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12 May 2008

Test Run The End of Civilization (Part II)

Or is it a "dry run"?
Sign on gas pump in Athens: No more unleaded

Other countries may have fire drills or even earth quake drills, we can top them. We run drills for the end of civilization. How would that end look like? We're not exactly sure, so we're testing for different possibilities. Last time we tested for the "we will be drowning out in our own garbage" scenario. This time it's something more fashionable: The "there will be no more gasoline to drive our cars" case study.

So, what happened really (in case you're not living here)... the truck drivers and especially the fuel truck drivers are on strike. They do not transport gas to gas stations any more (already a few days now) and they block transports from the refineries. The result so far is that the online news reported yesterday evening already 90% of the country's gas stations having run out of juice.

The picture shows a sign saying "unleaded finished". Riding the bus, I passed another gas station that had a bit of juice still, with a long line of cars and people arguing - unfortunately I spotted it too late to snap a pic.

Since I have become such an eco nut (aka "pedestrian") and anti-car fetishist (not having one any more, still ogling every 2CV that comes along), I can only cheer at the promise of the traffic reduction. Give me air to breathe and roads to walk upon! Today it's hard to tell if there is anything noticeable out of it. It certainly feels like a bit less traffic, but since today the taxi drivers are on strike too and there are about 2 millions of taxis on Athens' streets, what's what's effect?

What are all these strikes about? According to the online papers, the truck drivers demand a 15% rise in their dues, because due to rising gas prices their expenses have skyrocketed. The ministry offered them 5%. Same goes for the taxi drivers btw, they will get 5% and demand 15%.

Wow, 15%. Do you know how to spell inflation? When we still had the drachma, this kind of thing was normal, I mean I have lived through 17% (official) inflation back then. But now we have a stable currency, the Euro. We shouldn't have such games. If everything else goes up, then everything else has to go up too, the result is more inflation. Watch out, Euro countries, we're gonna give it to you too!

Of course this inflation is partially imported: We're paying for the fancy wars of the Americans (heck, didn't these guys ever read Sun Tsu? every war leads to inflation, prolonged wars lead to totally f* up gross inflation).

Another part of the inflation is definitely home made: The productive result of the Greek economy is just too small. Shoveling EU money into the country is just going to make the rich nomenclatura richer, it's not going to change anything in respect to real wealth being produced. Already tired of my armchair economics talk? It's all part of the exercise! Hooking up a wood stove gas generator to the company car is next.

Posted by betabug at 08:55 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
ch athens
Life in Athens (Greece) for a foreigner from the other side of the mountains. And with an interest in digital life and the feeling of change in a big city. Multilingual English - German - Greek.
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Re: Test Run The End of Civilization (Part II)

"Other countries may have fire drills or even earth quake drills, we can top them. We run drills for the end of civilization."

HA HAHAHAHA!! You made me laugh out loud at that one, it's soo accurate! Go Greeks and their doomsday drills!

Posted by: bollybutton at May 13,2008 10:29
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