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".....dignity and decency can be preserved, even through the hardest times.”

Roger Cohen, op-ed columnist for the International New York Times, principally stationed in Europe, writes in "Battered Greece and Its Refugee Lesson" about the refugees flooding into Europe, especially into Greece.

"Here’s a rough guide to the modern world: More efficiency, less humanity. Technology is principally at the service of productivity. Acts of irrational grace are not its thing. They have no algorithm.

Greece has made me think about everything statistics don’t tell you. No European country has been as battered in recent years. No European country has responded with as much consistent humanity to the refugee crisis.

Greater prosperity equals diminishing generosity. Device distraction equals inability to give of your time. Modernity fosters the transactional relationship over the human relationship. The rules are not absolute, but they are useful indicators.

More than 200,000 refugees, mainly from Syria, have arrived in a Greece on the brink this year, almost half of them coming ashore in the island of Lesbos, which lies just six miles from Turkey. They have entered a country with a quarter of its population unemployed. They have found themselves in a state whose per-capita income has fallen by nearly 23 percent since the crisis began, with a tenuous banking system and unstable politics. Greece could serve as a textbook example of a nation with potential for violence against a massive influx of outsiders."


"I asked Alexis Papahelas, the executive editor of the Greek daily Kathimerini, what Greece could teach the world: “That dignity and decency can be preserved, even through the hardest times.”

It’s a powerful, important lesson that Alexis Tsipras, re-elected as Greece’s left-wing prime minister, should carry forward."


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