The hard core of the country’s left-led administration have a soft spot for partisan machinations. Many of them may have scant, if any, experience in the job market but they do have strong partisan credentials. To be sure, the country’s universities served as a good training ground.
Now, their new objective is to deconstruct an ongoing campaign to rebuild the Greek center-left. Most SYRIZA folk will do their utmost to discredit the project, which aspires to occupy the political space between the ruling left-wing party and the conservative New Democracy opposition. Alternatively, they will feed any forces eyeing some form of cooperation with the ruling party.
It will take a mammoth effort to keep the center-left project afloat. Too many strong egos are involved. PASOK, the once-dominant socialist party now under Fofi Gennimata, is trying hard to maintain control over developments. The entire setting – the strong personalities, the personal rivalries, the political newcomers – could bolster the project’s appeal among the Greek electorate, but it may as easily lead to its premature collapse, leaving several minor, uninfluential parties in its wake.
The outcome of the venture is crucial. If the center-left project fails, SYRIZA may well lose that 3 percent of onetime grassroots supporters but it will eventually manage to establish itself as the new PASOK.
New Democracy will not be spared from a full-frontal assault, of course. SYRIZA is evidently trying to force cracks in the shell of the opposition party, never missing an opportunity to cultivate scenarios of antagonism between the various factions. The assault will intensify as we draw nearer to elections.
A far bigger problem is that some conservatives appear willing to serve outside interests. It does not matter why they do so – whether they are driven by personal grievances, ambition or pure indifference. What is important is that voters will not tolerate such behavior. They are fed up with inner-party skirmishing between rival political families. We cannot afford such egotistical behavior when the country’s very future is at stake.
We can only hope that the next elections will produce a reliable and genuinely reformist majority, or the cost will be unbearable as the provisions of the new electoral law will render the country ungovernable.
For all these reasons, politicians on the center-left as well as the center-right must put their big egos aside. History will not be kind to those who choose to sacrifice the country’s future for the sake of a whim.