I was going to ask you to be my Valentine. I thought we'd make a cute couple. I find you so attractive. Ouzo is one of my favourite things to drink. I have read all the Percy Jackson books. I love your yogurt. I adore your pita -- which always kicks the dried-out, tough-as-old-leather-boots ass of Lebanese pita. I once bought a Yanni cd. I have seen all of Nia Vardalos' movies, even the horrific I Hate Valentine's Day.
But Greece, you are breaking my heart. What's with the riots?
No one likes austerity. I know that all too well. For instance, I'd really like to go to Hawaii for vacation. But we don't have the money in our savings account, and I don't like to go into debt. So we are not going to Hawaii, and are saving money for a vacation in 2013. But you, Greece? You don't have any problem borrowing money and living a lifestyle that you can not afford. Greece, you're € 340,000,000,000.00 in the hole.
I'm sure it's galling to know that you have to give up a lot of things -- and not just trivial things like retiring at age 53 -- but serious things that will fundamentally impact your quality of life. I can't even fathom how hard that will be, or how much stress you are under, Greece. But I also I can not imagine not paying taxes or living under the delusion that membership in the European Economic Union was your "Live Like You Are the Star of A MTV Reality Show" ticket.
Greece, if you don't like the measures proposed by Prime Minister Lucas Papademos and adopted by your duly elected officials, then you need to come up with a different solution. But nothing comes of having a nation-wide temper tantrum if you don't pair those violent and fiery protests with alternate plans to solve your financial morass.
Your government has finally realized that your economic imprudence will have repercussions that reach far beyond your borders to nations where bureaucrats do not get paid bonuses for showing up to work on time. You know what you get in Canada when you show up for work on time? YOU GET "NOT FIRED." Being on time is simply what grownups do! Personally, I think Papademos' plan is your only option. For one thing, Papademos knows his shit. He holds multiple degrees and has years and years of experience in the banking industry. Another vote in Papademos' favour: he -- unlike Antonis Samaras -- hasn't spent the last three decades helping you get into your current political and economic mess. Thirdly, the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank have you over a barrel. It's this plan or nothing.
For now, Greece, I will love you from a far. I will remember the wonderful month we spent together in 1996.
Maybe next year we'll finally get together. I'll bring the Yanni music. You bring the ouzo.