Sporting tactics?

This pre-electoral period has dragged on for far too long. And because its chief characteristic is PASOK’s annoyingly provocative tendency to focus on creating a stir (especially with the use of public relations tactics) and avoiding essential political debate, the mental fatigue and aversion of citizens who do not arm themselves with the mentality of a fanatical soccer supporter are further intensified. An example of these PR tactics – whose use would have been categorically condemned were we not in the countdown to elections – was the visit to an Olympic sports venue in the southern Athenian suburb of Aghios Cosmas earlier this week by PASOK chief George Papandreou, who just happened to find most of the athletes from the various national teams (ranging from tae kwon do and synchronized swimming to soccer, and for the sake of the television cameras) in the process of training at the site. But the worst aspect of this incident, that which really insults the intelligence and dignity of the everyday citizen (as well as the spirit of the Olympic Games), is the fact that Papandreou’s visit to Aghios Cosmas was anything but coincidental. Indeed, by mobilizing a group of Olympic champions for political purposes every now and again and using them as accessories in a public relations campaign, we belittle their contribution to Greek sport.

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