The middle ground

As the country gradually enters a pre-election period, the cryptic concept of the «middle ground» once again is taking center stage. Greece’s main political parties are at pains to sway this segment of the electorate, despite the fact that many attempts were made in previous decades to undermine what is traditionally known as the «middle class.» In Greece – a trading nation with strong social mobility – the middle class has traditionally consisted of senior state officials, private executives, entrepreneurs, members of the armed forces and university professors. This group has played a leading role in establishing mainstream Greek values, in supporting cultural activity, and, above all, in molding the national character. Despite occasional gaps and shortcomings, there was a distinct character, a certain moral behavior, a feeling of responsibility and a sense of mission. This was the class that conducted wars, sent its children to war and considered Greece’s national goals to be equally a matter of family responsibility. In that sense, the middle class no longer exists, and its new members are defined almost purely in terms of how much money they earn – which no doubt comes as a remarkable revelation to many. In essence, Greece no longer possesses an urban class in the traditional sense of the word. As a result, it can no longer produce an educational system of high quality, and if something is happening in the cultural sphere it is thanks to people from the old regime. Obviously, the battle for the middle ground is of no vital interest. If the elections have any significance at all, it lies in the urgency of removing a government whose policies have stripped politics of any genuine meaning.