Thursday April 2, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Vestiges of a bygone era

By Nikos Xydakis

Todays commemoration of the 39th anniversary marking the student uprising against the military dictatorship in 1973, in the current unfavorable climate, offers an opportunity for an assessment of the post-junta period so far. While the dictatorship collapsed spectacularly, the transition to democracy came hand-in-hand with a national disaster: the partition and occupation of Cyprus. Nevertheless, the colonels dictatorship left traces on the newborn third Greek democracy, both in their original form and as mirror images.

While the juntas kitschy take on religion and piety, for instance, was ridiculed after its fall, the populist aspect of the seven-year military regime - as expressed through the waves of new tribes of insolvent profligates and those seeking the dolce vita of the Greek night-clubbing scene along the southern Athenian coast - remained unaltered.

While it may have gone into hiding in the first period of the post-junta era, this populism reared its ugly head again in all its power and glory. The intoxication of freedom and the regurgitation of the May 1968 movement, covered the underlying vulgarity, on an ethical and social level, the ethos of the emerging middle class and the complicity of those who had benefited from the military regime. The brand of populism that evolved in the 1980s, also drew from this well.

Nevertheless, the post-junta era is not just defined by the various manifestations of populism. The third period of democracy provided unprecedented political freedom and unique opportunities for social evolution to large groups of the population.

In practical terms, it broadened the middle class in numbers and strength, and in many ways precipitated the redrawing of the social map, which had already started in the 1960s.

Redifining the classes ended up having both positive and negative results.

The middle class acquired a high-level education and came to enrich the ranks of the sciences and business, big and small. This may very well be the most valuable legacy from that era in terms of the countrys current need for recovery.

The middle class did not succeed, however, in refreshing the ranks of the governing elite, while the ever-growing party system gradually consumed the systems of state hierarchy, meritocracy and equality before the law.

What was being offered on a plate education and social mobility for instance by one hand, was being taken away by the other.

As far as lower-income groups are concerned, their demise began a long time ago and the crisis has dealt the final blow.

ekathimerini.com , Friday November 16, 2012 (22:29)  
Turkeys inner turmoil
Everything is not OK
Going his own way
Righting the wrongs
Greece-Russia overtures seen as sideshow by Merkel, Hollande
Germany and France view Greeces overtures toward Russia as a sideshow and wont be drawn into a debate on the matter, three government officials said. That strategy stems from Chancellor An...
Samaras says hed join alliance to keep Greece in euro
As Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras struggles to secure a financial bailout to stay in the euro zone, his chief rival said hes open to offering a political rescue. Opposition leader Anto...
Inside News
Two foreign nationals arrested in Conspiracy of Cells of Fire case
Members of the Greek counter-terrorism squad on Thursday detained two foreign nationals for arms possession. According to early reports, the officers were acting on a warrant issued by a mag...
Greece must do more on reforms, says Sapin
The new Greek government has made progress defining its reform proposals but more needs to be done, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said on Thursday. "There is progress with the last li...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
AEK could get a wild card to the Euroleague
AEK shows capable of climbing as high as third in the Basket League, as its 16-point home win over third-placed Aris on Sunday confirmed it can challenge both Aris and PAOK to the first spot...
SOCCER
Cyprus soccer eyes reunion after 60-year divorce
Turkish Cypriot soccer officials on Monday vowed to press ahead with attempts to reunite with the Cyprus Football Association, (CFA), triggering a political storm on the ethnically-split isl...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Two foreign nationals arrested in Conspiracy of Cells of Fire case
2. Greece must do more on reforms, says Sapin
3. Euro debate ignites in east EU in face of public skepticism
4. Greece-Russia overtures seen as sideshow by Merkel, Hollande
5. Samaras says hed join alliance to keep Greece in euro
6. Jailed ex-ministers wife escapes from custody at mental health unit
more news
Today
This Week
1. Jailed ex-minister's wife escapes from custody at mental health unit
2. Samaras says hed join alliance to keep Greece in euro
3. Euro debate ignites in east EU in face of public skepticism
4. Greece-Russia overtures seen as sideshow by Merkel, Hollande
5. Turkeys inner turmoil
6. Greece must do more on reforms, says Sapin
Today
This Week
1. Next Monday is D-Day for state funds
2. Eurogroup unlikely to be held soon to discuss Greek reforms
3. Moscow expects progress from Tsipras visit
4. Amateur antics or overstepping the mark?
5. Greece optimistic on deal with euro area next week
6. ECB nerves fray on Greece as supervisors rile central bankers
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.