Living Through the Greek Crisis

Kalo Mina

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This is what you will get from every Greek on the first of the month; Kalo Mina. It means have a good month. I think it is a lovely thing to say.

Wednesday August 1, 2012,

Lets see… I haven’t started my week as usual with reading the Athens News to see the excitement for the last week. However I am at Stefanos’ (the wonderful boyfriend) work trying to blog to all of you who will someday follow me and work on ALL of my class papers due in two weeks!! How I will pull them off who knows?

I am going to re-post some early blogs I have written for my class because they are a kind of history for what has been happening. As actually the introduction was started on July 22nd.

Here goes…

Here I go blogging again…. It is my Tuesday morning ritual while the kids are enjoying their summer sleep in (or should I say I am enjoying their summer sleep in) sorry but I must add a LOL to that. I know that I should actually blog more because there are SO many things happening daily that I forget them when I sit down to blog.

You can bombard me with questions I have no problem answering them.

I wanted to tell you a story last week but I wrote so much that I saved it…

But first I realized last night while talking to my boyfriend (lets finally use his name as he deserves that) Stefanos. Every night we sit on my veranda with wine and talk about everything this is why I love him because we have so much to talk about, sometimes it is sad, sometimes happy, and many times political. You asked me, as it is necessary to include news from sources. The ironic thing is is that I really don’t have just because of what we are living here and I will touch on some of them today. You will understand why when I write them and they are closer details or examples than you could ever get in a news report.

Last week, late at night we were sitting out and we could hear my across the street neighbors (as every night) but this time Stefanos was listening. A person had come by and was telling my neighbors a story. He had some trouble (we didn’t hear what it was) it could have been someone not paying their rent and that might have been foreigners. Some people told him to call the nationalists to take care of it. That scared both of us! That is what it has come down to calling the nationalist to deal with your issues. I know that most of Europe saw the beating of a woman from the Communist party by the Nationalists party on a live talk show. The reaction to this across Greece was he should have beat, her more. In the Athens News around the same time, an Egyptian man was beat almost to death for nothing. The Nationalists are making big big threats against the foreigners here and it is scary especially when my very Asian looking daughter is trying to enjoy her summer and she stays out until all hours.  It is truly scary. Thank God they didn’t end up with the majority in the last election!!

Yesterday as my Monday morning ritual, I was reading the Athens news and looking for job postings in it as well. I found in the top news that the EU had meetings and they made a plan for Spain and Italy to have an a special recapitalization for their banks but not for Greece as they have already signed their lives away in debts. However, the better part of this article was this statement “He noted, however, that Europe had to take into account the impact of the austerity measures, especially on low income groups, and had no right to trigger a humanitarian crisis.” (Athens News) Because a humanitarian crisis is exactly what we are living! Which brings me to another story…

Last night we were talking about companies in Greece. I have heard this story many times and it has always struck me as odd. But lately it is really starting to bother me as it is completely ridiculous! In this country, they do business like this. It is a cash country except for big businesses where they write checks. You write a check to your suppliers but the suppliers cannot cash the checks until 6-9 months later. Of course, in this economy the checks most likely will not be valid because the owner of the check has no money. So they trade the checks with other checks. Sometimes they trade them with their own checks or checks from other people. The ironic thing is is that this keeps going around and around like a vicious circle. No one ever really gets his or her money. But the banks when you give a post-dated check to will give you a 80-90% loan on that check and you will take that 10-20% back when the check can truly be cashed. Am I crazy or does this sound totally, ridiculous? No wonder this country is in the situation it is! There is no logic at all?

So here is some good news…

My daughter who has gone to school in 3 different countries and 3 different languages has graduated from high school! It is an amazing accomplishment for her for all of us!! She is fighting me on uni but she will go!!!

My visa… Well I have a great lawyer thanks to Stefanos!! She got me a temporary visa (which means I can work IF they give it to me soon) But I must go to court in September for them to say yes for sure you can appeal this decision to take away your visa. My lawyer must have been really angry when she wrote this 27 page appeal that she gave to the judge yesterday because she gave it to them good!! She wrote that it is totally illegal that you have taken away my visa and completely  inconvenient. Not only will you give me back my visa but you will also reimburse me for my lawyer and all the trouble you have caused me during this period. Either the new judge will be insulted by this or I might actually get money. Anyway, I must go to court once more in September so I still sit on pins and needles. At least I can work.

I want to add some desperation to this as well but I think I might have to keep some of that private.

Stay tuned for more!!

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Author: Pamela Ann

Greetings, I am a single mother of five, who has chosen to widen her children's eyes to the fact that the world is not just the luxury countries they are used to (Japan and the US). We left everything we know to move to Greece. A country with a first world life style on a second world salary. With this adventure we have ended up trying to survive the financial crisis here. Living on bare necessities hoping things will change soon. Although I am a beginner at blogging please bare with me as I find my way. I promise to keep you entertained, informed with real events that you can not get in the news and perhaps break your heart a little along the way. Thank you for taking the time to share in someone else's reality. One you may not possibly be able to comprehend as it is hard for me and my children to comprehend as well.

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