Monday Jan 26, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
17o C
10o 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)  
A SYRIZA government in Greece: what it wants and what might be possible
The train
The future is in your hands
A guide to Greek elections
Prison probes violent attack against N17 convict Xeros
Authorities at Domokos Prison in central Greece were investigating over the weekend an attack by an inmate on November 17 terrorist Christodoulos Xeros. According to Xeros’s lawyer, Fragisko...
Exit polls suggest big margin of victory for SYRIZA
Greece's anti-austerity leftist party Syriza is on course to win Sunday's snap election by a large margin over Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' conservatives, a joint exit poll showed. Syriza...
Inside News
Talks with troika the main test
The left-wing SYRIZA party’s triumph in the Greek national elections sends a strong message across the eurozone that excessive austerity will have political and social repercussions if pursu...
Fiscal gap from revenues at 2.3 bln euros
With the state budget apparently already suffering revenue losses of more than 1 billion euros in the first month of the year, the new government will have to respond quickly to the major fi...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Olympiakos overcomes depleted OFI at Iraklio
Easy though it may seem, Olympiakos’s 3-0 win at depleted OFI Crete was rather difficult on Saturday, but was enough to keep the Reds on top on Saturday, as they have maintained their two-po...
BASKETBALL
Tremendous Spanoulis sweeps Laboral Kutxa
A hot second half was enough for Olympiakos to undo visiting Laboral Kutxa and score its fourth win in as many games at the second round of the Euroleague on Friday. The 76-64 final score wa...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Prison probes violent attack against N17 convict Xeros
2. Talks with troika the main test
3. Fiscal gap from revenues at 2.3 bln euros
4. Liquidity noose tightening around local lenders’ necks
5. Banks make plans for tackling impact of Swiss franc’s growth on borrowers
6. Eurogroup set to point to an extension to bailout program
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greek Elections 2015 | LIVE
2. Greek Elections 2015 Results | LIVE
3. Greeks vote for reform path or defiance
4. A SYRIZA government in Greece: what it wants and what might be possible
5. Exit polls suggest big margin of victory for SYRIZA
6. SYRIZA aims for landmark election win
Today
This Week
1. Greek Elections 2015 | LIVE
2. Grexit the only way out of ‘valley of tears,’ says Hans-Werner Sinn
3. Greek Elections 2015 | LIVE
4. No debt writedown or rolling back of reforms for Greece, says Finland's Stubb
5. Greeks fork out nearly 5 pct of their incomes on telecom services
6. QE exclusion a ‘de facto Grexit’
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.