Democracy tainted

Speaking of Tuesday’s attack on the Parliament in Athens, House Speaker Nikos Voutsis said that the assault “offers nothing to social struggles." But the incident in which vandals threw paint at the front of the building, an attack which was claimed by the anti-establishment group Rouvikonas, had something to offer to some people.

It offered a suitable background for celebratory selfies of our democracy’s proclaimed enemies. The image of the two far-right Golden Dawn deputies taking a selfie in front of the vandalized front of the Parliament building was testimony to the antagonism between the two ends of Greece’s political spectrum.

It was also proof that attacks of this nature may be bloodless, but they are still damaging. Democracy is more than a system of rules. It is a system of symbols that reflect its values. And when these values are tarnished, democracy also suffers.

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