The thrillers of Petros Markaris Greece faces P its demons

The best-selling thriller author Petros Markaris portrays in his works the severe portrait of a Greece in crisis with itself and confronted with its demons: corruption, tax evasion and nationalism.

“The police intrigue in a thriller is only a pretext to tell a story about a society”, immediately assures this voluble octogenarian who receives AFP in his apartment filled with books in a popular district of Athens.

A fine observer of Greek society, Mr. Markaris, published in ten languages, wishes to “understand how, why and what are the reasons why Greek society is as it is today”.

For his French translator, Michel Volkovitch, the writer, who was the screenwriter for the Greek director Theo Angelopoulos, describes Greece “in an educational way”.

“He gives a faithful image of Greek society during the crisis, but also that of an average Greek family: that of Charitos (the commissioner present in all his investigations, editor’s note), which is central in his books”, explains the translator .

“He slips us into their everyday problems, into the uncertainty of the crisis. That’s what makes them endearing.”

Kostas Charitos, a colorful policeman who leads the investigation by traveling around Athens in all directions, is the main character of the “crisis trilogy” which propelled the writer to the fore.

His effective police intrigues bring to light the problems of corruption, nepotism and tax evasion that plague Greece, but also the rise during the crisis years (2008-2018) of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, which has gone from there. taken from strangers.
His ten detective novels have been translated into 13 languages, including French and German.

Diogenes Verlag, its German publisher in Zurich, told AFP that this trilogy had sold more than 270,000 copies in German-speaking countries.

The old man is worried about his country which is barely recovering from a serious financial crisis and a draconian austerity cure during which it lost a quarter of its GDP.
“Even though the population of Greece was able to recover a little from the effects of the crisis, the pandemic and the war in Ukraine weakened it again. Greece was unlucky,” he continues.

Inflation at over 9% in October after six months above 10% and soaring energy prices are hurting people as memories of the financial crisis, one of the worst in turbulent history Greek, remains an open wound.
“To see what is happening in Great Britain and Italy, Greece is ultimately not the worst European example!”, However, nuance Mr. Markaris, 85 years old.

Italy recently elected a far-right government, while in the UK, shaken by Brexit and its political turmoil, more than half the population is suffering from high energy and food prices .

For him, the Greeks, who had massively taken to the streets to demonstrate their opposition to austerity measures during the crisis, no longer have “as much desire to claim a better future” than before.
Born in Istanbul to an Armenian father and a Greek mother, Petros Markaris arrived in Athens in 1964 before leaving to study in Vienna and Stuttgart, where he fell in love with German literature.

Later, it was he who would introduce the great German writers to the Greeks with his translations of the works of Bertolt Brecht and Goethe.
But Petros Markaris is best known for having been Theo Angelopoulos’ screenwriter for several of his films, including “Eternity and a Day”, Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998.

In Greece, he was also the scriptwriter of a very popular detective series.
“The contacts that I was able to establish at that time with the world of the Greek police inspired me for Commissioner Charitos”, recalls the writer.

Not having lived through the German occupation in Greece between 1941 and 1944 or the Greek civil war in the immediate post-war period, Mr. Markaris considers that he has an “objective and unprejudiced view of Greece”.

“I have no traumas or personal experiences that influence my point of view. I see and describe Greece as I knew it when I arrived there,” he said.

We would love to say thanks to the writer of this write-up for this awesome material

The thrillers of Petros Markaris Greece faces P its demons