OPINION

Painful shedding of the old

Time is flowing at a painfully slow pace for Greece. Lending continues to be agreed on increasingly impossible terms, our diplomatic capital has been used up and the scope for any deal making has narrowed considerably. It is obvious that all the successive, essentially technical, approaches to the problem chosen by the government have led to an impasse. The reason is that the problem is not technical, nor is it Greek in character. It is political. It is also obvious that for some time now we have been experiencing a changing paradigm, and we are feeling the pain. The old paradigm – that of a state without laws, thievery, nepotism, cronyism etc – is collapsing and it is taking down the old political system with it, a system that is mostly to blame for the injustices and dysfunction that are so prevalent in public life. The majority of Greeks are watching this collapse fearfully, but they are not reacting. They are pulling away, hiding in their shells, spiriting away their savings and keeping their ears open to rumor. The people are acting on the rumors because they have lost faith in the country’s institutions and political leadership. The government meanwhile, is being rattled by conflicting opinions, leaks and finger pointing. The message is one of confusion: As debt continues to soar and lending becomes more expensive, as the markets run amok and as our partners appear ready to send us packing down the road of bankruptcy, the government continues to borrow at exorbitant rates, like a deer caught in the headlights, frozen, waiting for a miracle. But, there will be no miracle, except for the one that society can create on its own by making the painful passage into the new era. There will be no miracle, just sacrifice, hard work and conflict, as we shed the old political system and emerge with new ideas, new morals and new values. We need to cut away the dead branches, dig up rotten roots and get rid of all the dead wood in order to save the healthy core.