Ladies & Gentlemen,
I greet you all and I state my gratification and honor for hosting my report in the website of the Economic Forum of Thrace. In the tense proscenium of these days I am summoned to talk about Marathon and Democracy in our times. Allow me to parallel that ancient incident with today’s reality, because as it seems, even 2500 years later, the similarities of the two time spots, are a fact. In our times we are also on war. In our times we are also called up in the field of the battle. In our times the forces are also uneven and the circumstances are the worst. This battle will also define whether the foundation of a golden era of Democracy will be laid or we are going to be enslaved.According to Herodotus, the Greek forces back to 490B.C. were 10.000 soldiers, while at the same time the Persians had 600.000 soldiers, 10.000 horsemen and 600 battle ships. Today, according to the latest census, the forces are: 10.787.690 Greeks against 10.787.690 Greeks. The war is civil, irrational but inevitable too.
For many years now we display our worst image to the management of the property of our country, of our legacy and of our resources too. For many years now we are led by low motives, personal gain, vanity and thirst to settle ourselves. We live as if there is no tomorrow. That way of life would be considered great if it was practiced in our personal lives. But that way of life put in the public and social life is disastrous for an entire nation. Easily would somebody say that Greeks are human beings with a bipolar disorder. We have the unstoppable mania to think and act only about ourselves, while we are feeling depressed, blaming others for the evil things we have just caused. I have no intention to separate myself from the other Greek people. I emphasize that the Greek attitude that I described above, characterizes especially the people who are involved in the Greek political scene, because in this recipe, vanity is in overdose. Let’s admit that we are people with too much temperament. We love the display and the applause!! We love magnifying situations and flattening them too. We have to moderate that quality, in order to come in the surface the powerful sense of justice that is deeply implanted to each one of us. As Minister of Regional Development, Competitiveness and Shipping, elected by the Greeks, I put myself under the task of GREEK DEVELOPMENT and I accept with hope and dignity to play the role of Fidipidis, in order to ask for help before the battle, even if I have to cover the long road of effort, criticism and healing of the serious injuries of this country. I have to follow the example of Periklis, the ancient leader, orator and man of vision, who managed to show the greatness of an era that was eventually named after him. We all have to borrow a small piece of Periklis monstrous self-control, that is revealed through this story. “One day, a bad tempered Athenian, started insulting badly Periklis in the middle of the market. Periklis ignored him completely. The Athenian kept on insulting and provoke Periklis. Periklis kept his silence. When the night came and he made his way back his house, the annoying citizen followed him and continued insulting him. When Periklis arrived to his house, said to his servant: “Please, take him home with your lantern, because it’s too dark outside and he won’t be able to walk in the darkness”.” So as we have to keep our calmness, to close our ears to the exaggerations and the harmful thoughts. We have to work hard and eventually help the mistrustful people in order to continue enjoying the Democracy, the outspokenness and the dialogue, that Greeks applied and pushed forward for the first time ever. With all the above exhortations I address not only to my lineage, but to the new ones as well, who are the future of the Greek nation and state. I ask from the young people of this country to forgive Greece for the bad thing that has caused them, for the emasculation of their dreams and the disruption of their hope. I ask form the young Greeks to stay in Greece and fight in order to resurrect Greece, because we are not capable enough. Only with their help, intelligence, courage and positive madness we will manage to get out of the mire of our times and erect to the level where Greece will be again the cradle of Democracy!
Thank you for your time and tolerance.
Minister of Regional Development, Competitiveness & Shipping.