By Angelos Stangos
Day-to-day life in Greece is excessively determined by people defying laws, rules and reason; it’s disappointing and extremely frustrating. But this, as former prime minister Kostas Simitis once said, is Greece and it doesn’t look like it’s changing much. It’s exhausting for citizens yearning for basic normalcy to be assailed by the prevalent delinquency and to feel that their quality of life is being constantly undermined, often with the tolerance of the state apparatus.
The truth is that the antisocial behavior we are seeing right now is not the result of the pandemic. It may appear so, but is, in fact endemic and manifests in all sorts of ways.
Right now, events are being defined by our fellow citizens who refuse to get the Covid vaccine and by the obstinacy of deniers of all stripes. Whether they’re jerks, kooks, nitwits, thugs, vote-mongers or religious fanatics is neither here nor there. They are a swarm that is endangering the lives of the rest of us, having a negative impact on the quality of everyday life and obstructing the vital functions of society. The state, therefore, has an obligation to all the “normal” people in this country to decisively deal with such antisocial elements.
Admittedly, there are more antisocial Greeks out there. There are the unconscionable priests and monks who preach against the vaccines, the lawyers exploiting the anti-vax movement, the judges approving the exhumation of Covid victims, the relatives suing doctors for a payout, the parents calling the police on teachers implementing the law, the nurses and other state workers who refuse to be vaccinated but expect to keep getting paid… These and others in the anti-vax movement are basically enemies of society and need to be treated accordingly, without hesitation. Especially given that the overwhelming majority of the political world claims to support vaccinations.
The truth is that the antisocial behavior we are seeing right now is not the result of the pandemic. It may appear so, but is, in fact endemic and manifests in all sorts of ways: violence in the soccer arena and on the streets; interminable protest rallies and marches; sit-ins at schools and universities; increasingly aggressive and unruly driving; sound pollution; nasty graffiti; posters pasted willy-nilly on public walls; grimy bowls of water and food scattered here and there for strays; and, of course, in the inability or indifference of the state to these and so many other such phenomena. And even in the favorable decisions and amendments passed by every government to accommodate those breaking the rules and shirking their obligations. At the end of the day, it’s the suckers who dream of a different kind of Greece who end up paying the price.