The Greek political world is trying to find its rhythm again after the summer break, which was dominated by events in Turkey in the wake of the failed coup last month. Now it is time to return to business at home, to the same set issues and subjects that have starred over the past six years – though with different protagonists – for the good of the country and its citizens, of course.
A lot of work is currently under way at the headquarters of Greece’s political parties in preparation for the appearances of political leaders at the Thessaloniki International Fair. Strategies are being drawn, speeches drafted and television appearances directed so that they look impressive in the 15 minutes the average citizen will dedicate to watching the new promises of an economic rebound or a revival of the credibility of a seriously ailing political system.
The apathy of the citizens, which tends at times to border on passivity, is the political leadership’s biggest problem. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s transformation from a revolutionary into a politician perfectly attuned with the European establishment has alienated him to a great extent from his voters, but the no-holds-barred polemics against him from the parties of the opposition have resulted in SYRIZA’s deputies rallying behind the premier. In the business of governance, this is exactly what a prime minister wants and it appears that Tsipras intends to continue on this course until the next elections.
The objective, therefore, of the opposition leaders should be to locate the vital point of contact with the electoral body and to attack there, but this is not possible when approaching the matter from a technocratic perspective or while trying to maintain a sensitive balance within your own party. Society behaves according to its own agenda, and this is something that is rarely recognized by political staffers or technocracts whose reflex is to oppose any policy the government puts forward.
But the people cannot be tricked or victimized, as an old and close associate of former statesman Evangelos Averof insisted on proclaiming. Today, they are not even expecting Tsipras to bring the country back to where it was before he was elected. What the people want is to see the entire old system razed to the ground, and the coalition government is actually heading in this direction too.
That said, no politician or businessman has succeeded by constantly analyzing the data. He takes risks first and foremost according to what his instinct dictates and makes whatever adjustments are needed once success is secured.