Ahead of what is likely to be a week full of drama, stomach-churning market action, and violence in the streets of Athens, a German documentary is making the rounds online outlining the severe socioeconomic dysfunction that led Greece to its current state of affairs.
The documentary, by German public service broadcaster ZDF, focuses on the high level of corruption, graft and entitlement among the wealthiest Greeks and how it's embedded in the country's political culture. It contrasts scenes of opulence at various yacht clubs in the proudly seafaring nation to the devastating clips of poverty and homelessness in central Athens, whose streets could easily be mistaken for crisis-era Sarajevo.
The film, which takes offense at the way the European Union leadership, especially German Chancellor Angela Merkel, has been scapegoated with causing Greece's problem, asks a question that does not often come up in debates about Greece: Why aren't her richest citizens being asked to share in the pain being imposed on others?
In a truly shocking series of images meant to hammer that point, the documentary shows wealthy Greeks sitting atop their yachts, openly talking about not paying taxes, then cuts to the records room of the Athens Ministry of Finance to illustrate why those rich citizens might feel so untouchable: The room where records on tax payments are kept, in antiquated paper format, is a filthy mess where overflow files are stashed inside black trash bags or thrown into supermarket shopping carts
The film calls Greece a paradise for tax cheats.
Below are some stills from the documentary.