava parallels between the Greek and Israeli leadership, starting with a lack of transparency and ending with complete impossibility.
Since the debt crisis began, we have watched our beloved Greece, dizzy with fatigue and despair, teetering on the fulcrum of its future, leaning first northwest like an insecure sophomore posturing to fit in with the polished seniors of the EU.
Then suddenly like all people under stress, reverting to her primal training on how to survive. Swooning now east to circle around the Mediterranean tragically re-identifying herself with cousins from ancient civilizations that have made minimal progress in their development; Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, and even Libya.
These are the Baklava Republics, a continuum of countries related by variations on one pastry, characterized by a pathetic lack of process skills, rule of law as it serves individual agendas, leaders incapable and disinterested in self-regulation, and proud of their willingness to destroy any and everything in the name of defending their dignity.
A string of countries differentiating themselves from the rest of world with a combination of primary commitment to face-saving, a need to create drama, and a defiance of reality so insanely illogical and destructive that people world-wide see them as nuts.
Not sure whether a given country could be considered a Baklava Republic? Here’s a litmus test: Are the leaders instantly insulted by anything that can be construed as questioning their honesty or good intentions? Is their best defense acting as if they have been monumentally offended? Do they regularly elevate issues to fight or flight dramas?
From Samaras to Ahmadinejad, we see the masters of Baklava Republic tactics regularly enact a predictable but no less maddening three-act drama.
Act One: Outrage: A question about duplicitous behavior is met with incredulous anger; “You dare to question me?”
Act Two: Arrogance: “You have insulted me and anyone who would be so ill-mannered is so far beneath me that they are unworthy of my cooperation.”
Act Three: Threat: “I am a victim, rightfully volatile now because of your behavior. Either provide me a face-saving way to get out of this or I will sabotage this process, set fire to the whole country, commit mass invasions, and/or make my child a suicide martyr. It’s dignity or death.” (Additional Baklava Republic specialty: Add concocted conspiracy theory and implication that the alleged perpetrator is evil, sinful, or crazy to Act Two).
To read the whole article click here.
I just checked today’s newspapers and they had few exciting headlines. However, yesterday’s front pages would probably cause either panick or depression to a society somewhere in North Europe. As I stood there, watching all the post-apocalyptic headlines, I realized that in some years I will be saying that this is how it was to live in Greece at the end of November 2011.
Firstly, I will begin with the cover of this week’s Economist which has been reproduced, partly or as a whole, by several Greek newspapers.
“Eleftheri Ora” newspaper, which is a fringe paper that hardly sells a bit above 2.000 copies per day, has chosen to reproduce the whole Economist front page. Oh yes, with no reference at all. This paper is famous for its populist content, full of conspiracy theories, front pages of dead monks whose prophecies are now becoming reality, and so on. Actually I think that a daily translation of the paper’s front page could offer enough material for a separate blog. Anyway, when I think that usually it should be the last one in these posts of translated front pages due to its lower circulation. I only place it first here because of its relation to the Economist’s cover.
Title: The evil plan of the New World Order’s “Messiah”
Another newspaper which chose to use the euro meteor illustration is Dimokratia.Title: The Wehrmacht is approaching Europe
Overhead title: Everyone is talking about the coming financial Armageddon
“Ethnos” newspaper was the only one to reproduce the whole Economist front page, thus indirectly referring the source.Title: A whole town is sleeping in the streets
Overhead title: Social shock – more than 20.000 homeless around Greece
Eleftherotypia and Kathimerini highlighted the continuing struggle of the Egyptians at Tahrir square.Title: The extra tax will be paid too by unemployed who worked even for one day (in 2011)
Picture’s caption title: Tahrir square does not succumbTitle: Suffocation around the euro zone
Picture’s caption title: Egyptians overwhelm Tahrir squareTitle: Run Lucas Run! (a cartoon depicts Lucas Papademos in the body of Pheidippides, the first “marathon runner”)
Overhead title: A 100-day race for the governmentTitle: Last chance for saving the euro
Overhead title: Germany leads euro zone off the cliff
Title: Countdown for the euro