Friday October 24, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
19o C
12o 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 Sunday’s 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 Dawn’s 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)  
Tension for tension’s sake?
Testing ground
Defusing a crisis
PM needs to step up
Heavy rainfall, strong winds cause problems in Attica and beyond
Heavy rainfall and strong winds led to traffic problems and short power outages on Friday as well as flooding dozens of ground-floor and basement homes and stores. The fire service received ...
Greek private workers´ union calls 24-hour strike for November 27
The country's umbrella union representing workers in the private sector, known by its Greek acronym GSEE, on Friday called a 24-hour strike for November 27 to protest austerity measures bein...
Inside News
Tax revenues up by 1 bln euros in 2nd quarter, public sector wages down
Tax revenues increased by nearly 1 billion euros in the second quarter of this year, according to data released on Friday by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) on Friday while publi...
ECB bank assessment to show 6-billion-euro capital gap, Citi says
The euro area’s biggest banks will show a 6 billion-euro ($7.6 billion) capital gap in the European Central Bank’s tests of the quality of their assets and ability to withstand economic shoc...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Panathinaikos snatches point at Eindhoven
Panathinaikos offered its fans a glimpse of its glorious past in European competitions snatching a draw at PSV Eindhoven, on an otherwise bad night for Greek soccer in the Europa League, as ...
BASKETBALL
Greens succumb to first loss at Bayern
Panathinaikos’s unbeaten run in all competitions came an end on Thursday as the Greek champion lost 81-75 at Bayern Munich for the Euroleague. Bayern is a team that improves every year, and ...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Heavy rainfall, strong winds cause problems in Attica and beyond
2. Tax revenues up by 1 bln euros in 2nd quarter, public sector wages down
3. ECB bank assessment to show 6-billion-euro capital gap, Citi says
4. EU says Turkey´s energy hunt off Cyprus is a a ´serious concern´
5. Greek private workers´ union calls 24-hour strike for November 27
6. Finance Minister appeals for support for amendments ahead of vote
more news
Today
This Week
1. Woman killed in tram accident in Floisvo, south of Athens
2. ECB vies for third time lucky in European stress tests
3. Clocks to go back 1 hour on Sunday
4. Venizelos slams Turkey for 'flagrant violation of international law' off Cyprus
5. Cyprus GDP upgrade seen as boosting bailout exit plans
6. ECB bank assessment to show 6-billion-euro capital gap, Citi says
Today
This Week
1. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
2. Greece’s closed society is central to its current malaise
3. Coalition shooting itself in the foot
4. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
5. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
6. Cyprus to block Turkey's EU talks after EEZ violation
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.