Disappointing message

For those who hoped that the EU could become something more than a mercantile operation, the recent ballot carried a clear and disappointing message. Over half of the member states’ citizens snubbed the vote. And of those who did make it to the polling centers, few cast their votes in line with the issues on the EU agenda (one should not even dare to mention the word «vision» here). There is not any one cause for Euro-indifference or abstention – still a political act, whether expressed in a stroll by the seaside or in passionate watching of a soccer match. It is the lack of confidence in what is seen as an inept and non-representative institution that falls short of protecting the public from the European Commission, the ECB and unaccountable technocrats in general. It is also the discontent caused by the sight of an EU that is unable (or unwilling) to wean itself from Washington. And finally it is the superficial approach of national parties. The vote was distorted and so were the subsequent interpretations of the result. The ruling party saw its victory as a «renewal of the public mandate» – little did it matter that this was not what was at stake. In PASOK, happy chatterboxes who predicted a gap of up to 6 percent now have to come up with complicated theories since New Democracy managed to double its lead over PASOK. But before you can tackle defeat, you must first accept that you have been defeated. Within PASOK, they are less willing to acknowledge defeat than in Synaspismos Left Coalition which paid the price of its alliance cracking and its stand on the Cyprus issue. But the Cyprus issue seems to have benefited the Communists, who however failed to increase their power despite the absence of the socialist DIKKI. LAOS was also a winner, and in that respect – in electing a Euro MP from a xenophobic and ultra-nationalist party – we have become European.