OPINION

Rallying pro-constitutional forces

The crisis is testing the mettle of the democratic state in a number of different ways. One of the toughest challenges it faces — probably the most crucial — is the emergence of a neo-Nazi formation on the political stage that hails from a new-age Hitler-loving underbelly and the criminal fringes.

In public, its adherents claim its platform is based on rhetoric against the system, the Constitution and Parliament; on a practical level, though, it is based on intolerance and raw violence. Its actions and words are becoming accepted by a certain part of the population as a substitute for the waning presence of the democratic state and in response to corrupt or sold-out politicians.

In the face of the wave of hatred and violence that has been unleashed by the emergence of this formation, Greece?s democratic powers, from the conservatives of the right to the radicals of the left, must unite and take a firm stand against its further empowerment.

All political parties should abide by the same democratic principles, and those that stand against democracy and constitutional order have no place among them. The action a party or an individual chooses to take is what defines their faith in democracy and in the political culture that arises from it. Inaction simply undermines the cohesion and power of the pro-constitutional forces against the enemies of democracy.

Moreover, the recent phenomenon of drawing comparisons and links between the two extremes of the political spectrum may prove dangerous and detrimental to our democracy, given that it does not name or define the ?extremes,? does not recognize limits and differences in hue, and does not argue according to tangible facts but, rather, on the merit of ideological positions. It is a dangerous phenomenon because it fails to make any distinctions between the head of the main opposition party, for example, with common criminals.

We all feel the exhaustion brought on by the country?s worsening economic and social situation, and we are all afraid of what the future may hold. However, the country?s political life can evolve smoothly only if citizens and politicians take a pragmatic approach to the situation, agree to defend democratic principles and join forces to uphold the Constitution. There is no need at this juncture to muddle the political landscape even further by making rash comparisons and judgments.