Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Athens upheavel - part 2

This morning we heard that people are taking pot-shots at the police. Why is this happening, well the second part of the Why all this is happening lies with the government.

Many on the left disagree with the violence and have come out strongly against it. However many have also created a theory that the government is allowing this violence to occur, to let things get out of hand so that when they do call in the police, or even the army, they can start cracking heads and the people will cheer them on. Yes many people are saying what we need is another dictatorship, and the left is saying this is exactly what the government wants people to think.

However, the simplest reason is the best. And that reason is incompetence. We now know that when the violence started, the Minister of the Interior was at the Bouzoukia, throwing rose petals at the singers. Day Two when Athens was going to hell in a handbasket, he went to see a soccer match. Meanwhile the police where left rudderless and without instruction, except do nothing. Inaction is not an action.

We witnessed exactly the same happen when half of Greece was burning down with the fires. Action only happened when the Minister of Public Works stepped in and started giving orders to the firefighters, police and army. Despite what many think, these services need coordination and the authority to do things, the army cant just decide to come in and bring order, be it riots or fires, orders need to be given.

Just remember, the first act of this Prime Minister in 2004, was to sleep in and miss the Davos Conference. He just forgot to go. While many Greeks make fun of the fact that George Bush managed a failed baseball team etc, Kostas Karamanlis our PM has never worked a day in his life. His first job was being Prime Minister. (oh during his military service his role was to light a candle every day to protect the navy). Other countries usually train their politicians, they get junior ministerial roles, then slowly get more responsibility, a small ministery, then something bigger and then - depending on how good they are a big Ministery, Health, Treasury, Defense, Foreign Affairs, before being chosen for the top job.

Karamanlis went through nothing of the sort. He was chosen because of his name, did nothing to educate himself and then parachuted to the top job. His knowledge of governance and management is zero. And much the same can be said for most of his cabinet, with the exception of Souflias (minister of Public Works and environment - a man who does not want to protect the environment, yet the only one who showed leadership during the fires) Dora Bakoyianni, daughter of Mitsotakis and a couple of others.

Dont get me wrong, No prior experience is not a bad thing in and of itself. What is bad is that Karamanlis has shown no drive to better himself and is more concerned of keeping his work schedule from 10:00-16:00. So the reason why the government acted the way it did, pure and simple - because of incompetence.

No comments: