quiet riots

Angela Merkel Enjoys Traditional Greek Hospitality, Rage

Ancient things are happening!Every crew of friends has its successful members and its fuck-ups. The latter can often be found on the former’s lovely Teutonic couch, sleeping off a long night of getting wasted on ouzo and freak-dancing to the music of Yanni. This is sort of exactly what is happening right now between Germany and Greece, two hardcore straight-up G’s who couldn’t be more different in their approach to fiscal responsibility. While Germany was once upon a time the meanest bitch in high school, she has matured into a lovely young woman who really has her head on straight. Unfortunately, Greece, which showed such amazing promise in nursery school, has degenerated into a hot mess, the kind of gal who stumbles into work two hours late wearing a spanakopita-stained outfit from the day before. Germany is all, “Yeah, you can crash with me, but you’re gonna have to help out around the house and be in by 10 each night” and Greece is all, “You don’t fuckin’ OWN ME! You think you’re better?” and Germany is like, “Noooo…I just, um…I think it’s time someone created some boundaries for you?”

All this is just to say that Angie Merkel is in Greece, and the Greeks are not psyched.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed solidarity with Greece Tuesday on a trip to Athens, even as tens of thousands of Greeks rallied to show their anger toward her over the hardship their country is suffering.

Critics see Merkel as the main enforcer of the European Union-imposed austerity measures that have left a large number of Greeks unemployed and streaming to soup kitchens for a hot meal.

Police estimate as many as 25,000 people turned out to demonstrate in central Athens, despite a ban on protests in certain areas amid beefed-up security for Merkel’s six-hour visit.

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53.8% of Greeks younger than 25 are unemployed, and historically an economic crisis is always really great for a country’s mood and social climate, in particular its attitude toward minorities and immigrants. Angela Merkel, who maybe knows something about that, is trying to be all, “Hey, we’re buddies here, you guys. We’re friends. I’m here to help. I get you.” and Greece is putting its fingers in its ears and shrieking, “FUCK OFF SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!”

What a fun six-hour vacation for her! We are sure she is sending happy postcards back home right this second.

[CNN]

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About the author

Sara Benincasa is an award-winning comedian, writer and radio talk show host. Her outspoken, sexually-charged comedy has won praise from the Chicago Tribune, CNN, The Guardian, and The New York Times, and has earned her an ECNY (Emerging Comedian of New York) Award and a Webby nomination. Her memoir, "Agorafabulous!: Dispatches From My Bedroom," (William Morrow/HarperCollins), was based on her critically acclaimed solo show about panic attacks and agoraphobia. She is currently working on a novel for young adults.

View all articles by Sara Benincasa

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148 comments

  1. Terry

    By all rights, the Greek people should be angry with Goldman Sacks. They're the ones "helped" the Greek economy by kicking it when it was teetering on the edge of a cliff. The Germans, by contrast, have been trying to help in their coldly efficient kind of way.

    1. sullivanst

      Although the kind of help that says you have to destroy your economy even more to save your economy is not necessarily the kind of help you actually want.

    2. GregComlish

      It's not "the Greek People", it's just the Greeks. Grecian is the adjective. Greek is the noun. Your Welcome.

          1. Isyaignert

            Not sure what you mean by "burn" but I sense some hostility. I just found it ironic that GregComlish was giving a grammar lesson that contained a punctuation error.

    3. Not_So_Much

      There is a great 'This American Life' podcast from a month or two ago that deconstructs what's happening in Greece and how they got there. According to that, they had a little bit of help. But mostly it was their own inept/corrupt government that drove the bus off the cliff.

      1. Lascauxcaveman

        Yes, they like to talk about how they invented democracy. They just didn't go very far with it.

        1. Terry

          True, but I still give lots of credit to the Goldman gang who gave the Greek government (Grecian government, Greg?) lots of great investing advice.

    4. Thunderclees

      While the Greek people are getting mad at Goldman, they should also probably save some anger for themselves. Someone put New Democracy in office and kept them there, right?

    5. Isyaignert

      Thanks for pointing that out Terry! Sachs of Gold(man) helped Greece qualify to join the EU by hiding their debt and then those rat bastards sold Greece the same worthless credit default swaps and derivitives that nearly bankrupted the world.

      Sachs of Gold(man) have their dirty fingerprints all over most of the economic catastrophes of the last 100 years and now they have ruined my vacation. I was planning to go to Greece next fall, but am going to wait until things cool down.

    1. LibertyLover

      Congrats on making it 4 posts before mentioning buttseks! Such restraint is amazing. *golf course applause*

      1. ThundercatHo

        You librul eleets with the speling and the grahmer allreddy shudnt look down y'alls noses just cuz y'all graduate from high scool.

  2. Sharkey

    So it's like Angie is holding out an olive branch and Greece is all like, "We invented that shit, give it back!"

    Actually, no it's not. Whatevs.

  3. actor212

    In fairness to the Greeks, I doubt they've gotten over the capture of Crete, when the Germans had to help Mussolini out because he couldn't conquer a nation with an army the equivalent of Papua New Guinea.

    Also, too, Merkel hasn't exactly been strongly opposed to Turkey entering the EU

    1. GregComlish

      The Athenians used to make a dirty joke about Spartans, but I'm going to need to first provide the backstory.

      Back in Ancient Greece, oral sex was such a shameful act that it could be applied by the court as punishment for wrongdoing. For instance, if a man fucked your wife you had the right to face fuck him in the town square in front of everybody. After that you were considered even. This is a fact.

      In this day, kissing vadge was considered one of the most filthy acts a person could do. It was rumored to permenantly give the servicer bad breath. People who ate too much garlic were mocked since their tell-tale breath hinted of cunnilingus.

    2. GregComlish

      During this period the Spartans painted their shields with the character lambda, which would become the letter 'L' in the roman alphabet. (The 'L' stood for Lacedaemon which was the ancient name for Sparta, but Lycurgus, the reknowned lawmaker would also be a good guess). But 'L' stands for other words including 'lengua' (root of the word language) meaning tongue. Lengua was also a euphemism for cunnilingus. Thus the other city-states would mock the Spartans as habitual pussy eaters with terrible breath.

  4. Schmannnity

    They just have to hold on a little longer. I heard yesterday that Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta are doing a revival.

  5. no_gravity

    It's been almost 70 years since Germany's told any other Europeans how they were to live their lives, this is just something that's been building up since 1945.

  6. Ryy

    I'm here to help you slack ass losers by berating you for not being like me! And YES, you are welcome!

  7. BaldarTFlagass

    "53.8% of Greeks younger than 25 are unemployed,"

    Perhaps the Greeks should declare war on Turkey, and give those kids something do; something involving a rifle and a uniform. Bet that would make them shut their pie-holes.

    1. GregComlish

      Congratulations! You are now an honorary member of the Fascist Greek political movement, Golden Dawn!

  8. GregComlish

    Contrary to the fairy tale the Germans would have you believe, the Greeks are a hardworking and responsible culture. The Greek economy is simply unable to deal with the massive deflationary pressure, and Germany is preventing the EU from any meaningful monetary policy that might alleviate this stress out of some perversly misguided notion that economics needs to be a morality play. So Fuck Angela Merkel and Fuck the German dominated European Central Bank.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      Responsible, except for the paying taxes part. Kinda like the teabaggers would be, if they could get away with it.

      1. GregComlish

        I think lots of Greeks would love to raise taxes and would accept that in return for a sensible monetary policy. Unfortunately the elite in ECB don't want that. The ECB wants to see spending slashed in a depressed economy and a permenant elimination of the Greek safety net.

        1. BoroPrimorac

          Raising taxes doesn't really help when you have trouble collecting them in the first place.

          1. GregComlish

            Ordinary Greeks are not happy about the lax enforcement of tax laws wherein honest people are punished and dishonest people are rewarded. Greeks would love to see sensible reforms adopted to make taxes more fairly levied. But you're not going to fix a broken tax system by implementing across the board cuts as the ECB demands.

    2. wolvenwood13

      I've been to Greece several times and I agree completely with what you say. I've seen them work hard, far more than 40 hrs/per week. What they object to is the austerity measures being forced on them by their govt and Germany. I don't blame them. We Americans should all be out in the streets raising hell over the bank bail-out, the lack of jobs and the completely takeover of our country by religious and other assorted lunatics.

    3. delaney_blom

      I'm getting a sneaking suspicion that GregComlish might be a Grecian Greek.

      Or at least a grecophile.

      Or maybe a Grecian grecophile

  9. sbj1964

    O Greece,have you not done enough for human culture?Where would we be today had you not invented the Felafel's,pita bread,and the gyro?

  10. elviouslyqueer

    which showed such amazing promise in nursery school, has degenerated into a hot mess, the kind of gal who stumbles into work two hours late wearing a spanakopita-stained outfit from the day before.

    It's like you know me, Sara.

    1. delaney_blom

      Merkel: Look, brah, you gotta stay away from the ice. I tried to help you, but you ran, and now I've got to take you in and enforce austerity measures.
      Greece ( eyes tearing): Thanks, dog.

  11. PapistRadical

    Wait why is the article taking the side of German austerity, and bashing Greeks as lazy whiners, when their stranded of living and political sovereignty is being smashed by the EU-IMF troika imposing policies that we would despise coming from the GOP? I mean, what the hell?

    1. tejanojim

      Yup. Maybe the author of this post can write a follow up explaining why we should uncritically accept the narrative being pushed by Ms. Merkel and her European Criminal Bankers. This is basically the same scam the IMF has been running on third world countries for decades. Spain, you're next. America, just wait a bit. They'll get here soon.

  12. EatsBabyDingos

    I miss the old days when conversations about Greece and Turkey centered around basting versus roasting.

    1. Beowoof

      She is going to have to go to Texas for that as W is afraid to leave the country. Something about war crimes arrests. If he were to go there he would be like a pig on a spit (so to speak).

  13. Designer_Rants

    Greece is the only European country with a (used to be) strong social safety net, so see what happens? Now eat your gruel and quit pining for that 50 years where things worked out for the working class in America!

  14. LibertyLover

    In fairness to Greece, I don't think their idea of austerity meant what they thought it meant.

    1. PapistRadical

      Seriously, the Greeks on the street today are part of the same struggle we are in against right wing plutocracy, except the Greeks are infinity more fucked now then we are.

  15. Goonemeritus

    I admit that I am a total outsider, I also admit to sleeping through many of my Macro Economic courses but shouldn’t Greece at least try to collect taxes rather than firing all their public sector workers?

    1. BaldarTFlagass

      The guy in the cube next to me is married to a Greek woman he met while he was stationed over there in the 90s. From what he says, they've got tax loopholes big enough to drive the Parthenon through; brings a tear to Romney's eye.

      1. Goonemeritus

        It’s not just the loopholes; the underground economy is a percentage of GDP is the biggest in the world. Cash transactions, barter and outright fraud is normal everyday business practice in Greece. They seem to run their economy like it’s a dive bar.

    2. Biel_ze_Bubba

      "shouldn’t Greece at least try to collect taxes"

      They're not ready for THAT kind of austerity!

  16. BaldarTFlagass

    You know what other German leader went to Greece to the consternation of it's inhabitants?

  17. BlueStateLibel

    It's not like Germany ever received zillions in aid, oh wait, yeah, it did. Guess what Germany, we want that money back. Now.

  18. PapistRadical

    "America is like that slutty rich bitch roommate whose keeps raiding the fridge and stealing the crew's rent money for crack and anime merch, and Romney is like this awkward but nice Christian friend trying to tell her she needs help. But America keeps freaking out and saying "You don’t fuckin’ OWN ME! You think you’re better?” and Romney is like, “Noooo…I just, um…I think it’s time someone created some boundaries for you?”. But she just blow him off and heads out with her black pimp boy friend.

    This article, GOP Edition
    Not so funny anymore is it ?

    1. actor212

      Romney is like this awkward but nice Christian friend trying to tell her she needs help

      These words…they look familiar but don't really exist.

  19. Joey_Blau

    weeeel… it makes more sense if you remember that the "bailout" money goes on a round trip from the EU governments to Greece and then right back to the German BANKS!!!

    it's not really a bailout of the greeks.. they get higher taxes, pay and pension cuts and service cuts… the banks that made the loans get the money and the power to complain and get more…

    oh and.. where did all the money really go?

    "In 2006, as the financial crisis was looming, Greece was the third biggest arms importer after China and India. And over the past 10 years its military budget has stood at an average of 4% of GDP, …if it had only spent the EU average of 1.7% over the last 20 years, it would have saved a total of 52% of its GDP – meaning instead of being completely bankrupt it would be among the more typical countries struggling with the recession"

    yes.. that's right .. the military has sucked up large amounts of money funded by bank loans… well maybe we are like Greece after all! lol.

  20. Joey_Blau

    and more from http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/

    "In the five years up to 2010, Greece purchased more of Germany's arms exports than any other country, buying 15% of its weapons. Over the same period, Greece was the third-largest customer for France's military exports and its top buyer in Europe. Significantly, when the first bail-out package was being negotiated in 2010, Greece spent 7.1bn euros (£5.9bn) on its military, up from 6.24bn euros in 2007. A total of £1bn was spent on French and German weapons, plunging the country even further into debt in the same year that social spending was cut by 1.8bn euros. It has claimed by some that this was no coincidence, and that the EU bail-out was explicitly tied to burgeoning arms deals. In particular, there is alleged to have been concerted pressure from France to buy several stealth frigates."

  21. Chow Yun Flat

    Old news, of course, but 58% of the EU bailout goes to non-Greek banks, 23% to Greek banks and 19% is spent on Greek jobs, infrastructure, etc.

    Sucks to be Greek.

  22. ttommyunger

    …The Greek Tragedy, coming soon to a city near you. The good news: the troubled Euro is no longer a candidate to replace the Dollar's place as the world's currency (little known fact: Sadaam was planning to sell his oil in Euros just prior to our invasion) ; thus, prolly no need for another War somewhere.

  23. Negropolis

    Beware of Germans bearing gifts.

    The Germans will not be satisfied until they have the Greeks back in togas.

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