English texts

God saved us, from quake and state

on . Posted in English texts

The head of the Athens Geodynamic Institute, Giorgos Stavrakakis, believes that the «God looking over Greece saved the country» by putting the epicenter of Sunday's earthquake at a depth of 70 kilometers. The question, though, is what is the role of Greeks in this country? Because anyone wanting...

Reforms require greater trust

on . Posted in English texts

The previous government had an excuse - in its first four-year term, it was faced with the difficult job of getting the country into the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). It needed the social security fund reserves to make up the numbers, with the result that any thoughts of reforming the system...

News from the corruption front

on . Posted in English texts

Great. We can rest easy now that the newly founded rural police force has spent 100,000 euros on «confidential expenses.» The war against corruption, launched in 2004, is bearing fruit, because we can be certain that these secret funds were spent on paying informers for tips on corruption in the...

Who drove Olympic to bankruptcy?

on . Posted in English texts

The accounts of Olympic Airlines unionists concerning the activities of the political leadership that led in part to the company's financial demise are true. Of course they didn't give us the full story, because the politicians' decisions often entailed special privileges for OA workers. But,...

The monster begins to resemble us

on . Posted in English texts

We were all shocked when we learned about a neo-Nazi group attacking immigrants in Germany. «The beast has reared its ugly head,» warned some newspaper headlines. But the most important thing is that the German people were shocked as well and they raised their voices, demanding that the guilty...

Politics is about ideas, not age

on . Posted in English texts

Once upon a time, about 15 years ago, Greeks were crying out for the removal of the «dinosaurs» from the country's political arena. Many believed that the departure of Constantine Karamanlis, Andreas Papandreou and Constantine Mitsotakis would bring an end to the country's woes. The dinosaurs...

A hasty Venizelos, once again

on . Posted in English texts

Evangelos Venizelos is said to be quite clever. And, in fact, he can be very charming on the TV screen. He can put a void concept into a thousand nice-sounding words until all meaning is lost. By the time he arrives at his conclusion, the viewer has already forgotten how he began. Still, that may...

The orbits of the left

on . Posted in English texts

There is a strange theory making its way around PASOK and other leftist circles. Some are saying that the «die-hard rightist» Nicolas Sarkozy won the French election because Segolene Royal was not leftist enough. Gerhard Schroeder's failure to win the elections after seven years as chancellor...

The real Athens and visions of Paris

on . Posted in English texts

We don't understand why Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis is so worried about the capital becoming like Paris or «other European cities,» because as citizens there is nothing we would like better. We only wish we had clean streets, broad boulevards, parks and fountains. Now, if in this far superior...

Panacea for all our woes... churches

on . Posted in English texts

So what's this new craze that has gripped our politicians? It seems that everyone in a high public post has an urge to build a church. Some even want two. Two years ago, former parliamentary speaker Anna Psarouda-Benaki wanted to build a church in the courtyard of the Hellenic Parliament. Now,...

A cry that will not reach our ears

on . Posted in English texts

July 11, 1995. Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic enters Srebrenica, a UN-protected Muslim enclave. He turns to the camera of the Serbian television channel and makes a patriotic declaration: «Here we are in Srebrenica on July 11, 1995. On the eve of yet another great Serb holiday. We present...

Squeaky wheel gets the oil

on . Posted in English texts

We often argue that politicians do not address the real issues, that they spend their time sparring and forming alliances, and that, overall, strong stances are lacking from politics. This is true - sometimes. Except that often when politicians do state their positions, no one pays attention,...

Babbling in the dark

on . Posted in English texts

There's a military joke that did the rounds a few years ago. An officer sent a scout to spy on enemy troops. He returned panting and reported, «There are 503 soldiers coming this way.» «How could you possibly count them?» asked the officer. «There were three in front and about 500 behind,» the...

The slippery road to neoconservatism

on . Posted in English texts

When the Greek people gave their mandate for reforms in 2004, the government failed to take action. Now, in 2007, after Greeks voted more conservatively, the government has started visibly regressing. The first sign of this retrogression is the withdrawal of a controversial sixth-grade history...

Was a stay order given?

on . Posted in English texts

Statements made by New Democracy party members on Sunday night show a common interpretation of the election results: Greeks voted for ND because the prime minister is constantly thinking about reforms. He doesn't necessarily go ahead with them, but he's thinking about them. And the new mandate is...

The problem with our schoolbooks

on . Posted in English texts

It may seem strange, but the biggest arguments over books seem to be taking place in the country with the lowest rate of book readership in the Western world. Surely there is no other country where the prime minister speaks out about a chapter in a primary school textbook. Similarly there is no...

A society with a short-term memory

on . Posted in English texts

OK, so everything is evidently back to normal: Supporters of different political parties are taking bus trips up and down the country to attend mass rallies; flags and banners adorn our streets and squares; the government is offering handouts in a bid to keep former supporters happy, and to...

The terrible price of our apathy

on . Posted in English texts

The worst thing is that we will probably not learn anything from this disaster. We will continue to search for arsonists or for anarchists as more fires burn forests and more people die. We will condemn arsonists, the system, our «criminal society» in order to shirk our responsibilities. But...

Ministry guilty of repugnant sexism

on . Posted in English texts

The new leaflet issued by the Transport and Communications Ministry specifically for women motorists is not only awfully sexist - it is makeshift and sloppy, both in concept and execution. The first question that springs to mind is: Why should authorities issue a leaflet specifically for women...

A Savonarola for our own times

on . Posted in English texts

He appears on our television screens wearing a hood, looking like a medieval Franciscan monk. In fact, he even talks like Girolamo Savonarola: «There won't be any fish left in the sea. The rain forests and clean air will be a thing of the past. The polar ice caps will be gone, oceans will rise,...

Two-party system and a large state

on . Posted in English texts

Certainly a simple proportional electoral system would free many voters from the grip of the two major political parties, enabling them to pick a party more suited to their own world views. The two major parties have become nothing but alliances of ideas and people and their cadres struggle with...