Galway City Tribune - Opinion Piece
Forget the billions, and instead focus on the victims!October 25, 2012 - 8:18am
If our Governments want us to feel disinterested and detached from our economic destiny, they’re doing a good job. While counting on our fingers to see if we can afford a bag of coal this week, we become blinded and bored in equal measure by the constant talk of the billions and trillions involved in global economics.
How does this World of Billions affect me? Isn’t it all beyond my control?
Well, if you want a seat at the table with Angela Merkel and Christine Lagarde, you may be out of luck, but there is one thing we can do, which in the long run will make a massive difference to our lives.
We must concentrate less on the pathetic sham of the Troika’s policies, and focus on the human victims they create.
I’m far from bored with the news. In fact I’m hurting: gut-twisting pain born of watching the most terrible mistakes of history being made all over again.
There’s no avoiding the dark irony that by desperately trying to avoid recreating the inflation and unemployment that brought about the rise of Hitler’s National Socialists, Merkel’s Germany is making war zones out of Greece and Spain, where as a result, the extreme Left and Right are thriving.
Forget the billions – focus on the victims. We need to get down and dirty with the people, our neighbours here in our very own continent. Right now in modern Europe basic medical care for children is being sacrificed on the altar of Fiscal Responsibility, while pensioners are raiding wheelie bins looking for something to eat.
There is mayhem on the streets of Greece, where police are telling callers to seek help from the Golden Dawn Party, a neo-Nazi power-base with 18 MPs. When your mother is hungry and your child is sick, you don’t notice the flag over the door that looks so much like a swastika. You take their food parcels, medicines and in return they own your loyalty.
Yet this is where the ironies crash around my soul like jagged rocks in a tumble dryer. The Greeks who resisted German fascist occupation so bravely are now being driven to fascism by a German who’s frantically trying to avoid creating fascism.
As Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, said: “It’s about the cohesion of our society, which is being threatened by rising unemployment, like at the end of the Weimar Republic in Germany.”
Instead of talking over the TV news footage of yet more riots in Athens, take a look at the faces of the people. We’re all from bailout countries, but they’re being screwed more violently than us.
Even if you dare to look inside this World of Billions, it makes no sense. The dreaded Troika doesn’t even agree with itself. The IMF is begging the ECB to agree to OSI (you have to have 3 letters or nobody takes you seriously!), which would allow for either a write-down or a write-off of Greek debt, but the ECB alongside Angela M are not for turning.
For more, read this week's Connacht Tribune.