State of decline

Future historians will look back on the current period with utter incredulity and ponder how Greece was allowed to plunge into such an unprecedented decline.

Dysfunction has become the rule these days, and the most bizarre things almost fail to strike a chord any more. The list of problems and shortcomings is endless.

At the moment, it is not possible to know the whole truth about the controversial submarine deal signed in 2010 (by Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos, when he was defense minister with the PASOK government). Nevertheless, it is hard to believe that a country which has spent several billion euros on the acquisition of state-of-the-art submarines is now caught up in this unbelievable mess and, most importantly, without a single vessel.

Or take the procurement of the German-made Leopard tanks, which Greece obtained without making sure it had any ammunition for them. Sure, one aspect of the problem is the large amount of kickbacks involved in these purchases. At the same time, however, Greece has notoriously complex legislation and daunting procedures that make it nearly impossible to take any decision regarding ammunition.

In the end, kickbacks change hands, the money is spent, and still there is no decision. This is more or less how countries fall apart.

Decline was also highly visible in the fuss about the October 28 military parade. On the very day that the nation should have been united and feeling proud about its heroic forefathers, the whole thing broke down into a fight about who said what, who invited whom and who paid the tanks’ fuel bill.

Seeing the podium devoid of politicians and the public kept in a safe distance behind police cordons because of the fear of riots is a cause for shame and embarrassment. Greek institutions are in deep and undeniable decline.