Saturday February 28, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
11o C
6o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
The wry laughter of the blameless

By Pantelis Boukalas

“Come and get it, folks! It’s cheaper than at Postbank!” The trader at an Athens open-air street market yesterday morning was touting the fruit and vegetables arrayed on his stand.

It seemed that he was in a humoros, albeit rather sarcastic mood, or that he had decided to resort to the same tactics of the advertisements we see on our televisions every day, where, for example, a mobile telephone promises to realize all of our dreams of a utopian existence.

And so, in order to advertise the favorable prices of his tomatoes, cauliflowers and other produce, the savvy trader used the scandal of Hellenic Postbank, the lender that has been making headlines these past few days, as his sales gimmick.

It reminded me of the days of the stock market bubble, when stocks and their prices were on everyone’s lips. “Come and get your stocks” was a catchphrase that was all too familiar back then, especially to those who lost a pile of money. They have been brushed off as victims of their own avarice, meaning basically that no fault can be brought against the ministers and businessmen-cronies who lauded the stock exchange as being the safest place for our savings.

The sales pitch “Come and get it, folks! Its cheaper than at Postbank!” is not as simple as it may seem at first because it summarizes multiple messages and feelings in just a few words. The people at the market had no trouble deciphering it, of course. They knew all about the scandal, about the half a billion euros of public money that went into private pockets because our banks had not yet become – like the stock market – the safest place in the world to put your savings. Customers walking past the grocer’s stall laughed at his gimmick – the wry kind of laugh we have for when we know we have been taken for a ride. A slightly angry laugh. They knew that there is something not quite above-board about a situation whereby seven-figure loans with no strings attached were quietly funneled in one direction – the usual direction – at the same time as the “masses,” the “people” had to submit a whole pile of paperwork and sign all sorts of binding agreements in order to borrow a few thousand euros of much-needed cash – and then have to suffer the anxiety of losing their home if circumstances meant they were struggling to pay the loan off.

Most people who get themselves into debt know that when it comes down to it, they will be blamed for biting off more than they can chew. Of course so-called investors, benefactors and others among the privileged few never have to face such scrutiny. They wanted money, they got money.

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday Jan 14, 2014 (10:17)  
A unionist agenda
The beguiling limelight
A breath of opportunity
Give the green light
Tsipras unveils coalition´s first bills, due next week
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras set out on Friday his government’s immediate legislative plans, while at the same time insisting he would continue to pursue debt relief and refuse to sign a th...
Berlin clears extension as lenders ramp up pressure
There was strong backing in the German Parliament on Friday for the extension of Greece’s loan agreement but reports suggested that the country’s eurozone partners would continue to keep up ...
Inside News
Greece seeks negotiations on ECB bond repayment
Greece called into question on Saturday a major debt repayment it must make to the European Central Bank this summer, after acknowledging it faces problems in meeting its obligations to inte...
Piraeus plans are coming in next few weeks
Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis on Friday visited the installations of Piraeus Container Terminal (PCT), the local subsidiary of Cosco, with Chinese Ambassador Zou Xiaoli, in another effor...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Spanoulis leads Olympiakos to win over Malaga
A good second half was enough for Olympiakos to get the better of Unicaja Malaga (77-72) and score its seventh win in eight games at the second group stage of the Euroleague on Friday. Playi...
SOCCER
Ten-man Olympiakos couldn´t overcome Dnipro
Olympiakos drew 2-2 with Dnipro from Ukraine at home on Thursday, playing almost the entire second half with a man down, to bow out of the Europa League, despite facing an opponent which on ...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Greece seeks negotiations on ECB bond repayment
2. Spanoulis leads Olympiakos to win over Malaga
3. Piraeus plans are coming in next few weeks
4. Slowdown in tourism bookings from Germany
5. Economy grew by 1.3 pct in Q4 of last year
6. Gov’t plans tax on foreign-based funds
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece seeks negotiations on ECB bond repayment
2. A unionist agenda
3. Tsipras reversal draws Greek sympathy as party rumblings rise
4. Gov't official: bill reinstating ERT, rehiring staff to go to Parlt on March 5
5. German lawmakers approve extension of bailout program for Greece
6. German MPs begin debate on extending Greek bailout program
Today
This Week
1. Time for Alexis Tsipras to keep his nerve
2. Greek bailout deal faces review by euro officials next week
3. Greece says eurozone deal won time as cash bled from banks
4. The ignorance of the West about the culture of Islam
5. A fierce battle looms
6. Spain said to lead push to hold Greece to terms as Podemos grows
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.