Monday 20 February 2017

The Greeks are a people in waiting who still view all their problems as external

Published 16/07/2015 | 02:30

The flags of Greece and the EU flutter over the central market in the city of Chania, Cretetax
The flags of Greece and the EU flutter over the central market in the city of Chania, Cretetax

'Take the Acropolis - here, have it. Take some of the islands - here, have them, as many as you like. You want our ports? Help yourself. A war is being fought here and after war comes pillaging."

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The speaker is a Greek archaeologist, a married man in his late twenties. He is a member of the generation lined up to pay the price for many years following his country's third and most onerous bailout programme. "Programme" is a term with which Greeks have become all too familiar. You hear it scattered through sentences where nothing else is intelligible but this deceptively anodyne word.

The young archaeologist goes on. "What's wanted is total surrender by the Greek people." He turns to his friend for corroboration.

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