OPINION

On Greek soccer, the WHO award, Mediterranean diet, the burqa ban

I have been watching some of the recent soccer games on TV from the US, including the one on Saturday, April 30, between AEK and Atromitos. All I can say is that you should be ashamed as a nation of such glorious history to be showing such images on TV. The international impact is beyond the usual and expected corruption scandals of Greek politics, which is the norm. That was a scene of wild animals hijacking the sport of soccer and it is high time that UEFA stepped in and banned Greece from international competition until further notice. It is imperative that international Greeks step in and ask UEFA for a permanent ban on Greek soccer from all competitions. Only then will you start taking your duties and responsibilities seriously. You are bankrupt in more ways than one.

Anonymous

Tough love

Greece has the opportunity to regather and make a significant impact on its internal affairs.

With the economy in ruins, it is now time for the government to break its union with the corrupt public services and impose stricter legal measures on any Greek national delving into corruption.

The complex issues presented in Greece require more than just tough economic management, but a change in attitude.

The Hellenic virtues of justice and valour, at this point in Greek history, are simply theories that are not being put into practise on a collective basis.

The blame game is an effective tool in cementing denial into a psyche. It doesn’t solve the problems.

The quicker Greece accepts responsibility for her actions, the quicker she will actively seek solutions and merge dignity, justice and valour with common sense.

It can be argued that by creating complexities, there may be a secondary gain for many Greeks — of feeling like victims and confirmation that the world owes so much to Greece for its glorious past. In fact whatever the secondary gain may be — it is making a mockery of our nation.

Here is some news that may shock many! Most countries acknowledge Greece for her past glory and contributions in so many spheres. It’s a given. However, the world has now surpassed Greece with its knowledge, technology, the arts, economics and mathematics.

What significant contributions is Greece making to the world today?

How can Greece rise up once again from the ashes?

Where can Greece invest that will give it maximum opportunities in the domestic and local markets?

There is an old saying that states, «Charity begins at home.”

Greece, get your house in order and keep moving forward towards greater success and achievements. You can do it. It is possible. You deserve it.

God bless,

Dimitris

With the Australian dollar being currently stronger than the US dollar I decided to take my family for 3 weeks to LA and Hawaii for the Easter break. I was quite amazed at how downtown LA had so much private security at every major hotel and public square and all the gangs had been moved out from the centre of the city. Downtown LA was clean there was no graffiti, no garbage strikes, and the same goes for Honolulu and Waikiki beach. Their mayors obviously care about tourism and their reputation.

Last year I spent 10 days in Athens and experienced illegal immigrants roaming the streets selling illegal goods, people not paying on public transport, a dirty inner city with garbage piled up everywhere and graffiti everywhere. If LA can clean up the downtown area, why can?t Athens do the same and inject some much needed investment into Omonia, which is a dumping ground for drug addicts, prostitutes, illegal immigrants and street vendors? Athens must hold the record for the most graffiti in Europe. Do the PM and the new mayor of Athens not care about their city?

George Salamouras

Melbourne

Re: Greece: Land of pain and joy

Congratulations to the writer of this article; his interpretation and honesty is to be commended.

It is a pleasure to read the truth and not have media ridicule our country for the dolla. We need to have pride and belief and to support our land so we can move forward.

Anastasia Volis

South Australia

Smoking ban ?a joke?

I can’t believe it. I hope Papandreou has the integrity to decline the award as this is just the biggest joke. Has anyone from the WHO ever been to Greece to see what is going on with this «smoking ban» (sic)?

Eleni Koures

WHO award to Papandreou

This is a big mistake by the WHO. It takes zero political courage to adopt tough legislation, when it is not accompanied by the will to ensure effective enforcement. This is exactly the wrong message for Greece — rewarding it for its ‘cosmetic’ legislation. I hope Mr Papandreou will have the political courage to decline the award, citing its minimal support among the population and among those responsible for enforcement. 

Robert Skailes

Re: Who?s running the show?

Thank you for the insightful article (Who?s running the show? Alexis Papachelas, Kathimerini, April 25, 2011). One should perhaps add to the article that there are perhaps very few people in Greece who would be able to manage and change that country from the ingrained and inbred mindset that permeates every aspect of civil life. As you will, with no doubt, remember that in the 2004 elections, Kostas Karamanlis said that the biggest problem with the civil service in Greece related to the 2 decades of entrenched PASOK mentality and establishment. Back in 2004, Karamanlis, for all his ills and shortsightedness, referred to this situation as the «systima PASOK.» As such I find the situation of the current prime minister to be ironic and with the twisted humour of a Greek dark comedy by Aristophanes. He himself is now endowed with this «systima» which is about to bring Greece to its knees and there is nothing he is able to do. For all his rehtoric about not caring to stand for re-election and his love for Greece, his endevours are doomed not through his own doing but through the actions of his father and his comrades. It is by no coincidence perhaps, that in ancient Greek mythology, Chronus ate his children, perhaps for fear and jealousy. It seems that Andreas Papandreou in some subconscious way has ensured that he too, like Chronus, eats his son.

Greeks in Greece need to focus on the positive aspects that they wish to attract. The more negative the media and people as a whole remain, the longer Greece will spin out of control. I challenge you and all other media to be more positive in your reporting of news and situations in Greece. Stop this focus on the negative all the time.

Good luck

Vasilis Petrolekas

Joburg

Mediterranean diet and health

In a sense I found this article to be ‘funny’ in a nonhumerous way. You see, over 15 years ago Australia’s number one cardiologist came to the same conclusion. I was sounded out as a very active Hellenic Australian and we established the Hellenic Heart Health Committee.

You see, the two best, the healthiest diets on the planet were the traditional Hellenic and the Japanese, for different reasons.

And we went about extolling the virtues of Hellenic eating for the reason of health. Enjoyment was a great byproduct.

Ange Kenos

Banning the niqab — a dangerous precedent

France’s «laicite» is not a pillar of democracy. Quite the opposite. By giving the state the power to regulate religious observance, it opens the door to abuses that eventually lead it down the road to the truly oppressive reality that is Turkey today, where the state essentially decides who has the freedom to worship and who doesn’t. Ask the Greeks and Armenians there. It isn’t a pretty picture.

As for Sarkozy, how can something so obviously opportunistic not catch your attention? His objective is to set Muslims apart in France as an alien culture, based purely on religious practice that violates no one’s rights at all. It is being used to build popular support for his neo-imperialist designs for Africa, where French capital has been losing ground to their American competitors.

French working people have no interest in this. And they have a lot to lose. With this law, religious and national bigotry has gotten a big boost in France, as polls already show. It’s only the bosses, with their ever increasing demands for more austerity, who benefit.

There is nothing progressive about denying religious freedom. It’s one thing, at least, the US got right more than two hundred years ago.

John Mavrakis