I am starting to worry.
I ask: “Do those who are exacerbating passions know what they are doing? Do they know where things are going in Greece?”
Greece has been exuding a toxicity lately that is disturbing. It had begun before the tragedy, but now it has taken on new dimensions.
We thought we’d gotten over this toxicity. That we had turned a new page. But it seems we hadn’t.
The tone of the ‘debate’ of some politicians and journalists has gone beyond acceptable limits.
Insults, unfounded accusations, ‘Wild Wild West’ conspiracy theories are becoming the daily reality.
‘Accounts’ that are years old, and I’m afraid even accounts going back to the… Greek Civil War, are being ‘settled’ at this time.
They are adding fuel to the fire. They are further infuriating people about the tragic train accident. They are toying with the youth, the university students, who mourned many victims. They are stirring up their blood.
They bring life to a halt in various cities.
Of course, since there was a tragic accident, responsibility must be assigned. For both the current and previous governments.
However, by taking advantage of the justified frustration and even anger with the situation in rail transport – and beyond – they are attempting to create a climate reminiscent of another era, one that will reverse the substantial progress made in so many other areas.
In other words, they are attempting to turn the country back decades. Is that what they want? Is that what serves them politically? Is this going to fix the problem?
Despite the difficult circumstances, both the Prime Minister and the new Transport Minister are doing everything possible to address the situation.
Does anyone think that any of the other current party leaders could have dealt with the problem better than Kyriakos Mitsotakis? Who?
Unfortunately, the government displays a sometimes confusing polyphony.
Ministers and others feel it is their duty to enter public debate on issues that are outside their jurisdiction – apparently with the best of intentions – but without achieving the desired results.
The course on which the country has been set must be reversed. The toxicity must be stopped. Let the tragic accident not become an excuse for even more divisiveness.
Can the opposition and some of the leaders of the other parties who have been part of governments really claim that they are not also responsible for the railway situation, contributing to the tragedy?
It’s time for the calm voices to be heard and cooler heads to prevail. Let the process work. Let the institutions do their jobs.
Let us not take for granted that the smoother course and that the progress the country has made in recent years is not going to be reversed.
That the worst has been avoided in America is due to its enduring institutions. And, of course, America has friendly borders. Its neighbors are Canada and Mexico, which would never have taken advantage of a crisis.
Can Greece say the same?
So, let there be a debate – and, of course, accountability. Those responsible must be punished, and with the strictest penalties provided for by law.
But not toxicity. Not, “there you go again” – to recall Ronald Reagan’s famous quote.
Not pulling on the rope to the bitter end. It might break. And then what?