Thursday August 21, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
32o C
25o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Has our political system reached rock bottom?

By Nikos Konstandaras

We still don’t know if our economy has reached the long-desired “rock bottom,” the point at which the only way is up. The results of the voting for the European Parliament and for local government suggest that there may be an equivalent point in politics – a base which expresses voters’ needs and anxieties. When the final results confirm initial estimates, it will be useful for our political parties to take stock of their responsibility toward their voters and shape their policies accordingly.

On Sunday it appeared that in the Euro election, the leftwing opposition party SYRIZA won about 26.7 percent, followed by New Democracy with 22.8 percent, Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn with 9.3 percent, the Elia alliance (PASOK) with 8.1 percent and To Potami with 6.7 percent. We can see that SYRIZA won the most votes but failed to improve on its result in the national elections of June 2012 (26.89 percent). Center right New Democracy, the senior partner in the coalition government, managed to hold on to a large number of its voters from 2012 (when it won 29.66 percent), even though it made a large number of tactical errors and is carrying out a harsh austerity program that includes punitive taxation. Elia gained less than the 12.28 percent that PASOK won in 2012, but it was a lot more than opinion polls were giving the coalition’s junior partner.

The Euro elections are fertile ground for a protest vote and SYRIZA had made clear that this was a referendum that would lead to the government’s being forced to call early elections. Late last night, SYRIZA’s candidate was involved in a tight race to head the Attica Region, whereas Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis managed to hold off a strong challenge by a leftist hopeful. If SYRIZA had managed to win the country’s largest region and its capital, it would have had a much stronger result. Now, without increasing its nationwide percentage, it cannot claim that the result overturns the political order.

On the contrary, the reelection of Kaminis in Athens and Yiannis Boutaris in Thessaloniki showed that voters appreciate the effort of people who did not have the support of large parties but whose acts spoke louder than words. It is also a good sign that To Potami gained a substantial percentage in its first election, confirming the need for something new in our politics. This, too, is a sign that change is coming out of our politics’ impasse.

However, Golden Dawn’s strong showing – which, despite the charges of criminal activity against leading cadres increased its percentage from the 6.92 percent it won in 2012 – indicates that come what may a large number of voters choose to express themselves through the respresentatives of rage and bigotry. The whole political system and society must deal with this problem, lest it turns out that the well into which we have fallen really has no bottom.

The elections did not overturn anything. They did result in 21 Greek members of the European Parliament, 13 regional governors and 325 mayors, along with thousands of councillors. If they can understand that they were elected to represent and to serve a nation that is suffering, then we will be able to say that something is changing for the better.

ekathimerini.com , Monday May 26, 2014 (00:42)  
Self-destructing political system
Welcome movement
Logged out of reality
Manipulated institutions
Elderly man remanded in custody over son´s murder
A 75-year-old man accused of the murder of his son 39-year-old son whose burned remains were discovered in a car near the town of Astros in the Peloponnese last Friday was remanded in custod...
Inspectors visit Rhodes to probe reports of mass food poisoning of hotel guests
The Tourism Ministry has sent a team of inspectors from the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) to the island of Rhodes in the Dodecanese to investigate claims that a large number of ...
Inside News
Eurozone business growth slows in July, prices fall: PMI
Eurozone private business growth slowed more than expected this month, despite widespread price cutting, as manufacturing and service industry activity both dwindled, a survey showed on Thur...
Merkel cites euro’s ‘construction flaws’ as economy sputters
German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged euro-area leaders to coordinate more closely on economic policy and repair the “construction flaws” built into the 18- member currency union to overcome...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Greek soccer officials in refereeing probe to face prosecutor on Sept 15
Eleven soccer officials were on Wednesday given until September 15 before they have to face prosecutor Aristidis Koreas, who is investigating allegations that the draws to decide which match...
ATHLETICS
Long jumper Tsatoumas takes Greece´s second silver at European Championships
Greece won its second medal at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich, Switzerland, on Sunday with Louis Tsatoumas coming second in the long jump. Briton Greg Rutherford won the even...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Elderly man remanded in custody over son´s murder
2. Inspectors visit Rhodes to probe reports of mass food poisoning of hotel guests
3. Avramopoulos in US for talks with Hagel on possible Greek role in peace missions
4. Three held on Rhodes over human trafficking accusations
5. Elderly parents face Nafplio magistrate over murder of son
6. Brussels warns Greece over plans to allow construction near Korinos beach
more news
Today
This Week
1. Merkel cites euro’s ‘construction flaws’ as economy sputters
2. Second man held over double murder in Mani
3. Brussels warns Greece over plans to allow construction near Korinos beach
4. Eurozone business growth slows in July, prices fall: PMI
5. Avramopoulos in US for talks with Hagel on possible Greek role in peace missions
6. Three held on Rhodes over human trafficking accusations
Today
This Week
1. Carved sphinxes at Ancient Amphipolis tomb will not be removed
2. Treating Amphipolis with care
3. Canada’s fiscal adjustment has lessons for Greece
4. Greece to offer law on restructuring bad loans next month
5. Greece’s recession eases as country nears end to six-year slump
6. Ministry sys ‘no’ to debt collection agencies
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.