Friday October 31, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
18o 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)  
The judiciary’s responsibility
Findings raise eyebrows
Countering Turkish swagger in the Eastern Mediterranean
Time is running out in Afghanistan
Cyprus court ruling opens way for bailout funds
The Cypriot supreme court ruled as unconstitutional Friday four bills on bank foreclosures whose passage by parliament prompted international lenders to halt payments on the country’s 10-bil...
Greek PM appoints new defense, development ministers [Update]
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras named his development minister to the defence ministry portfolio on Friday to replace Dimitris Avramopoulos, who is set to become an EU Commissioner. Nik...
Inside News
Big monthly drop for stocks
The local bourse lost about one-seventh of its capitalization in October as the benchmark declined 13.73 percent within the month despite Friday’s gains of almost 1 percent. The wave of glob...
Eurozone inflation up, unemployment steady, Eurostat reports
Eurozone inflation edged up to 0.4 percent from multi-year lows while unemployment was little changed, official data showed on Friday, providing only limited reassurance that a modest econom...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Obradovic watches Greens thrash his Fenerbahce
The second homecoming of former Panathinaikos coach Zeljko Obradovic, now at Fenerbahce, was not as emotional as last year’s, but it was certainly was the night of an emphatic triumph for th...
SOCCER
Berg returns to add spice to Panathinaikos´s Cup win
The second round of games for the group stage of the Greek Cup produced plenty of interesting games and results in midweek, but it still lags the upset potential that the knock-out stages of...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Big monthly drop for stocks
2. Cyprus court ruling opens way for bailout funds
3. Greek PM appoints new defense, development ministers [Update]
4. PSI victims protest in Athens, Thessaloniki
5. Archaeologists find underground vault in Amphipolis tomb
6. Eurozone inflation up, unemployment steady, Eurostat reports
more news
Today
This Week
1. Man shot dead, woman injured in Vathis square attack
2. Cyprus’s Georgiades bets on economy for Irish-style bailout exit
3. Archaeologists find underground vault in Amphipolis tomb
4. Germany’s 10-year bonds decline before euro-area inflation data
5. Greek retail sales rise for third month in a row
6. New defense minister to be appointed without reshuffle
Today
This Week
1. Austria’s creative bookkeeping beats Greece on secret debts
2. End of reason, end of humanity
3. Clean bill of health for Greek banks from stress tests
4. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
5. Eurobank, National Bank restructurings eliminate capital gap
6. Athens flood damage assessed, compensation payments to begin
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.