Pantelis Boukalas PANTELIS BOUKALAS

The stork of politics is coming

COMMENT

TAGS: Politics

If leaks, television reports and newspaper headlines served as the announcement board of the maternity ward for political parties, we could surmise that the stork of politics is about to make another delivery in Greece at some point soon. It will also likely be a double delivery, as anyone who knows how to read the signs of political developments sees the birth of two new political parties on the horizon: one sired by ruling SYRIZA’s former finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, and the other by PASOK’s Evangelos Venizelos, also a former finance chief.

The surnames are listed in alphabetical order so as not to injured anyone’s ego, even though this is something very unlikely, since both have very thick skin.

The truth is that the stork of Greek politics is always looking at a packed delivery schedule. The ease with which political parties are formed in this country is even greater than the ease with which unidentifiable formations based on a single figure are labeled movements even if they are supported only by a few close friends of the leader, about half of his or her relatives and a handful of perpetual hangers-on.

Parties also crop up with much greater ease than that with which their operation is suspended, given that their creation usually serves no other purpose than boosting the founder’s stock so that he can hopefully be signed by one of the bigger parties, not as a bench-warmer but as a big player.

Last but not least, the ease with which new political parties are created is greater even than that with which many politicians jump from party to party, and not just to those with which they have an ideological affinity.

The simple truth is that their only ideological concern is political survival by maintaining a presence in Parliament. And on every occasion that they switch parties, they solemnly ask that voters respect their consistency, their unshakable faith in whatever party they’re now supporting, their commitment to their principles, etc.

In order to push ahead with a new party, Venizelos, who is the actual leader of PASOK, will first have to decide whether the country’s presidency can wait a few more years. For Varoufakis to start a party in the narrow confines of tiny little Greece, he will first have to decide whether to cede to an underling the leadership of DiEM 25, which calls itself a “pan-European, cross-border movement.” However which way they do eventually decide to finally play it, it will be determined by the “country’s future” – as it always is in such cases.

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