Below is an open letter from an elderly Greek citizen to the German chancellor, as published in the German-language Griechenland-Blog. Many thanks to JLH for the translation:
Open Letter From Greece to Angela Merkel
February 19, 2012
In Greece an 86 year-old woman wrote an open letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel, which reflects the pain and troubles of an entire life.
The 86-year-old Poppi Kontis submitted her letter — written in German — at the German embassy in Athens on February 7 (that is, before the violent events) and asked that it be officially forwarded to the Chancellery.
It should be noted that the phrasing in the following is based substantially on the source named below, whose authenticity is not confirmed, especially as retro-translated versions published in diverse Greek online media deviate in some phraseology.
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Athens, February 7, 2012
100 Alexandra Allee
I am an 86-year-old Greek woman and you can surely imagine that I have had to experience many political and war events in my years.
We are unfortunately a people that has always had to be under foreign sponsorship or influence, because our politicians have sometimes been influenced, sometimes subjugated, according to their personal interests, and that continues today. They think of their own interests instead of those of Greece.
I know nothing of politics, but your behavior toward Greece and the Greeks is outrageous. You forget that there are many Greeks among the richest people in the world who started with nothing and became what they are.
To name just a few, just since WWII, we have two Nobel prizes, world-renowned directors, D. Mitropoulos, composers who have even won Oscars and many scientists everywhere in the world. Also famous actors (Katina Pazinou, Irini Pappas, Melina Mercouri) and Maria Kallas, and most important, the Greek merchant fleet, the first in the world.
The lazy Greeks have done all that!
And then I see you in the TV triumphantly kissing one another (Note: in other sources it says: “…as they are triumphantly embracing each other…”) and judging and determining Greece’s future.
And I think: Germany owes Greece (you know it already, but I am enclosing a copy of the National Organization for the Re-Payment of Germany’s Debts to Greece and the interview in Der Spiegel with Prof. Albrecht Ritschel on October 4, 2011 in which he says: “If the Greeks wanted to, they could take our underpants”).
So, Mrs. Merkel, we owe no one! You owe us, so please pay the allegedly “adapted” debts (Note: in other sources it says: “…pay the allegedly overdue debts…”).
Oh yes, can you please tell me how it is that suddenly all of Europe and especially we in the south are in debt? They say the banks are to blame (?). In Greece at this time there are 500,000 homeless and starving people who must go daily to the church, the state and other organizations to be fed.
No, Mrs. Merkel! Enough with the extortion of the Greeks!
Greece will never die, and it will survive as always. And note well: we forgive but we never forget.
— Poppi Errikou Konti
Interesting with some half-truths as usual. Greece is in the same boat liberal American states like California are in, except in Greece’s case they don’t have a sugar daddy like our Federal Gov’t to bail them out.
And no one told the previous Greek governments to take money they knew they couldn’t pay back. Did the Greek people expect a free ride with their gross tax avoidance to continue forever and retiring at 50 from government jobs?
And indeed there are lots of homeless – lots of illegal immigrant Muslims who use Greece as staging point for entrance into Europe proper.
Now here is the good news. Trying to collect debt from a sovereign is next to impossible unless you want to use military force. So there is nothing stopping the Greeks from withdrawing from the EU and reverting back to the worthless Drachma and telling the German bankers to stuff it. They won’t though, since they won’t have zilch for purchasing power and stay a 3rd world country that relies on tourism and foreign aid to keep afloat like Egypt.
Of course the people of Greece have a lot to be proud of…but NOT their politics. The 20-year illusion of prosperity is ending, and there are no more credit cards to run up.
It is really a shame. Greeks are known to be hard-working and industrious.
“Hard working”? She’s kidding, right? Greeks are famous for lax work schedules if/when they show up and one of the earliest retirement ages in the EU. While Danes just got handed an extra two years to their expected work-life 67 vice 65), Greeks have been taking their own public, golden parachute at 50. The practically free ride has ended, time to face the music Greece… time to pay the fiddler.
Entitlement mentality not quite as bad as Muslims but why does Germany owe Greece anything exactly?
Would Greeks donate to Germans if the situation were reversed. That’s my logic. I had an argument with a lefty over giving charity to Muslim countries and they couldn’t give me any evidence that any Muslim countries or charities donated anything to non-Muslims eg the Haiti Earthquake.
The Greek state recently found the thick end of 400,000 euros to build a mosque for their plague of illegals.
Steve – I think the old girl is hinting that Germany owes Greece the billions of dollars worth of gold reserves that were looted from Greece during WW2 and never returned.
Some months ago I saw a report about Greece in the CNN. A high rank greek politician said that all the money they got from the 2004 olympics was spent on luxury. Travelchannel had a travel documentary about Greece showing the easy-going life in the years of bonanza. Thessaloniki was famous for its cafes and bars where “hard-working” greeks spent the whole day drinking coffee and playing board games. The taxi business was booming, because after the non-stop night parties, “hard-working” youngsters always went back home by taxi. This business was the first to feel the crisis when things started going wrong.
Perhaps greeks should stop telling Germany off as “nazi” and “fourth reich” after having already received astronomic amounts of euros from them, apart from the millions german tourists spend over there. If it wasn’t for Germany, Greece would have long before go down the sewer.
And on top of that there’s the affair with the mosque in Athens: http://www.stonegateinstitute.org/2413/greece-mosque-athens
Crisis? Who’s fooling who?
This is typical Greek mentality; play the victim when you don’t have the upper-hand. It’s never anyone else’s fault that they don’t have any industry to PRODUCE anything substantial for export. If they manufactured the ships they used in this wonderful “shipping industry” (which, FYI, tanked in 2009 with the rest of the economy) then the old bag might have had a point.
Personally, I’d pay good money to see her in a cage-match with Merkel. No love there either.
At least the lady LOVES her country and is proud of its accomplishments.
Obama HATES our country and usurps our accomplishments on behalf of Muslims every chance he gets! As if Muslims built American at any time in its past! Snort!
Muslims have the happy accident of owning the world’s oil. That’s it – their only accomplishment to civilization is an accident!
Just adding to my list one other country that I wish I had visited several years ago.
That’s a happy accident for them indeed… and who told them how to turn that “black mud” into money? Who teached them how to make fuel out of that sticky bubbling mass? Westerners, of course.
I don’t feel sorry for the Greeks. Everybody wants to blame the Germans for stuff instead of taking responsibility for their own folly.
What granny conveniently forgets is a lot: Greece has been living the good life since they kicked out the colonels in the 70s. From that moment, it became the most socialist state in Europe. About half the workforce – or what goes for that – are civil servants. On exceptionally generous terms, mind you.
Granny has to understand that being able to retire at 57 years is rather difficult to sell to the Germans and Dutch who now have to retire at 67 and probably at 70 years to make that possible.
Germany was looted by the Soviet Union. It didn’t stop them succeeding.
“It is really a shame. Greeks are known to be hard-working and industrious”. Judging by Greeks outside of Greece, this was once true. However, the ones remaining in the old country are prime proof that socialism destroys any people’s work ethic and quickly, within a generation. If the 86 year old granny were honest, she would bear witness to this fact instead of banging on about long past glories and haranguing Germans, at least West Germans who maintained their work ethic in the face of leftist toxins infecting their country as well. (Like the socialist Greeks, East Germans learned laziness and corruption during their forced communist period so no culture is completely immune from becoming zombies of the state). The personal greed and corruption of too many Greeks have brought them to this pass but like spoiled children, they refuse to believe their partying on borrowed money is over and debts come due. As it is, everyone knows Greeks will default and rip off their creditors, just as they lied their way into the EU by cooking their financial books. I’m glad I saw the remaining ancient wonders of Greece before her present citizens turn her into a slum. For pecuniary reasons I left visiting Africa too long and now I shall never see it, even if I were to win the lottery tomorrow. It has declined too far from civilization and safety. Clearly civilization has peaked in the world and it’s downhill from here on in. Sigh.
The principle of reciprocity that is at the heart of the rule of law is a fundamental law of nature. So I do not believe that civilization has passed its peak.
The murders shall die. The robbers shall be beaten and stripped. The thieves and liars shall be dispossessed and discomfited. It is inevitable.
And then those that create and cultivate goodness shall enjoy it in full measure.