Nothing but a fig leaf


We are increasingly witnessing the realization that Greece is not in crisis exactly, but in a state of constant decline. This opinion was also expressed at a recent discussion at the Athens Concert Hall with politicians and academics on the theme “Seven Years of Crisis: Where are we? Where are we going? What should we be doing?”

Among the many different proposals that have emerged in recent years in response to the last question, the prevailing view is that the country needs an alliance of political forces from the broad center of the political spectrum.

However, there are certain questions we need to think about. Have the country’s politicians matured enough to put aside their egos and join forces in such a formation? Will they be able to cooperate in practical terms, taking responsibility for rebuilding the nation and putting the needs of the country above their own interests?

There are already quite a few initiatives in Greece and collective actions that have been prompted by the realization that a significant percentage of voters remains on the fence. But if the people leading these movements do not work hard to redraw solid political boundaries, then moving on from the initial idea will be almost impossible. Basically, the problem lies in the fact that political life in Greece is shattered and trapped in a state of intransigence, led by politicians who have not found a way to deal with failure or – even harder for them – with defeat. They therefore continue to recycle the same lies and manage every crisis with political shenanigans that simply exacerbate the people’s insecurity and destabilization.

Can new initiatives, collective actions, movements etc help the country free itself from the same old formula? Can they open a way toward rejuvenating the political agenda by addressing issues that don’t constantly circle back to vested interests, corruption, the finances of politicians – those rich fountains of real or made-up scandal? Can they stay away from issues that are merely fodder for the scandal-voracious media and that only add to the people’s sense of anger and disgust?

In a world that is changing dramatically and where generations face crippling uncertainty over their jobs and futures, bowing to forms of labor that are little more than a softer version of unemployment, the political system remains stuck on the same old issues. Of course, this is the world our politicians know; it was this agenda that got them elected. But such familiar and convenient issues are little more than a fig leaf anymore.