Aristotle Onassis Knew that Greeks Were Not Ready for Democracy
By Marianna Tsatsou on July 23, 2012 in News, Opinion
Aristotle Onassis, the shipping colossus of Greek descent, could not be absent from his homelands political and financial developments.
In the early 1970s, he commented on Greek Democracy in a small dinner party at Mrs Jacqueline Onassis Fifth Avenue apartment in New York. One of the attendants, Bernadette Carey Smith, describes this conversation between the prominent shipping owner and the other guests.
Imagine 10 people in Onassis luxurious apartment. Among them were, of course, Aristotle, a.k.a. Ari and his wife Jacqueline, Aris Greek godson and his wife, Jackies cousin Nina Steers, Gianni Agnelli of Italian origin along with his sister Susanna Rattazzi and the writers date David Frost- all of them rich and famous.
As one might expect, Greeces then financial, social and political situation was a critical issue and thus, friends of Onassis started commenting it. Ari appeared somehow annoyed, writes Mrs Smith, but still attracted them with his stories about trials and perils of doing business in Greece.
His Greek godson made also several remarks on the situation and both men ended up talking about Greek government, which was essentially useless according to Onassis, since they knew nothing about business or the financial world. In fact, they knew nothing about democracy.
The Greeks arent ready for democracy, he added and his friends, surprised by his statement, stopped talking for a while. But taking into account that Greeks had invented democracy, Mrs Smith wondered that if the Greeks werent ready to govern themselves, then who on earth was ready?
Everyone laughed back then but this statement reminds us, modern Greeks, that Greece is not ready for democracy even in 2012. No matter how many years after this dinner, Greek governments remain as useless as those decades ago and our ancestors invention means truly nothing to Greek politicians.