OPINION

Opinion

. ..Any long period of crisis presupposes that the public will be prepared for the requisite economic sacrifices, the loss of human lives, the surrender of private liberties in the name of serving a common goal and, above all, a dramatic increase in state power. There are numerous indications that the USA is moving in this direction, as American President George W. Bush has repeatedly warned the citizens of his country of the consequences of the anti-terrorist campaign; he has introduced new legislation – which has often been characterized as anti-democratic – but Europe and particularly Greece insist on interpreting these developments as American peculiarities. What has been intentionally bypassed is that the changes promoted in the USA due to the emergency situation will also be imposed on Washington’s European allies for it has been widely accepted that the terrorist plight concerns the entire Western system. Of course, it is understood that a segment of the European political elite and the Greek government do not wish to realize that we are essentially living in an era which is reminiscent of the containment of the Communist threat back in the early 1950s. Only this time, the enemy is not any specific state or coalition but several terrorist units whose activity is extremely hard to pin down… British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Sunday invited some select guests to London for talks. It was originally to have involved only Blair, French President Jacques Chirac and Germany’s Gerhard Schroeder. This triggered stormy reactions, forcing Blair to broaden the lineup of participants amid vexation on the part of the Italian and Spanish leaders and a furious Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt of Belgium, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU. Eventually he was invited as well, while his Dutch counterpart Wim Kok showed up without an invitation.