A close look at the political trajectory of several Greek prime ministers reveals certain unmistakable patterns: Regardless of political affiliation, they have all displayed the same signs of political decay.
Ruling the country from the Maximos Mansion eventually takes its toll even on the most durable of political leaders, including those who swept into office. Interestingly, as their tenure moves closer to a conclusion, leaders become increasingly divorced from reality.
You will often hear them say that they would “never, ever lose to that guy,” as clouds start to gather over their political future and they eye the competition.
Meanwhile, as time goes by, they end up feeling so comfortable at Maximos Mansion that they forget their occupancy is only temporary; that many politicians have been there before and many more will follow.
The force of habit and the allure of power can dampen the strongest of political instincts.
They start to lose touch with the people. Worse even, they begin to feel that they are genuinely fighting for the good of the people – a fight that the people fail to see.
And although everything seemed to be going their way, all of a sudden nothing seems to work anymore and Murphy’s law takes over.
Mistakes and arguments intensify as tension and weariness take their toll. At this final stage, much of the blame goes to journalists and the media at large.
Either because they do not adopt the agenda set by Maximos Mansion or because they gradually throw their weight behind the opposition.
“How could the media possibly not cover this issue?” the aides ask – and the speculation kicks off. Another source of tension is the sight of political cronies jumping ship.
The cycle of power is tough and relentless. The old players have been through all this too many times to even recall the names of ministers or aides. The new players are far more crude.
This is more or less how the Maximos Mansion begins to resemble a bunker sheltering a group of people who feel tired, aggravated and betrayed.
Their pet topic at these difficult moments is major enemies; exposing them or fabricating them is a tonic for power. They are faulted for all evil.
Because the current government managed to substitute the old vested interests with a more vicious alternative, officials are wary of being caught up in the crossfire.
The current occupants at Maximos Mansion will soon realize that the country can survive without them.