OPINION

Virtual progress?

The biggest lie this government has been feeding us over the past few years has been that of a «sturdy Greece.» A lie that, presented so many times, with such insistence, at every opportunity and exploiting every available media platform, we eventually swallowed. It was this «sturdy Greece» that promised generous handouts to the poor which rarely materialized, that opened every station on the world’s smallest Metro network with official inaugurations, that announced the launch of every public works project at least eight times before any work actually began. This is the «sturdy Greece» of the imminent euro, of the euro when it arrived, of the glorious days of the bourse, economic growth and grand plans for the Olympics. But is Greece really all that tough? All evidence points to the contrary. How can you regard a country as stable when it has been consigned the official title of Europe’s champion in corrupt practices? A country whose anti-flood precautions actually result in the virtual submersion of its capital? A country that tackles unemployment by creating the illusion of more jobs and fills in the holes in its budget using creative accounting. «But there is no shame in a few shortcomings when we have come such a a long way,» you may protest. True enough. What is shameful, however, is the outmoded and ineffectual politics, shared by all parties, that brainwash an increasingly complacent public with the incomparable image of a «virtual Greece.»