Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

A reminder that Greece was not always democratic


Visitors to Greece’s capital these days cannot escape the fact that a general election is on he way.  But it is not just the constant discussion on television and the excited newspaper headlines about a U.S.-style debate between front runners that lets you know.

Peppered across the city are political stalls, open for the public to come in and be persuaded to vote on Oct. 4 for whichever party is hosting them. The style ranges from a bench and chairs manned by two ageing communists in the northern suburbs to a rather slick structure in Athen’s central Syndagma Square touting the worth  of the ruling conservative New Democracy party. For some reason the latter was blaring out The Clash’s “Rocking the Casbah” on a recent sunny morning.

It is all very frothy and something of a celebration of democracy in the city which, after all, invented it.

Which is why a quieter, almost unnoticed gallery on the corner of Syndagma is offering something all the more poignant — a reminder that it was not that long ago that such expressions of democracy would be met with batons, water cannons and even tanks.