Greece ended the week with a new government, but the passions are still hot. Even after the victory of the Greek national team over Russia, the match between the teams of Greece and Germany in the quarterfinals of the European Championship, which will be played tonight, has been completely politicized. Social media are full of posts, ranging from jokes to openly nationalistic outbursts.
For some Greeks, today's match will be something like "the mother of all battles." According to them, Greece finally has the opportunity to prove itself: To throw Germany out of the championship and take the hated Angela Merkel down in the grass at the stadium in Gdansk. The host city is not accidental either. World War II started there, so the "prophecy" says that Europe's revolt against the "new German domination" will start there too.
Traditional media have also supported the “battle” of the poor South against the rich North. "And now Germany", "Bring us Germany," "This is how debtors win" and other similar "wisdom" could be heard on radio stations, sports or not. They predispose many ordinary Greeks who take the match as the perfect opportunity "to humiliate and punish them (the Germans – author’s note) for leading us to this economic situation."
The publication of a photograph of former Prime Minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis is among the most tragicomic and extremely stupid acts. The same category of "witty" jokers has pronounced him a "national misfortune." In the specific photograph, his face is painted with the colours of the German national flag and the wish "Good luck Germany" is written at the bottom.
Of course, declarations of populism are not only a Greek priority. The German tabloid Bild "counter attacked" the Greek national team in a series of publications. Yesterday's issue of the newspaper published a report by a journalist, in which he described a day of Fernando Santos’ team. The reporter wrote that he felt like agent 007 and commented on how much the coach of the Greek national team was smoking. "He smokes at least a cigarette even during the breaks in training, a Greek told me. In any case, Fernando is Portuguese."
Further below, the report stated that the Greek football players were constantly drinking coffee, they were always dressed in blouses in white and blue, they stayed unshaven for days, they were walking embraced, talking a lot and laughing even more. Striker Fanis Gekas, who played in many German teams, was ridiculed because he had large headphones to listen to music from his iPhone and he was singing so loudly that his voice was heard throughout the whole of the floor. George Karagounis, who scored the goal for Russia, was described with a dirty word, which he however used repeatedly during a phone conversation with a friend of his and which is used by a very large percentage of the Greeks too.
In its today's edition, Bild warned, "Goodbye, Greeks! Today we cannot save you. Therefore, Joachim Löw will break the concrete defence of the Greeks."
"Ok, calm down. A match is just football and nothing else. Someone will win, someone will lose. The Germans will not get higher bank interest returns if we lose nor will our debt decrease if we win. The greatest victory would be to leave verbal hooliganism and everything connected with it outside the stadium," wrote the authors of articles trying to calm the red-hot passions.
However, just think it over: Accidentally or not, Greece won the European Championship in 2004 and went bankrupt. Spain won the Cup in 2008 and it is on the brink of bankruptcy too. Anyway, we from GRReporter wish that the better team wins.