When rallies backfire

COMMENT

Some people think that mass demonstrations can be utilized by governments to serve as a negotiating tool, indicating popular support for certain non-negotiable “red lines.”

However, as demonstrated by events in the early years of the name dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and the disastrous first months of the SYRIZA-led administration, far from operating as a lever for pressure, mass rallies can trap a political leadership in a counterproductive, maximalist position.

The right to rally and to protest is of course inalienable and passions regarding national security issues always run high in Greece. It is up to our political leaders to negotiate with a clear mind and try to convince the public about the need for some honest compromises.

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