As some of this blog’s readers know, I have spent time in Greece, working, and maintain an interest in Greek Politics. Some of the key players in Greece are friends of mine. It’s a small country and don’t take it that I’m important. I just moved in some of those circles because of work. For those of you (if any) actually care about what is going on in Greece and the full back story, I recommend this series of articles in the Globalist (Part I) Part II: The Political Culture of a Protectorate; Part III: Missed Opportunities: The Political Culture of Greece Since 1974
In 1943, the head of the British Military Mission to the Greek partisans, Brigadier C. E. Myers, groaned in exasperation about Greek politics: “The Greeks are Asiatic. One cannot judge them by European standards.”Despite the fact that this statement is factually wrong, it points to a difference between the political cultures of Greece and those of Western Europe.
After the Greek financial crisis broke out in late spring 2010, European leaders of today demonstrated that they did not have the slightest idea how the Greek political system functions.
Last Friday Greece asked its creditors, the European Union (EU) members, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an extension of the 30 June deadline for defaulting on its debt payment. The big three creditors rejected the request.
News of these interactions apparently was responsible for starting a run on ATMs on Friday and Saturday. This was the first serious sign of panic.
Late on Sunday, banking officials said banks would be closed all week. ATM’s are open and Greek Citizens can withdraw 60 Euros per day.
ATHENS, Greece – The bailout expires Today, the same day that Greece has to make a payment of 1.5-billion euros to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It risks defaulting on that payment if agreement is not reached, which will impact global markets significantly.
(Globalist) If there is a broader lesson to be learned, it is this: Formally, Greece is a democratic state with separation of powers, elections, free press, etc. That makes it look like many other European countries.
However, the country’s underlying political culture is totally different from that of Western and Central Europe. The state is, in effect, an object of exploitation for all those who can tap into the money tools it can provide access to.
In elections, a Greek voter does not vote for a party, but against that party which did not do him the expected favor during the previous term.The two longtime ruling parties, the left PASOK and the conservative Nea Dimokratia, are clientelistic pyramids. Syriza is now demonstrating that, rather than representing a rupture from the past, it very much follows in its predecessors’ footsteps.