Saturday April 18, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Caught up in the pre-election frenzy

By Costas Iordanidis

The deal achieved between Athens and the troika was hailed as a major triumph by the Greek government, and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras even went as far as to say somewhat prematurely that he got the country out of the crisis. At the same time, SYRIZA and all the other parties in the opposition accused the government in a somewhat petty fashion of bowing to the demands of the creditors, while saying that a new memorandum is imminent.

What was in fact achieved on Tuesday was a truce between the government and Greeces creditors for purely political reasons. Serious problems have been put off until June and the approach to other issues was based on the prospect of elections in May.

A typical example of how the deal with the troika was managed in the public eye was the government saying way in advance that it would achieve a primary surplus and that part of that money would be distributed to the people within May. In one sense, there was nothing wrong with this tactic given that election races in Greece have been run on promises of handouts for decades. The problem is that neither the government nor SYRIZA had any reason to turn the European elections into a cause for domestic strife. The blame, of course, lies with SYRIZA, because Alexis Tsipras felt the time was ripe for a full-on confrontation with the governing coalition, which has just a slim majority in Parliament.

This is a risky strategy, because if New Democracy does not suffer any serious losses and the difference with SYRIZA is not significant, and if PASOK gets something like 5 percent, the coalition will survive. Then, Tsipras will have the incredibly serious task of dealing with the fissures in his own party.

The government certainly has no reason to treat Mays elections like a referendum on economic policy and to engage in a war of words and strategy with Tsipras. Even a bad performance in the polls could be manageable if it were interpreted as a reaction against austerity, the expression of healthy euroskepticism and a call for a change in the dominant European mind-set. Such a result could in fact be used to the governments advantage in negotiations with its European partners.

But all this philosophizing is in vain, because our political leaders will invariably lash out at one another and try to split society. Trapped in their limited environment, incapable of adapting their political style to the new conditions, they use the kind of rhetoric that sparks civil wars. They look at the people as a herd and try to corral them in one direction by alternately cultivating fear and overoptimism. This is what passes for parliamentary democracy in Greece, even though it defies reason.

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday March 19, 2014 (20:44)  
Back to the beginning
Protecting a key asset
The Armenian genocide and Hagia Sophia
Crime against education
Kotzias to begin US visit with Kerry meeting in Washington
Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias is due to begin a five-day visit to the US on Monday. He will begin his trip by meeting Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington, where he will also hold ta...
Turkey asks for investigation into Greek mosque attacks
The Turkish Foreign Ministry has asked Greece to investigate the vandalism of two mosques in Komotini following incidents on Friday. Turkey requests Greek authorities to clarify as soon as ...
Inside News
US Treasury secretary urges Greece to reach debt deal
Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew (photo) is urging Greece to reach a deal with its creditors, warning that a default would "create immediate hardship for Greece" and damage the world economy. Gr...
Greece poised to sign gas deal with Russia, says German weekly
Greece is poised to sign a gas deal with Russia as early as Tuesday which could bring 3-5 billion euros into depleted government coffers, German magazine Der Spiegel reported, citing a senio...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Triumph for Olympiakos at Barcelona
Olympiakos produced its best away performance so far this season to defeat host Barcelona 76-63 on Friday and snatch the home advantage in the Euroleague play-offs. The Reds have now tied th...
BASKETBALL
Another heavy loss for improved Panathinaikos in Moscow
Panathinaikos raised its performance since Tuesday but still suffered a 20-point loss at CSKA Moscow on Thursday to find itself trailing 2-0 after Game 2 of the Euroleague play-offs. Having ...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. US Treasury secretary urges Greece to reach debt deal
2. Greece poised to sign gas deal with Russia, says German weekly
3. Russia gas deal would not solve Greeces problems, says Schaeuble
4. Spanish official slams Greece, says time running out
5. Kotzias to begin US visit with Kerry meeting in Washington
6. Turkey asks for investigation into Greek mosque attacks
more news
Today
This Week
1. Back to the beginning
2. Terrorism suspects caught following German request
3. Golden Dawn on trial amid conflict over court venue
4. Protecting a key asset
5. Turkey asks for investigation into Greek mosque attacks
6. Kotzias to begin US visit with Kerry meeting in Washington
Today
This Week
1. Quarantine for Greek bank subsidiaries in neighboring countries
2. Greece and lenders head back to technical talks
3. Contraband is big business in Greece
4. FYROM push expected at EU meeting
5. Islands of eastern Aegean struggle as migrant influx triples
6. Greek finance ministry hits back at German newspaper report
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.