Wednesday April 1, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o 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)  
Amateur antics or overstepping the mark?
A pointless debate
Releasing migrants from detention centers not enough, says UN rights watchdog
Tsipras needs rupture with far-left, not Brussels
Finance Ministry officials to discuss talks progress as EU pushes for action
After several days of talks between representatives of Greeceís government and its creditors in Brussels on a proposed list of economic reforms, eurozone finance ministry officials are to di...
Trial of suspects in Salamina torture case starts
The trial of four men accused of torturing an Egyptian bakery worker on the island of Salamina in the summer of 2012 is to resume on April 30 after the victim, Walid Talb, and several witnes...
Inside News
Business sentiment in decline
Business sentiment and consumer confidence were in decline in March, according to a monthly survey conducted by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) and published on Tu...
Ministry headache over T-bills
The Finance Ministry is trying to find a solution to cover treasury bills to be issued next Wednesday, while the payment of the next tranche to the International Monetary Fund the following ...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
AEK could get a wild card to the Euroleague
AEK shows capable of climbing as high as third in the Basket League, as its 16-point home win over third-placed Aris on Sunday confirmed it can challenge both Aris and PAOK to the first spot...
SOCCER
Cyprus soccer eyes reunion after 60-year divorce
Turkish Cypriot soccer officials on Monday vowed to press ahead with attempts to reunite with the Cyprus Football Association, (CFA), triggering a political storm on the ethnically-split isl...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
†RECENT NEWS
1. AEK could get a wild card to the Euroleague
2. Business sentiment in decline
3. Ministry headache over T-bills
4. Lafazanis reaches preliminary energy package deal in Russia
5. Bank recap cash canít be used for other purposes
6. EIB said to have frozen funding
more news
Today
This Week
1. Amateur antics or overstepping the mark?
2. Parliamentary speaker prompts ND walkout, anger from PASOK, Potami
3. Investment guru Mark Mobius rules out Grexit, advises sell-offs
4. Greece, EU/IMF lenders end round of technical talks without deal
5. A pointless debate
6. Greek government proposes measures worth 3.7 bln
Today
This Week
1. Next Monday is D-Day for state funds
2. Eurogroup unlikely to be held soon to discuss Greek reforms
3. Moscow expects progress from Tsipras visit
4. Some more equal than others
5. Greece to present reforms by Monday, says gov't spokesman [Update]
6. Greece optimistic on deal with euro area next week
†††Find us ...
††... on
Twitter
†† ††... on Facebook ††
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.