We’re all tired. We journalists, those who govern, you the readers, who follow the news and the commentaries – all of us living in this country with all its dead ends. The only real and consistent recycling taking place in Greece these days has to do with speeches, pledges and promises. What follows are denials, recriminations, misconstructions and conspiracy theories. Communication is becoming increasingly difficult and we are running out of words and stamina.
Meanwhile, the problems are getting bigger and the solutions seem farther away – appearing to be increasingly complicated and interdependent. According to a report published this week in Kathimerini, 1.2 million pensioners are living in dire financial conditions following cuts in their pensions: 44.8 percent receive less than 665 euros per month, while 13.7 percent are living in poverty. There’s no need to mention the estimates regarding the impoverishment figures. We’ve been using the same expressions since the beginning of the crisis – back then, however, they comprised leftist SYRIZA’s core opposition artillery.
Who will provide some kind of support to these thousands of people, who, let’s not forget, were once a safety net for dozens of families, contributing with their meager income toward their children’s survival?
There can be no role reversal now, given the high levels of unemployment. In other words, who could the children provide financial assistance to their pensioner parents now?
The kind of loud and photogenic drama that unfolded on the streets of the Greek capital at the beginning of the crisis, at a time when foreign press crews rushed to show queues, soup kitchens, hunger and wretchedness, seems like a fabricated, “coming soon” movie trailer compared to what is going on today.
That’s because what is going on these days is silent and increasingly invisible, given that it is absorbed into the generalized misery and regression. Back in those days, the television channels went out hungrily in search of the homeless and the beggars. Nowadays, local society’s collective image seems to have incorporated the worst of what is going on, given that, on average, it is obviously in depression, both financial and psychological.
“The future is rushing upon us. We cannot stand still,” opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis told Parliament during a recent debate on education. He is absolutely right. The point is, however, not to simply describe the future, but to make sure that there actually is one.