Wednesday September 3, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
29o C
23o 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 – 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 Samaras’s junior partners, leading them to raise the issue of democratic legitimacy and to demand the immediate reversal of the prime minister’s decision.

The opposition parties of the left and right, of course, made the most of the opportunity to play on people’s emotions and to press for the government’s 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 Greece’s accession to what is now the European Union in 1981. We can only hope that the political system’s 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)  
Politicized archaeology
Moderating expectations
EU’s three big problems all linked
A great president
Report points to suspicious clinic charges to EOPYY
A quarter of all the expenses submitted last year by private health clinics to EOPYY, the country’s largest healthcare provider, have been deemed suspicious and in need of further investigat...
New rector seeks to introduce ID checks at University of Athens
One day after his swearing-in ceremony was marred by protests against budget cuts and the expulsion of thousands of so-called eternal students, the new rector at the University of Athens, Th...
Inside News
Helexpo sell-off plan to be ready by mid-October
Helexpo, the state company that organizes major exhibitions such as the Thessaloniki International Fair, is in the last stages of drawing up its privatization plan. Sources say that the prop...
Maniatis talks energy with Washington’s man in Athens
Energy Minister Yiannis Maniatis held a meeting yesterday with US Ambassador in Athens David D. Pearce to discuss possible natural gas supply problems that Europe may face this winter due to...
Inside Business
Grateful Saviola thanks Olympiakos, joins Verona
Former Argentina international Javier Saviola has thanked Greek champions Olympiakos for the "beautiful moments" during his season-long stint in Greece as he left the club to join Serie A ou...
SOCCER
Greece defender Papadopoulos fires parting shot at Michel
International defender Avraam Papadopoulos suddenly quit Olympiakos on Monday to join Turkish club Trabzonspor, and fired a parting shot at Olympiakos manager Michel putting the blame on the...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Helexpo sell-off plan to be ready by mid-October
2. Maniatis talks energy with Washington’s man in Athens
3. Task force to examine cases of extreme taxation, customs issues
4. Hotels hike prices by 10 pct in H1 of 2014
5. Pension system nears breaking point
6. Report points to suspicious clinic charges to EOPYY
more news
Today
This Week
1. Politicized archaeology
2. Rain and storms with hail expected in many parts of Greece
3. Reforms to dominate Greek talks in Paris, debt relief talks later, says source
4. New committee formed to assess progress of deregulation in closed-shop professions
5. Moderating expectations
6. Greece needs private debt overhaul, Piraeus Bank CEO says
Today
This Week
1. Thessaloniki mayor Boutaris sworn in wearing yellow star amid Golden Dawn protests
2. The battle against progress
3. Strong undersea quake occurs off island of Milos, felt in Athens
4. Hardouvelis, ECB executive discuss bank program, stress tests
5. Greek quest for debt relief faces hurdles in Paris
6. Prospect of Greek grand prix back on the agenda; huge investment needed
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.