Needed: An Ultramodern "Peter the Great" for Greece

Op-ed by Professors Michael C. Geokas, M.D., Ph.D. and
Christos D. Katsetos, M.D., Ph.D.

Political theory is a branch of moral philosophy, which starts from the discovery, or application of moral notions in the sphere of political relations--Isaiah Berlin, In The Proper Study of Mankind


Greece finds herself today at the crossroads of history. Despite EU membership, with funds available for infrastructure and other projects, the strategic location in Eastern Mediterranean, her magnificent natural beauty, which makes her by definition the Mecca of Tourism; her huge Merchant Marine plowing the oceans (about 205 million tonnage), an enviable heritage as the birthplace of Democracy and of Western Civilization; the brilliance, energy and spark of her people; and a four million dynamic Diaspora, located mainly in the rest of Europe, North America and Australia, and the overwhelming success of the Olympics 2004 that astonished the world, yet, several key ingredients are missing from the mix and the whole equation. Lest we forget, the Greeks with a per capita GNI (Gross National Income) of $22,000 have now broken even the famous dictum of Herodotus: Elladi Penii Aikote Syntrofos Estin. [Poverty shall always be Greece’s companion].

Yet, despite all advantages and achievements, the country appears weak in the international arena and a number of significant problems have been accumulating, like droplets of mercury. The last straw that broke the camel’s back was the fiasco with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). A tiny Balkan country loaded with internal problems has won recognition from America for a plagiarized name “Macedonia”. This is a failure of Greek diplomacy and the country’s international dynamic. Moreover, Greek foreign policy is in disarray as related to Turkey, Greece’s nemesis, with the Turks having the upper hand at many levels. Even after the recent EU decision to start accession talks with Turkey, which Greece supported enthusiastically, Turkey’s monolithic and aggressive attitude has not changed.

PROBLEMS WITH TURKEY

Turkey’s refusal to recognize the Republic of Cyprus, a full EU member, the continuing attacks against the Patriarchate, perpetuation of the casus belli against Greece and the relentless air-space violations over the Aegean, are all ominous signs. Frankly speaking, Greece’s foreign policy doctrine aiming to tame Turkey by supporting her entry into the EU, has proven to be unproductive and a striking failure.

On the contrary, Greek-Turkish relations are becoming increasingly strained and problematic. Turkey has continued to pressure Greece with persistent efforts of the Turkish Air Force in an attempt to demonstrate de facto co-ownership of the Aegean, with frequent Airspace violations costing dearly to the Greek taxpayer at 1,250,000 Euros daily (and $1.3 billion from 1998 to May 2003). The Greek Air Force has to be constantly on alert for chasing away the intruding aircraft. During the last 31 years 115 Greek pilots and 197 aircraft have been lost.

There is unrelenting Turkish obstinacy in Cyprus, and covert pressure through FYROM, the Muslim minority in Thrace and through Albania. The following are just a few examples in this regard: The Website of the Turkish Foreign Ministry fully adopts the FYROM propaganda against Greece. Using historical links and religious ties, Turkey pursues a long-term plan in Albania that includes-but is not limited to- an ambitious investment in infrastructure. The deployment of Northern Cyprus flags during a soccer game in Tirana is emblematic of the underlying sentiment promoted by Turkish operatives and sympathizers in Albania. When FYROM foreign minister Mitreva visited Turkey last year she was received in Ankara with funfair, her visit was extended and given wide publicity. The meddling of Turkey with the Muslim minority in Thrace, is exemplified by the inappropriate statements of visiting Turkish officials and the disturbing role of the Turkish Consul in Komotini, who habitually violates the Vienna agreement (April 18, 1961) concerning the laws [and] regulations of the receiving country.

In addition, the Turkish authorities have pursued a relentless policy of annihilation of the remaining Greek community in Istanbul. The longstanding closure of the Halki Theological Seminary, the blatant violations of religious freedom, the humiliation of the Ecumenical Patriarch (whose Ecumenical role is not even recognized) and the confiscation of Patriarchal properties, clearly suggest a deliberate strategy of ethnic cleansing.

Due to the Turkish-Israeli alliance of 1996, Turkey is still a favorite country in America, and her special treatment continues despite huge internal problems, and refusal to permit passage of American forces to Iraq, during the war and her recent hosting of a Hamas delegation in Ankara. The new oil pipeline from Baku to Ceyhan is hailed as crucial for an oil thirsty world. Moreover the strong US support to Turkey for EU membership is persistent, as is the support for the Annan plan, which is designed to favor Turkey and to legitimize her occupation of 38% of Cyprus. The rightful rejection of the Annan plan by the Cypriot people has generated displeasure in the US. However, it now appears that Turkish-US relations are on a downswing due to American support to the Kurds in Northern Iraq and other issues.

The fact remains that despite EU and NATO memberships, Greece is diplomatically on the defensive, with many in EU and the United States still favoring Turkey, despite her poor record on human rights, and bellicosity of her Armed Forces which are not under civilian control. The piece-meal revision of the Turkish constitution of 1982, including the abolition of the death penalty and National Security Council (NSC) membership changes, are deemed insufficient, short of a new constitution based on a veritable EU template.

The evidence of bad intentions and insincerity abound, such as Turkey’s constant antagonism on the Cyprus issue; and the persistent violations of Greek Airspace mentioned above. Many believe that the blatant interference of ongoing Greek military exercises in the Aegean (a long-term strategy aiming to establish “gray zones” in the region), coupled with the covert support, to FYROM and Albania, are probably designed to place Greece into a pressure vice. Finally, the aggressive and some say premeditated collision of a Greek and a Turkish fighter over the Aegean on 5-23-2006, with loss of the Greek pilot, coupled with the audacity of Ankara to ask for reparations, represent the final proof that so far Greek foreign policy towards Turkey is a failure.

SOME INTERNAL PROBLEMS

Some other significant problems are the following: The high unemployment rate; the high cost of living since the adoption of the Euro; and the low wages as compared to the rest of the EU, which feed a pervasive corruption, involving even members of the judiciary; the poor condition of the Health care and Educational systems, with dysfunctional High Schools and Universities and about 50,000 of the young studying abroad; the problem of Traffic Safety with unacceptable numbers of deaths and injuries; the porous borders on land and sea with thousands of illegal immigrants coming in constantly (most of them illegal); the calamity of low fertility rate (TFR 1.3), with 200,000 abortions per year and about 100,000 live births; the steady aging of the population, with 20% over 65 and no proneitalist program in place for achieving even replacement fertility, with the exception of a small successful program run by the Church; and no sophisticated programs for assisting assimilation of immigrants and for stemming the tide of new arrivals projected to boost the total number to 3.5 million between 2015-2020(Joseph Chamie UN).

Additionally, Greek Tourism is weak, the quality and numbers of tourists being at the down-slope of Butler’s Curve, especially the coveted American tourists, with loss of about $5 billion per year. Furthermore a mafia-style under-world, and trafficking of humans and drugs are thriving, and some of the mass Media are owned or under the thumb of big money, a situation which the Prime Minister promised to clean up. Relations with the United States are correct; despite anti-Americanism and relations with Turkey is the thorniest problem in Greek foreign policy.

WHAT SHOULD BE DONE?

We strongly believe that what the Republic of Greece urgently needs is a strong magnetic leader, and courageous reformer, who will galvanize and inspire the Greek people and their Diaspora, by implementing a cultural and organizational revolution. Such a leader is needed to solve the present daunting problems of the Republic. The Greeks are extremely smart people, but notoriously difficult to govern. However, they will respond positively to a strong and inspiring leader who will propel them into action. A man who will transform the partying, have a good time culture, into a work ethic and increased productivity, which will astonish the world, like the 2004 Olympics did.

In all of history, during the last 1,000 years, one man shines like a giant beacon in this respect, Peter the Great of Russia, the Revolutionary Tsar. Who was Peter of Russia? “And why the freakish appearance of this autocrat in the European stage and his unique spirit, and enormous accomplishments, are deemed relevant several centuries later?”

PETER OF RUSSIA

He was born in 1672 in Moscow and died in 1725 in St. Petersburg. He was buried in the Peter and Paul Cathedral and the people still to this day bring flowers to his tomb. Peter B. Putnam, in his Book, Peter the Revolutionary Tsar, describes him as follows: “It was the pace, scope, and violence of Peter’s reforms that made them revolutionary. Moreover, the revolution was personal. He not only send others abroad, but went (abroad) himself. He hired foreign shipwrights, but build ships with his own hands”. His personality and massive reforms have inspired generations of historians, writers and ordinary people. Peter’s revolution was unique.

Arnold Toynbee called Peter “the archetype of the autocratic westernizing reformer. He has provided a template for the leaders of all developing nations since his day and nobody else followed him more closely than Joseph Stalin who tried to do from 1928 to 1941 to Russia, all over again, what Peter had done for her about 230 years earlier”.

Stalin described Peter's program of modernization as “a unique attempt to leap out of the framework of backwardness”. Peter's revolution was also unique, Putnam says, “as he became the personal instrument and embodiment of change”. Peter was also a good listener and he constantly asked foreign ambassadors how he could advance Russia.

They told him: “Sire, you need trade with other nations and for that you need a merchant marine and for that you need a navy to protect it”. And this is exactly what he did by going abroad to learn shipbuilding. Putnam, describes that ‘‘he also made enormous progress in the field of Education, by setting up the Academy of Sciences and by founding schools of navigation and engineering in the capital and cipher schools in the provinces… he quadrupled foreign trade and his heavy industry surpassed that of more advanced nations. His methods were autocratic, but iron production was three times that of England and helped to make Russia a great power.

He tried to modernize the civil administration as illustrated by that of Sweden, thus creating a nation governed by rule and precept, and not custom and caprice. In Sweden, Denmark and Prussia government departments were run by boards called Colleges. Peter was told that Colleges were the solution for good administration and that their mechanism was like that of watches: whose individual parts mutually keep each other in motion. He sent Russians to study Colleges abroad and appointed westerners to his Colleges to provide their expertise to Russians’’.

Special target of his determination and anger was official dishonesty, because corruption was widespread and public office was mostly considered to be an opportunity for getting rich. Only half a dozen of Peter’s large group of assistants were indeed honest. At one occasion he was so angry that was ready to issue a decree, which would punish with hanging any official who had stolen enough money to pay for the rope. One aristocrat mastered the courage and asked Peter: does the Emperor wished to be without subjects? We all steal he said, some more and others less, some privately and others without disguise. Peter laughed and tore up the decree.’’ However, everybody got the message.

To stamp out corruption, Putnam says, he appointed certain officials called fiscals who became the best-hated men in the empire. Official corruption continued to exist but after Peter it was at least accepted as wrongdoing. During Peter’s reign foreign trade quntrupled. Western nations dominated trade with Russia. Like a colony exchanging raw materials for finished goods she could not manufacture for herself. The sharpest exception to Russia’s dependence in the West was military. Peter understood clearly that unless he could modernize his arms industry Russia would remain a second-class nation. Peter produced armaments on a huge scale and in a single generation his heavy industry surpassed that of far advanced nations.

He attempted to do a lot more than could achieve in a lifetime and his role was an impetus to the future”. Putnam says, “he was a living paradox: a visionary and a pragmatist, flexible and adamant, frugal and prodigal, patient and passionate, self-sacrificing and self-centered. But he pushed Russia to the future with his spirit, with his energy and his love for her. This giant of a man possessed endowments and ambitions to match. This was Peter the great of Russia, a revolutionary leader who propelled his nation into the future’’. He initiated in effect a veritable Cultural and Organizational Revolution. ‘’Peter continued to live simply, wore old clothes and had few attendants.

He was usually in bed by ten and rose at three or four in the morning and worked with his secretaries and ministers. He kept the same hours when in Paris or London’’.

AN ULTRAMODERN GREEK PETER?

We shall say it immediately and very clearly, that an autocrat-reformer as Head of State at this point in time, is completely unacceptable and incompatible with the Democratic imperative. We are not discussing here Kings and Emperors. Instead, what we have in mind is an ultra-modern democratic leader, who is endowed with Peter’s talents as outlined above, such as, the spirit of innovation and reform, the charisma of enormous persuasive power, plus Peter’s vision, and magnetic force of personality; the allergy towards corruption and his adherence to a strategic plan leading to an urgently needed cultural and organizational revolution. Such a leader could appear at any time out of the blue, from the ranks of the political, intellectual, business, labor and professional ranks, of Greek Society or from the thriving Diaspora in Europe, Australia and North America. Such a leader could galvanize the political, intellectual, business, industrial, religious, and labor groups, as well as the nations’ young, with his strategic plan for adequately protecting Greece and pushing her into a bright future.

We firmly believe that such a powerful and inspiring leader could appear, “as deus ex machina”, only if the following changes in the present political system were to occur:

1. A change from the existing Cabinet System to a Presidential System of Government in Greece, where the executive branch is elected separately from the legislative.

“The defining characteristic of a presidential Government is how the executive is elected, but almost all presidential systems have in common the following features (http://www. answers.com/topic/presidential-system):

a) The President is both head of State and head of Government and has no formal relationship with the legislature, cannot introduce bills, but can veto acts of the legislature. The veto can be overridden by a supermajority of legislators.

b) The President has a fixed term of office (e.g. six years), elections are held at scheduled times and cannot be triggered by a vote of confidence or other parliamentary procedures.

Many presidential systems include regulations for the president’s trial and removal from office, if found guilty of a crime.

c) The executive branch is unipersonal and the members of the Government are appointed by the President, serve at its pleasure and must carry out the policies of the executive and legislative branches.

Frequently, the Presidential system requires legislative approval of nominations to the cabinet as well as for judges. The President has the power to issue orders to members of the cabinet, the military or any officer or employee of the executive branch, but he does not generally have the power to dismiss or give orders to judges.

d) The President often has the power to pardon or commute sentences of convicted criminals’’.

2. There are four basic advantages to the Presidential System:

a) “The Direct Mandate, with the President elected directly by the people. This makes the President’s power more legitimate as compared to a leader appointed indirectly.

b) The Separation of Powers, due to establishment of the presidency and the legislature as two parallel structures, an arrangement many believe, that necessitates each structure to supervise the other, thus preventing abuses.

c) The Speed and decisiveness, because a powerful President can effect changes quickly.

d) The Stability, due to the fact that a President with a fixed term can provide more stability than a prime minister who can be dismissed at any time. Many believe that a country under great stress is better off to have a President with a fixed term instead of successive Prime Ministers.

3. However, critics claim the following disadvantages of the Presidential System:

a) Tendency towards authoritarianism.

b) Separation of powers, with the Presidency and the Legislature two parallel structures, which at times creates gridlock, reduces accountability and allows the President to blame the Legislature and vise versa.

c) A roadblock for removing the President from office before his/her term has expired.

d) Some political scientists consider the conflation of head of state and head of government duties, to be a problem of presidentialism because criticism of the President as head of state is criticism of the State itself”.

d) We strongly believe, however, that especially for the Republic of Greece at this time, the Presidential System would be the most suitable and invaluable.


WHAT WOULD THE PRESIDENT DO?

  1. The popularly elected President would proceed with the rule that members of parliament could not serve as Government Ministers and he would appoint a technical Government to include high power specialists in the various ministries, such as University Professors, Business people, Diplomats, members of the Military and other renown specialists in their field. Such technical people from Greece and the Diaspora could be very effective and hopefully immune to corruption impulses. Moreover, he would overhaul the stifling, rigid and dysfunctional bureaucracy in the ministries, which would be a Herculean task in itself.
  2. He would fix the ailing educational system especially the Universities that are in poor condition, with an ongoing controversy to boot, concerning the establishment of private Universities in Greece, for the first time in its history, to the dismay of many Professors and Students alike. Additionally, he would improve the High School education and would protect it against the deconstructionist attempts of re-writing history, which will attenuate the impact of great historic events and thus de-hellenize the Greek youth and threaten their sense of self-identity.
  3. He would drastically improve the Armed Forces, which are indispensable for defending the country’s borders, for playing an important role in NATO and for discouraging an aggression by Turkey, especially in the Aegean. For this the President would maintain a 12-month draft for men and women, a method similar to Israel, and would develop also special professional forces using advanced technology and sophisticated weaponry.,
  4. He would never accept the plagiarized name “Macedonia” by FYROM and would vigorously negotiate another suitable name following a Referendum on this issue.
  5. He would greatly improve the deteriorating internal security in Greece, with people afraid to walk outside their home at night and propelled to use double locks in their doors. He would greatly reduce the frequent Bank robberies by gangs, the destruction of property after soccer games, and the burning of stores and automobiles by masked individuals who do not seem to be amenable to arrest and to get long jail terms. He would also solve the problem of international underworld gangs, an absurd phenomenon for a democratic state, member of EU.
  6. The President, like Peter, would confront head on and without mercy, the scourge of corruption within and outside the Government. He would respond to sensational revelations in the Media about corrupt officials, including members of the judiciary, which give the impression of a corrupt society. He would severely curb the trafficking of drugs and humans, as well as suppress organized crime in Greece, where some restaurants, automobile dealers and other businesses are paying protection fees.
  7. He would deal decisively with the twin Demographic problem of low fertility, and the huge in-migration. Additionally, he would give top priority to a sophisticated proneitalist program for augmenting the fertility rate. According to a new study by the Population Research Bureau (PRB) in Washington DC many industrialized nations have introduced or beefed up economic incentives -ranging from cash bonuses to tax brakes to extended maternity leaves- to get people to have children. Just since March 2006, about 16 countries ranging from Bulgaria to Taiwan have increased incentives.
  8. Additionally, the President would pursue a vigorous plan for the assimilation of immigrants already aboard, in order for them to gain citizenship in 10 years, to learn the Greek language, send their children to Greek schools and make it unnecessary for them to bring their brides and extended families to Greece, from their country of origin.

    To stop the brisk influx of new illegal immigrants he would expand a special force now called the Border Guardians (Synorofrura), which together with the regular Army, Navy and Coast Guard would seal off Greece’s borders on land and sea. He would also create a strong new Ministry of Demography and Diaspora, for handling effectively the Demographic Problem and the affairs of four million Diaspora.
  9. The President would urgently promote special legislation for regulating the non-governmental organizations (NGO’s). The present situation of NGO’s in Greece is chaotic and out of control. The NGO’s have pursued a variety of causes at the local, national and even the international level. Many of them can be considered political, if that definition encompasses non-partisan social issues, human rights of invented “ethnic or ethno-linguistic minorities” and when in cooperation with foreign NGO’s, have charged the Greek population, the media and even the Church, for discrimination and human rights violations, to the detriment of the international image of Greece.

    One particular NGO, ELIAMEP, plays a strong role on issues of Greek Foreign policy, maintains an extensive list of financial sponsors and publishes very frequently foreign policy advocacy papers in the Greek Press. It also conducts annual closed meetings, and vigorously promotes an accommodation with Turkey in the Aegean, which many well meaning people consider that it smacks of appeasement. Moreover, ELIAMEP has been a strong advocate of the Annan plan for Cyprus, despite wide opposition to it, in Cyprus, in Greece and within the Hellenic Diaspora. The President would require by law, that all NGO’s in Greece re-register with the Government, meticulously disclose their financial sources and undergo expanded and meaningful auditing by an impeccable task-force appointed by the Government, and be required to open their annual meetings to all interested Greek and Greek-Diaspora Scholars.
  10. The President would make a valiant effort on the issue of Traffic Safety for specifically reducing the large number of deaths and injuries, which produce untold misery and pain to Greek people. Strict traffic control of Commercial Vehicles would be a top priority.

    He would also place great emphasis on driver training, strict renewal of a driver’s license every four years, following an examination, and strict traffic control with citations enforced directly by Traffic Courts. He will also diligently pursue improvement of the road network especially the secondary roads, which are known to be in dire need of repair because they account for the majority of injuries and fatalities.
  11. He would strongly promote international trade and would protect Greek industry from dissolution by outsourcing. Would strongly boost Tourism, especially concerning tourists from the United States and would pay special attention to Island Tourism and would bring to perfection the coastal shipping among the Islands. He would also handle with great care issues concerning “the Golden Merchant Marine Fleet” in order to increase the number of the Greek-Flag carrying vessels.
  12. The President would vigorously promote scientific research especially in advanced technology, by encouraging distinguished scientists from the Hellenic Diaspora to return to Greece, by offering special inducements and generous research funds.

    Additionally, with upgrading of the University system and lavish allocation of research funds there will be an impetus in research productivity. He will also invite foreign companies to establish subsidiary research units in Greece following the example of Ireland, which is the hub of several technology companies from the EU and the US.
  13. He would be very willing to learn from abroad through a stellar Advisory Board of prominent scientists, especially from the Diaspora in the US and EU, who could provide expert input and know-how without the constraints of their native counterparts.

    This will be equivalent to Peter’s solicitation of advice from the foreign ambassadors. Moreover, he would be effective in seeking dynamic assistance from the Greek-American Community in support of the rightful causes of Greece, in Congress and the United States Administration.

    Ethnic politics have now been legitimized in America and are even been promoted by the administration and constitute an important factor in determining foreign policy (Glazier and Moynihan 1975).

    The President would tour big American cities, speaking to large audiences of Greek-Americans and philhellenes, with a special report and discussions of the vital issues of concern to Hellenism.

SUMMARY

The Prime Minister driven political system in Greece with a ceremonial President and members of Parliament serving as Ministers, is by its nature ineffective. The Presidential system will be superior and much more effective in many vital areas, such as: in solving a host of intricate internal problems by Ministers who are top technical experts in their fields; in pursuing a dynamic role within the EU and a successful foreign policy towards the United States and an aggressive Turkey; and in effectively utilizing the Greek-American dynamic on behalf of Greece.

Furthermore, in this era of frequent opinion polls and the palpable power of the Media (some under special interest control) on shaping public opinion and influencing policy; the large number of NGO’s working independently and pushing claims on policy issues, the present Cabinet driven Government, which is hampered by a notoriously entrenched and inflexible bureaucracy, appears weak and at times overwhelmed by events in a fast moving world.

In addition, the day-after-day appearances of the Prime Minister at the Parliament podium, in order to refute incessant criticisms of the opposition parties, no matter how serious, or superfluous, it is simply unproductive, and corrosive of his authority, as well as demeaning to his office.

Most importantly, the Prime Minister and his Government can be brought down by a combination of factors, such as: a series of scandals, a deteriorating economy, by serious unemployment, by continuous strikes instigated by the labor unions, and by negative opinion polls, all of them, pushing the Prime Minister and the country to premature elections, and a tedious pre-election campaign, with further decrease of Government efficiency. When in this era of profound specialization members of Parliament serve as Ministers, the chance of ineffectiveness for lack of special skills and of clientelism to their constituents in their districts is considerable.

In sharp contrast un-elected Ministers appointed by the President for their expertise will be experienced and technically skilled, for their respective ministries. Thus, Ministers with technical dexterity, with no electoral districts to satisfy with favors, and no re-election campaign obligations, will have an enormous advantage for effectiveness as members of the team. For instance, a seasoned, multilingual, and articulate University professor of Law, or Political Science, or International Affairs, will be eminently suited to be Minister of Foreign affairs; and a distinguished Professor of Medicine, or Surgery or Public Health from Greece or the Hellenic Diaspora, will be superb as Minister of Health.

Additionally, a seasoned, articulate and personable University Professor of Constitutional Law, or of Public administration, will be ideal for the demanding Ministry of the Interior.

Thus, the President, a leader with exceptional acumen (high IQ) and technical skills, coupled with what is now called Emotional Intelligence, would promulgate in the spirit of an ultra-modern Peter the Great, a much needed Cultural and Organizational Revolution in Greece. There are certain cultural traits that hold back the brilliant, innovative and versatile Greeks. Look how they adapt and thrive in the rest of Europe, in Australia and North America.

The President, would also push for a strong Civil Society, transform the partying culture, and insist on acceptance of personal responsibility from everyone. He would abolish the pervasive favoritism and nepotism, which breeds incompetence, demoralizes the young and propels them to leave the country; would modify the power of Labor Unions and their knee-jerk tendency to crippling strikes which scare away foreign companies, and bestow the ugly nick-name to Greece as “the land of strikes”; would reduce to its proper dimensions the continuing strong domination of the left on Greek Society and the insidious grip of big money on the mass Media; would ruthlessly decapitate corruption, and human and drug trafficking; would persuade his people that good service is indispensable for Tourism development, and does not equal servility; and would loudly declare that the path of low fertility and of abortions on demand, for family planning, are the path to national suicide.

Moreover, he would reduce additional in-migration to a trickle, and promote the diligent and sophisticated assimilation of immigrants who are already aboard and would vigorously encourage repatriation of Diaspora Greeks.

He, like Peter, would boost the Armed Forces, and arms production and procurement, and would pursue the sealing of borders on land and sea to stem the influx of illegal immigrants. He would re-organize and drastically upgrade the Diplomatic Service, and would appoint as Ambassadors distinguished experts especially in key Embassies like Washington DC and other foreign capitals, like the state of Israel does.

Finally, the President would genuinely and quickly embrace the Hellenic Diaspora, and specifically the robust Greek-American Community, seeking support against Turkish pressure in the Aegean, Cyprus and the Patriarchate. Greece needs today a Presidential system of Government, so urgently, as Sahara desert needs the rain.

EPILOGUE

At this point we anticipate the inevitable question from the readers of this special essay: Who in the Governing party or in the opposition, might be a worthy ultra-modern Peter the Great for Greece? Our answer is this: even if such a leader existed today, it will be next to impossible to assume the role of an ultra-modern Peter, under the present system of Government. Only with a Presidential system it will be possible for such a leader to materialize on the scene. We firmly believe, that the Presidential System is everything.

Thus, after the necessary revision of the Constitution and the adoption of the Presidential System, we can anticipate a dynamic and electrifying change of the political landscape in Greece. Such an event will make it feasible for a strong, magnetic and inspiring leader to materialize, to be voted-in directly by the electorate, and be inaugurated as the country’s first President, for the good of both, the people of Greece and the Hellenic Diaspora.

SOURCES

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Geokas, Michael C. "The New Gordian Knot for the Greeks: The Twin Demographic Problem." The National Herald 9-10 Nov. 2002. [Also available at http://www.demokritos.org under the heading "Low Fertility Rate."]

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(Posting date 27 November 2006
)

Michael C. Geokas is (Em) Professor of Medicine and Biological Chemistry UC, Davis School of Medicine, Davis, California and a founder and President of the Think-Tank Demokritos Society of America (http://www.demokritos.org). He can be reached via email at geokas@msn.com

Christos D. Katsetos is Research Professor of Pediatrics and Pathology, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.. He is the Vice-President of the Think-Tank Demokritos Society of America (http://www.demokritos.org).

HCS encourages readers to view other articles and releases in our permanent, extensive archives at the URL http://www.helleniccomserve.com/contents.html., especially the section for Demokritos Society of America.



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