The crisis in Greece is taking a serious toll on the Greek economy and its citizens. But let’s get to what’s really important: how will it affect you, the average self-absorbed American? Isn’t that what you really want to know?
Q: How did the Greek government get into so much debt?
A: A lot of it has to do with their tax structure but…why do you care? It hasn’t changed anything about your life at all. Greece is suffering from a 25% unemployment rate. You still thinking about taking those pottery classes? Yeah, everything’s fine.
Q: How secure is Greece’s future in the European Union and how might this instability affect other countries in the eurozone?
A: Ohh, right, because you’re so well-versed in the intricacies of the eurozone. Listen, if Greece leaves the EU and devalues the Euro that would set a new legal precedent and potentially send several countries into economic distress but relax- you’ll still be able to buy a bunch of tank tops at H&M and then go get wasted at brunch. Nothing in your universe has shifted.
Q: Why did 61% of Greeks vote to reject the austerity measures proposed by the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank?
A: You definitely don’t need to understand this. Unless you are right now trying to bone a European economist. Are you trying to bone a European economist? No? Then you’re cool, g.
Q: Given that Greece is such a small part of the eurozone economy and its exit from the European Union could help the country to regain financial autonomy, is a “Grexit” really such a bad idea?
A: Say “Grexit” one more time. Go ahead. Cool. You said it. Now you can forget it forever because it won’t get you more Instagram followers or more counter space for your Kitchen Aid. Greece’s economic collapse is on par with the Great Depression but why don’t you just focus on what you really care about: repurposing the wood from an old shed to make the perfect rustic headboard.
Q: What exactly were the conditions that accompanied the 240 billion euro bailouts issued by the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission?
A: The IMF loans came with harsh stipulations called austerity terms, including budget cuts, steep tax increases, curbs on early retirement and cracking down on tax evasion. These austerity terms have resulted in huge pay cuts, pension cuts and crushing sales tax, leaving over 30% of the country under the poverty line. Shall I continue? Right. Why don’t you just kick back and stream Season 6 of The Sopranos right into your face.
Q: Why are Greece’s creditors, in particular Germany and its chancellor Angela Merkel, unwilling to lend Greece additional money through the European Stability Mechanism?
A: Wouldn’t it be cool if the European Stability Mechanism was a really intense workout that made you drop like, ten pounds in a week? Like some kind of Euro Cross Fit. Yeah, that would be cool, so let’s just leave it there, aight?
Q: Might this be an opportunity for Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, to overhaul the economy and institute historic reform?
A: If it is, that would be wonderful. Hopefully Tsipras and the Greek government will find a long term, sustainable solution to this debt crisis and the economy will recover. But you won’t know if that happens or not, because I promise you’ll stop clicking on Greece headlines and go back to Buzzfeed GIF stories about Gwenyth Paltrow’s pubic hair. Are thousands of destitute Greeks unable to get health care? Absolutely. Will that impact Chobani, an American yogurt company that has nothing to do with Greece? Nope. So grab yourself a Key Lime Blended and keep cruising.