History and irony

History and irony

Poor Markos Botsaris. This will not be the first time that the chieftain of the Souliotes and hero of the Greek War of Independence will be turning in his grave with helpless rage. The first time was in 1826, late April, when the hands of Turks and Egyptians, victors at the Exodus of Mesolongi, but defeated morally in light of the sacrifice of the Souliotes, excavated his tomb to find precious metals, and scattered his bones. The second time was in 1852, when the hands of uneducated anti-monarchists “punished” his son Dimitrios, a lieutenant of King Otto, by desecrating his burial monument, the famous marble work titled “Reviving Greece,” by the French sculptor David d’Angers.

The third time was last Friday, when Konstantinos Barbarousis, a convicted former lawmaker of neo-Nazi Golden Dawn, entered the Garden of Heroes in Mesolongi with his small entourage and a Greek flag emblazoned with the symbol of the new party of Ilias Kasidiaris (another former GD lawmaker serving time for participating in a criminal organization), to lay a wreath in Botsaris’ memory. It is such an irony that a former member of a freedom-killing neo-Nazi party, who dreamed of military dictatorships and executions of politicians inside Parliament, laid a wreath in memory of a freedom fighter. 

The truth is that you can hardly avoid thinking that history is once again insisting on teaching us, using irony, even though it knows we are unteachable. Isn’t it somewhat ironic that he who should be responsible for the legislation attempting to exclude Kasidiaris’ new party from the elections is a minister of the interior whose entry into politics was marked with extreme right-wing ideas? Isn’t it ironic that those who theorized about a “serious Golden Dawn,” and those in the media who promoted fascists are now positioning themselves as their criticizers?

Isn’t it ironic that those who swear to respect the independence of the judiciary interfere with its operation by “correcting” one mistake with another? This forces us to consider with fear what might be going on behind the scenes. We fear for the fate of the separation of powers, which is synonymous with democracy.

Interior Minister Makis Voridis advertised Kasidiaris as an “anti-systemic” potential candidate, heir to one third of Golden Dawn. But only a man of the system could enjoy in prison the privileges that he has enjoyed. This is evident by the fact that he easily found a man to replace him as party leader, Anastasios Kanellopoulos, who happens to be a former assistant Supreme Court prosecutor. Maybe Kanellopoulos thinks that the swastika on Kasidiaris’ shoulder is ancient Greek. 

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.