Greece has gone through a war and it has emerged defeated. That a war was building up was hardly discernible while the country?s debt was growing, but when it was formally announced, when the amount of the debt accrued over the years came out, the country was unprepared and its leadership scampered around in a panic.
Today, after around three years in the trenches under heavy bombardment, we are looking at a historical defeat and unbearable losses: Gross domestic product has shrunk by a quarter, the recession does not look like it is anywhere near abating and the country?s young people are heading abroad to a find a better future.
It was a war; a war in which no battles were ever fought. The debt wrapped itself around the country like a deadly fog and gradually sucked all the life out of it. It was a war without a visible enemy, without a discernible battlefield and, as such, a war that could not not unite and rally the people, bring together the divergent groups within society to fight together for the common good, for the nation. It was the worst kind of war because it was silent and covered, and led to the subjugation of the country without it ever having the chance to fight. Moreover, this war divided the people instead of uniting them; it fragmented them and rendered them blind; it made people turn against one another, sapping the country?s most vital forces, killing off its momentum, disappointing its young people and getting them drunk on defeatism.
At this historical turning point for Greece, the remaining vital forces — and there are still quite a few of them, in the political, intellectual, scientific, spiritual and business communities, as well as in civil society — must come together to reach at least for the smallest common denominator, must agree at least on a rudimentary strategy for the country?s survival and must tell the people the entire truth. These vital forces must reach out not just to draw strength from the people, but also to allow the people to recognize and assume their responsibility in the rebirth of Greece.
Let us begin with the simple truth: We are bankrupt. Nothing will be like it was before. But at least let us rebuild a better Greece. Only with the truth, with candor and coherence — just as in a war — can we as a nation make it through this historical challenge.