Saturday August 30, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
31o C
24o 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)  
Keeping an eye on international developments
A few good men
Greek quest for debt relief faces hurdles in Paris
Stifled dreams
Traveling on public transport in Athens gets cheaper
Commuters will pay 20 cents less for tickets allowing them to use all modes of public transportation in Athens as of Monday, though they will be valid for 70 minutes rather than 90 as was th...
Push made for cuts in education as merger scheme fails
Finance Ministry officials are pressing the Education Ministry to cut costs after it emerged that a program for merging university and technical college departments failed to save 68 million...
Inside News
Disappearing inflation heightens Draghi concerns
Eurozone inflation dropped to a fresh five-year low in August, data showed on Friday, something likely to concern the European Central Bank but not force it into immediate policy action. Con...
Ministry launches work experience program for unemployed graduates
The Labor, Social Security and Welfare Ministry is preparing to launch a work experience program for unemployed youths aged between 18 and 24, through private sector jobs, as part of a new a...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Tough draw for Greek sides in Europe League Greek stage
Following Thursday nights high, when all three Greek teams competing in the Europa League made it into the group stage of the competition, a harsh reality struck Friday as they found out wh...
JUDO
Greek judoka Iliadis triples up as Aguiar stuns Tcheumeo
Greek star Ilias Iliadis claimed his third world title in the under-90kg category in Chelyabinsk on Friday as Brazilian Mayra Aguiar and Colombian Yuri Alvear won gold in the womens under-7...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Traveling on public transport in Athens gets cheaper
2. Push made for cuts in education as merger scheme fails
3. Govt aims to curb measures, secure loans, allow tax relief
4. DIMAR chief Kouvelis hints about presidency
5. French expert says Crete crocodile in good health, aged 4-7
6. Tensions mar regional ity swearing-in ceremony
more news
Today
This Week
1. Keeping an eye on international developments
2. Disappearing inflation heightens Draghi concerns
3. A few good men
4. Two men drown off Crete coast in strong tides
5. Push made for cuts in education as merger scheme fails
6. Traveling on public transport in Athens gets cheaper
Today
This Week
1. Attack on gay couple in Athens leaves one man needing surgery
2. Purification rituals
3. The battle against progress
4. Thessaloniki mayor Boutaris sworn in wearing yellow star amid Golden Dawn protests
5. Athens finalizes Paris talks goals
6. Strong undersea quake occurs off island of Milos, felt in Athens
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.