SYRIZA will celebrate one year in government on Sunday. It’s slogan is “One year of the Left, one year of struggle.”
The truth is that the government’s fiercest struggle over those 12 months was the struggle against reality: against the economic, political and social parameters that came to be in the wake of a five-year recession and six months of supposedly “honorable” negotiations.
One consequence of this denial is the developments surrounding pension reform and the renewed tax raid on the middle class.
The struggle was waged on many different fronts. For each time an expectation or a pledge was shot down, the government would go on to construct yet another reality without providing an explanation about the previous one. However, deception comes with a price. Voters are now asking for what they cannot have, simply because SYRIZA promised to transform their past into an everlasting present.
Take the farmers, for example. They are now demanding to be exempt from heavy taxation. They are not asking to negotiate with the government and agree to a reasonable, commonly accepted rate (reality); instead they want to maintain their current privileges (war on reality).
The truth is that this deception is the collective work of all previous governments. However, the SYRIZA-led government was the one that put together and built upon those chronic delusions at the most crucial moment for Greek society – in the wake of bankruptcy, two bailout agreements and a deeply disaffected and troubled population.
Over those past 12 months, Greece managed to in some way witness phases that were reminiscent of the civil war, the post-civil war years and the years that followed the restoration of democracy, known as the Metapolitefsi.
All the noise and dust that came along only confirmed that the wounds have yet to heal, that people are still clinging to myths, and that they have trouble coming to terms with the future. Anything that could have supported a step into the future – meritocracy, evaluation, foreign investment – was done away with.
Taking stock on the leftist-led government’s one-year anniversary defies any simple, one-dimensional judgment. However, there is one thing that is impossible to deny: The present was cast aside, the past has replaced the future.