“Madness nowadays is not an escape from reality, but a way to comprehend it”, Professor of Psychology at Panteion University Fotini Tsalikoglou has argued and obviously, this phrase reflects contemporary Greek cultural and social reality.
Everything that has taken place in Greece during the past year comes in terms with what English poet William Blake once said: “Exaggeration leads to wisdom“. However optimistic that sounds, the fact is that during the past year, Greek citizens have been abruptly confronted with a new political and financial reality. And it would be inaccurate and irresponsible -in my mind – one to argue that the same does not apply to political parties.
We should not forget that last summer, on July 12th, main opposition New Democracy party voted in Parliament in favor of a new Memorandum agreed by the government of Mr. Alexis Tsipras . That was unprecedented for Greek parliamentary history: The rival party of SYRIZA and main opposition voted in favor of an agreement, that the governmental party’s MPs refused to ratify! English poet’s lyrics make absolute sense, when we listen to SYRIZA MPs saying in outright quaintness: “I support the government, but I vote against its draft bills…”.
We should add and remind readers that a party founded on this political platform, failed to enter the parliament. That’s the ultimate triumph of Greek people’s wisdom!
It’s interesting to consider what lies ahead. The SYRIZA-ANEL government has already experienced new tremors during the vote in parliament of the multi-draft bill on the prior actions for the disbursement of a EUR-12- billion loan from the EU towards Greece. The very next day after the voting, Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, visited the President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos, to officially inform him on the country’s problems and perspectives. Many interpreted the visit as a warning to other dissident MPs that there are no deadlocks in democratic institutions.
Rumors rampant that the government will be confronted with insurmountable obstacles in doing its job. There is truth in it, but the paradox is that since it was first elected last January, the government is not threatened by the opposition parties, as it is by the ruling party itself! Even after the secession of Panagiotis Lafazanis’ political platform, a significant number of governmental MPs believe they still live in the “happy” period when SYRIZA was in opposition and still act like a small party that acquires 4.7% of votes. It was then that SYRIZA resembled more of an institution for the promotion of political debate and an ongoing seminar of political and social research. These people are so much into this “happy” period, that in any case of industrial action, ministers and MPs participate actively, fighting against their government!
Amid this madness, yet there is a pragmatic ruling Left, led by Alexis Tsipras, who apparently has won the trust of our partners and lenders, as well as forces that do not wish Greece (for geo-political reasons amongst others) to enter a new period of political and social turmoil. Fortunately these forces exist within and outside the country.
There are also other, significant approaches to the political challenges of the country. It is believed that the President of the Hellenic Republic and the Prime Minister are having a frequent, regular, informal cooperation and exchange of views on the problems and prospects of Greece, with former Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis.
In the near future, -in February some political sources say-, an Ecumenical government will be formed, for a certain period of time – probably three years – with Kostas Karamanlis as the Prime Minister. This government will implement a program that will focus on public debt restructuring, economic growth and Public Administration reforms.
As said, there are no institutional deadlocks in Democracy.
*Konstantinos M. Pantzios is a journalist and a political analyst.
PHOTO: Alexis Tsipras’ facebook page