• Comment from a Greek opposition party:

    Samaras is giving “earth and water” (γη και ύδωρ in greek), in exchange for a little “air”.

    • Samaras today promised that Greece will pay back all her debt. ‘I personally guarantee this’, is what he said. Personally guarantee what, 305 or so billion Euro? Anyone still wonders why we regard such guys as clowns?

      As for the extension of the programm, I totally agree with Yanis’ view.

    • @VSS
      This statement from Samaras really says it all about his political ability doesn’t it? It is no surprise that him and his partners in crime of the entire political establishment are considered clowns and much worse by all Greek citizens. In any other country in the world a politician would know better than to give a personal guarantee like that especially about matters which clearly are out of his hands. But no, our leaders know better, there is nothing that they cannot do, no feat is beneath them. They believe that they can singlehandedly turn an entire economy, an entire country around. It is always about them. They are completely oblivious about crucial aspects of how an economy operates, of the dynamic political and economical environment around them and the everyday hardships of citizens but feel that they are perfectly capable of handling any situation thrust upon them. This crisis will resolve all that. Like Papandreou before him Samaras will soon realize that his time is over. His political career will soon lie in ruins. This is the only good thing out of this situation. The crisis will ravage the decaying political system in its entirety from left to right and lay the ground for something new.

    • Hope you ‘re right Tasos but I’m afraid that things look differently. If you see the new breed of Greek politicians its like seeing Papandreou/Samaras clones.
      I think that nothing good will ever come out from the present tragedy the Greek society is facing.

  • In response to Tasos’ remark that the crisis will “lay the ground[work] for something new”, I’d like to express almost no confidence that any such thing is going to happen in Greece. The Greece I know is a museum and a gallery of entrenched attitudes, values and customs that form a complex which is resistant to change. Because the change that needs to occur is not economic, financial or socio-political, that is, it is not legislatable or dictatable or countable, the change that needs to occur is too hard – in these times of relative peace.

    Greek people generally are too self-serving, too individualistic, too sentimental, too superstitious, too suspicious, too dishonest, too incompetent, too sycophantic, too nepotistic, too tribal and too self-destructive, I know the concept of a national character is immensely complicated and problematic, whichever the nation one dares to circumscribe in this way, but if we take pride in the virtues we might also observe the vices – to some positive effect.

    Every taxidriver I have spoken to about the Greek crisis blames himself as easily as the political class and the socio-economic elite. This is cause for hope. True change begins with the individual conscience and self-knowledge. The culture which in the past engendered and protected the virtues of the Greek national character has faded into the background, but the future of Greece depends on renewing the Tradition that is perennial and giving people reasons to re-identify themselves with the nobility of spirit that naturally leads to healthy economic inter-relations.

    • Wow. Reading this, especially the second paragraph one would get the opinion that we live in hell on earth. Many of the characteristics you described are unfortunately shared nowadays by a significant percentage of citizens in all countries. Unfortunately the modern “homo economicus” is by definition individualistic, self-serving, suspicious, dishonest etc, etc. Your basic neoclassical economic theory personified. You described the character of the average man of our times: Looking out for number one, to hell with everyone and everything else. I have met this type everywhere around the world, unfortunately as years went by ever so frequently.

      I think that we should stop with the self-flagellation. Speaking of national character this has been one of our poorest characteristics as well. Change will come. In fact whether we like it or not, simple laws of nature. The world changes so one needs to adapt or perish. Whether we like it or not we are going to experience a paradigm shift in our times regarding our society and the national character it produces. If the concept of “state-nation” still manages to survive the changes the global crisis will bring. I expect Greeks to survive and thrive in the years to come. Greece though as a nation state is another story.

      So do not expect drastic change in the sense you described any time soon, but make no mistake Greece along with most of the countries in Europe will be unrecognizable ten or fifteen years down the line. The thing is that sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for: it may not be what you expect.