OPINION

Commentary

When Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos first contested the reins of Athens, he set the modest aim of bringing civilization back to the city where it was born. Now, given that he would find it hard to convince the public that his civilizing intention has been fulfilled with the fountains, the metal Christmas tree and the dim (as his old friends say) lights in Athens’s central streets, he is now changing forums, yet keeping his modesty intact and declaring that the new duty is to bring politics back to the fore. How will this heroic task be achieved? With few decisive steps, the main one being the well known yet elusive consistency between words and deeds. Precisely because the Athens mayor reassures the public that our positions have always been clear cut, he managed to clarify things in an unprecedented manner; by obscuring them. Rather than submitting his resignation, finally acknowledging the obvious incompatibility between his two positions- namely, the fact that he continues to exploit the funds of continuous publicity donated by the mayor’s office, while investing them in his office of party chairman – he leaves his already shadowy party dazed and confused while he grabs at the sheet-anchor of the new position of running a metropolitan municipality. But for the position of metropolitan mayor to be created, which will expose Avramopoulos, PASOK will have to decide; and such a decision will not, of course, be taken according to the criteria of pure local administration needs but according to its inexorably partisan aims. Even an electoral victory, which would allow Avramopoulos to fulfill his metropolitan ambitions, will again depend on PASOK, which will support him in order to avoid one more symbolic defeat in the capital but also in order to embarrass and confuse the New Democracy opposition, while at the same time swaying a segment of conservative voters. Oh, yes. This is more or less how – with secret meetings and blessed dealings, with cold calculations and blatant inconsistency – we will bring politics back to the fore. Only to sacrifice it with a smile on our lips.