Quizdom question: Who can save Greece from collapse? (A) the Germans (B) Syriza (C) its Startup-scene (D) its citizens? I have 20,000 questions in my Quizdom game. But none is as difficult as this one. Admittedly, my perspective through which to discuss this topic is extremely limited and lacking. But let me try by using a magic method I sharpened at countless Quizdom matches: exclusion.
A: The Germans, or the wealthier European community, respectively. Can the Germans save Greece? It would be interesting if, after having piled up their fair share in destroying European mainland in the last century, twice, they rise to save it at all costs this time. But it is to be doubted whether they have the ressources to, let alone the will. Suppose the Germans were in need, would the Greeks make an extraordinary effort to help them? I have lived my entire life in Germany, and apart from some selected groups and media channels, I don't believe that its population or politicians have any deep animosity towards Greece. However, it hardly makes sense for us Greeks to put the fate of our life into the hands of a stranger with limited resources and will. Which excludes answer A.
B: Syriza. Political instability, the kind we've experienced since the crisis, freshly fed with the last elections, is always bad. While discussing potential new projects with business partners, I clearly sense how their left foot is on the brake pedal while their right is petting the gas, waiting to see how the political scene will unfold. Experiencing this already in the context of my little app, I can only imagine how much the political instability is taking its toll on big investments and new projects. I believe that I am not alone to wish that the current political leaders will come together and cut a deal. Whatever that deal is. Just let us know where we stand and what the next steps will be. And then let us find our way and make our decisions. And solve our problems. We will. After all, it is the players on the field -- the citizens -- who have to support and ultimately implement an effort to turn around the economy. What would Luis Enrique, coach of FC Barcelona, have won this year without his world-class team and players on the field? Which is why I exclude B.
C: The Startup-scene. If Alexis Tsipras is the coach, I am confident that a Greek start-up could become his Messi or Neymar. Why shouldn't the next billion dollar technology gig come from Athens? The biggest problem is that this notion alone is laughable to many. Putting aside bureaucratic barriers and lack of expertise which might exist, the biggest obstacle seems to me the lack of hope and ambition among young people. And who could blame them, given the disproportionate toll the crisis has taken on their share of the economy and, ultimately, their dreams. It is both ridiculous and wrong that people under 30 years are seen as young and incapable of building something in Greece. Nevertheless, I have come to know many young people with the ambition to reach the sky and the discipline to go the extra mile for it. I have met plenty of talented and hard-working people. Therefore, I am optimistic that the base exists for the next star start-up. There are literally millions of opportunities to improve current businesses using technology. Finally, if we fail to support growth in the IT arena, we will be hit hard in 2030, wondering what happened (again!), being decades behind. Given the abundance of talent in Greece with not many other options to pursue, I truly believe that the startup-scene can generate star players. But we have to stay realistic. Purely technological companies are currently only a fraction of the Greek economy. And based on the path of other countries, this will stay so in the next 10 years. It won't turn Greece around. Which excludes C.
D: Its citizens. Political leaders can formulate and initiate a smart strategy. Star players can help score a goal or two. But ultimately it is the wider team, which will carry the weight of the season and the responsibility of its place in the end. Without the players on the field, the best strategy formulated by the coach won't go anywhere. In addition, the coach can't tell us everything. Each player has to make an extra effort and sense his responsibility on the field. This is how games and seasons are won or lost.
I know that the perspective I have written is particularly bad. It does not provide a single actionable step to take. In fact, I do not have anything to add regarding concrete measures that should be taken. I can only express my wish that a new hope will be articulated for this country. And a new mentality will rise, one which I believe I have been witness to in the last few months. A mentality of creativity, hard-work and a sense of social responsibility, which extends beyond one's own family. It will ultimately be a team-effort. Now Greece may not be Barcelona. Alexis Tsipras not Luis Enrique. And Google is still playing ball in the U.S. But neither is, on the world stage, Southern Europe the Primera División. Nor do we aim for the Champions League trophy. Just, for the sake of our history and our potential in which we believe, let's get together and climb back from second to first league.
So who can save Greece from collapse? (A) The Germans (B) Syriza (C) its Startup-scene (D) its citizens. I have roughly 20.000 questions in my game, but, I believe, none is as easy as this one.
This post was originally published on HuffPost Greece and was translated into English.