OPINION

Perilous streets, bad drivers

Your «Highway to hell» article (Commentary, May 5) is a clear indication that the state has failed its citizens. Why would anybody risk their life and those of others? Very, very simply, because they can. What is needed is a zero-tolerance policy, where penalties have teeth and mean something. It is obvious the state does not have the manpower nor the will, political or otherwise, to address this very serious problem. Life has become very cheap in Greece. Why? Because the state perpetuates this mentality. The lawbreakers, from the corrupt politicians and businessmen who play by their own rules down to the drug addict who can escape from a police guard and kill an innocent bus driver, operate with virtual impunity. Until the state decides that enough is enough, nothing will ever change. Citizens do not hold their politicians in high esteem and the politicians play its citizens like a piano, with rhetoric that would make the Nazi propaganda machine proud. No, Greece is a country whose standards are below European par. It is picking up the EU’s rear. Sorry. MIKE BOARK, Germany.
My wife and I have owned a house on the beautiful island of Paros for the past 30 years and are regular readers of Kathimerini English Edition. We thank you for your excellent commentary «Highway to hell» (May 5). What you and your family experienced on the Corinth-Patras National Highway is daily routine on the narrow and winding roads of Paros, in the countryside as well as in towns and villages. Despite all the regulations, people drive at excessive speeds, overtake before gradients or bends, unable to see whether a car is approaching from the other direction, and disregard zebra crossings. Every trip with the car is a hazardous adventure for us and whenever we fly back to Germany, although feeling sorry that we are leaving our second home, we are glad to have survived another stay.  We ask ourselves the same questions you raised in your article and cannot find an answer as to why Greeks risk their own life and the lives of others in this way. HANSGEORG BLECHSCHMID, Paroikia, Paros.