The big news in Greece at the moment is that elections have been called early thanks to the annual disgrace which is the handling (or lack there of) of Greece's wild-though most are set accidentally on purpose - fires. Hooray! New government time! Same old assholes, but a brand new covering on the box outside! Whoopee!
As a foreigner living in Greece, the thing that pisses me off the most is the wasted potential of this country. Here we are, surrounded by brilliant young minds, with families bankrupting themselves to educate their children, who then return to Greece and have zero job prospects because all the good jobs go to those who know someone, not those who know something.
Let's start with the most important thing, the thing that Greeks toast each other with instead of Cheers - good health. Take for example the NHS. That's a system the British love to complain about, but boy do you miss it when you can't have it any more. When I tell my Greek friends that you can walk into any clinic or hospital and get what you need without paying a penny and without having to slip bribes under the table, they're amazed.
With the crushing taxes that Greeks pay, don't they deserve something similar? I think yes. In my opinion, privatised medicine are two words that should never appear side by side. Doesn't a young, nervous, first time Greek mother deserve the right to have her baby safely and naturally under the guidance of doctors and nurses who have her interests at heart, rather than the doctor who will bully her into needless surgical intervention because surgery means a little extra in his pocket from the insurance company? Greece is now top in Europe for Caesarean sections at 44% instead of the WHOs recommended maximum of 15% - why is no one even talking about that? Because the medical insurance companies the government let in are so powerful.
This is country that could be absolutely anything, but because of so many years of such corrupt governments, nothing ever changes. Shabby schools and bored teachers who come to life all of a sudden at the Frondistereo after school schools where they get paid more. In giving the children of Greece such a shitty state school system, the government is basically sticking two fingers up at them and saying "Let them eat cake". I mean, there are so many really good private schools, right? Which everyone can afford, especially when their parents earn EUR 700 a month. Cake! Cake for all!
But I'm just ranting. Harsh as it sounds, not a thing will change in Greece until these old grandpas running the country die off, and some fresh young blood forces its way in. If I'm still hearing Karamanlis and Papandreou in 20 years time, I'll set the Parliament on fire!