Building a convincing narrative


Aris Velouchiotis and Apivita are worlds apart. The Second World War Greek resistance fighter and the natural cosmetics company are simply two very different brands. The former belongs to a dark past that we are trying to finally put behind us, while the latter represents a brighter future for crisis-wracked Greece.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is trying to bring the two brands together; trying, as usual, to straddle two completely different sides. Many of the more radical leftist figures left his SYRIZA party in the summer of 2015, but there is still a long way to go.

Tsipras has proved that he does have the strength to cut away at the Gordian knots that face him, but he is always very late in doing so. It is striking that not a single Greek ministry general director has been fired or forced to step down so far. Everything seems to have its own pace, and every decision is reached after extensive deliberation. Even people who undermine the prime minister’s new narrative remain securely in their seats.

The leftist prime minister, however, does not have time. He is well aware that if he does not make any decisive moves now, the international markets and foreign investors are ready to risk their money in Greece only under a different administration.

The failure of SYRIZA folk to get a grasp of reality is stunning. Everything seems to be interpreted in political terms. It is not understood that private companies have shareholders and business plans, and that their patience is not infinite. SYRIZA’s culture of endless talk without much content or purpose is enough to drive any serious foreign investor up the wall.

Nevertheless, Tsipras has managed to present a narrative that is not very far from that of the conservative opposition. The objectives are the same, at least in theory. Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the leader of New Democracy, must come up with a powerful response that will be based on a concrete plan and a set of reliable individuals who will make sure to see it through. The same things that are viewed as self-evident by a section of the public are discarded as minor details by another.

Amid the constant stream of public relations stunts, nothing should be taken for granted. The ruling elite seem to believe in the art of anything-goes, hoping that the domestic public is too worn down to think about what was said yesterday or the day before. This is why it is crucial that voters are presented with a convincing narrative from the side of the opposition.