For a European way of life

Anyone lucky enough to visit major European cities will instantly realize the difference at a glance…

For a European way of life | tovima.gr

Anyone lucky enough to visit major European cities will instantly realize the difference at a glance.

They can sense the quality of life that stems at first from city planning, organization and functionality, which is in turn completed by an efficient state and public administration.

In conjunction with an embedded sense of discipline and mutual respect, this is the distinct European way of life that most of the other people in the world desire and wish to enjoy.

This way of life, this so-called European acquis is reflected in the joyful faces, the simple and uncluttered appearance and overall behavior of the people, which if anything conveys kindness. It is also reflect in the vibrancy of the youth which exercises at every opportunity, the fact that young children can confidently walk about and the dignified presence of the elderly, who either enjoy their coffee and newspaper or walk to bakery for the daily fresh bread.

Nobody is talking about paradise on earth, but rather that distance separates our cities is huge.

And it also reveals the Greek deficit, or rather our national procrastination.

The Greek State had many opportunities, at least in the past four decades, to approach the European way of life for which all Greek governments struggled.

Unfortunately the State failed completely. This is perhaps the greatest responsibility of the Greek political personnel; that despite having the experience and knowledge, it never made the necessary coordinated and organized efforts to ensure approaching the European acquis.

The parties and leaders that began to make an effort never had the necessary strength to persist and go all the way.

Our leaders were lost on the way, got entangled in pointless struggles for power and gave up half way, without consequence.

We too, journalists, the media and the Press are to blame, because we never insisted with the intensity and passion that the circumstances of crucial and transition periods demanded.

We are to blame because ultimately we did not defend the European path with the necessary vigor, because we were swept away by political rivalry, because we too were caught up in pointless struggles, because we became observers of foolish conflicts.

Many of us are inexcusable because we either knew or sensed early on that the country had no other path but that of European acquis and we did not react enough to the many political slip ups.

However there is still an opportunity. Especially now that the final delusions collapsed, or rather revealed themselves, to bring about a rebirth and reconstruction, not just of our economy, but our national way of life.

We do not deserve any more misery, this fixation on Eastern manners is no longer bearable.

Antonis Karakousis

Originally published in the Sunday print edition

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