Monday, June 4, 2012


Greece has bankrupted four times until today. The most known bankruptcy took place in 1893, with the famous quotation, allegedly said by Ch. Trikoupis, "Gentlemen, unfortunately we bankrupted", due to the raisin crisis that bursted out earlier. The result of this national disaster was the emigration of approximately 300.000 Greeks mainly towards America. Greece found itself under the surveillance of the International Economic Control, which collected, on behalf of the lenders, the taxes of the tariffs of Piraeus and of the national monopoly, which had already established for basic products such as salt, sugar, light oil, playing cards, to back, and cigarette paper. The Ladies Journal ( a newspaper of that period) announces "SUBSTITUTE SUGAR WITH RAISIN" and urges the housewives to resolve the problem of the expensive sugar by replacing it with the thick risen syrup.  The raisin syrup in a cream form, known as threpsini, becomes the regular box lunch until 1960. In 1936, in order to enhance the raisin producers, Metaxas prohibits with a decree the use of sugar in the pastry industry while, in the same time, he goes on a suspension of payments towards the Belgian Bank Societe Commerciale de  Belgique, with which he had signed a loan agreement. The Bank appeals to the International Court of International Law which the United Nations had established accusing Greece for violating its international obligations. The Greek government replies that it cannot fulfill its obligations because it cannot jeopardize the people of the country. The International Court accepts the Greek rationale and vindicates Greece, thus creating a legal precedent that many countries used, like for example Argentina in 2003. 
curated by Nikos Navridis at Action Field Kodra, "Re-editing Memory & History", 2011

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