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Politics is the art of the possible

26 July 2012 / 12:07:59  GRReporter
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The relations between church and state in Greece

According to Grigoris Vallianatos one of the most serious problems of Greek society is the Church. "For European standards, the impact of this Church is beyond all limits. It is rooted very firmly and very deeply into politics and public life and this is a completely illogical way of applying religion. According to what I've read, dividing people on the basis of race and nationality is viewed by the Orthodox Church as heresy. At the same time it is envisaged in the actions of most members of the supreme priesthood.

Our opinion is that the close relationship between church and government is an anachronism in a European country. I respect all believers, whatever religion they profess, as long as it does not violate human rights".

Other taboo topics in Greek society are drugs, prostitution, prison conditions, homosexuality, Roma immigrants. "The Liberal Alliance made the choice to elaborate on these topics, because it believes that they interest modern Greece citizens."

In his opinion they remain taboo, because "education in schools does not suggest proposals, decisions and conflicts on these issues. Everything is hidden under the carpet. Another issue that we consider, and we are some of the few who pay the political price to do so, is communism. How does it differ from fascism? Others are afraid to touch on these issues. They lend an ear when we discuss this, but they still have not found the political courage to reach specific positions."

Here he pointed to the example of the Communist Party MP Liana Kanelli, who was attacked before the elections on air by the then-candidate and spokesman for the Golden Dawn party Ilias Kasidiaris. "The fact that Liana Kanelli is a very popular MP is the best proof of the confusion, reigning in the minds of modern Greeks. She is a woman who began her career, speaking very good Greek, with proper pronunciation and courage. She is a lesbian and has never hidden it. She began working in television and she fascinated us. Then, she wandered here and there, to get to the Communist Party. And what is she trying to tell us? That everything unfree, that the nations are trying to get rid of, and the fact that the Greek Left is glad that it lost the Civil War, may suddenly appear to be the solution to the crisis. This is not an ideology, but a torn rag, which is not subject to discussion at any level in the European Community. While in Greece, thanks to the tolerance of the Right and the quasi-ignorance of the left intellectuals, it still bothers a very large number of people. I find it absolutely unacceptable for a European country to talk about communism without mentioning its crimes."

The last question to Grigoris Vallianatos was whether he thinks the Liberal Alliance will be able to enter the next Parliament. "I do not think things will develop normally and the reasons are two. On the one hand, because populism is very strong. The change in people's lives is very big. Even if they had been well informed, the shock was so great; and now many people won't be able to feed their children. The other is that in Greece there are no social services. The country simply won't be able to cope with serious problems - the disabled, the sick, the poor. This means terror. And because these services do not work, gangs are finding fertile ground. This is the reason for our concern, in our more intensive work on these issues, and we are aiming at the exact centre, without subterfuge.

I really do not know whether we will get in the next parliament. But surely we will be part of every public discussion, which will dissipate legends, which will be aimed against taboo topics and which will have the purpose to inform Greeks how the other countries that are in good condition, and which they already envy function."

Tags: Politics Liberal Alliance Grigoris Vallianatos taboo topics human rights minorities
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