Sunday February 1, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
16o C
13o 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)  
Greece shakes Europe´s political kaleidoscope: expect the unexpected
Unyielding truth
This is not a game
SYRIZA must come up with ‘pragmatic solutions,’ Schulz tells Kathimerini
Europe waits for proposals from Athens
European officials believe that there is scope for an agreement with the new Greek government but that Athens will have to accept a compromise on its demands. Officials in Brussels told Kath...
Notes provide more clues on prison breakout scheme
Police have found handwritten notes exchanged between 22-year-old Angeliki Spyropoulou and jailed members of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire at a safe house in Loutraki, west of Athens, ...
Inside News
Dijsselbloem says Greece has to decide how to move ahead
The chairman of euro-area finance ministers group, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said it’s up to the Greek government to decide how to move forward in resolving its economic and financial problems. D...
ECB’s Constancio signals Greek waiver may end if program dropped
Vitor Constancio signaled that the European Central Bank stands ready to end its acceptance of Greece’s junk-rated debt for bank funding if the government drops out of an aid program. If a n...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Panathinaikos preserves perfect home record
After yet another great performance at home, Panathinaikos defeated Galatasaray 86-77 in Athens on Friday to get to three wins in five games at the Euroleague top-16. The Greek champion shoo...
SOCCER
Gattuso: Unpaid OFI players couldn´t buy food
Former coach Gennaro Gattuso has lifted the lid on the plight of crisis-club OFI Crete which has been banned from playing in the Super League until it clears mounting debts with its staff. T...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Dijsselbloem says Greece has to decide how to move ahead
2. Europe waits for proposals from Athens
3. Notes provide more clues on prison breakout scheme
4. Drug prices are falling but volume sold remains high
5. Tsipras plays down chance of rift
6. Ex-revenues chief Theoharis claimes political interference
more news
Today
This Week
1. Dijsselbloem says Greece has to decide how to move ahead
2. Greece shakes Europe's political kaleidoscope: expect the unexpected
3. US to work closely with Greece and EU to resolve differences, says White House
4. Merkel rejects debt writedown for Greece
5. Greek bank debt plummets as investors head for the exit
6. Greek markets plunge as SYRIZA digs in on challenge to austerity
Today
This Week
1. Greek Elections 2015 | LIVE
2. SYRIZA heads for historic victory but without majority
3. SYRIZA's win will test institutions
4. EU must accept that Greek debt relief is inevitable
5. Greek Elections 2015: The day after | LIVE
6. Athens may veto further EU sanctions against Russia
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.