It wasn't some millennia ago that I heard about the first billionaires in the world. The first names I read about were of course those of two Greeks : Stavros Niarchos and Aristotle Onassis, the shipping magnates who were the envy of the world, their names always in the glamour of the gossip columns and celebrity pages of the business press.
My point is to say that with the necessary capital backing, enterprising entrepreneurs (of any nationality) can rise to the top of the league. Look at Lakshmi Mittal or Aliko Dangote.
But without the necessary capital backing, even people with fertile imagination can stand still, looking out to the sunny skies and clear horizons, at a loss how to decorate the landscape. Four fishing huts will not turn into today's Chicago if courage is not there; the huge potential of solar power will lie latent where there is no backing, and saps away courage, totally discouraged by government red tape.
But take away those constraints, and what do you have? Fantastic sight, energy aplenty, and some of those millionaires driving around in the most classic cars.
Today, it seems Greece, having received huge bailouts in the past (bigger than needed, and at crushing rates of interest, which must have given them a degree of inertia) are again gazing at the skies, contemplating their future. If only, if only....Germany could consider paying back the money borrowed by the Third Reich so many years ago, and recently computed to be worth about 7.7 billion Euros (by the lower house of the Germany parliament). The magic of compound interest is there, and Alexis Tsipras and his Syriza comrades can make their own calculations.
The great thing would be if the European Central Bank were to purchase Greek Bonds, and thus provide Greece the wherewithal to (a) pay off their IMF loans and (b) start work creation and enterprise creation programmes which will see (a) the poor taken care of and (b) something readily available for
creating jobs for the many thousands of school and college leavers, and people going through very difficult mid life crises because the economy has hit everybody so hard in Greece. Yes, it is all a case of money. With, they too can show Herculean performances. Without, there can only be anger, bitterness, resentment and despair.
Hopefully the ECB and the German lawmakers will vote in favour of giving the Greeks a temporary respite, some necessary support at this very crucial stage, where the improving picture of the Greek economy can possibly consolidate with confidence and emerge triumphant into Recovery and thence with all of Europe to Prosperity.
I trust the European Union will help Greece, as a gesture of solidarity and support to this nation, to show the world what the benefits of being in the European Union are. A golden future for all will be adequate compensation, I would suggest, a united Europe with all the nations flourishing.
The recent passing of the Poor Laws in the Greek parliament suggest the will of their Prime Minister to give moral support to people who have lost out in the recession that has affected Greece so badly. I pray that they will have adequate provision to eat, drink, and have safety of nourishment so they can work and put their creative energies into creating wealth. I pray that the European Union can be generous, as to our brothers and sisters.
That would help bring about good cheer. May fair Greece bloom like the flowers.
(c) Copyright written 22nd March 2015. Limited transmission at that time. Now fully public.