Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Seeking Leadership, Heroism, Courage, and Unity, in Greece's Politicians Today

 Excerpt from the Greek Presidency's Calendar

At 2pm today Greece's President Papoulias hosted the latest meeting of Greece's political chiefs, Samaras, Tsipras, Venizelos, Kouvelis, and Kammenos. The people of Greece and the rest of the world waited with bated breath today, as they have done for the last 10 days, to see whether there would be any result from today's  meeting with the President of the Republic, Karolos Papoulias at the President's official residence in Herodus Atticus Street.

The people of Greece spoke on May 6 and spoke very loudly - the vote split and the message was clear:  

We don't know who we want, but we do know that we don't want ONE of you to govern, we don't trust you! 

Instead of being perturbed by the rise of the extreme Right Wing Xrysi Avgi and seeking ways to eradicate the causes of this rise, instead of listening to the voters' message and acting on it, the Chiefs, (we call them Chiefs because we cannot refer to any of them as leaders... they are anything but LEADERS), continue to squabble, playing out their childish egotistical games of oneupmanship and petty party politics, trying to hold on to a system that is clearly in its death throes, at the expense of the Greek people and the Greek economy.

Displaying an unbelievable level of immaturity, arrogance, a distinct lack of leadership,  responsibility and lack of commitment to the country they have chosen to serve, they appeared unable, or rather unwilling, to find common ground in order to form a coalition government for the good of our homeland, to help this amazing country get out of the downward spiral and go forward.

Instead of uniting for the common good, as mandated by the people, each of these men insisted on going in different directions with a different agenda but without any clear cut plan or solution for a way out of the crisis...

Flashback to 2011...

 New Zealand Veterans hosted by President Papoulias in the Leaders' Room
PhotoSource: ANA-MPA

At the same time exactly, at 2pm, one year ago, and in the very same room, President Papoulias hosted a group of very different men from the other side of the world.

The President of Greece welcomed Bill Bristow, Brant Robinson, Roye Hammond, Jim Wilson and Bain McKay as the heroes they were and paid tribute to them...

 President Papoulias welcomes the NZ Battle of Crete Veterans to Greece
Source: New Zealanders in Greece

A group of men, all over 90 years of age, New Zealand Veterans of the 1941 Battle of Crete, who had come to Greece from the other side of the world on a pilgrimage, an Enduring Legacy Pilgrimage, a voyage of remembrance....

They were in Greece to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of that epic battle.            

Many of those soldiers fell in the course of duty and were buried in Greece, in Souda Bay in Crete, in Alimos in Athens and in other places around Greece.

Many survived, assisted by Cretan civilians risking their own lives, and escaped over the tough Cretan mountains to safety in Africa.

They didn't forget and came back to Greece to thank those who helped them, honour those that fell and above all remember...

What united these men, these valiant men, who in their 20's had come to the other side of the world in 1941, to fight a war that wasn't really theirs, was their belief in Freedom and Democracy, and their belief in creating a better place for their children.

United and with a common goal, they defended those principles in the very country that invented democracy and gave it to the world, and in doing so, assisted in changing the course of World War II, something very few believed could happen.

Our political chiefs would do well to pause and reflect... rediscover their values and their ethos, and get to work to save Greece.

The 90 year old heroes from New Zealand should serve as examples of selfless and courageous heroism, willing to sacrifice themselves for the future of their country, for the future of their children.

Our political chiefs would do well to do the same, put aside their differences, unite and work together, for the future of Greece, for the sake of their children and ours...

Source: New Zealanders in Greece

Related Articles:

The Battle for Crete:70 Years On - As Relevant as Ever

Ned and Katina: A Real-Life Love Story that started with the Battle of Crete

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