OPINION

The dangers of living in the past

The Americans have a saying: «If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.» It would be useful if we were to apply this to the Greek state, which has hardly proved itself to be a paragon of efficiency. One of the few state services which was actually successful was the Greek police’s anti-terrorism unit, which managed to disband the domestic terror group November 17 in 2002. But unfortunately the current government disbanded this unit, and it did not do this for partisan reasons. Basically, New Democracy’s people coveted the enviable benefits enjoyed by those in this unit and managed to convince the Public Order Ministry to destroy a successful service for their benefit. And unfortunately the country is now paying for this decision. Last week’s attack on the US Embassy in Athens, not to mention many similar attacks over the past few years, have created the sense of a return to a previous era, one which the Greece that hosted the Athens 2004 Olympics believed it had left behind for good. The attack on the US Embassy last week hardly came as a bolt from the blue. There had been many similar attacks: in Kallithea and Syntagma, a bomb attack on a bus on Petrou Ralli Street and, most importantly, an attack outside the home of a British diplomat that caused the death of a young special guard, just a few months after the Olympics – in December 2004. There was no effective response on the part of the police to any of these attacks. The sense of a return to a past era is consolidated by the television coverage of these incidents. Generally, this coverage consists of groundless assessments, the unjustifiable correlation of everything. Even the visit to Athens last week by United Nations special mediator Matthew Nimetz was found to be related. Thankfully the news that the missile was Chinese-made was quick to surface, otherwise we might have started bringing Russian President Vladimir Putin into the picture and questioning whether it is a mere coincidence that an attack using a Russian-made missile occurred two months after the death of former Russian security agent Alexander Litvinenko. Even the announcements made by the Greek Communist party (KKE) after Friday’s attack sounded like those of the past: «This action comes at a time that the USA is bombing Somalia, increasing occupying forces in Iraq and pursuing its broader imperialistic plan of’democratizing the Middle East.» Perhaps we should add that the attack came at a time of a major banking war, and coincided with the arrest of a pedophile in Edessa and with a soccer match between Atromitos and Larissa. For KKE, the aforementioned incidents may not be relevant but for more conspiratorial minds, some kind of link could possibly exist.