Regarding “Greece’s rotten oligarchy” (Views, Jan. 7): In citing the mendacity, corruption and avarice overrunning Athens, Kostas Vaxevanis describes a country whose political establishment has betrayed its citizenry. But the notion that modern-day Hellas can be revivified by a return to “Greece’s ancient democratic heritage” is a chimera.
Europe’s sovereign debt crisis originated in a sclerotic Balkan polity — not the legendary Athenian city-state of yore. Greece lacked the economic bona fides to join the elite euro club. But successive Greek governments manipulated E.U. subsidies and actively dissembled to join the common currency.
Even former Prime Minister George Papandreou has called his own nation “corrupt to the bone.” And draconian austerity measures have exacerbated a national propensity for indolence, nepotism and cronyism.
Reversing such a free fall into third-world decline requires astute economic reform and a demand-management program of infrastructure revitalization.
Rosario A. Iaconis, Mineola, New York