No reason for hope

The widespread dejection felt by the Greek people was apparent as far back as last summer and even before the elections, which didn’t really change anything. This year the summer is being rocked by the Siemens scandal and the same sense of despondency is being felt at a profound, structural level. Nothing has changed. On the contrary, things appear to be getting a little worse and the impending financial crisis will bring the situation to breaking point. If we put aside the summer holidays, which offer some relaxation to body and soul, Greeks right now have very little to give them hope and courage for the near future. Young people are trapped in a dismal educational system that has been set up haphazardly as a parking place for youngsters outside the rickety job market; the national health system is hanging on by the skin of its decaying teeth; the political system is concerned only with its own skin and pocket; daily life becomes fiercer and more threatening with every passing hour. Downtown, dark, hard-edged posters castigate the «government and its prosecutors,» and these posters are not signed by anarchist groups, but by the political opposition. Why should Greeks be optimistic? They cannot be. The deep-rooted moral crisis that has hit the political status quo, skepticism of the justice system, together with the economic slowdown may very well have a toxic effect on our already suffering society. Disrespect and insubordination toward the country’s institutions, hardcore immorality and disregard for the law are already with us. Xenophobia and racism are not too far behind. The frightened, insecure and poor Greek will turn against the cheap labor force, the people who temporarily filled the needs of a weak labor market, and he will accuse them of taking jobs from the Greeks, of burdening the national health and social security systems. Frightened people lack will power and consequently seek easy targets. All against everyone.