Sunday Blues

I bought the tulips at the supermarket and stuck them in a vase. They were so yellow and cheerful, I was inspired to make this quick sketch, which somewhat improved my mood after the perusal of the Sunday papers.

 

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Front page article – Greece’s place in some world rankings. We suck almost everywhere.
Competitivity? 81st place, after Uruguay (No. 1 is Switzerland).
Government effectiveness? 66th, after the Seychelles.
Functioning of institutions and development of the private sector? 74th after Panama.
Dealing with corruption? 102nd after Serbia.
Student performance? 43rd after Israel (China is top here.)

Even more pitiful is that our highest place (6th) is for child poverty percentages. So sad.

Meanwhile the ugly battle around the refugee crisis continues. With the closing of the borders, traffickers have been emboldened again – some even advertise on Facebook. There is also a thriving market in fake passports and identity papers. Alongside the stories of assistance from the Greek people (invitations to meals, taxi drivers who refuse to be paid, offers of hospitality in people’s homes) there are as many stories of exploitation (the government has had to impose a basic price for necessities such as bottled water and bread, with big fines for those who disobey) and instances of racism and anger against the refugees.
Criminality is bound to rise, and there are already instances of fights and robbery amongst the refugees themselves.

There was an article about the Turks who are accused of not doing enough; but they are swamped as well. There have been 150.000 births from Syrian parents in the last four years on Turkish soil. The government lacks the resources to provide for even the basic needs of these people, who are obliged to fend for themselves as best they can.

Both Greece and Turkey keep insisting that it’s an impossible task to close their borders. Turkey’s border with Syria and Iraq is more than 1.500 km long, and Greece’s borders are either islands with miles of coastline or very mountainous and difficult to guard.
As long as the message that is filtering down is ‘Keep coming, you will find a way,’ the flow will not stop. And, looking at photograph of whole streets of totally bombed out apartment buildings in Syria, I fail to see how it possibly can.
Countries, starting with Turkey, are negotiating systems of checks and balances and asking for returns for every measure they take; however, the only possible solution is if everyone works towards a common goal. But even that has yet to be defined.

Other news included the Brexit, the American election campaign, the corruption scandal at FIFA, the terrible crisis in dry cargo shipping, the government’s negotiations with the ‘Troika’ regarding our debt, and the further increase in taxes.

 

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I’ve a good mind to confine myself to fiction in the future…

31 thoughts on “Sunday Blues

  1. My dear, I am so fed up with what stands on my plate that I have almost stopped reading, listening to or watching the news. Seen from a French point of view they are no better than from a Greek point of view. I try to do the minimum for The Girls but I do think about confining myself to my bed. The world will not miss me.

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      1. I cannot really confine to my bed: The Girls pull me regularly out of it. But one may do lots of things from bed with a computer…
        We had our own Refugee crisis with the horrible and brutal way the makeshift camp that is called “the jungle” in Calais was closed by the French authorities this week.
        But they “had to do it”.
        When they go homee and see the refugees in camps in Turkey, the French people want them to stay over there. When they see little children dying on the Greek coasts, the cry and say that the refufees must find a refuge. When the refugees come to France, the French people say: “wa already have enough of them. Send them away. Why did the Greeks let them in?”
        The refugees want to leave France. My British friends have told me that France was not hospitable enough and that was because of her bureaucracy and bureaucratic ways.
        The refugees go to Calais to try to take the Eurostar or whatever means to cross the the UK.
        The British authorities closed the UK borders and the British people say they do not have enough place to receive, even temporarily, refugees who will eat their bread. And all that is the EU fault, so let’s go out of the EU.
        I wonder more and more why why we let the UK inside the EU, first. They asked for it, knocked at the doors many time, and were the US Trojan Horse for many things. They complicated things, wanted their own particular rules to suit them. Why not out, after all? In the end, where would be the difference?
        Meanwhile, I wonder as well why I voted for a socialist Government and elected M. Hollande: these are almost the same policies as Sarkozy’s.
        And can’t anybody see that this chaos is a hotbed for fascisms that are growing everywhere? When is WWIII?
        Let’s put things in order and prepare to fly. But where?

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      2. Maybe this IS WWIII… I’m not flying anywhere. My sons want to stay in Greece and live and work here. We need to fight to make it better – it’s just so hard to know how. And where to even start.

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  2. It will get better. I don’t know when, that’s the troubling piece and in the meantime you guys suffer and we moan from our safe little island in a cold, cold sea.

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  3. Your watercolour is very beautiful – thanks for sharing. As for the news, well I try to avoid it as much as possible for the moment, because its so frustrating. Everyone is running around in circles helpless and terrified, yet the “powers that be” seem to be incapable of making decisions.

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  4. The news is depressing here too, with the closure of the refugee camp in Calais. Wonder what will happen with the referendum in the UK. I liked the tulips, though – very cheerful.

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  5. Very disheartening to hear, more to live in the reality. I’m glad you nurtured yourself by painting and finding a bit of brightness in the gloom. Sometimes that is all we can do, other times I believe this gives one the impetus to hope.

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  6. Sad, indeed. What can the European Union mean when the rest of the group left Greece and Italy to cope with the refugee crisis alone for so long – two countries least able to manage it?

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  7. At the beginning of this year I realised that I felt constantly bad-tempered and stressed, and put it down to the fact that wherever I looked, the news was bad. There was absolutely nothing positive or hopeful, all doom and gloom, incompetence, corruption, lack of compassion, greed, nothing to look forward to except more or the same, or worse. So I stopped reading the news or listening to it.

    Of course adopting the ostrich attitude won’t improve the situation, but as the saying goes, when ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise. For the time being I choose to be ignorant to what is happening around the world. No doubt there is going to come a time when that won’t be possible, but until then my head is firmly in the sand and I feel happier.

    Thank you for the tulips. 🙂

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  8. The world is a sad place at present and my heart goes out to the refugees. All they want is a roof over their children’s heads and food in their bellies but it is a logistical nightmare for most governments. Even more so for those that are struggling. The media prefers to put a negative spin on it thus exacerbating the problem. Back to the beautiful yellow tulips, yellow is the colour of Vietnam and we once had difficulties accepting Vietnamese refugees in Oz now they are a proud and productive part of our community. One can only hope that the future will one day be brighter for the Syrians.

    Liked by 1 person

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