The story of a No that meant Yes

No, this is not a text on Greece. It’s a story about us, who are  Greek of heritage. This past that we carry today as if it were a burden, was once the cradle and ideal of democracy and philosophy and politics and Εὐρώπη (Europe). And this Europe, that was born there, and built there, and there mythologized, grew in spite of the open and burning veins that pulsed in it for centuries and centuries. This Europe, which was fratricidal for more than two millennia, rose from the ashes and buried the differences to unify itself on the common grounds it managed to find. From these common grounds emerged, phoenix-like, democracy, peace and a strong identity that lead to the construction of the most ambitious political project ever attempted in this continent of ours

Today, amidst the rush of the media and the constant pressure of the moment, which is not even important enough to be l’écume des jours, we see the images coming from this original capital of Europe, blistered by reductively Manichaean comments, with lines of people waiting for a sign, other than the one  that has marked their recent lives. They hope for hope, a redundancy that has in literalness what it lacks in reality, because hope is taking too long to appear. The messages of this real Europe, guided by the inevitable rhetoric of lack of alternatives, have continuously pushed Greece to the furthest wall of a dark Cave, where the dim light that enters only reflects the most horrendous of pasts, he who we all thought was long gone.

To face this past that intertwines  crosses on red backgrounds, threatening to invade our present, and for us to build our future under the auspices of a beam of hope, Greece said ‘no’ to these threats, even the ones coming from the highest level, and re-founded itself on its most beautiful creation. Harassed by authoritarian voices, which find themselves as an undisputed truth deriving from the positions they autocratically exercise, Greece resorted to Democracy and gave its people a chance to decide their fate. The clear message, which echoed resoundingly on the European Acropolis, shook the ivies that seem to insist on climbing the democratic foundations of this Union. The message, unequivocally political, told us that it’s the strength and fibre of those who know that time is the father of all gods and that the gods protect only the bold, and that this is the way to triumph. The Greeks, daring, told us that politics is about people. May so be it that politicians understand the Greeks’ message. If austerity took the ground from under our feet; if it took us away the wealth we had long endured – for it was product of our own effort-; if it made us turn our backs into our European brothers and sisters; if it made us encounter the worst face of distrust and xenophobia; let us now take advantage of the Hellenic fibre and not allow the plunder of what we have, not so long ago, conquered. Let us not have our democracy and freedom replaced by austerity and blindness.

Post-Scriptum: without Greece and the Greek language, existent since 1100 B.C., this article, as it stands written, would have never seen the day of light, for a great number of words would not exist or have the same meaning. Let us honour that heritage.

– by Joao Albuquerque YES Vice-President 

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