My 50 year plus something Ukrainian friend confided to me today: “You know Greece today reminds me of Ukrainia in the 1990s”. I looked at her wonderingly. “I visited a house in Parnitha today. My friends there told me that their summer house had been looted”. Seeing my surprise (nothing new in that, robberies are an everyday occurrence in large cities) she went on hurriedly: “The thieves took away the central heating radiators, they unearthed all the pipes and everything metal. It is one thing they can sell without many questions. Some time ago I found out that my metal door handle had been stolen! Can you believe it?”
Eastern Europeans who found refuge in Greece after the disintegration of their countries are now crestfallen at what is happening in a capitalist country. Riding a bus through central Athens today Mayinka saw the burnt and looted shops and was appalled and saddened. When I showed her the pictures of Manolis Glezos and Mikis Theodorakis who were attacked by riot police she freaked out.
The fall of the communist regimes disillusioned the citizens of Eastern Europe and the current crisis leads them to the same conclusions about the capitalist system. Will they be able, with their experience to point us in the right direction? Towards a system that will involve society as a whole in its administration, a system that we always dream about but somehow eludes us.