OPINION

Alone with their illusions

Few were actually surprised when the parliamentary committee investigating the Vatopedi land-swap scandal earlier this week summoned former Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis to testify. The organization of political spectacles is only natural when a state is in crisis. Greece’s Communist Party (KKE) and left-wing grouping SYRIZA are guided by their own peculiar logic: their downright rejection of anything that the two mainstream parties, PASOK and New Democracy, have to propose derives from their basic belief that the existing system has to change. However, one can only be surprised at the foolishness of PASOK, or rather the Socialist party spin doctors who are trying to tackle the political deadlock of the Papandreou administration, following the memorandum signed with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. That said, Karamanlis has no reason to worry. The investigation by the parliamentary committee contradicts allegations that there was black money involved and that there was criminal responsibility on the part of ministers. The former premier has shouldered his fair share of political responsibility nevertheless. The entire show is an act of political folly that will only benefit the center-right parties – especially New Democracy, despite the efforts of PASOK as well as LAOS, whose leadership appears unable to handle the situation of the past few months. Time is gradually revealing the amateurism and naivete of those who hammered out the plan to supposedly rescue Greece from bankruptcy and which was voted through in Parliament. PASOK hoped that the right would be split into three but failure to implement the demands of the memorandum is undermining the credibility of the government day by day. PASOK’s spin doctors are obviously aware of this and are trying to polarize the climate by summoning Karamanlis to testify. They seem to be ignoring the fact that policies of this kind will allow the opposition to rally its fighting forces. Above all, they are missing the point that they have lost the backing of the traditional, militant PASOK. They are left alone, with their illusions.