The real Greek disease is contempt for the law, and the political failure to combat it.
By TAKIS MICHASAthens
Greece's public debt may reach 150% of GDP this year, an alarming possibility that has captivated outside observers. But in the final analysis, the major issue confronting Greece may not be its solvency, but its governance.
The country is at the mercy of militant activists who are inspired by various factions of the hard left. The heaviest hitters are Greece's Communist Party and the anarcho-Stalinist Coalition of the Radical Left, which is composed of the Ecosocialists of Greece, the "Roza" Radical Left Group, and the Internationalist Workers' Left, to name a few. With total impunity, their followers have taken to harassing citizens and destroying public property—even taking over whole villages.
In one case last year, a group of militants badly beat a former center-right New Democracy minister in front of television cameras. No arrests were made. In another case, a group of thugs accosted a leading Greek journalist while he ate in a restaurant. A similar incident happened last month, the victim that time being a minister of the governing Panhellenic Socialist Movement. No arrests were made in those cases, either. In May 2010, three employees of the private bank Marfin suffocated to death when a hard-left mob firebombed their offices during a riot. Again, no arrests.