Ah, to be a fly on the wall of the Ministry of Culture meeting room, where the Central Archaeological Council discusses whether to grant access to archaeological sites.
Specifically, the meeting when they debated whether to allow usage of the Ancient Roman theatre of Herod for a Foo Fighters concert.
Arguably one of the greatest rock bands of our times (albeit not very popular in Greece), the Foo Fighters are to play the Herod Theatre on 10 July, but those of you planning to be in Athens at the time (or were about to call your travel agent?), don’t even try.
The event will not be open to the public, but rather an exclusive gig, held as part of the ‘Landmarks Live in Concert’ travel-and-music documentary series of the american public television (PBS).
Hosted by Chad Smith (drummer of Red Hot Chili Peppers), the series features popular acts playing in World Heritage Sites.
Which is why it needed approval from Greece’s archaeologists, who were not very keen on letting a group of loud, hairy savages playing their electric guitars there.
Still, they finally conceded, reportedly after one member evoked the long-lasting effect of the seminal footage of Pink Floyd performing in Pompeii.
Yeah, man, right on!
You can count on an archaeologist talking as an advocate of ‘dinosaur’ rock.
The other thing that apparently persuaded the council to come round was political pressure from the Ministry of Tourism and the mayor of Athens (who are going to give out the tickets, presumably to their friends and partners).
And also that the producers promised that the band will not play their loudest, wildest material.
So yes, Greece is all for its ancient theatres being used for rock concerts, but only if they are ‘quiet’ ones.
This is comedy gold.
But it is not even the funniest Greek story of the week.
No, this award goes to the union representing workers of the state-run electricity company, Public Power Corporation (PPC), which issued a statement supporting Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
It was a move that saw the whole world uniting against the US.
Well, not the whole world.
In a small country perched on the edge of the Balkan Peninsula, some electricians, technicians, and administrative unionists begged to differ.
“In supporting and insisting, obviously, on his view that climate change is simply a ‘Chinese conspiracy’, Trump – four months after assuming office – announced that the US is suspending the implementation of binding conditions of the climate change agreement, and ending its contribution to the Green Fund (GCF) for climate . . . a superpower, the United States ( . . . specifically the second in terms of highest emissions) leaves the remaining 195 countries to continue with a common (climate change) action plan, which was ‘inspired’ by some in order to . . . achieve an end to the era of fossil fuels” reads the statement.
The PPC (to friends, ‘DEI’) may be listed on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) but it is largely managed by the union.
Sometimes, the union does good – like when it defied the Samaras government’s order to cut power from households that could not pay the bills, refusing to humiliate many poor, crisis-stricken families depriving them from a basic commodity.
Sometimes, it is predictably controversial – like when it strikes against any attempt to privatise any of its assets or services.
And sometimes it’s blatantly monolithic and ridiculous – like when it acts like a mouthpiece for climate change denialism.
Of course, the PPC mostly uses high-emission producing lignite to fire its often outdated plants, not to mention burning low-quality mazut fuel oil in various small island power plants.
So yes, the power officers in Greece burn coal, they think coal, they are coal.
But they’ve yet to make a statement on whether they support a Foo Fighters acoustic set.