Sep 2011

Greece: Whose (De)Fault Is It Really?

Greece. September

Autumn creeps over this island even though the temperatures are still around 30 degrees. But there are no cicadas now, vine leaves turn rusty, lemon leaves as yellow as their fruit lie in drifts, the velvety green globes holding almonds hang like Christmas tree baubles. The sea is clear, pale turquoise and marvellously warm, the sky is the rich blue of September.

There has been no rain here since May and the ground crackles beneath the foot. But silver grey olives, dark, shiny myrtle and melancholy cypresses, watered by the Ionian’s relentless winter rain, maintain the island’s greenness. Thunderstorms are predicted to break this drought next week but for now it is a gorgeous, peaceful time of year.

The drought and storms to come in Greece’s political situation will not turn with the season of course. The apportioning of blame: tax-evading Greeks v venal bankers is pointless now. Bankers will or will not be held to global account and Greeks have an historically justifiable mistrust of their leaders, an adversarial relationship with the authorities in general and a strongly tribal culture. Read More...