Municipal doping

Usually when the Olympics come to town there’s a big clean-up, during which junkies with little muscles get kicked out to make way for junkies with big muscles. That’s what happened in Barcelona in 92, but from this op-ed piece by Costas Iordanidis in Kathimerini it sounds like the Greek government is not having it all its own way:

Health Minister Nikitas Kaklamanis lambasted this unacceptable mentality during a parliamentary committee meeting on Wednesday. Rebuffing proposals to remove the scores of drug addicts from the streets of downtown Athens during the Games he replied that his ministry would not function as a “dogcatcher of souls.”

[…]

Socialist ministers have for years used repulsive rhetoric to show their ostensible interest in improving the conditions for low-income groups and building a more humanitarian society. They only ended up deconstructing social cohesion and creating a ghetto for the first time in the last 50 years.

[…]

None of the reformist ministers suffered a crisis of conscience, the way Kaklamanis did as he met with drug addicts at the steps of his ministry: “You are a zero, Mr Minister. This happens at at your ministry and you think you are a minister,” Kaklamanis said to himself.

Good stuff, although it should be noted that Barcelona made some kind of a profit, something Athens is unlikely to achieve.

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