English texts

The same excess, but in reverse

on . Posted in English texts

The score of last Saturday's soccer game between the Greek and Turkish national teams, which upset so many people here in Greece, was not something to be ashamed of. It is the nature of soccer, and other games, to sometimes bring us joy and sometimes sorrow. What was shameful was the way that our...

The polices lies help no one

on . Posted in English texts

The protest against the education bill in Athens last Thursday was marred by a regrettable incident. A police officer fired his gun into the air to disperse a group of protesters who had been causing damage to the Ministry of the Aegean. But what was worse than the actual firing of the shot was...

Evolution or just a confusion of ideas?

on . Posted in English texts

During the visit to Athens last May by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Greek Communist Party (KKE) deputy Liana Kanelli made televised remarks criticizing the country's journalists. Virtually all prominent Greek reporters secured an interview with the visiting US politician but no one...

Multiple failings of our health system

on . Posted in English texts

In Greece the health and social welfare system has multiple failings. It funds its own bureaucracy excessively and underfunds the needs of sick citizens. It is illogically and inefficiently organized: I cannot imagine that there is any other country where fundamental medical care is provided by...

Averting violence is the job of the police

on . Posted in English texts

In an interview with Skai Radio on Monday, Deputy Health Minister Giorgos Constantopoulos raged against «social hypocrisy.» Where were all those who now blame the government for a non-existent welfare policy when a 57-year-old man was murdered by his 19-year-old son in Nikaia, he exclaimed? Why...

The right to want, or reject, cremation

on . Posted in English texts

Until now, we had been fighting for the separation of the Orthodox Church from the state. In the future, it looks as if we are going to be fighting for the opposite. At least, this is the only conclusion one can draw from the debate about the cremation of the dead that has followed a decision by...

The time is ripe for general elections

on . Posted in English texts

Eventually the whispers and the speculation became a reality. Following Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis's declaration that «elections will be held when appropriate,» the only thing that remains to be clarified is when exactly this is to be, in May or in the fall? Opinion polls will no doubt help...

Clear messages of public disapproval

on . Posted in English texts

The results of an opinion poll published in last Sunday's Kathimerini reveal some very important messages which are quite clear and indisputable. For example, an overwhelming majority of the Greek public (99 percent) believes that destroying public property and going on destructive rampages are...

The dangers of living in the past

on . Posted in English texts

The Americans have a saying: «If it ain't broke, don't fix it.» It would be useful if we were to apply this to the Greek state, which has hardly proved itself to be a paragon of efficiency. One of the few state services which was actually successful was the Greek police's anti-terrorism unit,...

A black hole in law and order

on . Posted in English texts

In Greece there is the rule of law. This means that, ostensibly, laws are enforced and violations invite punishment. But all this is theoretical. Apart from the problems linked to the dispensation of justice, in some areas law enforcement is actually seen as a deviation from democracy. The laws...

The challenges OTE faces in a new era

on . Posted in English texts

Unfortunately, it looks as if the debate about the privatization of state telecommunications operator OTE will go the way of the review of Article 16 of the Constitution, which foresees the creation of private universities. The public debate about OTE has become trapped in all-too-familiar...

The chaos theory in full effect

on . Posted in English texts

Do we really know what is going on at our ports? If we believe what various representatives of our production sectors have been saying, then we should be very worried indeed. This is not only because of the 15-20 percent price hikes on goods that the current situation is likely to provoke by...

The dream of a Christian Europe

on . Posted in English texts

We were justifiably cheered by Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Turkey and his acknowledgement of the ecumenical nature of the Istanbul-based Orthodox Patriarchate. But we should not forget that these gestures are nothing more than a means for the pope to achieve an ambition he had when still...

Protectionism a major problem

on . Posted in English texts

One conclusion can be drawn from the survey, cited on this page, by GSEE's Labor Institute: The more jobs are protected, the higher the unemployment rate will rise. In Greece, the privileges of specific professional groups are protected at all cost. As a result, the country has the highest...

Crime and (lack of) punishment

on . Posted in English texts

Police officers misbehave now and again in all democratic countries. And they always have. The alleged beating of a Cypriot student by a group of policemen could have happened in the best of organized societies. And it has. Every power cell has certain dangerous elements within it that are...

Shelving reforms until re-election?

on . Posted in English texts

There is a widespread notion that the government does not care about anything other than its re-election. According to this conviction, the government promotes or shelves reforms according to the prevailing social and political circumstances or the outcome it believes such a move will have on...

Easy myths about November 1973

on . Posted in English texts

The anniversary of the 1973 student uprising at the Athens Polytechnic has become useful as a litany of convenient myths about the dictatorship. It has been said that it is the fate of every crucial turning point in history to be - literally - celebrated to death, to be interpreted so many times,...

A cavalier approach to legislative reform

on . Posted in English texts

When US President Lyndon B. Johnson was still a senator, he voted down a piece of legislation which, under ideal circumstances, could have reaped many positive results for his country. The reason he gave for his negative vote was the following: «You do not examine legislation in the light of the...

A simplistic answer to a tough problem

on . Posted in English texts

It seems that the idea was born during Antenna's television program «Apodeixeis» (Evidence), which broadcast footage of a soft-porn video recorded on a schoolchild's mobile phone just a few days ago. But banning mobiles in schools is the easy answer to the challenge of solving all those ills...

The ugly social ills simmering in Evia

on . Posted in English texts

The deplorable case involving the rape of a 16-year-old girl, allegedly by a group of fellow pupils, at a school on Evia brings to the surface several ailments of Greek society, many of which we would prefer to sweep under the carpet. The case highlights, once again, the ills of the Greek...

Art and the limits of satire in Greece

on . Posted in English texts

First of all it should be clarified that the citizen's right to peaceful protest is unconditional. And this applies to the comedy show of Jimmy Panousis in Greek theaters as much as it applies to sketches of Muhammad in a provincial Danish newspaper. In view of this, the protest staged by a group...