Preparing for the day after

Developments within political parties have intensified over the past few days. This trend has coincided with the decision by the International Monetary Fund to install an observer at Greece’s Finance Ministry, as well as experts inside every other ministry. Meanwhile, the country’s administration remains under supervision. Notwithstanding, the political system – both in and outside the government – is behaving as if none of this is happening. It is trying to survive by clinging to the same modus operandi, turning a blind eye to the country’s free fall. The right side of the political spectrum is in a state of transformation triggered by the decision by Dora Bakoyannis, a former minister with New Democracy, to establish her own political grouping. The new party is naturally recruiting from the parties it is it ideologically akin to. Despite Bakoyannis’s political language of liberalism and centrism, the new Democratic Alliance is destined to attract most of its support from the right, which means from New Democracy and (even further to the right) the ultranationalist Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party. Some New Democracy deputies have already crossed into the rival camp. Meanwhile, it is interesting to watch Makis Voridis, a senior LAOS cadre, flirt with the new movement. Could Voridis, an ultranationalist, possibly join forces with the self-styled centrist Bakoyannis? It may sound paradoxical, but it is not; we are currently in a state of crisis that is bound to bring about profound changes. Ideological pledges and pedigree will carry little weight in a few months’ time. Right-wing, center, left, liberal – it will all sound like some bad joke next to the opportunistic, sometimes violent shifts. Politicians will instead be driven by the will for power – the power that will enable them to survive. As Greece slides deeper into recession and speculation about the future of the Socialist government increases, politicians will naturally seek new alliances to survive the crisis. Some of them are showing willingness to participate in new political formations and scenarios about the day after. A national coalition government would probably have enough room to accommodate those who now appear eager to transcend the old boundaries.