The Greek paradox

Many Greeks believe that incidents like clashes between protesters and police, the torching of vehicles and vandalism against businesses are purely Greek phenomena. The activities of violent activist groups, hooligans and, worse still, terrorists have come to be thought of by a good part of the population as mere components of what has come to be known as the "Greek paradox," meaning the chasm between the country's incredible promise and its disappointing failure to deliver.

Following a recent spate of arson attacks on cars in different parts of Athens and elsewhere, many asked why the police don't simply arrest the people committing these crimes, as others commented in meaningful tones that such incidents would not be tolerated in countries like Germany or France. Is there any truth to this? A mere glance at the police bulletins of those and other countries says that there...

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