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Why Greece Will Rise From the Ashes

Posted: 05/11/11 00:00

It is very hard as a Greek to swallow all the bad press the country is getting at the moment.

The Greeks are lazy, the Greeks are disorganised, the Greeks are the tinpot nation of Europe.

My dad would turn in his grave.

The truth is that the Greek people have suffered at the hands of inconsistent political leaders. The recent decision to hold a referendum about the loan from Europe is an example. None of the country chose or wanted that.

The Olympics was probably one of their finest hours in Ancient Times. But the recent event was the straw that broke the camel's back. It was an impossible project in an impossible timeframe. Maybe the Greek pride got the better of them but they were just following orders. The stadia that took so much time effort and money to build remain unused. Watch out London.

'Greece is bringing Europe down' is the one statement that grates the most.

Without Greece there would not have been a Europe. All our systems, structures, language stem from a Greek DNA. The Greeks are giants on whose shoulders others have climbed to create their own success.

Its time for Europe to honour for their ancestors instead of treating them like poor cousins.

The decision to halve the debt is a huge gesture but it isn't necessarily one that shows great respect. To me it feels like Daddy Europe just wants to take control rather than help Greece recover.

How would France, UK feel if the USA stepped in and imposed new ways of living on us?

Greece is in a big hole and its a hole they have dug for themselves but if they are going to learn anything for the future they need to dig themselves out of it.

Instead of criticising the country, the powers that be and the media should be encouraging them and talking up the country and what makes them great.

Tourism for me is a key part of the rejuvenation program. Greece has some of the most renowned historic sites and the most incredible islands. Thousands of them. I have visited a fair few beaches and nothing beats the simplicity of a little taverna nestled on the shore overlooking the calmest, clearest waters.

For Europeans, this should be our active choice to help - take your children to the Acropolis, spend your honeymoon on the romantic Santorini, go clubbing to Mykonos.

I am no economist but Greece needs to do what it does best. Entertain, impart wisdom and share the brighter side of life.

I have family on Athens and there is nothing like a dinner with every generation, arms gesticulating, hugs, debates and lots of love. The food is all about joy - fresh grilled food and mezes on the table to share, eggs to crack at Easter and bread to share at Christmas.

In fact, my close Greek friends and family defy every Greek stereotype. They work harder than anyone I know. They build businesses. My dad, a lawyer, worked all hours to launch one of the first international investment banks. They are creative. My cousin is one of the best flamenco dancers in Europe. And they are entrepreneurial. Arianna Huffington is one of the greatest examples.

This is just as a sample of Greek people I know. The new powers need to harness this energy and enthusiasm and the battle will be won.

The Stoicism, their philosophical movement, has ensured they keep going every day despite less wage and more hardship. Democracy, created by the Greeks, is what they need and deserve.

Greece has what it takes to be a great nation again. It was before and it will be still.