Week 342

12th July, 2015

Warm rain falleth this morning. it is quite delightful and soon replaced by light sunshine and dry conditions. We did an hour’s exercise and then watched the Wimbledon Men’s Final. You’ll never believe who won it!

Europe is determined to rub Greeks’ faces in the dust for daring to vote against austerity. Reuters reports this evening:

The Eurogroup … came to the conclusion that there is not yet the basis to start the negotiations on a new program. Greece must pass laws to change its value added tax and pension systems, reform bankruptcy rules and strengthen the independence of its statistics office before bailout talks can even begin.

What is certain is that Greek banks will remain closed for the foreseeable future.

13th July, 2015

Well the Greeks will be slaves to the Germans for the next twenty years – at least. How can they allow that to happen? Where is their pride?


How can the people who voted with such strength to reject austerity, just roll over in abject subjugation? Personally, I would rather be poverty stricken but free!

Varoufakis has revealed in an interview today what many of us had suspected all along – that he favoured Grexit from the outset but that Tsipras stood in the way. Varoufakis wanted to issue euro-denominated IOUs; apply a “haircut” to the bonds Greece issued to the ECB in 2012, reducing Greece’s debt; and seize control of the Bank of Greece from the ECB. Personally, I think this was the best way forward. It would have meant severe pain for 3 – 5 years instead of moderate-severe pain for 15 – 20 years or more. When the Germans take control of tax collection, the Greeks will wonder what’s hit them. The #ThisIsACoup has been trending ever since. Watch this space but it really is appropriate on #poisondwarfnameday.

14th July, 2015

A pleasant but overcast summer’s day. The night was muggy again. In fact, I have slept on top of the sheets for more than a month now. It is quite a joy to see English gardens in bloom for the first time for years.

The ‘Greek negotiation’ has been described as the political and economic waterboarding of a once proud nation. The European Union in general and Germany in particular may come to regret its savagery. It is being characterised as the return of the Junta.

g1 g2

It really is seen as total humiliation as Greek mythology abounds across the media. Caught between Scylla (Germans) and Charybdis (GREXIT) is a favourite but Icarus crashing and burning is another and this is the over riding sentiment:



15th July, 2015

St Swithin’s day opened with warm, light rain. Like all Saints, Swithin will be proved wrong again. There is no chance of 40 days and 40 nights of rain. Just a bit will be welcome. It’s still, warm and muggy. It makes exercise in the gym less comfortable but it has to be done especially because it is the last Prime Minister’s Questions of the Summer. Got to make the most of it.

16th July, 2015

Mid-July and a warm – 24C/75F – and muggy day. We’ve done an hour’s exercise in air conditioned splendour while watching the opening overs of the Second Ashes Test from Lords and keeping an eye on the Greek developments. The Euro has fallen to the unprecedented £1.00 = €1.44 and it’s almost time to buy a few thousand for future use. We have a French trip soon and then a trip to Greece to finance in hard, euro notes. Later in the Winter, we are intending to make an extended stay in Italy/Spain/France and we’ll spend the rest there.

The British government are busy insisting that they will pay no contribution to the Greek Sinking Fund but Mario Drahgi announced an increase in Emergency Liquidity Assistance for Greek banks. They will probably re-open on Monday after three weeks of closure but the withdrawal limit will remain at €60.00 for a while. It is already agreed that this situation with Greek European membership cannot hold for much longer whatever the settlement and the anti-European cause in UK has been vastly strengthened by this debacle.

17th July, 2015

The gardeners are here today, mowing lawns, trimming bushes, watering plants and generally making the place look trim and beautiful. One of our specimen trees is an echo of our Greek garden. Here we have a thirty foot Eucalyptus and it is growing just as well as the one we had in the front of our garden on Sifnos but something which I never saw growing there is currently looking beautiful here – and that is hydrangeas.

euc hyd

They are looking wonderful around here at the moment.

The Greeks are about to be welcomed to the normal world of VAT. The islands were said to keep variable rates but that rumour has been scotched with the announcement of no exemptions. As commentators have pointed out, the imposition has lots of anomalies. In Britain, it was a different rate on hot pasties compared with cold ones. In Greece the VAT changes that came into force on Thursday saw spaghetti placed in the 13 percent value-added tax bracket while its stuffed-pasta sibling tortellini incurred a 23 percent rate. Cereal grains stay in the 13 percent bracket, but boxed breakfast cereals climb to 23 percent. Salmon remains at 13 percent, but beef shifts to 23 percent. These and other unpleasant surprises await shoppers once all enterprises have managed to change the VAT rates on merchandise according to the government’s decisions.

18th July, 2015

The day is glorious with clear blue, Mediterranean skies  but a moderated temperature of 24C/75F. Even though it’s Saturday, we’ve decided to go to the Health Club before sitting down to a lovely meal of mixed shellfish – crayfish, crevettes, prawns and crab with Greek Salad.

This photo illustrates perfectly the subjugation of Greece – – tired, beaten and depressed.

I trawl lots of Greek Blogs and so many islanders talk of the urgent need to regenerate the tourist industry quickly in order to salvage this season. In UK, the pound is doing its bit by rising to its highest against the euro for seven years and, this weekend, sits at a really cheap £1.00 = €1.44. We are receiving contradictory information in the media with travel firms desperately trying to market holiday packages at 50% reduction to make up for all the cancellations while the media chit-chat continues to warn of travel to Greece because of shortages and likelihood of political protests.


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