Tuesday September 2, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
29o C
23o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
No consolation

By Pantelis Boukalas

Even though there is little comfort to be had from the popular mantra that things could be worse, the saying is still used widely all over the world. It is used as a response to both personal dramas and collective disasters when we have nothing more profound to say, when reality trumps us once more, when we need some kind of verbal reaction that allows us to express our astonishment without really having to address the problem.

This strategy, mainly used in Greece in regard to the outcome of soccer games, is also often used in politics, or at least in politicking. After the results of two round of polls over two consecutive Sundays, this term is all the rage today, and not just because of the conquest of two Greek cities by soccer heavyweights, who sailed in thanks to the silent or even deafening backing of certain parties. Basically, it could have been worse has defined the way that the two coalition parties have decided to interpret this Sundays final results, believing that this philosophy will help them come to terms with their defeat, which is expressed in an electoral loss of 10 percentage points in total.

New Democracy thinks that it could have been worse because the political system was not overthrown. PASOK agrees that it could have been worse in the sense that it was for Democratic Left. Even SYRIZA masked some of its disappointment behind this well-used phrase.

But this phrase was also used as a way of self-comfort by those of us who were terrified by Golden Dawns performance. The neo-Nazi party not only survived the ballot but also succeeded in increasing its portion of the vote, gaining the support not just of the biggest victims of the crisis people living in neglected parts of the country, as the urban myth goes but also people from loftier walks of life, such as residents from the upscale Kolonaki district in central Athens. So, from having 0.46 percent and 23,566 votes in the 2009 European Parliament elections, Golden Dawn shot up to 9.4 percent and hundreds of thousands of supporters. But it could be worse. Golden Dawn could have scored in the double digits, which may have been the case if LAOS had not made a reappearance. Or it could have come first as the Front National did in France (its founder recently declared that the solution to the immigration problem is the Ebola virus), or seen the triumph of Nigel Farage in the UK and the far right in Denmark. Golden Dawn could have done better on the back of the success of myriad formations that preach chauvinism, intolerance, racism, anti-Semitism and more recently Islamophobia under the mantle of euroskepticism.

The map of Europe is turning grayer and blacker, and there is a black spot on Greece too. The only certainty is that saying things could be worse will not make them better.

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday May 27, 2014 (09:15)  
Politicized archaeology
Moderating expectations
EUs three big problems all linked
A great president
Trial over 2013 murder of pawn merchant starts in Athens
The trial over the April 2013 murder of a 30-year-old man running a family-owned pawn shop in the suburb of Dafni began on Monday with the four defendants admitting to their role in the deat...
Rain and storms with hail expected in many parts of Greece
Rain and possible storms are expected in many parts of Greece on Tuesday, and particularly in the islands of the Ionian and on mainland Greece, where hailstorms are also likely, the Hellenic...
Inside News
New committee formed to assess progress of deregulation in closed-shop professions
A new committee consisting of 40 officials from the relevant ministries has been formed by Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis to assess the progress of liberalization measures introduced sin...
Tourism targets rise ever higher
The latest data have allowed the Hellenic Association of Tourism Enterprises (SETE) to raise its target for tourism arrivals and revenues this year higher still. During a meeting with main o...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Greek hoopsters go top of their group in World Cup
Greece has qualified to the second round of the FIBA World Cup after going top of its group of six through a third win in as many group games in Spain. On Monday it beat Puerto Rico 90-79 in...
SOCCER
Fulham striker Mitroglou set to re-join Olympiakos
Greek champions Olympiakos Piraeus are set to re-sign Kostas Mitroglou on loan from English second tier club Fulham after the striker arrived in Athens for talks on Sunday. An Olympiakos spo...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Trial over 2013 murder of pawn merchant starts in Athens
2. New committee formed to assess progress of deregulation in closed-shop professions
3. Rain and storms with hail expected in many parts of Greece
4. Greek hoopsters go top of their group in World Cup
5. Tourism targets rise ever higher
6. Horse race betting hurdle removed for OPAP
more news
Today
This Week
1. Politicized archaeology
2. Rain and storms with hail expected in many parts of Greece
3. Moderating expectations
4. New committee formed to assess progress of deregulation in closed-shop professions
5. Trial over 2013 murder of pawn merchant starts in Athens
6. Excavation work at Amphipolis reveals section of marble mosaic floor
Today
This Week
1. Thessaloniki mayor Boutaris sworn in wearing yellow star amid Golden Dawn protests
2. The battle against progress
3. Attack on gay couple in Athens leaves one man needing surgery
4. Strong undersea quake occurs off island of Milos, felt in Athens
5. Greek quest for debt relief faces hurdles in Paris
6. Hardouvelis, ECB executive discuss bank program, stress tests
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.