As the noose tightens around the neck of Greece and their smashing country folk feel devastated, abandoned, isolated and forlorn, I wonder if anybody has thought of the debt that the world owes this wonderful country?
Democracy, Mathematics, Literature, Medicine, Art, Architecture, Theatre, Music, Sculpture, Science, Agriculture & The Olympics to name a few, were either introduced by the Ancient Greeks or taken to a much higher level than had ever been achieved before. They certainly taught the acclaimed Romans much of what is attributed to them.
In the middle-ages, Greece stood as a buffer zone between Christendom and the expansion of Islam. Without their stoic defence and the haven they provided for the Western crusaders, who knows how Europe may look today?
During World War Two, Greece again stood tall as a small nation against the might of Hitler and Mussolini. Even today Greece celebrate ‘Ohi Day’ at the end of October to commemorate the day that Greek Prime Minister Metaxas said “NO!” to Mussolini’s request to occupy strategically important areas of Greece from which to battle the allies. On the morning of October 28 the Greek population took to the streets, irrespective of political affiliation, shouting ‘ohi’. Churchill described the brave efforts of the Greeks as “massively important.”
OK, so apart from providing us with some absolutely stunning places to visit for a holiday, much of Greece’s world contributions were a very long time ago, but at the very least the nation deserves respect and the citizens our empathy. Regardless of the rights and wrongs of the present economic predicament, it was not caused by the normal law abiding tax payer that epitomises the vast majority of Greek people.
Greece’s reward in 1940 for NO! was to be invaded and occupied by the Italians, (and suffer Captain Corelli’s mandolin!) who faced fierce local resistance, which greatly impacted their ability to make the most of their strategic gain. This Sunday Greece faces another huge dilemma that is splitting the proud nation. Yes or No, what will it be?
Whatever the outcome, we should remember our debt to the Greek nation and support them in their hour of need by continuing to travel to the beautiful and fascinating country to spend some holiday euros there – hardly a hardship.