Empty battle

Tabling a no-confidence vote is the inviolable right of every opposition party. They may do so whenever they deem necessary. As a result, there is not much meaning in exploring the motivations of PASOK leader George Papandreou. The important thing, however, is that the three-day parliamentary debate was of little service to Greece’s political life. Rather than seeing a productive exchange of arguments and political proposals, we watched grandstanding speeches and sound-bite quotes. Socialist opposition deputies were reduced to blanket rejection of government policies, while the ministers and deputies of the ruling conservative party mostly took aim at past PASOK governments. The two main protagonists sang the same tune. Papandreou took a vitriolic, polarizing path, while, an atypical Costas Karamanlis, the prime minister, made snide remarks about his political opponent. The Greek Parliament was surely not at its best.