Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

July 9, 2015 — Kicking and screaming into the 21st century

In a few days, a couple of friends of mine will be visiting Greece.

It’s a tourist destination for gourmands, people who love ancient history, and for those who love beaches and water.

And the country’s in deep financial trouble. Years of financial mismanagement, the lack of tax collection and enforcement, and a laissez-faire attitude towards building a modern economy has the nation on the brink of full expulsion from the European Union, a dream which began with the Common Market in the 1970s, building on a common currency called the Euro that was issued in 1995.

The Euro is used in 19 out of the 28 members of the European Union, and a number of other countries have pegged their currency to it. And the problem is that, with the interconnection of economies around the world, Greece’s withdrawal from the European economy is not going to be good for the Euro.

It’s why I suggested that one of my friends buy traveler’s checks in U.S. dollars instead of euros; yesterday’s skittishness in the stock markets could very well reflect in money exchanges in the next few days while my friend is on the Mediterranean.

Part of the country’s financial mismanagement is reflected in a number of concrete structures built in and around Athens a decade ago for the 2004 Olympics. Many, if not all, are not being used at all, and stand as monuments to the millions of euros of debt the nation took on in order to have an international party.

I’m surprised it’s taken this long for the hangover to kick in. But in order for Greece to be able to have a responsible economy, run with business entities governed under responsible checks and balances, where bribery is not a way of life, and where taxes are levied and paid on time.

Greeks deserve more than what their finance governors are giving them. I wonder when the people will realize that.


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