Saturday, 11 July 2015

Let's raise a glass of ouzo to Greece

As the future of Greece hangs on a souvlaki stick, I wonder how things will pan out.

So much has been said about this crisis, nothing I say will make any difference. I don't know much about economics but my heart tells me that the Greek people have been served a pretty raw deal over the years.

Corrupt politicians and irresponsible lenders have connived to make a complete pig's ear of the situation.

And while all this ridiculous posturing goes on in Northern Europe, ordinary people are suffering.

Some terrible stories have emerged as the arguments in the Eurozone rage on.

But I am a firm believer in the essential good of humanity. Take Thom Feeney's recent efforts. As I write, 106,713 euros have been raised by 5,325 people in four days through a crowd-funding initiative. When he set it up initially, more than 100,000 ordinary people from 182 countries raised almost €2 million for the people of Greece.

Says Thom: "This is a humanitarian crisis, not just an economic crisis and it's about bloody time someone did something."

You can read more about it - and pledge some cash - by following this link.

And a recent announcement on the Piraeus Bank website makes me want to go and hug those nice people in our branch in Corfu Town:

A Piraeus Bank initiative for the humanitarian crisis

Piraeus Bank has proceeded with the following actions for those eligible for Law 4320/2015:

  • 100% write-off of debts up to 20,000€ arising from all consumer loans and/or credit cards.
  • Mortgage payment freeze and interest write-off for as long as they meet the eligibility criteria of the Law.
I can't imagine any of our banks doing that. Perhaps Goldman Sachs could be persuaded to take a similarly humanitarian stance. You can read about the investment bank's involvement here.

The Greeks are the kindest, most genuine people I know. That generosity of spirit, that filoxenia; well, there are people elsewhere in Europe who could do with some of that.

I sense a real groundswell of warmth by ordinary British people towards the Greeks. But what can we do about the crisis? The best thing we can do as individuals is go to Greece on our holidays and enjoy the amazing, varied countryside, fantastic food and great people.
I'll raise a glass of ouzo to that.
That's about it.

Love Maddie x

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