What are they try­ing to save?

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY ALEXIS PA­PACHELAS

There are mo­ments when we seem to lose all sense of pro­por­tion. Sud­denly, for ex­am­ple, a wave of protest and su­per­fi­cial pa­tri­o­tism arose against the fact that the “for­eign­ers” want to place their own tech­nocrats in Greek tax of­fices, in the body that will be in charge of pri­va­ti­za­tions and in the state’s Gen­eral Ac­count­ing Of­fice. Are we re­ally that proud? Are our tax of­fices and of­fi­cials such par­a­digms of pro­fes­sion­al­ism? Greece is sink­ing be­cause its politi­cians de­mol­ished the state so that they could gov­ern as they willed and with im­punity, to­gether with the la­bor union lead­ers, party of­fi­cials and en­tan­gled busi­ness­men. It suited them that tax of­fices didn’t work be­cause that al­lowed them to erase fines, or­der au­dits and en­joy a per­fect re­la­tion­ship with the deep partyand union-driven state. The ab­sence of struc­ture and pro­fes­sion­al­ism shielded all the shenani­gans and job­beries. So, who and what ex­actly is threat­ened by the ar­rival of tech­nocrats from abroad whose task will be to help re­build these state ser­vices? What large and small in­ter­ests are so con­cerned about our sovereignty? Or do they want to keep do­ing busi­ness as they al­ways had done in the fu­ture as well? There are myr­iad past ex­am­ples that il­lus­trate how nec­es­sary the help of for­eign­ers is: From the mil­i­tary ad­vis­ers who trans­formed courage into dis­ci­pline at cru­cial times in the coun­try’s de­vel­op­ment to the pe­riod be­fore the 2004 Athens Olympics, when for­eign­ers or­ga­nized us and helped us show off our bet­ter selves. So let’s stop be­ing scared of them. Let us look at our state straight on and ac­cept all the help we can get in or­der to re­build it prop­erly. Even now things are get­ting bet­ter in some cru­cial sec­tors, with a lot of blood, sweat and tears. But the petty play­ers, the en­tan­gled, the union­ists and the party die-hards are stag­ing rear­guard bat- tles be­cause they want the chaos and the de­cline in or­der to con­tinue to sur­vive and rule. It is ob­vi­ous that they would rather be the bosses and pimps of a wretched and poor Greece un­der the drachma than pro­fes­sional civil ser­vants with rules and high stan­dards un­der the watch­ful eye of ex­pe­ri­enced tech­nocrats. So, why don’t these ped­dlers of pseudo-pa­tri­o­tism just give up the rig­ma­role about sovereignty and fo­cus in­stead on how to build a state and a coun­try that doesn’t need to beg for loans ev­ery so of­ten, that isn’t ashamed of what it has be­come and that can rank on an equal level with the rest of its Euro­pean peers.

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