OPINION

Commentary

The fact that Attica is still short of classrooms (4,000 new classrooms are needed to put an end to the current two-shift system) while other urban centers such as Thessaloniki, Iraklion, Hania, Larissa and Volos also have the same problem was, indisputably, a painful discovery. The reluctance of the present government to take action in order to solve a shortcoming in the infrastructure of Greek education has caused ire, as Kathimerini noted yesterday. And it does rouse rightful indignation to see government officials rushing to tackle Olympics-related issues (and the construction of sports venues in general) but dragging their feet when they are dealing with problems such as the insufficient number of classrooms. But indignation here will prove fruitless. The decisions and actions of government officials show that their minds are already made up. In their opinion, Greek society is more concerned with large, modern sports venues or a soccer stadium than with deficiencies in the state education infrastructure such as the classroom issue. A large indoors basketball stadium is built instantly, but it takes years to solve the problem of the classroom shortage. This seems to be one of the constitutive elements of the idea of a strong and competitive Greece. Moreover, there are many political debates and disputes over the funds needed to build a new state theater (as was the case in Thessaloniki a few years ago) but there is total consensus when it comes to the funds (no matter the amount) to be spent on a basketball stadium. Political parties discuss the large, modern stadiums that Panathinaikos or Olympiakos soccer clubs should have in the future, with financial aid from the state, but there is no debate, no fretting about the fate of the gaping hole in the heart of Athens behind the War Museum which has for decades remained enclosed behind billboards. These, and many more issues, may rouse indignation but are the result of political decisions and calculations by elected governments on what constitutes and what does not constitute the public interest in the field of education. The rulers are neither neglectful nor absent-minded. The parliament called for the creation of a European search and arrest warrant as part of such a system.