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It’s not as bad as you might think! And it’s not good either. But the land and its people go on.

I missed this part of the grand backpack tour.   Most who, like me, came over young and thumbed around Europe were told tales for the envious by those who’d been. Nights drinking ouzo in rooftop cafes, days on libertine beaches. Living on nothing, hopping from island to island via ferry. I’ve been saving it since then.

I’m glad I did. I can savor it better now.
But to visit during this crisis is poignant. You can see the cause. It’s written plain.

Abandoned enterprises litter the back roads. There was a fad for greenhouse farms.   There are few survivors – many skeletal remains. There was another run on small and large scale condos. Half completed buildings left standing – some with construction equipment likewise just left when the money ran out. Abundant EC improvement projects: no new ones. Closed down shops are more recent. Carrefour, the big category killer of Europe and South America, has made a huge impact here as elsewhere it lands, with megalithic market force. Now the bad money news may be keeping the tourists at bay.

If there is some sense the Greeks are not suffering enough, there is ample evidence of painful dislocation. But it sounds like there is more to come to these warm and hospitable folks.

There is a run on Greek, now Spanish banks which will be well along by the time you read this. The vote of the money is coming in making the vote of the people superfluous.

But this is the home of democracy, as I have been reminded here. “I’d rather tell myself to go to hell than have some German tell me!” was a refrain. So there is a point where elected government can only dish out so much castor oil. True here and in Germany where they are tired of working til 67 so a Greek can retire at 52!

One way or the other, retribution is near. As Pogo said, “the shortage will be divided among the peasants.”. The smart money will be long gone – pulled to a “safe” home.

Except it’s hard to imagine a safe home in euros. If Greece then Spain. If Spain then Italy. If Italy then ?   No one is strong but Germany now and their patience is dry. And they alone can’t save the euro. One of the worlds reserve currencies is headed down.

Here, day to day life goes on with a rhythm that feels eternal. From our point of view in the village of Gennadi, what’s the problem?

I only worry about it when I think of getting home!/
Should I be worried?


Doug Bouey
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

What’s Our Business?

Bringing out the best in you, your company and your people.

Doug Bouey, President
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

Calgary, AB // Phone: 403.777.1144


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