There can, in my mind, only be one solution for Greece's financial and social woes. In fact, ever since the time of Agathangelos, the mysterious Byzantine monk and visionary whose prophecies were supposedly written in 1279, only to be copied by an Italian monk in Messina in 1555, then translated into Latin by Theoklitos Polyidis, who distributed them around northern Europe, and then translated into Modern Greek in 1751 and printed in various editions in Venice, there has only ever been one solution.
Agathangelos is a worthwhile and reliable oracle, referring to events of the seventeenth and eighteenth century that took place centuries after they were predicted. It brought hope and a sense of mission to the downtrodden Greek people at a time when it appeared that liberation was nothing but an outlandish dream. The chief protagonist in 'saving' Greece was meant to be the blonde race «το ξανθόν γένος,» which was widely held to be Russia. Russia in turn, did see itself as the protector of the Greek race. It was for this reason that Catherine the Great conceived of a plan to resuscitate the Byzantine Empire through the placement of her grandson Constantine on throne.
The West in turn knows that Russia is destined to save Greece, restoring her to her former glory and this is why the West has always been dead set against Russia worming and winding its way towards the Mediterranean. The entire Crimean War was fought against Russia in order to keep her well and truly north of the Black Sea, and the Western Powers intervened during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877 to keep Russia, which was hammering on the gates of Constantinople, away from that city. In the Berlin Treaty of 1878, those same powers made sure to unpick any gains made by Russia during that war and as late as the nineteen forties, Churchill was most concerned to retain control in Greece, giving Stalin, who far from being blonde, and rather, was swarthy and pockmarked, a controlling interest in the rest of the Balkans.
In contrast to Stalin, Vladimir Putin, prime minister and president of Russia in rapid alternation, is fair and blonde. His sallow features remind one of Tsar Ivan the Terrible riding his destrier in the great medieval icon of the Church Militant, an allegorical representation of the conquest of Kazan. Not only is he a judo champion of repute, a muscled and agile all-round sportsman, jet flyer and racing car driver, tranquilizer of polar bears and shooter of whales, he is also the leader of the largest country in the world. Further, it is widely rumoured that Putin is descended from the royal Tverskoy family and in particular, from Mikhail of Tver, the Grand Prince of that principality.
It goes without saying then, that Vladimir Putin is well, special. Not only has he been able to preside over a remarkable period of growth in Russia, he has also found time to engage in the coining of such laconic Putinsims as: "To bump off in a toilet," referring to his steely resolve to destroy terrorists while performing their ablutions in the privy, "Ploughed like a slave on a galley," which is how Putin described his term as Russian president between 2000-2008, "Ears of a dead ass," referring to what Latvia would receive instead of the Pytalovsky district it claimed from Russia in a border dispute, and "At the very least, a state leader should have a head," in response to Hillary Clinton's claim that Putin has no soul.
Compare then Putin's wry sense of humour and healthy complexion with the colourless and empty platitudes of former Greek PM George Papandreou. Compare his decisiveness with the cackling of the shriveled time-warped leader of the Greek Communist Party Aleka Papariga, or the irresponsible ravings of the juvenile Tsipras, whose behaviour lends more plausibility to him being able to graffiti a train station rather than govern a country or advocate responsibly for reform. Compare his calm self possession and unbending will with the jaundiced prevarication and indecisiveness of Antonis Samaras, leader of New Democracy and compare his proven record on defending Russia's borders with the incoherent ravings of social misfit and would be Fuhrer of the Greek people Mihaloliakos, who believes that he can create an Aryan superpower out of the shards of social discontent and the demented Nazi fantasies of his follows. Could the ebullient and corpulent Venizelos, lately bullied and berated by sundry European Union finance ministers browbeat them into submission and better loan repayment terms by terrifying them into submission with his steely gaze? One doubts it.
When considered rationally, Putin is the only rational choice for Prime Minister of Greece. Native born politicians have made a hash of governance ever since the Modern Greek State was founded. Almost two centuries after the Greek revolution, Greece is bankrupt, its political culture compromised beyond repair and its people so desperate and aggrieved after having been brought up in a culture of vote buying and hand outs that it is willing to vote for parties such as SYRIZA or the neo-fascist Xrysi Avgi that manifestly have absolutely no idea how to govern, and exist on the margins of the Greek political system only in order to fulfill their own vacuous ambitions for publicity and notoriety.
Putin, or Vladmiros as we will call him, would be a strong and noble Tsar, a true leader who could stare down the ever acquisitive Turks, repel their incursions into Hellenic airspace with a swat of his hand, strike fear into the hearts of our northern neighbours, compel the FYROMIANS to accept a just solution to the naming dispute by a mere flicker of his eyelash, prohibit long winded current affairs shows where journalists and politicians appear on split screens in order to hurl abuse at each other and, why not, while he is at it, ban politicians altogether. Think of the savings.
Since Greece would then have become a constituent republic of the Russian Federation, it would become the favoured playground and holiday resort of the Russian people, injecting much needed funds into the economy. Petrol and gas would be cheap and Greece could, with a Russian army on its soil, safely exploit its own resources, other claimants to them having been cowed into submission by a Putinesque frown.
A Putin in a manly foustanella, much like King Otto who preferred the garment, would be a much more acceptable representative of the Greek people on the international stage than our previous colourless Prime Ministers. In the words of Mr T, he would finally be able to facilitate the Greek people into getting some nuts and moving forward. He is Orthodox, and we are Orthodox, so the monks of Mount Athos, those resisters of ecumenism and climate change are bound to anoint him emperor and then, who knows? Maybe he will forge a mighty Orthodox Empire that will see our eastern enemies scattered to the winds and force our western foes to abandon their abominable heresies?
There is absolutely no need for a second round of elections in Greece, should Putin become a candidate. In that eventuality, this diatribist will found an offshoot Putin's Army, a troop originally formed of healthy young Russian girls so dedicated to Putin's re-election, that they bare their breasts in public, in order to emphasize the fervour of their convictions. Our offshoot, Putin's Hellenic Army, will be formed of disinterested high school girls with bleached blonde hair, who will lift their palms in the characteristic mountza, as they march past all politicians, other than Putin.
As far-fetched and implausible as it sounds, the possibility of Putin running Greece is not as outlandish as the proposition that the Greek people will be able to elect a government comprised of politicians who are mature, professional and able to put the country's interests before their own and the second round of elections fills us with foreboding. Unless of course, Agathangelos' blond race refers to Eleni Menegaki and Tzoulia Alexandratou. Or maybe after all, salvation comes from within.
First published in NKEE on 19 May 2012