Saturday, March 14, 2015

Where Alcibiades once walked...

Taki writes:
Athens – I am walking on a wide pedestrian road beneath the Acropolis within 200 meters of the remaining Themistoclean wall and the ancient cemetery to eminent Athenians. One side is lined with splendid neo-classical houses, none of them abandoned but most of them shuttered and locked up. This is the area where once upon a time Pericles, Themistocles and Alcibiades – to name three – trod, orated and debated non-stop. Back in those good old days we Athenians ruled supreme. Reason, logic and restraint placed us at the head of the queue, and genius also helped. I am climbing to the Pnyx, where Themistocles rallied his fellow citizens to defy the Persian juggernaut, and except for a couple of stray dogs, I am alone with my hangover. I walk between the hills of the Nymphs and of the Muses, where Kimon, father of Miltiades, victor of the Battle of Marathon, is buried, and I visit a small Byzantine church where my parents were married. It’s all great and very moving stuff, very far off from the present mess...

[T]he present clowns in power in Athens are enlisting “casual” tax spies among tourists and other Greeks to pose as customers on behalf of the tax authorities while wired for sound and video to catch tax cheats. Where Alcibiades once walked, “casual” tax inspectors will now try and entrap poor pistachio sellers, and that leather wearing, bald, joke figure of a finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, had the gall to send this plan to the head of the Eurogroup. As someone said, it is hilarious if it weren’t as sad as it is.

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