Monday September 22, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
27o C
19o 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)  
Universities threatened by transfers
Capital changes
High stakes after the Scottish vote
Breathing room
Results of probe into 20 Lagarde list names due soon
Members of the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) and tax inspectors involved in an investigation into the so-called Lagarde list of Greeks with Swiss bank accounts expect to be able to announce ...
Police refute reports of Jihadi training
Greece is not a training ground for Jihadis, the Greek police said in a statement released late on Friday in response to reports in the local media claiming that radical Islamists have been ...
Inside News
ANALYSIS
Pegging reforms to debt relief acts
The government appears determined to walk the road of Portugal by tapping the markets to avoid a third bailout loan from the EU and even show the IMF the door. However, it may trip if talks ...
Demand for diesel boosts total fuel sales
After five years (2009-13) of decline, the fuel market returned to positive territory in June, albeit at the marginal rate of 0.3 percent year-on-year, according to official data, capitalizi...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Reds beat Veria to claim league lead
Olympiakos thumped hitherto Super League leader Veria 3-0 on Saturday to go alone on top of the table for the first time after four rounds of games. Four days after putting three past Atleti...
SOCCER
Triumph for PAOK, historic result for Asteras in Europa League
Greek teams produced a patchy record on the opening night of the Europa League group stage on Thursday, as PAOK thrashed Dynamo Minsk, Asteras Tripolis snatched a draw at Besiktas and Panath...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Reds beat Veria to claim league lead
2. Pegging reforms to debt relief acts
3. Demand for diesel boosts total fuel sales
4. Foreign investors not overly concerned about political risk
5. IMF unhappy over social security debt collection
6. Agenda
more news
Today
This Week
1. IMF unhappy over social security debt collection
2. Foreign investors not overly concerned about political risk
3. Demand for diesel boosts total fuel sales
4. Agenda
5. Pegging reforms to debt relief acts
6. ‘Greece can meet its needs on its own’
Today
This Week
1. Greece at bottom of social justice scale among EU28
2. Central Athens traffic restrictions back in force on Monday
3. ‘Greece can meet its needs on its own’
4. Lost in the fog
5. Record sum of new debts to the state in August
6. Democracy under Pressure | Live Streaming
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.