Friday, December 12, 2008

Greece is Burning

This person has a very definite opinion about what is going on in Greece.

Plundering thugs who are following their own self-interests.

When Greece's conservative New Democracy party came to power in March 2004 it promised three things: to "reinvent" the state, to eliminate corruption, and to initiate much-needed educational reform. Four years later, the situation remains unchanged: The state is still a tool for bestowing benefits and favors, corruption in the public sector is still rampant, and attempts at educational reform have fizzled out.

That sets the context of where Greece is now: promised change not delivered, corruption, favoritism, cynicism. Not a good combination, at all.

The ostensible cause for the rioting was the killing – under circumstances that remain unclear – of a 15-year-old boy by a policeman last Saturday near the Athens district of Exarchia, a popular hangout for lefties and professed anarchists. Two officers have been arrested and charged with the boy's slaying. Poor training, lack of motivation and low salaries make for a notoriously incompetent police force whose members are prone to cause such tragic incidents. In that sense the police share the malaise of the rest of the public sector in Greece. The only difference is that they carry arms.

The writer works for Eleftherotypia, an Athens newspaper retaining its traditional socialist domestic and international stance.Thus, using terms such as lefties isn't to be taken as a rightist disparaging leftists.

The death quickly led to mostly peaceful mass demonstrations all over Greece by students who were understandably unhappy with the killing of their peer. They are also fed up with an overcentralized education system that thrives on rote learning, which stifles innovation and creativity.

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