I see too much bullshit about Greece in Internet these days, so much of it that I could not refrain from writing this post.
First of all, I come from a country with even worse economical situation (fun fact — the former Ukrainian
ostrich supportedpresident complained how hard it’s to repay debts on his visit to Greece during the first Greek debt crisis). Unlike Greece most of people got no money from government, companies had large tax burden (in the latter years the government decided to press companies to pay taxes in advance and in amount decided by the tax inspection, tax returns working only for selected companies), lots of debts that went to no good purpose…
But enough about similarities between countries (certain Italians are not happy about similarities between Ukraine and Italy either), let’s get to the bullshit statements.
It’s not their fault. Of course it is, they had to forge their financial statistics under gunpoint in order to join and remain in Eurozone. Of course they share blame with Eurobureaucracy that wanted to extend EU even with a Greece and was willing to overlook their faults in order to keep it. Yet active part had been done by Greek government — it’s easy to buy voters with borrowed money that somebody else has to return in the future (in other words — not our problem). Another point of tension is Schengen area membership: because of good border control they have a lot of illegal immigrants and that’s what EU needs, hopefully when some neighbouring lands will connect Greece to the rest of Schengen area it will bring joy to everyone, especially to the UK.
The whole world is in debt to Greece for their achievements in culture and science. First of all, that sounds like typical copyright. “My grandfather once wrote a song that was played on a radio, I deserve not to work ever in my life.” (some Slashdot comment as I remember it from a decade ago or so). Second, most of the current countries have nothing to do with the nations that were on that territory a thousand or two thousand years ago. Look at Arab Republic Egypt — there was nothing Arabic in the people who built pyramids, temples and sphinxes. If you believe David Ben-Gurion’s thesis, then Palestinians are true Israeli people who lost their culture because of Arab conquests — they seem to oppose their original religion even to this day. Same story with Balkan nations and Ottoman Empire: modern Greece has nothing to do with the ancient Greece except in territory (say hello to Macedonia) and similar language. So, nice knowing you but don’t claim the old history to yourself; and while I’m grateful for those past achievements, they are not yours. I’d been living in a country that tried to exploit that (mostly in form of Soviet legacy and what colloquial “they” did for everyone), no thanks.