In Greece the state crumbles. But politicians maintain their composure struggling for office which obviously they do not know how to handle after they succeed in occupying it. At the same time the people feel exposed to all the ills of a rogue state. Workers and students can disrupt public transport by announcing simply their intention to organize a march. They don’t have to show up in numbers. The police takes the initiative to cordon off central streets and avenues based on their announced protest intentions. In universities professors fear to express views and scientific opinions in anticipation of violent reactions directed at their person. Policemen, even traffic wardens, look suspiciously over their shoulders terrified by gunmen shooting indiscriminately at personnel in uniform.

Masked youth are stopping cars near government buildings proceeding to check i.d. cards to identify police staff. Theater shows and ballet performances are halted by slogan chanting youths insulting audiences as indifferent to the rather cloudy social cause. The latest fruit has been the looting of supermarkets for the benefit of poor customers and prison breaks before the eyes of immobile and astounded guards!!

Above all however towers the astonishing return of a crude kind of terrorism. Armed with weapons stolen primarily from stormed police stations masked killers shoot at security personnel vans and at patrolling police. Likewise, they plant bombs at banks, multinational companies and government buildings. A rocket attack at the American embassy a couple of years ago and a failed assassination attempt, at about the same time, by means of a bomb placed on a bicycle against a former Minister of Public Order, went undiscovered and, of course, unpunished.

The feeling is of an overt incompetence of the state to safeguard law and order and of an atmosphere of tolerance for minor, and eventually major, violations of the law. The latest almost comical escape from a “high security” prison of two notorious outlaws – who had repeated the same exactly trick two years ago – added drama to the comedy. It suddenly became apparent that Athens is wide open to alls sorts of possible terrorist attacks. Since helicopters can be boarded without any baggage control and they can fly, no matter what the regulations stipulate, to any part of the city, an assault by determined suicide bombers can at any time occur – irrespective of the target.

The skies of the city present a threat instead of being secure and neutralized. The means employed during the Olympics to avert similar attacks and the sophisticated electronic surveillance equipment purchased for the same purpose appear to have been abandoned and left rusting at some government storehouse. Extreme laxity, lack of training and discipline and mind blowing incompetence at the top mark the character of the Greek security services regime. It is no wonder that citizens feel insecure and many of those who can wonder of the possibility to move their families abroad.