Much ink has been spilled during this election discussing the state of democracy. Cries for reform punctuate the media, and it’s heartening to know Russia has been listening. Recently, it sponsored a worldwide summit intended to “affirm the right of self-determination.” Among those in attendance were representatives from Texas, California and Puerto Rico. Absent were separatists groups within Russia. (“The World at a Glance,” The Week, October 7, 2016, pg. 8.)
Normally, we in the west do not look to Russia as our beacon of freedom. We honor Greece as the birthplace of democracy and our notions of truth and justice. In recognition of our debt, when Andreas Georgiou, a naturalized American economist, learned of Greece’s financial turmoil, he returned to his native country to help. Imagine his dismay when he discovered the Greeks had been cooking the books, and hiding a debt far larger than acknowledged . He discovered payouts in the social security program that were improperly calculated and that interest on government bonds were incorrect. He was forced to acknowledge Greece was hiding another 20 billion dollars in debt beyond what they declared to their European creditors with whom they were seeking refinancing.
Suddenly, Georgiou found himself the object of a national hatred. “Executioner,” cried one Greek editorial. “Let him be hanged,” demanded a critic. (“Greece’s Least Wanted Man Lives In Maryland,” by Robert Schmidt, Bloomberg Businessweek, October 3, 2016, pg. 26.) Nothing so drastic occurred, of course. Greece retaliated by convicting him of criminal slander.“ (Ibid pg. 26) But that wasn’t enough to slake their thirst for revenge. Two more criminal charges were filed, the last, “complicity against the state,” carries a life sentence. (Ibid pg. 26.)
Confronted by so much clamor, Georgiou did what any battle weary Greek would do. He unfurled his sails and chartered a course for home — which happens to be a suburb in Maryland, USA. Out of work and out of funds, the expatriate is fighting his legal battles with contributions obtained from Crowd Sourcing, a system of money brokering that is as democratic as you can get.
What a sad ending for Georgiou whose intentions were honorable. He should have remembered the Greek proverb: He who would be happy should stay at home. (Source: Famous quotes and authors.com)