OPINION

Why LAOS is gaining supporters

The polls show that one party which is gaining in popularity and influence is Giorgos Karatzaferis?s Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS). The idea may upset many in terms of their aesthetics, their ideology, their values or whatever, but it is clear that we can talk about a ?LAOS phenomenon.? It is therefore interesting to see what Karatzaferis is doing right. First of all, he voted in favor of the memorandum that Greece signed with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, ignoring the great danger of losing many supporters — supporters who have felt the effects of Greece?s reforms. He did not pay heed to the danger of losing votes, betting instead on gaining more by acting responsibly.

Karatzaferis has also invested in the politics of consensus. He was the first to speak of the need for an all-party government and he keeps repeating that things cannot continue as they are now. It is evident that seeking consensus has not done him any harm.

There is yet another element — that of common sense, which is in short supply in this country. When other politicians went on television to lament the idea of Greece having to come up with a 50-billion-euro privatization plan, Karatzaferis was simple and to the point: ?When you are at war, what do you do? Don?t you sell off your silverware so that you can buy weapons and survive? Well, we are at war right now.? These are simple words that make sense without getting tangled up in complicated analyses.

The LAOS leader, however, also got it right on another crucial issue, that of ?law and order.? The leftist political correctness that had been imposed on us for many years did not allow such issues to be raised. Karatzaferis raised the issue long before PASOK and New Democracy did.

If you add to all these factors some respectable showings in terms of speeches in the Greek and European parliaments, you have the ingredients of a successful political recipe. Let?s go over them again: consensus, responsibility when important issues are raised, common sense, lively language and young, capable cadres. Are these not the elements that one would expect from a mainstream opposition party, which New Democracy obviously does not have?