The Adventure of Rationality [opinion]

European Day on May 9th has been a landmark, since the decisions taken by the Eurogroup will put an end to Greece’s programme review process and will give the green light for the disbursement of EU funds towards the country. It was something the Greek government anticipated for a long time, dangerously stretching its time limits, after last summer’s credit asphyxiation.

It seems that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was reassured of the positive outcome of these efforts, a piece of information that was not available to the opposition parties, since just a day before the Eurogroup, they appeared sure of Mr Tsipras’ defeat… namely Greece’s defeat that would lead to elections. That was the main argument of Kyriakos Mitsotakis, leader of the main opposition New Democracy party. During the past few months, however, there hasn’t been any indication – in and out of Greece – of such a negative development that could lead Greeks once again to the ballot box.

How could we proceed with elections and not a deal on the review process given that: First, Germany and France are preparing for elections in 2017; second, the United Kingdom will conduct a referendum that will determine the country’s presence or exit from the EU; third, the refugee crisis has upgraded Greece’s role within the EU. Apart from that, U.S. president Barack Obama is talking on the phone with the Prime Minister of Greece, at least twice a month, discussing on geopolitical issues.

The prime minister should probably avoid, taking decisions and finding solutions at the last minute, since such a tactic has proven to be very dangerous.

These policies and assessments have been and still are common, not only in the political field but also in the smallest Greek “kafenio” (coffee-shop). Why is Kyriakos Mitsotakis asking for elections on a daily basis?

Kyriakos Mitsotakis is the leader of New Democracy, the second largest political party in Greece. He is a young, trained politician. He is a Europeanist and a potential prime minister. He could also prove to be a worthy prime minister. Why does he insist on such a political mistake? There is only one explanation, according to experienced political analysts: He is in line with some of Greece’s media owners – not all of them – who, for their own reasons, wish for the country to go on elections, in order for them to avoid the implementation of new rules in the media industry, or for other reasons that we are not aware of.

Either way, the prime minister should probably avoid taking decisions and finding solutions at the last minute, since such a tactic has proven to be very dangerous. Unless he has adjusted to the EU practices that for the past decades call for all crucial decisions to be taken – literally – at the very last minute!

Konstantinos Pantzios






*Konstantinos M. Pantzios is a journalist and a political analyst.

PHOTO: The European Union [Extra Eurogroup meeting, Brussels, 9 May 2016]