October 2009, when Government was elected seems so far away; seven months lost is a very long time. And now years of hell ahead.

There exist a number of distinguished individuals from various walks of life including the political establishment that have missed no opportunity to declare that our country is effectively in a state of war, and is at serious risk of losing its sovereignty. Despite the extreme danger and need for appropriate action to defend itself, there is a surprisingly limited effort to build a common front and joint endeavour that would enable the country to phase out these extreme difficulties One would expect under the circumstances to find a non-partisan government of common approval from across the political spectrum already in place, as well as forces from the broad social spectrum rushing to offer their support. Depressingly we find ourselves so far from such a point. The discredited political establishment insists on maintaining the arrangements that brought us to the disastrous state we are in today. Party politics and entrenched interests are unperturbed. Genuine and anxious individuals raise alarms and report ready to help but to deaf ears. How can this be changed?

As a member of the Greek society I feel I have a duty to express a view about the steps that could affect a change. I know that many “wise” individuals of the establishment make a mockery of such suggestions but I present them anyway. I worry that legal provisions will have to be sidelined in certain cases with special powers allocated appropriately but without it nothing can change.

From the outset, and given current socio-political climate any action taken, must be done with true and complete transparency. Under the circumstances there must be a fine balance between the ability to act swiftly, decisively and effectively and the protection of democratic institutions. The duty to monitor and ascertain lies ultimately with the body politic of the Greek Nation. Nobody else has the credibility to secure this anymore. It requires personal involvement of every individual and urgent establishment of social structures that would ensure this role. (See relevant article “A Greek to Greeks” in http://optir.blogspot.com/ ).

We can begin with temporary delegation of extraordinary legislative powers from Parliament to Government to enable surpassing legislative distortions that place culprits beyond reach of justice and have caused the maintenance of the current state of strangulation. Introduce a Government of national unity with these enhanced powers with a good balance between broadly respected politicians with impeccable records (there are a few) and successful technocrats known in Greece and abroad. The latter could be given a choice of joining by national mobilisation or otherwise challenging the credentials of the political component of the new Government.

Sideline the existing legal provisions to allow an immediate and effective implementation of the principle of justification of acquired wealth. Investigate individuals that held positions of power in politics, administration, media and business with a goal to exclude the culprits from politics and social activities. Apportioning of guilt, long legal proceedings and conviction should be of lower priority. Recapture usurped public wealth resources to the maximum degree possible by establishing an agile special service, with mobilised experts in the field and drawing from the experiences of similar cases abroad. A number of positive steps are already being taken in this direction.

Implement the announced package of measures by a brave and immediate overhaul of the relevant mechanisms. This can be achieved by introducing fresh and independent resources to replace/enhance the existing discredited administration. Monitor closely the consequences of implementing this package and maintain reserves for the timely support of weakening social strata.

Encourage public debate. Differentiate clearly between the presentation of different views and peaceful and spontaneous demonstrations not guided by parties, unions or other special interests, and those protests initiated by organised groups whose sole objective is violent conflict.

In a language comprehensive to the average person, inform society about the gravity of the problem, and the degree to which it is likely to affect each individual. It is crucial that the society as a whole grasps the precarious situation that the country is in.

Government, using a distinct and unique network, to continuously and responsibly provide updates on developments, and launch an effective communications programme with aim of enhancing social cohesion. Introduce tight supervision of all kinds of media and intervention in cases of distortions of the messages emanating from the Government. Protect their freedom to present views and comments about developments with tight discipline based on their code of conduct.

Identify and differentiate the type of responsibility belonging to the usurpers of power and public resources as opposed to the individual member of society who participated in the moral collapse accommodating the corrupt establishment for private aims. Make sure that both sides understand the grave consequences of their long term irresponsible behaviour.

Carry out an in depth sensing of the body politic with aim to ensure the current parliament declares national elections as soon as possible for a new parliament with constitutional mandate with members screened and cleared of any involvement in criminal or immoral dealings. This will be the first and fundamental step for the overhaul of the existing legal framework and the rebalancing of responsibilities between the three pillars of power and the President.

Supervision and overall control would remain a role of parliament and the Government under an emergency decree during the election period for all changes inside a broad democratic framework.

Even the beginnings of making this kind of changes would dramatically affect the whole scenery. Society would become directly involved, acquire a sense of responsibility and start building up the energy that is required to fight. The outside world would be reassessing our potential as a nation to find our proper position between them and most likely will multiply efforts of support. Our younger generation would quickly build enthusiasm about the future and abandon dark reflections of repeating the national catastrophe of leaving the country.

The tightrope of operating on the edges of a democratic process is indeed frightening but one hopes that today’s Greeks, particularly the young, are more mature than what many people might think. I firmly believe that the chances of getting through this maelstrom are high.

However in order to succeed it is imperative that each Greek shows the interest required to result in personal involvement and common action driven by the principle of a social solidarity.

Author :