Missing Madeleine
Come join us...there's more inside you cannot see as a guest!

The Greek crisis by THE Bureau ...... must read

Go down

The Greek crisis by THE Bureau ...... must read

Post  Panda on Thu 21 Jun - 10:32

Kindly printed by Blacksmith.


The indispensable guide for the perplexed

Publisher's note: we had a few problems with proofing the final draft of this month's Bureau so one or two misprints may have crept in due to time constraints. Please bear with us.

A Continent Trembles

The fate of the continent of Europe, that geographical expression of our deepest values, is being decided among the olive trees and worn marble of its oldest member, Greece.

In the bustling cafes by the ancient Athenian agora amid the heady scent of Turkish [JB] pulverised coffee and the melodic clink of cutlery and glasses, in the quayside tavernas overlooking the timeless Mediterranean, echoing to the slap of the water and the creak of wooden boats [please tone this fruity stuff down before publishing JB] the voices of the people can be heard debating, laughing, arguing, wrestling with their futures as they did while the Persian fleet was gathering at Salami, their galley slaves [oh, for fuck's sakeJB]

Our diplomatic and features editor, sent by the Bureau to the centre inner suburbs outer suburbs doss houses of Athens Salonika the small town of Xipisstuk in central Greece miles and bloody miles from any airport and full of bedbugs to listen to the clamour of the most politically sophisticated society ever created, to take the temperature of the people and to see what sort of future their arguments presage. [I'm sorry, we can't even afford Xipisstuk. Live with it and rewrite this stuff JB]

Perry's place

The People's Voice

After the indecisive results of Sunday's elections the descendants of Solon and Peritonitis are now searching for agreement on a way forward in the palatial offices of the Gissalotous Party whose logo, a huge outstretched palm tree, [JB] dominates Pythagoras Square a few blocks away from our hotel.

We stop off amid the evocative scent of burning charcoal and charred lamb just behind Camden Town station. Men and women, young and old, sit at cafe tables in the precinct, talking excitedly of the world around them, its past and future. This is how it must have been in the days of Xerxes and Nebuchadnezzar – for two thousand years they've been debating and arguing passionately about the roots of civilization in the open air and beneath the stars. Fifty yards away a shop window has a giant sign pasted right across it, NO BLOODY EURO HERE, ALRIGHT? Feelings are clearly running high.

' ello Boys

Alexis Tsoukakis, 45, motor trader and a pillar of the local community, polishes his fingernails on his lapels and frowns as he confronts our shared destiny. "The way I see it things is no good, right? All this rioting and stuff…it just doesn't do no good at all."

His friend Samothace Papadopoulos, five feet four inches of accumulated wisdom, dark hair flecked with grey and dotted with extra virgin olive oil, ("Sammy the pimp" to his friends and neighbours), is equally clear. "Tha's right," he says softly, "always, always troubles. I was in the Acropolis yesterday an' people shouting at each other. Bad things, you know?"

" Did you just get back?"

"From where?"

"From Athens." Like so many of his countrymen in these days of destiny he looks troubled and perplexed by his country's situation.

"Athens? The Acropolis is Holloway Road, corner of Hooker's Gardens. Stavros's place. What's all this Athens?"

Stavros's place

The voice of the people speaks

"Acropolis mezze the best in north London," interjects Pericles Themistocolese, "no Turkish shit there." There is a sudden roar of agreement from the group that has gathered me and my researcher, a timeless sound recalling the shouts of acclamation two thousand years ago when the very first Democrats voted. "Fuck the Turks," they shout, " is always them who do us in. Fuck the Turks, fuck the Turks."

The Euro – has it failed?

Pericles, 53, short, well fed, wearing a shockingly baggy blue suit, waves his arms and shushes the crowd.

"But what about the Euro?" asks our researcher, Talitha.

He grimaces and spits onto the pavement.

"Euro no fucking good."


"Listen, the kids come back from Faliraki with all dirty clothes and thing. All vomit, you know?"

He spits again. "Then they come into my place to do their laundry an' it stinks, isn't it? Vomit, vomit, vomit. So what they do then? They put their fuckin' euros in the tumble drier, there's big notice on it but they won't read –"

"You feel it's an educational thing? "

"No, they lazy bastard, don' care. In goes the fuckin' Euro, machine jams up, smoke comes out of the back and all the punters run away screaming because they think the Albanian bastards are burning place down again. Cowards. Cost me thousan's."

"Is that your sign?" we ask, pointing at the shop window. He spits again and nods. "They don't care. Nobody fuckin' care."

A Nation Speaks

Beside me Talitha waits patiently for silence before addressing the crowd. "You have a huge responsibility," she cries."Where is Europe going? What should be done?"

"Kill the Albanians," comes a woman's voice in return, "they worse than Turks". The crowd rises to its feet as one, thrust their fists in the air and chant. "They rob your dad, they rob your son, they rob their dads, they fuck their mum. Send them home, send them home."

Talitha, who is after all a green vegetarian as well as a peace lover, is stunned.

"Don' cry love," says Pericles, "is just their way. No harm done."

The people have spoken but their message is as enigmatic as the words of Delphi's priestesses. Whither now for Greece? Whither now for Europe? I take sad Talitha's arm.

"Let's go," I say.


Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Number of posts : 30555
Age : 61
Location : Wales
Warning :
0 / 1000 / 100

Registration date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum