Unprincipled opposition

PASOK’s political opposition has been without principles, cohesion and even views lately. Inflammatory and opportunist, the Socialist party’s tactics are more like those of a protest party on the fringes of the political spectrum than one of the two parties that are the pillars of our political system, and which lost power just two years ago after almost a quarter of a century. It is obvious that opposition leader George Papandreou, succumbing to the orchestrated campaign of questioning the fighting capacity of his leadership, has finally given in completely to the political appetites of those party officials who favor an unrelenting anti-government struggle. Opposition to any measure the government adopts and a total dearth of any alternative suggestions have been typical of PASOK policy for some time. This line has done major damage to the government on some occasions, but it has never really benefited the opposition itself. That is why parties in power rarely adopt it, except in special circumstances and for a limited period. The worrying aspect is that Papandreou and PASOK are being dragged into this oppositional frenzy not only by choice but also by the unbearable pressure of a noninstitutional environment. Television stations and press outlets that are owned by interests that are inextricably entangled with the political system not only go along with, but actually lead and spur the opposition party’s leadership into the dark paths of blind anti-government fury. And the protagonists of entangled interests rightly judge that this full frontal anti-government campaign serves their interests, so they promote Papandreou. But he is a significant institutional figure who was voted in two years ago by 40 percent of the Greek electorate for other reasons. For how long will he act as a battering ram for those same interests, linking his political future with satisfying them?