OPINION

An asymmetric country

An asymmetric threat… as asymmetric as the phone calls I receive from friends in Styra, Marmari, Itilo, Kalyvia, Lechaina and Asea. As asymmetric as their broken voices and silences, just like the ashen grief that covers the intact tourist resorts and the islands. As asymmetric as the ashes of the Peloponnese that have settled across the country in a silent albeit constant reminder. The cherry trees of Arcadia and the walnut trees are gone, Theodoris mumbled – mourning the loss of people as well as the soul of the razed land. An asymmetric country: Asymmetric leaders, provoking fate, small men, as well as illegal rubbish dumps and deaths from fire. Asymmetric Greece. Having staged a spectacular Olympics in 2004 (the only forest fire was set by a celebratory fireworks show) the country went ablaze during a two-month campaign period this summer. It’s the same country. Uneven, paradoxical, fateful, capable of great heights and lows. Asymmetric Greeks. Idle go-getters, cynical egotists who have elevated land-grabbing into a real estate business, who covet the profiteers and tax dodgers, who voted for the corrupt and tolerated the unworthy out of self-interest. Fateful and uneven. Instead of reaching out to our fellow-citizens, we expect everything from that seductive father-state. Asymmetric fellow Greeks, let’s listen to the silence of the ravaged land. We can feel the ashes of a society out of sync. We watch dummies, talking heads on TV, as a reminder of their guilt, our guilt. From the «black cloud» and the «black tar,» the «endless desert» of Dionysios Solomos, we, the uneven and fatal, have to rebuild a Peloponnese, an Evia and a Roumeli; we have to rebuild a country that will not be asymmetric, a country that will not be threatened by corrupt leaders or citizens but rather a harmonious and plain one, that will be symmetric with our needs and desires. A symmetric country.