OPINION

Pointless opposition?

Over the past few weeks, the conflict between PASOK’s old guard and its «new leading group» has started to focus on a disagreement about whether the party can and should attempt to force presidential elections in March next year. In reality, the proposal by the opposition party’s big shots is not chiefly aimed at topping New Democracy from power but in order to deposing George Papandreou as party leader by means of a second – and likely very painful – electoral defeat. The pressure being exerted upon Papandreou has two strategies: firstly an intensification of opposition tactics with the aim of reaching a climax of political conflict by next spring, and, secondly, a recommendation to impose conditions for the election of a new president which the governing party would find difficult to accept. It has not been publicly acknowledged that the imposition of this pressure is aimed at creating a tense pre-election climate, but the move is justifiable in view of the fact that the existing political opposition is tame to say the least, if not non-existent. But those attempting to push Papandreou into adopting a more aggressive stance toward Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis have another motive. They are counting on the fact that intensifying their opposition just six months after ND’s electoral victory would be pointless and that the public would regard such a tactic as an attempt to thwart the new government’s fight against corruption…