Friday February 27, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
11o C
6o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
The wrong kind of patriotism

By Alexis Papachelas

Some political ideas have remained stubbornly absent from Greek public debate. The reason is simple: They’re ideas that have been ridiculed, defamed and almost exiled for some 30 years.

Anyone who came out in favor of a more flexible, Scandinavian-type labor market was automatically branded as an “insensitive neoliberal.”

Those who argued for bold changes in the social security system so that we would not have to take even more painful measures in the future paid a very heavy price for their courage.

Those who said that there could be no workable society in the absence of law and order were scorned as fascists or apologists of the junta.

This neo-Macarthyism against rival ideas was left unchallenged.

No one protested at the fact that views which were considered perfectly normal or even mainstream in the rest of Europe were squeezed out of the public debate here. It was only when Greece signed the bailout agreements that these ideas were first heard, prompting, of course, sarcastic comments, abuse and populist sound bites.

Populism has deep roots in Greek society, but the situation got out of hand in recent decades. The Greek right was ashamed to say things that were self-evident for every European center-right party. Centrist social democrats who turned their backs on populism were scoffed at by the old PASOK and the left. The champions of nationalist populism reached the point of attacking anyone who was not on their side as unpatriotic. It’s a serious allegation, especially if one takes into consideration how much money patriotism has cost Greeks in kickbacks.

We all need to have the courage to say what we think. It’s not always easy. Faced with the monster of populism, the more levelheaded and middle-of-the-road among us tend to follow the instinct of survival and hide in a corner. If that had been different 10 or 20 years ago things would be different today. Greece would never have had to witness the pay and pension cuts of today. If only we had listened to those who urged the political class to change course, to do something with the bankrupt social security system, to stop hiring more civil servants, not to abandon the center of Athens, we would now be a different country.

Because at the end of the day patriotism is defending what you think is right for your nation and not just saying and doing as you please.

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday October 30, 2012 (22:50)  
A breath of opportunity
Give the green light
Having it both ways: Greece´s doublespeak to Brussels and voters
The unlikely winners of Greece´s surrender on euro
German lawmakers approve extension of bailout program for Greece
German lawmakers approved an extension of Greece’s loan program after Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition staved off dissent from bailout-weary members in its own ranks. With Merkel’s gover...
Prosecutor orders probe into claims of abuse at Amygdaleza migrant facility
A First Instance Court prosecutor on Friday ordered an investigation into claims of abuse of detainees at the immigrant detention center in Amygdaleza, northwest of Athens. The prosecutor, I...
Inside News
ANALYSIS
Restive Bundestag to approve Greek bailout extension
Germany's parliament will vote on Friday on the extension of Greece’s bailout by four months and will duly back it though we can expect some grumbling from a clutch of lawmakers. Angela Merk...
German MPs begin debate on extending Greek bailout program
German lawmakers began debating an extension of Greece’s bailout, with the measure expected to pass as Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition musters its overwhelming majority in parliament. F...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Ten-man Olympiakos couldn´t overcome Dnipro
Olympiakos drew 2-2 with Dnipro from Ukraine at home on Thursday, playing almost the entire second half with a man down, to bow out of the Europa League, despite facing an opponent which on ...
BASKETBALL
Greens lose at Maccabi but preserve head-to-head advantage
Panathinaikos suffered its third loss in eight games at the second stage of the Euroleague going down 73-70 at Maccabi Tel Aviv on Thursday, but has preserved its better head-to-head record ...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. German lawmakers approve extension of bailout program for Greece
2. Prosecutor orders probe into claims of abuse at Amygdaleza migrant facility
3. Restive Bundestag to approve Greek bailout extension
4. German MPs begin debate on extending Greek bailout program
5. Tsipras reversal draws Greek sympathy as party rumblings rise
6. Ten-man Olympiakos couldn´t overcome Dnipro
more news
Today
This Week
1. Tsipras reversal draws Greek sympathy as party rumblings rise
2. German MPs begin debate on extending Greek bailout program
3. Restive Bundestag to approve Greek bailout extension
4. Prosecutor orders probe into claims of abuse at Amygdaleza migrant facility
5. German MPs begin debate on extending Greek bailout program
6. German lawmakers approve extension of bailout program for Greece
Today
This Week
1. Greece prepares extension request for eurozone approval
2. Time for Alexis Tsipras to keep his nerve
3. Stubborn but not almighty
4. Greek bailout deal faces review by euro officials next week
5. Greece says eurozone deal won time as cash bled from banks
6. The ignorance of the West about the culture of Islam
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.