Friday August 29, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
31o C
24o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Yesterday strikes back

By Nikos Konstandaras

The Greeks voted with their eye on yesterday and they opened the door to tomorrow. Wishing to return to an ideal age – where they could escape from the demands of our partners and creditors – the voters destroyed the two-party political system, they fragmented the center and brought the extremes into the center of developments. Last night's result did not leave much room for the formation of a coalition by any section of the new Parliament – neither by the parties who abide by the loan agreement nor by those which shape the “no” front.

If we go for new elections immediately it is not at all certain that New Democracy and PASOK will get back any of their old power (until 2009 they shared more than 80 percent of the vote, whereas yesterday they got barely 35 percent together). With at least seven parties in Parliament and none gaining more than 20 percent, our politicians will have to face three major challenges: they must learn to cooperate on equal terms, without any one party forming a strong pole, without one party trying to gain an advantage over another; they must deal with the neonazi Chrysi Avgi, which is now in Parliament; they must find a way to be credible partners in talks with our creditors, now that the PASOK-ND government under Lucas Papademos is gone.

Our society, which is also unused to issues of cooperation and compromise, will face strong challenges from the rise of SYRIZA and other leftist parties, and from Chrysi Avgi. Although they are at opposite ends of the political spectrum, both sides have something in common – a lack of respect for the establishment and deep hatred of each other. If SYRIZA's rise leads to even greater interventions by the leftists in universities and other spheres of public life, then it is possible that the “troops” of leftists and anarchists will clash in the streets with the black shirts of Chrysi Avgi. Without a strong government to give them orders and support them, it is likely that the police will avoid getting involved in this rivalry, increasing citizens' insecurity even further and perhaps leading to even greater political fragmentation.

It is not surprising that PASOK and, to a lesser extent, New Democracy paid the price for the austerity program, but such a large drop in their support was not expected. Now the time has come to test the theories of those who believe that Greece can set terms to our creditors and that we can make it on our own if our creditors pull out. This mindset has its roots in the behavior of Andreas Papandreou, who founded PASOK and dominated Greek politics in the 1980s. This populism has shaped our public debate since then. Now PASOK and New Democracy are its victims: although they exploited populism shamelessly, they were defenseless against it when others turned it on them.

Yesterday's elections destroyed the political system of the past 38 years. They opened the way for new forces and showed the need for cooperation, both before the elections and after. If our politicians and all those who are involved in public life did not learn their lesson yesterday, we will fall into a cycle of conflict that will only end in catastrophe.

ekathimerini.com , Monday May 7, 2012 (02:20)  
Greek quest for debt relief faces hurdles in Paris
Stifled dreams
Staying on the same page
The Lotus-Eaters
New Democracy aims to ease tax burden, attack SYRIZA’s policies as leaders’ Thessaloniki speeches near
New Democracy is to follow a two-pronged strategy in the coming days as it attempts to win over voters by pledging to tend to their tax concerns while also mounting a campaign to discredit S...
Infrastructure Minister assures officials over coastal revamp
A radical overhaul of the southern Athens coast at Faliro Bay will be put to tender in December, Infrastructure Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis said Friday at a meeting with officials from t...
Inside News
Ministry launches work experience program for unemployed graduates
The Labor, Social Security and Welfare Ministry is preparing to launch a work experience program for unemployed youths aged between 18 and 24, through private sector jobs, as part of a new a...
Tax burden in Greece among EU’s heaviest, study reveals
Commenting on the findings of a recent Eurostat study titled “Taxation Trends in the European Union,” Alpha Bank has described the obligations of taxpayers in Greece as burdensome. The study...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Tough draw for Greek sides in Europe League Greek stage
Following Thursday night’s high, when all three Greek teams competing in the Europa League made it into the group stage of the competition, a harsh reality struck Friday as they found out wh...
JUDO
Greek judoka Iliadis triples up as Aguiar stuns Tcheumeo
Greek star Ilias Iliadis claimed his third world title in the under-90kg category in Chelyabinsk on Friday as Brazilian Mayra Aguiar and Colombian Yuri Alvear won gold in the women’s under-7...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Ministry launches work experience program for unemployed graduates
2. Tax burden in Greece among EU’s heaviest, study reveals
3. New Democracy aims to ease tax burden, attack SYRIZA’s policies as leaders’ Thessaloniki speeches near
4. Coalition bent on protecting weaker groups
5. Infrastructure Minister assures officials over coastal revamp
6. Deadline for ENFIA tax pushed back to September 30
more news
Today
This Week
1. Strong undersea quake occurs off island of Milos, felt in Athens
2. Greek quest for debt relief faces hurdles in Paris
3. Dozens of migrants intercepted in the Aegean
4. Rendi shootout leaves would-be hypermarket robber dead
5. Gov't jet carrying Venizelos back from Turkey conducts emergency landing
6. Tight security in place for City of Athens ceremony as GD MP, supporters to attend
Today
This Week
1. Brussels warns Greece over plans to allow construction near Korinos beach
2. Attack on gay couple in Athens leaves one man needing surgery
3. Merkel cites euro’s ‘construction flaws’ as economy sputters
4. Purification rituals
5. Second man held over double murder in Mani
6. The battle against progress
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.