Society’s hunger for new faces

A large section of our political corps, both in the government and among the opposition, is desperately awaiting a get-out-of-debt-free card or some magical solution that doesn’t exist. The people, meanwhile, see that they are riding on hope and this is making them livid. I was surprised at the interest the public expressed in the plans of Andreas Vgenopoulos following an interview with the businessman on television. No one knows whether Vgenopoulos is considering a political career, but it is not the man that makes people sit up as much as the sight of an entrepreneur with such concise and clear opinions on politics. Add to this the fact that even politicians are talking about an end to the system as we know it – and it is obvious that something is up. The public is hungry for public figures who say it like it is, who are ready to rock the boat and who have a plan for political catharsis. Prime Minister George Papandreou and opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras each have one last opportunity to save the game: Papandreou if he makes radical changes and Samaras if he gets rid of the dead weight from the past. But they have very little time in which to make theses changes. The anger of the middle class may be subdued right now, but it will erupt in the fall and no one knows how it will manifest itself. Some veteran observers believe that by next winter only a handful of politicians will be able to walk the streets without being harassed. No one is saying this is a healthy viewpoint but we do need to separate the wheat from the chaff. There are politicians who work hard, don’t steal, get things done and truly care about Greece. The question, though, is if they are in the right place or enough in number to carry out the Sisyphean task, or whether they will be swept away by the looming developments. In other words, Vgenopoulos may or may not be the right kind of man to enter the flames of Greek politics, but what counts is society’s hunger for new people who seem ready to take on the system and not talk the staid lingo of politics.

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