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ANTIQUITY IN OUR BACK YARD

Ancient ruins are literally everywhere in Greece. Every where you walk you are treading on the ruins of an  older civilization, probably rom...

Sunday, 12 July 2015

DEBT RELIEF?????

FRIDAY
YE GODS AND LITTLE FISHES.  The nasty little details of these final proposals are coming to light.  Greece might be getting debt relief but the GREEKS are going to have five more years of tougher austerity, which is going to put a lot of greek households in even deeper financial trouble.  Looks as though K's pension is only going to be cut by about 6% but increased prices and new taxes are going to make it in reality  20%.  These new measures of course could be changed before the agreement is approved by the rest of Europe, and may be even grimmer.

There is an air of disbelief and yet inevitability.  We might be saved from bankruptcy and destitution but  all tiers of society are going to be hit hard by this deal.  Will it also reach dishonest politicians, double-dealing business men, crooked athletes, the shameless rich and famous...... so many crooks to catch.

The big news today is the discussion in parliament and the vote to give the PM the go ahead to bargain .  Even the opposition parties will vote in favour because they don't want to be the ones to  be blamed for a grexit.  A lot of opposition however is from within Tsipras own party. 

All this added tax will not be good for the islands.
 Poros:  for the last ten years  income has come

1.    from the sailors doing basic training at the navy base. They  bring with them, on visiting days, hundreds of mother, wives and family  who spend  money at tavernas and cafeterias feeding their poor lads who have 'suffered' in the past week/s and got so 'thin and weak'.

 2.  the large number of 'greek tourists' who drive here from Athens on the new road in their big black cars, stay at the two plush hotels and spend a considerable amount of  money.  We have noticed that these people who had money still have the money.  I'm not sure to hope that they get hit this time and pay all the extra taxes or that they have already removed their money from the banks and spend their hidden cash on Poros instead.

Not only will the islands become more expensive but travel and entertainment will become luxuries for people who  are not planning  holidays for this summer and will not be spending any extra on non essentials.

Poros day to day:

Our elderly neighbour, Vaso, brought us a large bowl of homemade 'noodles'.  She  spent the last week making a dough with flour, semolina, eggs from her chickens and milk from her goats.  This she rolled out very thinly, cut into strips and then into squares smaller than your smallest fingernail.  Long hours of delicate work bent over a table in the summer heat.  These little noodle squares are laid out on clean sheets on every surface of her house, on the beds, chairs and tables, and left to dry for two or three days.  They are then ready to be eaten or packed away, usually in a clean pillowcase.

My mother-in-law also at this time of the year used to spend days making the same 'hilopites', kilos of them to be given out to the family and keep them fed during the winter.  I helped her...once.

A similar dough (trahana) is dried and crumbled and used as a base for soups.  Good filling nourishment on a cold winters day.

SATURDAY

The Greek parliament agreed to back the Prime Minister in his negotiations.  Today it is the turn of the Eurozone finance ministers to consult.  German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble as usual continued his negative statements saying the present proposals aren't enough and he couldn't trust the greeks to implement them.  Rumours would seem to be correct that he wants a grexit for the good of the rest of the Eurozone countries and to put the fear of god into them.

I just read somewhere a terrific suggestion.  Tsipras made a great sacrifice and sacked his minister of Finance in the name of smoother negotiations,  Now it is Merkels turn to sack her finance minister.

SUNDAY
Not D-Day after all.  European leaders want Greece to show that it will implement the reforms and must pass some of the laws by Wednesday.

We seem to have a few more countries, cautiously, on our side.  There will more tough talks this week.

I have had enough.  What I feel today is frustration  at a certain future about which I can do little or nothing.  I have not listened to any news today and am just hearing the headlines now.
sunset from Elli's roof terrace
looking over Poros harbour




 Banks are still closed, withdrawals are still limited.  The referendum was a farce and Tsipras has done a 180o turn on his election promises.  Maybe a grexit is the better plan.








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