Monday May 4, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Tsipras rages in his tent

By Nikos Konstandaras

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras did the right thing in boycotting the formal assumption of the Greek presidency in Athens on Wednesday. The absence of the main opposition party’s leader was a resounding slap at the European establishment and a proud declaration of where things stand. This is Greece, the country where institutions exist in order to be subjected to our will or, at best, ignored. Here, too many of us believe that we have the right to do whatever we like, that we have reasons (which are always absolute and leave no room for compromise) to be above all institutions, all laws, all obligations, all rules of behavior. The words “improvisation” and “impetuosity” should be nailed onto the national herald.

Tsipras’s tactics have a long tradition. Noisy absences, loud condemnations and theatrical boycotts, always in the name of some purer procedure, are among the basic weapons of our politicians, union leaders and other eternal teenagers. It is no coincidence that “The Iliad” begins with the rage of Achilles and his sullen withdrawal from the battlefield at Troy because he was insulted by the king of the Greeks, Agamemnon. The tactic is born of the protagonist’s narcissism, because he knows best, and of the deep-rooted belief that when things do not go according to our wishes, this is because the game is rigged against us.

Indeed, very often in Greek history the game was rigged by local and foreign players. For good or ill. But this is no excuse for abdicating from the responsibility of taking part. Dictatorships must be opposed by all means, but democracy is supported by our participation – anything else undermines it, leaving it in the hands of determined minorities. The misfortunes suffered by our universities are tragic proof of where the apathy of the majority leads when this allows determined minorities to take charge.

Like apathy, the tactic of absence destroys institutions but also those who boycott them, because it leaves decisions to others. Those who call boycotts have to justify them by arguing that there is no room for compromise, that the process is so faulty that there is no choice but to destroy it. Boycotts, however, do not gain much, other than making their perpetrators wallow in the seductive charm of self-satisfaction at their moral superiority. This deepens existing rifts.

By boycotting the ceremony at the start of Greece’s EU presidency, Alexis Tsipras, who wants to be the next prime minister, showed what he thinks of the process and how he conducts himself. Whereas he shrinks from clashing with any of the many factions within his own party, when Europe and his country are concerned, he has no qualms about behaving like a student union boss – pushing an “all or nothing” agenda. While the country inches along, with its mistakes and successes, Tsipras struts about and shouts. He seems to believe that undermining reality will lead not to a dead end but to the reality that he demands.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday Jan 9, 2014 (19:01)  
Varoufakis should be heard
Wrong from the start
Mixed signals
Symbolism and reality
Missing Athens girl, 4, believed to have been killed by father
A 4-year-old girl that had been missing from central Athens since April 21 has been killed, police said on Monday. The chief suspect in the death of Ani Borisova is her 27-year-old biologica...
Greece targets May agreement as ECB funding decision looms
Greece is still far from an agreement with its international creditors as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras tries to persuade officials to ease the flow of liquidity to the country. Three days ...
Inside News
Online media publishers express fear about planned advertising tax
Online media publishers have written to the government to ask it to abandon the idea of introducing a 20 percent tax on advertisements placed on news websites. Plans for the new levy have ye...
Varoufakis will represent Greece at Eurogroup, has gov´t backing
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis enjoys the support of the prime minister and will take part in the next meeting of euro zone finance ministers, government spokesman Gabriel Sakellari...
Inside Business
TRACK & FIELD
Over 18,000 runners participate in the Athens Half Marathon
The 4th Athens Half Marathon was an unqualified organizing and sporting success on Sunday, as thousands of runners joined in the race of the 21-kilometers and the 3k and 5k runs in the capit...
SOCCER
Six teams to fight to avoid the last relegation spot
Panthrakikos was the biggest winner of the penultimate round of Super League games on Sunday through its victory at Veria, on the day that Olympiakos partied for its fifth consecutive title....
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Missing Athens girl, 4, believed to have been killed by father
2. Greece targets May agreement as ECB funding decision looms
3. More work remains to be done in Greek talks, EU says
4. Online media publishers express fear about planned advertising tax
5. Varoufakis will represent Greece at Eurogroup, has gov´t backing
6. Probe into Panathinaikos basketball chief´s threats against Olympiakos player
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece cites progress in talks with lenders, aims for May deal
2. Varoufakis should be heard
3. Greek jobless legacy adds to danger for Tsipras as funds dwindle
4. IMF being stubborn on measures, says Skourletis
5. Greek nerves turning Asian money off Europe, ADB economist says
6. Most of 18 inmates injured in deadly prison brawl discharged from hospital
Today
This Week
1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
2. Greece’s day of reckoning inches closer as debt payments loom
3. Greek decision to exit euro would be disastrous for Greece
4. Greece’s decade-long relationship with Merkel
5. Varoufakis attacked by anarchists while dining in Athens
6. No need to widen the rift
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.