By Anastasios Gregorakos

As the days go by my belief that this is going to be a bitter summer is reinforced. In newspapers and on television you see pictures you cannot pass without notice. Hundreds of pensioners flock toPiraeus from all over greater Athens to get their prescribed medicine, as pharmacists in the rest of Athens have stopped providing drugs on credit to all insured citizens. The State owes them hundreds of millions from previous months and years. You see then and gradually you are becoming familiar with scenes of 75 year-old people and upwards standing in line with the hope to find their needed drug.

At the same time the President of the Republic is about to leave for Brussels as he is going to be the head of the Greek delegation to the E.U Summit. The new PM is unable to travel for health reasons. Mr. Samaras’ problem was known to him before elections but it seems that he decided to remain as photogenic as possible for the election campaign. The dates of the Summit were also known. Initially it was announced that the Foreign Minister was going to be the head of the Greek delegation but it turns out that that doesn’t comply with the Head of State or Head of Government Summit protocol.

Yesterday the new deputy- the Minister of Shipping resigned. The opposition party, Syriza, the Coalition of the Radical Left, made known that Mr. Vernicos- a member of a ship-owning family- is the owner of an off-shore company, something very common in such businesses. No one who nominated or appointed or thought to ask Mr. Vernicos about his involvement in any such company, something that would exclude him from a government office as an existing law states precisely that.

What makes me sad is that behind office doors in Brussels and in BerlinI believe there are people laughing. And I wonder if seriousness and a citizen’s dignity (the dignity that Mr. Samaras so easily promised to restore) are such difficult notions to achieve in this part of the world.


About akalfopoulou

Author of three poetry collections, a book of essays, Ruin, Essays in Exilic Living, and most recently, A History of Too Much (Red Hen Press 2018).
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