Sunday, October 08, 2006
Una fatsa, una ratsa ?
It seems the more I see Panangiotis Psomiadis, (Παναγιωτης Ψωμιαδης) head of the prefecture of Thessaloniki, the more I'm reminded of another illustrious Mediterranean leader, The late, great Il Duce himself, Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini.The comparison becames even more apparent when I saw Psomiadis give a speech this morning live on TV100. Both look back to ancient glories, both evoke with fiery rhetoric the bravery of patriots, both past and present.
Apparently, the only thing stopping the government in Athens gving away the whole of Northern Greece are fine patriots like Psomiadis, who with courage, faith and devotion are single-handedly defending Thessaloniki and Macedonia.
Of course what what he is doing is playing the national chauvanist card. Stung by the scandal and facing possible criminal charges over his dodgy political connections, he is doing what every self-respecting far right candidiate in trouble does: Suddenly, (re)discover enemies abroad and traitors at home. Whether they be Reds Under The Beds or the Elders of Zion, there is always someone who can be demonised and turned into a threat to the motherland.
BTW while Googling Psomiadis I came across this interview by Dora Kitsi-Makiridou a hard hitting journalist who writes for Businesswoman.gr, not afraid to challenge those in power with tough questions such as;
"Your message to the city we love as it is our roots, our history, our home?"
"What do you admire in a person?"
Unfortunately, the interview which is hilariously sychophantic, is only in Greek. I will however translate the first paragraph to give you a taste. It's quite difficult to translate into comprehensible English as the original is so badly written.And boy, does she ever get her money's worth out of her Thesaurus.
"Λεβεντιά, χαμόγελο, ανθρωπιά!!Επιτυχημένος, σοβαρός, χαρακτηριστικός, χαρισματικός!! Μάχεται, μοχθεί, ακούει, μαθαίνει, συναντά, κερδίζει την εμπιστοσύνη, εργάζεται, εργάζεται!! Διοικεί!!Κάποιο Σάββατο, τον έκλεψα από υποχρεώσεις,«τον κ. Νομάρχη», τον δικό μας, αγαπητό και φιλικό, Παναγιώτη Ψωμιάδη, με σκοπό να γράψουμε μαζί, για την ζωή του, για τις προσωπικές ισορροπίες του, και τις απόψεις του, στο κάθε τι…Συναντηθήκαμε σε ένα καφέ, με θέα την θάλασσα, συζητήσαμε, περπατήσαμε, χαιρετήσαμε ανθρώπους…Την εικόνα του την γνωρίζετε, το έργο του φανερό, ποιος άραγε είναι ο επαναστάτης «άνθρωπος» που χάραξε πορεία για τον τόπο μας ;Κύριε Ψωμιάδη, ας ρίξουμε φως, στην προσωπική σας ζωή, και ας μάθουμε, τα μυστικά, τις ανησυχίες σας, την ζωή που καλά κρατάτε «κρυμμένη», μακριά από τα φώτα, μόνο για εσάς…."
Upstanding, a smile, humanity a successful, serious charasmatic, characteristic man. He battles, he toils, he listens, he learns, he meets, he wins people's trust, he works and works. He commands!!!!! One Saturday I "stole " from his duties as the mayor, our beloved Panagiotis Psomiadis in order to have him tell us about himself, the way he keeps his life in balance, and his views on.....everything.
We met in cafe overlooking the sea and we talked, walked,and greeted people. His image, you all know from his work, however, who is this "revolutionary" who has made a name for himself here in our city?
"Mr Psomiadis, lets shed some light on your personal life and lets learn your secrets, your concerns, the life you keep well "hidden", far from the limelight, just about you."