Fire has a major role in the process of human evolution, development of language, socialization, technologies. Civilization would not be possible without fire. And matches made much easier its lighting.
Salt shaped civilization from the very beginning. It is so essential to the humans that did conciderably influence the history of mankind.
The history of sugar is linked with ruthless profiteering, colonial ambitions, human labor and tragedy. It was once a medicine, a panacea kept in locked box by those who could afford it, and an exotic, rare, costly luxury.
Olive oil is not only a staple in the diet of the olive producing regions, but is also a key component of Greek identity. It is tied to many folk and religious rituals and holds a special symbolic significance in the crucial events in the cycle of life.
In 1897, matches, salt, sugar and olive oil were some of the Greek state monopolies. But Greece in order to service the public debt assigned to the Internationl Financial Control- which was imposed after 1893 bankarptcy- left the profits of the monopolies and the custom duties of the port of Piaraeus to the creditors. Greeks experienced the consequences of that bunkruptcy and the cruelty of debt until 1978.
It may sound bizarre, but if fire, olive oil and salt are symbols of civilization and sugar is a symbol of pure pleasure, the imposition of the IFC on these commodities seemed like the symbol of a leap away from the civilized life.
ΓΙΑ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ ΕΔΩ