The 13th Labour of Hercules: Inside the Greek Crisis by Yannis Palaiologos - review by Paul Mason

Paul Mason

Cleaning the Stables

The 13th Labour of Hercules: Inside the Greek Crisis


Portobello Books 270pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

On the day after the Greek election of 2012, British journalists threw a party in Athens that spilled out into most of a side street and was in full swing at 3am. On arriving I was surprised to see many of the Greek MPs who’d been appearing for us on the Western news outlets.

Educated in US business schools, fluent English speakers, these technocrats had almost no roots in the Greek political system. Given the choice, they would rather have spent quality time with hacks from ITN and the Wall Street Journal than attend a Greek political gathering. Such events, one told me, tend to resemble the party Michael Corleone hosts at Lake Tahoe in The Godfather Part II

By then, most of the young, technocratic politicians in Greece were in despair – an attitude that pervades Yannis Palaiologos’s book The 13th Labour of Hercules. Palaio-logos is a journalist for the Greek conservative broadsheet Kathimerini, and his book gives a granular account of the deep social dysfunctions that lie

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