Ashes of the bush

The New Democracy party is experiencing a time very similar to that of its opposition, PASOK, when it was thrown into disarray by elections for party chief. These are times of introversion, factionalism and rallying, of disillusionment by supporters and skepticism of the party’s chief, whose lackadaisical approach shows indifference rather than any real intention to intervene. Certainty, once expressed in arrogant looks and sarcastic smiles aimed toward the odd «opponent,» has been replaced by backstabbing and quibbling. But now those sarcastic smiles are also directed toward any government official who dares repeat such rhetoric as the «moral advantage» of the «incorruptibles» etc. What was hailed as the «reconstruction» of the state has used the same materials, methods and behavior that led to its discredit. History also likes to have its fun. New Democracy, for example, is getting its worst spanking from the right, from the same party to which it gave its blessing when it first appeared on the political arena. The scandal of «the Vatopedi affair,» a political, financial, religious, spiritual and moral scandal, has come to the top of many others like it, the pile of bulky and stinking files that are still awaiting judicial inspection. The Vatopedi Monastery was built in veneration of a miracle, when a shipwrecked boy (pedi) believed dead was found safe under a briar bush (vato). In this day and age, and in contrast to the only real miraculous bush of the Bible, when a bush burns (be it a political party, a group of small-time chieftains, a business, a prominent politician or a monastery), it burns down. Unless, of course, someone manages to step in in time and put it out. Of course, in New Democracy’s case, we all know that it is not very good at putting out fires, as the charred lands of Olympia, Pendeli, Parnitha and Rhodes very well show us.

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