12 days, 1200 Euros…

My debacle with Greek Customs is all but resolved.  Three of the four boxes I have sent have been delivered to Paros, safely and without incident.  The other four that Customs snagged have been evaluated and the price is high, in fact it is as if I have to purchase everything again.  They have assigned the value at 1200 Euros, just over 1500USD.  Ouch indeed.  As a good friend told me, I am now part of an exclusive club.  I have little choice but to comply if I wish to have my possessions back.  There is an avenue of appeal, but this would be a long, drawn out affair and in the end it is doubtful I would gain anything from it except to garner resentment from the Greeks.  As my friend also reminded me, the customs agents probably have relatives on Paros so why make my life difficult?  Give them their pound of flesh and be done with it.  Lesson learned, but what lesson that is remains unclear.  The good news is that the boxes have been released from customs and are waiting for me at the PO on the island.

I leave for Greece in 12 days and I am very excited.  The mystery of the future fills me with hope and I am looking forward to being a beginner in school, working on my own photography and contemplating the possibility of my own, first, book.  The recent news regarding the social unrest in that little country is unsettling, but according to friends I know in town the press has exaggerated the scale and scope.  Yes, there are troubles both social an economic and many Greeks are distressed about their own abilities to cope.  The good news is that they have gone through worse before and in more tense situations.  WWII and NAZI occupation, the Junta of the The Colonels, the Greek Civil War…These all overshadow the current crisis and, in a way, keep the population centered around what they can do instead of what they are powerless to achieve.  Their future, like all futures, is uncertain and I have faith that a solution will present itself.  No one wants a return to the military rules of the past nor the brutal foreign dictatorships that governed with iron fists.  Social reform and economic balance is never easy and the Greeks have their work cut out for them.  Europe will not let them leave the EU so it is logical to feel that they would not allow them to leave the EuroZone.

This brings up the Euro itself, a troubled and controversial subject from its inception.  It is incorrect to compare the EU system with that of the USA.  Europe is not the US, thank the gods.  Many analysts feel that the Euro was doomed front the start and perhaps they were right.  Still, it is always easier to destroy than to build, seemingly more sensible to abandon than to support.  Responsibility is a good place to begin and all of Europe must take responsibility for the failure or success of their fledgling currency.  It is a brave venture to change 1500 years of historical divisions and nationalistic pride.  It is a matter of faith and action which, I have heard, is like a blind man walking down the stairs.  This painful growth spasm is just that.  It will pass.

More to come…


, , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.