The decade began with PM George Papandreou’s six-minute nationally televised speech from the small island of Katelorizo and it is winding up politically with the proud victory of New Democracy in the general election last July. So many things transpired in one decade that under normal conditions would take many decades.
One is speaking of the notorious crisis which was accompanied by the rise and fall of Greek red-tinged populism.
The most massive demonstration against the bailout memorandum on 5 May, 2010 was marred by the horrendous death of three people – including a pregnant woman – at Marfin Bank. Almost a decade later no one was brought before justice.
Similarly, 40 months later the verdict has yet to be delivered in the case of the murder of rapper Pavlos Fyssas, which was to mark the beginning of the end of Golden Dawn.
It was truly a violent decade. The responsibility lies largely with the left-wing right-wing hybrid government that ruled the country for four-and-a-half years.
The violence was not only on the streets. It was exerted by the SYRIZA leader on his voters when he ignored the result (a resounding rejection) of the referendum he had called on the last bailout memorandum.
At the last minute, Alexis Tsipras realised that the memorandum was the only way Greece could remain in eurozone.
Violence was exerted on all Greeks with capital controls followed by unnecessary additional austerity.
The Third Hellenic Republic endured.
The “spoiled child of history” as Kostas Kostis described Greece, and the “dual-natured and dual substance” country according to Petros Papasarantopoulos, emerged from the tempest more mature and stronger, along with a strong desire for normalcy.
The next decade will not necessarily be calm. May it at least have fewer upsets.