Saturday September 20, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
27o C
19o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Filthy habits

By Alexis Papachelas

Driving my car along a scenic route on one of Greece’s national highways recently, I could not help but notice the endless litter. There it was, at every parking stop, after every toll station along the highway: empty bottles, pieces of paper, cigarette packages. Even when I drove into the villages, I would see the streams fouled with all sorts of waste, including rusty refrigerators.

It makes you wonder. What is to blame for all that? Is it the “filthy foreigners” who destroyed our country? Is it the state which cannot get around to collecting the rubbish that we produce? Or is it the work of some foreign power seeking to defame our people and drive our tourists away?

I am afraid that this awful sight is of our own making, a result of our own uncivilized behavior. We need to be honest with ourselves. We have absolutely no excuse for the way in which we insult and destroy this unique legacy. I am pretty certain that it is the same type of Greek who throws his cigarette packet out of the window who shortly afterward reminds himself of “the beauties of this wonderful land which is envied by everyone else.”

Sure, we are making some progress. Youngsters appear to have a better understanding of recycling and show more respect toward the natural environment.

Recent experience demonstrates that Greek citizens respect rules and laws where these are implemented.

It’s impressive to observe how, for instance, they respect the Athens metro and don’t litter the trains and stations or how they never even consider smoking at Athens International Airport beyond the boundaries of the designated areas where it is actually allowed.

But we still carry inside the type of Greek who will happily abuse their country in a variety of ways while wishing to come across as a true patriot. This is the kind of Greek who has built an entire myth in his mind and who justifies every single illegality and vulgarity in the name of some kind of supposed state of unruly independence.

The worst type when it comes to such Greeks are the politicians who led the country to its current state. These are the kind of people who nurtured the worst instincts in this classic type of Greek and ended up justifying their behavior. If they witnessed anyone throwing rubbish into a river, they would ask for the “poor man to be left alone to do his job; that’s how Greeks are, after all.”

Eventually this became the perfect compromise. The leader did not have to display his unpleasant side, impose the law or persuade people about any kind of grandiose vision, while this type of Greek voter could carry on with his or her beloved habits without suffering any consequences.

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday Jan 7, 2014 (21:30)  
High stakes after the Scottish vote
Breathing room
Greek society’s and lenders’ fatigue
Legitimacy control
Mayors resisting evaluation to face disciplinary action
Mayors and municipal employees who refuse to take part in a civil service evaluation scheme the government has undertaken as part of commitments to international creditors will face discipli...
Fyssas rally demonstrators face prosecutor after clashes
Sixty-four people arrested in Keratsini, a suburb of Piraeus, on Thursday, following clashes with police during an anti-racist march marking the one-year anniversary of the murder of rapper ...
Inside News
Record sum of new debts to the state in August
Expired debts to the state rose to a record high in August, according to data released on Friday by the Finance Ministry. The sum of taxes and fines that remained unpaid after their deadline...
‘Greece can meet its needs on its own’
Greece will be able to meet its obligations without any new assistance from the International Monetary Fund, Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis said on Friday in London, leaving the door ope...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Triumph for PAOK, historic result for Asteras in Europa League
Greek teams produced a patchy record on the opening night of the Europa League group stage on Thursday, as PAOK thrashed Dynamo Minsk, Asteras Tripolis snatched a draw at Besiktas and Panath...
SOCCER
Financial crisis forces Greek second division postponement
Greece's second soccer division Football League announced on Wednesday the postponement of the start of the season due to financial difficulties being faced by most clubs. "The board of dire...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Record sum of new debts to the state in August
2. ‘Greece can meet its needs on its own’
3. Mayors resisting evaluation to face disciplinary action
4. Fyssas rally demonstrators face prosecutor after clashes
5. PM in energy talks ahead of crucial meeting with Merkel
6. Attiki Odos Lamia exit to close Sunday
more news
Today
This Week
1. Record sum of new debts to the state in August
2. ‘Greece can meet its needs on its own’
3. EIB signs deals with Greece for 815-mln investment in infrastructure projects
4. Dozens of arrests at march to mark anniversary of Fyssas murder
5. Hardouvelis signals Greece may skip IMF loans to exit aid curbs
6. Syntagma metro station to close for Fyssas tribute concert
Today
This Week
1. Greece on standby
2. Greece at bottom of social justice scale among EU28
3. Central Athens traffic restrictions back in force on Monday
4. Lost in the fog
5. Democracy under Pressure | Live Streaming
6. SYRIZA spokesman suggests gov't sought to stop NERIT airing Tsipras speech live
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.