Nouveau riche ghettos by the sea

At long last, it became clear this summer who really knows the score in the country’s public life – namely those who packed their bags and left long before the annual mass exodus from towns and cities in August. The rest of the country’s politicians, however, now that we are just a breath away from elections, are acting like goldfish out of water, flopping about and basically not knowing what to do. Should they stay on holiday or come back and start making preparations for winning votes? Eventually they will all be back, but one thing is certain – this October the Parliament building in Syntagma Square will be even emptier than usual. Meanwhile, the elections have also triggered anxiety among the people. Not all the people of course, but rather those who believe that through interminable discussion and debate they can become part of the political process, albeit in a small way and albeit on its fringe. These include political cadres, those actively involved in some way in the running of the country’s economy and, of course, officials and members of the press, who appear to feel an urgent need to converse for at least one hour every day on the beach, usually on two mobile phones simultaneously, about Karamanlis and Papandreou, even though these two politicians themselves could probably not care in the slightest about the object and content of their conversations. Such types of people can be found in many different places across the country. But particularly in those luxury seaside ghettos that have sprung up over the past few years close to Athens, in places such as Eretria. They are like beautiful family prisons for the nouveaux riches – parents and their hysterical children, one squeezed next to the other, crammed into a conglomeration where there is more risk from the radiation emitted by mobile phones and caustic gossip than by the hot summer sun. On top of everything else, a few unfortunate people who remained behind in Attica are having to spend their days in courthouses, simply because they went swimming at Aghios Cosmas and did so without paying, much to the chagrin of the private firm that claims to have the right to demand entrance fees. If one really thinks about it, this might not be the worst thing that could happen. After all, there are the aforesaid ghettos. And anyway, in the courtrooms one at least has the opportunity to becomes a tiny, invisible hero fighting to defend our severely trampled «human» rights.