Sunday December 21, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
17o C
10o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Say the right thing or keep silent

By Nikos Xydakis

When 12 souls, three mothers and nine babies, are lost at sea in front the eyes of their relatives, you can only feel chilled by a tragedy that cannot be expressed in words. You keep silent. You pray for their souls. You try to put yourself in the place of the mothers and the fathers. You try to block the sound of sobbing children from your head.

If you need to say something, if you are a public figure for example, then it should be something appropriate, a sentiment that measures up to the magnitude of the tragedy. You express your condolences and try to come up with some words of sympathy for those who are in mourning, in an effort to rescue some of the humanity of those who are out of such danger – of us, that is.

In his first official visit outside the Vatican last summer, Pope Francis offered prayers after a boat carrying African migrants sank off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa. After more than 360 people were reported dead in the incident, the Pope sent out a message that spoke of the globalization of indifference.

“Immigrants dying at sea, in boats which were vehicles of hope and became vehicles of death. That is how the headlines put it. When I first heard of this tragedy a few weeks ago, and realized that it happens all too frequently, it has constantly come back to me like a painful thorn in my heart,” Pope Francis told the faithful.

During the Christmas holidays, Greece’s Archbishop Ieronymos had lunch with orphan refugee children. Speaking to these victims of war – who, persecuted by death, had to travel across mountains, gorges and seas – Ieronymos offered some words of compassion: “Christ was born a refugee, a stranger,” he said.

No such profound remarks were expected of Greece’s Merchant Marine Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis in the wake of the Farmakonisi sea tragedy. Varvitsiotis perhaps is not familiar with the Gospel. But he could at least have mumbled a simple statement of condolence saying that such tragic incidents go against the principles of Greek civilization and European standards, and that the government has already launched an official investigation into the incident.

Instead, the conservative minister took a swipe at the Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights and at those who, he said, want the “petty exploitation” of the dead.

Varvitsiotis should have kept mum instead.

ekathimerini.com , Saturday Jan 25, 2014 (17:19)  
‘Crisis of confidence will come back again and again,’ says Thomas Piketty
Who lost Greece
Snubbing the moderates
The big picture
Greek PM offers compromise solution with elections by end-2015
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Sunday presented a compromise solution to end a political stalemate that looks likely to send Greece to early general elections in about a month's time. Spe...
Environment Ministry to reconsider controversial bill
The government over the weekend appeared to backpedal on proposed amendments widely seen as compromising legislation protecting Greek forests as well as Plaka, Athens’s old quarter. The bill...
Inside News
Workers rush to get early retirement
Nine out of 10 workers who retired in the last four months who had belonged to the former special funds of banks and state corporations that have now been incorporated in the Social Security...
Piraeus Containter Terminal goes from strength to strength
Piraeus Container Terminal, the local subsidiary of Chinese giant Cosco Pacific, is expected to handle a total of over 3 million containers in the January-December period of this year. The J...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Explosive Barca unfazed by Panathinaikos, bomb scare
Panathinaikos lost 80-67 at home to Barcelona on Friday in a rather meaningless game at the end of the first group stage of the Euroleague, but the encounter will be remembered for the bomb ...
SOCCER
Abidal cuts short playing career at Olympiakos
Former France and Barcelona defender Eric Abidal announced his retirement from football on Friday, a day before his last match. Abidal said he will finish after playing for Olympiakos agains...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Greek PM offers compromise solution with elections by end-2015
2. Environment Ministry to reconsider controversial bill
3. Corfu to host country’s first hydroplane strip
4. Political upheaval sharpens after bribe claims with threats and insinuations
5. Police gets new communications system
6. Most Greeks say they recycle daily
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greek PM offers compromise solution with elections by end-2015
2. Who lost Greece
3. ‘Crisis of confidence will come back again and again,’ says Thomas Piketty
4. Snubbing the moderates
5. Get your facts straight
6. The big picture
Today
This Week
1. Samaras summons bond vigilantes with euro exit talk
2. A friendly yet firm message from Pierre Moscovici
3. Europe's drama in Greece needs final act to avoid tragedy
4. High stakes
5. On the edge but not gutless
6. Gap between SYRIZA and New Democracy closing, says poll
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.