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Under the lid: corruption, media manipulation and protest

About the author
Giorgos Markakis is a broadcaster and web engineer who lives in Athens. He broadcasts every week on radio Multikulti from Berlin and is in charge of web-TV and web-radio for PASOK.

This is a guest blog post from Giorgos Markakis, a broadcaster and web engineer who lives in Athens. He broadcasts every week on radio Multikulti from Berlin and  is in charge of web-TV and web-radio for the opposition Socialist party, PASOK.

Corruption Scandals

A lot of petrol and oil have been gradually leaking from the governmental vehicle over the last four years until it finally slowed down. It took just an error in the ignition to unleash the inferno. The wrong time, and the wrong place combined with a driver who seems never to have had the knowledge to manage the state machinery. Prime Minister Karamanlis has turned out to be a bad driver with the license to kill.

A series of incredible scandals have forced almost half the cabinet ministers and secretaries appointed by Karamanlis on March 2004 to resign. Perhaps someone should let the Guinness Book of Records know that in the last few years a single minister was forced to resign twice within the three years he was in power. Savvas Tsitouridis was appointed twice and was also fired twice by his Prime Minister, who seems not to have learned his lesson.

In the last four and a half years the man who swore to fight state corruption, modernise the state apparatus and battle private media moguls, who are at the same time public work contractors, has lead a government that has produced more scandals in modern Greek history than the country ever faced.

It’s these facts that have activated wrath and anger in the Greek youth, emotions which finally broke loose following a single incident.

Media Manipulation

A few days ago small scale riots caused by university and high school students in Athens’ Exarheia square – a common phenomenon over the last 30 years – were seen as a brilliant opportunity by governmental administrators to distract public attention away from another crisis. The major financial scandal surrounding Mount Athos, in which the government, in collaboration with a few monks, transformed monastery of Vatopedio, into the biggest economic centre and state agency operating in the Balkan Peninsula!

It sounds like a bad joke but it is not!

It took almost 700 years (325 AC to 1054) for Byzantines and Greek-speaking Christians to cut their ties with Catholicism. Will these scandals, almost 2000 years on, transform Greek Orthodox believers to Protestantism?

A magnifying zoom lens has been pointed at all the frames I’ve mentioned, producing a highly sensitive political film. The wide range picture is what has been missing right now.  It is still too early to measure or predict the results, effects and implications of such religious “modern hubris”.

Police administrators - or officials - have been following the orders given to them by their political bosses.  In a bid to distract people eyes, the following plan was put into action: “Leave the youth to run free...They are going to destroy some shops and car windows in Exarheia. At least then tomorrow we will read a new headline on the front page- something other than the usual scandals that have been troubling us the last few months.

The Lid is Off

It took a single bullet in the heart of a teenager to unleash an inferno that is still gathering force.

It reminds me of a pussy cat that is transformed into a tiger after being heavily and badly provoked and cornered by the circus master. It reminds me of the Atomic Energy Uranium Tank when its lead cylinders are lifted up. The inevitable powerful boiling is transformed into an Uncontrolled Chain Reaction phenomenon. Before long, a new social Chernobyl is produced and will run ad vivo. I do not know where and how this will all end.


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