Friday, December 19, 2008

Athens riots - A country in fear

As all of Greece is once again in flames and upheaval. It has become quite apparent that this is a a country living in fear. Not fear of the violence, of which that does exist, but that the violence is a result of the fear that exists in Greece.

In many ways, Greece is like a patient suffering from cancer, it knows it has to undergo chemotherapy to survive, but the date for chemotherapy keeps getting postponed. It knows that in the run up it has to avoid certain foods, but they are too good to miss out on, and besides the chemo keeps getting postponed, so one more meal wont hurt. And on and on it goes, and now things are building up to a huge climax.

Case in point, the students who are out on the streets with the support of their teachers are protesting against recognising degrees from other EU countries - something which it has to do, and against allowing foreign universities to come in and review Greece's curriculum and standards of teaching. (This is why you don't see a Greek University in the top 100 Universities to study at). The education system here is a joke, and relies in a large part on party membership to school unions, and not on merit. This is why we have Professors of Theology in University teaching Graphic Design. And because students find themselves being taught inadequate skills, they have to turn to the party system to ensure their future survival. Too much has been invested by so many for them to turn their backs on it.

So yes they do hate the situation, but so many have been abandoned by the education system and so many have found ways to overcome this situation - through corruption - that they cannot afford to leave it.
And so the riots continue, and so the government appeases them and the schizophrenia continues. This is why the Greek government is continuing to hire more people to work at Olympic airlines while simultaneously arranging for its sell-off and ultimate closure before its rebirth. Its stuck in this futile and vicious circle, and the riots allow them to vent off steam.
In the end what will change, have any demands been made? Have any discussions been had?

No, and this is what allows me, you and everyone else to attribute our own beliefs as to the 'why' this is all happening. And in the end, we can all say we were right and move on, i got an illegal house to build now.


Michael said...

I think it would be better to limit your hyperole to all Athens, not all Greece.
Here on Paros the secondary students staged a peaceful, orderly march. An educational excursion for them; an interesting demonstration for the other citizens.


Vassili - Mike said...

Thanks for the insight from Paros.
If i am prone to hyperbole, please excuse me - i am just angry these days over what is occurring.