It is rare to hear a member of Parliament make a meaningful contribution that transcends the miserly framework of what passes as public dialogue.
One of those rare contributions was made during the debate in Parliament on the budget, a five-day affair that was overshadowed by interminable accusations and put-downs. It was in this climate that New Democracy MP Dora Bakoyannis presented a proposal that stands above the sterile rivalries we are accustomed to.
“Greece is among those privileged countries whose citizens will be able to receive the [coronavirus] vaccination by the summer,” she said. “As the country that invented democracy, Greece must take the international initiative to ensure that these vaccinations also reach the Third World, countries that do not have the opportunities of the Greek economy and the Greek people. The pressure on the big pharmaceutical companies from the entire European political world must be absolute. We have the ability to pay. Those who do not must have the patents of these vaccinations. The right to life is not exclusive to rich nations. It is also the right of the poor and the people of the Third World we so rarely talk about here in the so-called ‘civilized’ countries,” she added.
Even though the proposal seems elusive under the present circumstances, we must hope that it is heard, and not just by the competent authorities who are in a position to get such an initiative rolling. It also needs to be noticed by the entire political system, so that it can draw inspiration and formulate other such proposals for a better world.
After the dark years of a debilitating economic crisis, seeing the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in Parliament and the blight of the pandemic, we finally want to see lawmakers having positive reflexes that lead to dignified and constructive dialogue. Such an attitude must be the rule, instead of incendiary rhetoric and bad manners.