Crisis, Europe, Human, Human Project, Life, Love, News, Opinion, Peace, People, Refugee, Religion, Uncategorized

Refugee 101 (On a Stranger Point of View)

Refugees:
“A person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it..”
(1951 Refugee Convention in Genève, article 1)

 

 

This particular word, Refugee(s), might sound so familiar for you, as every newspaper nowadays has marked them on their headlines several times of a month, or a week even.
Their photos spread everywhere, from children to older women, with different kind of skin colors and racial status, each struggled the worst condition in human race today: the loss of human rights.

 

 

In prior year, there are millions and millions of people flown from their own countries seeking for temporary shelter with reasons like religion clash, civil wars, poor economic condition and many other reasons.
The conditions of their country seems so dreadful, they even have guts to cross ocean with minimum preparation and terrible vessels, which delivers another sad news such as sinking vessels loaded with hundreds of poor condition of people, looking for asylum (terms scholars used to call shelter for refugees).
Some stories just irritable in a sense of “are you even human to even do that to another” kind of way, when another countries simply close their doors to these refugees, even after seeing their ripped clothes or tired face after such a long journey away from home.
Possible host countries are now openly rejecting the arrival of refugees in their countries, tightening their borders with tense stand-off police, making it impossible to find a new home, and stating clearly that they are opposed refugees in their land.

Not to mention there are people, migrant who only seek for “more”, are now utilize this chaotic situation to cross neighboring countries border with the intention only to migrate easier, which only causing more trouble and hardening the life of refugees.

 

 

Really, sometimes human are sooo brilliant, and smarter when they are in trouble, or in hard time.

 

 

And more we dig about this case; one crucial word seems to be the page-turner headlines.
Religion

In most case, dissimilarity in religion leads to inability to accept new people. Which is, good Lord, aren’t we already living in 21 century, where diversities celebrated and equality honored?

European and American are even shamefully build this “phobia” upon certain religion, continues to create riots voicing their refusal of these people.
Like, really?
Even worst, similarity in religion even, could not open the eyes of humanity.
Ethnic and religion cleansing, which is nonsense in every aspect of human conscience, are the reason of Rohingya became refugees in first place, but these reasons seems nothing to neighboring countries who claimed themselves “enormous” in number of people with same religion as what these refugees believes.
You should notice them, who has the same religion as you, as your family, am I right?
Is that the basic constitution of a religion?

 

 

Religion is NOT the reason to blame. Human did.
People fear of instability. People fear of strangers. People fear of insecurity. People fear that these poor people will turn wealthy, snatched their job opportunity, and won’t go back to their country, just like what the Turks now experienced in Germany.

 

Faster we run to liberality, faster we backed right where we started.
Or even further back.
What’s different now with isolated ghetto in Europe, or Berlin Walls, or the fear of Jewish community taken control of European economy back in 1930s?
Goodbye Schengen. Goodbye Union. Goodbye free trade. Goodbye solidarity

 

 

 

But refugee is not as simple as morality anymore.

It’s about ego combined with sense of security topped with greed.
Government, people nowadays call it.
Morality came in 100th place, they even discussed on “trading” refugees to 3rd party countries, when the host country could not or would not accept them.
Did you see the “shelter” or can we say remote island Australian has built to cage the unwanted refugee?
Dreadful, when you imagine kids locked up in a tiny island.
Not to mention how shelters are now privatized by their government and people are making business out of it.

Hell.
Refugees are people; they are not products to be packaged at the lowest price and sold to the highest bidders, guys.

 

 

Somehow, when I read those articles, this tiny part of my heart felt, sadly, relieved.
Relieved that I don’t have this necessity to ‘choose’ to whom I’ve belonged to.
Relieved that I always been welcome to this country I called home.
Relieved that I could educate myself, praise whatever whoever wherever I want, deliver opinion and express myself in every possible way I could think of.

(Anyway, I read one article that could sooth my heart. It’s about religion as part of solution, where thousands of people out there already believe it as driving force behind wars.
Religious leader should gathered up and conduct interfaith discussion more often so that they could acts as a peacemaker and reconciler, as the voice of conscience, to make sure that Religion is here in this world to unite, not divide humanity)

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Crisis, Daily, Life, Love, People, Resolution, Uncategorized

Year-End

I wish:

1. This childish part of me would be disappeared, not instantly but day by day. Stop being an ignorant brat; do everything much faster than I was before; most importantly to be able to think about others first than mine.
2. I could sectioned my head to dozens counterparts that work individually, so that I could think million different things at the same time.
3. I have nerves to do, to speak, to act as what my head asked me to do.
4. My head could operate rationally once in a while. Especially when Life doesn’t need your heart to take part on making decision.
5. I could be the reason for someone’s happiness, the source of somebody’s laugh, the one that relieve pains. It doesn’t need to be major, small things do have impact even just tiny little bit.

I’m good at making lists.
Terrible at turning it to reality.

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Crisis, Economy, Europe, Opinion, Thought

Independencia

July 9th, the Independence day of Argentine.

I saw it on my calendar out of sudden yesterday, and it triggers my thought on, once again, Greece.
Home of the great soccer players of all time, the tasty wine, and eccentric tobacco, yet this Latin country reminded people nowadays a lot of with the homeland of philosophers.



Maybe due to the same catastrophe they had revolving this same damn thing.


Currency
And interdependency towards bigger power, who acts as invisible hand yet successfully, controlled every single economic decision they wanted to take, direct or indirectly.


Aside from that, Argentina has been linked to Greece most of the time due to their similarity in so many different aspects:
Medium-sized economy, trapped into ‘overvalued’ fixed currency (as Argentina has pegged their Peso to US$, making them exposed to America’s monetary policy) and also the similarity on how chaotic their corruptions history is, long-list of tax evasion, the hiding of their true budget deficit and little progress in labor market and structural reform.
They also both loose competitiveness towards neighboring country and uncontrollable consumption growth leads them to an insignificant public debt enlargement.
What different now, is the fact that Greece now a Union, which they don’t own their own currency while Argentine is a sovereign country, which means they have an option to leave the pegging system, default their debt and devalue their currency, despite the entire painful consequences they should face.
Their government suddenly has power to confiscate people’s money, people have no money to repay their dollar-nominated debt with peso on their wallet, ATMs running out of cash to withdraw, people living within poverty line arose tremendously, and series of politicians forced to step down their chair, are only the small glimpse of the reality Argentine should face after altering their currency.



And it might be the future Greece will face later on.


For the longest time, the options of Greece getting out of Euro seems so taboo, regarding on the probability of contagion to other troubling country inside EU (Italy, Portugal and Spain) and how badly it will affect to EU financial market in the future, since the credibility of EU has been ‘cheated’ by their own members, not to mention of how much France, German and UK as biggest creditors for Greece will lose.
The cost of Greece of leaving Euro for the rest of EU members is enormous, and Greece has to start assessing this measurement by their own for their own future.


For Greece itself, leaving Euro will be disastrous, knowing their lack of export commodities, which if compared to Argentina with their agriculture commodity that now has been the main export goods in China, is nothing.
Bank run, re-domination of assets and liabilities, and abandon from financial market will be even tougher since Greece has belonged to union in the past and have no currency.
Not to mention how their decision will trigger social tension in other EU members, especially their main exports partner Germany and Italy, and possibly killing their main source of income from traveling sectors, since more than 90% of their visitors came from EU members.
Hatred, at the end will take their roles, and business would not be just business anymore.
Who want to visit a country, who “stole” their money right before their eyes?


So after voted no to more austerity package, Greece now left with only, I don’t know, 100 Million Euro, or about 4 Euro per person.
4 Euro per person sounds completely insane, but that’s the consequences of rejecting austerity package that gives them room to “breathe”.
That money did not even enough for food in a day, dear God.


So what, should all Politicians in Greece do and scratch their notebook, after learning from Argentine past?
Quick political restructuring is THE core important thing to do in Greece; learning from what Argentine also did in the past.
Transforming not only a clean, transparent political institution with committed taxpayer is needed. Political leader in Greece must be open, meaning they needed to expose ALL measurement they have assess in order to open people’s mind in Greece on what options they have right now and what are the losses.
By this, society will know their own capacity, not just creating riots and social unrest that pushed back even more investors, and understanding this means that they needed to commit to such options that their political parties choose later on.
Clearing what they committed to, which questioned by European Leader and annoyed me somehow, is important to also gain trusts from their neighbor, since there’s no instant solution for each options and EU are their main, and might be their only source of help.

In my humblest and rarest opinion, I think what Greece all need now is a miraculous European-made Marshall Plan.
A recovery program that could re build a whole continent; even after the most disastrous war in the century. Imagine, if Europe welfare could be restored and rose into one of the most developed industry after 4 years of bombardment and total meltdown, why don’t implement the same aid to Greece, which only handled one troublesome country?
Programs should focus on rebuilding, NOT only cutting public expenditure that, at the end make Greece economy even smaller and smaller and waiting to be collapsed at any time.
Gather up all economic experts, top social workers, teachers around Europe to develop new Greece, with better sense of mind.


One thing for sure that Greece should (have already) realize now, is that there is NO such thing as debt relieves.
One simply could not forget that others wrong doing has made them suffer, paying higher tax so that others could lend more.


Good deeds are easy to erase, but wrong doing will forever be your debt.

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Crisis, Economy, Europe, Random, Thought

Everything’s Magic

This world always rolls on two sides of coins, head or tail.

Sometimes you’ve been placed higher than clouds, some other time reality just push you right to the ground.

I’ll remind you first, that this post, will be a comparably long and have no point, like the entire posts I’ve made, actually. I’ve gotta got a break, you know, and writing is my home-based point.



I remember, back when I was in University, one of the most talk-about gossip/news/disastrous headline was this: Greek Bankruptcy. I was intrigued with the news, with everybody in the class, or even the whole country if I’m not exaggerated too much, already speaking about that topic, knew everything from the beginning to the crumbling point, commenting everyday what should or should have Greece done to their country, and so on.

Basically, I’m the outsider AND a foreigner, have no attachment to the rather complicated country, yet completely intrigued to know further as my social circle have totally going nuts around this Greece related everything.



So I started my research, through books, magazine, classes, news and even online European gossips.

And I’m sucked into the story. Real. Hard.

Like, the research is intoxicating; sometimes the soil purpose of it is forgotten. Founding your personal pleasure in the weirdest discovery is, well…joyful.

And now the attachment to Greece story is inevitable.

When I read the recent story, while the Grexit idea still came out everywhere I clicked, when Merkel swinging her fists to the air for fighting the existence of Greece in EU still aired on the news, when riots and demonstration of Greek still the major headline on BBC or Bloomberg, 3 years after leaving Europe feels like a second.



I think the main reason behind this Greece fiasco is this: (I’ll try to describe it in a riddle, might be possibly incredibly wrong, or it might luckily the reality)

“When the Giant looked for the Dwarf, whether to show people that they could get along together despite their differences, or for each sides to take some advantage from each other, sometimes the Giant forgot how tall they were and the dwarfs forgot how tiny they were.

And they kept pretending.
Pretending to be someone they are not.

Pretending that they don’t have so much, they act like in shortage.

Pretending that they have so much, they act excessively, beyond what’s they’re capable and allowed to



The ground idea of European Union, which is to unite big, powerful country, with smaller, periphery countries, to build an Economic Giant that could compete with the superpower USA, are wrecked, when ‘share and restrain’ habits are not flourished enough within EU countries. Big country shall and must share, while small countries shall and must pull themselves out from excessive shopping.

This, is when Politics, are coming to deliver a total havoc in the already complicated arrangement. The currency may be Euro, but wallets are national and parliaments will not easily share their purse, people said. When rather small countries create troubles and somehow, brought a big troublesome wave to bigger countries, powerful power will tend to push them, to behave as they wanted to be, when adapting to a structured way-of thinking like modernized countries is not as instant as printing a guideline. Educating, not punishing, is the key of a reform, and giving a lifetime lesson, needs a generation.



Solution I’ve been thinking about in this structural reform through eyes of a foreigner, not an-economic expert, and especially a youngster?

  1. Urgently reforming the pension system to ensure its long-term financial viability. As pension problem is one of the most critical point in Greece budget decision, which people have been mocked around each day as long as I remember, Greece needed to increase their effective retirement age to balance out other EU countries retirement age. Extend the period over which pension benefits are calculated to the entire working life and extend the number of years required to qualify for a full pension are needed. Productivity are valued, when retirement are honored within moderation.
  2. Simplifying and modernizing tax system within Greece. As the major problems found in Greece are the social avoidance towards tax and lack of force from government to this violations, unifying the administration of taxes and social security contributions, with the support of neighboring countries is needed to drive Greece fiscal conditions away from falling to uncontrollable level, as fiscal policy is the most important economic tools EU countries had individually now when currency is untouchable and pegged.
  3. Improving the process of budget preparation. Problems arise within Greece is the problem of budget allocation. Most of previous public budget in Greece are spend in sectors that might not need the actual amount of funds, like military spending that should be downsized, so moving swiftly toward a program–based budget and a multi–year budgetary framework, will probably imposed an expenditure control. Not to mention, the need of trusted parliament budget committee as responsible party in the field of maintaining certain budget guideline (I search that In certain countries, this might work to tighten budget spending)
  4. Tightening a control over public spending. Proceed rapidly with reforms of rationalizing and limiting the wage line along with further increase in transparency of recruitment and limit regularization. Greece needs to enhance a strong budgetary control over public entities and restructure unprofitable state enterprises. Not to mention to clear out completely politization in State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in order to make them more professional and accountable. Greece had made too much unreasonable SOE that contributed to a big amount of public spending, so with carefully limiting SOE, and focusing public spending in only public entities sectors, while increased effectiveness in the rest of Greece SOE, will make a reasonable economic reforms in Greece economic structure.
  5. Raising labor market flexibility and tackle poverty by targeting existing employment subsidies on the most disadvantaged youth and reduce employment protection legislation. Ensuring that minimum wage does not act as a disincentive for hiring young people because this source of employment is the key of Greece growth in the future. Greece has a LOT of competition from neighboring countries with similar economic condition, so there’s no point on rising wage line while other countries could produce the same manufactures with lower price. The goals of a union is to accelerate labor’s movement through a simplified administration boundaries, so when back in the days you only compete with people with the same colors as you, now everybody in your continent will be fighting the same chair. Price, inevitably, will be the main barriers. Be different and valuable, or set yourself lower, as I may harshly say.
  6. Enhance the effectiveness of competition policy by reducing the administrative burden to start-ups and the barriers to entrepreneurship. Liberalize professional services; proceed with privatization and foster competition in network industries. Introduce a centrally led review of stock of laws and regulations for competitive effects with revisions to laws and regulations that unnecessarily restrain competition.
  7. Strengthen efficiency of the education system as representatives of future Greece growth. Develop and modernizing the childcare sector through betters regulation and increased supply of services to schools. Improve the curriculum in secondary and vocational education, enhance competition in the higher education sector and introduce reforms to improve the way education institutions are financed, by looking at different options that emphasize the focus on diversification of resources. Tackling possible future problems from the roots of education is a major concern for stopping the cycle of crisis happened again.
  8. Political Economy of Reform with strong mandate to fight corruption. As corruption and avoidance towards clean accounting reports within Greek government has been the major issues of this crisis, efforts to increase confidence in the management and also confidence in the body of EU can be approached by enhancing transparency and accountability. Gaining public trust in reforms programs that Greek government are trying to proposed could be initiate Greek’s trust over government and further reform programs will be easier to conduct in Greece.


I think people need to consider that it’s not all Greece mistakes from the beginning. My mind still could not bare the idea of how Greek governments has pretended that their public finances are in the right order and reforms were under way for several years, while European Union along with its member pretended to believe them. Could they not sense the trouble, the made-up financial statement, while big economy countries had series of economic expert as chairman?


At the end, I believe that there is always hope for Greece and EU in this crisis, because aside from the entire crisis, Greece still one country that introduce us to whole new democratic thinking. Strengthening Greece growth in the most reasonable and economic sectors are still critical in this point of view and it extremely needed EU members and also the rest of the world help, but the most mandatory thing is Greece efforts to put a strict discipline and honest government because after all, this is their future and their involvement is supreme.


This foreigner is completely and utterly bored, so bare in mind and forgive my messed-up thought and words!

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