Greece: Towards a new bipartisanship

Greece: Towards a new bipartisanship

By Spyros Goutzanis

One week before the election the landscape is becoming clear: Kyriakos Mitsotakis with a low-key campaign, avoiding the challenges of his political opponent, maintains or even increases the gap of the European elections.

The recommendation to party MPs and aspiring MPs is clear: to avoid expressions of aggravation, arrogance and revanchism, and not to respond to challenges.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis has even denied to participate in a debate between the two main political opponents, albeit the refusal in any case had its costs, as the intense confrontation and polarization favors SYRIZA’s rally of its voters.

All published public opinion measurements and those in the drawers of the political staff show that ND is on a path of forming a standalone government, perhaps even getting as much as 40% of the vote. This means that Kyriakos Mitsotakis will have a comfortable parliamentary majority and his hands free to appoint his government without many discounts on interests and to run his program for a prolonged period of time. Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s final election week will move in low tones, but will focus on Northern Greece, aiming at limiting and even leaving outside the House the Greek Solution of Kyriacos Velopoulos. On the one hand, because the Greek solution draws on the same voter pool, and on the other, if it is fails to reach the 3% threshold to gain seats in parliament, even by 0.1%, it significantly reduces the required rate New Democracy needs to form a standalone government.

Alexis Tsipras follows the opposite tactic by Kyriakos Mitsotakis. In every public appearance, he personally challenges him and uses harsh words to deconstruct the neoliberal program of his political opponent, which has several holes. Sometimes he raises the tones excessively, as was the case in Drapetsona, and reminds of the Mitsotakis’ family tendency towards political machinations and the relationship with the “brother-in-laws”. His aim is, by highlighting the danger Mitsotakis poses, to persuade the dissatisfied left-wing voters to go to the ballot next Sunday.

But opinion polls do not look bad for SYRIZA either, given the government’s wear and, in addition, the blow the application of the memorandums has landed on its leftist character. The same measures, therefore, show that, in any case, the possibility of a further reduction of the European election rates that would have had a dilutive effect was avoided.

Opinion polls show SYRIZA climbing above 25%, while some estimate it can even reach 28% -30%. Moreover, the goal of Alexis Tsipras, apart from those that for obvious reasons he proclaims in his public positions, is to prevent ND from forming a standalone government.

Second, to record high rates that will make him a strong opposition. At the same time, Alexis Tsipras will become the undisputed leader of the center-left. He will have the time to rebuild or reestablish its party, give flesh and bones to the Progressive Alliance, and once and for all clear the landscape with the Movement of Change (KINAL).

In any case, Alexis Tsipras will not have an intraparty problem, as his political opponent falsely predicted. He gave almost by himself a two-month electoral battle and is credited with the preservation of SYRIZA’s rates – which at the beginning of the election period some predicted could drop below 20%.

Finally, with the top two posed to receive high rates, and as the parties between ND and SYRIZA being squeezed, with the Greek Solution and Day 25 being on the verge of parliamentary survival, everything suggests that a new bipartisanship will emerge from the July 7 elections./ibna