Greek politicians feeling the wrath of public

It's becoming more and more difficult for Greek politicians to venture out in public, and mingle with people.

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    Greek politicians are finding it more and more difficult to mingle in public places.

    The former foreign minister, Dora Bakoyiannis, became only the latest to be singled out for abuse just a few days ago, when, according to this report, she was attacked with yogurt and stones by an angry crowd who gathered outside a restaurant in Crete.

    Last month, the finance minister, Evangelos Venezelos was heckled at his daughter’s university graduation ceremony, as you can see here

    There have been many such incidents in recent months, involving cabinet ministers and members of parliament.

    On October 28, which is an important national holiday, military parades were disrupted or cancelled across the country as crowds turned on politicians, chanting “traitors”.

    Even the president of Greece, who is in theory meant to be above the political fray, had to beat a hasty retreat, as this article explains.

    Politicians have to be especially careful if they venture out onto the streets during one of the many anti-austerity protests. Look what happened to one member of parliament in Athens, back in December 2010. 

    All this, of course, is symptomatic of the fear and anger that so many Greeks feel these days. But it also points to something else a complete lack of trust in the political class.

    For now, the Greek people seem inclined to give their (unelected) prime minister, Lucas Papademos, the benefit of the doubt, precisely because he does not belong to one of the two main parties, PASOK and New Democracy, which governed the country for almost 40 years, and which are now held in such contempt.

    It would be hard to make out a case in defence of Greece’s political elite, accused of being shortsighted, corrupt, opportunistic, greedy, you name it.

    The politicians bear a significant responsibility for the mess their country is in.

    On the other hand, if democracy is to recover, these same politicians need to be able to get out and meet people.

    If only to be told, politely but firmly, where they have gone so wrong.


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