Nikos Konstandaras NIKOS KONSTANDARAS

The dangerous shadow of doubt

COMMENT

Opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras gestures as he addresses Parliament on Thursday, after the government briefed lawmakers on its handling of the pandemic. [InTime News]

TAGS: Politics, Coronavirus

In the past decade we learned in the most painful way that the rivalry between our political parties can make a crisis last longer and inflate the price we have to pay for it.

While every politician claims to care only about the well-being of the people, their practices often cause confusion and sow such doubts about policies and personalities that they cause more problems than the solutions they provide.

When parties continually strive to present their opponents as clueless, heartless and dangerous, it is natural that citizens will have doubts about government policies, especially when these are difficult to implement, and will underestimate the dangers of the situation. We experienced this in the years of the memorandums, and we are seeing it today with the pandemic.

It is understandable that leftist SYRIZA should want to raise the heat. The government’s successful handling of the first wave of Covid-19 was applauded both domestically and abroad, allowing the main opposition party little opportunity to gain from criticizing it.

The second wave, with the increasing number of infections and deaths, with the ever greater damage to our economy, society and ourselves, offers splendid opportunities.

Keeping an eye on government choices and performance is a crucial element of our democratic state, and it is necessary for people to be presented with other strategies – as long as the party proposing them has arguments that are stronger than the customary mix of promises and danger-mongering.

We have a duty to judge each party by whether it cares more for the general good or if it seeks to create a climate of general confusion and doubt.

In the economic crisis, the doubts over political and economic choices, without an alternative, viable proposal, resulted in the fragmentation of the political center, the rise of fringe parties and voter choices which cost the country years, money and prospects.

Today, SYRIZA’s effort to cast doubt on government choices is so expansive that it casts a shadow over the experts whom the citizens had come to trust months earlier.

In the hour of greatest danger, it would be disastrous for the common front of state, experts and citizens to break. It is time for everyone to consider whether they are contributing to the common cause or undermining it.

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