Clearly lost their marbles

Whenever they need something to deflect attention from far more serious issues, they bring this up. Personally, I think they’ve lost their marbles. But of course: you may disagree.

I’m talking about the folks who recently moaned they needed extra time and money. They needed this, as their economic and financial situation was and remains a mess.

To recap their situation:
– 2010: they had managed to get their country 310 billion Euro in debt;
– 2012: over 252 billion Euro in bail-out had been handed over by the IMF, EU member states and the EU Central Bank to restructure their country’s debts;
– 2015: this country’s leaders have managed to restructure … let’s rephrase: they managed to tot up about 1 billion Euro per year extra debt and now owe their money-lenders a mere 317 billion Euro.

Of course, the country’s ordinary folks have not seen much of the billions lent to their leaders. Ordinary folks probably still need to keep alive long dead relatives to pilfer pension money to meet every day expenses. For when there’s a financial and economic mess, the costs of living go up.

To turn the world’s limelight away from this continuing sordid state of affairs, the leaders brought up their pet issue. Their story runs as follows: over more than a century ago, this country was the backwater of an empire. At the time, someone living in this backwater sold a pile of marbles to someone else, who lived in another empire. As is usual in such cases: money changed hands and the pile of marbles was carted off.

Both empires no longer exist. The marbles are now in the country the buyer lived in. The former backwater has become an independent state. All its leaders claim the deal was  illegal and their marbles were looted.

Though Greece now owes IMF, European member-states, the European Central Bank and other sods over 315 billion Euro, claims it has not the money to pay its debts, while the majority of Greek citizens don’t have the money to fund daily costs of living without frills – this same government has enough money to start legal procedures to get their marbles back.

How they’re going to pay the lawyers? No idea. How they’re going to take care of the marbles? No idea. But hey: the UN backs the case of Greece’s lost marbles.

So: my country’s art treasures were pilfered during WWII? Unlike Greece’s marbles, they were never paid for but looted? Many of these treasures have still not been handed back? They adorn museums and private collections all through the world? Will the UN back legal proceedings to get this stuff back?

Over the past centuries, various governments of my own and other countries have sold art treasures which are now considered part of cultural heritages? These were sold at what are now knock-down prices? Will the UN back legal proceedings so these treasures now worth billions of Euros, will end up back in the countries which consider these as part of their cultural heritage?

And while we’re at it: various long deceased family members of mine lived throughout the world? They had to endure being colonized, being exploited, being part of empires, had to try to survive wars, civil wars, world wars? Over the past centuries, they lost lands, property, homes, rights to minerals and mining and oil hoards and other riches, cattle, jewelry, works of art, personal belongings – you get it? Their belongings were never bought, not even at knock-down prices: these were truly looted.

Of course, the culprits were never brought to justice. Like so many others throughout the world during the past centuries right up to our present day and age, my folks fled. Like so many refugees and immigrants, my folks restructured, started all over again, and their off-spring is not over 300 billion Euro in debt. Will the UN back legal proceedings so refugees like my deceased family receive compensation for what was theirs but looted?

No, just kidding. I only sincerely hope the Elgin marbles will remain right where they are. Personally, I think that a country’s government which so far received over 250 billion Euro (part of which was EU taxpayers’ money) to prop up its unsavoury mess, which is still over 315 billion Euro in debt, which claims to be unable to pay its debts, which is unable to ensure that each of its citizens has a decent standard of living, yet dares to spend money on legal proceedings to get back what was sold over a century ago … has clearly lost its marbles!

For a good explanation of the Greek debt issue: six key points about Greece’s debt by Tim Jones
For the complete Independent article on the Elgin Marbles: Elgin Marbles by Ian Johnston

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