OPINION

The pre-election show

the-pre-election-show

If the approximately 3,000 contenders for the Greek people’s vote were to take a casual glance at the 120 actions which the next government has to implement before the end of the year, they would all but certainly stand down, go back to their families and jobs, and prepare in whatever way possible for the impending disaster.

They will not do so, though, because they seem to come from another world: As eternal optimists, they are drawn to the cliff’s edge, because, to cut a long story short, they are politicians, and for this they have our honest sympathy.

The heads of the leading political parties participated in a televised debate last night, while Golden Dawn’s secretary Nikos Michaloliakos was excluded from the show. Perhaps the country’s so-called democratic parties paid a good service to the extreme right, because in reality its exclusion reinforces it, making it stand out from the rest.

Let’s not evaluate the performances of those participating in last night’s show, which in short served as a platform for them to repeat what they have been saying over and over again. What is certain is that the pre-election period has given Evangelos Meimarakis the opportunity to establish himself as the new chief of New Democracy, and he seems to be enjoying the whole procedure.

Nevertheless, the image put across by the entire political system carries clear signs of political aging, despite the introduction of new players. Through their dull declarations proclaiming their faith in the euro, pro-European politicians are contributing to the rise of euro-skepticism. Meanwhile, the arguments used by those supporting a return to the drachma are more suited for friendly conversations.

The upcoming election has a peculiarity, however, as it lacks a political dimension, given that the country’s policies for the coming years were mapped out with merciless precision in the third bailout signed by Alexis Tsipras in his capacity as prime minister and agreed to by opposition parties – New Democracy, PASOK and Potami. As a result the voters will have to decide based on the candidates’ skills.

The governing skills of SYRIZA and Independent Greeks were put to the test for six months, with disastrous results.

The skills displayed by the parties in power over the last decades were not exactly admirable either. Above all, the implementation of those 120 actions within three months goes beyond the capacities of the country’s available “skills.”

It seems like we’re watching a farce, but we remain optimistic, for as long as the show goes on.