Where's Kafka when you need him?
Mind you, not the media, nor the bien pensant among the liberal elite in Europe and inside the Beltway. (You know the type: Ugly, feminine, intense, dandruffy, bad teeth, and always prattling about civil liberties and human rights, which in my book are licenses to oppress the law-abiding and allow criminal behavior by minorities.) The colonels did eventually screw it all up, in fact very badly, but they didn't steal and were never given a chance by the rest of Europe. President Nixon was among the few who saw the colonels as they were: pro-West, very Christian, patriotic, honest, and not at all sophisticated. Most of them died in prison, locked up for crimes they didn't commit.
WHICH BRINGS ME TO THE POINT of my story: The colonels were given life sentences for overthrowing a democratic system--which was not as democratic as it sounded, but more or less a game of musical chairs among the well connected. The present government in the Olive Republic comprises two parties, New Democracy and Pasok. These two parties have held power via musical chairs ever since their inception following the fall of the colonels in July 1974. Both have stolen billions from E.U. funds meant to be invested in the country's infrastructure. Instead, they used the funds to place their own in civil sinecure jobs for life, in many cases two or three jobs simultaneously. One in every three Greeks is a civil servant, making up the middle class that has emerged over the last 40 years. These same crooks now order six members of parliament arrested and jailed without bothering to lift their parliamentary immunity (as of this writing) and call the arrested MPs a threat to democracy. (Kafka, where are you now that we need you in good old Hellas?)
So the colonels overthrew a minority party ruling by royal fiat and got life sentences as a result. The ruling crooks today are sending elected officials to jail without proof because Golden Dawn is unpopular with the bien pensant and the media the world over. Golden Dawn members, to be sure, would not exactly be welcome in the drawing room of, say, Consuelo Vanderbilt, but what you see is what you get. They are poor, have never had a slice of the pie that has been so generously divided between the faithful of the two parties, are regular churchgoers and very patriotic. They are anti-European Union because they know it is just another con by which bureaucrats in Brussels run the lives of Greeks from the comfort of their plush offices. The media have labeled the Golden Dawn as violent neo-Nazi thugs and fascists, whatever that means. And Golden Dawn members are anti-immigrant. (More than ten percent of the Greek population is from Africa and subsists off the state.) That is it. Golden Dawn's closest ideological allies are those of Marine Le Pen's National Front in France. Basically, what is needed is for Athens to clean up the corruption and crony capitalism that have been at the root of the country's problems. This is not being done, no matter what the present government says in order to keep the E.U. vultures coming up with the billions needed to pay the nation's debts. The last five years have seen austerity measures imposed by Brussels that have hurt mostly the poor. Just to show the extent of the government's lies, Greece got into trouble by owing 120 percent of her GDP back in 2008, and after five years she now owes 170 percent of her GDP. The government calls that an improvement. (Again, where is Kafka?)
SUCH SHENANIGANS are nothing new for Greeks. The public has always been deprived of real information, as television, newspapers, and news sites are controlled by the economic and political elite. The latest news I've had from my birthplace is a campaign by the left against yours truly, naming me as a big financial supporter of Golden Dawn, a party I have never given a penny to. Mind you, using the yellowest press in Europe against an individual is also nothing new. Once upon a time, 30 years ago, I was described as a tool of the CIA maligning my birthplace and the anti-Americanism that was then prevalent among Greeks. Now I'm financing thugs against the ruling elite. It's par for the course. The Greek people should demand an end to deception and corruption. Instead, journalists are looking for scapegoats and killing the messengers.