EU leaders are holding emergency talks out of fear that the election results could cause a Lehman Brothers-like run on banks. Bloomberg says that you can play an “interactive online game to create Greek scenarios includes a maze of 57 possible steps that all end badly, if in different ways.”
The mood throughout Greece has been, as emphasized in numerous media reports, weary, angry (in particular at the super-rich who continue to tend their yachts and not pay taxes), uncertain, fearful, definitely depressed. Unemployment is 22 percent and around 50 percent for 20-somethings, most of whom are having, or trying, to leave the country. Domestic violence against women is on the rise and violence against immigrants persists. Global businesses and investors are withdrawing operations.
Amid all this gloom there are quietly, stubbornly hopeful reports, of a new humanitarianism amid the crisis and of Greeks — including some of those young person people with degrees from foreign universities — “swimming against the tide” and choosing to stay in their country, “working hard with no money, but trying to be part of change” as Stephania Xydia says. Xydia has a BA from Cambridge University and a Master’s from London’s City University; she turned down an internship at the Barbican to work as the managing director of a cultural diplomacy NGO. Says 29-year-old Orestis Matsoukas, an entrepreneur, in the Guardian:
“At the moment, we don’t really see a light at the end of the tunnel. There should always be a light. Even during the [Nazi] occupation there was a light. During the [colonels'] dictatorship there was a light. Now there’s not. That’s why I’m staying here. To find a light.”
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