OPINION

Some more equal than others

I heard a report on the radio on Monday saying that the daily cost of feeding inmates at Greece’s prisons is 2 euros per person, for all three meals. That’s 4 euros less than the 6 euros put aside for each Public Power Corporation worker to have a cup of coffee and a croissant on their break. I wonder how much the meals distributed by the City of Athens and the Church of Greece cost?

Now, you may say I’m trying to compare things that can’t be compared.

The PPC employees must like their croissants stuffed with jam and cream and drink espresso freddo with lots of bubbly foam. After all, they have fought to save the economy and the country, while the other lot is just a bunch of convicts, the dregs of a society that relies absolutely on the production of electricity.

I am certain that every time the European Court of Human Rights condemns Greece over the detention conditions at its prisons, it fails to consider the priorities of social welfare and the humanitarian crisis that has come knocking at the glass partitions on the desks of our national corporation’s employees, who are also given a few additional days of holiday every year on top of what everyone else gets in order to make up for the stress of contact with the plebs on the other side of the glass.

But we are humanitarians, so don’t assume that we consider inmates, Greek and foreign, children of a lesser god. Quite the opposite. They too are the children of the same god who made all of us, only that there are those among the rest of us who are children of a higher god. To put it more simply, in the words of George Orwell’s Napoleon, the pig in “Animal Farm,” “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

Of course it is a job, a noble career. I would suggest, in fact, that anyone who has young children and is worried about their future should simply point them in that direction and start preparing them for PPC.

These days we are getting a free seminar into how it all works by watching that curly-haired, pink-cheeked cherub, much like an aged Renaissance putti, our most eminent expert of constitutional law – at least according to the labor lawyer doing his stint at SYRIZA – Giorgos Katrougalos. He allegedly took a cut from his ideological and political battles, a reasonable commission for his support for the cause. Big deal! What matters is the survival of the battles that are being fought. After all, he is anti-memorandum, he is a minister in a left-wing government and everything he did was legal and above board – just like the 6 euros for the PPC coffee break and the 2 euros set aside to feed inmates.