Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The news from Greece

I spent the evening of the elections in Athens together with some friends that know and care about Greece. A lot of emotions and permanent Internet checking of the preliminary results. At the end of the day, the New Democracy Party and The Socialist PASOK announced their intentions to form a new government and the discussions continue till today as the two parties have rather a history of discontent than of cooperation. Keen to maintain their political support the representatives of the two parties will most likely prefer to renegotiate the terms of the bailout, despite the warnings of Germany that no change will be accepted.
But, regardless of the result, I was sure that the real danger will remain, regardless of the final result of the elections. More specifically, the danger is represented by the far-right. Although there were many worrying signs about what is going on in Greece, only very late in the process the public intellectuals decided to coalesce against. However, I strongly support this appeal symbolically called We are all Greek Jews. In Hungary, Ukraine, in the Balkans, France and elsewhere people should take stances and find a way to counter the far right until it is not too late.
When it comes to Greece, we should consider that it is a small country, without a vibrant economy, but with a very bad record of management of the public institutions and a problematic democratic past. Isn't it ironic that the so-called cradle of democracy nurtured a lot of anti-democratic ideas in more or less recent times? On the other hand, we should carefully watch the situation in other countries, facing bigger and with even deeper structural problems, as Spain, Portugal, some new EU Eastern European countries and, who knows whom - except Germany. And more than keeping a careful eye for the economic issues, all those interested in democracy should find a way to support better democracy from its detractors.
Meanwhile, Frau Merkel is getting ready to attend the Greece-Germany football game in the historical Polish city of Gdansk, but regardless of the results, nothing will change the current worrisome situation in Greece. 

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