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Divided we stand

My Big Fat Greek Week

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Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre now.

17 March 2017

• Put two Greeks in a room together and you're bound to start a civil war.
• Division is part of our DNA; we've been divided into Northerners and Southerners, Communists and Nationalists, Supporters of Panathinaikos and Olymbiakos, Voters of Pasok and Nea Dimokratia, and recently pro-reform and anti-memorandum advocates.
• Now the country is again divided in two: those who watch 'Survivor' and those who dismiss the former.
• It is rather ironic, in a crisis-stricken country, with soup kitchens in abundance, hundreds of homeless in the streets, people looking for food in rubbish bins and families living without electricity, to have people infatuated with a cheap TV show, in which quasi-celebrities pretend to have it rough.
• But tragic irony is also part of our DNA, alongside entrepreneurship and inclination towards drama and show business.
• Enter Sakis Rouvas; the beloved pop star presented another side of his personality this week, when he announced that he's going forward with a 'clean energy' investment in Karditsa, where he will set up a biogas production unit and a hydroponic greenhouse.
• Let that sink in for a moment.
• Right. Now consider the rumours that say Sakis is groomed to run for a parliamentary seat in the next elections, as part of Nea Dimokratia.
• Syriza will have to retaliate and go for Michalis Hatzigiannis.
• After all, the party-in-power has just suffered a major blow in its arts policy, as the mercurial actor-director Giorgos Kimoulis resigned from the helm of the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre, less than a month after he was appointed chairman of the board.
• Syriza has had a hard time containing larger than life personalities. The largest of them, Yanis Varoufakis, returned with a vengeance on Greek TV, for viewers who did not watch 'Survivor' and proved once again that he can easily divide Greeks into two sides: pro and anti - Yanis. In his interview he welcomed a special court for his tenure as Finance Minister, warned that the goal of a 3.5 per cent surplus will be destructive to the economy and explained that the only way to avoid leaving the euro and returning to drachma is to be less afraid of the currency and more of the conclusion of the bailout program negotiations.
• Meanwhile, Varoufakis' arch-nemesis, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble, was the recipient of a parcel bomb sent from Greece, with the name of ND deputy leader, Adonis Georgiadis as sender.
• The urban guerrilla group Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire on Thursday claimed responsibility for the bomb - and for taking trolling to the next level.
• As this was happening, rumours for a new national election began to circulate more vividly than before.
• Which explains why Greeks are fascinated by 'Survivor'.

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