OPINION

A country without a compass

As elitist as it may sound, I have always believed that a country should be based on a few fundamental principles and a healthy establishment. The hard core of any serious European nation comprises an establishment of intellectuals, politicians, entrepreneurs and academics who can collectively see beyond their noses and personal interests. When the country loses its direction, they are the ones to address what needs changing. Whatever Greek establishment used to exist was wiped out by the dictatorship; it went into hiding with the first sign of populism and has since become totally compromised. Everything can be bought and sold. The new Greek establishment tolerates everything, including blackmail, just so it can have its peace. It makes money, sends its children to private school and abroad, while sighing, «Alas, this is Greece,» in order to justify its own inadequacy and nothingness. Naturally there are a few exceptions. In his first term as prime minister, Costas Simitis drew from an establishment of academics and others who had a true desire to see the country change, but lost the battle with his own party, which wanted to return to the old values. In the current government, too, we see that those few making a real effort, such as Thanos Veremis and Panagis Vourloumis, represent what the establishment should be. Meanwhile, we vegetate in a state of unbelievable mediocrity that is daily deified by the «small gods» of television, who feel so important in their own little world. The country needs less of these types and more of those who cannot be bought or sold, who have solid opinions and courage, and who believe that Greece is not that which is desired by a few dozen people having a great time and slapping each other on the back, apparently in celebration of their mediocrity.