A little boy was running on the beach, near his parents house somewhere in Greece; a little girl, the baker's daughter, was calling him from the blue water where she was swimming. Kids under the setting sun playing on secular beaches, in the liberty of nature.
Fences may be soon built all around the beach to contain them. A private beach.
Recently, a French popular weekly explained that the State of Greece was going to sell "state enterprises": public transportation, post, power, harbors, almost anything still public. The wording, however, is misleading: "enterprise" means profit and development, whereas these are public services dedicated to all, not to profit. It's untrue that both can go together. We know this quite well in Switzerland where it's still clear to us - but for how long? - that power and transport should be available to comparable prices to the person living in the city center and to that leaving in a remote village lost in the mountains. If not, not many people will be able to afford the mountains, which means depopulation. Societal issues can not be solved if made slave to financial competition. There is much more to say on this, but it's probably not worth. Suffice to acknowledge that the power is now in the hands of worse-than-Thatcher people who meet and secretly exchange ideas in luxurious hotel lobbies. People who are either blind, or stupid, or brutal, or the three at the same time, despite nice conversations around a cup of tea and nice dresses.
They can be blind: they don't see that little Kostas will not forgive the loss of the beach, the loss of the parent's jobs, the decline of the grand-parent's pension. They don't see that the people in Great Britain, in Portugal, everywhere in Europe where the financial crisis has hit, will not forget that the trouble was born with the private institutions, was deepened by the irresponsible (and maybe incompetent, see that banker's blog) rating agencies and was backed-up by powerful people in place in the ministries. Democracy has become a legitimation argument allowing for any policy to be applied.
They can be stupid: some of them probably think they master the economical problems if they only listen to some experts in economy (mostly people who don't actually do research in economy in universities, but rather are people well established in the private economy, businessmen, like when the president of a supermarkets brand when asked to provide a report on British health security system (NHS) in the eighties (Sir Roy Griffiths of Sainsbury's), because they listen to nice facts and figures and they know that they will gain themselves some advantage from being good relays for the private sector.
They can be brutal: they may simply not care about whatever moral issue there might be. Obviously, "morality" is something about appearance, a notion they imported from the US, but not about the pride or shame to look at oneself in the mirror on the morning. Or 'morality' is for dumbs, and there is no hope for a society to make any kind of better world.
But one question: if the Sate is going to sell public sectors of activity, even beaches, isn't it paradoxical, since private actors will be interested in buying them, which means, they can made profitable? Surely, trains can be made profitable, look to the UK, where it's become impossible to take a train at a reasonable price unless you look for special deals on the internet (and where it's impossible at all to rely on arrival schedules), so selling them is probably not the better option for a society. But for beaches, it may sound otherwise. Why doesn't the Greek State simply make some beaches with some infrastructure paying? After all, the beaches currently don't belong to anyone, so that there is even no need to buy or to pay anything to manage them. After all, in Geneva, the great pool and lake beach is paying and worth a few francs.
The Greek State has probably no financial possibility to arrange that and is eager to get some money the soonest. But I wonder the logic behind this anyway.
Instead of lending money to the country at reasonable rates, instead of buying back part of the debt created by tax fraud by the richest and accounting fraud by the preceding Greek right-wing government, Europe and financial institutions prefer to force the country to become the poorest possible with no hope of recovering from the crisis before very, very, long. It's a nonsense, except of course for those who will buy the so-called "State-owned enterprise", for example waves on the sand.
My dream since I was seventeen was to own one day a small house in Greece. I share this dream with many Europeans who have one day encountered the brightness of that country. But if Aghia Anna Beach in Naxos becomes a paying zone with mattresses and sun umbrellas for babbling ladies and cocktail-drinkers, instead of being the natural playground of the village's kids, we'll just say "so long" to our Greek dream. A dream which is rich in symbols in Europe: it's Greece after all.
But you can't expect them to know about Lord Byron and Châteaubriand, so what can you expect about Plato?