When you visit Greece, the customs officers will put in your passport the stamp of the Greek Republic. You will see the Greek flag waving at Athens International Airport; taxis waiting for customers, gas stations still in operation and public infrastructure being kept at a mediocre level. This, however, is just an illusion. Greece is a collapsing country.
Greece is experiencing the perfect financial, political and social storm: all at the same time, state structures have to deal corruption and serious internal and foreign security problems. It is the ultimate nightmare for every state. Greek banks function not because they can, but because they have to. The Greek state has stopped honoring its financial obligations toward private individuals and enterprises. The state's revenue is enough only for civil servant salaries and pensions.
Greece's political system produces more laughter, more enemies and more entropy than it can deal with. The gap between government and governed cannot be bridged by any coalition of political parties. Greek lawmakers look like a cartel of self-centered, corrupt puppets, who manage to survive in their jobs only because they have appointed thousands of their parties' supporters to jobs in the public sector, working as tax collectors, bureaucrats, port and airport workers, gardeners, school guards, and so on.
The desire of the political regime to hold onto power is the only reason why the Greek state continues to pay 700,000 civil servants, in a country with a population of 10,000,000. Members of the "party army," as it is called, in order to keep their jobs, always vote for the same party that gave them these jobs. The criterion for their employment is not their ability, but their political beliefs.
The policy the government is following, because of the recession and the lack of liquidity, has created an undeclared social "civil war" between well-paid civil servants and the unpaid employees of private sector companies that provide services to the state, to whom the government owes billions of euros in unpaid bills.
Anarchists attack police forces almost weekly; and the violence between the "far right" and "far left" is duly recorded on a weekly basis. All terrorist groups -- old and new -- are just waiting for the right time to declare war against everyone who disagrees with their beliefs and their view of the world.
Add to this socially explosive cocktail the 1,500,000 unemployed, and the 2,000,000 illegal immigrants and refugees from Africa and the Middle East, and violence -- as a pattern of everyone against everyone -- seems as if could soon become "normal."
To help them, there are, according to unofficial sources from Greek Intelligence Service, 500,000 to 1,000,000 illegal AK-47 assault rifles in Greece, as well as thousands of grenades and RPG rocket launchers.
If just 1% of 2,000,000 illegal immigrants -- from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria and Africa -- now living in Greece are recruited to jihad, the number of armed jihadists who could make trouble is 20,000. The security forces do not have the manpower, suitable training, or the right equipment to deal with that.
The Greek Coast Guard recently arrested a "refugee" coming from Syria, who had 200,000 euros in cash. Apparently, this Syrian "investor" did not think that Turkey, Jordan or Lebanon -- countries that border Syria -- were safe for his "investments." He preferred to cross half the treacherous Aegean Sea, through severe weather, to deposit his money in Greek "zombie banks." Is his the first or the last money transfer from that area?
A new tsunami of thousands of illegal migrants, flooding Greek islands via the Turkish coast, is underway. The illegal migrants have been found with smartphones containing maps of the mainland and markings of where to go, as well as instructions about what to say to Greek authorities if arrested either at sea or on land. If all this does not make us think about who is coming to Greece, and for what purpose, in waves of migration, then we really do not know what matters.
The collapse of the state structure and the corruption in Greece are so huge that the Greek Police's internal affairs service arrested officers of the Greek Intelligence Service who were cooperating with human traffickers from Turkey in transporting illegal migrants into Greek territory. This operation had such access and influence to the State Security Force, that police officers and intelligence agents could be transferred from one city to another, and from one department to another, to sideline honest officers who stood in the way.
Greece is a significant country. It is a member of the European Union. It is a member of NATO. It is a stakeholder, in a sensitive and significant geopolitical place, of the post-Bretton Woods world.
Greece's collapse, sadly, is set to affect the whole Balkan area and the southeast Mediterranean. No one can tell for sure where and when the last domino will fall. Political and financial analysts, as well as policymakers worldwide who closely monitor Greece, are in total denial. It does not really matter whether or not Greece signs a new agreement with the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF. It is too late. Greece is now a ghost country, a political terminal of chaos.
Can Angela Merkel and Christine Lagarde share with us the information they see in their crystal ball about what will happen if Greece fractures into a political and geopolitical "organ donor" -- as Yugoslavia did -- and Russia, Germany, Saudi Arabia and United States each help themselves to a dismembered part of it, to place under their financial and geopolitical influence? If so, we would really appreciate hearing about that. Are there any other plans afoot?
Has the time come for Greece to see NATO soldiers in policing duties in Greek cities? Only NATO has the authority and political legitimacy to interfere inside countries when they lose their political sovereignty.
Has the time come for Greek cities to live temporarily under the command of warlords who will fight for food to be sent from one municipal district to another? If that time has come, what country will collapse next, and what will Greece's collapse mean for the future of the West?