The end of 2015 saw two surprising facts: First the return of the two party system in Greece, which is now stronger than ever. Second, the end of the two party system in Spain. These significant, political developments, involve two south-Mediterranean countries that are severely affected by the financial crisis and a heavily shaken Eurozone.
In Greece, a leniently inadequate, unsuccessful government of Antonis Samaras and Evangelos Venizelos, resulted in the collapse of PASOK’s rates in favor of SYRIZA. This was also a serious blow to the popularity of Antonis Samaras and the New Democracy party. Within 3 years a new, major party was formed with Alexis Tsipras on its leadership.
So, New Democracy would either witness its collapse in the polls, which would be in favor of other, new and old, minor parties that had emerged in the meantime, or it would recur to become the epicenter of an alternative, leading motion. The December 20th leadership elections proved that New Democracy went for the second option for one political reason: With Vangelis Meimarrakis temporarily on its leadership, the party has supported Alexis Tsipras’ government and the 3rd memorandum. Furthermore, Mr Meimarakis has not ruled out the possibility of keeping the same stance, even after he is permanently elected at the party’s leadership.
Mr Meimarakis’ prevailed in the first round because he was supported (though not apparently) by former ND leader, Konstantinos Karamanlis. Many consider Mr Karamanlis, as the actual leader of the New Democracy party.
Ultimately Greece has returned to the two party system, which proves that the multi party system has failed, due to an inconsistency in words and deeds. Paradox though it may seem, the current developments in New Democracy are in favor of Mr. Alexis Tsipras. First, because he ensures his position as the leader of a centre-left political movement, and he retains a chance to attract candidates and even voters that in last September’s elections supported minor parties. Second, centrifugal tendencies are limited within the ruling party. After all not even Panagiotis Lafazanis’ former, powerful, left wing did not manage to enter the Parliament.
Mr Tsipras got the message: He realized that New Democracy would not disintegrate and that it is currently standing on the doorstep of dominion. Therefore, as far as his government is concerned, he shall have to regroup his powers and exclude inefficient government executives. The same should apply for ministers that though capable, sigh for the period when SYRIZA was in opposition.
P.S. Information regarding the ongoing communication and cooperation between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, former ND leader Konstantinos Karamanlis and President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos is entailed in my previous article entitled, “Ramshackle scenery and the other Troika”, published on November 23rd, 2015.
PHOTO: Alexis Tsipras’ facebook page (Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, September 21st, 2015)