Friday August 22, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
32o C
25o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
The ship of fools

By Nikos Konstandaras

It is said that in medieval Europe some nations would load their lunatics on ships and send them away, on a journey without end. In this way, they were freed of the daily care of their mad brethren. When another ship of fools arrived, the locals would be entertained by the passengers’ antics, give them some assistance, and, without becoming responsible for them, send them on their way. This was a practical solution, but also a parable for man’s journey to the unknown.

Sometimes during the past few years, the image of a ship whose passengers are caught up in endless squabbles, with no idea of where they’re headed, could serve as a metaphor for how at least some of our partners see Greece: They are forced to help us, they think our predicament is our problem only (remember the comments that “Greece is a special case”?). But as long as the problem is not solved in a way that convinces everyone that Europe takes care of its people, the contagion will spread – the ship with no destination will represent Europe itself.

This is an exaggeration, of course, but there is no arguing that Greece today is on a journey with an unknown destination. We face neither war, nor occupation, nor some natural disaster. Instead, we are forced to knock down our political and economic system on our own, in exchange for loans that will maintain society in some semblance of normality. Because today nations express solidarity with each other, our partners and creditors in the EU and the International Monetary Fund provided assistance before our walls collapsed. The price, though, was that we tear them down ourselves, with the argument that with their money and their help we will build them on more stable foundations (while repaying our debts to them).

Our partners see what they are providing and how difficult we find it to make use of it quickly and effectively; we, however, live the drama of those who must throw down their arms, and who, at the moment of their greatest humiliation and deprivation, must rebuild their society (their walls) from the beginning. Greece will need a long time and much patience to recover, to be able to produce again and to free itself from debt.

The storm in Parliament on Wednesday is indicative of how disoriented we are. While most of the governing coalition’s deputies were forced to defend harsh austerity measures that may lead to their political demise, deputies of all the opposition parties strutted about smugly demanding changes to the course of a ship that has run aground. At the same time, as if oblivious to the drama in Athens, impatient and grumpy at our delays, our European partners began to hum and haw about when they would release the tranche of the loan that would put some air in our sails. They saw us as a special case, not as a parable of our common fate.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday November 8, 2012 (22:43)  
Self-destructing political system
Welcome movement
Logged out of reality
Manipulated institutions
KEELPNO blames stomach bug for sick tourists on Rhodes
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) on Thursday contradicted foreign press reports according to which hundreds of tourists suffered food poisoning at a hotel on Rhodes ea...
KEPs to issue new and replacement driving licenses
Greeks and foreigners living in Greece will no longer have to queue up at the Transport Ministry to get new or replacement driving licenses as the government decided yesterday that Citizen S...
Inside News
Report: Greek banks sturdily positioned
Greece’s banks are on sturdy capital ground, and if any capital injections are needed, the sum should not exceed 3.5 billion euros, Morgan Stanley notes in a new report. Morgan Stanley analy...
Economy stunted by property tax demands, report says
The overtaxation of property is suppressing the potential of an economic recovery, which could have been achieved as far back as the first quarter of 2013 had faulty and detrimental property...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Greek soccer officials in refereeing probe to face prosecutor on Sept 15
Eleven soccer officials were on Wednesday given until September 15 before they have to face prosecutor Aristidis Koreas, who is investigating allegations that the draws to decide which match...
ATHLETICS
Long jumper Tsatoumas takes Greece´s second silver at European Championships
Greece won its second medal at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich, Switzerland, on Sunday with Louis Tsatoumas coming second in the long jump. Briton Greg Rutherford won the even...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. KEELPNO blames stomach bug for sick tourists on Rhodes
2. Report: Greek banks sturdily positioned
3. Economy stunted by property tax demands, report says
4. Primary surplus exceeds January-July target figure
5. KEPs to issue new and replacement driving licenses
6. EU funds reserved for waste facilities in northern Greece
more news
Today
This Week
1. Merkel cites euro’s ‘construction flaws’ as economy sputters
2. Brussels warns Greece over plans to allow construction near Korinos beach
3. Second man held over double murder in Mani
4. Avramopoulos in US for talks with Hagel on possible Greek role in peace missions
5. Eurozone business growth slows in July, prices fall: PMI
6. Inspectors visit Rhodes to probe reports of mass food poisoning of hotel guests
Today
This Week
1. Carved sphinxes at Ancient Amphipolis tomb will not be removed
2. Treating Amphipolis with care
3. Canada’s fiscal adjustment has lessons for Greece
4. Greece to offer law on restructuring bad loans next month
5. Ministry sys ‘no’ to debt collection agencies
6. Karatzaferis eyes ND-LAOS alliance to stop Tsipras
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.