Now, Greeks bearing gifts, and be it wooden horses with questionable content, are not to be expected in the near future. Those guys definitely don’t feel like making gifts for the time being after being hit hard over the head by reality lately. Heinrich knows fee Greeks, but those fee that he happens to know are decent, hard working people.
The German Michel (Michel is for Germany what “John Bull” is for England) would be well advised not to lament too loudly about the lazy, self-righteous, profligate and ingrate Greeks. The implemantation of austerity measures like those the Greeks have to endure would lead to desperate Michels venting their anger by shooting their beloved garden gnomes. Or worse.
Greece is by no means the only country in the world where politicians spend borrowed money that has to be repaid by following generations. Let’s for example have a look at Germany’s public finances. By the end of 2011 the national debt will have surpassed 2000000000000 Euros. That’s about 1.8 trillion pounds or 2.9 trillion US Dollars. That is a lot of money, especially considering the fact that no one has the faintest idea how a shrinking and aging population should ever by able to pay it back. What a legacy we leave behind for our children.
Well, every country gets the government it deserves, so we as voters have no chance of shirking the responsibility for this mess. Our only hope: When the shit hits the fan, we’ll all be dead and gone after a long and rather comfortable life, not on borrowed time but on borrowed money.
So here’s my message: If we (the Germans/Britons/French/Americans/… of our time) were honourable and responsible people, we’d tackle the deficits and implement austerity measures at least as strict as those our friends in Ireland, Portugal or Greece have to endure.
Sustainability is not only about waste separation, it is about enabling future generations to live without the burden of our selfishness.
This is a translation of this article. Work is still in progress, bear with me.