I was impressed by our Prime Minister’s lively presence at the Lent opening celebrations on the island of Skyros, this Monday. He was duly and sharply reprimanded in rime by a local bard. Alexis laughed at the venomous rimes, rather than cry – which would be more to the point. Spontaneously my mind flashed to the ponderous silence of the wireless of the Left, on the occasion of the skirmishes between Greek and Turkish patrol boats, inside Greek waters, few days earlier. A silence that went on for two whole days before Tsipras dared pick up the phone to speak to Turkish Prime Minister Yildrim and Greek Foreign Minister Kotzias came on the air with a warlike statement.
It appears that our “first–ever Government of the Left”, as a rule, organises feasts whenever the flow of events suits its partisan public opinion and wears the “uninformed guise” whenever omens go wrong. Unfortunately, the consequences of any over-dose be it of drugs or political tacticism are deleterious, particularly, when they have to do with matters of national interest.
I got the other day a copy of Courier International, the well-known French review. It had a page under the title La nouvelle vague – the new wave – listing 13 Prime Ministers or Presidents under 45 and 6 over 80 years old, apparently to confirm the theory of the two extremes.
What struck me with great interest was the eclipse of Greece and its 43 year old Prime Minister from the list. It triggered all sorts of thoughts: could it be that the antics of our “first–ever Government of the Left” has led our European partners to a decision to “strike us off the maps and the ocean” as the old Greek song says? Or, perhaps, due to Tsipras’ wireless silence, have they forgotten us altogether? Alternatively, is the eclipse due to the striking contrast between his young age and his antique ideas that date back, at least to 1917? Where would they place him in an ideological desert of more than 100 years? The choice would be from embarrassing to hazardous.
Let me conclude with a word of comfort, as on next Saturday we celebrate the memory of Souls. Among the 19 political leaders of the list of Courier International less than half are leaders of democratic states. We are not the only ones that suffer the rape or castration of democracy. A pitiful comfort, best avoided.
By Maximos Good Lent