|Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipas arriving at his office|
Hot off the presses. Alright, just posted today by City Lab and immediately downloaded by yours truly, the Greek financial crisis. If you have been following the news you know that Greece is broke. Lavish spending and little job creation and infrastructure investment left "the cradle of Western civilization" in need of massive bailout and the Eurozone in peril. Over the weekend, Greece finally agreed to terms with their chief creditor Germany and other Eurozone leaders that would keep the Greeks in the zone, for now. In his article "What Greece Can Learn From Detroit," Kriston Capps reports, "Part of that agreement involves Greece sequestering $55 billion in assets (€50 billion) to be sold or privatized for the purpose of repaying its creditors and recapitalizing its banks."
Not everyone is happy with this agreement. Some of the critics are crying the plan is a "...usurpation of Greek sovereignty complete with a hashtag (#ThisisaCoup) and memes featuring quotes falsely attributed to John Adams about slavery and debt." Make no mistake, the plan is harsh-Wolfgang Münchau, associate editor of the Financial Times call the beginning of the end for the eurozone (http://www.ft.com)-nevertheless, some of the terms are familiar to Detroiters.
In 2013, Kevyn Orr, the bankruptcy lawyer tapped to be Detroit's emergency manager, released plans to consider selling the collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts, one of the mot significant collections in the United States. The plan would have put major portions of the collection, those owned by Detroit, up for sale or auction to repay the city's debts. Somehow, blogger has a feeling that Athens will not go for the idea of selling or auctioning off its significant works of art.
If the specter of sale did not haunt the Detroit Institute of Arts, the city might still wading through bankruptcy proceedings as we speak. Be that as it may, the happy outcome was never a sure thing. Creditors argued in favor of the sale. Some even went as far as to say they had buyer ready to pay $2 billion for the collection for the complete city-owned collection, more than than the $800 million estimated netted by the city. The very thought of possibly selling off its treasures has the Greeks up in arms. Time magazine just posted an article bySimon Shuster, titled "Greece May Have To Sell Islands And Ruins Under Its Bailout Deal" (http://www.time.com) that looks at this possibility. The article quotes Georgios Daremas, strategist and adviser to the Greek Ministry of Labor, It's an affront...It's basically saying sell the memory of your ancestors, sell your history just so we can get something commercial for it...
|Scylla and Charybdis|
|Ruins in Crete|
|Greek villas on the Island of Santorini|
The Greek financial crisis is developing story and yours truly will continue to follow it, bringing you stories of how it is impacting cities and cultural heritage.