Alexis Papachelas ALEXIS PAPACHELAS

Pulling cards from a worn deck

COMMENT

TAGS: Politics

Everything points to New Democracy winning the next general election, whenever this takes place. While there are no waves of passionate voters gravitating towards the conservative party, it is clear that the “they have to go” movement is growing, while there are no other major players to take advantage of the situation on the political stage at this point. Perhaps a strong, anti-European, right-wing party waving the “Trump-Brexit” banner could sneak into the void, but this would require a gifted and untainted personality to lead it, and this person does not exist.

So Kyriakos Mitsotakis and ND will win the next election. We have the right to ask who he will govern with and what their agenda will be. ND is a tired party. It lacks a clear ideological direction and a critical mass of supporters in the real economy. For years, the party operated based on a large group of officials whose motives were power, appointing cronies and controlling the public sector. The best moment to get a glimpse of the team in question is at its annual gathering for the party chief’s address. Mitsotakis did not count these people among his allies when he was elected to the party’s leadership. Instead, he convinced people with no ties to the party to spend hours in a line waiting to cast their vote in his favor.

He showed stamina and courage, and for this he was rewarded by a portion of the middle class who wished to move onto a fresh chapter and for a new person to stand up against Alexis Tsipras.

Since then, the ND chief has obviously been balancing, non-stop, between maintaining the equilibrium inside his part and spearheading a legitimate, perhaps somewhat violent, shakeup, as evidenced by rumors of new officials outside the party’s core. For the time being, however, what we are observing is a redistribution of a worn deck of cards. With a couple of exceptions, it’s not clear, for instance, how different the shadow cabinet would be had another person won the party’s top job.

Political party leaders need time to acquire the necessary experience and settle into the job. The weight on their shoulders is huge. If Mitsotakis also fails, it will then be the turn of Greece’s answer to Italy’s Beppe Grillo, or something similar. In other words, it is crucial that he succeeds, even though he will be faced with tough conditions and without a honeymoon phase with the Greek people, who have grown very impatient.

Mitsotakis will have to shake things up and step on toes when he rises to power, something he should have already done with the party. If he goes to the election with the same tattered deck, he will soon run out of cards when he rises to power.

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