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Euro or Drachma? Greece’s Fate Rests on Sunday’s Election

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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.”

Related Care2 Coverage

Greek Right-Wing MP Eludes Arrest After Assault on Female Politicians

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Record 11% Unemployment in the Euro Zone

 

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48 comments

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8:06PM PDT on Jun 17, 2012

I would just like to tell Linda R. that we in the United States already are afraid. All that is happening to the Greeks has already happened to us. It has been slow because we have a constitution that has protected us for 245 years. It started 30 years ago with President Ronald Regan. It began in the working classes and has now finally worked it's way into the middle class, where the majority of the population are. Our middle class is shrinking, our public workers are losing their jobs, and so are our private sector workers. The middle class has been under attack for 15 years. Our country is devided. Those who see the truth and will vote for Obama, and those who are managing to hang on financially and will believe the lies of Romney and his corporate backers until they also lose their comfortable lives. The rich are now trying to pervert our constitution and disenfranchise many voters. If you don't know this already than for some reason you are not receiving information from an accurate source.

5:19PM PDT on Jun 17, 2012

I think we are witnessing the fate of any economy that puts itself completely in the hands of a corporate plutocratic government. Now that they realize the errors of their ways, the citizens of Greece try desperately to salvage some decent standard of living from the near (I hope) destruction of their way of life. Austerity measures in European countries are forbears of the Austerity measures the Republican corporate elites would like to enact in the U.S. Cuts to food aid for the poor, firing of public sector workers like schoolteachers, firemen, policeman, etc., are what Romney and his buddies propose to do in the U.S. Less for the average citizen, much less: GONE! un- employment benefits,healthcare benefits and any other help the average citizen might need during an economic downturn not of their making. Meanwhile, international corporate conglomerates that run the global economy, (let's quit fooling ourselves about the reality of this) keep their tax breaks,while their profits are larger than any known to the history of humankind. It didn't work there, and it won't work here. Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid!

1:25PM PDT on Jun 17, 2012

If they do leave, The whole system in Europe will collapse, leaving so may loans unpaid that even really successful countries will fall horribly into debt. This will drag down the whole global economy, yes, even you, USA! So we need to act very carefully. The decisions made now affect us all.

1:25PM PDT on Jun 17, 2012

If they do leave, The whole system in Europe will collapse, leaving so may loans unpaid that even really successful countries will fall horribly into debt. This will drag down the whole global economy, yes, even you, USA! So we need to act very carefully. The decisions made now affect us all.

11:16AM PDT on Jun 17, 2012

The Euro is a bad idea whose time has passed. If I were Greek, I'd vote to get out. Likewise were I a Brit, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, even French - anything but German. Germany's kinda like the Fed, ain't it? Or worse?

10:46AM PDT on Jun 17, 2012

In a way, I would like the Greeks to get out of the Euro because they would regain control over their currency and in another way, I don't want the Greeks to because the exit of Greece could well mean the collapse of the Euro and given the weakness of the US economy, its collapse too.

10:39AM PDT on Jun 17, 2012

I just watched two prominent economists arguing about this on Fareed Zakaria. It's obvious that even the experts know we're in uncharted waters here, so why do so many Care2 readers think they have the answer?

6:11AM PDT on Jun 17, 2012

thanks

1:08AM PDT on Jun 17, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

9:28PM PDT on Jun 16, 2012

The only people to win out of all this chaos are 'the money men' - how can a country win when at every turn the goal posts are moved? they cut and cut and cut and then some ratings agency downgrades them and the 'markets' say hey you have not cut enough instead of the interest on your debts being for instance 5% now it's 6 or 7% until there comes a point they can never pay no matter what they do and some rich people who were already rich but had a little bet on how such and such country would fare pull some strings and manipulate the markets until guess what they win their bets and make even more money - so you destroy a few countries and their peoples on the way who cares as long as you make another billion and anyway these countries can always raise a bit more cash if they are really desparate by selling off a few choice nationally owned assets - I mean you'd even help them out and purchase them yourselves - as long as they are going cheap of course .- after all it's your God given right to make a profit - the more obscene the better -- -----
Well that is how it seems to me - am I wrong?

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches ancient Greek, Latin and Classics at Saint Peter's University in New Jersey.... more
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