OPINION

Transfer tactics

It is hardly an original phenomenon. In nearly all previous pre-election showdowns, we have witnessed this «transfer» of party cadres (even ministers!) to the ranks of their rival party – a move intended to demonstrate the pluralism of a particular party and its ability to appeal across the political spectrum. Without wanting to belittle the personality and the political contribution of each of those who have switched allegiance, it is evident that such moves are aimed exclusively at creating a sensation and at seeking extra votes by infiltrating «the other side;» this is why they usually happen during critical phases of pre-election campaigns and not during politically «neutral» periods. Even last century, the «centrists» Thanassis Kanellopoulos and Michalis Papaconstantinou, as well as the «liberal» Costas Mitsotakis, were invited and subsequently, incorporated into New Democracy. More recently, we can cite the transfer (and later, the appointment to government and state posts) of Yiannis Boutos, Dionysis Livanos and former Deputy Social Services Minister Vassilis Kontoyiannopoulos from ND to PASOK. We can regard these overtures to personalities (such as Manolis Glezos and Markos Vafeiadis, by the Left) as a gesture by the political system to mark the disappearance of dividing lines between Left and Right and the end of the traumatic post-civil war period.