Ladies & Gentlemen,
It was very difficult for me to write this speech, because first of all, I regret the fact that I accepted the invitation to participate in this Conference. I asked myself again and again “What are these people expecting to hear from me, the Bishop of the Region?”. Someone may question my right to state my opinion in these themes! But YOU invited me! Some other may say that my beliefs are old fashioned! But old fashioned beliefs are not the wrong ones.
Anyway, now I’m here and I honestly say to you that I do not expect you to agree with my views, I would not be bothered at all if you reject them all together and say bad things about me. Of course, by wisdom, I love reducing my enemies and making friends,however, the themes of the 1st Round Table Discussions, do not allow logic, but only “salt attached”.
There are two parameters in our world. The first is the diagnosis, namely the palpation of the cause that led us here. Without striving for accusing anyone and without being led by any vengeance. At least we are not doing so. But we have to face the truth.
The second parameter is to regroup and perhaps the resurgence that will reverse the crisis. Given the mentality that we have developed is a recast possible? Is there any willingness to do this? If so, what steps have to be taken in order to start the recovery and at what rate?
According to the Orthodox Christian theology, “evil” is acquired in the human nature and its an “unnatural”situation of the human behavior.
Therefore, religions, and civilized societies, cared to outcast the “bad” and to liberate humans from the harmful properties.
In our country, the economic “evil” was formalized by a strong social alibi upon after the political changeover in 1974,when some people thought that they now own the place forever. And the “evil” was aggravated by Andreas Papandreou in 1981: a)By removing inspectors and auditors, b) by the tolerance of rake-offs, c) by the teratogenesis of trade unionism, and d) by the disregard of every moral.
And everybody liked this tactic. It was considered a political way of life. It stroked instincts. It brought political party wins. That’s why it went on and on by every politician, at every level. There are few exceptions,almost none. That was the inevitable mistake of all Greek politicians. But our people are responsible too.
When people took charge and believed in that illusion, started chasing like maniacs their corporate interest. First of all people threatened the members of the Parliament. When the extortion failed, people mobilized the syndicalists and when they failed, people called the tv channels. This is an inevitable mistake of an immature crowd.
In that way Greeks lost their modesty, their reluctance that characterized their nobility, the politeness of their characters. For this changeover 35 years where enough. That ‘s a short time indeed! But consider the fact that this situation was worsened by the bad education provided by our schools according to maters of the education of the citizen, and also by the destructive default of every responsibility of the students against the society and the fortune of the state (destruction of books and university asylum) that showed the general despise of everything that is public, and the appropriation of every state good.
So, either because “the fish smells from the head”, or because “the water comes first in the guts of the ship”, the bad was done and infected all the Greek society to the ground.
I would like to remind you that the fall of the rich Ottoman Empire started when someone wrote in a marble plate outside the Yildiz Palace in Constantinoupoli : “The Patishah ‘s till is like the sea, and whoever does not drink from it, is a pig”.
But it s a fact that the honesty genes have not abandoned us. “Maybe the rings are off, but the fingers stand.”
Like humans, during our private discussions, we admit the national infectious attitude that we have developed during the last decades
Now though, we are at the edge, where ascertainment is not enough.
As soon as we admit our fault in public and with humiliation, we can search for the vision of reorganization. Is there the will to do something like that? It will be the first step to salvation.
The reorganization has to be started from the early childhood and if its done with stability and no turning backs, it will bring return in 20 years starting from now.
We should work together in this painful process. We will be hurt. It won’t be easy. That was proved by the fact that we didn’t stand the phrase: “We all “ate” them together”.
It was proved by the fact that many, in order to get rid of the responsibilities, found a refuge in the arms of the “indignant citizens”, who were cute at first but not for demanding the cure of the pathogenesis, but the return to the old painful way of life!
Then we watched the politicians of this country pressed, but unrepentant. That was not pleasant to us. . The trivialisation of the political choices of the people is people’s failure, but the impenitence of the politicians is absurd.
Then we got sick by the privileges that trade unionists had. Trade unionism is the conquer of the labor move, but in Greece it helped to its condescend.
Therefore, unfortunately, we hear screams like: «It won’t happen» or «We are against it», that prove the complete inability of many factors to see our problem in general, the problem that they created. So how can you hope for a solution?
In short terms, there is oral remorse, but there is not a collective admission of the sins, so the decision to change the route or the attitude.
The cure will act only if the self judgment is honest and the remorse in actions and proved.
If our democracy is “tired”, we won’t abandon it in the side of the road. If our democracy is “sick”, we won’t kill it. If it is dead, we won’t bury it. We can renovate its youth, we can heal it and restore it! After all, democracy, first of all is a way of life, a state of the spirit.
It will happen by reducing the members of the parliament to 170?
It will happen by a less expensive state?
It will happen by cracking down the politic challenges?
By multiple referendums?
By finding ways to recall the trust we give to our elected leaders with our paper sword?
I don’t know how, but it is worth to examine it.
Spectacular communication moves have to be done, or alternative the overturning of the corrupted order that exists.
I mean that our people has to regain the trust to politics.
The opposite to politic is anarchy, that nobody wants.
What does it take then?
Of course courage will be needed and not impudence. To be careful but not provocative. Decisiveness and not spasmodic manners.
To inspire by our example, the people to love again the meaning of homeland.
I’m very sorry to say that, but Europe never made us love it like a common homeland.
We have to decide to work intensively and not scratchy and considering the others fools.
Greeks farewell abroad because we function in well organized communities.
We have to be armed with virtues and spirituality.
To shake off us the title of the “thief” and teach our young people the respect to public property.
The civil servants have to respect the citizens that have to be served, but also not to take revenge by the wealthy ones and the investors. Otherwise, they should loose the of their job permanence.
We have to honor our salary and punish the drones, that destroyed our country like Egyptian grasshoppers.
We have turn our looks to the province and to the abilities that the agriculture and the cattle-breading give us , leaving the horrible basin of Attica with its sick function.
The idle trade-unionists and the many lazy people, “business consultants”, “managers” and “marketing directors”, people that have never worked for a whole swift, but as fops, they drink coffee in Colonaki until noon and have lots of drinks the rest of day in taverns, because they found the month that feeds the other eleven!
We should get back to work and demand our efforts to be valuated so as not to be equalized to the lazy people of this country.
We should appreciate to our conscience the institution of State and serve it loyally, all of us, isolating the rats that plane and the snails that crawl with saliva all over their body.
Then, only then, let’s talk about our debt with our European fellows.
With us having the demand to feel sorry about us.
Without us putting the blame to anyone for our mistakes.
We have to understand that none owe us nothing and that we don’t need nobody’s pity.
We have to understand that it is not flattering to watch our Prime Minister old and begging across the globe, while at the same time here in Greece, strikes are being announced, even from the University professors!
Lot of people say these days that the crisis is moral and not only financial. I don’t know what they mean. But, because I am a priest, I will remind you that philosophically, the meaning of “moral” started with the cruel negative Jewish order: «an eye for an eye and o tooth for a tooth».
That was improvised by the ancient Greeks, but even then had a negative index: «The thing you hate, don;t do it to your fellow man». And it was evolved to the positive Christian exhortation: «Do to your fellow men, the thing that you want to do to you. »
Somebody had too many mice in his house and called a priest to bless his home. After the blessing the priest suggested him to buy a cat!
I wish you a good continuation and success.