I came home tonight with the intention to post something funny and amusing about my recent trip to St. Petersburg, as I have been writing it since my return ( I’m still very slow).
However, after watching the BBC footage of the violent incident between political parties representatives on Greek national television, I felt compelled to say something about it. I don’t really know why. Perhaps because after overcoming the initial feeling of numbness, I felt ashamed, angry and appalled but most of all sad.
Greece in 2012 bears no resemblance to the country where democracy and freedom of speech were born. When once upon a time we solved our differences through constructive dialogue, now we use our fists to impose our opinions and shut up anyone who dares questioning them.
When once we claimed that whoever is not Greek is a barbarian, now we have become the personification of the modern meaning of barbarian.
When once we took pride in being known for our hospitality, now we turn against all immigrants who have come to Greece in search of a better life and forget about all the Greeks who immigrated to Germany, Australia, the States ye
ars ago in search of the same better life.
When once we were considered the pioneers of culture, letters, architecture, now we are usually referred to as a third world country (in the broader meaning of the word) and we behave as such.
When once people of my age sacrificed their lives under the tanks to ensure a better and free future for the generations to come, now we go and cast our votes to a party, which may be far worse than the dictatorship of that time.
I can’t help but wonder how young educated people with inquiring minds ended up voting and supporting politicians (not sure they can be called politicians) like the man on the aforementioned footage. Even the excuse of reaction and discontent against the main political parties seems unacceptable to me. It might have been only a 7% of the voters, 21 seats in the parliament but the thought of someone who doesn’t respect freedom and democracy being able to voice their opinions and opposition in the parliament (any parliament) fills me with fear in the least.
I’ve been living in the UK for the past 9 years, during which time I have been asked on numerous occasions, why I’m not in Greece with the sandy beaches and the constant sunshine. I don’t know a lot and perhaps the above may appear as nothing more than a mere disturbance on the surface of a very deep ocean, the only thing though that I know for sure, is that I am not in Greece out of choice and as a free person I choose not to live in a country which doesn’t respect and forgets its past.