OPINION

Reflections on PASOK

PASOK was, without doubt, the most successful political and financial investment made in the Metapolitefsi era and the shareholders of this peculiar group made extremely impressive gains. The existing financial, academic and scientific establishment is a product of this political party, which is currently commemorating 40 years since its founding by Andreas Papandreou.

Conservative New Democracy leader Constantine Karamanlis’s successors Georgios Rallis, Evangelos Averoff, Constantine Mitsotakis, Miltiadis Evert and Costas Karamanlis made a valiant effort to tame the Socialist monster that emerged in the period of the return to democracy. Their efforts were in vain. They were slandered and slammed by the establishment when it became obvious that they could not be manipulated.

Society assimilated the PASOK ideology in both its primal and modernist form, the latter of which was shaped by Costas Simitis and his successors. Today, the government coalition is applying the policy formed by PASOK in May 2010 and even more impressive is the fact that New Democracy is gradually adopting its tactics for manipulating public opinion, yet not with the same level of success of Andreas Papandreou and Simitis.

While all of this was going on over the past few decades, there emerged a new parameter of political madness in the form of George Papandreou, who three days ago organized a separate celebration for PASOK’s 40th anniversary, obviously because he regards himself as PASOK’s natural heir. In one sense, Papandreou has right to act as he did. PASOK was created by his father and he himself is a member of a political dynasty that produced three prime ministers who were instrumental in the destructive course of Greece yet still held the favor of a large part of public opinion.

Simitis was a parenthesis in the line of succession and in some ways a necessary one, as he expressed the demands of an elite that had been created by PASOK. His candidacy, moreover, had been supported by George Papandreou, who at the time was serving as foreign minister and making radical changes to his father’s foreign policy on major fronts such as Turkey, NATO, the European Union and Russia. The most important factor behind Simitis’s election, however, could be the that he was one of the founding members of PASOK. He did his bit, carried out his duty and was then ejected from the political stage once the party leadership passed back into the hands of a Papandreou scion.

The present-day chief of PASOK comes from an entirely different place. He believes himself smarter than everyone else though his perceived superiority fails to convince beyond his immediate circle and is clearly insufficient.