COMMENT

Harbingers of hope

By Alexis Papachelas

For many years, being famous in this part of the world came with a number of perks and privileges. It ensured a certain degree of impunity against the law; and the degree of impunity grew depending on the person’s insolence, impertinence, or power.

This period appears to be finally coming to an end – in fact, a rather abrupt one. The truth is that it could not have happened otherwise. A pendulum has to swing from one side to the other before it stops in the middle.

Society is currently witnessing a form of mass rebellion, as it were, against the status quo and the political elites that ruled Greece before leading its economy and households to bankruptcy. It is a painful process that occasionally takes some very extreme forms, it becomes a tool in the hands of certain dark forces, and it conceals dangers. But it is also a necessary one. Everyone is becoming more restrained as they realize that the rules of the game have changed for good.

At the same time, we are seeing the emergence of a new generation of judicial, police and state officials who show determination and desire to perform their designated task in the face of vested interests.

In my view, no one stands above the young prosecutor who gets paid a bit more than 1,000 euros a month to sit in a cold office and tackle difficult corruption cases without any help from above. We are talking here about young people who are driven by a healthy sense of professionalism and a strong sense of duty.

Perhaps they are the harbingers of a new era. Because at the end of the day, with all its casualties and extremes, the crisis could help tilt Greece on to the path of normality, that is, to being a country where being famous can at best get you a good table at a fancy restaurant – but no more than that.

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