‘Greeks haven’t adjusted to the new age’

Greece has not yet managed to adapt to the new order of things, according to a recent survey by the National Center for Social Research (EKKE). On the one hand, Greeks have found themselves hitched to the wagon of a «strong Europe,» yet the country is having to confront a new situation in which it has had to accommodate hundreds of thousands of economic immigrants who have been arriving since the fall of communism in the Eastern bloc. According to the EKKE survey, today’s Greeks are xenophobic, suspicious – even of their own compatriots – and insecure. At the same time, however, they have remained faithful to their age-old traditions of family, religion and the law, though they have lost much of their faith in politicians. Yiannis Voulgaris, the national coordinator for Greece’s contribution to the European Social Survey and a researcher at the sociology institute at EKKE, has attempted to make an initial interpretation of the anxiety that seizes Greeks when «seeing some of their old defenses being destroyed before new ones have been set up.» «Greece finds itself traveling on the best train in the world, but is still a passenger in the last wagon, who has arrived at the very last minute and jumps aboard just as the train is pulling out,» he said.