The most recent report by the International Monetary Fund highlights the risk of political instability in Greece, underscoring concerns voiced by the country’s finance minister, Yannis Stournaras, earlier this week: concerns of a very likely possibility that have not come from the expected direction.
The Greek regime expected an explosion from the left and though there were reactions at the start of the crisis, in a form that was both abhorrent and criminal, the dynamic of the left – from its moderate to its most extreme manifestations – was exhausted in a surprisingly short space of time.
The masses of leftist voters are moving toward parties shaped by Marxist literature, but Greek citizens are not looking for succor there.
They rather see them as components of the status quo, playing their predetermined roles.
Even SYRIZA, which has become such a concern for the coalition government, is a party that has adopted PASOK’s erstwhile delusions of false prosperity. It is a party of nouveau pauvre petit bourgeoisie.
The party that brought a sea change to the political scene turned out to be Nikos Michaloliakos’s Golden Dawn, which is beginning to gain an impressive foothold among the electorate as it attracts young people from the ranks of the working class as well as from the middle class.
The intensity of clashes in Parliament recently has prompted the other parties to forge something of a common front, seeing the ultra-right grouping as threat to political order. While this is true, the problem is that the overwhelming majority of Greeks hold the mainstream parties responsible for the country’s debt, as well as widespread corruption and the economic demise and humiliation of the state. Critics of the mainstream see them as having played into Golden Dawn’s hands.
On an ideological front, the political parties attribute a kinship between Golden Dawn and the Nazi party. But when the current German government is then openly accused of behaving like a hegemon by them and even by analysts who see themselves as reformists, we have to wonder whether references to Germany’s past will serve toward curbing the rising popularity of Michaloliakos and his party.
Greece has already collapsed on the economic front and now it is starting to come apart politically as well. This is what it’s all about.
It is telling that the crisis brought forth two politicians who until now had operated on the fringes or even outside the established political system: Alexis Tsipras of SYRIZA, who is eyeing the premiership and as such has made certain “adjustments,” and Michaloliakos, who has taken on the role of destroyer of the political system. The other political leaders are simply being defined in comparison to those two.
Political instability is no longer just a threat; it is already reality.