The first bet has been won, what comes next?

The first bet has been won, what comes next?

Athens, September 5, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

Reality often surpasses even the most creative imagination. Few, if anyone, expected the State to benefit of almost EUR 250 million from the bidding for the four television licenses, which was completed after more than 60 hours. Positive surprise for the government and certainly negative for the opposition, which had invested in the failure of the endeavor.

The reality is that the government risked with its decision to auction the national frequencies, considering under which circumstances the competition took place. Both the opposition and almost all the media stood against the tender, each with its own arguments depending on their interests.

That the government of the “first time left” managed to carry out the auctioning of broadcasting frequencies for the first time in the history of Greek television and to obtain a perfectly respectable amount exposes the formerly dominant PASOK and New Democracy parties, which for 27 years did not seize the opportunity to reap economic benefits for the state, but also to put an end to the lawlessness of television frequencies.

The SYRIZA – ANEL government has been in power for one year and a half, and if one takes into account the lost 7 months of its first term, during which it dealt exclusively with the negotiation of the third memorandum, within less than a year, it seems to be entering an orbit of effective governance.

Alexis Tsipras’ bet to proceeding with his own program and his Left wants has not yielded results, at least not yet. The party was split, with the departure of the Left Platform and some high-profile but individual members, without actually sustaining electoral losses. Of course this does not mean that it had electoral gains. It just remained on a stable orbit with the partial tolerance of citizens.

But can he continue to have this tolerance or will the people turn their backs on him?

Fortunately for Alexis Tsipras, the opposition follows a policy that serves his consolidation at the political scene. The negativism on the part of the opposition to every attempt of the government has tired citizens, who have lost all hope of the old political status-quo. The government remains, despite the communication errors and the many voices within the coalition, pending the outcome of its work.

At the same time, the participation of SMEs that shaped the political landscape over the years following reinstatement of Democracy after the dictatorship, with sensationalism, spreading false information and distortion of real events, assist in essence the government, extending the tolerance of citizens, making it sympathetic in the eyes of the people.

Alexis Tsipras and his government have not won neither public trust nor reliability. They have just won a partial tolerance and time to show and materialize whatever vision they have. But this will not last forever. They have preciously little time to demonstrate that they are different. That is to give not hope this time, but evidence. The sooner they manage that the more diversified from other parties they will become. The fact that SYRIZA is in second place in the polls does not mean anything in reality, as the pollsters have managed to become unreliable as well.

The whole of the opposition, like the media, have received from the citizens not only a yellow card, but a red. They are seen as unreliability and as such have only managed to rally the hard core of their supporters, while society views them with indifference and even hostility.

The auction of TV licenses was a winner, if anything communicative and economic battle with multiple benefits. Primarily, it has shown that the government wants and can “strike at” the status-quo. Second, that there are ways other than privatizations to have cash inflows; of course it still remains the great challenge of combating tax evasion, and third that when conditions permit, it acts on its promises. Time is no longer the government’s ally, but it is up to them to manage it better.