‘I don’t think anyone can achieve political solutions on their own’

How did your life change after (being the commentator for) the Euro 2004 soccer championship? It helped in certain areas, and I owe a lot of my recognizability to that. But it has also brought its own problems. I might be more recognizable, but it seems I have gone down in the estimation of some people, and that was an estimation that I had been seeking for years. I had to prove things because an image was created by the media that was not a reflection of reality. What I liked is that Euro 2004 got people out into the streets celebrating. I think the street is generally the preferred arena for the Left to get out and talk to the people, and I see that as a gain. The upsurge of fanaticism, nationalism and sexism, however, made me sad. When I came back to Greece – in Portugal, I did not have a clear picture of it – I saw that I wasn’t outside the problem, but that some were reacting to me as if I was part of the problem. I can honestly say that there were times when I didn’t know where to hide. It helped my professional life, but on the personal level it was a major letdown. Excess is one of the Greeks’ many characteristics. Is there something that you wish Greeks didn’t have? I find it hard to generalize. I don’t think there is one characteristic common to all Greeks. I can only speak politically and say that Greeks should be more aware with regard to the power centers. I have noticed that Greeks have a tendency to seek solutions as individuals, to suit themselves first. I don’t think anyone can achieve things on their own and I think we have to rediscover collective effort and participatory action.