samedi 2 juillet 2011

Pourquoi la Grèce s'auto-détruit ? L'aveu d'un Grec

Why We Are All Destroying Greece

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Anastasios Papapostolou

Greece, why did we destroy everything at Syntagma? The stairs, the benches, the camps that people had created protesting against a government that was voted by the people and then couldn’t live up to its promises. Most importantly we have destroyed a new voice. Why are we  fighting? Police going up against protesters and a few others hiding behind masks who started the whole circus. Latest reports from local media (see video above) show that the ones who start the clashes are put there by the police, or secret government forces, who want to destroy the thousands of peaceful protesters. Why?

Why did we have to close down one of the most central hotels in Athens, King George Hotel during the peak tourism season. Why the heck do we have to close down our airports, ports and shut down our public transportation when we could take advantage of the momentum in the region and boost our tourism? Why do we have to show our worst image and scare people who want to visit our beautiful country.

I say we, because we all have contributed to this mess, somehow. Of course “we consumed it all together” (the money) as the Greek Vice President Theodoros Pagalos said, but he forgot to mention that the governments and the powerful were eating the whole loaf while they were throwing breadcrumbs to the rest of the society so we could keep maintaining a system we all knew was wrong. We agreed to close our eyes while others were becoming millionaires at the society’s expense . We, the majority of Greek people, sold our values too cheap.

Maybe we were just voting for a certain party hoping to find us an underpaid job. A job that somebody who was better at it would not get because of our personal relationship with a specific politician. Maybe it was when we were not asking for an invoice for a product or service, knowing that somebody would evade the tax system and we would also avoid the outrageous sales tax of 23%.

Maybe it was when we used the pejorative word “batsos” every time we would refer to a police officer who would pull us over with no probable cause. Maybe it was when the police would just abuse their power because they didn’t know any better. Why did the police have to attack one of the most touristic places in Athens, Monastiraki, and throw a light bomb between souvlaki eateries? (See video below)

We learned to play cat and mouse with the government in every given chance.  Sorry Greece, we can’t play anymore.

The upbringing of Greece for the last 70 years is wrong. It’s not just bad, but wrong, from the very beginning of a Greek citizen’s life.

Our upbringing creates tax evaders, police haters and corrupt politicians so that once they get elected the only thing that they know how to do is abuse their power. It seems that the only reason that somebody wants power here is just so they can abuse it for their own selfish good, which leads eventually to society’s destruction. However, in the long term, it turns back on each one of us. We are afraid of foreigners except when they come to spend their money. Even then we call them stupid “ksenoi” (foreigners). We are anti-americans, however we love all American products. Just count how many of the “anarchists” who throw stones at the American embassy wear Converse and other American apparel brands. Don’t forget Oxymoron is a Greek word. Welcome to modern Greece.

The truth is that we are just followers. We follow trends that are carefully created by those who want to exploit us while we are “sleeping”, passive enough not to create something new from scratch. And they train us to be wrong.

It’s wrong for the parents to slap their kids when they do something wrong just because they were slapped too as kids. It’s wrong to teach the children that they should be afraid of their teachers. It’s wrong for parents just to care if their kids got a good grade without even bothering to ask how. Yes, Greek kids know how to cheat the system well. They learn how to cheat from the first grade of elementary school so they can blend in well when they grow up. What they don’t know is that by cheating the system they maintain it at the same time.

They also learn to make fun of the teacher, a government employee who -they are taught- is against them because  he/she represents the government and threatens them with poor grades. The teacher sometimes enforces his role and abuses his or her power giving the first lesson of light government brutality.

Later they grow up, and by the time they are in high school, Greek kids know how to take over a whole school, occupy it, and stop the learning process until their demands are met. They learn to demand with violence, or at least, unorthodox ways. They also participate at protests that often end with clashes.

This is the time, that they will meet the police for the first time and of course, turn against them. Anyway the Greek media says so and paints an image of a brutal police force.  In a  society where the citizens are afraid of the police either they have done something wrong, or the police are abusing their power. In Greece both scenarios are correct.

When young Greeks go to university – and after they have dealt with a process that destroys every single dream and have been sent off to universities where they sometimes don’t even want to go- they learn to vote for the candidate that would appeal to their personal demand, usually a job for the government. They get recruited into political party groups while at college and that even helps them get better grades, just because they service the system better.

Others want to climb even higher in the pyramid by doing worse things, corrupting  the society for their own good. In Greece unfortunately, we learn that financial success only comes if you cheat, steal or get married to somebody rich. Those are the only exits from a socio-economic dead-end. Hard work at least until now wouldn’t pay off in Greece. That’s what our society taught us in a country that people who work hard are called “malakes” (a pejorative word which in this case means the one who is cheated). The worst is that there are times when we get angry because our job doesn’t give us the opportunity to steal, or doesn’t come with any power to abuse.

All of us Greeks have gone through all the above steps. Greek politicians, priests, journalists, the unemployed, protesters, police and each member of the Greek society has been brought up wrong. Unfortunately we don’t have the luxury to wait for a generation in order to change slowly from the beginning. This same system has made us fight against each other, but the biggest fight is against our old selves.

Most Greeks, have been avoiding to do the math, or when we did we were cooking the numbers. Forget the debt. How can somebody survive with 600 euros per month? The ones throwing the stones and the ones throwing the tear gas bombs are both parts of the same wrong equation.

We need to change instantly. We know what it needs to be changed in each one of us. Even if we were wrong we still have the right to change. For many maybe going to Syntagma is the first step of a self-catharsis.  The worst is to be wrong, know it, and continue to live the exact same way.
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