To the editor:
I read the editorial by Mr. Antonis Diamataris entitled 'Greece: Sunlight, Ouzo and Work.' Although I was moved to another place and time by his wonderful words, I disagree that anyone is going to buy Greece.
In 1991, while writing my first novel, and exhuming my Grandfather's bones outside of Kalamata, in that first week of December alone, I remember six elderly were robbed or killed in Athens. Most of it was attributed to Albanian thugs that were once refugees or failed migrant workers. I was informed from the Greeks between Athens and Kalamata that most Greek agricultural workers/owners really had no more interest in moving boulders and shaking trees. And with the advent of the Yugoslavian nightmare just unfolding, the Northern Borders were absolutely unguarded, and regimented by supply and demand. Albanians needed to live and eat, and the Greeks along the Northern Border had no problem inviting them in to do migrant work.
Canada does this every year to great success. So did the U.S. in the early 1900's in California and Florida, and elsewhere.
All I really want to say is two things. The nostalgia and true sentimentality of that lost generation speaks to my heart, as I still love those that attempt to work the fields in Messinia, even though they are now nearing 60, 70, or past.
But Albania, perhaps one of the most backward East Bloc Nations that even the Kremlin could not figure out, will never buy Greece. If Greece has not been bought yet, it will not be overrun by Albanian influence.
I always welcome and feel lifted and fortified by Mr. Diamataris' editorials. This one though, brought me back to a train ride from Athens to Kalamata in December 1991, which almost became violent, and thankfully, I prevailed. And so, as a son of Greek Immigrants, Greece, its code and character prevailed.