Tag Archives: Greece October 28

For whom the drum rolls

Children around Greece are pacing up and down their schoolyards banging drums in preparation for the March 25 Independence Day parades. What could be more dramatic ahead of a day likely to be marked by vehement protest against the political system and the austerity measures it’s applying than a loud drumroll?

For some Greeks, March 25 is building up to be a moment to express disapproval of everything their politicians have come to represent. For others, it will be an opportunity to release their anger by hurling yogurt and abuse at their political representatives. Some will just be gripped by the fear that it could all get out of hand and rip the fragile fabric of Greek society.

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Grinding to a halt?

The expression of anguish on President Karolos Papoulias’s face on Friday
spoke of two things. Firstly, of the sadness that an event held ostensibly to
remember the Greeks who fell in the Second World War was canceled for the first  time since the tradition began. But more significantly it embodied the
frustration of a political system caught lagging so far behind its people that
the gap seems too wide to bridge.

The abandonment of the October 28 military parade in Thessaloniki was the
result of a number of things but the one that should concern us most is the
chasm that has opened between the rulers and the ruled, as was evident in the
hyperbolic chants of “traitor” aimed at Papoulias. This breakdown is an
indication of how badly Greece’s political system has failed and opens up a
space that could be filled by much darker forces.

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