Speaking about Gulbeyaz Karahasan - Greek Muslim PASOK nominee for the Drama-Kavala-Xanthi prefecture in the October polls - Thessaloniki Prefect Panayiotis Psomiadis chose to emphasize one particular word: fear.
According to reports, Psomiadis said: "In our country we are afraid to say we are Greeks. We are afraid to stand up for ourselves. I am not sure where this country is heading. I fear for the future. I really fear for the future."
That fear is understandable. It is not exclusive to the human race. Fear is common to all beings. What separates us humans from other animals is that we use our knowledge and experience to filter and rest our fears.
If the truth be told, this country has achieved a lot over the past 50 years. It managed to rebuild its economy after the disastrous military occupation by the Germans and an equally destructive civil war. It's among the world's 30 most developed countries. It is the only country in the region to belong to all western international organizations.
It is a member of the European Union, a club that its neighbors are all pushing to join. It has one of the world's strongest currencies. It escaped unscathed from the disastrous Balkan wars of the 1990s. From a country of emigration, it has become a place that attracts thousands of legal and illegal migrants seeking a better future. It is the smallest country to have organized the Olympic Games - and did a very good job of it...
Sure, not everything is well done. There are problems that must be solved and new challenges that must be met. The safest way to failure in the new environment is unfounded fear of the future as expressed by Psomiadis. Fear brings paralysis and stagnation.
Fear does not suit the Greeks - at least not the majority; those who are not afraid to say they are Greek.