Maria Katsounaki MARIA KATSOUNAKI

Aftershocks

COMMENT

Seawater covers a road after an earthquake at the port of Vathi on the eastern Aegean island of Samos, Greece, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. [Michael Svarnias/ΑP]

TAGS: Politics

Earthquakes occur both inside and out. The second ones just happen. The first are long-lasting, and have no scale of measurement. It is these inner, mental vibrations that give rhythm to our day and shape the reality that surrounds us.

These are times without answers – only dilemmas and questions arise. The pandemic is raging. What can function as a bulwark against the dynamics of the coronavirus? Does it mutate and how much? Are extensive lockdowns the only effective measure?

Are restaurants and cafés responsible for the rapid transmission of the virus? Can rules be introduced into people’s homes, gatherings and congregations? Will the vaccine be ready in early 2021? Perhaps, perhaps not.

The numbers are not good and, above all, nothing is certain. We live with “assessments.” As health expert Sotiris Tsiodras said, the real number of infections in Greece is estimated to be at least three times higher. On Friday, an earthquake was added to the list of uncertainties.

Transformative events happening all over the world (from the pandemic to the horror of the terrorist attacks in France), which can change people’s lives, are neither easily nor painlessly absorbed into our minds.

In this storm of surprises and upheavals, there is something that remains undisturbed: the politics of denunciation. In a variation of a well-known proverb, this is the kind of politics that does not see the tsunami, but denounces the finger pointing to the tsunami.

This happened yesterday with a hasty announcement issued by the main opposition, which wanted to be ahead of the prime minister’s speech on the new measures to tackle the coronavirus (which was postponed due to the earthquake).

It is pointless to repeat the comment on the “criminal inaction of Mr Mitsotakis,” not to avoid offending the government, but to avoid exposing the main opposition further.

It is a sad sight to see the decaying arguments and the inability to accept reality for a party that used to poll in the top position, whether one is a voter or not.

In times of tectonic changes, politics need to face the vibrations and address citizens soberly, reassuringly and firmly. Errors are unavoidable. What is not unavoidable is blindness and indifference and the reproduction of denial as a political position.

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