The title of a New York Times article released on May 13, 2012 is “WITH LITTLE TO LOSE, Many Greeks SHRUG OFF Dire Warnings” (Web-site/URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/18/world/europe/with-little-to-lose-many-greeks-shrug-off-dire-warnings.html?smid=tw-share).
“For years now, Greeks have been bombarded with warnings about the dire consequences of leaving the euro and never more so than since the recent, indecisive election that left the country saddled with a caretaker government”. “caretaker governments” are often “indecisive” and INEPT. “But those pronouncements SEEM TO BE FALLING ON INCREASINGLY DEAF EARS and for one simple reason, as one woman explained as she stood in central Syntagma Square: “WE HAVE NOTHING (left) TO LOSE” and therefore, ” WE HAVE NO FEAR“. This could be VERY OMINOUS.
“Nearby, newspaper headlines joked about the last name of the caretaker prime minister, Panagiotis Pikrammenos, which means “EMBITTERED”, while others talked about how Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany was SOFTENING her tough line on austerity — welcome news in HEAVILY INDEBTED Greece”. “caretaker” government officials are usually INEFFECTIVE IT’S NOT as if we need any more “embittered” or BITTER people. Also, IS Chancellor Merkel REALLY “softening her tough line…?” On top of all this, as much as we HATE talking about “debt” all the time, GREECE‘s “debt” problems are THREATENING TO DESTABILIZE THE GLOBAL ECONOMY.
“Anthie Soukou, 32, an agriculturist, said she was REASSURED by Ms. Merkel’s comments. “IT’S COMFORTING, in complete contrast with the grim news from inside Greece. Maybe this shows WE DO HAVE A VOICE AFTER ALL, that SHE GOT HER MESSAGE“. “reassured?” “It’s comforting?” When was the last time we could say this about a POLITICIAN? “Or maybe it’s THE RECENT ELECTION in Germany and THE GENERAL ATMOSPHERE in Europe and we just think we made a difference”. THE LATTER is far more likely. These “elections” are taking place amid INSTABILITY.
“Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the LEFT-wing Syriza party, which is vying for first place in new elections and wants Greece to RENOUNCE the loan it signed in February (2012), took Ms. Merkel’s comments as evidence that the political tides were running in his favor. On “Wednesday (May 16, 2912) in an interview on Greek television”, Tsipras said: “Ms. Merkel IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY ISOLATED in Europe. Austerity HAS FAILED across Europe”. This is the latest HARSHLY NEGATIVE assessment. Also notice “LEFT-wing” because again, when people are DISENCHANTED/DISILLUSIONED/DISSATISFIED with mainstream political parties, they will move to parties ON THE POLITICAL FRINGES.
According to Fotini Bombola, 45, “as she worked in her craft store, Happy Cloud, in downtown Athens”, “Even if it was just to release the pressure that had built (up) for so long, THE PEOPLE WANTED TO EXPRESS THEIR ANGER AND DISAPPOINTMENT”, which again are two VERY NEGATIVE and VERY DANGEROUS emotions. “What they said was, ‘ WE’RE NOT SHEEP FOR YOU TO TAKE TO THE SLAUGHTER(house) with our heads down‘”. “We’re not sheep” = “We’re not” PUSHOVERS/PEOPLE WHO CAN BE TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF. This is a VERY COMBATIVE statement. “Like many Greeks, she said she had voted for Syriza (the FRINGE party), but wanted Greece TO STAY IN the euro zone”. “voted for Syriza but wanted Greece TO STAY IN the eurozone?” Is this a feasible combination?
According to Haris Karamaneas, 40, “who works in the construction industry…and was eating lunch with a friend and watching the world pass by from a cafe on UPSCALE Kolonaki Square”, “The true dilemma in the next election is (whether) TO STAY IN the euro zone or out. It will be the moment of truth for a lot of people who voted with ANGER in the previous election”. It’s as if we DON’T have enough “anger” in the world.
“Others said that those two goals (“voting for Syriza” and “wanting Greece TO STAY IN the euro zone”) were mutually exclusive” (i.e. COULD NOT happen/occur at the same time). According to Haris Karamaneas, 40, who works in the construction industry”…(and) was eating lunch with a friend and watching the world pass by from a cafe on UPSCALE Kolonaki Square”, “THE TRUE DILEMMA in the next election is (whether) to STAY IN the euro zone or OUT. It will be THE MOMENT OF TRUTH for a lot of people who voted with ANGER in the previous election”. Again, we’ve read/heard about MORE THAN ENOUGH “anger” to last a lifetime. “You know the Greek paradox”.
“But a few miles away in the Daphne neighborhood, where dozens of shops were SHUTTERED, there was a more palpable sense of CONCERN“ obviously. “dozens of shops were shuttered” signifies ECONOMIC WEAKNESS, BUT PEOPLE STILL NEED TO EAT. According to Vassiliki Gousiou, “referring to the politicians who say a vote for the left means leaving the euro”, “I’m AFRAID and I’m ANGRY they want to SCARE ME”. Again, “afraid” and “angry” are two VERY DANGEROUS emotions because when people are “afraid” and “angry”, they tend to do things that they WOULDN’T normally do and act IRRATIONALLY. “She said she had voted for the COMMUNIST Party and WOULD DO SO AGAIN“. OH GOD. We now have COMMUNIST Party supporters in Greece as well as in HONG KONG (new Legco President JASPER TSANG YOK-TSING), the latter for the first time (Web-site/URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasper_Tsang).
According to Dimitris Tsamis, 59, an unemployed construction worker and (a) lifelong Socialist supporter”, “The leftists are DANGEROUS; THEY WILL KICK OUT ANY REMAINING BUSINESS FROM THE COUNTRY”. That’s a serious charge indeed. “THEY COULDN’T EVEN FORM A GOVERNMENT NOW THAT THEY HAD THE CHANCE”. Tsamis sure seems to be ANGRY here. “Mr. Tsamis said he had voted for the CONSERVATIVE New Democracy party for the first time. “I am all about a gradual unhinging from the memorandum, BUT WE CAN’T JUST DO IT UNILATERALLY”, which is exactly what many POLITICIANS try to do out of ARROGANCE, which, of course, is a fundamental characterisitic of “Difficult People” (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI). “We are DIGNIFIED PEOPLE and now we have to give it back. But THEY HAVE TO CUT US SOME SLACK”. In this hyper-partisan political environment, IT IS HIGHLY UNLIKELY that ANYONE is likely to “cut” ANYONE ANY “slack”.
“Yet some believe that Europe IS STILL BLUFFING about FORCING Greece out of the euro”. Again, there are several things to note here. First, “Europe is still bluffing” is another INTERPRETATION (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI). Next, what proportion is “some?” On top of all this, “force” is another/the latest example of the “force and pain technique” (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI).
According to “a man who gave his name only as Giorgos, as he played backgammon in a park“, “If Greece leaves the euro, then the rest of the Mediterranean WILL HAVE TO (?) leave”. This is another INTERPRETATION (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI). “And what is Europe without the Mediterranean?” So Greece is on the edge of collapse and Giorgos is playing backgammon? HUH?
“Although fears about bank runs have been quieted (FOR NOW), the uncertainty has caused many Greeks to take at least a portion of their savings out of their accounts”. According to “a banker in a branch in downtown Athens who declined to give her name”, “Right before ELECTIONS, NOTHING WAS MOVING, it was like PEOPLE WERE IN SHOCK. No deposits, no withdrawals. Two days after ELECTIONS, THE PANIC started”. This certainly DOESN’T sound like “…fears about bank runs have been QUIETED“. “I’ve witnessed a loyal customer CLOSING HER ACCOUNT, all 150,000 euros of it, putting it in her handbag and WALKING OUT (of) THE BRANCH”. Hm. We now have to wonder: HOW WILL THIS PERSON NOW SPEND HER 150000 EUROS?
Finally, according to Theodoros Pangalos, “aSocialist Party veteran and former deputy prime minister”, “The May 6 (2012) election results were “NATIONAL SUICIDE”, another damning criticism. “This is a country where Eros is very POWERFUL and Thanatos is very TEMPTING”. Eros is the Greek god of LOVE, while Thanatos represents DEATH. “power” and “temptation” often lead to LUST.
To conclude, let’s go back to the title: “WITH LITTLE TO LOSE, Many Greeks SHRUG OFF Dire Warnings“. So Greeks are EXASPERATED/RESIGNED to their fate that Greece will almost certainly COLLAPSE.