Are we isolated in Europe’s basement or are we changing Europe? Judging from the facts, it appears that the former is true, while the latter is SYRIZA’s mantra for local political consumption.
As the only European Union country still operating under a bailout program, while hosting more than 60,000 trapped refugees and migrants in an increasingly explosive and discordant environment, Greece would find it extremely difficult to claim a spot on the European structure’s high level.
“What structure?” you might ask. The one still standing, with all its wearing down, the danger of collapsing, the casual repairs, a confirmed exit and those that could follow, a turn toward to the extreme right, the terrorist attacks and so on.
Nevertheless, the European structure remains the only democratic stronghold in an environment showcasing intensifying authoritarianism, war and general disintegration.
“We need a social Europe of growth, employment and prosperity for all its people,” the Greek prime minister stated Friday in Bratislava, Slovakia, as he arrived for an informal European Union summit.
“In any case, Europe should not carry on sleepwalking in the wrong direction,” Tsipras added.
It’s a rather nice metaphor. Especially if you consider that it came from the prime minister of a country which has yet to regain its senses, a country exercising its daily rituals with more and more difficulty and with increasingly bad results.
Is there any core sector in the country which is not suffering in one way or another?
Health, education, employment, administration? What kind of track record is there in terms of growth? What kind of public talk and behavior has a positive effect on the country’s people?
Every day comes with another display of decomposition and efforts to manipulate justice, the media as well as individuals who react or disagree.
Clearly all other European countries are facing major issues. But no country appears to be stuck in a rut like Greece is, a country where the prevailing feeling is one of complete malfunction and a return to the past tense.
While it’s tempting to borrow the notion of a “Sleepwalking Europe,” one wonders whether the Greek premier knows exactly what he is describing from his own experience.
It sounds handy, especially when you consider that when they wake up, sleepwalkers never remember anything that went on before.