Do we want a show of statism or a modern exhibition?
The Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) is an important institution for Greece and it is high time it changed from a festival of Third World-type statism into a modern exhibition designed to highlight the most dynamic and outward-looking aspects of what the country has to offer.
Why, for example, should an international exhibition like TIF host a pavilion of the armed forces or the fire brigade? And why should the entire public administration, with all its fuss, move to the northern port city every year, crowd hotel corridors, and attempt to get a seat at the front during the prime minister's speech just to appear on television? When a party is in opposition, party hacks dream of a job in the public sector and then celebrate accordingly when they rise to power.
In recent years, Thessaloniki has taken numerous and significant steps to increase its extroversion. It has...