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Sunday 25 November 2012


Ryan is the doorman of a chic apartment building in the Upper East. Throughout the day, out of the building the most privileged dogs in the world come and go with their masters or their dog walkers. Well past 60, a tear rolls down his cheek when he admits that while feeling grateful he is an American (Irish-American, he elucidates) and particularly grateful for Barack Obama's re-election, he is not in the mood to celebrate because he lost his mother a month ago. “But what else can I do? I have to… I have to… My mother would be delighted – she and my father suffered greatly in order to come here and bring us up as Americans…”
Olga, a luscious 50-year-old blonde, works as a hairdresser on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and a part-time secretary in a Chinese import-export company based on Long Island the other days. She misses her home country Russia, which she left in her 20s, already married to a fellow countryman and Jew as well. Would she ever return? “How could I?” she asks me as if she never expected the question. “I belong here”. She warmly greets a man in his early 50s with dark hair and deep blue eyes who asks for a haircut – “Dan has been my favourite client for 20 years now” she says excitedly. “He came from Iran. His wife came from a place even further away, England.”
Olga’s weird sense of geography surprises me less than the fact that she seems not in the least affected by the fact that the gentleman comes from a nation and a religion that target the notion of the national state all people of Jewish faith like Olga emotionally belong to. When I tactfully tell her so, she laughs. “But here is America!” she says. “We are all the same. We have left our differences back home, in the distant countries we love…”
Angie – all first-generation Chinese women who come in contact with the public are called Angie, Nancy or Sam, for simplicity’s sake obviously – resembling a beautiful little bird with her shiny black hair and sparkling innocent eyes, tells me that she studied architectural design back in her home country and that she came here “to learn more because it is the centre of the world.” However, she didn’t find a job in her field, apart from unpaid apprenticeships. She is currently working as a hairdresser’s assistant in order to make ends meet, whereas her mother, who lives in China, sends her pension in yuans-turned-into-dollars in order to pay her daughter’s rent. Wouldn’t it be better if she returned to her home country? “I don’t want to go back as a failure” she says misty-eyed. “I have to achieve something first.” If she succeeds, why go back then? She laughs awkwardly and rather hopefully. “Yeah, why? When you succeed here, you walk on clouds…” Dreams fill her eyes, a smile plays on her lips, her hands still immersed in lather.
For a moment it seems ironic that the rising superpower holding a large amount of the American debt and shapes the destinies of the American people cannot hold its own people. Maybe that’s partly why America was and still is the symbol of the desire and the struggle of hundreds of millions of people to become part of it.
Leo, a blue-eyed blond from a traditional Protestant family of Chicago, has been living here for 20 years, but his Moroccan wife....................

Monday 19 November 2012


The first thing you have to learn is the language. The language that you know better than your homeland's is different here and is constantly and rapidly changing. Not at the speed colloquial language changes in european countries, but with the velocity of a speeding car going somewhere undefined, just like life here. This atmosphere directly affects written language too, directly – and there is plenty of writing going on here. On mobile phones and tablets, everyone is writing. Honest to God, Americans  must fast be turning imto the most literate people on earth, even if it isn’t always top quality writing or its elaborate precision and perfection lacks soul.
The second thing you have to learn is that rules are rigid – especially the ones concerning privacy. If you break them, you’re done. Therefore, you either don’t break them or you become too good at breaking them to be caught.
The third principle is to learn how to overcome all difficulties moving forward. There is no other choice. Three blocks away, at a church belonging to one of the hundreds of christian sects here, a support group for people who lost a child meets every Wednesday at 7pm. Every Thursday evening, at the conservative synagogue, there is a meeting of people who have recently lost their spouses. “Ensure the continuation of your life no matter what” an attractive elderly lady shasays in a life insurance advertisement. And for every disaster – apart from financial – therapy is offered here whether in the form of a therapist, a support group, community services, the appropriate literature. “How to overcome what happened and move forward” is the message. It is out of the question to want to live out of the box, beyond these rules of rigid emotional and mental propriety. If you dare say you don’t want to get over something deemed "not good/healthy/fair" for you, even if you mean it and it is your choice, the choice of a mature sane person, still you will end up all alone--if not in a mental institution!
So you comply. Because it's "their way or the highway", indeed. Yet the more you want to comply with these rules in order to fit in and to be accepted, the more you empathetically understand these violent outbursts, these impressive self-immolations of General David Petraeus and many more before him.
In truth, at first, it is not difficult to learn to live under these limitations in a world you want to adapt to. Things here are so clear-cut they become simple: there are good guys – the Democrats – and bad guys – the Republicans – who are bad in such a grand guignol way that they promote the secession of several states they control (Texas, Tennessee, Florida) from the rest of the United States. If you hold any public office and you flirt – let alone do anything more than that – with another woman, not only will you be held.........

Sunday 11 November 2012


While America was celebrating Barack Obama’s re-election, Greece was being engulfed – again – in the flames of protest, international uncertainty and political instability, being on the razor’s edge between life and death. In Brussels, the symbolic capital of Europe, the majority of the employees in the european institutions was on strike against the spending cuts in the EU, as demanded by the member-states, and the attacks they have to face due to their privileged salary regime.
However, at the place where I am right now, the only thing that matters is the city. The news is limited to what happens here exclusively – despite the fact that we are all interdependent, one nation depending on another and all nations depending, first and foremost, on Greece!
“There’s mayhem in Greece” you say, seemingly indifferently and informatively. Yet, deep down inside, you care. From the moment you heard the news about the recent riots, the new measures, the expulsions from the political parties, the state budget for 2013, the IMF which is still squabbling with the Europeans, the money which isn’t coming and Greece which is dying of suffocation, like a man buried alive under the ground.
“Again?” you ask. Again. That’s what it seems to me as well. Again? Why do we have to face everything “again”? Agony, conflict, political chaos, the tug-of-war between the great powers we depend on? Again. From the beginning. Hanging by a thread. Again.
You get on the wrong underground train and end up following a complex route, rather unsafe and tiring – or so it seems – in order to get out of the labyrinth. A nice stranger guides you. When you get out, you breathe and sigh with relief. “If I had got off at the previous station, who knows where I would be right now!” you say. “At the same place” he answers, “but you would have had to buy a new ticket!” You stare at him speechless. “You would have had to pay again” he explains as if you don’t understand, “and we don’t do the same things ‘again’.” You attempt to say something but you stop. You know what the next question will be: “Where are you from? Do you accept ‘again’ there?” and when you answer, the response is matter-of-fact: “That’s the reason why! You have defaulted!” What can you say? It is true. A person in need or a person who has made a terrible mistake does things again and again for as long as it takes…
“You have to show who you are again. You have to remake yourself, to reinvent yourself and your life. Again. You have to. It’s a whole different planet here” says a geneticist who has recently moved to this city. “When you leave this city and return to your country, you are nothing. Until you become something again – if you can manage. But our countries are so small and so narrow that they constrain you. Isn’t that so?” Although he knows perfectly well that he is right, his question is not a rhetorical one. It hides something else: “It’s enough, isn’t it…?” Yes, you answer to him and to yourself. “Yes, yes” you keep saying in order to convince and remind yourself.
You start making tomato salads with lots of parsley and oregano. At the supermarket, you see feta cheese (which you never ate) and you get excited. While walking, you hear the sound of bouzouki, just like other people hearing voices. At night, watching the news from home and seeing protesters, molotov cocktails or even Poul Thomsen and Yannis Stournaras, you are so moved that you feel like crying.........

Sunday 4 November 2012


The tree lies in the middle of the pavement outside Central Park, its bare roots turned upwards, its top muddied, trailing on the ground. It seems like a dying man who still thinks he can hang on to life even as he is being prepared to have his organs harvested. A little further, municipal workers cut the trunks of other age-old trees, some of the casualties of Hurricane Sandy, to smaller pieces.
Passing by on foot, I don’t have the time to stop and watch the disaster in a way that it sinks into me because I have to move on – runners preparing for the Marathon on Sunday, and hurried people walking hurried dogs are rushing past me, going about their regular lives, lucky enough to have remained unscathed, forcing me to proceed as well.
Half an hour’s walk away, I reach a less prosperous and safe area where a huge crane involved in the construction of a new tower building stands broken albeit secured. Experts and authorities have examined it and ascertained that it poses no danger to neighbors. In any case, policemen are permanently stationed there, monitoring the situation. People pass by running. While on their way, they drink hot coffee, take a bite of something, talk on the phone. No one does only one thing at a time.
In the rest of the city, approaching downtown, the situation rapidly deteriorates: large parts of the city are immersed in darkness – 4,5 million houses still have no power, whereas several people don’t have a home to return to; underground stations are still flooded; bridges closed; roads still partially closed with yellow tape cordoning off their unsafe parts. “Do not cross – crime scene” says the logo on the tape.
In another part of the city, in the night that has turned chilly, thousands of people wait in long lines to get on buses that commute people from Brooklyn to Manhattan for free. On the highways, cars queue in order to fill up with gas, while on the sides of the road tents have been erected to distribute batteries and generators to those who need them desperately. People who don’t have access to power can sit there for a couple of hours and recharge their mobile phones and appliances. Yet there are still many for whom any kind of relief is still to come. In Grand Central, the recently homeless are indiscernible from the poor whom the recently homeless—like the rest of us—had considered bums or never considered at all, until tragedy struck them too.
Yet, no matter what, life never ceases to move forward in this city. People never stop their relentless running towards the future. Still, unlike what we do in Europe, this city’s citizens do not ever forget what they leave behind. The volunteers who help the stricken are thousands –many are hurricane victims themselves. From one end of the city to the other, food, water and hospitality is extended to the stricken. Federal, state and municipal authorities, large companies, department stores, grocery stores, individual...............................

Sunday 28 October 2012


The holiday of the October 28 anniversary has always always a kind of  people's edict in Greece – a clear indication of how the new season was going to be like. It is not a coincidence that George A. Papandreou decided to resign as prime minister after last year’s incidents at the military parade of October 28. Since the “NO” we told Moussolini and Hitler, thereby forcing dictator Ioannis Metaxas’ hand towards the direction of valiant resistance, the message of each October 28 anniversary is indeed the closest (apart from elections) to what we call “public will”.
In other Western countries, especially the northern ones, there is no other anniversary in autumn so charged with political and existential importance. That’s the reason why autumn in this foreign city is just a forerunner of the approaching winter. It doesn’t really matter that no one seems to be looking forward to the approaching winter.
Walking through the famous museum of the city and its endless galleries, you find a common thread that connects everything: Greece.
You can see the influence of Greece up to the Middle Ages in almost every exhibit. Right there, just after the fall of Constantinople to the Crusaders and just before the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans, Greece is lost forever and the entirely autonomous advancement of the Western style and the Western man starts – just like Zeus being able to evolve and emerge as king of the gods only after defeating Cronus.
Being amongst strangers, you realize that what is familiar is not friendlier or more unfriendly just because it happens to be familiar. People can be mobilized to offer their help when needed, but they are just a handful and do not come from your environment – if the familiar was able to help, it would have done it long ago.
In a gallery exhibiting Caravaggio’s contemporaries and students, you see a painting that grabs your attention: two young girls (plump as befitted the aesthetic standards of the time) sit at a balcony and stare at a square full of people underneath the balcony. Two blurry male figures stand behind the two girls. The caption of the painting mentions that the two girls belong to the high society and stare with great interest and from a certain distance at the “others” – the people at the square – behind walls built by privileges: money and social or professional recognition that comes with it.
Things stand exactly as the painting depicts them. The communities of the rich people in this foreign city live behind high walls and wrought iron gates, guarded by concierges in tailcoats. If you don’t belong here or if you are not invited, you cannot enter no matter what. The rules are clear, acknowledged and respected by all. If they are not respected, too bad: in this democratic, progressive and liberal country, the police don’t joke – that’s the reason why this country manages to maintain its democratic and progressive nature.
Only in a country with rules respected by all, regardless of financial, professional or social status, can there be progress and preservation of a common feeling of justice, unity and responsibility for a country that everyone belongs to, a country which belongs to everyone.
In Greece, the same walls stand albeit deceptively – they seem invisible until you crush onto them and get killed. A lot of rich people do not seem like rich people – nor are they legally justified to be rich. That’s the reason why they pretend to be “madmen”, “leftists” or “anarchists”. In Greece, however, contrary to what happens abroad, there are no rules. Not even the rule of the survival of the fittest. A unionist participates in similar “orgies” to a big businessman because both can blackmail and they know it – each in his own way.
However, there are walls that stand justifiably – or, be it, legally. A lot of poor people or people who lost vested interests, jobs and money during the last years adopt a fair or unfair (depending on the circumstances) stance towards the people who (seem to) have more than them. But what else can be done? The illegal immigrant cannot become one of us just because he wants to or has the muscles to impose it and we cannot become industrialists and shipowners “just because”.
The feelings of anger and jealousy are, in my opinion, the greatest danger we Greeks are facing as we speak. The crisis, the depression and the growing poverty, accompanied by lower living standards, are unfortunately taken for granted. Two things are still at stake..............

Sunday 21 October 2012


During the last few weeks, apart from the ongoing thriller regarding our agreement or disagreement with “the evil guy of the IMF, Mr Poul Thomsen,” and the theatrics of DIMAR, the safe road that Antonis Samaras and Yannis Stournaras seem to be putting the country on, with a lot of work and under extremely adverse circumstances, has softened the lines of our previously pitch-black reality, painting it a soothingly boring dull grey.
Being uncertain and unwilling extras in a mixed genre movie (between ancient drama and thriller), we managed to focus on our work – those of us who still have work – and tend to the practical needs of reality. The few intense moments came from three ladies: the Syriza representative and attorney, Zoi Konstantopoulou, the Golden Dawn representantive, Eleni Zaroulia, and an unknown woman (personal assistant to the Independent Greeks representative, Terrence Quick) who argued with the ND representative, Andreas Psycharis, inside the Parliament.
Each of the above-mentioned ladies won’t be happy to see her name in the same sentence with the other two names. Each one of them hit the news for entirely different reasons. In my opinion, however, these “reasons” are just pretexts. The main reason is the fact that they are women and that they behaved in a way that is not considered right.
It may still be a taboo to speak about it, but the road a woman takes in order to ascend is seldom straight or autonomous. It doesn’t usually matter how hard she works or how many qualities she possesses. It is not a decisive factor. Her success stems from the man willing to help her. In the case of daughters with powerful daddies (Zoi Konstantopoulou), the de facto sentimental power the daughter exercises on daddy helps her ascend higher in society. Some other women make it through marriage (Eleni Zaroulia). Others make it through their work which involves helping a powerful man (Terrence Quick’s PA).
But even if a woman acquires some kind of power, she is always accepted only under certain conditions: to have mainstream behaviour and mainstream views and not to provoke (unless it regards sex or family, where everything is permitted).
It is the unwritten law that the three above-mentioned ladies obviously broke. Zoi Konstantopoulou has assumed the role of public prosecutor and examiner inside the Parliament. She even made Evangelos Venizelos admit that he takes pills for a certain health condition he suffers from, but she wasn’t convinced! The Speaker of the Parliament tried unsuccessfully to bring her to reason by reproaching the representative and attorney for… her upbringing and saying that there hasn’t been such behaviour in the Parliament since 1974.......

Sunday 14 October 2012


Last week, two colossal companies actually left the country. The first, a top-ranking greek dairy company, moved its headquarters to Luxemburg. The second, a food and beverage industry bearing the most famous brand name in the world, left the Athens Stock Exchange and is getting ready to enter the London Stock Exchange.
Undoubtedly, all companies, especially colossal companies, are not obliged to have a home country nor show any kind of social solidarity. Nevertheless, all people, not just Greeks, insist on considering all colossal companies that originated from and succeeded in a certain country whose citizens are their main shareholders as “national”.
More often than not, the overall behaviour and practice of colossal companies, as well as entire countries and nations, can be understood only if we reduce them to the individual level. In other words, these complex groups of people and interests exhibit the same weaknesses, mistakes, obsessions, unexpected triumphs, successes and dependence on the luck factor as an individual. That’s why colossal companies commit hubris, behave arrogantly and fall. That’s why some of them make a breakthrough despite the difficult financial situation, whereas some others fail.
What the crisis that ensued the fall of Lehman Brothers showed is that, during their darkest hour, the “supranational financial giants” of purely private interests, indifferent to the interests of individual countries no matter which they are, turn for help, just like citizens, to the country they refuse they belong to. In such emergencies, the state plays the role of the rich daddy.
Ironically and rather predictably, when these companies recover, they start all over again – just like kids saved by their parents or citizens spending extravagantly.
I’m not suggesting that the greek reality is similar to the american. Nevertheless, in any country and for every company, escaping from a difficult financial situation that costs dearly and rather unfairly – as they think – cannot be judged by financial, political or moral criteria.
So, the two colossal companies are abandoning Greece just like thousands of middle-class professionals, ranging from 20 to 50 years old, who search for a more financially stable, more secure and more relaxed life in countries where........................

Sunday 7 October 2012


The $600bn amount that was supposedly raised by expatriate Greeks has been publicly outed as a fraud, thanks to the sober reaction of the Ministry of Finance. However, there’s also a comical side to the issue: some of these guys, apart from Golden Dawn members or supporters, are said to be pagan worshippers of the Twelve Gods of Olympus! Of course, a number of Golden Dawn members are pagans and simultaneously believe in Orthodox Christianity. What a mess! So usual in Greece. On the other hand, the average Greek is only interested in his survival, his security, his freedom and his personal progress or the progress of his country. He is completely atheist, apolitical and impartial towards or against any political parties: Voltaire’s ideal.
What imperialism, capitalism, communism, fascism or neoliberalism never managed to achieve globally during the last two centuries, was achieved in Greece in only 30 years by Andreas Papandreou, Kostas Karamanlis and, of course, George Papandreou. Aided by Konstantinos Mitsotakis, Costas Simitis and the entire political system. They all turned us Greek citizens into people completely free of ideologies, religions and obsessions. Like perfect products of the Enlightenment! Unfortunately, we are also penniless, helpless and hopeless. You can’t have everything in life.
Seriously however, the cock and bull story of Christine Lagarde’s list of Greek tax-evaders that was lost and found two years later, is maddening, apart from being a tragicomedy involving billions of euros that changed hands – at the expense of the State, of course. Okay, we didn’t know it. Didn’t we suspect it? How many years, how many decades, have we kept saying that the rules concerning the MP’s declaration on their “source of wealth” are a laughingstock? Too many. It’s about time we had some new rules. It’s about time the guilty were punished. If this list furore is just a soon-to-be-forgotten firework, let’s leave it at that.
I have a proposal to make: let’s gather all the people who ruled the country over the last 30 years – from ministers to secretary generals of ministries and government-owned corporations CEOs – and let them prove that they are not guilty of tax evasion, embezzlement, money-laundering. It’s so much easier and faster than searching for lists! Reversing the burden of proof in criminal law is exceptionally allowed in certain cases. A lot of deep problems and inequalities have been overcome in the USA thanks to the similar concept of reverse discrimination.
Speaking of the USA: during the presidential debate – that Mitt Romney is said to have won with such a degree of comfort the presidential election is a real derby once again – Barack Obama mentioned his grandmother. He said that she was a middle-class woman with severe financial problems who had been working throughout her entire life in order to bring him up and had been living by herself – for fear of being a burden to him and not letting him free to fly the way he did in order to become the President of the USA – trying to face her health problems thanks to the healthcare system. He concluded by saying that she died all alone a few days before her only grandson was elected president.
All of us – rich, middle-class or poor – love our family – or a member of our family. However, not all of us can take care of our families in a system that leaves no option to people who, despite working throughout their entire lives...............................

Sunday 30 September 2012


From Thursday night to Friday morning, two days after the general strike of the public sector and the massive militant demonstration in Syntagma Square, five people – from 40 to 70 years old – commited suicide. All around Greece, from Preveza to Crete. They committed suicide out of desperation for their financial situation. Their deaths didn’t make it to the news because suicides are an everyday occurrence and because, in some cases, these people may have been responsible for their own financial situation.
But this doesn’t change the fact that one of the accessories to the deaths of these people and the thousands of others who are in a similarly desperate situation, is the political system which is making them suffer at present – out of necessity; we are defaulting – by imposing taxes, pay cuts and payment delays that cause a domino effect of shutdowns and lay-offs in the private sector, or made them suffer in the past by granting them loans, subsidies and other favours, irrational or illegal.
I believe that it is the simplest and most honest response to Theodoros Pangalos’ “we all ate the money together”. No, we didn’t. The breakers of oaths – elected and paid in order to handle public money in a lawful, rightful and just manner – are the politicians. I’m not suggesting that the citizens are completely innocent – from the richest top dogs to the last anonymous citizen who has been favoured by an economic, political or government official. Yet, they are not, or they are not obliged to be, heroes or idealists in a country where integrity, solemnity, tax consistency and living according to one’s income – or even more conservatively – were “penalized” as the absolute “stupidity”. That’s why the majority of people (apart from politicians!) are happy with the revelation and publication of various lists (the list of the “36”, the list of the “50”, etc) and accusations against politicians and public sector officials in high offices.
It is true that a number of things have been heard about journalistic revelations – including the ones made by Nikos Hadjinikolaou’s newspaper. According to politicians, all journalists are good unless they start revealing stuff. There is no better example than “Proto Thema”, which has been accused and hunted – mercilessly and tortuously, in a totalitarian and dictatorial manner – by various governments or individual politicians for its revelations. Almost all of them pertained to political money, the gravest sin since the establishment of the greek state.
I don’t know whether Nikos Hadjinikolaou was right in publishing the accusations against three politicians – including Speaker of the Parliament Vangelis Meimarakis. Surely, we are – again – in a very critical and dangerous situation. Default is looming over our heads. The critical date is the election date in the USA: after November 10 and – I hope! – Barack Obama’s triumphant reelection, will the Europeans support us? Will they disburse the next tranche or, at least, allow what the IMF wants, a new haircut with the participation of the European Central Bank and the central banks of the member-states of the EU? If not, we default, instantaneously and in a disorderly fashion. It is certainly not the right moment to attack the entire political system, tarnish the names of innocent and honest politicians and destroy careers.
Yet, the life or career of a plain citizen or businessman can be so easily destroyed by a false or fake accusation. Why should politicians enjoy such a special treatment? On the contrary, they should be more careful and more discreet than plain people. Even semantics counts: the photograph depicting Mariano Rajoy smoking a cigar in the streets of New York (during the session of the UN General Assembly) is infuriating the Greeks, let alone the Spanish.
People are angry due to the great number of injustices concerning the new measures, especially when it comes to special groups, such as pensioners or kidney disease sufferers. Yet, the injustices that we – irrationally – suffered...............

Sunday 23 September 2012


The worst that can happen to you at your job is for things to become personal. It is something we are all aware of. All of us who work or worked at a job where the – main – criterion for employment and professional development (if any) was meritocracy and our ability to cooperate with others. Of course, here in Greece, few, very few, people have built a career based on the two above-mentioned elements.
From the narrower public sector, the municipalities and the wider public sector, where the majority of employees have been hired based on their political connections, to all the banks and their Boards of Directors which are an image of the occasional governmental alliances, and from the Media (big publishing groups had been ran for years by the publishers’ real or political friends’ offspring , godchildren, etc) to the freelance professions (lawyers, doctors and other scientists who didn’t have any political support, any relatives or any connections have tales of horror to tell) only the people who were party followers or belonged to the right (politically linked) family moved on in Greece. Add also the people (male or female) who had the right… feelings – especially when they were lawfully established by marriage!
Of course, that’s the reason why we have ended up where we are today and the reason why we are hanging by a thread – that “series” has become disgusting, not only for the people abroad who couldn’t care less about our fate, but for us Greeks as well.
That’s the reason why we keep insisting, even at the eleventh hour, on perceiving things as “personal”: Fotis Kouvelis “went ballistic” and scolded the Troika, the “evil” and temperamental Scandinavian (the latter carries a special meaning with reference to the temperatures and mentalities that prevail in his country) Poul Thomsen “blew a fuse” and first attacked Yannis Stournaras and then, out of spite, left Athens for a week (according to the EU),and Christine Lagarde is envious of us and devises various plans to our detriment because she is a horse-faced anorgasmic Catholic, whereas Angela Merkel is “evil” (according to a German female writer who attacks the chancellor in a book which tends to be a household name here in Greece and, I imagine, a soon-to-be best seller).
So, let’s say that things are mostly “on a personal basis”. Even if that is the case, then why are we treating everyone we directly and urgently depend on in such an unreliable, foolish, outrageous and “scaramouch”-like way? How can you keep cutting down pensions and imposing all kinds of taxes on the middle class until we all end up in soup kitchens and not implement just one of the structural reforms that the Troika insistently- and in many cases, justifiably – asks for? And how can you keep misleading the Troika and stalling for time, expecting that their representative here in Greece (who has to tolerate everything) will not try to undermine the entire country? That’s how passions and extremisms are created – ask the Islamists!
The truth is that if a Martian landed on Athens today, he would get the impression that Yannis Stournaras is the country’s prime minister. If only! Apart from working non-stop, negotiating with the Troika, approaching Europeans, Americans and Troikans, and improving the country’s image abroad, he would also have the ability to save us. Alas! All the good work done by Yannis Stournaras (while all social partners, trade unions and citizens curse at him on the streets, while Evangelos Venizelos curses at him in his sleep, while IMF’s Poul Thomsen attacks him – with his fists, some say – and the European Commission “betrays” him) is cancelled by the triumvirate of our wise leaders!
Let’s say that it’s ok for Dimitris Avramopoulos to be shopping and sightseeing in the USA – New York, Washington, Boston and Chicago; he’s leaving a vacation on the West Coast for spring when it’s nicer – but was it really necessary for Antonis Samaras to go to Rome for the weekend to confess to the Pope?
On the other hand, what good does he do when he is here anyway? He consults with the boisterous Evangelos Venizelos and the strict teacher Fotis Kouvelis, while SYRIZA is posing ​questions in non-papers and official statements such as: It’s better to remain in the eurozone – but is it worth such austerity measures? Why do we have to suppress ourselves so much? Why was I born a Greek and a petit bourgeois and not Bill Gates – or at least Warren Buffet…?
If Antonis Samaras were determined to ignore party interests, to actually sacrifice himself politically (not like George Papandreou’s alleged “sacrifice” when he just ditched the country.......... 


My beloved terrorist
Published by: LIVANIS
First printing: 2001
Pages: 403
Hellenists: Greece does not wound them
Published by: LIVANIS
First printing: 1999
Pages: 314


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