Sunday, September 2, 2007

Eventually the Greeks will get what they deserve...

I had a boss telling me 'eventually everybody gets what he deserves'. This is the wisest advice I ever got in 30 years professional career. You deserve the employees you get, the bosses, suppliers and customers, friends and enemies, the wife, children, mistress, whatever. Only for your own parents you cannot be blamed.

The current Greek Administration by Constantine Karamanlis 'governing' the country during the last four years is a textbook case study of political incompetence and corruption. In 2003, contemporary Greeks, tired by more than 20 years of uninterrupted socialist cabinets, voted for change. They elected a right-wing conservative cabinet with a PM carrying the same name and some family connection with an infamous character who served as Greek PM from mid 50ies to early 60ies. That guy, uncle of the current PM, eventually moved to a voluntary exile in Paris, France (some exile, huh...) when the Center party EK (Union of the Center) won the 1963 ballots with a tiny majority. Karamanlis Sr. left because he was actually scared to be persecuted for past irregularities, especially for vote counts in the 1961 elections.

His nephew, the current PM, proud and arrogant second to no-one, spend at least 2-3 years of his own present administration taking the piss on the past Socialist governments for wrongdoings. In the meantime, he has been enjoying lamb-chops and good wine on the back of Greek taxpayers. His first term is about to come to an end and he still needs to show some achievement. His cabinet was initially filled-up with corrupt ministers who had to leave the cabinet in a number of scandals for alegged misappropriations of assets.

Karamanlis Jr's final blow, his own 'Katrina' only happened this summer though. With no care whatsoever for establishing a descent policy for the country's forrests, millions of olive trees, scores of animals and 64 people ended up in flames. It's not over yet. It's not only the lousy behavior of modern Greeks vis-à-vis their environment or anything that's not theirs that is to blame for the national disaster. It's not only the incompetence of the current authorities in finding and arresting the arsonists (if there are any).

In the first place it is the lack of proper forrest administration, legislation and policy. Terrains 'freed-up' by the passage of fire are open to exploitation for residential building projects. Are you capable of raising four lousy walls overnight and cover them with something looking like a roof? You done it! You own the terrain and no politician with hunger for your vote is ever going to stop you. Why should he anyways? In a country with legendary cover-up practices of all conceivable scenarios of political corruption you'd kill to get elected to such rewarding jobs.

The country disposes its garbage and litter in 400 designated places in the vicinity of forrests. No cabinet cares to decide on investing in the built-up of appropriate garbage processing and recycling stations, as the case is anywhere else in Europe. With high summer temperatures these garbage mountains obviously turn into potential fire-starters. The rest you know.

Very soon now, (September?), new ballots for the following term will be held. An old lady who suffered terrible losses from burnt olive trees declared that instead of a cross on a ballot checkbox, she plans to put ashes from her ravaged trees instead. Good for her!

Following a recent opinion poll the current governing party appeared to still maintain, nonwithstanding, a 3 percent points advance over the socialist opposition. Apparently our dearest co-citizens, contemporary Greeks, don't seem to see incompetence even when it slams them in the face. Eventually they'll get what they deserve! Agree?

1 comment:

Balint said...

This is an old blog post, man, that I just found through a Google search.
I think recent events show that Greeks indeed DID get what they deserve.
Decades of incompetence and corruption landed them in the middle of a world-wide financial crisis, with excellent chances of a state bankruptcy, civil unrest, and crushing poverty for years to come. Congratulations!

The rule doesn't fucking ever change: as you sow, so shall you reap.