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A view of Greece with the eyes one of his own sons (Athens)


Just like every other place, Greece has its strong and weak points. The latter outnumber the former by a significant magnitude. It is up to you to decide then whether the strong points -- few and intangible -- are worth the effort it takes to living with the weak ones -- numerous, palpable, and a daily BIG thorn straight into your eye. The contest is hard and demanding. These are my two working lists, then:


(*) Generally agreeable climate (but deteriorating all-round and fast).
(*) Everything's small scale affording you the feeling of "having control" of your surroundings.
(*) Political correctness, although prominent in pockets here and there, remains at bay thanks to the "primitive" roots of modern Greek culture.
(*) Human relations, although not what they used to be, continue bearing elements of honesty and warmth absent in most developed Western cultures.
(*) "Modernity" as perceived by the "globalizers" remains alien to the majority of the population, thus reducing acceptance of the "other" and the "different" as means of dismantling local customs in favor of imported "multiculturalism."
(*) Still tolerable levels of crime despite the explosion of rates in some categories of violent offenses with the use of firearms.
(*) Den variese (who cares?) factor, although disastrously affecting many daily processes, gives degree of personal freedom (and unaccountability) unheard of in most Western societies; double-edged but tension-breaking, too.


(*) Chaotic bureaucracy, corrupt state, shaky judiciary, complete lack of institutional norms, and hence nightmare environment for any serious, professional undertaking.
(*) Over urbanization concentrated in Protected content areas and a dying countryside with little hope of recovery, save through the establishment of illegal alien populations.
(*) Misfiring, shallow, contracting economy, suicide-inducing consumer prices, rock-solid unemployment with constant upward tendencies.
(*) Collapsed public education and all-pervasive bouzouki Turko-baroque sub-culture depleting the endurance of all but the strongest and most independent minds.
(*) Sub-standard infrastructure despite inflow of hundreds of billions of EU subsidies plundered systematically by the local organized kleptocracy.
(*) All-round popular apathy vis-a-vis external threats, including the deluge of illegal immigration that tends to unhinge what's left of Greek society.
(*) Costs of corruption, bureaucracy, state disarray, institutional dysfunction result in permanent personal income anemia and concentrate hopes for improved living standards on inherited wealth or other ready source of cash outside the current "productive process."
(*) Across-the-board inability of the Greek element to plan, organize, and schedule with the result of more damage to individuals, financial and otherwise.
(*) Deep penetration of left wing sapper culture emphasizing political clientelism, personal corruption, deliberate circumvention of the law, and permanent sabotage of the "organized" state.
(*) Environmental collapse in many parts of the country due to absence of civic conscience and petty local interests.
(*) Unsettling proximity to the black hole of the Middle East, the Balkan basket case "states," and Turkey/Turania, source of rogue militarist aggression or, alternatively, Islamo-fascist fundamentalism.
(*) Last but not least, a bankrupt political class comprising petty and big thieves and charlatans and a sense of futility that envelops every undertaking, including those that debut under supposedly flying colors; national goals reaching for the maximum standard of the catastrophic "magical Olympics."

These lists form my working proposition. They change constantly, with the "strong points" one remaining the same and its opposite "weak points" lengthening.

There is no doubt in my mind that any person who has a credible expectation of establishing a minimum "middle class" existence in a developed Western country -- and, of course, has no personal, ideological, cultural, or other qualms about leaving Greece behind -- should do so without hesitation and right away. Personal sentimentality aside, he/she would most likely enjoy a fruitful career and won't spend the better part of his/her total time on this earth chasing after a semi-Ottoman government exercising its whims on the captive Greek population.

Woe onto those who wish to plant themselves away from here, but are buttoned down because of family and other obligations. Theirs is the worst predicament of all.

Athens Forum