SMARTS. In short supply.
In Greece of all places !
The Media? They “scream”. They do not present views with arguments for and against. People are fed headlines, slogans, seldom a lucid presentation of the facts and this is by no means the only way Greek media “sins”. What can people process in their minds? How can they decide? The nation is taught to think with slogans and overlook facts. No wander it can be easily duped.
Result: A nation that does not know how to think, how to discern. How very helpful for the politicians. What about smarts? The Greeks are supposed to have them aplenty.
Hooded terrorism? For more than twenty years hooded anarchists appear out of nowhere, vandalize, destroy and then “disappear”. When there is a political protest, or march they show up, faces covered with hoods and many times carrying objects clearly aimed to be used for aggression, like bats, chains, materials for fire bombing and such. The police can not arrest them to prevent the harm they cause, but if there was a law prohibiting the cover of faces, so that the terrorists could be identified and a law prohibiting the carrying of items that can be used for harmful purposes, when among people, then the harm and damages from hooded terrorists and other like minded thugs could be vastly reduced, because the police could take preventive action by arresting and charging perpetrators with breaking the laws which ban the cover of faces and the carrying of harmful materials.
One simple law could bring a sea change to the way terrorism is confronted. But the politicians do not bother to explain to the nation the reasons why such a law is sorely needed and so Greece is a heaven for anarchist thugs. Then again would the existence of such a law make any difference if it is not applied? In Greece there are plenty of laws but little willingness to apply them. Examples abound.
Is this beneficial for the country? Not by far, but it benefits the politicians who use the laws discriminately to garner votes. What about the citizens? Why do they tolerate rhetoric about civil rights, when in fact the rhetoric is about the unrestrained right of thugs to vandalize, damage, destroy private and taxpayers’ property? What about the civil rights of the citizens who are entitled to peace and security? No rhetoric about that. Are smarts in short supply in Greece?
In Thessaloniki the mayor had a restaurant/bar shut and its entrance sealed E L E V E N times for laying out tables and chairs on the pedestrian walk way, TRESPASSING public property and for also serving food that was found DANGEROUS for human consumption, a menace to public health. The owner broke the seals and re-operated the restaurant/bar TEN times ! How can this be interpreted? Defiance of the law and of the authorities vested with the responsibility to safeguard the safety and the health of the citizens as an indication of the Greek character? A feeling of certainty that there will be no consequences? Whence the certainty? A friendly politician who can secure impunity for the owner? A “connection” within the municipal authority who can quietly foster the re-opening and operation of the establishment, mayoral decisions and application of the law be damned? Whichever the reason the fact is that some people believe they are above the law and this belief is founded on the power of “connections” and, indeed, the corruption of the authorities. Even if found guilty by a court what is the problem? A slap on the wrist, at worse a light sentence that can be bought out at three Euros a day. Compare that to Britain where justice is swift and looters in the recent riots received sentences of up to eight years. In Greece they would have been tried years later and receive sentences in no way comparable to those of Britain, a country where the laws are applied.
Is this beneficial for the country? Not by far. Greece has come to be a nation of people united in the belief that one’s own interest is law and that the “laws” are for the others. Who has allowed this belief to permeate Greek society but its leaders?
The Greeks seem happy with this, but is it to their true benefit? Do smart people accept lawlessness as a way of life, a way to enhance progress?
The politicians who gave the country shining examples of negation and of cronyism and have resorted to fractious political practices, promoting not the benefit of the country but of their parties, have instilled to the Greek mind the belief that “what’s good for me is good for the country”. No sense of justice. No sense of collective benefit. No to everything, however good for the country, if it is proposed/initiated by another party, yes to everything the party’s allies want. The Greeks have accepted this brand of politics. Smart?
The present prime minister, as leader of the opposition, was ready to lead his cohorts to an encirclement of the former airport grounds if even a quarter acre of it was to be sold for the construction of homes. Now he is pushing for the sale of the entire site to foreign investors. He organized protest marches against the restructure of the Greek Railways Organization which is awash in red ink. Now he is pushing for its sale. He opposed every effort to change the work rules in Public Corporations, now he is closing the money losers and merging others to stem their “bleeding”. He encouraged populism and the development of a “client” relationship with people, promoting various interests at the expense of the national interest. He allowed the union in every public corporation to co-manage it so that the corporation existed, almost in principal, for the benefit of the union (and indeed its leadership). He permeated the state mechanisms with his own party operatives, subjugating their function to the party’s interests (and those of its allies) and then he went around the EU talking about the corruption that is a trademark of Greece.
This “performer” had convinced the Greeks that he was the leader who would prolong the feast, fully aware that the country was at the brink of disaster and now, according to non ascertained information, he is considering the formation of a new political party to re- present himself to the Greeks, as what? If he does form a new party to distance himself from his sinful political past he will endeavor to convince the Greeks that he is now wiser and devoted to the service of the country, not of his new party? Will the Greeks buy it? He seems to think so. The recent history of Greece can only substantiate his thinking. He has duped the Greeks before, why not again. Do the Greeks have any smarts? He knows.
Greece is the country with one teacher for every ten pupils. This, however, does not place the Greek public school system any where near a position of excellence, indeed with pupils going to private tutorial establishments for which they pay, because they do not get what they should from their free public schooling. Finland, by comparison, provides the best schooling in the world (it ranks first) with one teacher for every fifteen pupils and of course private tutorial establishments are non existent.
Greece is the country with 19.9 judges per 100000 people (2007 figure) yet it takes several years for a case to go through and the leniency of the Greek courts is “reliable”. Britain, by comparison, has what may be the best justice system in the world with only 2.5 judges per 100000 people. The comparison brings grief.
Why do the Greeks put up with all this?
What is wrong with Greece? Are SMARTS in short supply? In Greece of all places?