Political childishness

Two events of the last week – New Democracy’s sixth party congress and PASOK chief George Papandreou’s interview with the Ta Nea newspaper – clearly capture the situation prevailing in the two main political parties. Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has placed his party in the «modern social center» and stresses that the citizen is at the center of the new government’s policy… Of course, this remains to be realized and endorsed by the people. However, it is significant that the occupation of the social center by ND was «stamped» following the elections, that it has been embraced by most party cadres, and that it is being consolidated during a time when most of ND’s most «conservative» voters have theoretically been migrating to the far right. Karamanlis’s bold, reformist initiative was referred to when Ta Nea interviewed PASOK chief George Papandreou, who reacted childishly, relentlessly invoking his father and party founder Andreas Papandreou and praising his decisions. But he also distorted well-known events. For example, he maintained that the appointment of Constantine Karamanlis in 1974 had been decided upon by the USA, when it is well known that the statesman never had Washington’s trust. With the same logic, Papandreou tried to minimize the contribution made by Karamanlis to the restoration of democracy, claiming that he had simply been part of a changing of the guard after the junta…

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