Monday September 22, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
31o C
22o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Dial down the volume

By Alexis Papachelas

Greeks like their drama. But they fail to grasp how dangerous it can be at crunch time. Greek political leaders so often let words slip out without realizing the consequences. Sometimes they regret them but it is too late.

Take former PASOK chief George Papandreou for example, who, as leader of the opposition, objected plans to privatize the port of Piraeus and would not stop calling for early elections, here and now as he put it. Similarly, Antonis Samaras had adopted a firm anti-bailout stance that lost him a big number of followers when he turned to the path of responsibility.

More recently, leftist opposition leader Alexis Tsipras has made a series of over-the-top remarks that could prove extremely damaging. Remarks like his reference to the 1965 political crisis in Greece, known as the Apostasy, in a warning ahead of next years presidential election, are creating a sense of political instability.

Sure, corruption has not disappeared but Greece in 2014 bears no resemblance to Greece in 1965. There is no such thing as the monarchy, no unchecked CIA involvement in domestic politics, no imminent threat to democracy. That said, certain actions are not helping.

If there was one piece of advice I would give Greek politicians it would be: Avoid exaggerations. They are bad for the country, and they can always come back to bite you.

I know, they would probably respond: Welcome to Greek politics. If you skip the drama you will become irrelevant.

But this is not necessarily true. Sure, part of the public has a soft spot for drama. However, the success of Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis and his Thessaloniki counterpart Yiannis Boutaris demonstrate that a big chunk of voters are allergic to drama and hyperbole.

Greece would be a very different country today had Papandreou backed his conservative predecessor Costas Karamanlis and had Samaras managed to contain some of the unfair attacks on Papandreou from inside his conservative camp that drove many a Greek voter into anti-systemic territory.

Political developments are about to come thick and fast. Its hard to expect a meaningful level of understanding when snap elections are around the corner. Instead of fighting, our politicians ought to be sitting around a table discussing the debt, foreign policy, the challenge of hammering out a strategic relationship with China and so on.

Perhaps it is too much to ask. But we can at least demand of our politicians to dial down the volume. All the noise may grab the headlines but it is pushing people into the arms of anti-systemic, democracy-hating populists.

ekathimerini.com , Sunday June 29, 2014 (16:33)  
Universities threatened by transfers
Capital changes
High stakes after the Scottish vote
Breathing room
FYROM official raises Vergina Sun flag on Mount Olympus peak
The vice president of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonias (FYROM) Parliament, Antonio Milososki, has published a picture of himself and members of a group of climbers from Greeces n...
Three injured as coast guard catches two human traffickers in Aegean
Three people were injured on Monday when the Greek Coast Guard chased suspected human traffickers between the Dodecandese islands of Pserimos and Kalymnos. A coast guard patrol boat attempte...
Inside News
New 10-euro note goes into circulation on Tuesday
New 10-euro notes are being introduced across the eurozone from Tuesday. The European Central Bank is gradually phasing in new banknotes to replace those in circulation since the euro became...
European bonds rise as China, G-20 warnings curb scope for yield
Most European government bonds advanced as speculation China will accept lower growth and warnings from the worlds biggest economies of rising financial risks boosted demand for fixed-inco...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Reds beat Veria to claim league lead
Olympiakos thumped hitherto Super League leader Veria 3-0 on Saturday to go alone on top of the table for the first time after four rounds of games. Four days after putting three past Atleti...
SOCCER
Triumph for PAOK, historic result for Asteras in Europa League
Greek teams produced a patchy record on the opening night of the Europa League group stage on Thursday, as PAOK thrashed Dynamo Minsk, Asteras Tripolis snatched a draw at Besiktas and Panath...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. FYROM official raises Vergina Sun flag on Mount Olympus peak
2. Three injured as coast guard catches two human traffickers in Aegean
3. New 10-euro note goes into circulation on Tuesday
4. European bonds rise as China, G-20 warnings curb scope for yield
5. Griveas and wife bailed over Hellenic Postbank loans
6. Athanasiou denies Golden Dawn MPs getting better treatment in jail
more news
Today
This Week
1. Alexander the Great's tomb not at Amphipolis, says Culture Minister
2. Euro touches 14-month low before Draghi testimony
3. Draghi effect subsiding leaves pressure building on ECB chief
4. Investors snap up euro zone banks, exporters in ECB bet
5. Venizelos denies jihadis are being trained in Greece
6. Civil servants' union calls new strike over evaluation
Today
This Week
1. Greece at bottom of social justice scale among EU28
2. Greece can meet its needs on its own
3. Central Athens traffic restrictions back in force on Monday
4. Lost in the fog
5. Record sum of new debts to the state in August
6. Democracy under Pressure | Live Streaming
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.