OPINION

Who will fill the vacuum?

Should early elections be called at some point within the next year or so, we would see a whole new can of worms being opened up. The fact is that neither New Democracy nor leftist opposition SYRIZA can even hope for a majority – barring some cataclysmic development – and it is almost impossible to see with which of the two could form a coalition if they were to win a general election. PASOK and Democratic Left, which could potentially have played such a role, are both in a phase of internal crisis and it is uncertain whether they would be able to gain any new ground before an early election. Any cooperation with the ultranationalist Golden Dawn party, meanwhile, would jeopardize Greece’s standing in the European Union, while Independent Greeks is no longer predictable.

Many believe that what Greece needs is a wild card, a centrist party that would not have its eye on the big windfall but which could form a coalition with the conservatives and possibly even with SYRIZA.

The prime minister has given a lot of thought to the possibility of incorporating such a party in the framework of a pro-European coalition, but it is clear that there are cadres and officials within ND who are not in favor of the idea, who cannot imagine being under the same roof as center-left officials that may or may not be linked to the premiership of PASOK’s Costas Simitis.

The problem is that there are days when the idea seems to gain ground and popularity, but is then shot down by those who advocate a “pure-blooded” conservative party, threatening that if New Democracy is not true to its colors and leans even slightly to the left, it may lose even more voters to Golden Dawn.

But the clock is ticking and Greece will soon be in danger of entering a period of no government.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras needs to choose which path he wants to follow. He cannot stay on the fence. If he excludes the possibility of a pro-European coalition, the creation of a new centrist party would be his only hope of staying in government after elections. As to how, when and by whom such a party would be established lies in the realm of psychoanalysis, as there are so many massive egos and prima donnas out there that it is almost impossible to envision a moderate, rational party emerging without grand ambitions.

But the fact is that history hates a vacuum and at some point new leadership figures will emerge with a clear vision for the future.

Such a party could even play the savior in the event of a SYRIZA win, as it could contribute to the party making more responsible decisions.