Maria Katsounaki MARIA KATSOUNAKI

Adapting to less and less

COMMENT

TAGS: Politics

The predicament is pretty straightforward: Young scientists are fleeing, money is fleeing (tax evasion has skyrocketed in response to rising tax rates imposed by the leftist-led administration), businesses are fleeing, investments are fleeing, while bank deposits have already left Greece.

At the same time, thousands of migrants and refugees stranded in the country would also love to leave, if only they had the chance.

Thus we are left with the hard stuff. Plus a mix of emotions and habits which are rather detrimental to our future: fear, hatred, prejudice and conspiracy theories. At the same time, there is denial and stubborn resistance to any effort to break with past habits that have so clearly failed us.

Analyzing specific examples would only entail getting stuck in an endless loop. The pattern is unbearably constant, whether one looks at the privatization of the old international airport in Elliniko, south of Athens, or the long-stalled construction of an official mosque in the capital.

The government, a coalition of leftist SYRIZA and right-wing Independent Greeks (ANEL), never tires of declaring its aversion to the “old political system” while at the same time treading that exact same path. Ironically, that is the biggest delusion of all. The SYRIZA-ANEL coalition only knows one way of exercising political power, and that is the same as its predecessors. As opposition parties, SYRIZA and ANEL both strengthened this model. As ruling parties, they are now making sure the model is perpetuated.

Recent news gives us very little in the way of hope. Last week was all about nonperforming loans and “red lines that will not be transgressed” (or so government officials have it). Indecisiveness and ambiguity are the rule even when it comes to straightforward issues such as the occupation of public and private buildings.

What is the consequence of all this? It is financial, spiritual as well as emotional poverty. Money is running out, the brain drain continues and the last drops of courage and energy are deserting our souls.

Decline is not necessarily manifested in a loud or violent manner. We know now. There is something mesmerizing and exhausting about this life as you get accustomed to having less and less. You have nothing better to look forward to. You only anticipate the next cut, the next downgrade.

Adapting to having less and less becomes second nature. A new type of Greek is emerging. His characteristics are still vague and confused.

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