The situation at the macro level is, if anything, even more transformational. The Chinese have largely taken over Piraeus, Greece’s main port, with an eye to make it a conduit for shipping goods into Europe. Qatar is looking to invest $5 billion in various projects in Greece, including tourism infrastructure. Other, relatively flush Europeans are trying to make “Greece the Florida of Europe,” Theodore Pelagidis, a Greek economist at the University of Piraeus, told me, referring in particular to plans to turn islands into expensive retirement homes for wealthy people from other parts of the continent. Whether or not the country pays its debts, he went on, other nations and foreign companies “now understand the Greek government is powerless, so in the future they will take over viable assets and run parts of the country by themselves.”What Pegagdis discribes is sovereign nation being taken over by international interests to be developed into a luxury product for wealthy foreigners to consume. And this is being done with callous disregard for the unfortunate Greeks still living there. They are being shunted aside, forced to endure serious economic misery for the sake of enriching and comforting an inaccessible elite. They are the 5 jiao men, toiling away for nothing. It looks a lot like Greece is being taken through the international chop shop, and ordinary Greeks are only left with the hollow shell of their former country.
Leave it to the Very Serious People to make Shteyngart's dystopia a reality.