October 19, 2010
Efforts of the political establishment with tentacles in media recently aiming at defusing social tension has intensified as they feel anger and despair of society approaching a dangerous explosion point. Important politicians and journalists have been recruited to challenge messages emanating from independent individuals, Greek and foreign, called adroitly Cassandras that is prophets of doom. In almost all cases the argumentation of the challengers is weak for the simple reason that unfortunately for the time being there are no good news for Greek society. After apocalyptic two years revelations the situation for the thinking citizen is as follows.
Despite the intelligent and positive move of PASOK to support independent candidates to the two large municipalities, regional prefects, prefects and mayors with their boards stem from the deep political parties as always. But apart from that, despite the projection of few competent individuals in the last government reshuffle, behind them lays the deep party machinery of the governing party. In essence very little has changed. After all this is quite reasonable. Why a system that holds all levers of power and has profit from them for so many years would relinquish them without a fight? Only if the citizen that has not been party to this feast, pulling his head from the sand and seeing the oncoming storm acts that there is hope. And the municipal elections, due shortly, are perhaps a unique opportunity. A rejection of all the parties at a percentage greater than 55% that would put the country’s President in dilemma, is capable of causing political crisis for resolution under democratic procedures with the creation of a government of national unity and a constitutional assembly. But can such an event happen? How many reading these lines smile ironically thinking: “here is another one walking in the clouds”.
However as the citizen sooner or later will get his head out of the sand he will feel the loop of the real weight of 150% of GDP debt. The relevant troika three years grace period seemingly going to waste as well, still provides for temporary breathing but the truth comes after that period and nobody likes to talk about it. A large part of this weight is due to his own irresponsible behaviour in wasting for a generation valuable resources. They were provided for the development of the Greek society and he must now prepare psychologically for their repayment.
Two actions could alleviate significantly the remaining weight. Unfortunately, both are controlled by the political establishment. The first, urgent and delayed, is the capture of in any manner usurped resources. The new controlling authorities are trying but they are not equipped with adequate powers that would enable them to break the barriers of convenient legally unassailable centres of corruption and proceed with essential actions in ways transparent to the citizen. The other, most essential, relates to a socioeconomic development plan, not of the state organisms as it is the discussed by the political parties but of the real potential of the nation, those who are preparing to emmigrate. Only this part of society has the dynamism and appetite to raise the GDP i.e. to strengthen the neck that will carry the weight of the national debt for many years. Because let us not fool ourselves, We will pay for many decades for road tolls, trains, airports, tourism resorts and many other to foreign interests. Such a socio-political challenge cannot be tackled by any existing political party but by a national government and changes in basic articles of the Constitution. Can it happen?
Then is the education and lifelong training which enters as nail in the heart any development plan. Who can refute the collapse of our education establishment? Nobody knows where to start and where to finish in dealing withit. How can one capable minister with all the good intentions and the wisdom of previous capable ministers can overcome the Scylla of trade unions, the Charivdes of professional cleavages and the utopia of left leaning intellectuals, if he/she is not absolutely non-party adherent? The most recent symptoms of the conflict we saw in this famous entrance exams basis the 0.9. What hope is there?
But at the heart of the challenge from where the Cassandras opinions stem is the behaviour of the average Greek toward the events, No indication of organised social reaction outside the party politics, trade unions the professional cleavages. No hope of building even embryonic alternatives to the current political establishment structures. With few exceptions the citizen remains nailed in front of a misleading television box, the adventures of Greek football and porn star stories. Indifference, defence of the acquired rights for the ones that have them and aspirations to attain them for those that do not are so deep-seated that as the oncoming catastrophe becomes more visible this mood is being converted into a complex of fear and anger against everything except oneself. It would be interesting to publish results of social research in this area. Nothing worthwhile seems to be implemented for the management of this challeneg which may become the catalyst of rapid unforeseen developments. What can be done?
With such a background of reality from where they draw conclusions why not to believe the Cassandras? If the political establishment has answers to Cassandrian forecasts let them be known to society not with grandiose announcements but indisputable evidence and action plans in a language understood by the citizen as the Cassandras do
Author : optir