Thursday, February 02, 2006


I have blogged several times about Roma issues and about the appalling situation of housing and evictions in Patras (European City of Culture 2006). I wonder what on earth this is all about and how it will it play out? Is  this an attempt to stop those pesky liberals and humanitarians from trying to secure basic human rights for the Roma community . I will be watching this one with interest. Especially since useless objects are being thrown in the river! From Greek Helsinki Monitor (definition in brackets from dictionary dot com) Legal investigations are under way against the Chair of the Greek Helsinki Monitor, Panayote Dimitras, by the Head of the Appeals Prosecutor's Office of Patras, Anastassios Kanellopoulos. Panayote Dimitras and the Greek Helsinki Monitor are accused of encouraging Roma of the Makrigianni settlement to "believe that they enjoy a sui generis (a special case, a category of their own) immunity and to have thus grown insolent, as they believe they will not be punished and that they have hence reached a point of throwing useless objects into the River Glafkos". 

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At 2/03/2006 12:55:00 AM, Blogger scarfalonius said...

Obviously the prosecutor is making an important point about consumerist society. Good citizens only throw useful objects into the river Glafkos. Everybody knows that.

At 2/03/2006 11:53:00 AM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

So are people who throw their litter onto the pavement or into my front yard, good or bad citizens?

At 2/03/2006 01:47:00 PM, Blogger scarfalonius said...

I had a sarcastic comment about the qualitative difference between Greek littering and everybody-else littering, but here's a better one...Once I saw a 'reportage' from the Αττική οδό, where the intrepid reporter showed all the trash that accumulates daily by the side of the highway. In one of the driest remarks I've ever heard on Greek TV, he said, 'Obviously, Greeks could not be responsible for this, it's got to be the work of Turkish secret agents.' (This was a reference to the terrible fires in Attiki a few years ago, when Greeks could not believe other Greeks would commit large-scale arson for profit, which was exactly the case.) I remember desperately hoping other people got his joke. In fact, they did. Which is progress.

So since the Turkish secret agents are no longer credible scapegoats for shameful acts by Greeks, why not the Roma. Some people blame crypto-Jews and Freemasons for the stock market bubble, and the Americans for just about everything else. Lots of people still believe November 17 was more than a seedy bunch of sneaky little creeps. I think most small countries around the world have these shift-the-blame tendencies. Big countries too, for that matter. The American conspiracy theories of 9-11 are really intricate.

The Roma are in a very tough spot. When Europeans bother to notice them at all, they simply can't find a decent explanation for their presence. Who the hell are you and what are you doing here? The Jews can say they were kicked out of Spain 500 years ago, or kicked out of Israel/Palestine 2000 years ago, but the Roma? Who the hell are you and what are you doing here?

They just are. Deal with it.

At 2/03/2006 06:16:00 PM, Blogger deviousdiva said...

There must be a hell of a lot of those Turkish secret agents on the loose around my house then. Seriously though, the blame game is just so ridiculous. I wish we would take responsibilty for our own actions. There I go again with my "why can't we all just be nice and get along". But sometimes the simple ideas are the best.

At 2/03/2006 09:34:00 PM, Blogger scarfalonius said...

[begin rant]
Which isn't to say that the Roma shouldn't be criticized for throwing garbage into the river. They should. But so should the bloody Greeks, who are responsible for more destruction and environmental carnage in their own bloody country than anyone - INCLUDING THE BLOODY AMERICANS AND BRITISH AND OTTOMANS.
[end rant]


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