OPINION

The dynamic, silent thousands

I wonder sometimes whether there is a way out for the people who have become trapped by the crisis. Other than the unemployed and those who have been hit hard, there is also a dynamic section of Greek society that finds itself at a dead end. It is in no way responsible for the troubles of the country because it paid its taxes, it didn?t cheat the state or depend on it, or on political parties and union for its livelihood. Now, however, this sector of society is being forced to experience a drastic drop in its standard of living and to pay taxes from the little money it managed to squirrel away for a rainy day or in order to put its kids through university. Some, the less fortunate, have lost their jobs and some are looking for ways to leave the country altogether.

The members of this sector of society go crazy in the knowledge that colleagues of theirs, doctors or lawyers, or their next-door neighbor who works in a tax office, made a lot of money illegally, but there is nothing they can do about it. The state, incapable of finding real solutions, piles taxes onto real estate assets and anything else it can get its hands on, with no regard for whether or not tens of thousands of law-abiding, tax-paying citizens are being punished because so many wise guys got away with their actions.

These people are indignant toward the political system, but they are also completely opposed to the extreme elements that want to impose their brand of populism on the country. They abhor politicians, unionists and many journalists, but at the same time, they also know that the downward spiral into violence is destructive for society and for democracy. What recourse do these people have? The ?Indignant? movement that has been gathering on Syntagma Square for six weeks now started out as a forum for these people, but now it has become overshadowed by different extreme elements and has lost its momentum. There are no political parties to represent these people, because those that exist have been constructed on shaky foundations and belong to the past.

The dynamic section of Greek society is watching in horror as the country crumbles, together with their dreams and their way of life. No one can protect them because they haven?t got the muscle that the nomenclatura of political parties and labor unions have.

For the time being they are showing patience, but if history does in fact repeat itself, there will be a catalyst that will spark off a violent reaction. And then, the only fault that will lie with this section of society is that it tolerated too much, it was silent at a time when the country started going downhill.