I am in Athens at the moment, great, good-humoured uproar as Central Athens was closed off and cleared, Beijing style, for Angela Merkels’s visit – funny news coverage too – flag-waving lefty ranting hysterically “Suppose I say today I feel like a nice walk through Plaka with my friends to see the Acropolis, which is my right as Greek, as a human being, as a…..are you telling me I can’t??”
“When did you last want to walk anywhere, let alone see the Acropolis” shouts back the right wing politician –
“Well what if a Spanish tourist wants to walk to see the Acropolis with his girlfriend, and it is his last day of holiday and he can’t?” says the lefty with a brave rally – “Did you care about him last week when we had a general strike?” shoots back the Rightie –
Much discussion about whether the German flag stuck on the windscreen of the Merkel-bearing aircraft “Bundesrepublikdeutschland” was indeed smaller than the Greek flag stuck on the other side of the windscreen or not. Not, we thought. But the German national anthem is certainly longer. Samaras is taller than Merkel though.
A certain optimism that Mrs Merkel will have some good news – otherwise she could have stayed home and skyped Samaras, rather than forcing a city evacuation, but then we all know the ancient homeric saying… “Beware of Germans bearing gifts…
I heard a good joke though from a taxi driver (today’s Aristophanean Greek Chorus) a propos lazy bureaucrats;
Someone from the Troika goes to the office of tax affairs at 4 in the afternoon to make an inspection, but finds only the caretaker there. “Do you mean to tell me that no-one works in the afternoon??” he spluttered indignantly.
“No no”, says the caretaker, soothingly, “You misunderstand. In the afternoon they just don’t come to the office, it is in the morning that they don’t work.”
The Greeks have always had a unique gift for combining, in all their dramas, both tragedy and comedy – we invented all three words after all, as well as the word anticlimax, which Mrs Merkel brought with her on Bundesrepublikdeutschland.