OPINION

A new vision for the nation

There must be another Greece. Beyond the worries about the economic crisis, beyond the degenerating political system, beyond the growing egotism of individuals who readily dismiss the common good in order to serve personal needs. This yearning for another Greece has not been prompted by the country’s present predicament. It has existed for many years. During the National Assembly of 1844, as deputies clashed on the question of indigenous and non-indigenous Greeks, the politician Ioannis Kolettis put forward his so-called «Great Idea,» the goal of establishing a Greek state that would encompass all ethnic Greeks including those living outside national borders. The notion was supported by Greece’s bourgeoisie up until the Asia Minor Catastrophe in 1922. After the end of World War II, Greece set itself the target of becoming part of the free West – an objective that was achieved but not without sacrifice. However, the abysmal performance of the old regime led to the 1967 coup and the 1974 Cyprus invasion. After democracy was restored, membership of a united Europe was heralded as the new national goal. However, although both mainstream parties eventually embraced the European idea, there was little deliberation on an ideological level. Greece’s ties with the EU were reduced to a vulgar management of structural funds and to an endless struggle over – and often violation of – its commitments. Meanwhile the self-proclaimed champions of the European idea attempted to deconstruct the Greeks’ traditional understanding of the nation. Thus emerged the hegemony of the enlightened left. Ideologically paralyzed, the right failed to respond. The «other» Greece is still waiting for the latter to define itself.