Tuesday October 21, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
24o C
16o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
The defeat of politics

By Nikos Konstandaras

Greece suddenly finds itself in the throes of a major political crisis with the collapse of its centrist coalition government in the middle of a major economic reconstruction program and with extremist factions of the left and right surging in the polls. With the country dependent on foreign loans, and obliged to meet the strict conditions set by its creditors, it finds itself in midair, with the troika having warned that funding will stop if the government cannot carry out the necessary reforms. If this is not suicide it is self-mutilation of a kind that will leave the political system chronically unstable Ė whether Prime Minister Antonis Samaras calls elections or tries to limp on.

In the sound and fury it is difficult to comprehend that this implosion is the result not of some great conflict between left and right, between republicans and monarchists, between democrats and authoritarians, or the result of defeat in war, as were the causes of the great crises that rocked the country throughout the 20th century. The underlying reason for this crisis is the bankruptcy of the political system, the inability of the entire system to handle even the most basic problems. After three years of support from its international partners, Greece has not been able to carry out reforms that would ensure that it would get the tranches of the loans that it needs to stay afloat but would also make its public administration and economy more efficient, to the point that the country could eventually be weaned off loans.

This would have entailed the firing of at least 2,000 employees in the public sector and more layoffs and transfers later. With a 27 percent jobless rate reflecting the catastrophic consequences of the crisis on the private sector, the three-party coalition has been unable to fire even one public sector employee. This, it would appear, prompted Samaras to take the radical and irrational step of shutting down the public broadcaster ERT in order to found a new company. This triggered a reaction by the whole political system, including Samarasís junior partners, leading them to raise the issue of democratic legitimacy and to demand the immediate reversal of the prime ministerís decision.

The opposition parties of the left and right, of course, made the most of the opportunity to play on peopleís emotions and to press for the governmentís resignation. This in turn made the position of the smallest coalition partner, Democratic Left, even more difficult, prompting it to take an uncompromising position in the talks aimed at saving the government. With all this, it is clear that the peace and stability of the years from 1974 until this crisis were an exception, an exception based on Greeceís accession to what is now the European Union in 1981. We can only hope that the political systemís weakness will not undermine that membership, nor any other relationships that have helped Greece in the past few decades.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday June 20, 2013 (23:51)  
Stop moaning and get in the game
Exorcising the ghosts
Greeceís closed society is central to its current malaise
Between West and East
Wage dispute hurts govít unity before troika return
Changes to the public sector wage structure are at the heart of a dispute within the coalition that has raised concerns about whether the government will be in a position to negotiate effect...
Most Britons want to see Parthenon Marbles back in Athens, poll shows
The majority of Britons think that their country should return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece, a new poll has found. According to the survey, which was conducted by the YouGov international...
Inside News
ANALYSIS
At loggerheads over role of the IMF
The Greek coalition governmentís plan for a clean exit from the European Union / International Monetary Fund program was dealt a deadly blow by the markets last week on the back of rising po...
Hong Kong telecom group buys out Greek start-up
Hong Kong-based telecommunications multinational PCCW Global has announced it has bought out Greek start-up Crypteia Networks, aiming to incorporate its products into the groupís portfolio. ...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
PAOK fans stop coach Markopoulosīs move to Olympiakos
Olympiakos is once again in the lookout for a new coach after the refusal of PAOK to release Soulis Markopoulos, while Panathinaikos defeated Kolossos on Rhodes on Monday to become the only ...
BASKETBALL
Reds lose to Nea Kifissia, search for new coach
Nea Kifissia recorded the biggest win of its short history in the top flight defeating Olympiakos 68-67 on Sunday, in a Basket League weekend marred by the abandonment of the Thessaloniki de...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
†RECENT NEWS
1. PAOK fans stop coach Markopoulosīs move to Olympiakos
2. At loggerheads over role of the IMF
3. Hong Kong telecom group buys out Greek start-up
4. Local tourism could see more arrivals, investments next year
5. Troika exerts pressure using return date
6. Wage dispute hurts govít unity before troika return
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
2. Bakers encircle Thessaloniki's White Tower with giant 'koulouri'
3. Turkish vessel enters Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone
4. European leaders pivot back to debt crisis after wake-up call
5. Hardouvelis does not see 'big surprises' in ECB stress tests
6. Stop moaning and get in the game
Today
This Week
1. Possible third figure in Amphipolis mosaic may be uncovered shortly
2. Greece to contribute 1 mln towards Gaza reconstruction
3. Greece nearing bailout exit, says gov't spokesperson after IMF talks
4. Istanbul skyscraper casts shadow over Greece's banking ambitions
5. Coalition shooting itself in the foot
6. GPO poll gives SYRIZA clear lead over New Democracy
†††Find us ...
††... on
Twitter
†† ††... on Facebook ††
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.