Dear Greek Citizen,
I can only imagine how incredibly hard things have been for you. You’ve spent years suffering under a sinking economy. Bail outs mean more loan payments. More loan payments mean more bailouts. The cycle seems to never end. Growth never seems to come. You’re stuck with few options. Default, and go back to the Drachma? Sure, but that future is as unpredictable as paying back the EU and the IMF.
“Perhaps there’s another option?”, you say. We could let the smooth talker from the Kremlin help us with trade and privatization. He’s more than happy to come and talk with Tsipiras. Heck, he even offered a deal to run an oil pipeline through Greece. http://www.dw.com/en/putin-arrives-in-greece-with-trade-and-energy-deals-on-table/a-19286584 You say to yourself, “Self, this may be what we need to get ourselves going again”.
Oh, there’s plenty of Russian cheerleaders back home to sell you on getting on board with Russia. Like the “best friend” when you’re thinking about having an affair, they’ll tell you ”Go ahead. You’re only looking out for your (insert need/want here).” If the EU cared, they’d forgive your debt, right? Well, there’s no easy way out of debt, and cheating in a marriage isn’t going to fix anything. It’s only a temporary high.
Your “best friend”, people like Angelique Rockas will help you cheat, though. She’ll tell you all about this great, strong, brave, orthodox Christian man she knows. His name is Vlad, and he stands up to everyone. A real man’s man. He even stood up to your “frenemy” Turkey. Right now, Vlad is standing up to terrorists that kill Christians. She shows you a picture of Vlad. He’s bare-chested and riding a bear. You think to yourself, “I’m sure glad Rockas introduced me to this strong, wealthy, orthodox Christian man!”
Your affection for Vlad grows stronger. Everyday your “friend”, Angelique Rockas, shows you articles and pictures about how your EU/NATO partner is doing you wrong. “Look!”, she says. “NATO is killing innocent people in Syria, and forcing the survivors to migrate to Greece.” You feel cheap. The Ms. Rockas shows you more articles, and photos of Vlad standing up for the innocents. He’s saving lives, and killing the “NATO backed terrorists”. By the time you’re done reading what Angelique shows you, you’re ready for Vlad to come lay his pipeline and dock his warship(s) in your harbor.
So, you give in. You start seeing Vlad. At first, things are great. New people are visiting from Russia. Deals are being signed. For once in many years, you feel secure and loved. The sight of Vlad’s sleek new battle cruiser in your harbor makes things feel alright.
Problems start to arise pretty soon after you and Vlad move in together. His associates from Moscow aren’t leaving after the deals are signed. As a matter of fact, more are showing up. Greek businesses that had always been owned by Greeks start being bought for pennies on the drachma under a privatization agreement you signed in your spiteful, elated state. Your ancient antiquities are being managed by Russian owned entities. Once free to visit national treasures, your treasures, start costing a lot of money to visit. The police haven’t got any nicer, either. Oh, and you’re still broke. You think about leaving, but unlike the EU, you can’t walk out on this relationship. Vlad will break your jaw.