If you ever needed examples of the complex, colourful and resourceful nature of the Greek character, you wouldn’t need to look much further than events from this week;
- On Sunday in the general elections we voted in SYRIZA with Alexis Tsipras as prime minister Well, we re-voted him in because he was already in after the win in the January elections. Which he won on the promise of quashing austerity and pointless, toxic bailout loans. Then he went on to organize a referendum in just one week (the UK hasn’t been able to get its shall-we-shant-we-stay-in-europe one organized in a year) asking the peeps of Greece to back him in saying a resounding ‘NO’ to more austerity measures. Which they did. But he still said ‘Yes’. Then he resigned and called new elections. And wins and our heads are still spinning.
- In local news, on Tuesday night unexpected and torrential rainfall at Rhodes airport opened an 8 metre hole in the middle of the runway. The airport closed and the doomsayers told us that there was no way it could be fixed until its dry. Which would be Friday. To great cheers of delight and many sighs of relief however, they found a way to fill the hole. In less than 12 hours the airport is operational again. Another 24 hours on and the hole is back again. Airport closed. Oops. Black hole. No hope. Greeks Rally. Fixed against the odds. Breaks again. Can you see a pattern emerging here…?
- And finally the refugee crisis just keeps on coming. Thousands upon thousands of men, women and children washing up on Greek shores where so many of the population cannot pay their bills and some cannot feed their families. And even though we saw a small, but disturbing, increase in the latest elections for the fascist party, Golden Dawn, we also see the consistent and unrelenting humanity of the Greek people coming to their aid. As the NY Times columnist Roger Cohen says:
Capricious. Resourceful. Generous. I’m proud to be amongst them (most of the time).