OPINION

A Greek fairy tale

The Greeks are not the only ones who take to the streets draped in their flags, cheering and gesticulating, to celebrate a great victory by their national team – a team that represents the nation and contests on its behalf. The French and the Portuguese, the Danes and Brazilians, the Argentineans and the Italians, all these people, regardless of the mentality we attribute to them (warm or cold, northern or Mediterranean), take to the streets, bonding in shared joy and temporarily united under a flag with which everyone identifies – albeit each in his or her own way. The common people have nothing material to gain, and they know it. They seek no material reward, which is special in and of itself. Deep down they all know that a sports triumph does not mean much off the field; it will not make their lives any better. Were that so, the Brazilians would be the happiest people on earth. The joy is magnified by the element of surprise, such as when victory is snatched from an opponent that – according to statistics and history – is far superior to you. The unexpectedness of it all loosens the tongue which then delves into hyperbole as feelings flow spontaneously. The Greek fairy tale, as the foreign press dubbed it, brought hundreds of thousands of people out into the streets – the same people that the Olympic vision, a vision imposed from above, has failed to mobilize. In fact, what will happen during the Summer Games should thousands of people flock to Omonia Square to celebrate some success by the Greek Olympic team? Will the scores of supervisors, guards and agents treat them as troublemakers and potential terrorists? Have those responsible for preparing and advertising the «greatest celebration» considered that there is no such thing as celebration supervised by the police? Or do they plan to ban popular gatherings?