As is customary after each trip I take to Greece, I share my thoughts and feelings that were shaped by the various meetings and discussions I had with people from all political, social and economic segments, and my more general observations of society and the marketplace .
Last week in my commentary titled Between Scylla and Charybdis – which was written in Athens – I analyzed critical issues that pressure and threaten the future and maybe even the territorial integrity of the country.
On the Scylla side of the balance I placed the economic crisis and the political uncertainty that is being generated by the upcoming presidential selection process, and visibly tired coalition government.
On the other, Charybdis, I placed the Turkish threat. (More coming on that).
Today I will offer a general analysis of some specific causes of the continuation of the economic crisis, aspiring, first, to offer readers a presentation of essential information that is hard to come by, and second, to shake up – to the degree that it is possible for a Diaspora journalist to do so – the stagnant waters of the political life of the country.
Our homeland, despite valiant efforts of some – among whom I include the prime Minister Antonis Samaras – and despite yesterday’s positive economic news, is not going anywhere.
It has not learned much from the crisis. And since not much has been learned, not much will change.
It is going around in circles. Waiting for the deus ex machina to launch the country into the future.
They are hoping for a return to the good old days, the easy ways, the delusional times. And so it remains mired in misery, the same old same old, without imagination, tenacity, philotimo, courage and pride.
Some are working hard to remain in their comfortable seats of power. Others are fighting to grab them for themselves. Without leadership with stature, with vision and faith in the nation.
They are trapped in their private little worlds in Kolonaki – believing that the people – within and outside Greece – will wait for them. That that the world is bearing a path to their door.
And lately Athens and Nicosia have discovered new allies – as if those that exist, such as the European Union and NATO, are not enough.
Alliances with whom? The like of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the brutal dictator of Egypt. There they stand and admire one another as they are photographed! As others once admired Papadopoulos.
Such great democrats. These distinguished proponents of democracy, freedom of speech, of the press and of human rights.
They have suddenly been converted into fans of the realist school of international relations, and have become fans of Metternich and Kissinger!
However, where was the outcry from other side of the political coin, the media, against those who embraced Sisi?
And by the way, how it is explained that during Greece’s great depression, not only have no newspapers been closed down, but three new ones opened?
Does this by any chance demonstrate that there is greater transparency in the country? That the war against corruption is being won, that that a sound relationship has been re-established between politicians and journalists? Of course not. Quite the contrary.
In conclusion: The political class of Greece remains detached from the reality of the conditions in which it lives. And much of the population remains incredulous.
The abandonment of the plan on the orders of the lenders, the Troika, enabling people to pay the burdensome ENFIA tax in 100 installments is the latest national disgrace.
Meanwhile, time flies. The onrushing poverty is turning more and more lives into hell, whether they are deserving of their fate or not.
Cyprus, Thrace, the Aegean, Macedonia, they all are watching in anxiety. But do not despair – completely.
And do not doubt that this situation cannot last much longer. Yes, ultimately a new Greece will emerge. Hopefully, a better one.