Saturday April 19, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
17o C
11o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Gravitas betrayed

By Nikos Konstandaras

What's ahead is worse than what we're going through. And this is already worse than we feared. For three years now we have gone breathlessly from defeat to defeat. Every day unemployment is worse, the market is frozen, uncertainty is endless and violence frequent. The comments by foreign officials get more and more aggressive. We are adrift in uncharted waters, with very few friends, our steady companions anxiety for today and fear for tomorrow.

How we will endure, only time will tell. This is our tragedy: We surrendered to our old obsessions until they destroyed us; now we wait for others to take our salvation more seriously than we ourselves do. Because if we judge from our choices in the next elections, it is difficult to hope that things will improve. More likely they will get worse.

After destroying a government that functioned and failing to shape another, we are now traversing one of the most dangerous periods in our history with a caretaker government that cannot take any serious decisions, with a political landscape that does not allow hope for anything better after June 17. The leadership deficit which brought the country to this point keeps widening; and this is how we are going to the elections that will decide our fate.

Antonis Samaras of the center-right New Democracy party is trying to rally together all who believe in the need for Greece to continue on its difficult path within Europe. But he has chosen the dangerous tactic of polarization, which is hardly likely to succeed. Alexis Tsipras's SYRIZA has a strong wind in its sails. Dealing with this demands equally strong arguments that will show up the frivolity of the extreme-left party's proposals on issues such as the economy and relations with our creditors. Arguments, though, need time to work and time is against our country. At this time, any criticism against SYRIZA does not appear to harm it; on the contrary, it may persuade even more voters that the attacks on SYRIZA confirm that it is right in its positions.

As in the days of the Papademos government's dissolution (at Samaras's insistence, we should not forget), we are going through the most difficult time in our economy, without a single euro having come in to help keep it alive. The cost to society and the economy is frightening; it is most likely that voters will again want to show their rage and impatience at the ballot box. In this case, it will be difficult for New Democracy to come first.

Polarization breeds other dangers, too. If New Democracy is the top vote-getter and manages to form a coalition, the government will have to deal with a polarized society, with strong parties arrayed against it. This will embolden the extremes even further, with all that this entails for society. Also, polarization works in SYRIZA's favor: It strengthens and confirms the sense that this is the political grouping that is leading the left to power -- in a vengeful resolution of the civil war that appears never to have ended. At the same time, SYRIZA can point out that it is the right that is responsible for the polarization, and so Tsipras can avoid committing himself to specific measures that his party will take regarding the economy, society and politics.

The country is in the gray zone between catastrophe, difficult revival or worse catastrophe. The leadership of all the parties of the past decades (with a few lonely exceptions) is responsible for this -- because even when they were not governing, political leaders demanded ever greater waste and populist management of the economy and society, so as to look good in the eyes of their voters. Today, some of us are paying the bill while others, who have not changed their attitude, are winning. There is no proposal for us to stand on our feet; we are waiting only to see how long our restive partners will keep holding us up.

Hellenism is in a deeply traumatic passage to the unknown. All we thought was fixed is crashing down. We don't recognize our country, nor ourselves, nor our relations with other people. In our despair we repeat the behavior that brought about our fall, even as we demand something better than this. But we cannot escape the fact that from the moment we elbowed seriousness and hard work out of public life, we have been trapped in a vortex of mediocrity and debt.

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday May 29, 2012 (21:36)  
The placebo effect and the economy
Ukraine is a crisisbut not a Cold War
Transparency of political party funding
Historical baggage
Greek Christians mark rare Good Friday in north Cyprus
Hundreds of Greek Orthodox pilgrims, some coming home after 40 years of forced exile, commemorated the crucifixion of Jesus in a rare Good Friday service in northern Cyprus. Held in this med...
Greece offers to help find Turkish F-16 lost in 1996
Greece officially offered on Thursday to assist Turkey in its efforts to locate and salvage a Turkish Air Force fighter jet which crashed in the Aegean almost 20 years ago. Greek Defense Min...
Inside News
Eurobank share offering on April 25-29
Greece's third largest lender Eurobank, which is issuing new shares to help plug a capital shortfall, said on Friday that the cash call will take place from April 25 to 29. The transaction o...
PPC to issue corporate bond of 500 mln
Public Power Corporation is planning to tap the markets after Easter with the issue of a corporate bond to draw 500 million euros. The Energy Ministry is also eagerly awaiting the issue, as ...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Greens lose badly as CSKA Moscow
Panathinaikos has a mountain to climb in order to reach the Final Four of the Euroleague after losing at CSKA Moscow on Friday for a second time in two days, only this time it was comprehens...
BASKETBALL
Former Red Bourousis wrecks Olympiakoss hopes for a break
Olympiakos tried harder in Game 2 of the Euroleague play-offs in Spain, and Real Madrid was not as good on Thursday as in Game 1, but the Spaniards still emerged victorious on the night with...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Greek Christians mark rare Good Friday in north Cyprus
2. Eurobank share offering on April 25-29
3. Greens lose badly as CSKA Moscow
4. Former Red Bourousis wrecks Olympiakoss hopes for a break
5. PPC to issue corporate bond of 500 mln
6. Greece offers to help find Turkish F-16 lost in 1996
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greek Christians mark rare Good Friday in north Cyprus
2. Eurobank share offering on April 25-29
3. Greece startup leaders say they cant break jobless cycle alone
4. Ground-breaking Good Friday mass signals thaw in Cyprus
5. Mayoral candidates clash over Athens mosque plans
6. Seven arrested over Toumba violence
Today
This Week
1. Greece's market return mirrors return of tourists
2. Samaras sees no need for third bailout
3. Parties start announcing candidates for European Parliament elections
4. Greece startup leaders say they cant break jobless cycle alone
5. Ground-breaking Good Friday mass signals thaw in Cyprus
6. IMF's Thomsen says Greece not fully financed to 2016
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.