THE RECENT developments in Greece have created a sense of uncertainty as to what lays ahead. Uncertainty causes concern about how the status quo will change, but it also creates opportunities if one chooses to embrace this change.
Who is at fault for allowing things to reach the point they have? Everyone. No one. Me. You.
Everyone is at fault because half of us choose to spend time lounging around, rather than embracing our civic duties or going to vote for those who govern us. No one, because what is happening is not due to the actions or inaction of one person – it has taken years and required the input of multiple culprits to come to this. I am to blame because I should have shouted louder when I disagreed with certain actions, and been less dismissive of those who did. You are to blame because you sat in idle apathy, expecting everyone else to change around you whilst you continued doing what you always did.
Above all the Greek and the Cypriot people were let down by the Fourth Estate. In Medieval Europe, France had a three-estate system that was used until the French Revolution: the clergy (first estate), the nobility (second estate), and commoners (third estate). The Estates General was used as a means of providing all sections of society equal representation, although the first two estates were chosen by the King. More recently, the term Fourth Estate is used in reference to forces outside the established power structure, typically the independent press or media.
Can one really blame the press and the media for what is unfolding in Greece and Cyprus? Yes. The Fourth Estate dropped the ball long ago, focusing on entertaining and informing rather than providing insight and educating. This has left the first and the second estates, the elite, to run unchecked, as the third estate grew addicted to gadgets, engaged in voyeurism, and became increasingly self-centred. Now that push has come to shove, the Fourth Estate is trying to explain what is happening and offer some comfort to the third estate. However, asking the same person who writes the fashion, gossip and politics columns, to also provide valuable insight into the economy and banking, is equal to expecting that your tablet will also double-up as a babysitter when you are on vacation.
Where do we go from here? For the relationship between Greece and Europe, I offer a segment of “Free bird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd – a fantastic rock ballad.
If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me?
For I must be traveling on now
There’s too many places I’ve gotta see
If I stay here with you girl
Things just couldn’t be the same
As to how things will play out, take comfort in the inscription on the ring that humbled the Persian king – “This too shall pass”.
Partner Greece & Cyprus
Resolute Asset Management