Saturday November 1, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
18o C
13o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
No safe distance in real politics

By Alexis Papachelas

Irrespective of whether I agree or disagree with a personís opinion, I will take my hat off to them if and when they decide to jump into the arena of politics without trepidation, whoever they are and whatever they may stand for. However, I will not take my hat off to someone who flirts with the idea of playing at politics but prefers to stay close to the warmth of the home fires instead of venturing into the battlefield. You canít exercise politics from a safe distance. Safety is for lofty societies that address literary concerns and reading clubs.

Why such admiration for those who dare to become embroiled in politics? Because it is a harder, more soul-wrenching and much, much dirtier game than anyone on the outside can possibly imagine. Anyone who decides to enter the fray needs to give up all thoughts of a private life and be prepared to suffer fire from all fronts, at all times.

Back in the 1960s, Constantine Karamanlis was known to have said that fascism as a political system has a rationale, as does communism. But in Greece, he added, the political system is like one giant coffee house where nobody takes anything seriously.

Politics in Greece today is still very much a giant coffee house, but it is also a boxing ring where there are no rules and the gloves have been taken off. It takes guts and a very, very strong stomach to jump into that ring today. This is the age of social networking and fast information. No one, and especially not a politician, can hide from well-meant and ill-meant criticism, mudslinging, backstabbing, rumor and sheer madness, as well, of course, as from that healthy part of public opinion that wants to be in the loop.

Just as I see those who boldly enter the ring of politics, so I see politicians like Adonis Georgiadis, Petros Tatsopoulos and even economist Yanis Varoufakis, because they arenít afraid to get dirty from the mud being thrown at them in order to defend their opinions. In a country known for developing deep fixations, where everyone and everything can be mocked and stereotyped at the drop of a hat, we need people who are ready to break the taboos and stand up for their beliefs. As for those who want to look at the fight without getting dirty, I have nothing to say, other than that they remind me of a long-departed relative of mine, who thought about entering politics but only if he got the support of discerning voters.

Sure, countries need an elite, pioneering think-tanks and innovative thinkers. What they do not need is politicians who make big promises and then back away from the fight when they see that it is not going to be pretty and they may very well end up getting hurt in the process.

ekathimerini.com , Saturday March 1, 2014 (17:43)  
Checks and balances
Opening hours on the agenda
The judiciaryís responsibility
Findings raise eyebrows
Ministry swap halts talk of reshuffle as reforms eyed
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Friday appointed Nikos Dendias as defense minister, replacing outgoing Dimitris Avramopoulos, who assumes the European Commissionís immigration portfolio ne...
Turkish-Greek cooperation in Aegean helps stem flow of migrants
Closer cooperation between Greek and Turkish coast guard authorities has led to 11,000 undocumented migrants being prevented from entering Greek borders and returned to the neighboring count...
Inside News
Disposable income of households fell 10.3 pct in one year
The reduction of Greek householdsí disposable incomes in 2013 compared with 2012 amounted to a total of 14 billion euros, the biggest since the start of the crisis according to data released...
Banks unhappy with bad loans bill
Bank officials are expressing serious reservations about the efficiency of the governmentís bill regarding nonperforming corporate loans, arguing that the target set by the Development Minis...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Spanoulis played Zeus for Olympiakos against Neptunas
Captain Vassilis Spanoulis helped Olympiakos narrowly avoid an upset on Friday as it defeated Euroleague debutant Neptunas Klaipeda 85-81 in overtime in Lithuania to preserve its perfect sta...
BASKETBALL
Obradovic watches Greens thrash his Fenerbahce
The second homecoming of former Panathinaikos coach Zeljko Obradovic, now at Fenerbahce, was not as emotional as last yearís, but it was certainly was the night of an emphatic triumph for th...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
†RECENT NEWS
1. Spanoulis played Zeus for Olympiakos against Neptunas
2. Disposable income of households fell 10.3 pct in one year
3. Banks unhappy with bad loans bill
4. State debtor numbers grew in September
5. Reform plan among conditions
6. Ministry swap halts talk of reshuffle as reforms eyed
more news
Today
This Week
1. Checks and balances
2. Opening hours on the agenda
3. Archaeologists find underground vault at Amphipolis tomb
4. Man shot dead, woman injured in Vathis square attack
5. Greek retail sales rise for third month in a row
6. Cyprusís Georgiades bets on economy for Irish-style bailout exit
Today
This Week
1. Austriaís creative bookkeeping beats Greece on secret debts
2. End of reason, end of humanity
3. Clean bill of health for Greek banks from stress tests
4. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
5. Eurobank, National Bank restructurings eliminate capital gap
6. Athens flood damage assessed, compensation payments to begin
†††Find us ...
††... on
Twitter
†† ††... on Facebook ††
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.