April 26, 2007

Claire de Kultur public call

Claire, former minister of education in the Clerides government, issued the following public call to Marietta Yiannakou, current minister of education in Greece (the original was in Greek of course and what follows is my translation):
You are Greek, do not accept the foreign-inspired interventions of “committees” and “movements” that want to destroy our historic people, by subtly introducing crafty plans to de-Hellenize us…. Nous we have, historical conscience we also have, our country we do love. We do not want Hellas to fall into traps that, for many years, have been set up for her. We are the thorn they want to pull out and throw in the fire. If you are, Mrs Minister, brave –and I know you are- withdraw the book. Young Hellenes, in these few months, have been sufficiently blinded (left in the dark), no need to continue blinding them (leaving them in the dark). Offer them the opportunity to see the light, to see the truth, so that they can be proud of their ancestry and their History. So that they can continue to exist. So that they will not be the last generation of Hellenes on Earth.

One cannot but openly wonder. Is it not the truth that after Socrates, Plato and the 300 of Leonidas, the Greek nation went on a big sleep until 1821? Is it not true that relatively speaking, in the 20th century, the Greek nation is more like a third world, rather than a first world, country? And if the above simple truths are accepted, what is there to be proud of in the recent past relative to what other countries have achieved? Are Hellenes to be proud of their advanced technology, their top-rate universities, their superior intellectuals or their high-tech companies? What, really, is there to be proud of?

A few months ago in this blog there was a discussion on the positives and negatives of the Clerides administration. I will put it in the negatives of his Presidency that Claire was chosen to be minister of education in the close of the 20th century…

Hopefully, as mainland Greeks increasingly begin to lose their patience with our childish plays, as they escape their 1974 guilt, as they start mocking our big-village mentality and as they begin to realize that we perceive the Stravaraland Problem as an issue we cannot really live without, the message may finally get through that the world does not really owe anything to Stravaraland. Then, maybe, we can grow up and begin making positive contributions to the world around us.


Blogger Sceptic Anonymous said...

Enough with this Hellenic mumbo-jumbo. I am telling you Rennaisance with its movement of ad fontes and subsequently the Philhellenes have a lot to account for.

They have to account for 200 years of Greek stupidity, the greatest chip ever to have grown on the collective shoulder of a nation, and the most absurd pride the so called descendants of Plato entertain for thinking that by speaking the Greek language somehow makes you to be cut above from everybody else.

If it wasn't for the Arabs and then the West no one would have known anything about the Ancient Greeks. If it wasn't for the Great Powers and the Czarist ambition to get down to the Mediterranean, there wouldn't be Greek independence in 1830.

For how long this complex of Greek superior/inferiority will go on?

How insecure is this grand civilisation the thorn in the side of the pernicious West, but when it pays to do so we trumpet our membership in the West, to be afraid of one school book.

For the love of Herodotus, we are talking about 11 year olds here. History is not the prerogative of the Greeks and is definitely not subject of approval of the current defenders of Greek culture.

I am sure the books of the secondary schools will warp the minds of the children just fine.


26 April, 2007 12:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the last summer of the Clerides administration, Alexis Eraclides and others rewrote the Greek history book for lyceum students (I can't remember which grade). In it, he said something along the lines of calling Grivas and EOKA utlra-nationalist (υπερ-εθνικιστές). I can't bother to go digging for the actual phrase. People from the Ministry of Education went mad. Eraclides was almost lynched when he came to a local panel about the book. SIMAE and the Fighter Associations had a crowd sing the Greek national anthem to the Greek university professor and yell "you have no idea what it means to be Greek". People wrote articles in Simerini, calling Yperides (Clerides' stage name in EOKA) to take action.

Today, Yperides is gone and Defkalion (Tassos' stage name in EOKA) is running things. Claire may not be the Minister any more, but she now heads the all-powerful SIMAE, the organization in charge of regulating how the EOKA struggle is remembered (that's what its name literally stands for).

She's as evil as they come. The Kokkinou sister's were probably worse, but they're dead.

26 April, 2007 15:39  
Blogger Sceptic Anonymous said...


I think this is what you are looking for. It makes interesting reading and frankly it is relevant as ever. As usual we go around in circles.


26 April, 2007 19:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet they thought, let's put Kleri in the Education ministry. That way we please the ethnikofrones, we fill the quota for women ministers, and she's a poet wannabe, how much harm can she do?

They should have thought, Vassos Lyssarides is a poet wannabe and look how much harm has mas managed to do.....

26 April, 2007 20:06  
Blogger apodimos Kypreos said...

Indeed, Sceptic Anonymous, the following is just right:

When one is so focused on commemorating past events through ceremonies carried on several state and private television channels, how can one accept that historical myths can be challenged, let alone revised? EOKA’s struggle in Cyprus is officially commemorated in Athens in many ways, not least by the naming of streets. In greater Athens, there are 26 streets named “Karaoli and Dimitriou,” after two EOKA fighters executed by the British (one street is outside the British embassy), 18 named after EOKA fighter Grigoris Afxentiou, and nine streets that simply go by the name of “Cypriot Fighters.”

Clearly, EOKA’s history from 1955 to 1960 is still taboo to historians in Greece. History as memory is easier and more gratifying than critical introspection. We will obviously have to wait a little longer before we can benefit from some academic reevaluation of the Greek Cypriot struggle in the 1950s and, especially, of EOKA’s theory and practice.

And Illantros, I guess that is how he thought. By the way, how come there are so many wannabe poets in Stravaraland?

27 April, 2007 11:03  
Blogger the Idiot Mouflon said...

Before or after reading the woman's poetry...

29 April, 2007 05:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mean someone actually read Kleri's poetry? Was it required reading in public schools during her term?

29 April, 2007 19:46  

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