Anyone that pays attention to international press reports has no choice but to conclude that Athens is like a junkyard of construction machinery within unfinished buildings where there are terrorists hidden in every nook and cranny. Articles galore slap the city incessantly. Glaring headlines scream of terrorism possibilities, government mayhem and a city of unfinished disorganized construction works. Tie all this together with the international problems of the last several years and it’s easy to see why Greece’s prime economic sector, tourism, continues to lick new wounds.
But is it Athens that has a problem, or is it the Anglo-Saxon press corps, such in the UK and Australia. Instead of searching under rocks and weeds for negative press reports, which are then blown all our of proportion, competent journalists should force their bosses to look in awe at a country of a mere 10 million-plus people taking on the Herculean task of organizing the Olympic Games. They would make their editors “see” Athens and marvel at the tremendous progress made in such a short time, not to mention the beautification and modernization of The city.
And then there’s the games returning to their birthplace. Any serious scribe would look at Athens 2004 as a “pilgrimage” to the country where athletics were born, and where wars were suspended and peace reigned in honor of the Games. The country where billions of people around the world marvel at its history, and the innumerable gems of knowledge it has forwarded to mankind.
Reasons for the barrage of negative international press reports are known only to the publishers. Perhaps they simply have some complex against the country that is so small but has given so much to the world. Or perhaps its insecurity, as this press group has but a breath of history to dwell on. Whatever the reason, they have shown no respect for the Olympic Spirit or its birthplace, or the Herculean effort being made to make the 2004 Games the most safe and successful ever held.
To this “select” group of the press corps it’s sufficient to quote the cry from Stentor (Homer’s Iliad) in an effort to move the Argives to battle against the Trojans: “αιδώς Αργείοι.”