Monday March 30, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
The battle against progress

By Angelos Stangos

The rabid reactions to the anti-racism bill are neither random nor unheard-of. They are in the same vein as reactions against the construction of a mosque in Athens and common-law marriage, and before that against the removal of religion from identity cards and long before that to women’s right to vote.

These are but some examples. There are probably other virulent reactions to other issues that I’ve forgotten just now. Yet the reactions always come from the same place, from people attempting to link conservatism to the far right and fascism, usually led by certain priests or the clergy in general – of the same Church that is supposed to preach tolerance and love, and rejection of hatred and all of its manifestations.

These reactions are basically against fundamental human rights and have nothing to do with political opinions held within the democratic framework. You don’t need to claim to be a democrat or a leftist to reject anti-Semitism and violence toward homosexuals, to accept the right of people of different religions to have a place of worship, to recognize religion as confidential personal information and to champion everyone’s right to vote. And neither should “conservative” citizens be by default associated with the opposite.

As far as common-law marriage in particular is concerned – and it has prompted reactions in other parts of the world as well – it is simply an issue of social order as it is intended to simplify inheritances and wills, among other such matters.

Most of the issues that evoke such a rabid reaction in Greece are business as usual in other parts of the West, to which Greeks want to belong so much. In the United States, for example, where politics leans further to the right than in Europe and where references to God and religion have become a standard part of the political rhetoric – as so many presidential addresses attest – the issues raised above are part of normal everyday life and do not even make it onto the public debate agenda.

Here in Greece, the anti-racism bill was opposed by 38 New Democracy deputies, among others. They argued that the bill should also prohibit the rejection of the genocide of Christians in Asia Minor between 1908 and 1922. We can only guess as to their real motives given that Parliament voted in 1994 to recognize the genocide of the Black Sea Greeks and to set a date of commemoration. That said, it is hard to believe that they were not in some part influenced by the stance of far-right or clerical elements.

What the reaction against this bill has revealed is that there continue to exist strong pockets that are desperately fighting to keep the country from moving forward by using obscure arguments to appeal to the general public.

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday August 26, 2014 (11:10)  
Tsipras needs rupture with far-left, not Brussels
The Greek brand name
Responsibility lies with the PM
Let´s change the subject
Athens University calls on ities to remove anarchist protesters
The University of Athens called on the government on Monday to take action to remove anarchists who occupied the institution’s main building in the morning. The group of 20 to 30 protesters ...
Greek president says Turkish vessel must leave for Cyprus talks to resume
On his first official visit abroad since becoming Greek president, Prokopis Pavlopoulos visited Cyprus on Monday, where he backed Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades’s decision last year to...
Inside News
Germany says Greece must flesh out reforms to unlock aid
Greece's biggest creditor Germany said on Monday that the euro zone would give Athens no further financial aid until it has a more detailed list of reforms and some are enacted into law, add...
Greek yields edge up as lenders scrutinise reform pledge
Greek bond yields edged up on Monday as investors cautiously waited to see whether Athens would come up with a list of reforms sufficient to unlock much-needed bailout cash. While Greece sou...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Three Greek internationals injured in Budapest car crash
Three Greek international soccer players were slightly injured on Monday in a car crash as they travelled by taxi to Budapest airport following Greece's Euro 2016 qualifying goalless draw ag...
SOCCER
Improved Greece draws 0-0 at Hungary
Greece ended up goalless with Hungary in Budapest on Sunday, on manager Sergio Markarian’s debut on the national team’s bench, a result that has left Greece at the bottom of its Euro 2016 qu...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Athens University calls on ities to remove anarchist protesters
2. Germany says Greece must flesh out reforms to unlock aid
3. Greek president says Turkish vessel must leave for Cyprus talks to resume
4. Tsipras presses allies for support as Greek cash crunch deepens
5. Three Greek internationals injured in Budapest car crash
6. Subject of many snaps, Sifis the crocodile found dead in Crete
more news
Today
This Week
1. ECB nerves fray on Greece as supervisors rile central bankers
2. Greek markets show all at risk should mistake trigger a default
3. European stock-index futures rise as investors look to Greece
4. Greece says not backing down on debt relief goal
5. Work on tram extension begins in Piraeus
6. Claim of responsibility for Athens police precinct attack
Today
This Week
1. Next Monday is D-Day for state funds
2. Eurogroup unlikely to be held soon to discuss Greek reforms
3. PM faces Merkel amid race to detail reforms
4. Moscow expects progress from Tsipras visit
5. Some more equal than others
6. Greece to present reforms by Monday, says gov't spokesman [Update]
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.