By Igor Volsky and Victoria Fleischer
With Greece closing in on a deal with its European creditors, ThinkProgress invited four Greek Americans to dinner at a Greek restaurant. Over Greek food, we asked them what they really thought about the Greek debt crisis. They didn’t hold back.
NICK LARIGAKIS: Failure just simply isn’t an option. You can’t fail.
ON SCREEN: As Greece works out the details of a bailout agreement with its European creditors, we invited four Greek Americans to a Greek restaurant in D.C. and over Greek food, they told us how they really feel about the Greek debt crisis.
DYLAN PETROHILOS : I think Greece is being politically punished for electing a leftist government.
PETE GOUSKOS: Absolutely. They tried to punish him by shutting the banks, but doing all of the things they’re doing right now, all of the things they’re asking from Greece so that no other country decide to go even there.
MADDY BOT: It’s not just Greece. There are four other countries in the EU who are very very close to being in that position.
NICK LARIGAKIS: Correct.
PETE GOUSKOS: Don’t forget you have over 2 million people coming over from across the border, from Syria, from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India…
MADDY BOT: Well, we totally destabilized Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan and those are three populations that are definitely moving into Greece right now.
NICK LARIGAKIS: If you just go from the Libyan coast really all the way to the Albanian coast, there is total destabilization and instability in that region and Greece is the frontline state.
DYLAN Petrohilos: My biggest concern with austerity is, I think the public health aspects and those issues that have come in Greece: like the HIV rate exploding and Malaria returning.
NICK LARIGAKIS: Greeks though, for the most part, one of the things that have been able to sustain them through this difficult, difficult, austerity and crisis, has been the tremendous social fabric, the social safety net that really has prevented from a total unadulterated disaster and collapse.
DYLAN PETROHILOS: There are also strong strong social movements that have existed in Greece for generations. I have contacts in Greece that are participating in them and one of the focuses is making sure people have food and housing.
PETE GOUSKOS: I’m not worried much about. Greece has been there for 3,000 years it had much worse things than we had right now. We had all these times and we will survive this time. Doesn’t matter what Germany or Holland or any northern European countries thinking or try to do.