Asclepios and his disciple Hippocrates proclaimed: we have an opinion, let’s discuss it, if the evidence war¬rants, let’s change it. When the evidence warranted it, Keynes changed his mind. I too had some few thoughts: When a politician says he’s sorry, surely its time to stop and think, maybe to celebrate……..if the suggestion is to kick Mouzalas for his mistake, then perhaps he should also be rewarded wisely, for his considerable efforts within the intractable refugee issue
Greece already wallows in a sea of unfinished business, unable to capitalize on its considerable talent. This includes political indifferences to public health and the sanitary shield at a time of crisis, austerity, refugee and migration issues; an intellectual indifference to the distortion of history and a too weak scientific culture to make a difference; a stubborn inability to work together. Resignation is called for if the national interest is threatened. It seems to me though, that recycling of ideas that have run their course in an unproductive background is more likely agent to derail national development. I am hopeful that the dreadful asymmetry between mistake and apology may nudge the Greek political culture in the right direction. Political strutting and its repetitious use by the mass media will not. At the end of the road will it be relegated to a linguistic slip?
Statements can have negative implications; they may also convey positive elements. The negative “Mouzalian mistake” has transformed itself into an unprecedented positive and strong message, namely, that despite worldwide use of the name Macedonia for FYROM, ordinary Greeks strongly resist it. What might have been construed as a legitimizing mistake in Skopje, brought out an appropriate response in Greece. Skopje has been shaken. The gateways to disaster are several; distortion of history and science, fanaticism.
A place in the new world for the Balkans will depend on science, truth and reconciliation as well as overcoming the imprint of a “crooked and perverse generation”.
A long term solution for Greece is hard to articulate and even harder to agree upon within the current Greek culture. My suggestion would be to push for learning, appropriate technology deployment and the application of meritocracy. This is one important way to innovation, development and increased employment. It would also be good for Greece to promote a scientific symposium that examines greater distortions and lesser mistakes. It should be extra unusual, different from the run of the mill, far removed from back scratching. It should capitalize on the Mouzelian faux pas. Will it induce the Greek intellectual elite to come out of hiding?
If Greece continues along its well trodden road of lip service, decision-making with little application and down-trodden institutions with restricted autonomy, then solutions to such serious issues; health disasters, growing population inequality, unfolding environmental dangers, will remain out of reach. The iceberg will not even, be felt.