Friday Jan 30, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
16o C
13o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
The Lotus-Eaters

By Costas Iordanidis

Turkey, a country branded by some as undemocratic and maladjusted by European standards, recently elected a new president – Recep Tayyip Erdogan – in a vote that was transparent and with a clear result.

Eminently democratic Greece, in contrast, is sinking deeper into the quagmire of political give-and-take over who will be chosen to run as president in order to prevent the possible dissolution of Parliament if the necessary votes of 180 MPs in the 300-seat House are not secured.

This is a quandary that has often recurred in the past and in the last 20 years we have seen presidents made of two politicians who had lost the support of voters while in active duty – though I have nothing personal against Costis Stefanopoulos and Karolos Papoulias nor against the ways in which they carried our their presidential duties.

Today, however, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his deputy and coalition partner Evangelos Venizelos suddenly agreed to nominate Fotis Kouvelis, the leader of Democratic Left, a party that nearly disappeared off the political radar in the local and European elections earlier this year. Again, I have nothing personal against Kouvelis, who is a modest and dignified politician albeit with the disadvantages inherent in any leader of a European leftist party. Yet it was not so long ago that cadres of both conservative New Democracy and more so of socialist PASOK, together with media commentators, lambasted and ridiculed Kouvelis for withdrawing his support for the coalition, undermining – for what was truly an insignificant reason – the national effort to save Greece. Today, the rather eccentric and apparently unreliable former coalition partner is being presented as the most likely candidate to clinch the 180 votes in Parliament that will stave off early elections and ensure continued political stability.

It seems that some of our political leaders believe that the country is populated by the Homeric tribe of the Lotus-Eaters. In fact, they may be right because this is the only way to explain the ludicrous things we are witness to on the political stage, such as the dramatic shifts in stance by our politicians.

The problem, however, is that such tactics undermine the country’s fundamental institutions.

That said, the debate over the presidential candidate occurs only once every five years. After the term is over, the president of the Hellenic Republic disappears into the background, a former failed politician who fate determined to hold the highest title of the land.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday August 28, 2014 (14:11)  
SYRIZA must come up with ‘pragmatic solutions,’ Schulz tells Kathimerini
Strange haste
Keep your allies close
Kotzias, Dugin and the EU
Kotzias hails ´good compromise´ on Russia sanctions in Brussels
Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias labeled as a “good compromise” the agreement in Brussels on Thursday between European Union diplomats to extend sanctions against Russia. EU foreign m...
Karamanlis to meet Bakoyannis as New Democracy broods
Former Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and ex-Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis are due to meet on Friday as New Democracy considers how to absorb the impact from its election defeat on Sund...
Inside News
Fitch warns of a downgrade for Greece
Fitch warned on Thursday that it will downgrade the Greek economy at its next scheduled review on May 15 if Athens and the eurozone do not reach an agreement soon or if a there is no program...
Gov’t, PCT ease China’s worries
Sources from the local subsidiary of Chinese shipping giant Cosco Pacific have told Kathimerini that they are not worried about the operation of Piraeus Container Terminal (PCT). “Nothing of...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Below-par Olympiakos succumbs to Efes
The winning streak of Olympiakos in the second group stage of the Euroleague ended on Thursday in Turkey, as Anadolu Efes outclassed the Reds in the second half to win 84-70. Olympiakos had ...
SOCCER
Xanthi upsets 10-man Panathinaikos in Cup
Xanthi dumped holder Panathinaikos out of the Greek Cup on Thursday, to leave Olympiakos as the big favorite for the tournament that will enter its quarterfinal phase with the draw on Friday...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Below-par Olympiakos succumbs to Efes
2. Xanthi upsets 10-man Panathinaikos in Cup
3. Fitch warns of a downgrade for Greece
4. Gov’t, PCT ease China’s worries
5. Pension payment to be ‘a little tight’ in March
6. State liquidity concerns set to grow by the month
more news
Today
This Week
1. SYRIZA must come up with ‘pragmatic solutions,’ Schulz tells Kathimerini
2. Greece wants a debt break, but what about its poorer neighbors?
3. Greek banks rebound as gov't cites inexperience for remarks
4. $11 billion wiped from Greek banks on nationalization threat
5. Investors turn on Tsipras’s campaign to end austerity in Greece
6. Varoufakis says Russia row not about sanctions, but proper consultation
Today
This Week
1. Greek Elections 2015 | LIVE
2. SYRIZA heads for historic victory but without majority
3. Greek Elections 2015 | LIVE
4. Greek Elections 2015: The day after | LIVE
5. Poll shows SYRIZA leading ND by 4 pct
6. SYRIZA's win will test institutions
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.