The birthplace of democracy
By Alberto Mingardi
Italian newspaper Corriere della sera has featured a piece on Greece that included an interview with Feano Fotiu, presented as the person responsible for “solidarity” (meaning the organisation of a parallel safety net, something in itself rather interesting) with Syriza.
So Fotiu explains the success of his party:
People were paralyzed by the guilt induced by the dominant narrative on the recession. North Europe and the Right painted us as lazy, corrupt Southerners, inferior to virtuous Germans. Greeks felt burdened by the moral responsibility for the national bankruptcy, until Syriza told us of the role played by bankers, of the deception of loans that enslaven us, of rapacious neo-liberalism. And we rose again.
I find this a phenomenal testimony of how democratic politics often works, all the more relevant because it is a (clearly self-righteous) confession. When people are forced to face problems and make tough choices, it can provide them with an easy scapegoat.