Taki Taki

Lost cause

<font size="2"> Taki lives the High Life</font>

Let’s start 2010 right and mention a few honest people in the news. I wrote this sentence a couple of hours ago, not realising how difficult it was going to be to find even one honest boldfaced name. Like old Diogenes, I am still looking as my deadline nears. Which reminds me: at least the white-bearded old Greek had a trademark lamp to help him in his search, something I refuse to carry as it gets in the way, especially when trying to ski. Diogenes credited his teacher Antisthenes with introducing him to a life of poverty and happiness — the two went in hand — but the Greek should thank God he lived 2,300 years ago. In today’s Olive Republic, poverty and unhappiness are one, and when I say poverty, I mean when people cannot pay for a third home, a yacht and a fourth family car. So forget what I just wrote about starting the New Year right. There are honest people strewn all around the world, but I’ll be damned if we ever hear or read about them.

When the Greek premier George Papandreou recently said that Greece is corrupt, it was the first truth uttered by a Greek politician since the spring of 1946, when my uncle took the oath of office. By acknowledging to his European Union peers that the Greek public sector was corrupt, Papandreou was using a redundancy of expression — a pleonasm — as everyone knows that a Greek public servant and corruption are one. The trouble is that there is nothing he can do about it. His old man, now gone below, and his rival, the fat and incompetent Costa Karamanlis, procured more civil-service jobs in return for votes than there are wild-eyed Islamic terrorists in Pakistan, so a civil-service strike means that the Olive Republic comes to a halt quicker than I can say ouzo.

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